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Old 7th Jan 2017, 19:16   #1 (permalink)
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F/A Sues Airline for 'Scary Flight'

Air Canada employee files lawsuit over scary incident aboard flight | Vancouver Sun

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An Air Canada employee has filed a lawsuit against the airline and the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal over a scary incident aboard a May 2012 flight from Tokyo to Vancouver.

Kelly Zechel, a flight attendant for 22 years, and others on the plane noticed an acrid smell, like burning wiring, in the aircraft cabin when the plane was about two hours away from Vancouver International Airport.

Searching for the source of the smell as it became stronger, Zechel and a relief pilot pried off one of the panels in the interior cabin. They found no flames, just an acrid smell that irritated Zechel’s throat and respiratory system.

The pilots aboard the plane sought a priority landing and picked up the aircraft’s speed to ensure faster arrival.

One of the pilots told Zechel that F18 fighter jets might be deployed to escort the plane into Vancouver, according to Zechel’s petition filed in B.C. Supreme Court.


When the aircraft landed, fire rescue officials entered the plane and found a visible haze in the cabin.

Zechel and the other crew members were told that the cause of the smell was on overheated entertainment system.

She was also told by one of her colleagues that the reason for calling other planes to escort a plane is to, if necessary, “shoot down” the plane to ensure that it does not crash in a populated area, says the petition.

“Although no escort planes were involved that day, Ms. Zechel was distressed that the situation could have warranted such a response.”

Zechel says she saw a doctor to deal with symptoms she suffered arising from the incident, was diagnosed with a psychological injury from the stress as well as lung irritation, and was off work for more than a week.
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Old 7th Jan 2017, 19:36   #2 (permalink)
 
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To shoot down the plane eh?
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 05:40   #3 (permalink)
 
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To shoot down the plane eh?
Seriously. Right? It makes me wonder if any of them have a ******* clue? I can't believe her lawyer would run with this. ..
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 15:16   #4 (permalink)
 
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Geez this just boogles the mind. I would hope it gets laughed out of court.
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 18:18   #5 (permalink)
 
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It could have become a big problem. Swiss Air? Overheated entertainment system? Then there's this:
Accident: US Airways B762 near St. Thomas on Jan 16th 2010, odour on board, both flight crew received permanent injuries, captain later died
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Old 9th Jan 2017, 17:14   #6 (permalink)
 
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I was commenting on the shoot down threat refered to not the actual problem with the aircraft.
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Old 9th Jan 2017, 22:41   #7 (permalink)
 
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Seriously. Right? It makes me wonder if any of them have a ******* clue? I can't believe her lawyer would run with this.
I have a friend who suffered from a bit of anxiety to begin with. Then he worked for many years as ground staff (cust. svc) for a US major. On a daily basis he heard about various incidents, accidents, "scary" reports from the airline & union (security / terrorism alerts), etc.

He was always full of stories about lap babies hitting the ceiling during turbulence, cabin crew getting clobbered by wayward trollies, various smoke / fire incidents, bird strikes, engine failures, alleged "dry runs" by middle-eastern persons, etc. By the time he left the airline he was a paranoid wreck about flying and it took him awhile to recover.

So I can see an F/A after 22 years of "seeing everything" thought her number was up that day, over something relatively benign. It happens -- a form of accumulated PTSD, a real mental illness. The "shoot down" comment fits into this developed paranoia.

Or alternatively, it's all just about $$$. Who knows?
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 00:06   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Seriously. Right? It makes me wonder if any of them have a ******* clue? I can't believe her lawyer would run with this.
So, if fighters are sent up in such a situation, what are they for? Most importantly, would they be armed? If the idea is simply to make sure the airliner doesn't get lost (overstressed crew, etc.) why not send a Citation or similar to keep an eye on it?
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 03:55   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by toolboxstickers View Post
If the idea is simply to make sure the airliner doesn't get lost (overstressed crew, etc.) why not send a Citation or similar to keep an eye on it?
Because the f-18's are already a part of the emergency response system

Because there are F-18's and pilots already on alert and prepared to launch rapidly.

Because most Citations would bet left in the dust by most large jetliners.

Because F-18 pilots are trained and experienced in intercepting other aircraft.

Because F-18's are equipped with radar that enables intercepting other aircraft.

Because F-18 pilots are trained and experienced in flying formation.

Is that enough, or do you want me to continue?
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 15:54   #10 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by toolboxstickers View Post
So, if fighters are sent up in such a situation, what are they for?
They aren't.

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Old 10th Jan 2017, 17:52   #11 (permalink)
 
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 14:25   #12 (permalink)
 
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I'm taking it with a big grain of salt, but if someone actually told her there may be a fighter escort, then that was quite irresponsible, IMO.
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 21:50   #13 (permalink)

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Not sure if telling her was irresponsible ? After all, she was a member of the crew.

NEO
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 23:15   #14 (permalink)
 
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Well there are workplace issues with all employees. Usually dealt with employee benefits, such as sick days or long term disability. I would guess if she is suing then she was denied long term disability.

Now for the comment from a colleague giving dubious information about inflight emergencies with military aircraft and shoot downs...that's a whole other discussion.

Are there F-18's on standby in Comox daily?
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 23:18   #15 (permalink)
 
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I thought when I retired the number of "scary flights" dropped to zero!
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 23:23   #16 (permalink)
 
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Are there F-18's on standby in Comox daily?
I bloody hope so! If not, why are we spending gazillions of $$$'s on them?
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 13:37   #17 (permalink)
 
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Twochai


18's are located at Cold Lake and Bagotville in Quebec. Comox is maritime patrol and Search and Rescue only.
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 14:31   #18 (permalink)
 
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The fighter escort would have probably have to come out of Whidbey or PDX as Canada is pretty thin on the west coast.
It's easier to find the survivors when an escort is able to mark the location of the ditching.
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 15:17   #19 (permalink)
 
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There are a couple of things that make we raise an eyebrow with this.

1. What pilot in their right mind would tell the flight attendant(s) they might be intercepted. I would only ever tell the cabin were such an event actually occurring.

2. Who was this "colleague" who told her the "intercept" could lead to a shoot-down event? Seems like a snowball effect from an over-the-top conversation. Possibly this was from someone junior.

3. "Zechel was a resident of B.C. until 2009 and moved to Manitoba where she began commuting to and from Vancouver International Airport for work, not being paid for her commute."

My formatting there.

Looks like the lawyer or the journalist is trying to add emotional support for Ms. Zechel. A lot of us commute, myself included. Deal with it. It's our choice to live away from base. You knew the conditions coming into the industry. I have zero sympathy for these types of people and group them with the same people who move near to an airport then complain about the noise. I hope this is just journalistic play at work.

4. “The decision has left a sizable percentage of the employer’s employees, who reside in provinces other than their primary place of employment, without recourse to workers’ compensation should their injury occur somewhere other than while working in or over the province.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but would applying for STD through the company not solve this problem? As we are federally regulated employees, I would think that provincial coverage would not cover us, so she should have used STD; correct or am I going down the wrong garden path?
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Old 1st Feb 2017, 19:40   #20 (permalink)
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I'm willing to bet that this is a case of very poor reporting on the actual nature of the lawsuit. It sounds like the F/A suffered both physical and psychological injuries from the incident but the Worker's Compensation Board (WorksafeBC) denied the claim due to a jurisdictional issue (as opposed to an actual denial of injuries).

The required next step for appealing a decision of the Worker's Compensation Board is a judicial review by the court.

While the event probably sounded more exciting to the journalist, they missed the entire point of the lawsuit - The the F/A claims the Worker's Compensation Board was wrong for denying her claim on a jurisdictional issue.

Briefly speaking, a worker is entitled to Worker's Compensation benefits if they are injured in the workplace (even if an employer is not negligent). So, if she was injured (both physically or psychologically) as a result of her job and/or an incident from her job. She is entitled to benefits. The determination of any injuries is made by medical professionals.

Just of note, although federally regulated, airline employees in Canada are covered under their provincial worker's compensation schemes.

For the record, I am a former lawyer and have represented both employees and employers at Worker's Compensation Tribunals.
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