View Full Version : Ryanair faces inquiry as toilets on aircraft were used as seats

23rd Jul 2004, 06:03
Low-cost airline Ryanair faces an investigation after flying from Girona in Spain to London's Stansted airport earlier this week with people seated in the aircraft's toilets.

The airline, which was reported to the regulator following the incident, has acknowledged that the flight was overcrowded and that it should not have happened.

The Irish Aviation Authority, which regulates the behaviour of all Irish-registered aircraft regardless of where in the world they are flying, confirmed last night that it had received a complaint from a passenger on the flight and had initiated an investigation.

The authority has contacted the airline but was unable to say whether it had yet received a formal response. A spokeswoman said the investigation was focusing on safety issues rather than any concern about security.

Ryanair said the incident occurred because too many off-duty staff were allowed on board. A spokesman for the airline said it was seeking explanations from the flight crew and ground staff at Girona airport. Ground operations at Girona are handled for Ryanair by Lesma Handling.

bacardi walla
23rd Jul 2004, 06:55
Oh dear oh dear - I wonder how much MOL charged for them seats :suspect:

23rd Jul 2004, 07:13
I guess Iberia will be worried too! Or maybe they don´t get too worked up about such things in Spain?

23rd Jul 2004, 07:18
On a very busy 757 service from Heathrow a few years back, I once saw 7 (yes, SEVEN) additional passengers boarding a flight to TLV with no seats. They were accommodated on the flight deck for take off and landing, and whilst in-flight were told to "go somewhere else" ! These again were staff trying to get home.

Notso Fantastic
23rd Jul 2004, 07:26
Now I think we are drifting into the realms of fantasy! According to my clacs, that now makes nine on the flight deck? Good Flight deck the 757........but that good?

23rd Jul 2004, 08:10
Roof-racks on order!!!!!!!:E :uhoh:

rgds K.I.L.

bacardi walla
23rd Jul 2004, 08:13
There will be plenty of room in the holds of FR a/c soon.......:\

Matt Braddock
23rd Jul 2004, 08:20
I suppose they were the bog-standard seats!!

No wonder they are nicknamed UrineAir

23rd Jul 2004, 08:40
Now dere's an oidea, to be sure.

"Why don't we take the lavatories out and just use a bucket for the women and a funnel on a tube for the men. Should be able to get some people on board that way......."

No doubt the stampede for RyanAir's seats will now take on a new urgency..."Quick with the boarding now, else you'll be sitting in the bog".

23rd Jul 2004, 08:56
Not a new phenomenon. Whilst operating a contract for an airline of one of our near continental neighbours, I was asked by the ramp agent if he could put two passengers in the toilets. I declined.

23rd Jul 2004, 09:04
Funny as it may be to everyone, this practice is actually disgusting, dangerous and entirely illegal. There are no seat belts in toilets. I know that there is oxygen mask provision, but I can't understand why this is being taken so lightly.

Ryanair should be hammered for this. It is a gross breach of all international safety regulations and something akin to beahviour that existed in remote parts of Africa twenty years ago.

I really, really, really hope that all involved in this incident (captains, ground staff and other crew who permitted it) have the book thrown at them. Same for MOL.

Get a grip man - what type of comedy operation are you running? This is the lowest of the low.

phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 09:12
It is a gross breach of all international safety regulations and something akin to beahviour that existed in remote parts of Africa twenty years ago.

...Yep, that just about sums the FR operation up...


p.s. never used to be a fan of "FR bashing", but they just make it so easy these days...

23rd Jul 2004, 09:20
I am neither one for bashing anyone unless its totally deserved. But I just cant believe this particular one. I must personally say that if I were a passenger on a FR flight (or any for that matter) and had I witnessed this prior to take off, I would have refused to allow the aircraft to depart by refusing to take my seat. I would insist on the police being called to the aircraft.

It really gets me going, this crap outfit. And MOL gets away with these things time and time again. What a totally and utter crap comedy company.

Final 3 Greens
23rd Jul 2004, 09:34

Whoa whoa - you'd probably be arrested on "security" grounds, for kicking up a fuss.

carlos vandango
23rd Jul 2004, 09:35
yes AVIACO but then you'd have been offloaded and the bloke in the toilet would've taken your seat!:p

23rd Jul 2004, 09:38
I have a colleague who've been paxing once on a major european airline from LAX to Europe in the toilet after being unable for a few days in row to get a seat (she was holding space available ID75 ticket).

23rd Jul 2004, 10:08
Does anyone have a link to the media where this article was published?

23rd Jul 2004, 10:22
Just remember that it was the staff pax that occupied the toilet seats and not fare paying pax. To me, that makes a big difference. I remember the days when Spanish companies, with whom we had very good relations, often accommodated up to five, yes FIVE ID00N2 ATCOs, spouses and kids on the flightdeck of their DC-8s. Now those were the GOOD OL DAYS! :ok:

phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 10:35
How about this one...



23rd Jul 2004, 10:40
well...for the price you pay...what do you expect!!

23rd Jul 2004, 11:09
Used to be quite common (staff pax) on a certain sen based operator in the eighties:hmm:

phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 11:22
I think the point with the whole thread is that we all KNOW it goes on but this time Ryanair got caught...


23rd Jul 2004, 11:33
It matters not that they were staff pax. ALL pax are required by law to wear a seatbelt for taxi,take-off and landing. :ok:

ou Trek dronkie
23rd Jul 2004, 11:38
Back in the 80s, B 707, Athens to Lod, still on the ground, I remember finding two people in one toilet and quite a few scattered about the aircraft hiding under seats in the hope of avoiding discovery. They were ordered off of course after much arguing and threats etc, but the agents got their own back. They jammed our forward cargo door in such a way that it broke the tracks when the ground staff finally managed to open it.

Surprised, really am, to find out this sort of thing still happens.

23rd Jul 2004, 11:45
Well of course ye won't mind riding in the crapper. Now, about those landing charges - I think you'd better make them account. Ah, ye will, ye will, ye will, ye will, ye will....FR=Father Ted Airlines!

23rd Jul 2004, 12:02
OK, lads , exactly which legal regulation does it break ? or does it ?

[ before we get any more "bogged" down ]

23rd Jul 2004, 12:05
Toilets used as seats? Better that than the other way around.

23rd Jul 2004, 12:08
Please see my post re. your question! if i'm wrong....then I'M in the poo!:\

23rd Jul 2004, 12:21
sure it wont be long before MOL will have us standing hold straps on the short hops. "you get what you pay for and its in the terms and conditions"

23rd Jul 2004, 12:24
The Captain on said flight has just resigned, and two of the cabin crew have been dismissed following an internal investigation.

23rd Jul 2004, 12:33

If what you have said is accurate, then I have absolutely no sympathy on this occasion. The Captain was a complete fool for allowing this to happen.

Despite all of the comments, laughs and sniggers from you guys above who seem to be taking this lightly, tell me this.

What would have been the outcome if - God forbid - there had been an incident, accident or emergency on said flight, and some poor souls are trying to get out of toilets amid panic, and their presence and requirement to fling open toilet doors which should otherwise have been secured, hinders the safe evacuation (maybe in thick smoke, darkness or whatever) of other passengers. What if the aircraft had been in a Mayday situation that resulted in the loss of life, and it then became public knowledge that there had been passengers carried illegally on the flight with no seatbelts or flotation devices or whatever.

There would be a public outcry.

Sorry to rant on about this, but MOL needs to have his head examined. The Captain signed his own fate the very second the permitted the "additional" pax to travel.

The fact that they were off duty staff is totally irrelevant. The Captain's decision to permit the carriage of these extra people created a safety hazard that could have endangered the lives of other people.

End of story.

23rd Jul 2004, 12:40
Sackings & resignations confirmed on RTE


23rd Jul 2004, 12:50
Hey guys!

Can you please explain one thing?
Why the hell do some of you accuse MOL for this incident?
I think it is just your personal opinion about Ryanair that makes your arguments unobjective... this seems to be very common here (reminds me of a level compared to the british newspaper 'The Sun').
It was the (definetely wrong) decision of the captain and the cabin crew tolerated it, I don't think that they called MOL and asked him if it would be ok.

Please be a little bit more objective, even when Ryanair is involved.


23rd Jul 2004, 13:00
He is ultimately responsible for everything that occurs within his organisation, and it is him who must ensure that his management team is adequately qualified and trained to ensure that his operation is fully compliant in all aspects of law, health and safety etc.

If you read the company registration, at the point where the organisation is ultimately awarded its air operating licence, it is the managements undertaking to ensure that this compliance is continued and followed in all aspects of its operations governed by the issued AOC.

By the way, I actually quite like MOL and used to like FR. Not now. Just imagine if it was your wife and kids who were on that airplane and trying to get out of it in an emergency when their exit is hindered by people who have no legal right to have been where they were. Would you still be taking the same stance in admonishing MOL from any responsibility?

The senior management of the company MUST take the blame for allowing a culture to exist where incidents like this are allowed to happen.

Will be interesting to see what the CAA will have to say about it? probably nothing.

23rd Jul 2004, 13:03
what were the crew thinking about?

I despair at this action by the operating crew to allow the positioning crew to sit in the toilets.

Why did they think this was O.K.?

You can do without that nonsense going on. This is a professional airline (despite what some of you might think ) and although the passengers my view the operation as a glorified bus service, the staff traveling on there privilage should be well aware that it is not. Get a grip !!!

23rd Jul 2004, 13:05
Spot on BrownStar! Totally spot on.

23rd Jul 2004, 13:06
Now that is real LOW COAT Mike!

phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 13:13

Not quite true...FR is an airline largely staffed and crewed by professional people but sadly run by idiots...The fact that MOL is still in charge is incredible in itself, I accept that he has created a very successful airline, but you CAN become a victim of your own success. I don't "FR bash" because MOL is successful, I feel that he is dragging a once proud industry to it's knees and it's only a matter of time before he trips himself up...


23rd Jul 2004, 13:24
Phoenix, I also have to say that I agree with you too, as well as Brown Star.

I just can't get over this thing - this incident unfortunately belittles and makes mockery of all you guys out there who are true professionals working for FR and other carriers, and who would NEVER dream of doing such a stupid thing!

I find this incident really incredible and again feel that the company and MOL IN PARTICULAR were incerdibly lucky that there was not an emergency of any kind on the flight in question.

That would have been the end of FR.

The travelling public will not tolerate a cowboy company who endangers human life just by making shortcuts like this one and check-in desks would have been empty at FR and other LCC's who's images would have been tarnished by this stupidity.

I have family (incl small children) who have - in the past - flown on FR without me, and I really dread to think that they could have been exposed to such risks by a company who seem quite willing to break the law.

23rd Jul 2004, 13:32
...it would seem a tad unfortunate that the Capt. should lose his job as a result of doing an illegal favour for stranded staff. (as was said in an earlier post... some airlines have being doing this for staff travellers for many years.. albeit in the jumpseat rather than the toilet!)

I'm wondering how the passenger who made the complaint came to notice this situation... perhaps the off-duty staff being carried on the flight did not behave in a discreet manner? (ie - refused to allow the lavatory to be used during the flight etc..?).

phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 13:40
Putting stranded staff on a jumpseat, whether with the agreement of the aircraft owner or not, is TOTALLY different to allowing them to sit in the toilet for the flight...I have flown on many jumpseats, either cabin or Flightdeck, all of which have had better restraint systems than the passenger seats (have you ever seen a passenger struggling with their 5-point harness?). This is another example of Ryanair trying to be clever and I for one am glad this has come to light...The travelling public are very fickle, and cheap seat or no cheap seat, will not fly with an airline that they perceive to be lacking in safety (quite rightly too). Lets hope this incident serves to demonstrate that even MOL and his lackeys are not above the law when it comes to legislating for safety standards.


23rd Jul 2004, 13:41

If you were (or are) an airline captain, would you have allowed it?
Straight answer, please.

I agree that cockpit and jumpseats are different, but this situation was totally stupid and reckless.

The Captain behaved like an idiot and, sorry to say, deserved what happened.

If the "passengers" were in the forward toilets, then of course the whole cabin would have seen it. If in the Aft, then the back row on a B737 is right next to the toilets, so you couldn't fail to miss it.

So, I don't think a "tad unfortunate" at all, but well deserved.

23rd Jul 2004, 13:52
Well yes; unsafe, wrong and illegal without doubt. But I can't help noticing how we are all so quick and keen to shop each other these days. Our modern western society is fast developing a spy-and-report mentality which I sometimes find quite frightning. What the RYR crew did was not so unusual. Years ago the pax would have found it amusing. Today's culture is, "I will report this" and ruin careers over what is an incredibly minor incident. YES, M I N O R, no matter what you know-it-all-do-gooder hypocrites (how often do you technically break the law each time you drive your car or ride your bike?) may think or say. A reprimand should have been enough.

23rd Jul 2004, 13:59

I have asked this question several times on this post and none of you has been able to answer it, so I will now ask you the same one:

What would have happened if there was an emergency on the flight and the presence of unknown passengers trying to escape from the toilets caused the hindrance of safe exit of other passengers and resulting in loss of life?

In this case, would a reprminand have been enough?

And if your wife and kids were caught up in this - would a reprimand have been enough?

We are not pretending to be know it alls - we are all adult enough to know the difference between the casual breaking of rules, compared to something that could have caused significant harm to others. Please do not be so condescending.

23rd Jul 2004, 14:10
It is probably not so unusual in Limbabwe, Avman, but personally I have never heard of this practise.

They didn't fire him, he resigned if the rumour is correct. Smart man.

23rd Jul 2004, 14:14
it would seem a tad unfortunate that the Capt. should lose his job as a result of doing an illegal favour for stranded staff. (as was said in an earlier post... some airlines have being doing this for staff travellers for many years.. albeit in the jumpseat rather than the toilet!)

Mike Kilo

Whist I don't support the general pomposity of some of the critisisms here I have to say the Captain was a pratt and would loose his job on any UK/Irish operator for that.

What happened years ago bears no relation to today and comparing jump seats and toilets shows that you know absolutely cock all about the processes for helping staff out and getting the maximum people on board whilst staying within the rules (even the anal FD jumpseat ones).

Still don't suppose it matters in your Cessna 152 does it?


phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 14:17

I'll give my view to your question to MK.....NO WAY!!!
He knew it was stupid, he got caught, now he's looking for a new job...This was NOT a minor incident, it was something that could potentially have cost lives in an emergency situation. Had anything have happened, how would it sit on the conscience of those involved???



Hopefully I don\'t fit into the category of "pomposity" regarding this post? I agree that the course of action that has ensued was the right one...Surely if the Captain did not jump he would have to have been pushed? Do favours for stranded crews whenever you can (we\'ve all been stranded at one time or another), but not at the cost of basic safety and common sense.


23rd Jul 2004, 14:24
Exactly. The Captain has done the right thing in resigning. Hope his professional colleagues have learned from it.

But, these things cannot go unnoticed. Ryanair MUST be heavily penalised and censured for this.

It's the only way they will learn.

23rd Jul 2004, 14:28
There is an interesting psychological phenomenon knownb as "Projecting".

Basically those that shout the loudest at a so-called "Out Rage" can be motivated by their own guilt.

From what many have said here, tho illegal, this practice of getting extra off duty crew on board has been happening for decades.

Avman's comments did not strike me as condescending, who hasn't driven their car or riden his bike at 100mph along the M4?

And Aviaco - that is not a simple ignoring of the rules surely! I wouldn't let anyone take my teenage son out on his sportsbike and smile at him "Ignoring the rules".

But anyway - like I said - those that shout the loudest frequently have the most to cover up.

For example those that are highly vocal over issues of sexuality frequently have issues with their own sexuality, "Projecting" is summed up in the well known "I think he dost protest too much!"

23rd Jul 2004, 14:29

No and I agree. Just don't put then in the loo

BA had a very high profile casualty a few years ago for having an infant on a knee on the jumpseat. He would have got away with it but p****d off the cabin crew so much they reported him.


phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 14:33

Thanks for that...If this is what it takes to kick these cowboys out of the industry then great, let's do it! The sooner the industry weeds out the crap and lets the safe operators get on with things the better.


23rd Jul 2004, 14:36

Nonsense. In my case, I am protesting because the incident was a genuine threat to the safety of 180+ people, and such incidents should not be allowed to happen and the company MUST be reprimanded by the relevant authorities, otherwise what's the point of having regulatory authorities???

Question to you - would you have permitted it?
Second Question to you - If the ball was now in your court and you were the Irish CAA or the UK CAA, what would you now do? Would you just shrug your shoulders and say, "ah well, these things happen..........."

I am very very sure that you wouldn't.

("Minor" breaches I referred to earlier would include parking on a double yellow for five minutes or forgetting to buy a parking ticket or renewing ones road tax on time. I agree that idiotic motorway behaviour that you describe above would also fall into the reckless and major category. Trust this clarifies.)

DX Wombat
23rd Jul 2004, 14:37
I happened to notice this thread in the "Latest" column and thought it might prove an interesting read, as indeed it has. Please bear with me as I do not work within the aviation industry, but I am puzzled by one thing; if these were staff trying to reposition why were they not put onto the passenger list first? Surely it makes more sense to have your staff where you need them at the appropriate time and to make prior arrangements for their travel? I realise that this would mean that the number of fare-paying passengers would be reduced but if the staff were not to be available for their next flight(s) could this not result in an even greater loss of revenue? If they were staff returning from holiday why did they not make sensible arrangements first? I am in no way condoning what happened. I am just glad I wasn't on that flight.

phoenix son
23rd Jul 2004, 14:44

Sadly not...Usually the crew are repositioning from weekends off, visiting friend/relatives etc and therefore are doing it for their own purposes, and therefore it is THEIR responsibility to get back where they need to be on time. Most companies (including mine) have levels of disciplinary action in force for staff who fail to return in time to report for duty, and I don't doubt for one moment that FR, with their "forward thinking" management, will be any different.


23rd Jul 2004, 14:44
if these were staff trying to reposition why were they not put onto the passenger list first? Surely it makes more sense to have your staff where you need them at the appropriate time and to make prior arrangements for their travel? I realise that this would mean that the number of fare-paying passengers would be reduced but if the staff were not to be available for their next flight(s) could this not result in an even greater loss of revenue?


Will you come and run BA please?


23rd Jul 2004, 14:46

No I would not have permitted it, and if I were the IAA or CAA I would make sure the Crew members involved are disciplined, which it seems they have been.

What saddens me is the way that shouting down other airlines is too common these days. It seem to be a bad reflection on the industry that these things do happen, to Ryanair, and have happened, on countless other carriers, probably even yours!

I suggest that good practice be engendered in all operations, and that we should maybe give MOL a break, there is no doubt that may of his decissions suprise, shock, unnerve, irritate or simply amuse - the bottom line is, so far, most of them have made him and FR stacks of cash - and cash, at the end of the day, is why most outfits fly planes! :O

In no way would I fall out with you Aviaco. :O

PS - I don't and never have flown for FR.

23rd Jul 2004, 14:50
Surely the reason at the heart of this outrage is not one seemingly irelevant breach of the rules, but what this shows of FR in the bigger picture. Coming from an airline which, as we all know, is finding loop holes to make crew work their maximum hours, leading to many media articles of crew fatigue endangering pax, this incident is maybe just one of many such 'minor' incidents whch we do not know of. An airline which seems to be freely showing very little concern for safety and just lining the pockets of our friend MOL, surely needs to be repremanded?

23rd Jul 2004, 14:53
Would not have been surprised if this happened years ago, but today it is a bit odd. In the 70's with a major us airline flying a charter, we had an extra 6 folks in the cockpit of a B727 for landing, kinda tight. While with a us upstart one of the captains always brought his wife, when it filled up he put her on the toilet. He was odd even back then.

23rd Jul 2004, 14:55

Stop! How many other airlines have broken these rules? Lots!

Why should FR be hammered?

FYI FR have an excellent safety record! They are almost up there with QF!

23rd Jul 2004, 14:57

Oh yes the ones "never to have lost a hull" except they paid more to save one than it would have cost new.


23rd Jul 2004, 15:04
And were these "extras" on the loadsheet? Or was that deliberately signed in error as well?

23rd Jul 2004, 15:05

Sent you a PM. No hard feelings. Just irate at the stupidity of a so called "professional" who thought nothing of endangering lives.


cargo boy
23rd Jul 2004, 15:05
Jeez, some people just don't know when to shut up! AVIACO, will you give us all a break from your outrage and pretentious pontificating on what might have happened if there had been an emergency that may have involved an evacuation in thick smoke with no emergency lighting or whatever! :rolleyes:

Yes, the Captain was wrong to allow the use of the lavatory as an extra seat for some people on staff travel. He did the honourable thing and resigned. Two of the cabin crew tried to shrug off their own responsibility and were fired instead. The use of lavatory seats for passengers is wrong. I don't know how dangerous it is but it isn't safe. A bit of a difference there. If cabin crew gave the captain a "cabin secure" message, both before tako-off and before landing then they broke the rules.

Now, give us a break on your hand wringing and knicker wetting outrage. Thiws one had nothing to do with O'Leary or Ryanair policy. It was a bad decision by the captain and his crew and the people who agreed to use the lavs. If they were staff then they should have known better. But please... can we stop this Ryanair and O'Leary bashing just for the sake of it.

In over 10 years of airline flying I have never seen anyone use a loo to stow pax in. It may have been common many years ago but here in the modern world we have moved on and try to be as professional as possible. This captain showed a lapse in his professionalism and has paid the price. He hasn't held a baby by its leg over a balcony, he hasn't mugged an old woman, he hasn't tried to fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He tried to help out some stranded fellow co-workers and has paid the price for making a very bad decision. Now AVIACO, give us all a break and go wash your knickers! :rolleyes:

23rd Jul 2004, 15:17
Cargo Boy

I lost my best mate of the time in a horrific incident on a British Airtours B737-200 in Manchester in the mid-eighties, and very often when I fly, I think of what it must have been like trying to clamber out of a smoke filled airplane in the dark, amid panic and mayhem.

Difficult enough, I would say, without having the "airline" break the rules by having illegally stowed passengers in a loaction that could further endanger life if a similar situation as the Airtours one were to occur.

Your post greatly offends me and I feel that I have every right to "pontificate" as you call it. This Forum exists for that very reason.

My reasons for being outraged at this incident are personal. Fact.

I have never posted any "O'Leary bashing" topics in the past.


23rd Jul 2004, 15:35
Please enlighten me regarding all of these airlines you refer to. I have worked for several, and NEVER been flying around with pax in the toilets.

With regard to "shouting down airlines", well, we are in a highly competitive environment. Cutting corners saves money, at least in the short run. What happened in this case may have prevented FR from canceling another flight.
-Pilots may report ready early in order to get ahead in the departure queue. A practice that may cause pilots like me an extra delay. Time and fuel = money.
-Pilots may fly with minimum fuel. When instructed to hold, they may advice ATC that; we have only fuel for 5 mins hold, and thereby getting a priority. I might cost me time and fuel.
-Some incidents may be an indication the company is only applying minimum training in order to save cost. My company may be at a disadvantage because training and safety is at a higher level. Safety cost money.
-Some incidents may be an indication of bad maintenance procedures. Bad maintenance procedures may be because of cost cutting. Have a look at the Alaska Air MD 80 accident, and you will see what I'm getting at. Again, other companies may suffer financially because of a higher standard.
-Breach of procedures may be an indication of a less than ideal culture within a company.

Just because an airline hasn't crashed, doesn't automatically mean its safe. If an airline has crashed, it doesn't automatically mean its unsafe.

And no, I'm not pointing my finger at FR specifically. These are general observations.

I try to keep a high standard, as do most of us. We react when we see somebody blatantly disregarding the rules. Or cutting corners.

Shaka Zulu
23rd Jul 2004, 15:43
I Fully agree ManaAdaSystem, good post.
Everybody has their own motives of posting things here.
If properly explained others should refrain from bashing te post but ask questions and then you can DISCUSS differences.
It's almost always the same here with postings.

So the Captain resigned ey?
Difficult dilemma but ultimately not his problem to sort out...
Good luck with rest of careers, problem with operating in the margins is the risk of cutting corners.
Black isn't black anymore, white isn't white....

23rd Jul 2004, 16:00
The PIC decision to break the law and company policy lays with the Captain. He allowed this infringement and knew what he was doing. The news reports are saying that he had 30years flying experience.

PIC is where the buck stops. MOL was not the PIC, cut him out of the discussion.

PIC remember ! PIC.

23rd Jul 2004, 16:27
Once on Christmas Eve there were some nonrev's on standby waiting to get home. We filled the aircrafts jumpseats, and sadly had to leave some pax behind. The purser suggested we'd use the toilets. Telling her I never heard anything as ridiculous as that, we didn't even consider her proposal.

23rd Jul 2004, 16:43
Does anybody know what, if any, action has been taken against the lavatory seat passengers?

In my opinion, they too are culpable because they must have been aware of their own responsibility in accepting the offered accomodation.

Offered by whom, I would also ask?

Was the captain offered a fait accompli, just as he was getting his slot, or as the aircraft was ready to go? Was there baggage in the hold which would need retrieving?

All sorts of pressures may have been put on the skipper which could have persuaded him to take the easy option to get the aircraft out on time, particularly with FR and its reputation for company pressure to operate on time. Perhaps this occurence is indeed a result of that insiduous pressure.

If any of these, then, WRONG DECISION, but he would not be the first person to have made a mistake out of expediency.

I know this is no excuse but there is always more to these things than is at first apparent, in which case, some of the more pompous posters in this thread should perhaps take a deep breath.

Once again I say that there is really no excuse but retraining and a severe warning may have been a more apt response and it wouldn't happen again with these personnel. Sure, in the extreme, this stupid action COULD have had more serious consequences. Happily, it didn't.

23rd Jul 2004, 16:44

I'm just laughing at the people making fools of temselves on page one just assuming it was the airline flying PAX in the toilets when it was off duty staff who would have sat on the bog at the CAPTAINS discretion.

Jeez and you guys have the nerve to accuse journalists of jumping to conclusions without getting the facts??

Never let anything get in the way of good 'ol Ryanair bashing though eh guys? :ok: :ok:

And while you're at it, why not take a swipe at the Irish too!! :Kill two birds with one stone!! rolleyes: :rolleyes:

bacardi walla
23rd Jul 2004, 17:08
I notice ya man sergeblanco is not showing his face on this one....:ouch:

23rd Jul 2004, 17:33
The cabin crew were not going back for work, they had a few more days off and should have waited for the next flight or even went back by another route. The capt in question is a wonderful guy and alot of the 200 captains in ryr will tell you they were taught alot by him. It is a shame to see him go as the younger guys will not have the chance to learn from him but for something like this he had to go. It is just a shame he had to leave like this and anybody who knows him will agree with me.

I wish him all the best in his future as he was a gent to work with and a gent to know.

23rd Jul 2004, 17:57

What do you think they will find that they wont in your airline. The capt has flown for over 30 years with EI and other airlines so i doubt he got lost in his ways just because he joined the Ryans. This could have happened to alot of airlines but as somebody else has already posted at least it wasnt drink or drugs. Nobody got hurt and there wasnt a problem with the flight so could have and should have doesnt come into play. If anything had happened at least there was two extra fully trained crew on board

23rd Jul 2004, 18:21
what happened on this flight is a MAJOR safety issue. Staff or not. If that flight had an emergency, and had to evacuate, how would they get the toilet door open if everyone is piling out the exits???? There is no way that door would ever get opened, as they open out into the aisle, therefore causing an obstruction to the evacuation. Hope he gets taken to hell and back over this

Jack The Lad
23rd Jul 2004, 19:07
Oh boy, I really wonder what normal SLF folk that visit here, really think of the intelligence and emotional maturity of some of the more outspoken 'professional pilots' that make ludicrous posts here?

Does anyone in the 'right minds' think that MOL or any of his management team would endorse such practices, even if they did occur?

Oh boy, oh boy. The idiots know who they are......or maybe they don't; that is even more worrying!

Ranger One
23rd Jul 2004, 19:56

And were these "extras" on the loadsheet? Or was that deliberately signed in error as well?

Excellent question. It was a stupid idea for a supposedly first-world airline in the first place, but playing fast & loose with paperwork in that way is the kind of thing that could cost an airline their *license* these days.

An equally good question: where was the FO when all this was happening? And where is s/he now?

Assuming the regulators aren't in MOLs pocket, I think it's fair to say that FR will probably, at the very least, be under considerable scrutiny for some time. If I were there I'd be p*ssed with the idiots who pulled this stunt.


Does anybody know what, if any, action has been taken against the lavatory seat passengers?

If I understand correctly, they were asked to resign. They refused, and were summarily dismissed for gross misconduct.

I'm no fan of MOL, but perfectly correct in the reported circumstances IMHO.

Unless of course it emerges that overloading with deadheading staff in this fashion was unwritten company policy, to 'get the job done', in which case all hell will be out for noon. But I don't believe MOL would be that stupid.


Ya Zi
23rd Jul 2004, 20:40
I have never really noticed wether the total Pax on the load sheet exceeds the seats on board. As our fleet has several seat fits, it requires a bit of research. But I will now!

23rd Jul 2004, 20:43
The way it was reported on national radio seems to blame the captain and the company has come across without egg on face - which of course you'd expect. Whether the captain was under company pressure to get these people home, we will never know. What the IAA will come up with remains to be seen.

I find it astonishing that an experienced pilot has allowed to himself to get caught out in such a way. Thats assuming he knew he had stow aways on board?............

Jack The Lad
23rd Jul 2004, 21:11

I'm even more astonished than you are about the fact that you are astonished!!

Let's blame MOL...I'm sure it was a conspiracy, right from the top.....oh boy, one is born every minute!

23rd Jul 2004, 21:23
Bla ...bla...bla

I don't remember such great interest when a pilot of one famous airline was caught drunk before the flight . Is it really about safety or just another chance for RYR and Irish bashing ?
This forum is becaming increasingly boring . Keep talking guys ...

23rd Jul 2004, 22:05
First of all from what I can gather after reading all these six pages of very informative material, I don't think that Ryan Air's management has anything to do with that the captain did. I don't suppose the captain radioed HQ for permission to carry these so-called "swowaways", and if he did and permission was granted, then he should be absolved.

Second point. I don't know about recently, but about 10 years ago our favorite airline, Aeroflot, still adhered to the policy of strap-hangers for those passengers who could not run fast enough from the gate to the plane and find a seat.

Working in a Russian world as a foreign journalist, I was on plenty internal flights that used to carry not only passengers, but also their intimate belongings -- like chickens, pigs, goats and sheep, in addition to the TV sets and stereos in packaged cartons scattered along the isle. You wouldn't dare check the item, because someone would likely steal it at chek-in or before luggage retreival.

If someone cares to correct me, fine. I was thrown out of the Soviet Union and haven't been back, but from what I understand, the internal flight system has not changed much.

23rd Jul 2004, 23:04
Saskatoon, I think you may have misunderstood the role of the CAA in the operation of any airline not holding a UK AOC. They have no authority to inspect or legislate, unless acting on behalf of the Department for Transport, when carrying out a 'Safety Assessment of Foreign Airlines' at the DFT's request. The responsibility for overseeing the safety regulation of any airline rests entirely with the Aviation Authority of the given airline's State of registry. Provided that said Authority is satisfied that the airline complies with JAR OPs etc etc - then that's it.

People often remark 'what are the CAA doing about it?' - Well, the answer is that they have no authority, and are not empowered, to act. No doubt all sorts of 'conversations' go on between the authorities, but that's another matter.

24th Jul 2004, 04:16
In this "news report", PPRuNe evens gets a mention. :uhoh:

Off-duty crew sacked after sitting in toilet on packed flight

By Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent

Published: July 24 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: July 24 2004 5:00

Ryanair may be searching for new ways of cutting costs and increasing revenues, but it moved swiftly to flush away rumours flying around the aviation industry that its latest wheeze was to have passengers seated in the aircraft toilets to add capacity.

It issued a statement yesterday confirming that two passengers - off-duty cabin crew returning to Ireland from a week's leave - travelled back on its flight FR7039 from Barcelona-Girona to Dublin last weekend in the rear toilets, because the flight was full.

The airline said the employees did so - in breach of the carrier's boarding and operating procedures - with the approval of the captain, a senior pilot with more than 30 years' flying experience.

The captain had tendered his resignation with immediate effect and the two cabin crew, who had refused to resign, had been dismissed for gross misconduct.

The Irish Aviation Authority, which regulates all Irish-registered aircraft, said it was conducting its own investigation after being alerted to the incident by a member of the public.

"We take this very seriously because of the safety implications," it said.

Ryanair said that it had conducted its own investigation for the past five days, and had co-operated fully with the IAA.

It said it operated "to the highest international standards" and any breaches would "be dealt with with the utmost speed and gravity".

As news of the incident spread in the airline community including across pprune.org, the website of the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, opinions varied among contributors on the gravity of the incident.

One suggested that the normal stampede to board a Ryanair flight would take on a new urgency with the command: "Quick with the boarding now, else you'll be sitting in the bog."

However, another contributor said: "Ryanair should be hammered for this. It is a gross breach of all international safety regulations and something akin to behaviour that existed in remote parts of Africa 20 years ago."

Ryanair's own recent ideas for cutting costs include aiming within a couple of years to ban passengers from checking in hold baggage with travellers to be restricted tocarry-on baggage only - it recently raised the maximum cabin baggage allowance - as a way of reducing costs at airports.

One contributor to the pprune.org website suggested that it could also provide a solution for excess passengers. "There will be plenty of room in the holds of Ryanair aircraft soon . .

24th Jul 2004, 07:00

That made me laugh - but sobering too - so we really do have to be suspicious of certain questions.........Journalists are lurking in the shadows.:uhoh:

bacardi walla
24th Jul 2004, 07:08
Isn't it sad that journos take comments like mine "There will be plenty of room in the holds of Ryanair aircraft soon . . - seriously !! :p :p :p :p

24th Jul 2004, 07:40
Even The Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1189602,00.html) is reporting this - brilliant headline 'Budget Aircrew go from jump seats to dump seats'.....and The Independent (http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/story.jsp?story=543687) has a piece on MOL's scrap with BAA over Stansted....including some choice quotes from himself:
This isn't an airline, it's like a drug baron's business.

24th Jul 2004, 12:41
there was a question on another page, I think from DX Wombat, about taking off duty crew, etc. So, here a short view for those readers who aren't in the business or don't know about these things.

Off-duty crew and/or family members fly, either free or with reduced rates, as so-called "stand-by" passengers. They wait at the gate and hope that, when all regular passengers are aboard, there will be some extra seats available (sometimes due to pax not showing up, for whatever reasons). These waiting people will then, usually according to seniority or status, be alloted these free seats. If the flight is completely full, then extra jump- or crew-seats may, at the discretion of the captain, be alloted these folk. These seats are all equipped with proper seat belts so it's really no problem. Of course, the "head-count" and weight must also fit. I flew as a stand-by years ago and there were many empty seats, even though there were still stand-bys waiting that weren't allowed on. The reason: so much cargo that the weight limit had to be considered!!

I'm amazed that such a senior captain would have done this... as mentioned enough already, it was against all regulations to allow this and the risk wasn't worth it. Another point about safety: in case of an accident, no one would have expected someone in there.

The outcome of all this should be quite interesting... and more difficult in the future for stand-bys to be taken along. So again, this incident may have far reaching consequences for all.


24th Jul 2004, 12:47
Apart from the obvious danger to life spoken of earlier in the thread ,I wonder what the insurance company would say to a claim should an accident have occurred?
unrestrained pax
incorrect loadsheet
flying outside of jar ops / ANO
crew complicit in deceit

they usually find any excuse not to pay up, here they would have a choice!

24th Jul 2004, 14:20
It doesn't bear thinking about. I heard from a source that the Spanish Police have been making investigations into this incident by interviewing handling staff at Girona Airport.

(Purely for my own interest, can anyone confirm whether the aircraft was a B732 or B738? Does FR still have 732's in service?)

24th Jul 2004, 14:24

Ryanair still operates the 737-200 but I don't know whether it was one of these or an -800 on this occasion.

24th Jul 2004, 16:02
OK, I don't know which bit about NO abuse and insults some of you didn't understand but I'll reiterate it here for those of you with IQ's that are deficient due to DNA inheritence from the shallow end of the gene pool:

Over the last few months it has become increasingly obvious that many members are unable to make their points in their posts without resorting to abuse. Also, the amount of swearing from some individuals is becoming intolerable.

Considering the diversity of the PPRuNe readership and the many areas of debate that there are in aviation, it is not acceptable that so many people feel they can try and degrade this website with their abuse and foul mouthed verbiage. Not only is it a sign of 'losing the plot' but it does nothing to enhance the debate and only serves to inflame the base instincts and behaviour in other respondents.

I am serving notice that from now on, I will not accept abusive language from anyone, no matter how emotionally sensitive the topic may be. Members who considers themselves eligible to post on the Professional Pilots RUmour NEtwork shall maintain a level of decorum that excludes swearing and abuse. If anyone is not happy with this restriction then they are free to go elsewhere with their problem.

PPRuNe will not become just another bulletin board where a few selfish and ignorant individuals feel they can say what they want without a care for the consequences. Anyone trying to 'flame' or incite others by resorting to foul language or personal abuse will have their membership suspended. Their posts will either be deleted or edited to remove offensive language or abuse.

The time has come for members of the Professional Pilots RUmour NEtwork to show a little bit of professionalism and act accordingly.

Also, as a warning to the Ryanair bashing brigade... You need to realise that this thread, and many others, are about technical and/or safety issues that apply equally to most JAA airlines and not just Ryanair. Ie. they are of interest to professional pilots and the day to day running of the airline is not of concern here. In light of that knowledge, I ask that those with a mental impediment that somehow causes them to burst a blood vessel and start typing out their venom contaminated rhetoric of anything that is remotely to do with any business that Mr O'Leary is involved with, please consider that this is about an operational issue. If you feel that hand wringing, knicker wetting, eye rolling, teeth gnashing etc. at the mention of Ryanair because you don't agree with their destination naming policy, their passenger handling methods or whatever, then please do me and most others a favour and vent your spleens in the appropriate Pax & SLF, Spotters Balcony or Airlines, Airports & Routes forums. :rolleyes:

Sleeve Wing
24th Jul 2004, 16:07
I don't think I can remember reading so much self-righteous tripe on this
web site for a long time.
It really resembles schooldays and "teachers pets". Lots of prissy little ne'er-do-wells without an ounce of gumption between them.
> "We wouldn't allow that now" <
> "what does he think he was doing"<

What he was doing was to exercise a Captain's (old-fashioned?) prerogative to help out a fellow company employee.
Sure he was breaking the rules. Do you think for one minute he didn't realize that?

Some will remember in the days of the Dak, Seven seas, Viscount even 111 when Captains were actually allowed to be totally responsible for their aircraft.

An extra passenger or two would be well within the tolerance of the loadsheet. After takeoff, they would be instructed to stay out of the way and to use the now-unoccupied cabin staff jump seats fot the rest of the flight i.e.strapped in. It used to be called "ghosting".

Usually it was only resorted to in order to help someone who'd already been away on duty for 5-6 days, the flight deck jump seat was occupied by a fare-paying passenger and he/she had been "bumped" off a couple of flights already.

So, when enough became enough,the Captain used his considerable judgment to enable a staff member to at least get home for his/her "days off".
Do you seriously think he would knowingly endanger his aircraft and his pax ??

As used to be allowed before the days of political correctness, he was weighing up all the factors, as he did every day, and making a calculated decision.
In this situation,
a) the f/d jumpseat not insured for a fare-paying pax.i.e. should be staff only ;the Company were preventing an employee from enjoying their contracted days off at home.
b) in the event of an EMC, there was an extra fully qualified staff member available in the cabin.

Talking about f/p pax. on the jumpseat, BTW, a great Skipper I used to fly with, used to say :-
"Why should I have to have a punter on my jumpseat?
I don't sit on his desk when he's working. Why should he :mad:-well sit on mine !!"

Sleeve. :} :E

24th Jul 2004, 16:34
So, when enough became enough,the Captain used his considerable judgment to enable a staff member to at least get home for his/her "days off".
Do you seriously think he would knowingly endanger his aircraft and his pax ??

Looks like the jury has already ruled on this.

bacardi walla
24th Jul 2004, 16:42
Despite all the bashing and slagging that Danny mentions, the fact of the matter remains; what this CREW did is ILLEGAL and that should be the end of the story. It really doesn't matter who's to blame and who is not. It's done now and the CREW have paid the penalty.

Think maybe it's time for this thread to be offloaded.......:\

Flying Mech
24th Jul 2004, 17:21
How did a small albeit illegal incident turn in to 7 pages of FR Bashing?. I dont particulary like this outfit myself but some Ppruners really pull out all the stops. Are you all ex FR staff or how exactly did you develop this Ryanair Bashing Syndrome?

24th Jul 2004, 19:00
“who hasn't driven their car or riden(sic) his bike at 100mph along the M4?” Well not me for a start, and I mean the dangerous offence, not that particular motorway. My guess is that the expression “cutting corners” comes from the driving world where cutting across a corner can save you time or effort. Of course, on occasion, something comes the opposite direction on that corner, and shows you the real cost of cutting corners.

Let’s face it, someone at some point cleared this overcapacity. Presumably the CC would have had little choice but to cooperate once that decision had been made. My presumption is that the CC don’t have the ability/authority to let onboard any “extras”.

I couldn’t care whether this was Ryanair or whoever - according to the RTE articles, the staff weren’t stranded, they had been “on leave”, and according to a poster above, were under no immediate pressure to return.

Concerning the “bashing”, I think it’s mostly a case of LCC bashing. When I’ve dared to mention good things about LCCs in my threads or posts, it’s not long before a basher emerges to have a pop.

24th Jul 2004, 19:07
While accepting the admonitions not to engage in Ryanair bashing over this matter, may I just point out that it would be unwise to assume that the particular nature of the said airline’s unique corporate way of doing things will not be discovered to have played a role in this event.

For example, just to titillate you all, it looks like there almost certainly was a telephone call from a “passenger” at the outstation to someone in an office and that a call was made in return to someone else at the outstation. What role, if any, this played we will have to wait and see. But remember, while captains take responsibility, airlines differ in who has “power” over access to jumpseats, or who can block access or encourage access or whatever. For example consider the tensions that might one day be caused by Ryanair’s practice of sometimes issuing standby tickets to pilots travelling to a simulator checkride, while simultaneously making it clear that the pilot is expected to be there on time. (The trick is to “make things clear”, without putting it in a form that will cause the management a problem. If there is anyone left out there who has not worked out that this is a Ryanair trademark …. well… ).

I am not aiming here to diminish the role of the captain. But breaking the rules always takes place in a context. In the case of Ryanair, we have a very particular context – this is not Ryanair bashing, it is a statement of fact.

It is, of course, pissing in the wind to suggest that people involved in a rumour network would wish to go through the tedium of actually waiting for all the facts before spinning their theories, outrage and perfectionistic notions of how others should behave.

However, having some years ago taxied behind an aeroplane with an appreciable covering of snow on the wings, its crew having been advised of same by three other aircraft and ATC before it took off, I am inclined to have a different view of what is a terminally serious safety issue than some contributors to this forum.

24th Jul 2004, 20:19
Correct me Ryanair pilots if I am wrong but I believe that O Leary
has banned Captains from giving jumpseats to staff on Spanish flights to make the staff pay something for the flights.

This may be a factor. Where jump seats empty on this flight?

24th Jul 2004, 20:29
Well I would rather be in the toilet in an abnormal landing...
no baggage to fall on your head, no flying seats to dismame you,
a nice bulhead to protect you and a nice handle to hold on to
cant see what all the fuss is about, unless of course, it's insurance problems

ou Trek dronkie
24th Jul 2004, 20:46
This is definitely NOT a Ryanair bashing thread, so relax MOL. For once. Even though the resultant publicity is a bit on the negative side.

The large number of posts is probably due to the fact that many of us are just amazed that, in this day and age, such a flagrant breach of ANRs is not seen for what it is. The captain made a huge error of judgement and paid the price. So what ?

I venture to suggest that a large-scale collusion between all the crew must have taken place. Surely they all knew about it ? That’s where the problem might have started.

Sleeve, I think you might have missed the point. It is not a good idea to break the rules, even if some military outfits might think so. No particular arm in mind of course, perish the thought.


Shaka Zulu
24th Jul 2004, 21:23
I don't know why people always get worked up the way they do on this forum!

The crew (CPT) made the wrong decision of permitting them to use the toilet for t/o and landing. Completely wrong!
But he tried to help out some fellow company people to get back to the UK. They got "caught" in the act and they pay the price for it. Well I'm sorry that this guy has got a heart and decided to listen to it, he shouldn't have done it.

Best regards to the crew that got fired and need to apply somewhere else, good luck to you guys.

happy flying

25th Jul 2004, 01:17
I asked a question 6 pages back , which has not yet been answered.

Precisely what regulation (or law) [ excepting Ryanair ops manual ] was infringed ?

25th Jul 2004, 04:24
Precisely what regulation (or law) [ excepting Ryanair ops manual ] was infringed ?

OK. Here’s your fodder. I’m not involved with Irish, British, or Spanish aviation, and therefore I don’t know for certain that this is going to cover this issue. However, I’m getting the impression that you’re waiting for somebody to mention this so you can blow them out of the water. Well, here you go:

S.I. No. 437 of 2002

(2) The operator of a commercial transport aircraft shall ensure that all passengers
on board that aircraft are briefed in accordance with the applicable Joint
Aviation Requirements and the pilot-in-command of an aircraft shall ensure
that…(c) prior to and during each take-off and each landing and whenever, by
reason of turbulent air conditions or any emergency during flight, the
precaution is considered necessary, all passengers on board an aircraft are
secured in their seats by means of the seat belts or safety harnesses

If I'm wrong and yours was a sincere question, then I apologize.


25th Jul 2004, 11:06
Probably not answered cos it was an idiotic question

Sleeve Wing
25th Jul 2004, 11:12
Ref: your final para., understand totally.
Just playing Devil's Advocate in protection of an obviously otherwise first-class Captain and also remembering the days when Captains were allowed to be fully responsible for the operation of their aircraft without interference.

With regard to "comments military", also true. Some services actually allowed their officers to take responsibility for their actions,.... and for the repercussions if you got it wrong !!
Quote : "Rules are for the guidance etc....."

Felicitations, Sleeve. :ok:

25th Jul 2004, 11:19
Having read this thread from start to finish a couple of times it seems clear that the general feeling is

1. this used to happen quite regularly in the past. I personally heard of a 747 that left EDI one day after a rugby international with (allegedly) 14 people in the cockpit!!

2. The Captain made an unfortunate error of judgement and has paid a severe price

Anyone who knows this man will vouch for the fact that he is one of the nicest, most decent, helpful pilots who ever wore wings. That this should happen after such a long and distinguished career and within a couple of weeks of retirement is such a shame. If he was an :mad: the situation would never have happened. It happened simply because he is such a decent genuine guy who would do anything to help a fellow crew member.

Why dont all you 'holier than thous' just leave it be. I, for one, would just like to wish Capt X a very happy retirement.

ps It must be time to chop this thread at this stage.

25th Jul 2004, 14:11
At some stage in the dim and distant past, some aircraft had toilets equipped with padded seat covers and backs, and seat belts.
I once worked for an outfit that bought 2 DC-6Bs that were either of Pan-Am Pacific or Western Air Lines descent, and the local Civil Aviation made the first item for certification, "removal of toilet seat belts".
Cant remember toilet door config, but in those days there was plenty of aisle space so egress was probably not the problem, more likely the risk of pax trapped in toilet.
Many a wistful sigh over the loss of the potential "get-you-home" seats for staff.

Similar incident about 15 years ago in the Caribbean had almost identical outcome, except F/O lost his job too, plus several "Management " employees who were on the actual aircraft, (some on legal seats, some bog-riders).
Same syndrome, "nice" well -liked Capt, helping staff to get home in time to go to work after "Cultural Convention"(Carnival).
This misguided favour sadly benefitted no-one.

Murphy quote?
"No good deed ever goes unpunished."

25th Jul 2004, 14:25
aviaco, u need to chill a bit... i am ex crew for FR, and i knew the girls operating the cabin on that flight, and the CPT... they were bullied by those staff!! i live with 2 of the girls, and i couldnt believ it when i heard it! those 2 staff in the toilets knoew what they were doing, they didnt care! and the CPT allowed it... thus overruling the SCCM in the cabin... thye deserved to be sacked! and as for the operating crew, thye need to find a decent airline where crew, operating or deadheading, dont take such liberites!

25th Jul 2004, 15:08
For reasons I mentioned earlier, I find it difficult to chill at such an incident taking place in this day and age.

Ou Trek dronkie's second para in his/her post above just about sums it up for me - how could something like this have happened in Europe in 2004.

Please don't get me wrong, everyone, who has replied above. I am not an FR basher, and nor have I ever participated in FR bashing before.

Some of the things I posted above were out of sheer frustration and, I suppose, anger over the incident that occurred.

Sorry if I offended anyone. Heat of the moment, and all that.


25th Jul 2004, 15:22
Phew! Got to the end...

Few points:

Sleeve Wing

Yes, back in the "good old days", captains had a little more latitude. This was because everybody assumed that they would never break the rules, or that if they did, the consequences would be minor. Sadly, history is replete with examples of captains that not only broke the rules, but endangered (or killed) pax in the process. So along came greater regulation. And lawyers. Break the rules in the current climate, well, be prepared to hand in your ID card.

Second, a positioning crew member is a pax. End of story.

Third, the buck doesn't stop with the captain. It stops with the responsible person in the company (usually the Operations Director), and then ultimately with the directors of the company, who end up facing the corporate manslaughter charge if it all goes wrong (Herald of Free Enterprise, for example).

Fourth, it is wrong to blame FR management for this, or MOL, unless it can be shown that either the captain was pressured into doing what he did (and there surely would have been witnesses, and no resignation), or that there is an endemic disregard for safety within FR (which I doubt).

Fifth, it is completely clear that carrying anybody in the WC is unsafe, irrespective of what used to go on in them "good old days".

Sixth, anybody that thinks you can carry 14 pax or crew in the flight deck of any modern airliner, is clearly completely uninvolved in this industry. Or just plain daft.

Seventh, for the person wondering what law the captain broke... the Ops Manual IS the law. Once the CAA (or whoever) sign off on it, it becomes an addition to the aviation legislation of the country, and is a legal document. If you break the provisions of the Ops Manual, you are in fact breaking the law (in most western countries at any rate).

All those feeling sorry for this captain - well, he might be a top bloke, but part of being a captain is making the correct decision 100% of the time. Part of the job is the danger that if you screw up, you may well lose that job. This guy didn't make a mistake, he made a conscious decision to break the law. In other words, he rolled the dice, and lost.

I have a hard time feeling sorry for a guy who chose to do what I have spent my entire career making absolutely sure I didn't do.

That isn't arrogance, or condescension. More disbelief.

25th Jul 2004, 16:01
What puzzles me is how did these two standby crew even board the aircraft without the collusion of the ground handlers.

The Captain was a fool but he should never have been put in a position to be able to make the decision.

I think one or two heads are still to roll.

Brookmans Park
25th Jul 2004, 16:28
Condolences to those concerned but FR STN crew be sure to boycot the THM meetings with MOL on wed!! JOIN BALPA BEAT THE B@"S>TRD

25th Jul 2004, 18:08
Is it just me or are there any other professional pilots out there getting a just a little bit tired of Mr AVIACO banging on and on and on and on and on?

He has made his point a thousand times over but it still does not seem to be enough.

He quotes as his raison d'etre that he lost his best mate in the BA 737 accident at Manchester. I carried my first coffin containing a best mate in the Air Force when I was 19 and have carried God knows how many more since then.

However, I don't bang on and on about it just because two people, who should have known better, travelled in a Ryanair bog from Barcelona to Dublin!

25th Jul 2004, 18:50
If Ryanair employed more ex RAF pilots they would get people who know how to obey a rule and not make gross errors of judgement.

Breeding and training. Sadly lacking it would seem.


25th Jul 2004, 19:53
Quite so old boy; there does seem to be more than just a whiff of LMF about the place nowadays don't you think (especially in the latrines)?

25th Jul 2004, 20:34
From a post on the CC Forum...

that toilet incidnet was something else. as i used to work for Ryanair, i still live with FR crew, and the hostie working from the aft galley is my housemate!! she told me as soon as she got home... tho it all came to light on friday last.....

the flight was fully booked out, and there was 2 staff occupying the flight deck J/seats, another staff member occupying the J/S beside my housemate, and then the 2 senior CCM's occupying the jacks! they werent ticketed at all.. they got thier friend working on the ramp to show them the staff entrance to the ramp, so thye could board the plane. my friend noticed them standing in the galley area, and then disappear.. she assumed that they had taken seats. the headcount was done, and they cloed up... 130 pax, 3 J/S, and that was it. as they were not ticketed, they were not in the figures. after the demo was conducted, my mate secured the aft cabin, and galley areas. she went to lock the toilets, and there was the 2!! My friend immeaditely called up to the SCCM, and she came down. She phoned up to the CPT to tell him the situation, and the CPT allowed this. The SCCM, another friend of mine, was overruled, and she refused to give "cabin secure" to him. They were taxiing out now, and the SCCM didnt know what to do... she was in shock. she ran back up the cabin, and the CPT gave "seats for take off"

After take off, the 2 in question came out of the toliets and sat on the crew seats while the other CCM's did the bar service. a pax asked my friend "whats ryanair's policy on take off and landing" she replied with "everyone should be seated with seatblets on" so the lady replied quite calmy; "so why did u have 2 pax in the toliets?"

the rest is history....
If this is indeed true, then I'm afraid the Captain deserves everything he got. Why would a person who has spent considerable time and thousands of pounds on training, risk his career in such a stupid way? It beggars belief.

I have to admit that when I heard the story a couple of days ago, I didn't believe it. I'm sure that this is not a reflection of FR's standards of safety and SEP but it will certainly do them some serious damage in the eyes of the airline community and the general public.

MOL seems to believe that "there's no such thing as bad publicity" so I'm sure he'll deliver an interesting response to this fiasco...

25th Jul 2004, 21:34
I wonder if the CC involved will be sueing for wrongful dismissal.

If over-ruled and ignored they would seem to have a pretty strong case.

26th Jul 2004, 00:47
Flaps, the sacked crew were the 'stowaways' not the operating crew. LOD also wrote if anything had happened at least there were two extra crew on board. Well there may have been, but they also may well have been trapped/incapacitated in the bogs. As a pax would you believe/accept instructions from someone who has just stepped out of the bog and says they're cabin crew?, I certainly wouldn't and I can't imagine any of my friends who are not in the industry would either. I imagine pretty much all pax know you're not supposed to sit in the bogs during t/o and landing, hence the original pax's comments, so I can't see how they would have been able to exert any authority under those circumstances. If a rampy has also colluded in getting them on the plane, then their companies next contract renewal might be worth sitting in on! :E

26th Jul 2004, 07:48
Thanks jumpseater, I'd got the wrong end of the stick!

DIsco FEver
26th Jul 2004, 08:07
Hi Folks, CHILL !!!

Why all the fuss, the crew knew what they were doing,yeah it was unsafe, but hey lots of unsafe things happen , they were not fare paying public, they knew the risks, so must have been happy to take them. We as a society must let people make decisions about risk themselves, too much nanny state at the moment

Very unfair to have been sacked, at worst a severe reprimand.

It was almost standard practice in most of the world until recently, toilets,underfloor gallyey L1011, flight deck,anywhere to get a seat, soory position on the plane.

26th Jul 2004, 08:48
Quite so DIsco FEver. There's unsafe and UNSAFE. The "what if" brigade are taking over. What if they were doing 35 mph in a 30 mph area and killed a young child? I wonder how many of the above saints and disciplined professionals break the speed limit on a daily basis? I'm not talking excessive speeding, simply 5 - 10 mph above the posted limit. They ALL do it and they don't give it a second thought. Then these hypocrites come on these forums preaching SAFETY. Makes me :yuk:

Even the cops regularly break speed limits (I know, and I'm not talking about answering emergency calls either), then they too preach about safety on the roads :hmm: !

26th Jul 2004, 09:03
Why all the fuss, the crew knew what they were doing,yeah it was unsafe, but hey lots of unsafe things happen
So that makes it all OK to disregard rules and operate in an unsafe manner?

Have you stopped once to consider that an unsecured body in an incident won't be bouncing around from 35mph to zero, but 150mph to zero, something which endangers the lives of not only those who disregard the rules, but all of those on board the aircraft.

There is a difference between what was done in the past and what is the done thing now - as a safety based industry this is since rules are developed to make things safer for all of us, so don't lets be blase about it and take a step back in history to the detriment of us all.

26th Jul 2004, 09:38
So off duty cabin crew colluding with handling agents to place two stowaways on the toilet seats without the knowlege of the Captain is OK is it.

If what has been said is true, the Captain was informed after doors closed and he made a terrible error of judgement.

I would have returned to stand called the police and had the lot arrested including the person or persons who allowed them out to the aircraft.

Captains seem to me more and more out on a limb these days without brain dead individuals making his task even more difficult.

One hopes there will be legal procedings taken against all involved in this sordid incident.

PS How come Ryanair allow stanby crew to use tha F/D jumpseats.

26th Jul 2004, 09:40
Spot on Re-Heat! Can not believe DIsco FEver's post. What about the fare paying passengers oblivious of the 'risk'.

Avman not sure you can compare a car at 35mph with an aircraft. Yes I like many others have exceeded the limits whilst driving my car in the knowledge that if I am caught 'its a fair cop'. Isn't this want happened here, or am i just naive.

But hay we are all entitled to our own opinions thats what makes pprune such good reading.

26th Jul 2004, 10:00
I think you fail to grasp the meaning of my posts. I do not condone the breaking of rules. I do, however, believe that disciplinary meassures should reflect the severity of the indiscretion. If we start to go into the "what if" grey area then I ask those same people, "what if" in the number of safety indiscretions they make in the course of their daily lives(such as driving as only one example) which affect the safety of others ? It's the hypocrisy of all the above righteous blood thirsty posters, especially AVIACO, which bugs me. The outcome should have been a severe bollocking and a memo to all staff that it's an absolute no-no with a sacking if it ever happens again. Can't continue the debate further as I'm off on a trip now.

26th Jul 2004, 10:10

Rubbish you have obviously never held a position of authority within an airline.

Post 9/11 it should be impossible for non ticketed passengers to board an aircraft and stowaway. You clearly do not fully understand the security implications of this incident.

DIsco FEver
26th Jul 2004, 10:37
FAX boy,

They were not unticketed and even if they were, what's the problem ?? They were known personally to PIC. but......

As the stoopid flight deck access rules state " no-one can sit on jump-seat, apart from CAA officials, etc, Wouldn't know them from Adam, but fellow Pilot, Hostie who I have flown with for 20 years cant ????? What's the reasoning behind that.

SAFETY< SAFETY< bleat the liberals,, utter tosh more like..

Just watched 9/11 Security Inspection of HIJ pilots, but thats nothing to do with this thread..

The only danger that the Stowaways faced was from themselves, other PAX were not under any threat or was there any other safety issues to the PAX onboard.
As for braking from 150mph to a standstill, cant see any real danger to them either, I think you have watched one to many movies if you think it's dangerous. Main danger is over-run, or tire burst, again, not really an issue for our toilet travellers.

Plenty of places to brace yourself against in the bog, as opposed to the seats with 29" pitch, " FACE,SEAT , SEAT, FACE", better in Tommy Cooper voice.

Gota go, the voices are caling me.....

26th Jul 2004, 10:56
As the stoopid flight deck access rules state " no-one can sit on jump-seat, apart from CAA officials, etc, Wouldn't know them from Adam, but fellow Pilot, Hostie who I have flown with for 20 years cant ????? What's the reasoning behind that.

I think you will find the rules are there to limit the number of times the reinforced and locked flight deck door is opened and closed by people using the loo etc. Logic the fewer on flight deck etc.

I've been in the business for over 30 years and have seen all the bog sitting, strap hanging etc that has gone on but that is in the past.

Security now is the buzz word any sort of infringement will be jumped on. Anyone who was involved with this incident will be looking for another job soon.

26th Jul 2004, 10:58
Just read through this thread with a mixture of amusement and horror.

The fact that there are people in the industry who defend the individual concerned is disturbing in the extreme and I can only wonder at what corners they themselves cut, if allowing people in the toilets is acceptable.

Just goes to show the wide mix of opinion towards safety in the modern aviation industry.

26th Jul 2004, 11:21
and I can only wonder at what corners they themselves cut...Excellent point. Perhaps the posters preaching "unsafe and UNSAFE" can give examples of what hazardous practices they consider fall into each category? And how that meets with their employers' SOPs?

Oh and who they work for so that any interested slf can ensure they never fly with them again? A creeping, insidious lowering of safety standards is in nobody’s interests.

Ranger One
26th Jul 2004, 11:26
DIsco FEver:

They were not unticketed and even if they were, what's the problem ?? They were known personally to PIC. but......

Read facsimiles post again. And the post that was cross-posted from the cc forum.

He's talking about the bog riders, not the jump seaters. The bog riders boarded the acft via the staff door to the ramp, according to the cc post. *No-one* on the acft knew they were on board, until the cc were doing their cabin secure checks after pushback. They certainly weren't ticketed!

That's a pretty good definition of stowaway for my money, and a hanging offence for staff these days.

Having heard the account from the cc forum - if true, I have a *little* more sympathy for the capt. One can conjecture the thought process: 'OK... we go back to the gate, offload them, miss our slot, delay, (was this his last sector? Running out of hours perhaps)... that's going to have to be explained and the stupid sods will be in the deepest ****... OK we're half way to the flaming hold, let's just GO and I'll read them the riot act myself after we arrive'

Doesn't excuse a wrong decision but you can imagine the thinking that led to it.


Shaka Zulu
26th Jul 2004, 11:52
Some of you might like to read posts in full before making quite an astute reply.
They WERE ticketed pax (albeit standby ticket, so all security has been done)
They were company and not pax people (though for the law just another fare paying pax I do agree)

Having pax on the jumpseat doesn't matter at all, in respect of the amount of opening the flight deck door. Especially not short haul.

He made a mistake, a big mistake. Something he'll probably regret, but can you at least put it into PERSPECTIVE.
Guys saying that the loadsheet was now wrong, so what?!
It ain't going to crash with 120kgs more on board.

He should have just the rules as they are, now he paid the price.
I'm sorry but a little more consideration will be nice to see, and no I AM NOT condoning this type of SOP usage.

and regarding SOP's, they are there for 95% of occasions but they don't tell you everything. He bend the rules, he's "fired"...

safe flying to you all (if you are pilots)

26th Jul 2004, 12:09
The only danger that the Stowaways faced was from themselves, other PAX were not under any threat or was there any other safety issues to the PAX onboard.
Have you seen the damage that turbulance does to unseated people, and anything else not tied down?

He made a mistake, a big mistake. Something he'll probably regret, but can you at least put it into PERSPECTIVE.
But the loadsheet is incorrect. The crew have the wrong passenger number on board, on the flight plan, and contrary to what has been legally signed for. Sure the loadsheet is never exact, but this is a known error: the aircraft has more people than it is legally certified to carry, and the repercussions will and should be far-reaching.

Shaka Zulu
26th Jul 2004, 12:13
so what is your point?

yes the loadsheet is incorrect, so?
as i say, legally not correct, but for the SAFE conducting of the flight irrelevant!

your turb comment is taken and indeed a risk for the persons involved (both crew and the 2 off duty crew members)

kick the tires
26th Jul 2004, 12:47
Shaka Zulu.

Just sit back and re-read what you have written.

Notwithstanding the whys and wherefors of the Captains actions, if a Captain, any Captain, is presented with a loadsheet he is legally obliged to certify that, to the best of his/her knowledge, the figures are correct. The buck stops there etc etc.

We all know that the ACTUAL aircraft load may vary widley to what is ACTUALLY loaded, eg estimated passenger/baggage weight, but the fact remains that one CANNOT sign for x number of passengers knowing that there are y passengers on board and then hope to escape censure when things go wrong.

Its obvious to all that the aircraft wont 'crash' with your 120kgs not accounted for, that is not the point and well you know it!

As for the jumpseat, be careful with your generalisations. Having jumpseaters and opening the flight deck door isnt the issue. The Ops manual will give guidelines for its usage and they are non negotiable; ours for example spells out the specfic occassions when it can be used and whose permission is required in such events.

Some rules can be interpretted and some most definatley cannot!
Thats why they are written down, to give you a reference to base your decisions upon - just as the Ops manual has step by step instructions for loadsheet completion!!

Its all a no brainer.

You may well wish to defend this particular chap but in doing so, dont make silly statements.

26th Jul 2004, 12:47
ranger one, that was my post, as i loive with one of the operating cabin crew on that flight!! they were ticketed for standby, but obviously werent issued boarding cards, and proceeded to go thru the staff doors in GRO.... sotaways, and idiots at that... i advise all to read my post, as its str8 from the horses mouth, just simple facts about that flight. everyone can make thier own assumptions to it, but read it b4 going on about rumours and threads!

thanks ranger!!:D

Stan Woolley
26th Jul 2004, 12:49
No wonder the airlines get away with anything these days - if you lot are professional pilots we are all :mad:!:yuk:

Shaka Zulu
26th Jul 2004, 13:05
kick the tires, couldn't agree with you more on that post.
I did say I am not defending the guy, but for some thought processes of flight crew are a little bit difficult to understand.
There is no doubt in my mind the captain knew about all the legal implications bla bla bla... I do not need to explain you.

About the FDD, i wasn't commenting about the people that are allowed to sit on the jump seat and which people are not. My Ops Manual states exactly the same :), good to know...
I was simply referring to a guys post saying that with a guy on jumpseat the FDD would be opened more since guys need to go to the toilet.

The Buck indeed stops at making the wrong decision, that's what we are paid to do. Making the right ones...

I just find it stupid to talk about ALL the consequences it could have had ten times in the same thread.

Safe flying! (and to Stan Woolley i won't even bother replying)

Ranger One
26th Jul 2004, 13:10
Shaka Zulu:

Some of you might like to read posts in full before making quite an astute reply. They WERE ticketed pax...

Suggest you do the same. If there is a post saying definitively that they were ticketed pax I must have missed it - But you seem to have missed the post that was cross-posted from the CC forum, from the horses mouth:

the flight was fully booked out, and there was 2 staff occupying the flight deck J/seats, another staff member occupying the J/S beside my housemate, and then the 2 senior CCM's occupying the jacks! they werent ticketed at all... <snip> she assumed that they had taken seats. the headcount was done, and they cloed up... 130 pax, 3 J/S, and that was it. as they were not ticketed, they were not in the figures.

So yes the *J/S pax* were legit, ticketed, but no-one is talking about *them*!

One can argue the toss about whether deadheading in toilets was once acceptable, in another place or a bygone era, but *stowing away* in the toilets is outrageous in any time or place, IMHO.

The staff who did so put the entire crew on that flight in a very difficult position, and by the above account led to the capt. departing without ever getting 'cabin secure' - how do you think the crew would have performed in an emergency in THAT kind of atmosphere? Professionally I'm sure, but it wouldn't have helped.


Shaka Zulu
26th Jul 2004, 13:25
There are many different views/takes of what happened so nothing that's been written here I take for granted.
I'll say again, I'm not defending what happened but trying to put it a little more into perspective.

BTW how come the boeing 737-700 has 2 jumpseats and the 737-700 only has 1? I've not seen one with 2 j/s's before....
that's why i seriously doubt that quote that you take for the truth!

26th Jul 2004, 13:44

A ticket without a boarding card isn't a ticket to fly so I don't understand your point.

The two in the toilets boarded illegally and stowed away unbeknown to the Captain until he was taxying.

Both they and those they colluded with should face prosecution.

cargo boy
26th Jul 2004, 13:47
FYI, there is a HUGE difference between being 'ticketed' and being in possession of a valid 'boarding card'. Unfortunately there are too many knicker twisters wetting themselves in outrage over the safety implications rather than the more immediate legal implications.

What-if scenarios can and no doubt will be bandied about by the morally outraged hand wringers but as there was no 'what-if' scenario it is irrelevant. What is relevant is the number of rules and regulations that were breached. Signal to noise ratio on this thread is getting unbearable! :hmm:

26th Jul 2004, 13:47
If the aircraft carried more passengers than it was certified for, does that in any way affect the insurance?

26th Jul 2004, 13:47
I don't know why the captain made the decision he did at the time but I would like to echo 'lods' & 'Strips' sentiments. Anyone who knew him would have known he was one of the most chivalrous, modest, obliging, nicest people you could meet.

I just wish to hell that those two 'idiots' :mad: who stowed away had picked another plane preferably one that had free seats on it, rather than putting this captain in the difficult position that they did and implicating & tarnishing him & his reputation at the end of a lengthy & unblemished career. Not that it has affected or changed the opinion of people who knew him for the responsible & lovely gent he is one iota.

I too would like to wish this captain many happy years of retirement with his family and boat.


Coconuts xxx

Shaka Zulu
26th Jul 2004, 13:51
obviously you didn't understand what i meant with what i said:
if you want to get to the gate, you would have gone through all the security before getting out to that gate, my point was that security wise in that respect they wouldn't have posed a threat!

about exactly what happened i still have my doubts (who was issued what etc), read my last postage.

26th Jul 2004, 13:57
Ah finally somebody gets it. A ticket and boarding card ARE completely different things, and if they only had a ticket, they hadn't necessarily been through security.

Of course you could say that FR, being ticketless, don't make the distinction - quite so - but the point is, did they have BOARDING CARDS.

Of course not - if they did, the head count from the gate (or even check-in) and the loadsheet would disagree. In this case it appears they were only discovered later, so the initial head count and the loadsheet must have agreed.

The point about the loadsheet is the POB - so if they had ditched in the Irish Sea, or gone off the end of the runway, two unlucky people would not have been looked for.

The other point is that if the aircraft had any sort of incident with two POB more than the certified maximum, the insurance cover would almost certainly have been null and void.

The point about the bog riders being extra help in an emergency is complete garbage. Even if they had managed to extricate themselves from the bogs - thus impeding the evacuation - with no uniforms on, nobody is going to pay them any attention.

It is easy to understand the way it all happened, but ffs this is 2004 and we should all know a lot better.

Frankly, I liked the old days more...

26th Jul 2004, 14:00

My thoughts exactly, I don't condone what he did but, as I said before, he should have never have been put in a position to be able make that terrible decision.

He was badly let down by others who should have known better and he must ultimately pay the price for it by resigning.

No place in politics for him then.

26th Jul 2004, 14:05
I really tried to stay away from this thread as the event has been blown out of proportion. The carrying of extra non-revenue employees on seats or standing has gone on for as long as I can remember and will continue to do so in many parts of the world for years to come, might I add without incident. Although I don’t condone it I’m aware it does go on so give it a rest.

From a safety point of view the “can” is probably safer because of the confined space in an accident then rows of seats that can depart from their railings. Having standing passengers is a different thing and not really a good idea although I have seen it happen.

I’m not going to condemn the Captain for his decision as I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened. However even though I have no axe’s to grind with Ryanair I find their actions in the firing of the Captain and his crew the sign of a spineless management. But I’ve grown to expect nothing less from the new aviation entrepreneurs whose only interest in aviation is the bottom line.


Shaka Zulu
26th Jul 2004, 14:06
Interesting point MOR, something I didn't think about.

I thought that if you were on a standby ticket, you would have been screened anyway to go to the other side ("the gate in effect")

Maybe politics in Ireland works diff? JOKE

26th Jul 2004, 14:07
Nice guy/tosser/air force/civvy.

Who cares?

He made a gross error of judgement either through trying to be too kind or having an "Ive done 30 years and can't be touched" attitude. I suspect from the posts it was the former.

However for someone so experienced to think that he could get a way with this in this day and age, with all the security and PC crap we have to put with, is quite unbelievable.

Its indefensible and he's paid the price.

Maybe he'll live a little longer now anyway.

Stan Woolley
26th Jul 2004, 14:50

I may not be worth replying to but these days if you are stupid/naive/nice enough to do anything which says ' Please Fire Me!!! ' to your boss - he will be sure to oblige, often with no choice.

Normal Nigel summed it up nicely.

Lack of management responsibility is one of the airlines' major problems but we as pilots can't have it both ways - you screw the pooch you take the hit !:rolleyes:

Final 3 Greens
26th Jul 2004, 20:19

Let's keep this nice and simpleFrom a safety point of view the “can” is probably safer because of the confined space in an accident then rows of seats that can depart from their railings. Carrying pax in the can was illegal, period.
I find their actions in the firing of the Captain The captain resigned, he was not fired.

If you, as a professional pilot, have difficulty understanding the implications of this case, then I am very glad that I am unlikely to find myself on your aircraft.

I travel about 100 sectors per year as a passenger.

In doing this, I listen meticulously to the safety brief, even when it is the 3rd time I've travelled on the sub type involved in the same day and I follow the instructions of the cabin crew to the letter, even though I have been travelling since before some of them were born.

Why do I do this? Because modern civil aviation has been made safe by the implementation AND OBSERVANCE of SOPs that mitigate risk to a reasonable level. Look at the accident stats in the period 1945 to date and note the trends.

When anyone starts to circumvent the SOPs (crew or pax), then the road to ruin is beckoning. At what stage does the camel's back break from the final straw?

I don't go with some of the hysterical comments on the thread, but neither can the indefensible be defended or rationalised.

Wig Wag
26th Jul 2004, 20:57
As I understand it, the Captain made the decision to take the problem into the air having been notified about it when taxing to the runway.

To me, the issue is the hidden (as opposed to ) published safety culture.

When ( a few moons ago) I was being prepared for command, it was clearly stated that if I returned to stand with any kind of problem I would be supported by the pilot management. The idea of this culture is to encourage you to err on the safe side particularly with respect to following safety rules.

However, a year into my command I had a tech problem on stand. I followed the company rules to the letter and incurred a 40 minute delay. A while later I was hauled into the office and politely reminded that punctuality was important. The airline would thank me if I broke a few rules here and there to keep the schedule on time. The hidden safety culture was quite different to the published safety culture

The subtle point is this: subsequent to that management 'chat' I started to worry about what the management might do next time I had a lengthy tech delay. Not a healthy state and, to keep things safe, I had to continually remind myself to observe the safety rules as a matter of licence protection at the very least. The airline was under pressure from the Board to be more 'go minded' and punctual.

What do you suppose was in the mind of this Captain when he decided not to return to stand?

My guess is that, like any Captain, he would have been influenced by the airline culture in making his decision.

His mental model of 'the right thing to do' might well have been formed by how he had seen colleagues treated when making similar operational decisions.

In my view it is okay to break safety rules to achieve a safe outcome in an emergency. It is never okay to break a safety rule to achieve a commercial outcome no matter what the pressure.

An operator experiencing this type of incident would suffer no harm from an external audit of its Safety Management System.

26th Jul 2004, 21:00

Your post ignores two important points .....

1) Seats will 'depart their rails' once deformation beyond design specification and/or exceeding design G limits occurs (i.e in a major accident - and I believe, and no doubt more technically qualified ppruners will correct me, that minimum certification is currently 6G and in the process of being increased).

You will depart 'the can' if unrestrained by a seat belt at anything above 0.5g and impact on anything in the way, probably resulting in a a higher G deceleration and resulting injury.

2) If the person inviolved is carried in excess of the maximum permissable on board and/or in unapproved accommodation then they will be excluded from insurance cover (some recompense may be obtainable direct from the carrier for negligence - even if conducted by employees/agents - if they are still in business)

Quite simply this shouldn't have happened (and I have plodded around various parts of the world under less than SOP and do not consider myself moralistic about such issues)!


26th Jul 2004, 21:22
Wig Wag, very good post.

I know this question was asked before, however, what about the first officer? Can s/he be held responsible too? Could s/he have refused the PIC's decision? Did s/he in actual fact?

Also, if the cabin crew informed the PIC about the situation, then it was ultimately his decision, not theirs, so why should they be sacked? I think they are in a similar position as the first officer in that they inform the PIC, but the ultimate decision is his.

Why was the PIC informed during taxiing, and not during pushback or beforehand? This made his decision even more difficult to make. I sympathize.

Shaka Zulu
26th Jul 2004, 21:58
pilotpilot, the buck stops with the guy with 4 bars.
and why/if/how the F/O spoke with the Captain we will all be second guessing about....maybe (this is speculation) it can be explained by the word (2 words :)) Cockpit Gradient.
Inexperienced/Rookie F/O with a very very senior Captain (understand he was in the bussiness for more than 30 years)

So far only the 2 hitchhikers and the captain have seen consequences to this severe incident and rightly so.

company culture shouldn't be a factor in decision making but really is very very important (i've seen the "fear" time and time again). it starts with cabin crew don't want to call in sick afraid of repercussions or delay to being promoted to seniors....
if you have balls and you do not agree, then get off the aircraft and face the subsequent inquiry, if you know you're right, you should be safe!

26th Jul 2004, 22:07

In the event of a major accident where you seat or if you are wearing a seat belt or not is immaterial as is the resulting “g” event. But during normal operations including turbulence the “can” because of its size will restrict you’re being tossed about to any great degree. As I said before I don’t condone this type of travel but for others to say how unsafe it is, in my opinion foolish.

As far as the insurance underwriters are concerned I think that they should be paying more attention to “crew fatigue” which is a far more likely and damaging event then carrying someone in the “can”.

USA from the July 26, 2004 edition
Pilot fatigue grows as problem for airlines
As the industry's finances worsen, pilots fret about falling asleep at the controls as flying hours get longer.
By Alexandra Marks | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor NEW YORK

– The nation's top airlines are still wallowing in red ink, and their pilots are tired - some literally exhausted.
Or so says Jane Meher.
That's not her real name.

As a pilot who's not a union official, she says she's forbidden by contract to talk to the press. Still, she was concerned enough about what she sees as a deteriorating safety standard that she came forward.

And so did others."Every pilot I talk to feels like they're being pushed to the limit," says Captain Meher. "It hasn't created a problem yet, but it could."Fatigue has long been one of the top problems on the list of "Most Wanted Safety Fixes" from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Since the 2001 recession and Sept. 11 plunged the major airlines into a financial sinkhole, pilots say the fatigue problem has gotten steadily worse.

And it's reaching a nadir during this summer's peak travel season, with airline staffing pared down and more Americans returning to the skies.

Part of the problem is that many pilots are flying more hours than ever before because of work-rule concessions they made to try to help the financially strapped carriers.

Another factor is what critics call the archaic Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules governing how much rest pilots should get between flights.

The current ones were developed in 1985, when the airline industry was entirely different.

Critics contend that on one hand, they're inadequate in terms of ensuring the pilot gets a good night's rest - and on the other hand, their inflexibility ends up complicating scheduling, which can exacerbate the fatigue problem.

The major airlines and the FAA acknowledge that economic challenges have put new pressures on pilots, but each also insists that safety has not been compromised in any way."Our rules set a minimum standard that provides for safe flight in this country," says Alison Duquette, an FAA spokeswoman. "We believe [they are] are still providing for safe flight."

Experts hope Ms. Duquette is right, but they also say the complaints about fatigue reflect a basic problem with carriers like American, United, and Delta: They're operating with unsustainable cost structures and are inherently inefficient. To survive, they'll need to change fundamentally.

"I think they finally get it, but I'm not sure they can do it," says Richard Gritta, an aviation expert at the University of Portland in Oregon.Since 1993, the NTSB has cited fatigue as a contributing factor in three commercial airline accidents.

The most recent was the July 2002 crash of a FedEx cargo jet in Tallahassee, Fla. In that case, the pilots were flying on "the backside of the clock" - aviation jargon for a late-night, early-morning shift.

Last month the NTSB noted pointedly in findings on the crash that more research needs to be done on such flights.Pilots whom the Monitor spoke with seconded that, saying that's even more important now that strapped airlines try to cover more flights with fewer flight crews.

It's not only that crews are flying more hours, but they're also working far more erratic schedules.

One captain of a major airline says he's scheduled to fly for two days, one all-nighter, and then for two days again. "That's when you have the major fatigue problem," says the captain, who didn't want his name used. "Just try sleeping in the middle of the day, particularly in a hotel room. 'Do not disturb' signs don't mean anything to the maids."

A spokesman for the Air Transport Association, the lobbying arm of the major airlines, acknowledges that some carriers are working to increase productivity to keep costs down. "But we adamantly are not going to do that at the cost of safety," says Jack Evans.

But pilots unions aren't satisfied that is the case. They've been pushing the FAA to update fatigue rules since the early 1990s.

In 1995, the FAA proposed some changes, but since then the issue has languished in political limbo - because the airlines and pilots can't agree on new rules, and the FAA is reluctant to impose them.

"We're not holding our breath because years ago they were saying that new rules were imminent, and it keeps getting pushed back," says Bill Edmunds, a fatigue specialist at the Allied Pilots Association. "But we're still trying to get some action on it."

Copyright © 2004 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.

27th Jul 2004, 02:07

You miss the point regarding insurance.

If the aircraft is being operated outside of it's certified limits, it is basically no longer certified ("experimental", if you will), and insurance cover very likely automatically lapses in that event - a bit like it does if you crash a car that has no valid MOT.

It isn't a matter of concern to the insurance company at all. They just won't pay.

Similarly, they will never be concerned about crew fatigue because, if an aircraft were to crash and it was established that the crew knowingly operated whilst fatigued, they would have an instant escape clause.

All an insurance company cares about, is how it can wriggle out of a claim.

27th Jul 2004, 06:57

I agree that in an 'unsurvivable accident' it matters not a jot where you are sat and how you are restrained - I was thinking more of the 'major accident' (along the lines of the BD M1 incident - or an undercarriage collapse) but you are quite correct that this becomes an issue at an even earlier stage in terms of turbulence etc.

If you are arguing the difference between being unrestrained in the cabin and toilet block you may have a marginal benefit from the lack of space/time restricting the achieved speed before impact and the resulting deceleration, but I'm not sure I would feel much comfort from this.

MOR raise an interesting point on the insurance - my interpratation was that the occupants carried illegally were uninsured, he suggests that the whole aircraft and all occupants are similalrly affected - while I'm not sure he is correct (although deliberately reporting payload (pax numbers and weights) could certainly be argued as affecting the whole aircraft) it is certainly an issue worth considering.


27th Jul 2004, 07:35
In doing this, I listen meticulously to the safety brief, even when it is the 3rd time I've travelled on the sub type involved in the same day and I follow the instructions of the cabin crew to the letter, even though I have been travelling since before some of them were born.
Ditto to all the above, what are we supposed to think if flight crew then ignore the rules and are seemingly supported in those actions?

27th Jul 2004, 07:36
Just to clarify - it is only because the aircraft was carrying more people than it had seats for - which is a certification issue. If the aircraft is not in compliance with it's Airworthiness Certificate, the hull is probably uninsured - insurance for the pax is a separate issue, but likely to be a problem for the airline if the aircraft they are travelling in is not being operated IAW its certificate..

27th Jul 2004, 07:57
There is endless speculation here that presents itself as factual discussion. The insurance argument is a good example. I think if you take the trouble to inquire, you will find that the aircraft is insured, even if that offends predjudices against insursance companies, fellow pilots or whatever.

Deductions about the captain and the role of other crew members above are sometimes very speculative. We even have an authoritative, and seriously inaccurate account, from someone who apparent knows one of the crew. The entire content has become quite misleading.

We also have some quite precise, black and white, right and wrong types who think life is simple and that drawing a line in the sand is easy. Well, not always.

The post by Wig Wag above may, or may not, tell us something about this particular incident, but it most definitely tells us something very real about the "real world" occupied by an ever growing number of pilots.

Stan Woolley
27th Jul 2004, 09:03

We also have some quite precise, black and white, right and wrong types who think life is simple and that drawing a line in the sand is easy.

The wholepoint about safety culture is that we as pilots and individuals have the ability and responsibility to ' draw the line ' in todays 'real world' !

If my (UK)employer tells/ hints/orders me to operate the aircraft outside safety guidelines I have and will continue to say ' no thanks'. I am well aware of the consequences that may arise from such decisions but decided a while ago to worry about that if and when it happens.

I too would take people in the toilet/aisles/ cockpit if we were evacuating a war zone for example, but flying paying pax around Europe? Come on!

27th Jul 2004, 09:25
This is what happened just for anybody who is unsure. I know all parties. The GRO base manager was dealing with the two crew who were at the bottom of the stairs. he dealt with the capt without the girls talking to him. He then left the flight deck and told the girls to go down to the back and go into the toilets and that the capt said it was ok. On taxing out the number 1 onboard while checking the cabin found the two girls in the toilet and went straight to the capt and told him what she had just found. he told her everything was ok and not to worry about it. The rest as they say is history.

27th Jul 2004, 09:29
Well Stan,

You say "The wholepoint about safety culture is that we as pilots and individuals have the ability and responsibility to ' draw the line ' in todays 'real world' !"

I was not saying that you would not, only that in an organisational culture which has gone off the tracks it is an exceedingly hard thing to do for mere mortals. The evidence is actually overwhelmning that most people keep a very, very low profile in such circumstances. The do so because they see what happens to those who do not.

I think that by simply making inquiries my statement can be established to be valid across a range of airlines and industries.

So, judging from the certainty of your reply, we will just have to agree to differ!

Stan Woolley
27th Jul 2004, 10:28

The evidence is actually overwhelmning that most people keep a very, very low profile in such circumstances. The do so because they see what happens to those who do not.

I agree, and the result is the decline of airline standards to unacceptable levels.

Mere mortals can make a difference. :ok:

Ranger One
27th Jul 2004, 11:48

We even have an authoritative, and seriously inaccurate account, from someone who apparent knows one of the crew. The entire content has become quite misleading.

Well if you know better, or are able to correct inaccuracies, please feel free to do so!

Look, this is a rumor network, everything should be taken with a pinch of salt, but I found the post on the CC forum by jayo2002 (which I assume is the post you're referring to) at least moderately convincing & credible.


27th Jul 2004, 12:22
Ranger one

As i stated in my last post that is what happened. If you have any futher questions feel free to ask


Shaka Zulu
27th Jul 2004, 12:28
Ranger One, I think this quote below is what GGV meant with an authorative but seriously inaccurate account:

the flight was fully booked out, and there was 2 staff occupying the flight deck J/seats, another staff member occupying the J/S beside my housemate, and then the 2 senior CCM's occupying the jacks! they werent ticketed at all... <snip> she assumed that they had taken seats. the headcount was done, and they cloed up... 130 pax, 3 J/S, and that was it. as they were not ticketed, they were not in the figures.

27th Jul 2004, 12:43

I think if you take the trouble to inquire, you will find that the aircraft is insured, even if that offends predjudices against insursance companies, fellow pilots or whatever.

I doubt it.

In a recent incident where one of our aircraft flew with no emergency checklist, the major issue was insurance. An aircraft that is not operating in accordance with its certification documentation is unlikely to be insured, and that includes operating outside the MEL or having more pax than seats. I know this to be true. Now, perhaps you would like to quote from your employers insurance policy that specifically covers your aircraft in this situation?

There is endless speculation here that presents itself as factual discussion.

Yes, and you have contributed some yourself.

...right and wrong types who think life is simple and that drawing a line in the sand is easy. Well, not always.

That is only true for those without the character to enforce the rules. Who are you, as an employee, to decide which rules you will obey, and which you won't? Anybody with the slightest bit of management experience will tell you that people who will do that, will also very likely be fired at the first opportunity.

Aviation is, in most cases, extremely black and white. All the rules, minima, MELs etc are there to make your life simple - if you choose to obey them. There are still a few judgement calls, but not very many.

Whether or not you take passengers in the lavs doesn't even begin to qualify as a judgement call. The rule is clear, everybody concerned knows what it is, and if you choose to break it - especially these days - you deserve all you get.

Unfortunately, many captains choose to turn what should be simple yes/no decisions, into judgement calls. I have done the same, more than once. As I look back over my career, I am really very lucky to have never been caught out. I am a little more disciplined these days.

27th Jul 2004, 12:43
They had tickets but were never given boarding cards and they were brought down to the gate by the gro base manager who also was on the flight but he was in the figures and on the jumpseat down the back

27th Jul 2004, 16:05
What I would like to know is what will be the likely outcome of this for the captain in question, what is the worst, best, & most likely scenario.

I for one hopes the Authorities don't come down on him too hard.


27th Jul 2004, 16:58
In a couple of post s before someone said that he was called up to management to explain his delays even though the reason was technical. This kind of pressure must be put aside, because when something happens you can't defend yourself on those unwritten rules. The finest example is exactly this one. By trying to be friendly to his colleagues and to the company, this captain just lost his job. However, I find it very hard to get a kick on the butt when you have a sound reason to delay a departure, for example.
So, my two cents are, safety is paramount and no bean counter is willing to face in court by firing you for putting safety issues in front of commercial reasons.:*

28th Jul 2004, 06:54

"There is endless speculation here that presents itself as factual discussion. The insurance argument is a good example. I think if you take the trouble to inquire, you will find that the aircraft is insured, even if that offends predjudices against insursance companies, fellow pilots or whatever. "

Would you care to explain why?

28th Jul 2004, 07:09
What I would like to know is what will be the likely outcome of this for the captain in question, what is the worst, best, & most likely scenario.

Well he's retired. Usually the CAA then leave you alone.


ou Trek dronkie
28th Jul 2004, 07:49

Yes, I agree with you, be sure. It is such a pity that it happened, IMHO, just the one lapse, but that’s the way it must be.

It’s true that in the service we were sometimes, at a lower level, able to get away with quite a lot, but woe betide us if we got found out and things had gone wrong. It is quite different in civvie street of course


I am sure the answer is yes, adversely.

Lots of very good points made, very interesting. Bet no-one ever, ever, tries it again though !

BTW, let's have no more of this bleating nonsense about him being such a decent fellow, 30 years, his boat blah blah blah. Nothing to do with anything at all. Get real and focus on the facts please.


28th Jul 2004, 08:46
The facts are ou Trek dronkie that the captains good nature & willingness to help stranded crew members out rather than having them stuck in an airport in the middle of no doubt nowhere with probably little facilities got in the way of his professional judgement. He made an error of judgement, he played loose with the rules. (I'd say he's far from the only one) however he's the one who got caught out, full stop!

As is said the captain was about to retire anyway & if Normal Nigel is correct that the IAA etc will leave him alone (does anybody else have opinions on this) , if that is so & from the other lowdown I've received but don't care to publicise hopefully all will be well that ends well. :)


28th Jul 2004, 12:52
If the Captain knew - then he is prat and deserves to be in deep :mad:!...if he did not know then whoever should have told him and didn't is a prat and should be in deep :mad:....and if nobody on the aircraft knew - then we are all in deep :mad: !!! 'cos next time they might be Islamic Militant Murdering Terrorists! armed with a razor blade!!

28th Jul 2004, 13:36
Sorry but if this had happened at Big Airways would we be onto the 13th page??

come on *professionals* stop going over the same ground over and over again, dropping in the odd ryanair bash at the same time.

It's happened [note the past tense], the pilot resigned [he wasn't sacked] the matter is being investigated both internally and externally and we must wait for the outcome.

basta ragazzi!

28th Jul 2004, 13:46
Just a word on insurance particularly hull insurance.
Most aircraft are owned by leasing companies and operated by the airline. The leasing contracts of course require that the aircraft is operated in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations.
However !!:D
If the airline with a $50m aircraft operated with some slight breach such outside the MEL or too many pass or whatever and then crashed do you think the leasing company would say "oh dear no insurance we will have to sue the airline who has just gone broke ?":O
The leasing companies basically insist on a hold harmless clause which they will get paid out regardless and they are named as "loss payees" so they money goes direct to them is does not pass go or even the operator.
Now of course the insurance company can sue the airline for the money back !!! and good luck:(

28th Jul 2004, 13:57
Sorry but if this had happened at Big Airways would we be onto the 13th page??

We probably would have been onto the 23rd page!


28th Jul 2004, 14:17
An academic point I know, but if you are the FO presented with this situation what do you do?

28th Jul 2004, 16:50

Thanks for the input on hull insurance it’s a topic that few pilots know much about.

I think that it would be beneficial to the pilot group if Pprune had information links similar in format that is available on the tech forum so that pilots could gain knowledge on topics such as insurance. It would certainly end the speculation, opinions that pass’s for facts on most threads and generally move the topic matter along at a higher level.

DX Wombat
28th Jul 2004, 17:04
Coconuts, whilst your loyalty to your friend is commendable it unfortunately appears to have blinded you to the seriousness of the facts. IF he knew those people were on board then the very least he is guilty of is knowingly breaking the law. stuck in an airport in the middle of no doubt nowhere with probably little facilities Oh hardly!!!!!! Girona is in Spain and from the photos I saw when I did a Google search it is far from being the back of beyond. Hardly justification for breaking the law!

28th Jul 2004, 19:07
Let me say right away that I would not under any circumstance (excepting an emergency war evacuation circumstance) agree to carrying anyone in anything but a proper seat.

I keep trying to figure out why this very experienced captain agreed to such a bizarre request. After all, if the two cabin staff involved had not got on the aircraft, the world would still have been there in the morning. The only result would have been that they would have had to spend some more money.

As it was, the captain ended up resigning and since the two ladies, who were not locked in the lavatories, refused to resign and they lost their jobs anyway.

What was the special pressure that persuaded this captain to throw common sense out of the window? Was there perhaps a deeper personal consideration that has as yet not been revealed that finally influenced his judgement?

I find the whole afair very sad but it would be interesting to get to the bottom of why he went along with the idea.

28th Jul 2004, 23:08
Well I met the captain in question (who was last year voted "Captain of the Year" no doubt a well deserved accolade) today & he's in great form, not a bother on him. You guys may have your knickers in a knot about this but he certainly hasn't, he's never been as happy in his life now that he's out of the dump. As for 'retirement' I'd take that with a grain of salt, the lovely captain has no more intention of retiring then the man on the moon, he intends to keep flying for many years to come. :ok:

Good on ya captain, thumbs up at O'Leary eh. Hope you have a wonderful time in your new job & that you're very happy. :D


29th Jul 2004, 00:09
Coconuts, why do you persist in posting such drivel?

29th Jul 2004, 02:04
In Ryanair,are non-operating crew allowed travel in the flight-deck??Thanks.

29th Jul 2004, 05:51
JW411 :ok:
The dude retired,..
bet ya he would have been canned before he said :"sorry".
"Nice" does not score you too many points these days. For a reason.

"...it would be interesting to get to the bottom of why he went along with the idea."

You've got to be joking!
You want to "get to the bottom" of IT ? ;)

29th Jul 2004, 08:38
While the captain kept fairly mum about it I was told by someone very close to him that there were mitigating circumstances.

1) "Firstly that these crew were due to report for duty next day & needed to get back that day."

2) "That these flights are always full from that destination at this time of year, there wouldn't have been one going till next day so he didn't have much leeway but to take them because they probably would have been faced with the same situation next day etc etc".

My main priority here is to protect the person in question & his privacy hence my perceived evasiveness.



Boss Raptor
29th Jul 2004, 08:42
Since when has 'mitigating circumstances' meant a Commander has discretion to break the rules (or his company force him to do it) - assume Irish CAA are no different to everyone else - and also avoid straight common sense on safety issues

Coco pls... :hmm:

29th Jul 2004, 10:06
If this Captain is as you say a good friend of yours then he probably would be very grateful if you ceased from bringing up your constant arguments in his defence.
We all of us feel concern for anyone who has to lose their job. The gentlemen in question rightly fell on his sword to preserve his dignity and to stop any further witch hunts. He knew he was in the wrong and regardless of what you say there are no mitigating circumstances.
We all of us know the rules and we also all of us within professional aviation know that should we, in anyway, bend or break those rules and get caught then we have no choice but to resign or get sacked.

If he is such a great friend of yours do him a favour and let this thread go and let the man get on with his life.

29th Jul 2004, 13:25
I see FR made the Irish Independent (described as "air rage" in headline) for refusing to board pax due 732 door damage requiring 25 seats left vacant and not enough volunteers.

Damned if they do, it seems...

DX Wombat
29th Jul 2004, 17:23
Coconuts, My main priority here is to protect the person in question & his privacy hence my perceived evasivenessthis would be fine if it were not for the fact that your actions contradict your apparent intentions.in your new job and who was last year voted "Captain of the Year" There can't be too many newly employed ex-Ryanair pilots around can there, especially one who was voted "Captain of the Year"? If his new employer reads this and puts two and two together (it wouldn't take Einstein to do that) then you might well find you have cost your friend his new job and how will you explain that to him? Tell him you are sorry but you were only trying to defend him against his fellow pilots? A lot of comfort that would be to him.
You also appear to have forgotten one of the important rules of posting in here: that we do not make personal attacks on other posters. What happens on other sites is irrelevant here.

29th Jul 2004, 18:34
I think coconuts is just trying to defend a friend as we all would. The capt had resigned about 3 weeks before this happened anyway and was due to leave 3 or 4 days later so it was just as easy to leave a few days earlier

CarltonBrowne the FO
29th Jul 2004, 22:41
In answer to the question, what would an FO do if faced with that situation.... personally I'd refuse to fly. If the captain insisted, I'd get off- if necessary by the escape rope.
For the record, I am not exagerrating.

30th Jul 2004, 05:14

You should be aware that virtually every airline on the planet has a clause in their employment contract, relating to staff travel, that lays down fairly clearly that failing to return via a flight on a staff ticket is no excuse. If the flights were full, why did they think it was a smart move to try and go to Gerona on a staff ticket? There are absolutely NO mitigating circumstances in this case.

And, as others have mentioned, you are doing more to finger your friend, than to help him.

Got the Tshirt and Tan (insurance)

Firstly before I entered this discussion, I asked my father what the real story is. He spent 30+ at Lloyds as a broker dealing in - wait for it - aircraft hull insurance.

Not everybody leases - there are still several airlines around that own a large proportion (if not all) of their aircraft. In any case, the insurance is usually taken out by the airline as a requirement of the lease - and as has been noted - and yes the leasing company will get paid - but the airline will end up footing the bill. Some carry insurance for this event, and it is that which will not pay out. Why do you think an insurance company would take the risk, when any hull loss claim will be an automatic payout, regardless of fault? They must charge like wounded bulls to cover that risk.

Boss Raptor
30th Jul 2004, 06:26
Got The T-Shirt is quite correct - any leasing company or financier of an aircraft will usually require a clause known as 'First loss payee' to be in the lease or finance contract with the airline and in parallel they are named as 'first loss payee' in the insurance schedule that the airline has to take out to cover the mutually agreed minimum hull value of the aircraft - whereby as GTT correctly states if there is a payout the leasing company and/or financier will get paid first in preference to any other claimant i.e. the airline - that money is paid to them direct by the insurers company and does not get transferred via the airline or any other third party - this is 'First loss payee'

However where GTT is incorrect is that should for any reason the insurance not pay out because of violation of rules etc. etc. the insurers do not pay out to the 'First loss payee' either - a 'Hold harmless' clause can be a huge number of things but does not relate to this situation and in fact means that someone will protect someone else from being held liable 'held harmless' and the lessor/financier will require that the airline have a 'hold harmless' clause in the contract negating/protecting the former from any liability or action due to the use of their asset by the said airline - nothing to do with insurance payouts - if the insurance doesnt pay out no one gets paid and the lessor/financier will come after the airline for the money, plain and simple

In addition to that of course any leasing or finance agreement makes the airline 100% liable for the asset to the airline and if for example the insurance doesnt pay out, there is a shortfall or the aircraft just wasn't insured the airline is completely liable/responsible to pay the lessor/financier regardless

Whether an aircraft is leased or owned with the purchase being financed (a loan) by a financial institution is irrelevant - only where an airline has total 100% ownership of the asset (i.e paid in cash or paid off the loan) can they decide not to insure the hull - clearly then and only then it is their choice and their risk as it is solely their property (and i have never known it happen)

Think there appears some confusion there...but is thread creeping...

30th Jul 2004, 10:27
Hmm insurance is an interesting topic. If I recall correctly my airline used to split its insurance coverage. The hull insurance was kept in house and had its own contingent fund to fully meet its obligations. The labiality part was farmed out due to its potentially high payouts and was usually spread out among a multitude of insurance underwriters as no one insurance company would assume the risk alone. I understand this basket approach to insurance labiality is how all the majors do it.

30th Jul 2004, 12:30
That's right. One airline I worked for carried contingency insurance for some of the situations mentioned above.

I am fairly sure that an airline would not be permitted (by the CAA in the UK) to operate an aircraft without the hull being insured... they absolutely would not be able to operate without liability insurance for passengers, employees, and third parties (which costs more in any case).

As Boss Raptor says, there is no automatic payout by an insurance company to an aircraft lessor in the event of a hull loss. If the insurance company had a case for negligence or wilful damage by the airline (or its employees), they won't pay, and it will be up to the leasing company to sue the airline (which is what I was trying to say above).

The Silkair and Concorde crashes are good examples of what the insurance companies get up to when there is a whiff of culpability on the part of the airline...

30th Jul 2004, 12:46
I guess that’s why where the incident or accident takes place can be of major importance and not only for the pilot’s. An airline definitely would not like to have to settle a liability case in the US as opposed to other parts of the world. There is a Warsaw Convention limitation on the back of all IATA approved tickets which is supposed to be limiting but one would have to be a lawyer to figure it out.

Boss Raptor
30th Jul 2004, 14:10
Again to clarify;

The 3 insurances Hull, Passenger Liability and Third Party Liability are completely separate and only Passenger Liability is subject to Warsaw Convention and does not touch or affect the other 2


Just FYI there is absolutely no requirement from ICAO or any CAA that I am aware of to have hull insurance - its yr plane if u crash it you lose (hence the lessors/financiers require it), you are however required to have third party liability insurance i.a.w. limits set by local authorities, ICAO and certain airports have their own targets and also passenger liability i.a.w. with Warsaw Convention and local regulations

The 3 different insurances serve different functions and different masters

30th Jul 2004, 14:41
From shock! horror! Ryanair to insurance. Well, I guess we killed this thread... :E

31st Jul 2004, 19:33
Aviation is a small world..

"When Swissair was operating the Convair CV-440 Metropolitan the normal crew complement was two cockpit and two cabin staff.

When three cabin staff were carried there was a seat belt fitted in one of the toilets for use during take-off and landing reports Mike Finlay from Norfolk.

Let’s hope that Ryanair flight attendants read ABTN (see above."