View Full Version : Assault on Aer Arann flight_14/08/2004

15th Aug 2004, 15:16
From iol.ie and various Irish press.

"Two men are to appear at Dublin District Court in relation to an alleged assault on board an Aer Arann plane.
The men were arrested at Dublin airport yesterday (14/08/2004) afternoon before the plane, which was bound for Cork, took off.
The captain of the plane is said to have suffered a broken nose and another man was injured in the incident.
The two have been charged under the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act and have been released on bail.
They are due to appear before Dublin District Court
at a later date."

Anyone know any further details about the incident??


15th Aug 2004, 17:28
Someone punched a pilot of a commercial airliner and hes released in bail?????Only in this bloody country!

I really do hope theres more to this storey which may shed a bit of light cos otherwise my off the shot presumption will only make me more angry!!!

15th Aug 2004, 17:58
It's a sad day to see this type of thing to happen.I work in Dublin airport and I was working on this day.I've heard from a reliable source that the men involved are from the travelling community. After they made the assault,they tried to make a run,but were caught by airport police.I may also add that this incident took place on a remote stand and the outcome could have been 10 times worse.

Fester T Adams
15th Aug 2004, 18:12
I believe that the pair in question refused to comply with the CC while the plane was still on the tarmac, the captain came out & asked them to leave the aircraft, then he was punched in the face. The captain had to be ambulenced to a local hospital with a 'suspected' broken nose.

Lets hope these pair get the book thrown at them. :mad:

16th Aug 2004, 01:43
If this had happened on an FAA registered aircraft operated by a US carrier (in the USA), the pair would have been arrested and charged with assult and interfering with an air crew member.
No bail would be allowed, I think.
A minimum of ten years in a federal lock-up would be the likely result.

Stu Bigzorst
16th Aug 2004, 06:50

Weak gag aimed at the the fact that certain Irish airline management are determined to treat captains as poorly as these 2 scrotes did deleted at the request of an impressively humour free poster below.

Half a Mexican
16th Aug 2004, 08:09
“They are due to appear before Dublin District Court

What are the chances of them showing up for that?

16th Aug 2004, 08:33

When you say Only in this bloody country!, do you mean the UK? You are London based...
If so , then casting that aspersion on the UK is incorrect as the incident occured in Eire...

I guess the question is have the perpetrators of this action been treated any differently to if the had punched a man in the face anywhere else - e.g. the street ?

Also, if the incident had occurred in the UK, I wonder if they would have been treated any differently?

Stu Bigzorst

That comment is puerile, irrelevant to this thread, and should be deleted. (Which is what Stu Bigzorst did, so thanks.
A serious subject, so was not the place for a weak gag, and therefore no apologies for being an 'impressively humour free poster'... )

Half a Mexican

Nil ?

16th Aug 2004, 11:30
Unison reports

AN airline pilot suffered a broken nose and a flight despatcher was knocked to the ground during an "air-rage" row at Dublin Airport.

The fracas happened on board a 66-seat Aer Arann ATR-72 plane at the airport on Saturday afternoon.

The twin turbo-prop aircraft, flight RE 623 from Dublin to Cork, was due to depart at 2.30pm but was delayed by 1½ hours because of the incident.

"Air-rage incidents on domestic flights are extremely rare. You hear about them on international flights.

"This is the first we've had to deal with on Aer Arann," an airline spokesperson said.

The aircraft's captain was taken to Beaumont Hospital, where X-rays showed he had sustained a fractured nose.

None of the cabin crew was hurt during the incident on board the aircraft, which was on its stand at the airport.

Airport police were summoned to the aircraft and gardai became involved later, a spokesman said.

Two men, both from Cork and in their early 20s, were arrested and brought to Whitehall garda station.

Two men were later charged in connection with the incident under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act and released on bail.

They are due to appear at Dublin District Court on Monday, September 13

Ranger One
16th Aug 2004, 11:59
Two men were later charged in connection with the incident under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act and released on bail.

I find that hard to believe, that makes it sound like a street brawl - Irish aviators, isn't there specific legislation in Ireland relating to assaulting flight crew whilst in performance of their duties?

I'd have thought there was a book they could throw at them. And how in hell did they get bailed? One, they're 'travellers' so likely to never be seen again, and two, they *must* be going down for a fair time anyway?


16th Aug 2004, 12:13
Best available info at this point:

There was a serious assault. One, or both, men were charged under legislation which is more draconian than the legislation covering interference with flight crew. Only citizens can obtain bail under this legislation.

There will be a court case and, while talk is cheap at this point, it is likely to lead to a serious outcome. At least one of these people is now facing a period in prison.

five iron
16th Aug 2004, 14:58
The pilot should have contacted airport security to sort it, instead of confronting what sounds like a paid or alcohol induced thugs.

Anyone know what they were kicking off about?

16th Aug 2004, 16:02
If, and I stress the if info is correct, I wonder as to the wisdom and necessity this day and age of a pilot stepping out of the cockpit to sort out rogue pax.

IMHO opinion, dealing with the pax is a matter for the cabin crew. It's what we are paid for and what we are supposed to be good at. If the CC can't handle the pax, two possibilities remain.
Either the CC is unsuited to the job, or the pax is unsuited to be travelling by aircraft.
There can be no need for a pilot to expose himself to possible violence in this way.
We all have our job to do on the aircraft. The pilots shouldn't need the cabin crew to sort out their approach, and the cc shouldn't need the pilots to sort out the pax.

I had a Nigerian gent try to storm the cockpit on the ground a few weeks back in a similar incident. While I had kept the Captain informed about the developments with this chap so the Capt would be prepared incase he needed offloading, when the chap started running up the aisle towards the cockpit, I yanked open the cockpitdoor, slammed down the lock and closed the door.
While I greatly appreciate the instant back-up our pilots provide, and the chance to off-load my troubs after the event with a cuppa in the cockpit, the pax are my bailiwick.
If I can't deal with the pax, what the heck am I doing there?

Safety Guy
16th Aug 2004, 16:16
Well said, flapsforty. While I feel sorry for the skipper suffering a broken nose and all, he should never have exposed himself to the risk by confronting the alleged idiots in the first place.

16th Aug 2004, 16:30
Flaps & SG,
I'd resist any move to circumscribe the aircraft commander's action in any given situation.
Whether, with hindsight, the captain was unwise to speak to these people, I'd throw the book at anyone who assaults any crewmember, but especially the captain. (and I do say 'especially the captain' advisedly)
(not if the captain assaults a crewmember but you know what I mean :O )

p.s. Noted not travellers - I guess that's why my previous posting was removed :confused:

16th Aug 2004, 17:02
F40 and SG

Perhaps he shouldn't have left the flight deck, but he obviously decided that the CC weren't in control of the situation and that extra help was required. The bottom line is that it is the Captain, not the No.1, who is responsible for the aircraft and all aboard. I'm sure the decision to get involved was not taken lightly.

16th Aug 2004, 17:12
<<slammed down the lock and closed the door.>>
Further to my last, if I ever need a 'minder' you'll definitely be on the shortlist :D

16th Aug 2004, 17:20
Maximus and Basil, your point about the Captain being the end responsible is true but not relevant here. At least in my eyes. Perhaps the extra help required was the Captain radio-ing for police?

The reason I made my above post was a tendency I see among our own pilots in the day to day operation. A tendency, born out of chivalry and with the best possible intentions, to offer to get involved in the cabin long before a situation has spun out of control of the cabin crew.

Perhaps because they have bad experience with cc in this regards, perhaps because they are afraid to delegate when the u-no-wot hits the fan, perhaps because they feel that since they are responsible, they are expected to personally sort it. I don't really know.
I do know that I believe that we should expect others to be able to do their jobs properly.

Speaking in general, and not in any way looking with hindsight at what this cpatain did because I don't have all the facts, I do think that suitably trained cabin crew is able to handle pax situations equally well if not better than a pilot.
Different skills, different areas of expertise.

......and when things do go pear shaped, especially while still on the ground, is it not better (and cheaper for the airline) to let the CC take it on the nose rather than the captain?

Basil, line up in sequence! ;)

123 O'Leary
16th Aug 2004, 18:40
Flapsforty - Both posts agreed with in gereral, however, unlike our 737s or Airbus with 5 or more cabin crew the ATR only has 1 - hardly the same odds and a perfectly good reason for the Captain
to add 'numbers' to the equasion.
I suppose each incident will be different and no single answer will
be correct!

16th Aug 2004, 18:53
O'Leary, the ATR-72 has 2 CC, the ATR-42 only has 1.
Still, I completely agree with your comparison of the ATR against a 737 or A320 etc.


16th Aug 2004, 19:10
Flapsforty I am completely astounded at your remark about the cabin crew having to deal with this type of incident. Cabin crew are not there to keep the peace. Why shouldn't the captain make an appearance?????? Cabin crew are not there to keep the peace or stop fights. They are not paid enough for that. The captain of the aircraft is there for backup and his word is final. I am offended by your remark

Loose rivets
16th Aug 2004, 19:15
Where’s the age of chivalry gone? In the air, yes, the captain has a clear duty to keep himself and the A/C safe, but on the ground? On the 72 there would be 2, possibly young females. What sort of captain would stay behind a locked door while a serious assault might be taking place?

16th Aug 2004, 19:44
Lets get a sense of perspective here;

1 - It doesn't matter if these guys were travellers or not, there are low lifes in every community, all of whom operate on the same denominator - act stupidly first, think later - or sometimes not at all.

2 - Hindsight is a wonderful thing, the captain probably thought at the time that he was doing the best thing all round by trying to sort the problem out at a low key level, he was not to know that things were to kick off, and he should be applauded for taking a sensible attitude that many other captains of other larger airlines would not venture down.

3 - The guilty parties probably will get a jail term, simply because they assaulted an airline captain, and this is to be applauded if they do.
However, if they had done over Mr or Mrs Joe Public in a bar in Dublin, it's highly likely that all they would get is at the most a suspended sentance, but more likely a community service or a piffiling fine.
Assault resulting in a fractured beak, or much else, counts for nothing in the UK and Eire.

Little wonder the people who do this sort of thing think nothing of commiting the act, 'cos they know they'll not suffer themselves.

Ambulance 'Charlie Alpha'
16th Aug 2004, 19:47
Hi there

I am the Captain of a 34 seat turbo-prop that operates into Ireland daily. We have only one (nearly all female) cabin crew onboard, with an average age of between 21 and 25 years old. If anything was to happen down the back of my aircraft, whilst still on the ground, engines off, I have every confidence that our CC will be able to deal with nearly all eventualities. However, if in the rare case, and it does happen, that the CC cannot cope with the situation alone, then I would very quickly be down there in support of my crew whilst my F/O was radioing for further help. The idea of leaving them to face that sort of crap alone is unthinkable on the ground. We are all part of the same small crew and therefore, we all look out for each other!

In the air, well, that's a different story. Leaving the doors locked and getting quickly and safely on the ground without relinquishing control to the nutters onboard becomes the over-riding priority. The police can take over as soon as the engines are shut down. But on the ground, engines off, stationary? Would you seriously not go to help your single cabin crew member if such a situation arose!!!????

CCs are good, but they're not superhuman, especially in such a cramped working environment.


16th Aug 2004, 20:46
Whilst I am not without sympathy for ACA flying his Saab[?], the last time I was faced with a problem on the ground, I got dispatch and security to meet me outside the aircraft.

Following a discussion, they boarded the aircraft and removed the two paxs without any problem.

If you are going to ask anybody to remove themselves from their seats, an argument or worse is always possible.


Polly Gnome
16th Aug 2004, 22:12
It is very often the case that a woman can sort out a potentially violent situation better than a man. Even in this day and age many violent men are reluctant to hit a woman in a public situation. They are more likely to hit a man to look 'tough'.

I've no experience in the airline industry, but friends who have worked in pubs and hotels say the landlady often is more able to sort out trouble.

However, as flapsforty says, because of chivalry and to help members of their team, many men would try to help a woman in this situation.

(I am sure male cabin crew too would use their training and skills to defuse the situation.)

18th Aug 2004, 08:26
I wonder to what extent alcohol may have played a part in this incident?

If it was the case that they had consumed a fair amount, then this should have been nipped in the bud if the ground staff at the gate had refused them boarding in the first place.

I hope that they get banned from Aer Arann flights and that other operators do likewise.

A strong message must be sent out - if you don't behave don't come back.

Lou Scannon
18th Aug 2004, 08:47
In these circumstances I believe that a busted nose was a small price to pay to maintain the confidence and respect that all captains should hopefully receive from their cabin staff.

What a pity that this assault didn't occur on one of the Greek Islands where the police can be relied on to take a hands on approach!

I would very much like to shake our colleague's hand and buy him a beer sometime.:ok:

18th Aug 2004, 11:07
It was reported that a passenger on a Delta flight from New York to Athens which had to divert into Shannon due to an air rage incident was jailed for 3 months in Ireland yesterday. Hope a custodial sentence will also be given to those involved in the Aer Arann incident.

Miles Hi
18th Aug 2004, 11:44
I can categorically state (From inside information from the boys in blue) That these two individuals are not travellers. They are from Cork, and live in houses, not caravans. Sorry to burst everyones bubble!

20th Aug 2004, 17:04

Just to answer your question...I work for a british carrier in the UK but live in Dublin! I spent three years on the ground in Dublin airport so I know a lot of what goes on! I can assure you as Iv had a similar incident in the UK that if the same thing had happened on a british airline on british soil...the agressors involved would most certainly be punished severly!