When doing the evacuation drills to ensure people can leave the plane in 90 seconds, are they tested with disabled people, ones in wheelchairs or, like myself, people who have difficulties walking and use crutches? I would never be able to jump on the slide or even evacuate in 90 seconds so what would that mean for me? Would I just be left behind?

  • $\begingroup$ Related question about realism of evacuation tests. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Aug 20 '16 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ Same for young children, elderly, people with broken legs, etc. That said, 90 seconds is a limit for the test. Nobody said 90 seconds is the limit to survive a crash. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Aug 20 '16 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ You don't necessarily have to "jump" on the slide. In an emergency any way you get out is fair game, if you would have a problem "jumping" as shown in movies, you could just kind of fall into it, although your risk of injury would be higher. There is probably somebody at the bottom of the slide to help you off and away to safety. That being said though, if I had a disability I would opt for seats closer to exits if possible. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 21 '16 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer in the same way I opened a saving account in case I win the lottery I guess ? $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Aug 21 '16 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ About 6% of the participants in those tests sustain injuries, mostly abrasions and bruises, but more serious injuries up to and including permanent damage have been recorded. Because of child labor laws and safety concerns, the age mix for the tests has been changed to exclude minors, and allow the aircraft manufacturers to exclude participants over 60 who are the most likely to be injured. (In the latter case, they are required to increase the number of middle-aged participants significantly.) So, unfortunately, it is just not ethically possible to make the tests more realistic. $\endgroup$ Aug 23 '16 at 21:37

As @mins said in the comments, the 90 seconds is a limit for a evacuation test. Having equal test requirements means that all planes have a minimum, similar evacuation capability.

That said, the conditions of an evacuation test are rather benign: people participating in them know nothing is really wrong, there are no hazards like smoke or fire, and the plane is in a normal attitude (no broken gear or hull, engines stopped). See


In real emergencies, the time to evacuate may be greater than 90 seconds, and the crew and ultimately the captain has the responsibility to ensure that everyone has been evacuated safely and leave the ship the last. So, crew incapacitation left apart, you wouldn't be left behind.


That is a very good question, and from my experience with flight test, I would say that I would guess no. All of our crews had FAA Class 3 medicals. I would have to research the certification requirements.

With that said, there is increasingly a spotlight put on the airlines when passengers with disabilities are mistreated.


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