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CHIRP - More useless CAA comment regarding crew security.

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CHIRP - More useless CAA comment regarding crew security.

Old 1st Aug 2008, 16:07
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CHIRP - More useless CAA comment regarding crew security.

CHIRP No. 87 has just arrived. There are 5 individual accounts regarding harrassment of crew members and engineers by security operatives, yet the astonishing comment from the CAA is:

The CAA has indicated recently that the number of MORs related to security incidents has increased; however, relatively few of these identify an actual flight safety risk such as a missed check or a specific action that was necessary to mitigate any risk to flight safety, such as delaying the scheduled departure. In the absence of such evidence, the CAA maintains the view that security incidents do not represent a significant threat to safety and thus, by implication, fall outside the Authority's regulatory remit.
The reluctance of individuals to declare formally that their ability to operate has been impaired as a result of a security experience is understandable; however, it is important to include in any formal report any outcome or additional precaution arising from a security experience, if this problem is to be acknowledged and addressed.


"The CAA maintains the view that security incidents do not represent a significant threat to safety..." Haven't these people ever heard of the term 'being nibbled to death by ducks'? A security 'incident' might just prove to be the final death-dealing duck bite to someone already suffering from tiredness, frustration and fatigue.

The CAA should be made to watch the old military Flight Safety film 'Frustration' to learn how cumulative effects impact upon safety.

Meanwhile, my sympathies for all those crews who have to deal with rude, ill-mannered oafishness from those bottom-fondling failed wheel-clampers who are employed as security personnel at UK airports.
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Old 1st Aug 2008, 17:30
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BEagle & all Members

This is the CAA playing the 'liability clause'. OK they are saying it ain't in my bailiwick until as such time this situation causes (proven by investigative/forensic evidence) are known. It's just a CYA function, what the heck are those at 'The Belgrano' doing anyway, apart from protecting their old Civil Service pensions?

There was a time when the CAA looked after all licensed aviation members.

Comments welcome, but please not here, place on the JetBlast rant thread, or start a new one.

Cheers folks.
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Old 1st Aug 2008, 18:26
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Frustration

BEagle
Anyone got a copy of 'Frustration'.......saw it as an ATC cadet many years ago waiting for the rain to pass Manston.....yes a good example for them to see....
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Old 1st Aug 2008, 22:14
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No, I'm sorry. I disagree. I spend a lot of time doing the no-shoe shuffle in and out of uniform and at worst the security staff have been disinterested. Most of the time they look you in the eye with a "we're all in this together" resignation. I had a tube of Bonjella taken off me once (out of uniform) 'cos it wasn't bagged. Fair cop. Stupid knee-jerk rule but I broke it.

I also had a row at LGW South about taking 2 bags through whilst positioning. But the BAA security chap sent the two yellow-sweatshirted YTSs on their way and waved me through.

Back at work the only guys who've gone off on one about security are fairly highly-strung and are just as likely to complain about the crew cheese anyway.

There are rules. They may be fair or not but they are blanket rules. We as crew are fully aware of them and they've been around for 102 weeks now. Do keep up. Indeed it's been a long time since I've seen any crew get hassled.

Don't get me wrong: I only work out of three UK airports. All recognise my ID and none cause any problems. If you're an engineer or flight crew who go to odd little nowhere airports then maybe you can tell me I'm out of order.

In the meantime all I can say is the less bitching we do in the crew lanes, the more resources the security folks at airports can devote to rounding up the, ahem, more suspect of our fellow Brits. Watching the 10 O'clock news as we speak. Item 2.
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Old 1st Aug 2008, 22:44
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The way in what now amounts to a significant number of Engineers, Cabin and Flight Deck Crews have been humiliated, abused, intimidated and frustrated by the varying degrees and depths of security searches must not be underestimated.

The way in which these searches could impact on an individuals performance in his or her job subesquent to such an experience also should not be underestimated.

Yes there are the hotheads amongst us who do fuel the fire by their behaviour during security searches, but the vast majority who have been ill treated during these searches have said nothing to fuel the sitaution and been more than happy to cooperate fully.

I wear a suit to work. Therefore, my occupation and who I work for is more anonymous than when I used to wear a uniform. The result is that at Security Check Points, I hear the conversations between security staff that perhaps would not take place should my occupation and employer be more obvious. On a number of occasions I have heard the behaviour during security searches of staff from the company I work for openly criticised by security staff. On one ocassion after hearing such a conversation I did make my position within the company known and the security staff were extremely embarassed.

Only recently, the experience of one of my colleagues whilst being searched traumatised him so much that he could not carry on working and left the company. Over reaction on behalf of my colleague perhaps. No, not if you knew the full story.

Temps
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 10:50
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Quit after a search?

Temps
Ive been through a fair few security gates and have sometimes found them staffed by people brusque to the point of rudeness, but generally they seem aware that they are doing a job that they know is pigging people off, but have no way to change the rules they have to apply.

However comma I'm trying to imagine what sort of search would traumatise someone to the point of giving up their job, and all I can think of is the one involving the long rubber gloves and both hands! But I dont think theyd do that to you unless you were definitely dodgy, and if youre who I think you are, youd never ever live that one down! Let us know, if you can, I for one would be fascinated.

There's no way I'd do the security job, especially after observing some of the attitudes from passengers (or are they customers these days?) - I've seen several who I'd cheerfully deck if they came that with me!
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 12:51
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Very cute:

The reluctance of individuals to declare formally that their ability to operate has been impaired as a result of a security experience is understandable; however, it is important to include in any formal report any outcome or additional precaution arising from a security experience, if this problem is to be acknowledged and addressed.
A. In the first phrase, the CAA acknowledges that there is a serious safety issue here, and one they should have the authority to treat (right after stating that there is none, and they don't).
B. In the second phrase, the bureaucracy tells you what it wants. Does the guy sitting next to you keep coming back to the incident at security? That's a "measurable degradation of situation awareness", is it not? Carry a phthegmometer and do a BP check after passing security. Odds are, it'll be measurably higher as a result of your having to explain to those clowns what a phthegmometer is and why you're carrying one. Even if your vital signs are normal, checking them counts as an "additional precaution arising from a security experience."
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 13:33
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Was the incident you mentioned investigated by your companys personnel dept Temps?, someone undergoing such a experiance at work which led to that person being unable to continue with their job sounds rather a serious matter to me
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 13:55
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The answer is simple. Most of us will do whatever it takes to avoid the humiliation, rudeness, and general prison treatment given not only the crews but the customers. I was going to take a holiday with my whole family to London and show them the White Tower, which I very much enjoyed as a pilot on layover in that fascinating city. I have 19 dependents by the way and I intended to take them all.


Not Anymore. We'll do something by car locally that avoids all this unpleasantness.
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 14:14
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I had to smile recently when passing through security with wife and stepdaughter en route to Corfu for a holiday. The security man objected to my daugter's 50 ccs. of perfume in her handbaggage worth about 80. He argued that he was going to confiscate it and she argued that it was worth a lot of money and below the maximum volume of liquid that she was allowed to carry. The security man obviously wasn't going to give in despite my daughter being polite and as reasonable as it was possible to be. Finally it was "So you are totally determined to discard this very expensive liquid which complies with the security regulations to be carried in my hand baggage?"
"Yes"
By what right have you got to security check me anyway?
"Every right as you are a passenger>"
"No I am not - I am persuing a criminal."
With that, she produced her police warrant card, collected her hand baggage, carefully walked around the scanner and rejoined us as we walked towards the departure lounge!

P.P.

Last edited by P.Pilcher; 2nd Aug 2008 at 17:29. Reason: typo
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 14:48
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I have to say that I'm long past the point of taking a combative attitude with the more militant security people.... Most are courteous and friendly, but as described, there are those who are obviously drunk on the tiny amount of authority they've been given and see themselves as the single handed guardians of our nation's aviation security. Fine. I'd rather they took the job too seriously in some ways than not seriously enough. I just ask in a friendly manner when I get to the scanner if it's laptops in or out and shoes on or off. (Assuming there's no signage to indicate which). I then cheerfully comply with whatever demands they make on me. This has the effect of speeding my way through with the pleasant majority and totally removing the pleasure that the ridiculous few get from ordering me about. I won't allow these idiots to raise my blood pressure one notch. It's not worth risking stress related illness for, and on the odd occasion that someone makes an unreasonable demand, I don't argue, I just make a mental note of their name and ask to see the supervisor. In all cases the problem has been resolved quickly and without fuss.

The above is not meant to devalue the views and experiences of those who unfortunately have received wholly unjustifiable treatment at the hands of security staff, and I like many others feel that the CAA has a duty to get involved with such incidents rather than waiting for the accident to happen. However, I do feel that it is within each of ours grasp to make these searches as painless as possible by going in with the right mental attitude...... That's what I find anyway!
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 15:26
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Whilst many people have plenty of tales about the appalling attitudes of many security functionaries, my main concern is that the CAA are seemingly not prepared to become involved in this Flight Safety issue.

The comment in CHIRP runs totally against normal Flight Safety, where if a potential hazard is identified by flight crew, engineers or ATC, something is done about it!

You don't just sit back and wait until after the accident to say "No-one told us it was a problem".

Mind you, after I raised a formal complaint with Frankfurt airport, one particularly nasty security operative was sent for further training and I received an abject apology!
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 15:36
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Perfume

Pilcher.... is that not mis use of Warrant card if not on duty?
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 16:26
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Pilcher.... is that not mis use of Warrant card if not on duty?
Shouldn't think so. As Vimes says, "everybody is guilty of something". So whoever was in front of her in the queue was almost certainly a criminal and she was definitely following them ...
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 17:28
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It was none of the security officer's business who she was persuing and neither was it mine. If she said she was persuing a criminal, then that was her business and as such as a U.K.police officer she was entitled to walk through security at any U.K. airport which she did!

P.P.
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 18:10
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I think you should all learn to read between the lines...
CHIRP did ASK for reports to be sent in but, it seems, the reports received don't mention any EFFECT this security hassle is having - just that it is annoying! Big News - it IS annoying.
Make sure your future reports mention something to do with Flight Safety or that you felt it was difficult to make a judgement somewhere - then they might get off their high horses and do something about it!

They NEED EVIDENCE of Flight Safety problems - not just the hassle caused by taking your shoes off.
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 18:37
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Have the CAA Lost sight of the Ball......?

I have submitted ASRs following harrassment at security, including when a "cock up" was made during a SID. Nothing was ever received back from the CAA.

But God Forbid if I forget to fill an oil level or something else on a Tech Log page........ The e-mails fly around from all sorts of jobsworths in the Belgrano.

Anyone else had this sort of rubbish?
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 18:41
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Annoying certainly, a risk to flight safety...gimme a break. Only if you are already using all your available yerkes curve to fly anyway.
If that level of hassle is enough to put you off then you really should reevaluate your career.
As someone has mentioned its is my experience also that its the usual suspects that have daily run ins with security.
I have a few run ins but for gods sake deal with it and stop moaning and writing into pointless newsletters in the style of outraged Colonel Blimps or Major Misunderstandings.
Its embarassing.
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 19:13
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Got back from a tour today to find said issue of CHIRP sitting on doormat. I too read the CAA's comments with incredulity - what a farce this whole sorry issue is...........sometime soon somebody will miss the googly because they are still thinking about the way they were treated like some sort of terrorist whilst passing through 'security'
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 19:28
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But is anyone saying that to the CAA? Has anyone gone home 'unfit to fly' after a confrontation with security? Has anyone filed an MOR saying they were so annoyed that they felt unable to continue working in a safe and sensible manner and went home. Or even had to lay down in a dark room for an hour.....

Not many, that's what CHIRP are after. If we are really all wound up beyond reason by security, then go home and tell your company and the CAA why. Almost all these CHIRP reports end with the day continuing and even the 'flight leaving on time after top effort by F/O, CC.etc'.
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