Do I need to train flight attendants on flight deck emergency equipment?

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Are flight attendants required to be trained on emergency equipment located in the flight deck?

Flight attendants are not required by regulation to be trained on flight deck emergency equipment. Just because something isn’t required by regulation doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be done. It would be beneficial to have flight attendants trained on the use of the gaseous, on-demand oxygen system and escape ropes.

When pilots exit the flight deck to use the restroom, a flight attendant enters the flight deck so there are two crewmembers in the flight deck at all times. Should a decompression occur, the remaining flight crewmember is going to be task saturated with the emergency. They won’t have time to explain to the flight attendant how to use the oxygen system. It takes a minimal amount of time to teach flight attendants this and would provide a significant benefit should such an emergency arise. The best would be to provide classroom and hands-on training, but if hands-on can’t be provided, classroom training and a test question or two about it would raise the safety standards of the airline’s operation.

All transport category aircraft come equipped with escape ropes as an alternate means to exit the flight deck should access to the main cabin be impossible, or if all exits in the main cabin are unusable. While it may appear straightforward how to use an escape rope, it really is not. There is a right way and a few wrong ways to exit a flight deck window. There are videos online that show actual use of the escape rope and how to properly go through the window.

Airbus video on YouTube

Boeing video on YouTube

Including these items in flight attendant training may add a few minutes to the overall training program, but you will have better-trained flight attendants should these scenarios occur. It’s unlikely likely that flight attendants would ever evacuate a plane through the flight deck, yet should there be an aircraft incident, there’s a probability the training program and flight attendant manual will come under scrutiny. Consider including this important information into flight attendant training programs.

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