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Old 13th Mar 2006, 18:05
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Just a quick example to illustrate any further questions...

What's your airline policy? What would you do if you were the last to check the cabin? If you're part of the flight deck, what's your airline policy in terms of cabin inspection post evacuation?
Just out of interest, don't shoot thanks.
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Old 13th Mar 2006, 18:27
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In Canada passengers who travel and obviously need an attendant can declare that they are self reliant (even a quadriplegic) and the airline is forced to transport them.
Quote from the regulations: "Accepting a passenger's judgement
Sometimes, people with disabilities are perceived as needing extra services when in fact they do not. An air carrier is obliged to accept a person's word that he or she does not require any extra assistance or other service. Unquote

There is understanding at the Transport level (of course not in writting) that in an emergency those folks could be left behind but I suspect the public does not understand this.

At no time can we expect cabin crew to put their lives in jeopardy to evacuate a passenger with disabilities, while at the same time ensuring the safe evacuation of the other passengers and themselves. Passengers who need this type of assistance should be forced to travel with attendants who can provide them with the necessary assistance if using commercial transport or travel on medivac type of aircraft that can provide for their needs.
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Old 13th Mar 2006, 18:52
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People must accept that in certain circumstances, if they wish to travel in normal life, they must accept some responsibilities for looking after themselves in the event of unusual circumstances. If this person was unable to get themselves to the door and throw themselves out, they should either have been travelling with a minder who would look after them at their expense, or not travel. I don't wish to sound heartless, but airlines provide at minimal cost a ticket to travel on an aeroplane. A crew is provided to supply the safety services onboard. If there are passengers with additional needs, should that passenger supply his own care or is it assumed that the airline should provide the additional care free of charge (it's not 'free of charge', the other passengers will pay- is that right?).
I believe anybody who requires additional assistance should either provide it themselves or recompense the carrier for providing it- ie carry the additional costs of carrying them themselves. Stretcher cases carry their own minder. But it's academic here- this person confirmed he could walk off himself when the booking was made. If so, why did he voluntarily remain on the aeroplane? It goes back to the old argument with Ryanair if a Wheelchair is required. If the airport charges for the use of a wheelchair, it is then a matter between the disabled passenger and the airport authority, not for the airline to pay to provide the service for the needs of the passenger.

WCHR S/C = Wheelchair Stagger or Carry off- it's the code on the Passenger Information List given to the crew

Last edited by Rainboe; 13th Mar 2006 at 21:49.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 08:52
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To clarify Rainboe's post - in my experience the codes used in SITA/dispatch/handling are:-

WCHR - 'simple' wheelchair - can climb/descend steps; walk up jetways, but normally a buggy required for long-distance terminal walking.

WCHS- cannot use steps but OK on jetway, can get in and out of aircraft unaided

WCHC - requires lifting in and out of aircraft and into seat etc. (Sometimes known as 'a lift-off')
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 09:05
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I don't care what my airlines policy is I wont risk my life to save a wheel chair bound passenger. If I can get them off with an acceptable risk to my self then I will, but I wont be putting myself into harms way.
Having read the article I think the crew did the right thing. The fire service will not get on the aircraft if they think people are still evacuating from the slides, as they have to cut them off and put a ladder against the aircraft. My thinking would be to get off the aircraft, tell the fire service that a wheelchair passenger is seated in row X and cannot evacuate. then leave it to them, they have the breathing equipment and the training to deal with it.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 09:10
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WCHR - "Runner"

WCHS - "Stagger"

WCHC - "Carry Off"
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 09:48
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And you know as well as the rest of us that the fire service wont be going up those stairs until people have stopped coming down them.
If anyone has attended a fire and smoke course recently you will know what the standard drill is, and you will also know that what this crew did was the correct thing.
As much as I hate to say it, its better to have one dead guy, than one dead guy and three dead crew who tried but failed to rescue him.
My thinking is get everyone out who can get out, and leave the rest for the fire crew who have the right equipment and training to deal with this.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 10:52
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Yup, quite right. I've had this conversation with an airport firefighter and his view was that "we would rather have 1 person to rescue than 2 or 3, leave it to us" which sounds like good advice.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 11:11
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It's simple:
'The Greatest Good For The greatest Number.'
End of story.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 11:30
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From what I read in the report I think the crew did a very good job with the situation.

They should be prasied!

As for the passengers complaining about having to stand on the runway in the cold. If this had happen to a flight that I was on, I would be rather be standing in the cold and wet than still on the aircraft that may be on fire.

I don't know what the are complaining about!

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Old 15th Mar 2006, 11:15
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"The spokesperson added that providing ground staff to deal with an emergency was the responsibility of the airline."
So who will deal with the SLF when the airline has no agents at Shannon?
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Old 15th Mar 2006, 12:37
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I take it none of you are wheelchair users or suffer from any other chronic conditions that render you unable to live a 'normal' life?

You'll be open to suggestions that Passengers with Restricted Mobility should be shot so as not to trouble anyone in an emergency then

Before further pontificating from the able bodied just reflect on some of the suggested solutions, imagine yourself post motorbike accident, and then see how you would react to the restrictions put forward.

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Old 15th Mar 2006, 17:04
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Sir George, if this passenger did state that he was able to move to and from his seat without assistance (as reported in the article) and then in an evacuation he was unable to do this, then he provided false information to the airline and no sympathy is given. More to the point, if the crew were unable to assist this passenger (who, according to the article, said he did not require assistance on and off the aircraft) due to weight or whatever reason then why should they endanger themselves to assist someone else. The first basic rule of First Aid is to CHECK FOR DANGER - which means DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN A SITUATION WHERE HELPING SOMEONE ELSE COULD ENDANGER YOUR OWN LIFE.

Again, as I stated earlier - *IF* this passenger stated he was able to move himself (which I understand may be totally incorrectly reported in this article) then he lied to the airline and its staff, and endangered himself unnecessarily. No sympathy given, sorry. If anything, he unnecessarily endangered the life of the crew and those pax around him so please don't go off on one re equal opportunity etc.

Ps I have relatives with severe disabilities and have been around them all my life, so am completely aware of the difficulties faced on a day to day basis by those with physical AND emotional disabilties.
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Old 15th Mar 2006, 19:26
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WCH(S) - The S does not stand for stagger. This was a term that was created during training so that staff could remember the three different types of wheelchair assistance. It stands for STEPS, and I can't bare it when people refer to a wheelchair passenger as a stagger! Especially when they use the term freely over the radio, or in front of the passenger! Wheelchair SIERRA is much more professional.

WCHR - Wheelchair to ramp - Passenger is unable to walk any distance, but
Can ascend / descend steps

WCHS - Wheelchair NO STEPS - Passenger is unable to ascend / descend steps, but can walk to their cabin seat.

WCHC - Wheelchair Carry ON / OFF - Passenger is completely immobile and requires a lift on / lift off service

WCMP - Manually powered wheelchair

WCBD - Motorised Wheelchair (DRY CELL BATTERY)
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Old 16th Mar 2006, 20:15
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Originally Posted by lyo
If you're part of the flight deck,...
Do you mean the knob on the control column? With all due respect to our few remaining Flt Engineer brethen we aren't flight deck - we're pilots.
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Old 16th Mar 2006, 20:44
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As somebody who is disabled ( I suffer from severe emphysema) I dont need
a wheelchair as I can usually walk 50 to 100yds before I run out of breath and have to stop for 2 or 3 minutes to recover. However in an emergency situation
I would be a definate liabilty as, after sitting for a while, I cannot move very far,
prob about 10 yds before I have to stop, so I would have to wait till every else was off before I went ( unless I was in the seat by the chute) once at the bottom of the chute it would take me a while to move away from the aircraft
also holding other people up. I cant do going up steps witout running out of breath either allthough going down is ok.

So the answer in my case is very simple, I DONT FLY.
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Old 17th Mar 2006, 09:04
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Angel Liability ?

@ 60+ I'm more of a liability and probably less mobile under adrenalin than a 15-45 year old. So I select a window seat where possible. Its all about survival of the fittest, and the fact that I should not be the cause of slowing the fitter ones down.
Should the worst happen - the statistical chances (correct me if I'm wrong) are roughly 40+% nothing other than shock and minor cuts and bruises, 40% DOA or at least need rescue services to exit and a ca. 20% mobile enough to evacuate but more that minor cuts and bruises.
So my logic is, being in or close to the 3rd age as the French call it, I've done my part, if I get out - good - if not - so be it (I find the Arabic term of "as the almighty wills it" more fitting even though I'm not of that descent - but I'll refrain from using it here so as not to discriminate in any way between beliefs).
Its a little like the DNR notice on a patients card in hospital - (DNR = Do NOT Resuscitate). It is there for a reason and I get absolutely furious when so better knowing whippersnapper knows better and does not follow the instructions (this does not happen in the US very often as the court case thereafter are quick and career ending - but it does elsewhere where a more appropriate legal system is enforced).
I believe this logic would work for green granite, should that person choose to be more mobile than otherwise possible.
With active cabin crew and flight deck personnel of long standing in my close family who agree with my standpoint, and for myself as SLF with around 2'000 take offs (and to date landings), I feel that my opinion is probably not too unqualified to post here.
I believe there should be a clear statement that a SLF can give to the crew so that they know to "not worry about you" in case of an emergency - If anybody knows of one, pls. inform.
As a P.S.: my daughters training instructions around a dozen years ago - when she first became a flight attendant - were absolutely clear - the instructor indicated clearly on day 2 or 3 - your job is to risk your life for your passengers if the worst happens. The results of that were interesting - we discussed that at length the day she come home from that session - and she agreed with the clarity and consequences of her decision. That instructor had a 25% drop out rate consistently at the end of a first week of training and almost zero thereafter. When my daughter in turn started training others - she chose the same truthful and blunt tactics.
Interestingly enough that instructors graduates were what made a very solid and successful backbone of a really great team, who remain dedicated through thick and thin.
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Old 17th Mar 2006, 12:11
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Question What DID actually happen?

Anyone out there who knows what the actual incident was? I guess that might put a lot of things into perspective.
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Old 17th Mar 2006, 13:22
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As a frequent traveller and aviation interested person I've been lurking here for a while without bothering to register. This thread made me do it and based on the previous posters view this will probably be my first.....and last posting.
As a long time sailor in the merchant navy with more than one fire, grounding, emergency behind me I find the views here more than appalling. My job as a sailor (chief engineer) was to ensure that everyone, everyone regardless of ability was saved, or at least you tried your very best. To read that professional air crew would disregard a person because "he/she should know better" or "he/ she didn't tell the truth" is f*****g amazing. You're there for a reason and if you think "coffee, tea or me" is it.....please reconsider.
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Old 17th Mar 2006, 16:20
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The point is there are people around who are better at this sort of thing than we are. they have more training, they are fitter, stronger, have the right equipment and want to get on and do their job. They are called the fire service. And during an evacuation they will not get on the aircraft while people are getting off it. They have to be sure that everyone who is going to get off under their own steam has done.
I have to say trying to drag a 13 or 14st dead weight out of an airline seat is not something that most cabin crew are up to, or myself for that matter, and trying to do it while wearing a smoke-hood is not something I would advocate to the crew. Leave the rescuing to the professionals, theres a much better chance the rescue will be successful then.
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