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Pilot refused to fly shoeless children

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Pilot refused to fly shoeless children

Old 1st Sep 2004, 22:19
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Pilot refused to fly shoeless children

The boot is on the other foot for passengers on an Air New Zealand flight delayed by barefoot children, with National Party MP Gerry Brownlee criticising the airline for being family unfriendly.

It emerged yesterday that two MPs - Mr Brownlee and Labour's Lianne Dalziel - were among the 104 passengers delayed for nearly an hour on Monday when the pilot refused to take off because two children did not have shoes on.

After checking with the pilot, the airline confirmed today that the shoeless children, believed to be aged about two and four years, was the safety reason the flight was delayed.

Ground crew unloaded part of the plane's luggage hold to find the family's bags, a spokesman said.

"The bag with the shoes was not readily found in the hold, so the captain finally made the decision that he could not hold the flight up any longer and departed."

Mr Brownlee, a father of three, criticised the pilot's "stupid" decision.

"Air NZ has made a complete pig's ear of this," he said.

"I don't think it's offensive that three and four-year-old kids don't have their shoes on, it's not like they're allowed to run around the plane.

"If the plane hits the deck then shoes aren't going to save you."

A frequent flier, Mr Brownlee said he had never seen any evidence of a dress standard on flights, and if there was, passengers should be told.

Claims barefoot passengers were a safety risk were ridiculous, as long-haul travellers were advised to remove their shoes to prevent swollen ankles - and were given slippers by the airline.

Air New Zealand had rebranded itself as a cheap, family-friendly national carrier but had demonstrated precious little regard for children, he said.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 00:04
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I wonder if the gent complaining had thought of the benefit of wearing shoes when departing a broken aircraft following a catastrophic reject. Barefoot through the fuel and debris IMO is not smart.

Personally I never remove my shoes until a reject or quick return are out of the question. I am appalled at the number of deadhead crews I see ignoring this simple safety concept, removing their shoes before takeoff.

But then walking barefoot on hot coals is supposed to be a beneficial, mind focussing, experience.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 00:26
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<Dress standard on aircraft...>

Clearly there ain't any, considering some of the slobs traveling on todays' airliners.

If they ain't dressed properly, kick 'em off I say...and this includes' no shoes'.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 00:42
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TAC on - Exactly mate.

I wonder how the parents of the little darlings would have reacted to their kids injured feet having had to get out in a hurry.

I`m only a lowly PPL student but it seems amazing, given how every missed approach / burst tyre makes the news, that the public only want safety to be considered when it doesn`t inconvenience them. I get the feeling that part of the problem is that any safety briefings / requirements force people to think about "the unlikely event" and they don`t want to pull their head out of the sand..

Ah well. Poor ANZ - damned if you do, damned if you don`t.

Cheers

Rottenlungs
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 02:33
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Hi all,
And as is usual, what would a couple of MPs know anyway, about anything, let alone something as complicated as an emergency requiring an evacuation.

One wonders why these sorts of people don't try and fathom the reasons for the decisions of ultimately more qualified people before they 'put their foot in it!'

By the way, I have also been involved in a decision to refuse boarding to a passenger without shoes, for those exact reasons! (A few years ago now though!)

Those MPs should be very aware that any sort of mumblings that they make would be quoted - another reason to sort out the reason why before the foot is placed in the mouth!

Good decision, ANZ. (At least initially!)

Cheers
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 05:01
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Kids today...

Folks, isn't this whole thing just a LITTLE bizarre?

We are talking about a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Little kids for crying out loud! Noone is asking the little tyros to get out and fix the plane, so safety shoes are not required. What's the point of the shoes? To protect their little feet? From what?

So they have their shoes on for takeoff. Then they kick them off during flight while sleeping. Now what? Divert because there are shoeless children discovered onboard?

OK, suppose the worst case happens and the pax have to exit via the chutes.

What's the first thing prior to making that leap?

TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!

So, why the fuss over a couple of little kids with no shoes?

Ya got me, unless the flight was to Antartica or something and someone was worried about frostbite on arrival. This whole thing reeks of absolute silliness. I'd say I have now heard it all, but I am sure somebody, somewhere will top this one.

PB
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 05:36
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OK, suppose the worst case happens and the pax have to exit via the chutes.
What's the first thing prior to making that leap?
TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!
..erm, well actually not quite. From my memory of the safety cards, only sharp, pointy shoes need to be removed before goind down the slide.

Unless the kiddies are wearing stilletoes, that shouldn't be an issue.

Ciao for now
CC
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 05:36
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Instructions for emergency landing :
Put the backrest in an upright position, take of shoes , spectacles ....

It is really silly to instruct passengers to leave the airplane barefoot in an emergency situation, but prevent them from entering it barefoot in normal operation.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 06:19
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The shoes

If you jump down the slide wearing pointy or any other shoes , there is a STRONG possibilty that said shoes will snag on the slide and you will tumble to the bottom.

You will suffer greater injuries than scraped feet when everyone else exiting the airplane lands on top of you in your bundled heap at the base of the slide.

The slide is rubber (or similar) with a talc coating, but shoes are brakes and they work swell.

You DO NOT want brakes when exiting an aircraft.

Thanks Volume for the safety card.

Somebody didn't just "think up" the "shoes off down the slide concept". It was proven in practice.

PB
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 06:59
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This whole thing is rediculous. Have you see how many passengers particularly in Club and First who kick their shoes off as soon as they sit down? They don't get stopped. I for one keep mine on till airborne as I don't want to loose them in an abandoned takeoff and have to go out into a dark wet windy sh***y night in my socks!
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 07:13
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Using the safety card from a TU154 might be a bit disingenuous. TU154's I have travelled in the safety card (see, some pax do actually read the things! ) shows two people holding the bottom of the slide, suggesting it is not inflated. Furthermore, my last flight in a TU154 I was sat next to the before wing exit, and the slide was a lift box and throw out job. While the instructions about shoes might be valid, it makes me wonder if they are a throwback to older types of slide.

Must echo Mode 7's comments. Would not like to mill around in my socks, and removal of my spectacles will impede me even finding the escape. On the other hand, that is all fine and good writing this sat safely at my computer, it might be a different matter if there is a Manchester 1985 type fire licking my arse. Except in those circumstances my first thought would not be to remove my shoes and spectacles. Guess the saying about rules and guidance applies, which does make me wonder if there is more to this incident than simply shoes.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 07:45
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Well, as SLF I am now exceptionally confused as I was under the impression that shoes had to be removed before evacuation.

What's the missing part of this story I wonder?
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 07:53
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The FAA believes that the proper procedures regarding shoes during an aircraft evacuation is to leave them on.
Complete document here

NTSB RECOMMENDATION A-96-140

BACKGROUND.

According to the NTSB report accompanying this recommendation, during a recent aircraft evacuation, passengers were instructed to remove their shoes. Therefore, the NTSB issued recommendation A-96-140, asking the FAA to develop a uniform policy regarding the wearing or not wearing of shoes during an aircraft evacuation. Many safety experts believe that shoes provide protection from debris and fuel following an accident and shoes should be worn during an aircraft evacuation. The only problem with shoes appears to be the wearing of high heeled shoes down the slide. It is unlikely they could damage a slide; however, that possibility does exist. There is the more likely possibility that high heels could hit another person or could become wedged in various places, thus resulting in injury.

POLICY.

The FAA believes that the proper procedures regarding shoes during an aircraft evacuation is to leave them on. In the case of a forewarned evacuation it is desirable to remove high heeled shoes and stow them in a approved stowage area such as an overhead bin. They should not be placed in the seat pocket.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 07:54
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Surely couldn't have been a native Kiwi Captain? My wife's nephews and nieces went to school barefoot until they were teenagers and they could walk on anything..
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 08:33
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Shoes on, shoes off, I can't get excited about it. I just sit at the back of the aircraft and follow the safety instructions from the crew. If you think I'm better off wearing my shoes, I'll wear 'em. But, and this is the sticky point, we need clear and unambiguous directions so we know exactly what it is we are supposed to do/not do/wear.

The orginal post said:

"A frequent flier, Mr Brownlee said he had never seen any evidence of a dress standard on flights, and if there was, passengers should be told. "

He's dead right. If airlines want to insist on any dress code (and they certainly have the right to do so) they have to warn the punters before they come to board the plane.

I'm all in favour of airlines imposing any rules that make my life safer and more comfortable. If they want to ban barefoot kids, that's fine by me but the parents of said kids need to be warned in advance, not at the boarding gate.

That being said, some folks will never heed any warnings you give them - but then it's their responsibility and not the airlines.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 08:46
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Angel

"The bag with the shoes was not readily found in the hold, so the captain finally made the decision that he could not hold the flight up any longer and departed."

.....presumably with the shoe-less children still onboard!

Slightly compromising one's position, isn't it??
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 09:02
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I think they didnt want to hurt the slide......................
BTW in case of an emergency evacuation,are people supposed to remove shoes and socks too?
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 09:22
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This case is an extremely simple one.

1. There was no urgency nor emergency caused by these children, the captain should have been very careful in getting involved into this scenario and delegate his decision to the company security officer.
2. If there would have been an evacuation and those children came of the plane alive they would have been very happy.Foot injury or not.
3. If after an evacuation this issue came ever to court it would take years of discussions amongst experts that very likely would never find an end.

To take the decision to delay the flight looks a bit silly to me and a clear overreaction. There are certain things you keep away from your corner unless you are the real macho type.

Decision making is often a case of probability assessment, once you corner yourself in a case of very low probability you loose credibility and you get sucked into something unreal.

What about banning Muslim woman to wear a veil in case….

Company policy makers do not think of every scenario, it is not human to expect them to do so. Therefore it is unreal to conclude that; since it is not clearly on paper that it is not allowed to assume that if the problem would arise, a decision by the airline would be made on the spot.

If a dubious case like this does arise, there is nothing wrong with getting advice from higher up and cover your ass.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 10:17
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The captain in question sounds like a complete ass

As cap 56 - for once making sense - points out, just how many scenarios do we try to cover.

I take my shoes off if sitting in the pax cabin - usually long before the aeroplane even leaves the gate. Some of you people have lost the plot a little methinks
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 11:14
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Exclamation

If a dubious case like this does arise, there is nothing wrong with getting advice from higher up and cover your ass.
There is NO-ONE "higher up" than the Captain/commander, where the responsibility for the control and safety of the aircraft and its occupants are concerned!
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