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Passengers asked to balance plane

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Passengers asked to balance plane

Old 24th Jun 2009, 06:53
  #1 (permalink)  
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Passengers asked to balance plane

Dozens of holidaymakers returning to Newcastle refused to fly after they were asked to act as human ballast.

Passengers were asked to move seats to distribute the weight, but 71 left the plane, fearing for their safety.

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Tyne | Passengers asked to balance plane
juniour jetset is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:02
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Sounds like the crew had a lucky escape... all those mouth breathers would have used up all the O2

ix_touring is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:10
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Angel Balance My Aircraft

Where the aircraft is far from fully laden this is usually facilitated by seat allocation so that on take off the balace is within limits. However before take-off an announcment is made requesting that passengers stay in their allocated seats until after take-off when they are permitted to "spread themselves around" so to speak. On two recent flights to Capetown with Virgin the centre economy cabin had dozens of empty seats whilst the Premium Economy was "choc a bloc". After take-off many of the crowded PC passengers came back to the Economy section. Made us feel good at just having paid economy rates for plenty of space.
interpreter is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:15
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It was going to Newcastle !
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:16
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Had it been a flight with some American holidaymakers, they would have only needed the cooperation of maybe 2 or 3 people to even things out.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:22
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Those passengers who assume they are more informed than the flight crew are better off waiting for a flight that suits them.
I would consider them a risk to my safety.
Avitor is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:25
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Like many other pax I'm sure, I've sometimes been asked to sit in a certain place to help the weight & balance - but as I once used to fill out manual trims, I understand why!

Ryanair of course use the approach of blocking seats front and rear on flights that are not full to achieve this - seems to work ok.

Passenger ignorance is the issue here! - would they rather the aircraft departed out of limits
Wycombe is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:29
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The real issue is the usual modern approach of nobodies wanting their 2 minutes of fame. Anything to get in a paper and slag someone off. And of course the Daily Mail with its usual high journalistic standards making sure they get all the facts before publishing!!!!

The flight wasn't even a TCX aircraft but a sub charter from Mint in Spain. I guess some of the explanation was lost when a spanish speaker did his best to explain the problem to a bunch of ignorant SLF. But never mind, they chose other 'much' safer carriers to get home at their own expense. I despair with people these days
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:45
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Good thing they don't fly on small regional types - being moved around the aircraft for weight and balance is common practice on IOM flights. Even then you have people complaining that they shouldn't have to move and cabin crew who more than often have to force people back into their assigned seats as the SLF fancied a bit more space in the 'blocked off' rows.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:51
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If this is the sort of reaction we can expect from an inop cargo door (probably a motor fault-takes an age to open manually), what type of mass hysteria would an inop main or emergency exit present?
763 jock is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 07:51
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A few of us slightly older folk will remeber that this was not uncommon in the days of the DC-4's (the Skymaster). On some hot days in SA passengers were event asked to stand at the front on take off!
davidash is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:06
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This was done to death yesterday.

luvly jubbly is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:14
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Rather than asking them to move maybe the PAX could have been asked to just flap their arms up and down :-)
korrol is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:34
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Gosh, all those stupid passengers hey? Worried about a plane that had produced the worst flight of their lives per passengers on the incoming trip, with a dodgy door per the airline. It appears that when asked a perfectly reasonable question (in light of the rough trip over), namely could the door come open at altitude, the pilot simply turned round and went back to the flight deck without answering. Not exactly reassuring that, is it?

For those of you who claim to be pilots (I have my doubts frankly) and display such contempt for your passengers, let me set out a few facts for you to ponder:
  1. Most passengers are nervous flyers to some degree
  2. There has recently been a crash, as yet unexplained, but which we know involved flying through bad weather/turbulence
  3. The airline appears to have done nothing to break the link (in the passengers' minds) between the rough inward flight and the problem door
Putting everything together, if you want all nervous passengers to stop flying because we're such an inconvenience, and really not from the kind of social class with which you wish to associate, just ponder for a moment what impact that might have on your employers' passenger numbers. Then ponder on how many pilots your employers would need in such a case, and whether you'd be one of the lucky few to still have a job.

Finally, I note how many pilots like to come on here and whinge about the lack of respect that people such as Michael O'Leary display towards them. Please tell me why you think people like MOL should have any respect for you and your profession when you have such little regard for the people who generate your pay.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:53
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I've been on a few flights where the crew have put the tray tables down on the seats at the front to get everyone to sit at the back. The crew didn't say a word as to why, only saying that those seats were unavailable when someone attempted to sit in them.

It would seem that in this case that there was some scaremongering from the passengers disembarking the flight; though I would have thought that the passengers getting on would be separated from the passengers getting off?
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 09:08
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MOL is hardly renowned for the respect he shows the people who pay his wages! I couldn't give a toss what he thinks of me, and I'm sure the feeling would be mutual.

Most of what you read in The Mail is a work of fiction anyway. It would appear that the aircraft in question (not Thomas Cook, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story) was operating with an allowable defect. Most aircraft that are airborne right now will have a few deferred defects. Most will be trivial, but some more serious that impose restrictions on what said aircraft can do.

Would it be a good idea to tell the passengers that the TCAS is inop today? What about a defective brake unit or thrust reverser? Something wrong with part of the fire detection system? A sticky microswitch that is indicating an open door?

Airlines follow set procedure in circumstances like this. They are safe and well proven. If people choose not to trust them, then that is their call.

Last edited by 763 jock; 24th Jun 2009 at 10:25.
763 jock is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 10:21
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Great post

Thankyou JayPee28bpr

Not a biased post just placing all the facts here, thankyou.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 10:35
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Makes me double glad that I didn't tell the FA about the crack in the wing while we were flying.

I can imagine all the SLF gathering to look out the window then running to the other side to check before demanding an emergency landing anywhere.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 10:43
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When Liverpool played in Rome in the European Cup Final (in the mid-80s?) my Scouse mate, along with 20 or so pals flew down to Naples where they based themselves for the game.

My Scouse mate was nearly 20 stone and I reckon he was about the third or fourth lightest. They were all huge!

They had bloc-booked seats together, but were dispersed all over the plane (including two or three up front) since the pilot reckoned no-one would survive if he attempted to take off with them all sitting together.

I used to have a pic of them all wallowing in the Bay of Naples. When they got in I reckon the Med rose three feet or so.

The lads were proud rather than humiliated!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 10:46
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The alternative would have been leaving behind all bags, but then again, how long would it take to get them to destination.
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