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Pilots didn't know about evacuation

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Pilots didn't know about evacuation

Old 10th Feb 2011, 14:48
  #41 (permalink)  

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On one incident there was a deadheading FA sitting by the overwing exit on a 727, an aircraft she was not familiar with.

When the FE started the APU it torched and some flames came up by the window she was sitting by.

She immediately screamed for everyone to evacuate, jumped up, ran across the aisle to the other side's overwing exit and opened it. Then as the confused and now frightened passengers started yelling and standing up, the assigned Cabin Crew managed to tackle the out of control deadheading FA and informed the Captain to stop the aircraft as passengers were trying to leave the cabin.

As it turned out there were no serious injuries as no passenger was actually able to leave the aircraft as it was taxing.

In the case that is the subject of this thread, tell the cockpit crew first, if they are not paying attention to you, whack them up the side of the head if you have to, but tell them before one starts to evacuate passengers via the slides.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 15:03
  #42 (permalink)  

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Decent airlines have SOPs. They are there for a reason and developed after much thought and debate and also are apporved by the regulatory authorities. SOPs will never be perfect but had the CC member actually adhered to her training and followed SOPs the incident would never have happened.

Her comment that she would consider doing the same again was probably bravado speaking and her trying to justify her completely and utterly incorrect actions.

Actions have consequences and if you operate outside how the aircraft operator wants its aircraft operated (SOPs) then you had better be very sure of what actions you are about to take.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 15:06
  #43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Checkboard
Not a very clear command - perhaps she intended the passengers to simply hasten disembarking via the (already open and in use) forward door and aerobridge?
- like CB, I suspect the wrong form of words was used and the rear crew picked up on the 'evacuation' bit? A salutary lesson for all.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 15:49
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think so, she says in the report she would do the same again. If passengers had evacuated and she thought she could pin the blame on someone misunderstanding something she had said, do you not think she might have done that? Rather than take the flak and say that she would do it again.

No, she initiated an evacuation and meant to do it. Loose cannonball.

As to another comment, she would have been at the front whilst pax were disembarking, so a quick shout through the door would have got the attention of the crew. The fact she acted on her own, without knowing the full facts really worries me.

There was no heat, or smoke. The only sign that I can fathom is the SMELL... yes SMELL of burning. That could be anything...oil, APU fumes, confused with Antiice fluid, air con smoke. Practically anything. If it's not immediately obvious then yes, get the pax off quickly, but no need for unnacceptable risk with slide deployment. IMO.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 16:05
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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potentially catastrophic situation
The problem with that is that you only know if a situation is "potentially catastrophic" if you wait and see how it turns out. However, if a strong odour suggests a fire somewhere, you could see it as "potentially catastrophic". It is always easy to say it was not with hindsight.

The report also suggests that the odour in the back was much stronger than in the front where the captain was.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 16:07
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not an aviation professional, but I am a fireman, so I know a bit about fire. Been in quite a few too.

In the circumstances described, with the aircraft at the gate and the main door open, it seems to me that the most appropriate course of action, if the senior decided they needed to get everyone off the plane immediately, would be an emergency disembarkation via the main door. I haven't read the report yet, but I wonder why that option wasn't considered, or was rejected.

If conditions had deteriorated this could have been escalated to a full evacuation forthwith.

I'll say this much: as a firefighter, it would take a lot for me to criticise a... premature... evacuation. Yes it carries the risk of injuries, but I'd sooner have them off when it wasn't really necessary than not off soon enough; things can do downhill more rapidly than you would believe possible.

I'll leave discussion of the training, SOP, and CRM issues to the professional aviators!
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 18:50
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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I'm going to dip my toe in the water with a (former) cabin crew perspective. Don't be too harsh!

Firstly I understood and respected the chain of command. I also understood the importance of keeping the flight crew in the communication loop; that their situational awareness could only be enhanced by a clear description of whatever might be happening in the furthermost reaches of the cabin.

The training I received encouraged cabin crew to work on their own initiative when the situation demanded it. If the situation was clearly catastrophic,(and this was very well defined) then you commenced an evacuation even without the Captain's command.

However training also underscored other greyer areas. That you may be involved in what seemed like a 'contained' emergency that suddenly and without apparent warning deteriorated into something immediately life threatening. Where reaching for the interphone might mean you get to find out exactly how fire retardant your polyster mix uniform actually was. Obviously initiating an evacuation when the aircraft was moving, had the engines running or indeed had several thousand feet of cloud beneath it was best avoided. I think the best advice I was given was - if you are thinking 'should I?' then don't.

In my experience training was very concentrated on in flight emergencies and less on ground based ones. 180 passengers 25,000ft up have little option but to listen and be directed by crew. Good communication under these circumstances is relatively easy. However transfer the situation to the ground where the passengers know they are on terra firma, sense impending disaster and want a swift and immediate exit and you have a very challenging and dynamic situation in the cabin. Under these circumstances communication is far more likely to break down and hasty, incorrect decisions made by the cabin crew. I don't know what the current sep is like, I'm a couple of years out of date, but I think it's a training area that needs to be explored thoroughly.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 21:07
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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As a Capt I've no problem with cc initiating an evacuation - just as long they realise that the bloody engines might still be running !!!!!!!
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 21:28
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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This is all kind of amusing. As a passenger, if the aircraft is stopped on the ground and I have any reason to suspect there may be a fire on board, I'll initiate my own evacuation. The cabin and flight crew can stay on board and argue about protocol if they want, but I'll be outside the aircraft and safe in the meantime. I don't care about regulations or legal consequences in emergencies. There's a reason why all passengers have access to instructions that explain how to open the doors.

I do know one thing: a fire can be blazing away in an aircraft even before the smell is noticed in the cabin (much less on the flight deck). And a smell can turn into a cabin filled with flame in a few seconds. So I absolutely cannot blame a FA for initiating evacuationóbetter safe than sorry. And if she hadn't, I would have (at least for my own evacuation, others can figure things out for themselves). Her only mistake was not making clear to the flight deck that an evacuation might be a good idea. After all, they are in danger, too, and if they discover a fire too late, they might not make it outside. Aircraft fires do not follow chain-of-command protocols.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 22:01
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Thats fine mate , but as I said above don't blame me if you get sucked into a running engine because YOU think its appropriate to get out......
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 23:35
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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I agree. As SLF, I think there comes a point where you have to take action. Tbh, engines clearly shut down -airbidge attached, f/d door open and slides disarmed.

Reminds me of BA PHX incident which happened because of poor communication.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 01:10
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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"slides disarmed" unwittingly good point iamorgan,

someone doing their own evacuation may fall 40' onto concrete!
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 02:01
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Loose cannonball.
Yup.
Far too many of these in the CC ranks today, in many airlines.
We have a sure cure for this in my airline...it's called termination.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 02:15
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many years ago on an F27 in oz, nsw. just finished shutting down l/h engine the capt called crew over interphone to " get the passengers off now" . hearing the tone in his voice the cabin crew did exactly that. they then reported to capt still on the deck "cabin evacuated". that really got his attention. what he had meant to tell the cc was a heavy storm was about to hit tha a/p and he didn't want anyone getting wet!
it's always about communication
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 03:28
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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AnthonyGA
"I don't care about regulations or legal consequences in emergencies."
"others can figure things out for themselves."
Does it not occur to you that procedures are in place for good safety reasons?
There's a reason why all passengers have access to instructions that explain how to open the doors.
I've always assumed it is so that passengers can assist CC if required in the event of an emergency. eg If one or more CC have been incapacitated. It had never occurred to me until I read your post that some of my fellow passengers might regard it as an invitation to open a door if they consider it necessary. A troubling thought.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 04:55
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Ah! the pilots take too long with their evacuation checks. Lets just evacuate and feed the pax into the meat grinders hung below the wings.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 06:18
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Once the slides are deployed they get an indication in the cockpit. I reckon they knew whats going on, only that they didn make the decision for it.
As a pilot if you see the slides are deployed what would you do? would you shut the engines and go out of the cockpit to see what the ..... is going on?

There are two different perspective here.
1.You have the cockpit, confined, no burning smell or very little, going trough checklists.
2.You also have the CC with 200 pax on board looking at them and a strong burning smell they have no ideea where is coming from. CC is thinking if its safe to stay on board or get out, they wait for some info that doesnt come.

Purser tried to get more info, couldnt, so got everyone out.
Cant blame any of the parts involved but IMO FD should have had a quicker reaction to either communicate with the CC/pax or initate the precautionary disembarkation.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 06:43
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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skytrax. You obviously have no experience on the B757. There are no indications on the FD that slides are deployed. You can't even tell if they are armed or disarmed. Please get your facts right.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 08:08
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Hindsight!

It seems to me that with hindsight perhaps this lady might have tried the emergency call button to contact the FD before deciding to evacuate. I think it would be churlish however to criticise her with the benefit of hindsight.

I'm sure that evacuation is not something she undertook lightly but knowing how fast a fire can spread in an aircraft cabin I don't think anyone can really criticise her for being proactive in getting pax off.

Having been in one or two incidents myself (as flight-deck) I know how easy it is to find your actions questioned after the event by somebody in the calm of an air conditioned office!

DP
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 08:10
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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My bad in regards to that. I have no experience on B757.
However I still belive that a quicker response from the FD would have ruled out the evacuation. IMO this incident was caused by bad CRM.
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