Make Carrying "Carry On Bags" During An Aircraft Evacuation A Crime

Make Carrying "Carry On Bags" During An Aircraft Evacuation A Crime

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Alex Esguerra started this petition to Federal Aviation Administration and

On May 6, 2019, Aeroflot 1492 crashed during it's landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. 41 of the 78 passengers and crew onboard were killed, many if not all being victims of a particularly bizarre practice of passengers "needing" to evacuate their carry on bags with them during an emergency! This practice is nothing new. The web is festooned with videos and pictures of passengers running away from a burning aircraft with their carry on luggage. However, Aeroflot 1492 is the first to truly highlight the deadly outcome that can result from the act that grabbing a bag from an overhead bin during an evacuation can have.

The attached video of the SU1492 evacuation clearly shows that the first five evacuees exited the aircraft between 0:06 to 0:10, approx a space of four seconds. Contrast this with 0:16 - there is a four second period in no one exits, concluding with a person WITH THEIR BAG finally jumping down the slide at about 0:20.

Let that sink in - in the time that the person spent grabbing their bag and manhandling it thru the aisle to the exit, he/she potentially robbed four additional people of the chance to make their way to the open door to safety!

AND YET AGAIN AT 0:28, ANOTHER PAUSE... FOR FIVE SECONDS!!! Finally, someone emerges with their luggage in hand at 0:33 - that could potentially be another four or five people that could've gotten out of the stricken jetliner!!!

And what makes this all the more worse is the fact that these individuals weren't the only ones to making a grab for his/her bag. Numerous passengers in a post evacuation video of the flight in question are shown tending to their roller bags or similarly large and bulky luggage! Survivors also report clear delays in several passengers trying to get at the overhead bins. In all likelihood, these individuals caused similar delays with their selfish acts, causing a cumulative logjam in the single aisle of the SU100 in question. As the rear of the aircraft was engulfed in flames, short of climbing over seats (not really for two children killed in the accident), all passengers and crew caught behind these bag-happy individuals had nowhere to go, stuck at the back of the aircraft until they were overcome by smoke and fire.

Years ago, I saw this practice firsthand. I also heard the stories of why. Ranging from an automatic reflex to "I NEED my passport", let's be frank here - You need to curb such a reflex in an emergency... and no passport is worth another person's life!!!

FAR 121.291 stipulates that aircraft operating under Part 121 MUST comply with a requirement that full evacuation of all occupants can be accomplished within 90 seconds. This requirement is met with a demonstration to the appropriate regulatory agency in which the aircraft in question is put thru a full evacuation drill prior to its certification. It is a given that these drills are accomplished by all participants by adhering to a realistic notion of leaving the plane with nothing more than the clothes on their back. This is confirmed in the videos of these tests (most notably for the giant A380), not a single participant has a piece of luggage. Speed during the drill, as in real life, is essential in meeting this 90 second rule!

Had that been the case with SU1492, the general consensus of many experts is that more (if not all) of the occupants of the aircraft would have made it out alive.

It is the hope of all those that have signed this petition that the agencies that this document addresses take immediate measures to discourage the act of passengers and/or crew from slowing down an aircraft evacuation by "saving their bag". Suggested remedial measures may include, but are not limited to...

1. Create laws that recognize the dangers of individuals trying to take luggage off an aircraft during an aircraft evacuation, providing legal recourse against those that hazard their fellow passengers and/or crew. Such punitive actions should start at Reckless Endangerment (or equivalent if a child is involved), culminating to the potential maximum of Manslaughter (or higher if appropriate).

2. Establish specific guidelines in which the aforementioned law apply. For example, while carrying a jacket during an evacuation is not necessarily considered slowing things down during an emergency egress of an aircraft, delaying fellow passengers or crew to retrieve one from an overhead bin WOULD constitute a minimum of Reckless Endangerment.

3. Adding a reminder to preflight briefing material (via safety cards, videos, or spoken by flight/cabin crew) that passengers keep "essential items" (wallets, passports, etc) on their person throughout flight.

Given the propensity of survivors of an aircraft accident - as well as those in and around said accident - needing to film their experience on cell phones and tablets and then share it via social media or news agencies, evidence of such transgressions would be easily available to accident investigators and law enforcement.

Perhaps by criminalizing the practice of a person evacuating their bag(s) with them - and invariably slowing down everyone behind them as a result - this dangerous and rather selfish act can be minimized, if not outright eliminated.

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