Flying Batavia Air With Blocked Overwing Emergency Doors

indi's picture

On 13 July 2007 my father (Hindro) and I boarded Batavia Air from Jakarta to Bali to attend a wedding. We were seated on row 14 (me on the aisle and my father in between me and the window seat) of Boeing 737 aircraft that seemed to be much older than the average age of the flight crew. One stewardess told us that everyone on aisle 14 were supposed to be aware of the "overwing emergency exit door/hatch" on the starboard (right) and port (left) and that whoever is sitting closest to it should operate it in an emergency.

Having flown in several of 737s before (mostly in Northern America), I noticed that there was a window seat on our row (on other flights, there is NO windows seat at emergency exit!). Normally, there is never a window seat on a row leading to the overwing emergency exit door/hatch so that the door can be pulled opened towards the cabin/inside of the plane. With doubts in my mind, I quickly asked the stewardess: "how are we supposed to open it in case of emergency with a window seat in the way?" Her reaction perhaps could be best described as as "blur like sotong" (Singaporeans lingo for "duh, I don't know, s don't ask me. I am ignorant!"). The "klimis" (meaning: with wet-look hairstyle) gentleman sitting next to my dad said to me: "Come on lah, the crew knows what's best and safe for us!". Then I looked at him and said: "Now, why don't you show me how you could open that with you sitting there!". While saying that I noticed that his armrest is fastened to the emergency door with a plate and a screw! I pointed the screw to him and it made no impact on this mind.

Since there was nothing I could do while the plane is on taxi, I just hoped that there would be no need to open the emergency door. By the way, I am lucky to still be alive today.

To give you an illustration of what I mean by the normal layout of a Boeing 737, please have a look at these:

Batavia Air Boeing 737
You can see above that the middle of the plane has an overwing emergency door/hatch on each side and it is up to the passengers sitting adjacent to them to operate them in an emergency; they are quite heavy and cumbersome - the evacuation path is off the rear of the wing. Because of this, there are rules governing what type of passenger may be seated there. They must not be: elderly, handicapped, pregnant, obese, a child or a deportee under escort.

Standard: No Window Seat Where Exit Door Is
The photo above shows a normal Boeing 737 layout, which has no window seat at emergency door/hatch so that you could lift it in an emergency. Batavia Air, however, has a window seat exactly at this spot and its armrest is fastened with a screw and a metal plate to the door itself. Potential problem in an emergency.

Comparing Standard vs. Batavia Air layouts
The top layout is the standard way of arranging the seats in all Boeing 737 variants. However, the yellow squares in the bottom layout shows that Batavia Air has those seats blocking the emergency exit.

If you know any IATA personnel please let them know so that they could warn Batavia Air to remove the seats that are blocking the overwing emergency exits as shown above. I hope that the next time I fly Batavia Air things would have been resolved to meet safety standards.

Comments

Mas, gak terlalu masalah

Mas, gak terlalu masalah adanya seat di row emergency exit, itu memang diperbolehkan. Harusnya flight crew memberi safety briefing tambahan untuk penumpang yang duduk di row emergency exit tentang cara buka emergency door, gitu standarnya..

Jadi gak usah terlalu dipusingkan, dan jangan dihujat juga, kalau memang seperti itu diperbolehkan. Saya hanya pernah melihat di beberapa pesawat milik garuda saja yang tidak ada satu window seat di row emergency exit. Di banyak maskapai lain, termasuk beberapa maskapai luar negeri, seat di window emergency exit ada kok.

Nambah lg, itu foto dari airliners.net udah minta ijin belum buat ditampilkan disini?

mas rizki tolong baca

mas rizki tolong baca artikel di atas lebih teliti. tempat duduk di row emergency exit tidak apa2. tetapi di batavia air, ditambahkan tempat duduk ekstra yang dibautkan kepada pintu emergency tersebut. Padahal standar internasional, row emergency exit tidak benar2 full kan? ada gap untuk pembukaan pintu darurat tersebut. Dan gimana mau buka pintu emergency kalau kursi dibautkan kepada pintu darurat?

Dibautkan ke emergency

Dibautkan ke emergency exit?? Wah ini baru namanya pelanggaran. Maaf saya mungkin terlewat membaca bagian yg kursi dibautkan ke emergency exit door.

Setahu saya nih ya, misal di boeing 737, di beberapa maskapai wajar untuk menempatkan kursi penuh ABC DEF pada emergency exit row, tapi dengan seat pitch yang lebih besar dari row lainnya untuk memudahkan akses ke emergency exit door, dan orang yang berada di seat A dan F pada emergency exit, tepatnya persis di samping emergency exit door wajib diberikan briefing safety tambahan mengenai cara membuka emergency exit door tersebut.

Wew kaya gitu banyak di Indonesia

Setau gw naik Pelita Air Service juga begitu. Fokker 28 (sekarang kalau ga salah Fokker 100). Kursi nomor belasan ada emergency exit tapi juga dikasih tempat duduk yang mepet sama Emergency exit. Gw mikir kalau ada orang "disable" disuruh merangkak di antara barisan kursi cuma buat keluar lewat emergency exit gimana jadinya?

Tapi lumayanlah yang duduk di situ masih ditanya sama
peragawatinya "Mas, udah tahu caranya buka emergency door?"

weleh2

Nekad, gila, dan tidak bertanggung jawab! Mustinya difoto, nDi... terus dikirim ke media luar negeri!

wah sayang gak difoto

Kok tidak difoto mas nomer registrasi pesawat dan bagian kursi yang dibaut ke emergency exit?? setuju gw ama lady day.. ;) jadinya kan elo ngomong gak ada bukti.. ato jgn2 ada sakit hati ama orang batavia? hehehehe... Sayang padahal bisa dijadiin barang bukti tuh.. demi memperbaiki penerbangan nasional.. PISSS DUT...!!!

mengklarifikasi

mas indi yg bijak..
saya dulu seorang pramugara di suatu maskapai di indonesia,dan skg saya sdh menjadi seorang pilot.

yang ingin saya tanyakan,apakah mas yakin bahwa yg dibaut ke exit windownya itu "kursinya" atau hanya "arm-restnya"?
karena no point untuk membaut kursi ke exit window.karena kursinya sdh ada rail-nya sendiri,dan terattached kuat.kalo itu arm-restnya,memang iya,itu dibolehkan.tp hanya arm restnya,krn kalo arm restnya saja,itu tidak akan mengganggu operation to open the exit window(escape hatch)..idealnya memang daerah itu dikosongkan utk memudahkan evakuasi.namun,kita tdk bisa mengelak utk aspek keekonomisan,1 or 2 seats been putted there.namun,itu sendiri pun atas persetujuan dr layout airworthiness design dr boeing company,dan sdh atas persetujuan DSKU (dirjen sertifikasi kelayakan udara).

mohon koreksi bila saya salah.namun inilah fakta yg ada,bukan memandang dr segi "biasanya".
mohon di crosscheck data yg sdh saya beri sehingga menghindari kesalah pahaman antara masyarakat dan para pelaku dunia penerbangan.saya rasa kita semua hrs bijak jika ingin memajukan penerbangan indonesia.

menanggapi email anda

mas indradi yg bijak..
pasti akan saya sampaikan kepada otoritas yg terkait demi memajukan penerbangan kita..
namun,dr penjelasan anda,saya masih tdk mengerti ttg fixed handrail yg anda maksud.apakah itu amrest atau apa,karna kata2 fixed handrail tdk familiar bagi saya.
maaf,tp mungkin akan lbh jelas dan tegas lg kalau anda memberikan foto yg jelas.
hal itu akan sangat membantu dan dapat menjadi bukit yg kuat,jika ingin dilaporkan.

just for your info,
yg jelas,DSKU(see my previous comment),hanya akan memperbolehkan pesawat2 di indonesia terbang setelah menjalani serangkain tes kelayakan terbang,yg salah satu tesnya adalah dgn simulasi emergency landing,dan awak kabinnya hrs bisa menyelamatkan semua penumpang yg ada dengan "hanya setengah jumlah exit "yg tersedia dgn waktu maksimal hanya "90 detik".
exceeding this time,would failed to comply with airworthiness..

namun saya apresiasi usaha anda utk menjelaskannya kepada saya.

best regard

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