The simplest and most cost effective solution for 206 owners who want a back-seat escape option
Submitted by Airframe Innovations. See another video at the bottom of this article.
Safety should be the foremost thing on every pilot’s mind and part of that mindset is ensuring plane, pilot, and passengers are prepared for an emergency landing. In the case of the Cessna 206, the aircraft came with a potentially fatal flaw.
The emergency egress issue in the Cessna 206 boils down to a design flaw that makes it impossible to open the forward cargo door if the flaps are down, which they usually will be in a successful emergency landing.
Located in Fairbanks, Alaska, where the 206 is commonly used for sightseeing flights, Airframe Innovations — America’s Northernmost PMA facility — had firsthand knowledge of the problem and knew a new solution was needed.
“This has been a documented concern for decades,” said Airframe Innovations President and CEO Karl Braun. “Even for a small horse jockey, exiting from the rear cargo door is a circus act under the best of controlled conditions. In a water upset or post-crash fire, seconds count, and the average North American does not stand a chance.”
So, the company set out to create a new option for owners and operators that would be an easy-to-install, easy-to-use fix.
“The solution needed to be simple, cost-effective, and safe so that folks on sightseeing flights, commuter, and family excursions would be able to use the door as normal in normal situations and ‘PULL THE BIG RED HANDLE’ in an emergency.”
One of the goals Airframe Innovations had when creating the PDQ Emergency Egress System was to ensure it could even be used by children.
“I am the father of small children,” Karl said. “The thought that they or others could easily drown in a 206 in a water upset bothered me. Many folks have already called and shared heartfelt stories of such losses.”
The system works in two easy steps:
- Open the Cessna door handle. If the flaps are up, the door will open normally.
- If the flaps are down, “PULL THE BIG RED HANDLE” and the door falls away.
Even if the occupant panics, which is common in the event of an emergency landing, they need only remember step 2: “PULL THE BIG RED HANDLE,” the door will fall away.
“The OEM method is not simple enough for a child,” Karl said. “When giving my wife the standard 206 egress briefing, she stopped me before I got to step 4 and said, ‘Not Mom approved! Me and the kids are not going.’ I then described the system I had designed and had my children demonstrate the simplicity of the system. There is no reason folks should drown in a water upset or perish in a fire.”
Thus, the “so easy a child can use it” PDQ system was Patented.
In addition to allowing passengers to operate the handle from the inside, the PDQ system also allows rescuers to open the door from the outside even if it is locked.
“No other APPROVED 206 Egress system has this lifesaving feature when seconds count,” Karl said. “Airframe Innovations PDQ system removes the door completely from its hinges allowing passengers the ability to egress the aircraft in a water upset BEFORE the cabin fills with water and pressures equalize, unlike other systems. Many firefighters and rescue personnel have given our system high praises for removing the door quickly and completely allowing the maximum amount of clear unobstructed egress space from both doors”
At $3,495, the PDQ Emergency Egress System is a fraction of the cost of other solutions. It also takes much less time to install, meaning more time spent in the air.
“Unlike other view-obstructing complex contraptions, this does not modify either of the doors in any way and can be installed by a junior mechanic in the field in about an hour,” Karl said. “Other solutions complicate the exceptionally rare Cessna doors with white glove workmanship rarely found in the field. The Airframe Innovations design is simple, robust, and manufactured out of corrosion-resistant stainless steel by America’s northern-most PMA. It leaves the door unmolested, installs in an hour, and sells for a fraction of the cost without restricting the view. An additional benefit is that it is compatable and can be used in conjuction with all 206 cargo door egress systems on the market as well as our PMA door handles AI-0517003-2.
Learn more and purchase the PDQ Emergency Egress System, or Cessna Exterior Door Handles, aka “Help You out Handle” at www.airframeinnovations.com.