Advocates for the blind clashed with federal regulators and aviation industry officials over proposed Federal Aviation Administration rules that would ban seating any disabled individual next to emergency exits on airplanes. In a crash involving a fire it is essential to get an evacuation started immediately and any delay can be fatal, Anthony J. Broderick, associate administrator of the FAA, told the aviation subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. But Kenneth Jernigan, executive director of the National Federation for the Blind, contested Broderick's testimony. In cases where a cabin was filled with smoke or the lights had failed, a blind person could be more effective than a sighted one at getting a door open and helping people leave, Jernigan said. On the other hand, the Assn. of Flight Attendants President Susan Bianchi-Sand said in prepared testimony that the proposed rules are long overdue. The instructions for opening emergency doors are often written on them, and opening the door without being able to check outside could allow a fire to enter the cabin, she warned.