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Pilot locked in toilet causes accidental terror scare

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Pilot locked in toilet causes accidental terror scare

Old 17th Nov 2011, 15:12
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Pilot locked in toilet causes accidental terror scare

At least the helpful passenger didn't get arrested or taken down by an air marshall


Pilot locked in lavatory causes unnecessary terror scare - NYPOST.com
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 17:00
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Co-pilot thought it was a terrorist attack as passenger helping captain spoke with a heavy foreign accent - guess it could have been British english
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 17:19
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My best toilet door story involved an ex-RAF friend of mine who came out of the RAF and joined Laker Airways on the DC-10 about one month before I did.

We did our training sectors on (relatively) short sectors down to southern Europe and the Near East.

At this stage of the exercise, I have to explain that we had a wonderful training department and the training captains were excellent. However, there is always one. He was an ex-noncom RAF pilot who did not take prisoners and expected perfection.

So my friend is scheduled to do his very first sector on the DC-10 from UK to Spain. Naturally, he turned up super-early to get ahead of the game and all was going really well as far as he could determine until he realised not long before top of drop that he needed a pee.

He simply could not last until touch down so he asked "Sir" if he could go back for what our American friends call "a comfort break".

"Do you have to? Bloody hell! We are nearly there. Can't you hang on?"

Well, he had to go back and just outside the flight deck door were the two forward lavs. At each door was a queue of passengers.

So, my mate said, "Sorry about this but I am going to have to pull rank for I am needed up front".

The ladies in the queue were happy to let him in and my friend did his best to empty his bladder as quickly as possible. While he was in mid-stream, so to speak, he heard the throttles coming back. My God, we have passed TOD and I am in the loo thought he. This will not go down well with Sir.

He came out of the loo, thanked the ladies in the queue and then tried to get back into the flight deck.

Now I have to explain that up to this point the Company had spent an absolute fortune teaching all of us in the AA academy at DFW every single little detail of how a DC-10 worked. But no one had actually bothered to tell us how the doorhandle into the flight deck worked.

So, my mate, having thanked the ladies in the loo-queue, tried to get back into his office. Now, prior to 9/11, the door handle was fixed and all you had to do was to give it a tug and pull (a ball-joint).

My mate tried turning it to the right, he tried turning it to the left and finally in desperation gave the door a bloody great tug and pulled.

At this point, he went arse over tit backwards and ended up in the laps of three elderly ladies in the front row who stroked his hair and said something along the lines of "Never mind son"!

I think it would be fair to say that he did not feel at his best when he finally got back in his office.

Moving on; some years later I ended up working for an American Part 121 operator based at JFK. The FAA had introduced a locked flight door policy to prevent hi-jacking. At that time, the biggest threat was a Cuban with a can of petrol.

So, we got an ex-Laker DC-10 and I was commissioned by my boss to get some flight deck door keys. Unbelieveably, I found an original key in the flight engineer's drawer.

I took it down to Manhattan and found a "key shop".

"I want 36 of these" said I.

He was a bit reticent but, when I explained the problem, he happily made me 36 keys.

So the pilots, the flight engineers and the senior, back in the cabin were duly issued with a key.

It didn't take long.

A couple of weeks later, my flight engineer went back to the loo and forgot to take his key with him. Eventually, he decided to try his DC-8 key. Not only did that work but his B707 and B727 keys also worked!

I would have to say that the United States of America were completely unprepared for 9/11.
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 17:41
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Flight attendants?

The captain (stuck in the loo) should have requested that the 'helpful passenger' locate one of the flight attendants to approach the cockpit and inform the co-pilot of the predicament. Heavy accent* or not, giving any passenger a security password isn't terribly smart. Someone could jam the toilet door and pretend to be a good Samaritan. Now, he's only got one person on the flight deck left to deal with.

* I just heard this story on the local news, courtesy of a local radio morning talk show (The Bob Rivers Show with Bob Spike and Joe). Spike O'Neill's talent with 'foreign accents' practically had me ROTFLMAO with his possible interpretations of this incident.
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 17:58
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did the F/O not contact the FA and see what was going on outside re the foreign accent before pulling the pin on the grenade with atc?
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 18:10
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Your worst humiliation is nothing more than someone else's momentary entertainment.

Embraer 145's have only one flight attendant. When one pilot leaves the flight deck, the flight attendant is required (FAA) to enter the cockpit and remain there until the crewmember returns. This is to ensure there is someone to open the cockpit door if the remaining pilot is incapacitated.

So the captain was trapped in the lav and the FO and FA were on the opposite side of the fortress door knowing only that he was missing and someone else was pounding on the door and shouting.

Good move on the part of the FO keeping the flight deck locked. Bad move on the part of the CA divulging divulging security procedures which are now in the press.

Last edited by BobnSpike; 17th Nov 2011 at 18:30.
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 19:36
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interesting problem...worst case scenario..what would the captain do? If the door has to stay and the FA can't come out, then FO and FA have to declare an emergency and land soon as practical.

Maybe we need to come up with a stuck in the bathroom code and have a passenger just slide the note under the door. LOL
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 20:54
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The terrorists have won yet another round
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 20:55
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Bad move on the part of the CA divulging divulging security procedures which are now in the press.
Which parts? I didn't see any disclosure of information that I already didn't knew as SLF.
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 21:28
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Originally Posted by BobnSpike View Post
Bad move on the part of the CA divulging divulging security procedures which are now in the press.
Don't worry, they deliberately didn't divulge the part where the FA gets all the SLF to turn round and face the back so they can't see the security procedure in progress...

Oops...
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Old 17th Nov 2011, 21:46
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A perfect example of how "modern world" procedures can turn a seemingly minor incident into something newsworthy. The only solution is to bring an empty cola bottle in the flight bag.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 03:48
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Great Story, JW411

Seriously, pearls like this makes me enjoy my morning coffee even more for a great start into the day
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 05:17
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Snoop This has gotta be a joke....lol

Hasn't anyone told the new 'Nigels' how to open a lavvy door??? Duuhh...it's not rocket science Miss Moneypenny!

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Old 18th Nov 2011, 14:51
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JW414 "He was an ex-noncom RAF pilot.....

1."He was an ex-noncom RAF pilot....."

JW414, how frightfully awful having to fly with an ex-noncom RAF pilot. Please do not tell me that the DC10 Flight Enginer was also an ex noncom RAF Flight Engineer, I just couldn't bear it!!

How one has to adjust when one leaves "the club".

2. "I would have to say that the United States of America were completely unprepared for 9/11."

Not like this country was for 7/7.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 19:48
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JW-411,

When I started with a US carrier back in 1966, we were all issued cockpit keys. We were told they were the same for all carriers. I tried mine on a few other carriers and they all worked. The story was that in the 1930s, these keys would open the doors of the buildings at emergency airports along the major routes.


Goldfish
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 22:33
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JW411

Really enjoyed reading that.....I can relate to those flightdeck times you want the world to swallow you up! ....and its usually at the most inconvenient time...
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Old 19th Nov 2011, 11:28
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Was he cleared to Epsom from Monday to Saturday?
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Old 19th Nov 2011, 12:02
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All I cared about was why the F/O was doing 180 kts at 10'000

lol!
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Old 19th Nov 2011, 13:59
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The Captain at the end of the recording..."There is no issue, no threat!!"

The F.O's imagination ran wild!
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Old 19th Nov 2011, 14:20
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If I was the Captain, I certainly would have been embarrassed but the First Officer probably did exactly as he should have done.
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