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Published on Jun 24, 2007
This uncommon evacuation exit -- still found today on MD-80, DC-9 and B-717 aircraft -- is unique in that it involves the jettisoning of a complete aircraft part, in this case, the tailcone. For most air carriers, this exit is considered to be a secondary exit, the preferred being the main cabin doors or overwing exits. The opening of the aft pressure bulkhead is designed to actuate the firing of pins holding the tailcone in position. (The door has been designed so that you cannot do this if the aircraft is in flight.) If this does not work, the flight attendant must enter the walkway and then pull the manual tailcone release handle on the aircraft's left side at the end of the walkway. The particular aircraft belonged to Jet America, based out of Long Beach, CA.