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Pilots didn't know about evacuation

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Pilots didn't know about evacuation

Old 10th Feb 2011, 04:36
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Pilots didn't know about evacuation

Plane evacuated by cabin crew at Glasgow without pilots knowing.
BBC News - Pilot unaware of plane evacuation at Glasgow Airport

After detecting "a pungent burning smell" througout the cabin, cabin crew instigated an evacuation without pilot permission or knowledge.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 04:52
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I have never worked at a company that has required the cabin crew to seek my permission to evacuate. Nor have they been required to let us know they were going either. One shouldn't assume but one will that there is a fair chance that we would realise. Loud PA, doors opening, stamping of feet, screaming(!).

It must have been the quietest, most orderly, evacuation ever for the flight deck not to have noticed.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 05:48
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3 cheers for that. You don`t think the captain should have had an input ?
Oh well, as long as it`s done in an orderly fashion, just leave him running his checks like an old bowser at a bus stop.

lf l may ....

At what point in your training did you become divorced from the boss ?
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 05:48
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Agree that cabin crew do not need to get permission for an evacuation. I'm sure that whoever initiated the evacuation had a very good reason for doing so. There will be an AAIB report into the incident which will be made available when it is completed.

addition: The report is out and a link to the pdf is available at Air Accidents Investigation: Boeing 757-204, G-BYAT (having trouble opening pdf but that's probably my computer and not the AAIB's fault).

Last edited by Super VC-10; 10th Feb 2011 at 05:54. Reason: addition of report
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 05:49
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I have never worked at a company that has required the cabin crew to seek my permission to evacuate. Nor have they been required to let us know they were going either.
I have and it's a very good idea to keep the FD crew informed.
Then again, some CC have a mind of their own...such as it is
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 06:09
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lt smacks of stuff from the AAIB, oh by the way, log a new fire extinguisher needed in the rear galley, the No1 said to the captain on leaving.
"What?" a cabin fire had been discovered and dealt with in flight with no input to the skipper. None.

Of course any crew member can initiate an evacuation to save lives.

Sounds like the normal power struggle to me. Do c/a have licences yet ?

Super VC-10, no it isn`t working but full marks for being on boil.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 06:09
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I agree that it is a good idea to keep everyone in the loop, even those behind the locked door. However, it has never been a requirement where I've worked.

Overun, to answer your question, yes it is nice for the Captain to have some input but there will always be situations where there isn't time to communicate with him/her, flash fire in the cabin comes to mind. Our cabin crew are empowered by the company to make an executive, unilateral decision to evacuate should they think it's necessary. They have to be bloody sure it is though.

I always ask in the pre flight brief if they'd let us know before they pop off. The answer is invariably 'if they have time'. It's one of the reasons that I always have the PA volume on in the background, that way I can hear what's going on in the back.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 06:15
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The wording of the AAIB report suggests that the flight crew were informed (my emphasis) -

The SCCM then returned to the forward cabin and contacted all the crew using the Alert Call on the cabin interphone.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 06:26
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Fine.

Was there a flash fire ? l do know that in the event of an unplanned landing ( and l`ve had a few - just call me Lucky ) my first priority - after safeguarding the aircraft - is to notify the No1.

At this point we will start agreeing l know. l don`t know the facts and l should have held fire, but if something is grey, four legs, ten feet tall, with a very long nose l will bet it`s an elephant....... a quid to a pinch of sh*t.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 06:45
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LSM

Your first sentence of your last post sets the scene mate.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 06:52
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Overrun - I managed to access the full Feb bulletin and read the report that way.

Air Accidents Investigation: February 2011
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 07:01
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Very well done Super VC-10. Sounds patronising, please forgive that.

They were lucky, someone may have had a broken back.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 08:11
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A couple of questions spring to mind on this one:
1. Who was directly responsible for the injuries suffered by the passengers? I'll answer that one, the SCCM.
2. With smoke in an aircraft, why was the airbridge attached with door open? I thought we had learnt the lessons from this one.
3. With a conscious, functioning flight crew, who is (still) in charge?
4. Is the attitude "She added that given similar circumstances, with no rear steps in place and with the very distinct smell of burning in the rear of the aircraft, she would again consider initiating an evacuation." the correct one!

I think she should look for another job, say in Poundland or Aldi. This smacks of "I'll do whatever I want, I'm in charge!" and these sorts of people are a serious threat to the lives of passengers.

PM
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 08:25
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PM.. I know little of crew regs, but it strikes me that if there is a suspicion of fire or toxic fumes then full marks to whoever gets the pax out....

Speaking as one-time SLF I think the lady deserves a medal and the churlish remarks about Poundland and Aldi are totally out of order.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 08:47
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PM,

1. The captain. Although the SCCM may be part of the cause of the injuries. All orders given by any member of the crew are given using the captains authority.
2. There was no smoke. There was a strong smell of burning which became apparent after arrival on stand and after disembarkation had begun.
3. The captain.
4. Yes, having received an unsatisfactory response from the flight deck what would you like her to do? Wait? For how long? Saudia 163 ring any bells with you?

these sorts of people are a serious threat to the lives of passengers.
I think four people were injured getting out. How many people would have been injured or worse had she not ordered an evacuation?
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 08:52
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I have never worked for a company where the crew couldn't initiate evacuation, but ONLY if the situation was CLEARLY CATASTROPHIC or after a severe incident where the CC was unable to get in contact with the FD.

For anything else, it is the Captains decision, and there might very well be factors internal or external that the CC don't know about, but that would endanger evacuation (eg running engines, fire, other aircrafts ect)

But of course, we don't want to be too harsh to our crew for taking initiative

If the Captain hadn't been informed / consulted and the situation was not clearly catastrophic, then the SCCM is to blame for all injuries. The Captain has been bypassed and had no saying, and he might have chosen a very different and better informed decision had he been consulted about the situation.

Poor decision to disregard the Captain and give a **** about CRM, when there were time to make a proper decision by the right people. The Captain might only have needed 5-10 seconds to make his mind up, and injuries might have been avoided completely.

Aldi seems like a more safe place to work for some people!!
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 09:16
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Each company will have their own instructions for the crew of which this is one example. It is not from the company concerned and shouldn't be used as such:

Normally, the Captain will give the command, "EVACUATE", repeated 2-3 times.
If no Flight Crew member has provided the necessary direction, the purser/CCM should attempt to contact the flight deck by interphone to obtain instructions.
An evacuation must not be initiated while the aircraft is moving. However, any Crew Member may initiate evacuation in cases of extreme/catastrophic emergency.

The obvious question here is: what do you define as extreme/catastrophic?
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 09:31
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IMO this was not extreme/ catastrophic.

Not only that, it appears that the Flight Deck were more than aware of the situation and were busy dealing with it?

Having said that - it's very difficult to predict actions under stressful conditions. We always need some luck!
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 09:43
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But surely the flight deck crew should have been informed, to safeguard their safety too?
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 09:57
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From the AAIB report it is clear that, while CC have the authority to order an evacuation, the company policy is that they should only do so in an extreme/catastrophic situation. My airline has similar wording in the manuals.

The situation on that aircraft was clearly not extreme/catastrophic. The flight crew were concious, aware and able to communicate. The cabin crew member acted outside their remit.

In SEP refresher training it is always interesting to ask CC to describe examples of what they consider a catastrophic situation. The answers are often illuminating.
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