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Stewardess demoted to First Officer

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Stewardess demoted to First Officer

Old 20th Nov 2008, 22:18
  #61 (permalink)  
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F3G, there might be different levels of competency within a given group, but I wouldn't automatically rely on all CC ahead of an ATCO. I know and have known both ATCOs and even an ATCA who flew as F/O either on bizprops or bizjets. I'm not trying to turn this into an ATCO v CC debate, just making the point that failing all other better options I believe plenty of ATCOs would be able to assist quite adequately.
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Old 20th Nov 2008, 23:55
  #62 (permalink)  
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Luvly Jubbly said: "Are you lot for real?? No pilot will ask over the PA whether there is another pilot on board.... And they would not need one." and Agaricus Bisporus said: "It took until post #18 before the first shred of commonsense appeared on this thread. Indeed, some here have suggested "PPL to be called to do the radios", "cabin crew to read the checklist" and "Make a PA to the pax for a qualified pilot". Perhaps we could be entertained by those who have posted thus to expand on the CRM/flight safety implications of their suggestions..."

But, without wishing to wind either of them up, especially in view of the sad circumstances, when Llondel said: "Wasn't there a recent case (within the last year, I think) of a flight where one of the flight crew was incapacitated and the other one asked if there was someone with pilot experience to come and sit up front. Said private pilot got to do the radio stuff while the PF did the rest. Opinion on here was that it was a good thing to have someone else at least vaguely qualified on the FD just because it's a good idea to have two people there." he was absolutely right in principle.

This is evidenced in some detail by http://tinyurl.com/6fmq5y from posts 26 to 33 and particularly post 32, regarding the death of the captain on his first flight in command of a Continental 757-300 in January 2007 . A further website quotes: "While a few flight attendants and passengers tended to the stricken pilot, the co-pilot [who was actually checking out the deceased captain on his transfer from 737 to 757 - my addition] took over as captain of the plane. He then asked over the intercom whether there were any pilots on board." and subsequently "There's nothing wrong with that," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig, who confirmed Brown's role in the emergency landing. "The (acting) captain can take any action for the sake of safety."

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Old 21st Nov 2008, 04:19
  #63 (permalink)  
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Thus far the assumption is of mental illness - is there not the possibility that these symptoms can result from physical ailments such as minor strokes and brain tumours?
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 04:22
  #64 (permalink)  
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I absolutely would not, repeat not, invite a PPL holder up front to "help" me.
Not even if the PPL holder had a MECIR, was a current ATCO familiar with the airspace procedures you are currently flying in and was also a qualified aviation meteorologist?
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 06:37
  #65 (permalink)  
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Much of the discussion here seems to take for granted that anyone put in the other seat will be doing the same things a pilot would do in that seat, but clearly, that isn't actually the case.

Airliners that normally have two pilots can be flown by one. Therefore, if one pilot is incapacitated, it is not necessary to replace him, and if one chooses to replace him, it is not necessary that the replacement be a pilot. All that's really needed from any substitute is the ability to accept and properly carry out instructions. Any intelligent person without a personality disorder can do that.

The idea of having a substitute with flight experience seems to presume that the substitute will actually be flying the aircraft at some point, but that is not a very rational assumption. The other pilotóthe one who is not incapacitated and is fully qualified to fly the aircraft, even single-handedówill fly the airplane. The substitute will simply help with tasks that are not specific to aviation and can be handled by anyone, such as saying something on the radio, or marking something on a piece of paper, or moving a lever or pushing a button (when instructed). This substitute will not be taking the controls and wrestling the jet down to the ground with heart-stopping bravery. The other pilot will do that, if necessary.

So the discussion about whether or not to have a pilot, or sim pilot, or flight attendant in place of the ailing pilot is moot, as nothing that person will be called upon to do will be anything that any normal person cannot do, even without special training.

Indeed, you might want someone without training, because a person without training will not be tempted to take any troublesome initiatives of his own, and will presumably just follow instructions. A private pilot might overestimate his flying skills and knowledge, even though he has never been on the flight deck of an airliner in his life, and a sim pilot might be so agog at the experience that he cannot even do as he is told. Air traffic controllers might not be tempted to try to fly the aircraft, but at the same time their special knowledge would be of very little use, although they might speak in a steady voice (but even that isn't certain, as they'd be under a different and more personal kind of stress in the cockpit).

So just put any intelligent, level-headed, unemotional person in the other seat, ask him or her to follow instructions exactly, provide some reassurance, and complete the flight. Or just fly the aircraft on your own, without asking for any help at all, which is unlikely to increase the risk.
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 08:54
  #66 (permalink)  
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So you're a flight simmer and you have been waiting all your life for a flight where one of the pilots becomes incapacitated and one of the cabin crew has a CPL!
A flight simmer would be the last person I would look to for help as they would be so keen to show their knowledge it would bound to be a distraction. What exactly would they be able to do that I can't?! I just don't think a simmer or random PPL would add to the synergy of the flight deck.

The cabin crew in my lot would be pretty useless too, yes, officially 'trained' to use the checklist but one recently thought we only stored fuel in one wing, and another had to ask how many engines out aircraft had.. Besides, in the heat of the moment they might just start literally 'reading' out the checklist verbatim, challenges AND responses... who knows what they'd do?

I am capable of operating the flap and gear myself, what you really miss as single crew is that situational overview the other pilot offers when you are flying.

Quite often we have company pilots positioning on board, now that would be a no-brainer - call them in.
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 14:48
  #67 (permalink)  
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"There's nothing wrong with that," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig, who confirmed Brown's role in the emergency landing. "The (acting) captain can take any action for the sake of safety."
And upsetting the passengers takes a distant second over ensuring a safe landing. If the acting Captain thinks he/she will do a better job with a PPL/sensible second pair of eyes in the other seat, then so be it.

It's perfectly possible that an experienced/recently retired professional flyer is in the cabin, and until you ask, you really don't know.
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 16:34
  #68 (permalink)  
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Good point 212man.

There's a long list of causes of acute psychosis, including the ones you mention.

Apart from substances of abuse, it could be a metabolic cause such as diabetes or side-effect of medication.

A key point- not specified in AAIU report - is whether the FO was subsequently transferred to a general ward or whether he stayed in the psychiatric wing of the hospital....
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 18:57
  #69 (permalink)  
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Don't bother ATCOs on their holidays

How about considering an air traffic controller to assist?
Tell you what lads, I have every confidence in any one of you to fly the thing on your own.

Just leave me in peace reading a book in the cabin and don't get me involved in someone else's incident.

And as my part of the deal, I won't look for any assistance from the skies next time I have to drag some raving madman/woman kicking and screaming from a scope and wrestle them from the Centre (happens all the time, the slightest thing sets us off)

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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 02:36
  #70 (permalink)  
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I'm slightly surprised that none have raised this point yet, so please correct me if I'm mistaken but if a flight crew member is incapacitated for an unknown reason (at the time) then would it not make sense to have a minimally trained but bright cc member at least available in the other seat to be ready to assist as best as they can?

Suppose there were even a remote chance that the cause was environmental (food, etc.), the benefit of having them there may just outweigh the risk of being distracted. And besides, if it happened mid-atlantic then the remaining pilot would at least have a bit of time to assess their inteligence and brief them on what may be required of them. I don't think anyone doubts the ability of a trained flight crew member to fly the aircraft safely on their own, but perhaps it may help to cover one's bases should the situation deteriorate with any other irregular occurrence present itself either with the remaining crew or the aircraft.

Just a thought.

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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 07:25
  #71 (permalink)  
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FlyMike, read the thread from the begining before posting.
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 08:15
  #72 (permalink)  
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Many (many) moons ago I used to fly (SLF) Wick to Aberdeen. Seem to remember Air Ecosse training the stewardesses basic flying skills. When I asked was told that it was in case of emergency. These were small planes with one pilot ? Bandeirante ?
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 10:31
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Humble SLF here, but I would have thought it was basic common sense to have a second person in the cockpit in case the remaining pilot suddenly keels over with, say, a heart-attack.

It would make further sense to me if the 'second person' was able to a) open the secure cockpit door and b) operate comms well enough to report the crisis.
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 10:34
  #74 (permalink)  
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It never ceases to amaze me at the attiudes that (some) pilots have of cabin crew. While there are ditzy flight attendants, theres also ones that are highly qualified.

A few I know personally have degrees, electrical engineerim, law, ecconomics, accounting, and 2 are god forbid, pilots too. With turbine time to boot.
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 11:08
  #75 (permalink)  
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Hmm, funny discussion this one.
In my company manual it is clearly stated, that in case of pilot incapacitation, the only "non-crewmember" allowed to come and help will be a company pilot if such is travelling as passenger for whatever reason.
If not, then put one of the junior CC in the empty seat and let her/him read the checklist and do other bits you need done that they can do. (this still leaves the senior CC to do the important bits in the back)

Personally these are also the 2 only options I would consider anyway. The company pilot (with valid ID if I/or the CC don't know him already) or the CC as I know them already, and truly believe they would do whatever they can, the best they can, in order to help out and get us all back down in one piece. No vivid PA's needed to get hold of either of the two groups btw.

If you start to take whatever other pilot, sim-expert, ATCO, PPL or something else up front, then you have no idea about their personality, skills, intentions, knowledge, CRM skills, - or even real intentions with the visit in the front office. Potentially you can end up with a lot more problems than you had already before this person entered the FD.

It is really a no-brainer as I see it. Safety first, and that means NO "no=known people must enter the FD".
Who knows, it could be Bin-Ladens son with a ppl who comes and offers his "help"

Just my half penny worth, happy weekend to all
Old 22nd Nov 2008, 12:32
  #76 (permalink)  
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Who knows, it could be Bin-Ladens son with a ppl who comes and offers his "help"
Blimey, an incapacitated pilot and Bin-Ladens son on the same flight. More chance of winning the jackpot in the lottery!

I take your point, but some of the junior CC I've come across wouldn't have a clue and could easily be just as much if not more of a distraction. My contention is that an ATCO could at least take the r/t workload off of you, as well as read a checklist. Granted, you may not know him/her, but in all honesty, if you're working for a fairly large outfit, I doubt if you'd know much about the junior CC's "personality, skills, intentions, knowledge, and CRM skills" either. After all, how often do the same crew fly together in a year? And how often is the junior CC a newbie?
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 15:28
  #77 (permalink)  
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FlyMike, read the thread from the begining before posting.
Avman, I have done so (twice now to see what I may have missed the first time) and while I've seen some excellent points I haven't seen much consideration to the possibility of the other flight crew member also being incapacitated. And so what I'm saying is that having a cc member sitting in the seat would effectively also be to monitor the condition of the remaining half of the flight crew. I've seen posts advocating similar actions being taken, but perhaps for different reasons (which are then interpereted as allowing flight simmers to "fly the plane" by others!)

So Avman, I'm sorry if I'm still re-hashing a point that's already been discussed, and please do point me in the right direction (post # or summary) as I'm eager to know if there's any more dialogue on this.


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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 16:19
  #78 (permalink)  
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See! I knew this thread would wind up this way

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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 21:23
  #79 (permalink)  
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Blimey, an incapacitated pilot and Bin-Ladens son on the same flight. More chance of winning the jackpot in the lottery!
Absolutely !

There might be a situation where you really need a hand, would the capt. who was nearly sucked out of the flight deck window of a BAC 1-11 some years back and was only saved by 2 stewards hanging on to his ar*e, have refused to let passengers in to help him if they had been the only ones to hand, crying " get out, you're not allowed on the flt. deck to save my life "

Get real, deal with any situation in the best way YOU can at the time, I'd rather be alive to justify my actions to The Subsequent Court of Inquiry - than dead.

Time this thread was closed.
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 21:43
  #80 (permalink)  
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A pilot is a pilot...

don't be silly and unveil the best kept secret: that in a unfortunate event like this anybody can fly a plane! just give he/her a clear radio contact with the ground and anybody would be able to perform and auto-land!!

I agree that a pilot is a pilot but..do not forget George at list here in this professional forum.


ps : i do hope our F/O to recover quickly it takes a long time to reach that seat and a second to loose it .
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