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Following detection of a slow decompression and the automatic deployment of the oxygen masks from the passenger service units in the cabin, the first actions to be performed by cabin crew are to..
  • A
    don the nearest oxygen mask and alert the commander.
  • B
    walk up and down the cabin checking that the passengers are using the masks correctly.
  • C
    seek help from other cabin crew members to manually release any masks that have not dropped.
  • D
    return to the crew station and alert the senior cabin crew member.

At the first indication of a pressurisation problem or symptoms of Hypoxia, all crew members should immediately don oxygen masks. At cruising altitudes and without supplemental oxygen, the Time of Useful Consciousness can be less than one minute in the event of an explosive decompression. Once the mask is donned and the crew members are protected against hypoxia, flight duties can be resumed.

Approximate Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC) values for a person seated (at rest):

  • 20 000 ft => 30 min;
  • 30 000 ft => 1-2 min;
  • 35 000 ft => 30-90 s;
  • 40 000 ft => 15-20 s.

Note: Operators should stress in their procedures, initial and recurrent emergency training, that the first and immediate action for all crewmembers during decompression is to immediately don the nearest oxygen mask

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