Aircraft emergency equipment is essential to the safety of the passengers and crew during a fire, rapid decompression, ditching, and emergency evacuation.

The function of emergency equipment is to give crew and passengers efficient means to handle safely hazardous situations that could occur in the aircraft.

The emergency equipment is installed for the safety of the crew and the passengers in an emergency.

The emergency equipment includes:

  • Escape facilities for cockpit
    • Rope & Sliding Windows
  • Escape facilities for cabin
    • Escape-slides
  • Evacuation signaling equipment
    • EVAC CMD buttons in cockpit & cabin
  • First aid equipment
    • First Aid Kit
    • Doctors/Medical Kit
    • Defibrillator
    • Universal Precaution Kit
  • Miscellaneous emergency equipment
    • Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
    • Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB)
  • Floatation and survival equipment
    • Slide Raft
    • Survival Kit
    • Supplemental Life Raft
    • Life Vest
    • Life Lines
  • Portable fire-extinguishers
  • Portable oxygen-devices for flight crew
    • Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) for Cabin Crew
  • Portable oxygen-devices for cabin crew
    • Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) for Cabin Crew
    • Portable Oxygen Cylinder
    • Continuous-Flow Oxygen Mask
  • A rapid-decompression safety system
    • Rapid-decompression panels (cargo compartments)
    • Dado panels (cabin)
    • Air grills (stowages and lavatories)
    • Cockpit door

Emergency Equipment in Aircraft

Escape Rope for Cockpit

In Airbus A320 aircraft a rope is located in a stowage above the sliding windows on either side of the overhead panel. When the cabin is not pressurized, each sliding window can be opened. The cockpit crew can use this rope to escape from the aircraft through sliding windows. This is an escape facility for the cockpit crews.

Escape Slides

The cabin escape facilities are installed at all aircraft exits as dual-lane or single-lane escape slides. In an emergency, they let the passengers and the crew go out of the aircraft quickly.

The off-wing escape slides are made of the same materials as the door escape slides. The slide pack is in a stowage compartment, and the stowage compartment attach-panel completes the wing-to-fuselage fairing assembly, left and right.

First Aid Equipment

The first aid equipment is installed in the aircraft at different locations/stowage compartments, near an exit (utility area). It is easy to get access to the equipment, which is kept to use if an onboard emergency occurs.

First Aid Kit (FAK)

First aid kits are kept at various locations in the aircraft. The kits contain medication to give aid to passengers or crew members who become ill or have light injuries. The contents of each kit are kept in a hermetically-sealed waterproof container. An ‘in service’ life, usually of five years, is given to each first aid kit. The ‘life expired’ date is printed on the front of the waterproof container.

Doctors/Medical Kit

A doctor’s medical kit is kept in the aircraft for the use of a doctor, if onboard. The kit contains medicines and equipment to help passengers or crew members who are badly injured or taken dangerously ill.


The defibrillator is kept in a stowage compartment in the cabin and held in position with a strap. It is a light semi-automatic external defibrillator contained in a semi-rigid case.

The defibrillator is battery-operated and used to give controlled shock therapy to persons suffering from cardiac arrest. It does a daily automatic self-check to make sure that it is always ready for immediate use. A status indicator shows the result of the self-test.

Universal Precaution Kit (UPK)

The universal precaution kit is kept in the aircraft. The kit contains items of equipment to:

  • Remove unwanted materials from the cabin.
  • Decrease the risk of contamination from these materials for crew members and passengers.

Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)

The ELT is designed to transmit a digital distress signal to satellites that are a part of the COSPAS/SARSAT SYSTEM. An ELT may be any of the following:

  1. Automatic Fixed ELT (ELT(AF)). An automatically activated ELT which is permanently attached to an aircraft.
  2. Automatic Portable ELT (ELT(AP)). An automatically activated ELT which is rigidly attached to an aircraft but readily removable from the aircraft.
  3. Survival ELT (ELT(S)). An ELT which is removable from an aircraft, stowed so as to facilitate its ready use in an emergency, and manually activated by survivors.

Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB)

The underwater locator beacon operates independently from the ELT system. It transmits a low-frequency signal of 8.8 kHz. The transmission starts automatically when the underwater locator beacon is put in freshwater or saltwater. The transmission time is more than 90 days.

Slide Raft

Slide rafts are installed at the FWD and AFT passenger/crew doors. The slide rafts give flotation aid for passengers and crew members during extended over-water operations. When you open a passenger/crew door in emergency mode, the slide raft inflates automatically. When the passengers and crew have boarded a raft, you must cut the raft mooring line to release it from the aircraft girt bar.

Survival kit

A survival kit is supplied for each escape-slide raft and is kept in a container. The containers are kept in stowage compartments in the cabin because there is not sufficient space on the FWD/AFT passenger/crew doors. The location of the containers are shown with placards, which are bonded on the outside of the stowage compartments.

Supplemental Life Raft

The overload capacity for escape slide rafts is 165 persons. This result accepts that 1 escape slide raft will not inflate because of damage. For aircraft (e.g A320) with a seat layout capacity of more than 165 persons supplemental life rafts are installed in stowage compartments in the cabin.

The installation and location of the supplementary life rafts are in accordance with the airline’s requirements. Inflation and operating instructions are installed on the life raft cover.

Life Vest

The life vests are kept below the passenger seats, in the cabin attendant’s seats, and on the rear of each cockpit seat.

NOTE: A small number of nonfunctional life vests are kept in the aircraft for cabin crew to give visual instructions to passengers. To prevent errors, the nonfunctional life vests are identified with DEMO in large letters.

Each life vest has a buoyancy chamber with a waist belt harness. The harness has attached clips and adjustable buckles.

Life vest components include:

  • A CO2 gas inflation system
  • An oral inflation tube
  • A lamp for survivor location in poor visibility or night conditions
  • A water activated cell (battery) to bring the lamp on
  • A whistle to attract attention.

Life Lines

Life lines assist passengers in evacuating the aircraft to remain on the wings after ditching. For example in A320, The life lines are installed in the hat racks adjacent to the emergency exits left and right. Life line installation points are yellow in color for easy identification and located as follows:

  • Inside each emergency exit hatch recess (top forward corner of the FWD exit; top rear corner of the AFT exit) and accessible only after the exit hatch is removed.
  • On the upper surface of each wing, approximately above the outer limit of the engine nacelle.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

The portable fire extinguishers are installed in the aircraft for use if an onboard fire occurs. They are installed in positions with easy access and are kept fully prepared for immediate use.

The portable fire extinguishers are used to extinguish a fire in the cabin, in the cockpit, or in the avionics compartment.

There are three different types of portable fire extinguishers. Each type is filled with a different agent, halon, 2-BTP (Bromo trifluoropropene), or liquid (water). If a fire occurs, the crew can manually operate the portable fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire.

The portable fire extinguishers are installed in different locations in the cabin and in the cockpit. Each location is shown by a placard.

Halon Agent Portable Fire Extinguisher

The portable fire extinguisher is filled with halon agent and is pressurized with nitrogen. It can be used to extinguish an A, B, and C classes of fire.

2-BTP Agent Portable Fire Extinguisher

The portable fire extinguisher is filled with 2-BTP (Bromo trifluoropropene) agent. It can be used to extinguish the fire of class 5B:C in the aircraft cabin and cockpit.

Liquid Agent Portable Fire Extinguisher

The portable fire extinguisher is filled with potassium acetate, ethylene glycol, and water. It can be used to extinguish an A class fire.

Portable oxygen devices for flight crew

Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) for flight crew

The PBE gives the flight crew protection from smoke and dangerous gases.

Portable oxygen devices for cabin crew

The cabin attendants’ portable oxygen equipment is installed at different locations in the cabin. It supplies oxygen to the passengers and crew for first-aid treatment. It also lets the cabin attendants move about the cabin and have a supply of oxygen at the same time.

The portable oxygen equipment is made up of portable oxygen cylinders with continuous-flow oxygen masks and Protective Breathing Equipment.

Portable Oxygen Cylinder

The oxygen source is a high-pressure cylinder with a capacity of 11 cubic ft (311 l) Normal Temperature Pressure Dry (NTPD) at a pressure of 1850 psi. The oxygen cylinders are installed in brackets that have quick-release clamps.

Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) for cabin crew

The PBE gives the cabin attendants protection from smoke and dangerous gases.


The standard cockpit emergency equipment components are:

  • Flash light,
  • Portable Halon fire extinguisher,
  • Life vest for flight crew,
  • Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE),
  • Crash axe,
  • Fire proof gloves.


The standard cabin emergency equipment components are:

  • Portable Halon extinguisher,
  • Portable oxygen cylinder and portable oxygen mask,
  • PBE,
  • First aid kit,
  • Megaphone,
  • Portable ELT survival beacon,
  • Flash light,
  • Manual release tool,
  • Demo kit,
  • Life vest for infant,
  • Spare life vest,
  • Life vest for passenger (one stowed under each seat),
  • Life vest for cabin crew (one stowed under each cabin attendant seat).

Regulatory Requirements

According to CFR, Aircraft can not fly unless it is equipped with emergency equipment.

Each item of equipment – Must be inspected to ensure its continued serviceability and immediate readiness for its intended purposes; Must be readily accessible to the crew; Must clearly indicate its method of operation; and When carried in a compartment or container, must have that compartment or container marked as to contents and date of last inspection.

  • Hand fire extinguishers must be provided for use in crew, passenger, and cargo compartments in accordance with the following:
    • Type and quantity of extinguishing agent must be suitable for types of fire.
    • At least one hand fire extinguisher in the cockpit – for flight crew use.
    • At least one hand fire extinguisher in the cabin – more than 6 but less than 31 passengers.
    • At least two hand fire extinguishers in the cabin – more than 30 passengers.
  • First aid kits for treatment of injuries likely to occur in flight or in minor accidents must be provided.
  • Each airplane accommodating more than 19 passengers must be equipped with a crash axe.
  • Each passenger-carrying airplane must have a portable battery-powered megaphone.
    • Megaphones readily accessible to the crew members assigned to direct emergency evacuation.
    • One megaphone at the most rearward location in the passenger cabin – for more than 60 but less than 100 passengers.
    • One megaphone installed at the forward end and one installed at the most rearward location – 100 or more passengers.


  1. This content is superb. Keep it up guys. I am a training expert in airline and airport management from Rwanda, Kigali.

  2. Hi, Would you please tell me that Aircraft Emergency Equipment list (EEL) come from which document?

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