Nick sent a message to Dennis Muilenburg – President and Chief executive officer of The Boeing Company email address that said:
Dear Mr. Muilenburg,
I am writing to both Boeing and Airbus group with an aircraft safety concern I have and a solution to the problem.
Let me start by describing an incident that recently took place at Abu Dhabi International Airport where a Emirates Boeing 777 crash landed on the runway with the landing gear retracted. The passengers and crew exited the aircraft safely before the fire broke out and engulfed the aircraft. However, Thanks to a passengers mobile phone video inside the aircraft the following was noted.. . .
Many of the exiting passengers took the time to open the overhead bins to retrieve their carry on baggage before leaving the plane. This had to restrict the evacuation of the aircraft a great deal. Not only does the removal of overhead bin contents obstruct the aisles but, the bins hanging down in the open position become an obstruction if passengers must crawl over seats to exit the plane. Also, open bins hanging down are a great way to cause head injuries in a tall person trying to exit. Of course this is a no no but, there are always some people that think the rules don't apply to them.
My solution to the problem is simple but, of course will cost the company some money to implement. I will list my suggestions in order of importance . .
1. Passengers should be told at the safety briefing just before flight that, Carry on baggage shall not be removed if an emergency exit is eminent that the bins will be locked in any case so attempts to open them will not be allowed.
2. All bins will be secured with a locking mechanism and will be activated when the cockpit crew turns on the Seat belt Sign upon landing, both in an emergency and a normal situation. Also, the bins will not be unlocked until the plane reaches it's gate and the Seat belt Sign is turned off. This will also prevent bins from flying open under a hard landing condition.
A simple solution that may save lives in the future.