Local and National Media Converge on Aeronautical Center for Upcoming Seat Pitch Study
Vol.5 Issue 7
Dr. Antuñano, Director of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) leads reporters on a brief tour through the "High Bay" area.
Dr. Antuñano demonstrates the functions of the Altitude Chamber to reporters.

Reporters and photo journalists from across the United States and from Oklahoma broadcast media outlets gathered at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) on the afternoon of Thursday, October 17, 2019 to gain insight about the critical testing on aircraft seats to be conducted next month.

Nearly 30 different television entities were represented, including the Associated Press, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CSNBC, CNN, Good Morning America and others. Together, they received briefings about the critical work that is being accomplished at CAMI and the uniqueness of their mission. Dr. Antuñano, Director of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute provided a welcome briefing that served to be an eye-opener for many who did not realize the kind of national research that is conducted at this federal agency in Oklahoma City.

David Weed, a Research Human Factors Specialist answers questions from reporters.
National and local media gather outside of the FlexSim.

Cameras are ready to capture how the fuselage fills with "smoke."
Melissa Beben, a Cabin Safety Research Specialist opens the door to reporters for B-roll footage.

The media teams were then divided into two groups, with reporters getting a tour of the High-Bay area, observing water egress activities, the biodynamics impact track, the altitude chamber and classroom laboratories to learn more information about CAMI and the upcoming study, while the videographers moved inside the Flexible Aircraft Cabin Evacuation Simulator (FlexSim) to determine which camera angles and sequences would best represent their story.

Special thanks to CAMI’s Human Factor’s Research Cabin Safety Team – David Weed, David Ruppel, Melissa Beben, and Kelly Guinn who provided impeccable customer service to all the journalists, ensuring they captured the video sequences desired.

Outside the FlexSim, Stacy Zinke-McKee, Aviation Safety Manager of CAMI’s Protection and Survival Research Laboratory and Rick DeWeese, Aviation Safety Supervisor of CAMI’s Engineering Sciences Section took turns conducting on-camera interviews throughout the afternoon.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Section 577, directed the FAA to set minimum dimensions for passenger seats. The upcoming studies in November will provide data to support selection of those dimensions, based on population demographics, ergonomic minimums and seat pitch and width measurements, but will not simulate the exit of animals, children, disabled passengers, luggage, or the use of evacuation slides.

Due to the nature of the testing and safety consideration, the actual testing in November will not be open to the public or media in order to keep bias from the study.

Media Day at The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute Video

Throughout the year CAMI hosts a variety of research studies and tests with regard to the emergency evacuation of aircraft, onboard emergency equipment, crew resource management training, passenger education, aircraft ditching egress, and cold/ hot temperature survival.

CAMI’s high-tech Flexible Aircraft Cabin Simulator (FlexSim) has the ability to project different electronic scenery on the cabin windows, be it fire, water, lightning or a logo. Researchers can fill the cabin with glycerin smoke and adjust the height, pitch and roll of the structure to simulate a collapsed landing.

A television personality from Good Morning America reports from within the cabin after the smoke begins to dissipate.
One local television personality quickly compiles her report for broadcast.

Stacey Zinke-McKee, Aviation Safety Manager of CAMI’s Protection and Survival Research Laboratory takes questions from the media.
Rick DeWeese, Aviation Safety Supervisor of CAMI’s Engineering Sciences Section fields questions from reporters.
 
 
 
 
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