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AA Emergency Evacuation at LAX

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AA Emergency Evacuation at LAX

Old 10th Aug 2008, 03:35
  #41 (permalink)  
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I've waited patiently for just a teeny bit more fact on this one, but since it's old news now I doubt that it will come for quite awhile.

For all the quick judgement types, do we really know that the cabin Crew actually initated the evacuation, or, could it possibly be that some passengers opened the doors themselves and started the self evacuation and left the cabin cerw to deal with it afterwards?
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 13:41
  #42 (permalink)  
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a passenger initiated or uncommanded evacuation can be a dangerous thing.

panic can lead to this and it can be deadly.

however we can all remember the british air tours 737 that burned on the ground with passengers patiently waiting for instructions from the crew.

There was an article saying that the fa/s were being scruitinized by the FAA and the airline for starting the evacuation.

I agree with the above post. And sadly, we probably will never get the whole story.
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 19:05
  #43 (permalink)  
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Second guessing the cockpit or cabin crew now is totally meaningless because we don't know what exactly was happening. What happened and how they handled the situation obviously made sense to them at the time so give them the benefit of being there since we weren't.
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Old 11th Aug 2008, 01:13
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Years ago on a Continental flight from LHR to LAX we made an emergency landing due to (loads of) smoke in the cabin, I was quite young at the time so don't fully remember the situation or where we diverted to. The point is it was caused by oil leaking into the bleed air, a very similar situation.

Very strange on how the FAA found no evedence of smoke, maybe one passenger got a bit upset about something (similar to when you can smell fuel before taxying on some jets) and the panic spread through the cabin?

Our crew handled the situation much better; the oxy masks did drop but we were told by the CC to NOT use them and instead breathe through damp passenger blankets. Also, we did not evacuate using the emergency slides we just walked off the aircraft using steps at the airport. No injuries.

Seems there was some kind of breakdown in CRM...
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 01:49
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FAA investigating reported oxygen masks and emergency chute failures

More on the AA 757 incident at LAX
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 03:00
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Measurement appropriate?

Given the constant risk of cabin air contamination events, the potential hazards bad air presents to safety of the persons on board and the aircraft, and the operational costs associated with appropriate response to these events, I wonder if it is not time now to consider use of some continuous air quality monitoring technology as part of the standard configuration for passenger ops.

For older aircraft and smaller aircraft, a "signature" analysis type of monitoring device might be more appropriate. This could be an easy-install or even a small portable unit that would monitor the air continuously or 'as required'. It would assess air samples for perhaps two dozen specific contaminants and would provide some ongoing indication of trends in contaminant concentration. The indications given could include both good-bad readings for situation identification and more detailed readings for simple qualitative analysis of the health hazard and probable source.

Larger and more modern aircraft could incorporate more sophisticated air quality monitors that would do as above and could also couple to the maintenance down-link capability for more detailed analysis by experts on the ground.

The function of these devices would be to provide better real-time risk assessment and decision support for the aircrew in order to manage these seemingly inevitable situations as well as possible. Relative to the cost of precautionary diversions, repacking inflatable ramps, and other potential consequences of inflight smoke events, the installation, support and life costs for highly functional diagnostic air quality monitoring systems would be a very modest and likely would result in a net long-term saving for the operators. In any case, the incremental cost of meaningful air quality data relative to health and safety would be a tiny fraction of the onboard entertainment system expenses.

Last edited by arcniz; 12th Aug 2008 at 03:12.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 13:20
  #47 (permalink)  
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Do we know what caused the smoke yet?
Keeping track of incidents in my airline I see that the greatest proportion of thick smoke events are caused by recirculation fans failing, but not enough to bring on a message or a fault light. Contamination from the engines is more likely a smell or a slight haze, or on departure the residue of deicing fluid.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 14:42
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interesting development:

I just read a report indicating that the oxygen masks were deployed by the flight crew, even though the same article quotes American Airlines saying (properly) that the oxygen masks are not capable of helping in a smoke situation.

Also that the cause was oil dripping .

also, that some of the oxygen masks didn't work and the FAA is investigating all.

8pax injured due to using slides.

ok then...the article:

FAA reviewing reports of malfunctioning oxygen masks on American flight

Officials are investigating concerns that some of the safety gear did not
deploy and others failed to provide oxygen on a Boeing 757 that made an
emergency landing last week at LAX.

The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing the reported failures of
dozens of oxygen masks aboard an American Airlines flight that made an
emergency landing last week at Los Angeles International Airport.

FAA officials said Monday that they were looking into concerns that some
masks for passengers did not deploy during the incident while others failed
to provide oxygen.

American Airlines flight makes emergency landing at LAX

"We take reports like this very seriously," said Ian Gregor, an FAA
spokesman. "The FAA is working closely with American to determine what the
problems are, why they happened, and to make sure the problems are fixed."

American Airlines Flight 31 had just taken off from LAX about 9 a.m. on Aug.
5 when the pilot reported smoke in the cabin. The Boeing 757, which was en
route to Honolulu, immediately returned to LAX and made an emergency

Airport officials said 188 passengers and seven crew members were evacuated
using the aircraft's emergency chutes -- a rare occurrence. Eight people
suffered minor injuries.

American Airlines blamed the incident on hot oil that leaked from a
compressor for one of the plane's two jet engines. It produced a strong odor
and some haze in the passenger cabin. Tim Wagner, an airline spokesman, said
the problem turned out to be minor.

Wagner said American was reviewing the emergency landing and whether the
aircraft's oxygen masks worked properly. He said the masks are specifically
designed to supply oxygen to passengers and crew members during the loss of
cabin pressure at higher altitudes.

"They are not meant to be used in a fire or smoke situation," Wagner said.

Federal officials say emergency oxygen masks are supposed to work whether
they are automatically deployed during depressurization or manually
activated by the flight crew, as was the case with Flight 31.

The FAA has been concerned for some time about oxygen mask failures aboard
Boeing 757s and 737s -- aircraft that are popular with foreign and domestic

In May 2007, the agency issued an air worthiness directive ordering carriers
to inspect oxygen masks on those planes and correct any problems by 2012.
The directive affects about 815 of the two types of jetliners that fly
routes in the United States.

FAA officials issued the order after receiving information that oxygen
generators had failed during in-flight depressurization. The agency blamed
components that had fractured between the oxygen masks and the release pins
that activate the flow of air.

During its review of the emergency landing, Wagner said American would
consider the decision by the flight crew to evacuate passengers using the

Questions have been raised in news reports about the necessity of activating
the slides for what turned out to be a relatively minor problem.

Wagner said that American flight attendants receive safety training and have
the authority to activate the chutes if they think it is necessary. Gregor
said the decision to deploy the slides did not violate FAA regulations.

Air traffic controllers at LAX were concerned that the American Airlines
pilot did not notify the tower that emergency chutes were going to be
deployed, said Michael Foote, a local representative of the National Air
Traffic Controllers Assn.

Foote said controllers are responsible for directing aircraft as they taxi
to and from terminals. Advance notice from the American flight, he said,
would have made it easier for controllers to handle the situation.


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Old 13th Aug 2008, 22:28
  #49 (permalink)  
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AA: "The flight attendants acted appropriately"

AA put out a statement today saying The flight attendants acted appropriately to evacuate Flight 31
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 21:05
  #50 (permalink)  
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Not going to SBA

The Hawaii flights on the B757 normally have a take off weight >220,000 lbs. Since this flight was airborne for only 57 minutes, I'm pretty sure it was above its' max landing weight of 198,000 lbs (not faulting the crew for doing that - I would have done the same.) Perhaps this crew did not consider SBA as a possible diversion airport because of the heavy landing weight.

At our company the FAs could also initiate evacuation on their own. That's why most of us have the mindset of keep the aircraft rolling slowly or get on the PA immediately with "remained seated" after an abort or an abnormal landing to avoid an unnecessary evacuation.

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 21:31
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sba and the other two airports were mentioned....certainly landing weight is important...but if you are on fire, going off the end at 30 knots is better than burning up on short final to lax

I read that at max auto braking, you can stop in 4500'

overweight or not, sba would have worked if they were really on fire...but it seems that it was just oil fumes

oh well
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 23:46
  #52 (permalink)  
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Sounds like a case of premature evacuation.
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