Our Research Focus

The Cabin Safety Research Team conducts research studies and tests pertaining to the emergency evacuation of aircraft, onboard aircraft emergency equipment and its effectiveness, the effectiveness of cabin air crew training, passenger education, water evacuations and survival, and post-crash survival.

Analyses of the data resulting from these activities are then disseminated through reports, Cabin Safety Research Workshops and by participation in scientific/technical meetings. Many other tangible products of this research team are also seen through regulations, advisory circulars, technical standard orders, aerospace standards and recommended best practices, as well as inputs and changes to emergency equipment designs and airline training and emergency procedures for the improvement of aviation safety.

This team studies actual and theoretical post-accident emergency situations to determine the adequacy of survival equipment and procedures. The recent success in terms of passenger and crew survival wrought by these improvements in transport aircraft safety can be seen in the Air France A-340 crash in Toronto and the USAir A-320 ditching in the Hudson River, both of which resulted in a 100% survival rate. International influence is demonstrated by the recent success of United Arab Emirates Flight EK521 also resulting in 100% evacuation success.

Passenger Education programs are advanced by providing information through written material, computer based interactive scenarios and public briefings. The Team conducts Cabin Safety Research Workshops designed to familiarize airline training personnel, law enforcement, government educators, foreign government regulators, industry aviation trainers, corporate air crew, other aviation personnel, and students interested in aviation with research findings and reports. Often the participants of these workshops participate in important research activities conducted by the Cabin Safety Research Team in the area of airplane cabin safety.

Research is sponsored by the FAA Aircraft Certification Service, the FAA Flight Standards Service, and the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine.

Our Team:

  • Stacey Zinke-McKee, Manager, AAM-630
  • David Weed, Team Coordinator, Human Factors Research Specialist,
  • Kenneth Larcher, Human Factors Research Specialist, AAM-632
  • David Ruppel, Research Engineering Technician, AAM-632
  • Kelly Guinn, Research Engineering Technician, AAM-632
  • Melissa Beben, Human Factors Reseach Specialist, AAM-632

Our Research: