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Friday, March 11, 2011

FAA Secretly Removes live saving Oxygen Generators from Airline Lavatories...But they Leave the Masks!

FAA secretly removes airline lavatory oxygen generators, flying public put in harms way...again!

Is this actually TRUE, I asked myself, so I asked Mr. Bing. It’s AD 2011-04-09 (We will post the Directive shortly) says, in part,

The AD requires either activating all chemical oxygen generators in the lavatories until the generator oxygen supply is expended, or removing the oxygen generator(s); and, for each chemical oxygen generator, after the generator is expended (or removed), removing or re-stowing the oxygen masks and closing the mask dispenser

So, take out the O2 source, but put the mask back, shut the access door, and walk away, quietly. They say, in effect, “Not to worry, the odds are low.” The odds of requiring oxygen on an airliner are low, unless the situation actually arises. Then, the odds of needing oxygen are exactly the same at every point inside the aircraft. That’s because the time of useful consciousness—the time during which you can still help yourself—drops drastically as altitude rises. Here’s the data on that:

OK, so droning IAD to SFO at 35,000 ft (flight level 350), your TUC is 30 to 60 seconds. In that time, you must find a source of O2, or you will pass out. Period, non-negotiable. In the time approaching the limit, “useful” becomes a less and less relevant term. That is, you may be theoreticially capable of strapping on a mask 30 seconds into the event at FL350, but your mileage may vary with age and physical condition.

So, the FAA is calculating, in fact, that there WILL NOT BE A DECOMPRESSION. If that’s so, then heck, let’s take all the O2 systems out of aircraft. Think of the weight and fuel savings!! Neat!


  1. Actually it is scary that they did NOT remove oxygen from lavatories earlier.

    Personally, I think that the hazards of providing oxygen to passengers far outweigh the benefits, and the entire process should be reviewed. Do you really want to make an emergency landing in an oxygen enriched atmosphere??
    If the pilots are OK and have oxygen they will get the plane to a lower altitude in minutes. You will probably pass out, but the chance of brain damage is minimal. On the other hand, IF the pilots are incapacitated, you're not going to survive anyhow and its not something you want to be conscious for.

    Passenger oxygen is created by chemical reaction, and can not be controlled the way oxygen canisters can. It poses a serious fire hazard the can increase danger in an emergency or be exploited by terrorists to enhance a fire or explosion if they find a way to trigger a false alarm.

    Instead of a knee jerk reaction to this announcement, lets think things thru carefully.

  2. mbr26 Has it right on.

    Also, in the directive from the FAA the flight attendants priority is to check the bathrooms in that situation. All of their training is for the sole purpose of helping passengers in an emergency. We all put our trust in those professionals every time we board a plane. That is the only reason they are on board. The flight attendants seats are next to the bathrooms and enough oxygen masks outside for those in the bathroom. Or if you prefer, they could leave the Oxygen Generators for the terrorists... wouldn't that be risking passenger safety?