Link to an amendment published at 76 FR 75757, December 2, 2011.
(a) Number and location.
Emergency exits must be located to allow escape without crowding in any probable crash attitude. The airplane must have at least the following emergency exits:
For all airplanes with a seating capacity of two or more, excluding airplanes with canopies, at least one emergency exit on the opposite side of the cabin from the main door specified in § 23.783 of this part.
If the pilot compartment is separated from the cabin by a door that is likely to block the pilot's escape in a minor crash, there must be an exit in the pilot's compartment. The number of exits required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section must then be separately determined for the passenger compartment, using the seating capacity of that compartment.
Emergency exits must not be located with respect to any propeller disk or any other potential hazard so as to endanger persons using that exit.
(b) Type and operation.
Emergency exits must be movable windows, panels, canopies, or external doors, openable from both inside and outside the airplane, that provide a clear and unobstructed opening large enough to admit a 19-by-26-inch ellipse. Auxiliary locking devices used to secure the airplane must be designed to be overridden by the normal internal opening means. The inside handles of emergency exits that open outward must be adequately protected against inadvertent operation. In addition, each emergency exit must—
Be readily accessible, requiring no exceptional agility to be used in emergencies;
Have a method of opening that is simple and obvious;
Be arranged and marked for easy location and operation, even in darkness;
Have reasonable provisions against jamming by fuselage deformation; and
In the case of acrobatic category airplanes, allow each occupant to abandon the airplane at any speed between VSO and VD; and
In the case of utility category airplanes certificated for spinning, allow each occupant to abandon the airplane at the highest speed likely to be achieved in the maneuver for which the airplane is certificated.
The proper functioning of each emergency exit must be shown by tests.
(d) Doors and exits.
In addition, for commuter category airplanes, the following requirements apply:
In addition to the passenger entry door—
For an airplane with a total passenger seating capacity of 15 or fewer, an emergency exit, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, is required on each side of the cabin; and
For an airplane with a total passenger seating capacity of 16 through 19, three emergency exits, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, are required with one on the same side as the passenger entry door and two on the side opposite the door.
A means must be provided to lock each emergency exit and to safeguard against its opening in flight, either inadvertently by persons or as a result of mechanical failure. In addition, a means for direct visual inspection of the locking mechanism must be provided to determine that each emergency exit for which the initial opening movement is outward is fully locked.
Each required emergency exit, except floor level exits, must be located over the wing or, if not less than six feet from the ground, must be provided with an acceptable means to assist the occupants to descend to the ground. Emergency exits must be distributed as uniformly as practical, taking into account passenger seating configuration.
Unless the applicant has complied with paragraph (d)(1) of this section, there must be an emergency exit on the side of the cabin opposite the passenger entry door, provided that—
For an airplane having a passenger seating configuration of nine or fewer, the emergency exit has a rectangular opening measuring not less than 19 inches by 26 inches high with corner radii not greater than one-third the width of the exit, located over the wing, with a step up inside the airplane of not more than 29 inches and a step down outside the airplane of not more than 36 inches;
For an airplane having a passenger seating configuration of 10 to 19 passengers, the emergency exit has a rectangular opening measuring not less than 20 inches wide by 36 inches high, with corner radii not greater than one-third the width of the exit, and with a step up inside the airplane of not more than 20 inches. If the exit is located over the wing, the step down outside the airplane may not exceed 27 inches; and
For multiengine airplanes, ditching emergency exits must be provided in accordance with the following requirements, unless the emergency exits required by paragraph (a) or (d) of this section already comply with them:
One exit above the waterline on each side of the airplane having the dimensions specified in paragraph (b) or (d) of this section, as applicable; and
If side exits cannot be above the waterline, there must be a readily accessible overhead hatch emergency exit that has a rectangular opening measuring not less than 20 inches wide by 36 inches long, with corner radii not greater than one-third the width of the exit.
[Doc. No. 4080, 29 FR 17955, Dec. 18, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 23-7, 34 FR 13092, Aug. 13, 1969; Amdt. 23-10, 36 FR 2864, Feb. 11, 1971; Amdt. 23-34, 52 FR 1831, Jan. 15, 1987; Amdt. 23-36, 53 FR 30814, Aug. 15, 1988; 53 FR 34194, Sept. 2, 1988; Amdt. 23-46, 59 FR 25773, May 17, 1994; Amdt. 23-49, 61 FR 5167, Feb. 9, 1996]
Effective Date Note:
By Amdt. 23-62, 76 FR 75757, Dec. 2, 2011, § 23.807 was amended by adding a new paragraph (e)(3), effective Jan. 31, 2012. For the convenience of the user, the added text is set forth as follows:
In lieu of paragraph (e)(2) of this section, if any side exit(s) cannot be above the waterline, a device may be placed at each of such exit(s) prior to ditching. This device must slow the inflow of water when such exit(s) is opened with the airplane ditched. For commuter category airplanes, the clear opening of such exit(s) must meet the requirements defined in paragraph (d) of this section.