View Full Version : BA PA OK?

Chocks Wahay
17th Jul 2001, 21:23
Sitting in the back of a BA737 yesterday, just about to pushback. Captain comes on the PA with the usual "Welcome aboard, blah blah". So far so good. He continued (approximately) thus:

"For those of you seated on the right hand side of the aircraft, you may have noticed that there's a bit missing from the aircraft."

So now instead of the three pax who could see the missing panel being curious, we have 125 pax muttering and thinking "WHat the f**k, let me off!" Especially the nervous woman next to me.

Nigel continued to dig himself into the hole:

"It's nothing to worry about, it was broken, so they took it away to fix it, nothing to worry about, we don't need it, we can go without it."

Pax not convinced. Didn't bother me, I'm a PPL (and a wannabe) so I'm not used to flying in things where everything works anyway. Eventually Nigel stops digging, and off we went.

I'm all for keeping the pax informed, but surely this isn't a smart way to deal with this sort of thing?

17th Jul 2001, 23:25
Ah! So what would you suggest the Captain does? If he says nothing it will certainly, understandably, concern the passengers that can see an item missing from the outside of the aircraft.

I operated an aircraft the other day (757) with a fairing removed from the flap lowering mechanism. Basically a cosmetic item but could be seen from all the seats behind the wing on one side. A full aircraft so a good number of people would be able to see it.

I made a PA explaining that it was a fibreglass cover used for cosmetic reasons and had no bearing on the airworthiness of the aircraft. I kept the PA short and to the point. What more can one do? Saying nothing would in my opinion be worse. In an ideal world the part would be in place but sometimes life just isn't like that.

18th Jul 2001, 01:26
As a purely private pilot but fairly well travelled airline pax I have to agree with Mouse...if the PA made no reference to a "hole" in a wing or other piece of fuselage visible at boarding someone on board would see it, someone would start whispering campaign/panic which would not be good publicity for any airline. Quite how to address the issue is tricky - if you say "a piece is missing because we don't need it" no-one will believe you but..the "we don't look too pretty today because the engineers are running some tests to confirm the upgrade to our ovens to ensure a better meal service today" might just work!! (not that I am cynical).

I suspect there is no winning here really though ::shrugs:: :)

18th Jul 2001, 03:54
yep, I'm for honesty every time, the say nothing or " we're just waitng for clearence/baggage/whatever" approach while there's a bunch of engineers outside scratching heads looking at a critical part does not inspire confidence