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CX -400 returns to LHR with security scare, any info?

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CX -400 returns to LHR with security scare, any info?

Old 7th Jan 2003, 08:52
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CX -400 returns to LHR with security scare, any info?

CX -400 returns to LHR with security scare on the 7th Jan. Anyone got more info?
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 14:50
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Apparantly aircraft left LHR and soon after take off it was discovered bags were on board of pax who was flying to HKG
with BA and not CX.

Returned about 4hrs out.

Not bad. 8hr flight and you still end up in LHR

A/c was B-HOS. Will operate delayed -CX250 tonight
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 15:13
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Question

Would someone kindly clarify the situation for me, with regard to "unaccompanied baggage"? Subject, of course to any security limitations.

In this instance, if there was any sort of risk at all, why then fly for an additional 4 hours? Would it not have been sensible to divert to the nearest alternative airport?

Secondly, if they knew that the "owner" was on a different flight, would they have been able to use discretion, and get the BA Cabin Crew to observe/interview said passenger for any signs of foul play?

Or is it mandatory to return to point of departure?

Many thanks
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 19:24
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Was this not a bit of overkill? How is it different from, say, the bags being accidentally loaded onto an earlier flight to the same destination? Would that cause a diversion/return to origin as well?

Though I suppose I can think of one possible answer. IIRC, BA operates to HKG from T4, while CX is at T3. Does this mean that the bags had interlined? Was this why everyone was jumpy?
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 19:38
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Question

The question remains: why did they RISK an additional 4 hours flying time Poor policy. I would have thought that an immediate diversion to a suitable airport would have made a lot more sense.
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 20:03
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All security threats are assessed by very skilled threat assessors. Presumably this situation was assessed as low risk with no requirement for an immediate landing. As such if a diversion needs to be made to offload the bag then commercial decisions come to the fore and it was probably better to return the passengers to LHR where they may have stood a better chance of travelling on a later flight and where those who no longer wished to travel could go home.
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 21:29
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low risk with no requirement for an immediate landing
So why turn back at all ?
Not second-guessing y'unnerstand (I wasn't there), but unless the passenger had somehow contrived to become separated from the bags, this would seem to be no risk at all. Fear of busting SOPs maybe ?
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 21:58
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The inmates are in charge of the insane asylum that is known as security...

Lets hope that the Captain had no part in this decision..
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 23:30
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Cathay's policy is to never accept unaccompanied baggage. Period. In my opinion, given the present world circumstances, this policy is a correct one.
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Old 7th Jan 2003, 23:59
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Cpt. Underpants

You miss the point, once the operation is in motion common sense or airmanship rules the day...

IMHO and as others have pointed out this was not a good operational decision given the information known to the forum.

Cheers..
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 00:15
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Well, they could've done what a certain Euro airline did here once.
They received a bomb scare ex SIN to MEL. The aircraft turned back, then decided it was a hoax so continued on to MEL. Upon arrival, the crew demanded a full security search of the aircraft.

Yeah, that was a fun day!
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 02:14
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There is also the question of where could the aircraft go given the decision had been made to land. I suspect a 747-400 en-route to Hong Kong is going to be well over its max landing weight for some time after take off and without dumping the fuel it may well have been four hours before the aircraft could land anyway so why not continue on to Heathrow? Should the situation escalate there are sutiable en-route diversion airfields, but why create an emergency situation when a realistic security assessment suggests there isn't one.

Tan - I think you miss the point. Company policy is company policy. The decision to offload the bag will almost certainly have been made by the company. Once that decision is made, the decision as to how soon and where that bag can be off-loaded is down to the flight crew. I would suggest that common sense prevailed in this incident. Four hours eastbound out of London there aren't that many places you'd want to take a 744 unless it really was a genuine emergency.
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 03:13
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LHR-HKG is about 13 hrs flt time ie ultra long haul and so heavy crew...duty time is in the vicinity of 15 hours. To stop off enroute is out of the question due duty constraints on multi sector flight. Crew are on reserve in LHR for such circumstances as a turn back. 4 hours would have been adequate time to get all concerned briefed and ready for a quick turn around. Max landing weight considerations with a belly full of fuel all come into play.
Last but not least is company policy as indicated by Capt Undies.
There is always more to the situation that that seen at first glance by a number of respondants to this forum.....aka Tan...you miss the point.
All in all a sensible and professional result.
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 04:49
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Interesting thread !

A few weeks ago I was transiting ATL. My connecting flight was a 3 hours stop over. Arrived over 1 hour early so made a mad dash to the departure gate in time to make the earlier flight BUT no even though there was space I could not travel because my baggage was not on that flight.
Sounds good so far eh.

A few weeks before, on a another trip I arrived at my destination Sans Baggage !!
So what does the airline do.
They put it on the next flight Sans Pax !


Structured security ???
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 07:39
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A slight difference there Tshirt. You checked in your baggage and boarded the flight. Your baggage was misdirected and not loaded. Baggage is found and sent to you on next available flight after being screened by x-ray. There is no need for you to be on that flight anymore as your baggage is obviously not a threat.
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 08:25
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Just a question concerning time and cost here.

The bag was considered low-risk, if any. Four hours into the flight and four hours back equalling at least eight of thirteen hours generating a heck of a lot of costs to the airline with absolutely no return on invest. I’m not a bean counter, but that seems somewhat of the scales to me.

Assuming that this bag was a serious threat to the flight, eight of thirteen hours would have been a high gamble would it not? Hence an immediate diversion would have occurred, disregarding of any duty time or cost.

Based on the info available here today, the decision to return to LHR makes no sense - either it is an emergency and you divert or it is not and you might as well carry on.
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 09:02
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UK DTLR regs state quite clearly that NO aircraft, irrespective of nationality may depart any UK aerodrome with unchecked baggage on board. Unaccompanied baggage that has been cleared with the relevant procedures may travel but is required to have an unaccompanied hold baggage certificate signed. If you do not have this certificate then it doesn't travel - period. Our company requires the loadcontroller to sign a different declaration stating that all baggage recorded is on board and that he certifies that no unknown baggage is loaded in accordance with our company regulations. If we don't have this certificate signed and presented with the loadsheet, then pushback does not begin until it is presented and signed by PIC.
Twice our aircraft have been recalled recently back to stand due to the procedure being missed, several knuckles being severely rapped. CX procedures sound very similar to ours.
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 09:23
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Hand solo, I would have thought that somewhere like Dubai would have been be a suitable alternative, in this instance, without jeopardising crew hours. It is about 7 hours out of Heathrow, so would have provided earlier landing, it is en route, although would have added about 1000 miles to total journey, and surely has the right facilities for such an incident. Also served by both BA and CX. Just a thought.
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 10:59
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Slingsby. How on earth would the loadcontroller know what bags are on board the aircraft? He can only rely on the loading staff to do their job, unless, of course, he's sitting in the baggage make up area watching...in which case, how's he doing the loadsheet?

Be very, very careful what you are asked to sign for.
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Old 8th Jan 2003, 12:18
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Overkill in my opinion, the pax's bags had just been accidently loaded on to the wrong flight, if they had no part in it and it was a pure cock-up then why turn back. That said, if the company wants you to turn back then you have little choice, it's thier aeroplane after all.
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