Most modern commercial aircraft are equipped with an emergency evacuation slide. While it’s comforting to know that you are covered in the eventuality of something dramatic happening, chances are you wouldn’t want to see it deployed during a flight.
But what if you are invited to go down the emergency evacuation slide just for fun?
That’s exactly what Australian comedy duo Hamish & Andy did in the company of their fans when they collaborated with regional carrier Rex Airlines.
Known for their wacky antics and wild adventures, the duo invited 61 of their podcast listeners to join them aboard a Rex Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft to film their final episode for 2022.
Local media reported that the duo’s inspiration for an ‘Emergency Slide Party’ began in May 2021, when planes were grounded and the idea of going down an evacuation slide without a life-threatening emergency “seemed fun”.
After 18 months in the planning, the pair finally made it happen on November 22, 2022, with the cooperation of Rex Airlines and Melbourne Airport.
“Our Emergency Slide Party is a lesson in ‘you don’t know if you don’t ask!’ We asked, and Rex said yes! It is amazing the lengths we will go to for a three second slide, but this way was a lot more fun than attempting it after an emergency landing!” Hamish and Andy said (as reported by Radioinfo.com.au).
From the terminal, the aircraft went to the hangar, where the passengers awaited their chance to go down the slide.
Andy Lee, one half of the duo, announced over the aircraft’s PA system: “The aircraft has now come to a full stop. We’ve checked outside and there’s no fire or smoke, but there’s a hot good time out there,”
A Rex Airlines flight attendant showed the proper procedure before deploying the slide, which involves checking the outside conditions first. The flight attendant then opened the door, where the inflatable slide deployed in less than three seconds.
Passengers were then taught how to go down the slide for a safe landing, which is to emulate a sitting position with back straight and away from the slide, and ankles angled towards you, not pointed away.
The evacuation slide, known then as an escape chute, was invented by James F. Boyle who submitted his patent in 1954.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires evacuation slides on aircraft which have doors six feet or more above the ground. If the emergency landing occurs over water, most of the slides can also be used as a raft.