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Topic: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: Evan767
Posted 2010-07-30 09:02:53 and read 14149 times.

Has anyone noticed nowadays that pilots almost always seem to ignore the seatbelt sign? I was on a 14 hour flight from HKG-DTW last month and soon after takeoff the captain turned off the seatbelt sign. Then, about 30 minutes later he said there were some bumps ahead, which turned out to be extremely weak, and turned back on the seatbelt sign. After these bumps happened, the seatbelt sign remained on for the rest of the flight! There wasn't even any noticeable turbulence. After maybe the first half hour of smooth flight, pax felt free to get up and go to the bathroom, open the overhead bins, walk around the cabin, etc. Isn't this demeaning the importance of the seatbelt sign? What if we really did hit some serious turbulence, and pax were up and about the cabin? Isn't this even more unsafe than turning the seatbelt sign on and off so that we take it seriously? Anybody else noticed the seatbelt sign being "abused" lately? Maybe this is only an American thing?

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: BMI727
Posted 2010-07-30 09:05:23 and read 14158 times.

Quoting Evan767 (Thread starter):
Maybe this is only an American thing?

American pilots do seem to keep the seatbelt sign on more than others, probably due to fear of litigation, but in your case it sounds like he just forgot.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: Evan767
Posted 2010-07-30 09:12:23 and read 14096 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
American pilots do seem to keep the seatbelt sign on more than others, probably due to fear of litigation, but in your case it sounds like he just forgot.

I don't know anything about law, but could a pax potentially have a case if he was up during a long flight with the seatbelt sign on because he HAD to use the lav and suffered injuries due to sudden severe turbulence? Couldn't he claim the pilot had knowledge that the air was smooth the rest of the time yet he kept the sign on?

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: mjzair
Posted 2010-07-30 09:40:08 and read 13977 times.

I think pilots pay about as much attention to the seatbelt sign as passengers do.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: iaherj
Posted 2010-07-30 09:44:44 and read 13966 times.

Here's my take. I haven't posted on here in a while. I fly the 757 and 767 and on long flights like the one you were just on, I try to take several things into consideration. If the flight is going to take place mostly at night(mainland U.S. to Europe) I turn the sign off at cruise if it is smooth. If we encounter or anticipate turbulence, I turn it back on. If all signs are pointing to smooth air for a few more hours after the 1st relight of the sign, I'll turn it off again. It it looks like we are going to be in and out of choppy air, I will leave it on, even if that means several hours of flying with it on. My reasoning, the modern aircraft have automatic announcements when the sign is turned on. I don't want to cycle it all night waking up the passengers who are trying to sleep. I discuss with the FA's that if we anticipate areas of real turbulence, we will give them a call and they will strictly enforce the sign. Otherwise, we have made announcements and if someone gets up and moves around with the sign on, it is at his/her own risk. We don't have too many nazi enforcers at my airline but if we are going to fly through areas of known turbulence, we will inform the FA's to enforce the sign. The last thing anyone of us wants is for a cabin crewmember or passenger to be hurt on our watch. At the same time, we want you to be comfortable and feel free to move around on long segments.

On a long day flight, we will try to keep the sign off as much as possible. What happens sometimes on long segments is multiple seat swaps in the cockpit with augmented crews going on breaks and forgetting to discuss the seatbelt sign with those returning from break etc. I will make an effort to give more thought and discuss seatbelt sign usage more often with the other pilots I fly with in the future.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: WNwatcher
Posted 2010-07-30 09:51:50 and read 13910 times.

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 2):

I would say technically no, because the pax was up while the light was on and the airline has warnings online and on the ticket sleeves releasing them of liability. However, it wouldn't surprise me to see some form of reimbursement to the pax to save face. I flew on DL once during the summer months with slight turbulence. A middle aged pax attempted to get up to use the lav and was confronted by the FA's asking him to return to his seat as the fasten seatbelt light was still on. Just my .02
-Wn

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: airlinereporter
Posted 2010-07-30 09:56:33 and read 13871 times.

I have been noticing that passengers don't seem to care at all about the seatbelt sign and FA's don't really enforce it. You might get a secondary announcement about the seatbelt sign, but so many will get up and act like it is not lit.

Pilots are human and probably forgot. Sometimes FA's will remind them, but some pilots aren't so hot on FA's telling them what to do  

David

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: copter808
Posted 2010-07-30 09:58:56 and read 13858 times.

Good post Iaherj. I wish more pilots used the same judgement. What some fail to realize is that overuse of the seat belt sign actually promotes disobeying it. If passengers become accustomed to seeing the belt sign on when the air is smooth, they will be less likely to obey it when it might really be necessary.

I'll admit that I have often got up to use the lav when the belt sign has been on for a while and the air is smooth. However, I ain't a goin' nowhere if I see the FAs are belted in!

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: Kappel
Posted 2010-07-30 11:06:02 and read 13631 times.

Quoting copter808 (Reply 7):
Good post Iaherj. I wish more pilots used the same judgement. What some fail to realize is that overuse of the seat belt sign actually promotes disobeying it.

Indeed. I hardly use US airlines, but the few times I did, they seem to use it a lot more than the European and Asian counterparts. My DL AMS-JFK flight had the signs on almost the entire flight. Result: people getting up when they feel like it. On my other flights (such as AMS-PBM-AMS, MUC-SIN-MUC) it was used much more sparingly (hardly even). The result is quite simply that when it's on, pax stay in there seats.

I realize this is anecdotal, but still...

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: iaherj
Posted 2010-07-30 11:21:08 and read 13581 times.

Quoting Kappel (Reply 8):





You are indeed correct and pilots in the U.S. are moving in the direction of their counterparts in other countries in this regard. We tend to be slow to embrace change among our ranks. Funny thing is 30 years ago, we (I use "we" loosely as I was a young child at the time)were very liberal in the usage of the seatbelt sign. The 1980's and the increase in litigation against airlines prompted corporate policy changes that I think "encouraged" pilots to be more conservative in the use of the sign.

[Edited 2010-07-30 11:22:23]

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: bwaflyer
Posted 2010-07-30 12:44:03 and read 13393 times.

Quoting airlinereporter (Reply 6):
Sometimes FA's will remind them, but some pilots aren't so hot on FA's telling them what to do  

If the seat belt lights have been on longer than normal, or turbulence has died down, we make a tactful call to the flight deck asking how long the turbulence might continue of if there is some more up ahead as we have a few passengers needing the loo. Either we get told that there are reports ahead of some more bumps, and we let the passengers know, or we've just given a gentle reminder to them that they've forgotten and no egos are bruised!

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: GT4EZY
Posted 2010-07-30 12:55:52 and read 13348 times.

Quoting airlinereporter (Reply 6):
Pilots are human and probably forgot. Sometimes FA's will remind them, but some pilots aren't so hot on FA's telling them what to do

In which case they need to go back for CRM training.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: TravellerPlus
Posted 2010-07-30 12:56:30 and read 13344 times.

This would not happen on Qantas. When the seat-belt sign goes on, the cabin crew have to return to their seats and the service will be paused. The seat belt sign is certainly respected by all crew and passengers seem to pay attention to it. This contrasts to other airlines where the passengers seem to be up and about regardless of whether the sign is on or off.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: flyfree727
Posted 2010-07-30 12:59:39 and read 13331 times.

Quoting Kappel (Reply 8):
. Result: people getting up when they feel like it

And thats any different than what?

passengers seem to do this anyway.. I think it hysterical when the capt turns on the seatbeal sign and an announcement is made, then a passengers gets up for whatever reason.... When I advised the passenger the sign has just been turned on and an announcement was made to remain seated, I kid you not, MOSTLY the response is "oh I'm used to turbulence."

AA ORD

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: type-rated
Posted 2010-07-30 13:03:11 and read 13305 times.

I think part of the reason is F/A's don't like people milling about the cabin. Since 9/11 it makes them nervous. What they really want is people to sit and their seats and shut up. People milling around on a narrow body aircraft also makes beverage service more difficult.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: WNwatcher
Posted 2010-07-30 13:11:12 and read 13284 times.

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 13):

Wonder if any of the Injuries from that UA 777 that diverted to DEN said that just before the incident.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: GT4EZY
Posted 2010-07-30 13:27:40 and read 13218 times.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 14):
I think part of the reason is F/A's don't like people milling about the cabin. Since 9/11 it makes them nervous. What they really want is people to sit and their seats and shut up. People milling around on a narrow body aircraft also makes beverage service more difficult.

It makes little difference whether it's a widebody or not, service is usually undertaken on both aisles simultaneously.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: NASBWI
Posted 2010-07-30 13:49:37 and read 13140 times.

Quoting airlinereporter (Reply 6):
I have been noticing that passengers don't seem to care at all about the seatbelt sign and FA's don't really enforce it. You might get a secondary announcement about the seatbelt sign, but so many will get up and act like it is not lit.

What I've gathered is that FA's don't usually enforce the rules unless absolutely necessary (ie in moderate to severe turbulence) where everyone's safety is most likely in jeopardy because of loose objects (including people). We are to inform pax of lighted signs in case they missed it. Personally, I don't like the idea of policing my customers. So, when someone asks me if they can get up when the seatbelt sign is on, I politely inform them that it's on and that's usually the end of it. Oftentimes they get up anyway, and sometimes they will ask "Well, what does that mean? Can I get up or not?" At that point, I just let them know if the sign is illuminated, I cannot give someone permission to get up. However, I'm no linebacker, and I'm not going to tackle them to the floor until they seat themselves, either  .

Besides safety, the idea of FAs informing passengers of the seatbelt sign is a liability issue. If, for example, someone asked me if they could get up, and I said "Sure!" (while the seatbelt sign is on), and they got injured, they can easily claim that it's the airline's and my fault for allowing them to get into such a compromising position. They would win, and both the airline and myself would land in some hot water with the FAA. Instead, by informing them that the sign's on, they can make that call for themselves. If they ignore it, then the liability to themselves or others becomes their potential problem.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: Kappel
Posted 2010-07-30 13:54:07 and read 13118 times.

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 13):
And thats any different than what?

Different than what I see on the other airlines I travel on (KL, LH, CX, etc). The seatbelt sign is respected by crew and pax on those airlines. It is also rarely illuminated, only when there really is turbulence.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: sandroZRH
Posted 2010-07-30 14:02:10 and read 13094 times.

You probably won't believe it, but sometimes we simply just forget. Yes, pilots DO forget things  

This is when we rely on the cabin crew to make us aware, as they're more likely to spot it. And if you notice the seatbelt sign being on without good reason, why not just ask a cabin creew member so they can tell us?

It's often the case that when we do hit turbulence, we're busy trying to climb through them, circumnavigating CBs or doing other things that require our attention trying to avoid or get out of areas of rough air. That's often why we tend to forget about the seatbelt sign and we're more than happy if somebody makes us aware.

I'm not saying that's a good thing though, as the seatbelt sign shouldn't be on without good reason. If it happens on a regular basis, people will indeed start to ignore it (too many passengers already do, unfortunetely).

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: KELPkid
Posted 2010-07-30 14:05:51 and read 13088 times.

Personally, I have seen lots of overzealous fasten seat belt sign usage on domestic flights lately (where, it turns out, the light could have been turned off).

People do have to get up to use the bathroom, you know...

I think what pilots are risking is that people are going to start ignoring the sign altogether. F/A's seem to have a "who cares" attitude about the state of the seat belt sign lately I've noticed.

  

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: NASBWI
Posted 2010-07-30 14:26:01 and read 13034 times.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 20):
Personally, I have seen lots of overzealous fasten seat belt sign usage on domestic flights lately (where, it turns out, the light could have been turned off).

It can happen, but as sandroZRH mentioned, it's not usually intentional. If I notice that the sign is on for long periods of time - and in smooth air - I will ask up front if it's ok to turn it off.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 20):
F/A's seem to have a "who cares" attitude about the state of the seat belt sign lately I've noticed.

It's really not so much about "who cares" as it is about treating people like adults - at least, from my perspective. It's almost like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If I were to be more aggressive with enforcing the obvious, then the FA-bashers come out of the woodwork screaming "See! This is why we hate FAs from the US! They're so mean!" If I don't say anything, then people come out saying "Gosh, you seem very lax about the safety of your customers". Which is it? If you're an adult, and I say "Sir/Ma'am, please be aware that the seatbelt sign is on", exactly what else do you want me to say? As an adult of sound mind, one should easily decipher that as "You should be seated with your seatbelt fastened". If I'm in the galley, and someone approaches the lav when the sign is on, I simply inform them of such. If they ignore it, it's on them. If they go back to their seat, well, they're respecting the rule.

It's kind of like the cellphone argument. Will one of them disrupt the aircraft's systems? Probably not. But what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and if I give permission for one person to use theirs, then I'd have to grant everyone else the same courtesy - contrary to the rules. While conducting compliance checks, I will ask people to turn off their cellphones, but I won't hover over them like a schoolteacher to make sure they're doing it. We're adults; I shouldn't have to ask you more than once. Heck, if an announcement has been made, I shouldn't have to ask at all...but I digress...

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 20):
People do have to get up to use the bathroom, you know...

Of course! Which is another reason why I don't hound customers about the seatbelt sign, unless of course it is obviously dangerous for them to be up and about (ie noticeable turbulence or prior information from the pilots about upcoming turbulence).

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: sandroZRH
Posted 2010-07-30 15:19:26 and read 12895 times.

has it ever occurred to anyone that's it's not that easy to predict turbulence in the first place? Say you're approaching an area of high winds or an area with CB activity. Some light shaking begins, it seems getting rougher as we proceed. What are we gonna do? Will I rather switch on the seatbelt sign and have everyone sit down even if it might not gonna be necessary or will i risk having people and trolleys fly around in the cabin, posing a hazard of injuries? I had the latter happen, and I's no fun. So naturally I'm going to switch on the seatbelt sign.

Yes, we do have turbulence charts, but they're generally not very reliable. Yes, we're asking ATC about turbulence reports, but even so turbulence may happen unexpectedly (I know, everyone has heard that a hundred times, but it's true). We're trying to be cautious. Another fact that should be noted is that turbulence feels very different up front than it does in the cabin. turbulence feels a lot worse in the back than it does up front, that's especially true for long narrowbody aircraft like the A321. often we'd have a flight attendant call us asking to switch the seatbelt sign on, despite us thinking "hmm, it's not that bad really, is it?". This will make us even more cautious as it's hard to guess how it's being felt in the back.

I'll say it again, switching or rather letting the seatbelt sign switched on for no apparent reason is not a good thing, but I think people should be a little more tolerant, and by all means SIT DOWN AND BUCKLE UP when the seatbelt sign is being switched on. We're certainly not switching it on for fun.

edited for typos.

[Edited 2010-07-30 15:21:41]

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: stratosphere
Posted 2010-07-30 17:15:10 and read 12764 times.

I had an issue with an AirTran f/a once. Coming out of RSW to ATL on a 717. Weather was CAVU not a bump or a cloud in the sky. I was needing to go to the restroom bad. Was flying in Biz class and had a few beers in the terminal before boarding now catching up with me. So I waited and held it until I knew we were at cruise level and the light was still on and couldnt wait any longer and got up the F/A's two guys were sitting in the forward jumpseats I went to open the forward lav door and the one F/A takes his foot and blocks the door and says "we are not at cruise level yet". I said I can't wait any longer I said you got two choices either let me by or I am going to let it go right here right on your foot. Needless to say he moved his foot.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: YYZatcboy
Posted 2010-07-30 17:25:50 and read 12708 times.

A couple of times I've been in the Jumpseat and the FA called up to ask if we could turn off the fasten seatbelt sign. Both times it was left on deliberately because we were flying just over the top of Cumulus clouds and there were some rough patches. As soon as we were clear it was turned off. If the pilots do forget, usually the FA will call up to check what's going on.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: JBirdAV8r
Posted 2010-07-30 17:41:44 and read 12768 times.

Quoting bwaflyer (Reply 10):

If the seat belt lights have been on longer than normal, or turbulence has died down, we make a tactful call to the flight deck asking how long the turbulence might continue of if there is some more up ahead as we have a few passengers needing the loo. Either we get told that there are reports ahead of some more bumps, and we let the passengers know, or we've just given a gentle reminder to them that they've forgotten and no egos are bruised!

   Spoken like a true diplomat. That's the way business should be conducted, IMO.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: einsteinboricua
Posted 2010-07-30 18:29:26 and read 12278 times.

Quoting mjzair (Reply 3):
I think pilots pay about as much attention to the seatbelt sign as passengers do.

   One difference. If the pilot leaves it on, he can't be blamed for any injuries. After all, "federal regulations require all passengers to comply with signs and crew instructions".  

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: EdIcHc
Posted 2010-07-30 18:31:25 and read 12309 times.

Quoting mjzair (Reply 3):
I think pilots pay about as much attention to the seatbelt sign as passengers do.

I love that one! I think you have a point there!

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: EdIcHc
Posted 2010-07-30 18:38:13 and read 12244 times.

Quoting sandroZRH (Reply 19):
It's often the case that when we do hit turbulence, we're busy trying to climb through them, circumnavigating CBs or doing other things that require our attention trying to avoid or get out of areas of rough air. That's often why we tend to forget about the seatbelt sign and we're more than happy if somebody makes us aware.

Now that is what I call good CRM. If I were a junior first officier and not a PPL student, I would wan't to fly with a Capt like you.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: pilotpip
Posted 2010-07-30 19:29:56 and read 11744 times.

This year, at least in the US, particularly this summer, has been rough. I've been a bit overzealous with the use of the sign and so have a number of the captains I fly with. I've already had a good friend who is an FA get hurt in turbulence. Id don't want to see a pax or another cowoker get hurt. If we forget it, the FA's will usually call up and remind us. We'll either turn it off, or explain why we're keeping it on. I've also notice a lot more captains making PA announcements on why the sign is on.

Yeah, we do forget sometimes. We're all human. However the majority of the time there is a likely reason we have the sign on. Our view is a bit better out the front and we're listening to what everybody else is encountering.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: hugoandres1984
Posted 2010-07-30 20:36:24 and read 11275 times.

we use seat belt sing for take off and landing until 10000feet, before enter a cloud or when thermals and CAT are moderated

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: musang
Posted 2010-07-31 03:10:37 and read 9245 times.

Quoting sandroZRH (Reply 19):
but sometimes we simply just forget
Quoting sandroZRH (Reply 19):
This is when we rely on the cabin crew to make us aware

Couldn't agree more.

Another essential is that each time the sign is switched on, if there's no obvious reason (e.g. turbulence already started), a specific explanation is made on the PA, not just a standard one. The cabin crew are likely to follow mine with a scripted announcement, which the customers will develop an immunity to!

I also appreciate info from the cabin that people are disregarding the sign, upon which I've been known to make a slightly sarcastic PA about why customers think they are in a better position to judge the risks, compared to me with my 230 degree panoramic view, radio to hear other pilots, weather charts, and radar to see whats ahead.

But it is essential to switch of the sign when possible, to maintain credibility.

Regards - musang

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: EK773
Posted 2010-07-31 03:17:26 and read 9210 times.

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 23):
Was flying in Biz class

Some people also seem to think they are exempt because they are in first or business class.
Safety affects everyone regardless of where you sit or how much you paid.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: thrufru
Posted 2010-07-31 05:16:30 and read 8569 times.

Quoting TravellerPlus (Reply 12):
This would not happen on Qantas. When the seat-belt sign goes on, the cabin crew have to return to their seats and the service will be paused. The seat belt sign is certainly respected by all crew and passengers seem to pay attention to it.

Keep in mind, though, that in the US, the flight attendants are permitted to be out of their seats when the seatbelt sign is illuminated. If more than light to moderate chop or light turbulence is encountered then we will generally request that they suspend service, stow their equipment and remain seated, aside from that, movement is generally at their discretion.

Also, while it may appear to passengers and even experienced flight attendants that there is no need for the sign to be illuminated, we've often received reports from aircraft ahead indicating the potential for turbulence.

When I first started flying, we had no set standard for when the seatbelt sign was to be turned off or on in smooth air. It was at the discretion of the flight deck. In the preflight crew brief, the captain would generally ask the purser if they had a preference and very often acquiesce to their wishes. It's also not uncommon to illuminate the sign as a method of clearing the aisles for service. A lot of the old TWA guys that I've flown with still turn it off when passing through 10,000'.

Oh, and as many have noted, sometimes we do just forget.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: Bennett123
Posted 2010-07-31 05:48:00 and read 8395 times.

Personally, sitting in the back, I take it that the sign is lit for a reason. I also take a leak before boarding anyway.

However, perhaps those up front can try not to foget and leave us all buttoned up.

Sitting with your legs crossed for hours is no joke.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: Parton87
Posted 2010-07-31 06:00:52 and read 8312 times.

I flew with a SK 737 last week and the seat-belt sign was turned off two minutes into flight. I often fly on domestic flights with turboprops here in Sweden and if the seat-belt sign is not turned off 5 minutes into flight people start to think something is wrong and we have to go back to the airport 

I think on most European airlines the seat-belt sign is turned off when passing 10 000 feet if it´s not bad flying weather of course.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: copter808
Posted 2010-07-31 07:44:17 and read 7662 times.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 33):
in the US, the flight attendants are permitted to be out of their seats when the seatbelt sign is illuminated.

This is one of the problems. The SB sign should be for the pax/crew safety. If it's smooth enough for the FAs to be up and about, it should be smooth enough for the pax as well. It makes it appear as an "us (crew) vs. them" (pax) issue. The legal climate in the US does not help the issue either!

Quoting thrufru (Reply 33):
It's also not uncommon to illuminate the sign as a method of clearing the aisles for service.

This is, quite simply, Wrong!!! If you want the aisles clear, say so, don't use the seat belt sign! It's little different than placing a stop sign on a street solely to regulate speed. It's not legal, (at least in Illinois) but we see it done frequently.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 33):
Oh, and as many have noted, sometimes we do just forget.

This is an honest comment! It happens.

Since the pax don't have access to the same information as the cockpit crew, I can see two possible solutions. 1/ Make a special announcement when turbulence is expected. 2/ Give the pax access to commo, pireps, forcasts, and that 230 degree view!!

COMMUNICATION is the key point here. If there is a legitimate reason for the sign to be on, say so. If the sb sign is on for a legitimate reason and I get out of my seat and get hurt, it needs to be MY bad, not the airline's. Try as we may, we will NEVER be able to protect us from ourselves. That's Darwin's place.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: NASBWI
Posted 2010-07-31 09:53:29 and read 6977 times.

Quoting copter808 (Reply 36):
If it's smooth enough for the FAs to be up and about, it should be smooth enough for the pax as well. It makes it appear as an "us (crew) vs. them" (pax) issue.

Not necessarily; when the seatbelt sign is switched on for whatever reason, the crew may have to walk the aisle to conduct a compliance check (to ensure that customers' seatbelts are fastened), and upon the pilots' request, may take their jumpseats should the turbulence become more severe.

One thing to consider vis-a-vis liability is that crewmembers are already covered; pax are not. While it's very important for us crewmembers to be mindful of our own safety, if something should happen to us while performing our duties onboard, we have compensation to assist us in case of an injury (OJI). Passengers do not.

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: hamad
Posted 2010-07-31 10:15:07 and read 6919 times.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 24):
usually the FA will call up to check what's going on.

A lot of times, if me or any of my colleagues see that the sign has been on for a while, we will either call or visit the cockpit. however, many times, the pilots seem to be aware of the seat belt sign being illuminated. an example would be if we are flying over the north pole, especially if we are doing the DXB-YYZ route or YYZ-DXB, out of canada it will be very very bumpy.

Quoting EK773 (Reply 32):
Some people also seem to think they are exempt because they are in first or business class.
Safety affects everyone regardless of where you sit or how much you paid.

I totally agree with that, safety is for every one.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 33):
Keep in mind, though, that in the US, the flight attendants are permitted to be out of their seats when the seatbelt sign is illuminated. If more than light to moderate chop or light turbulence is encountered then we will generally request that they suspend service, stow their equipment and remain seated, aside from that, movement is generally at their discretion.

  

Quoting copter808 (Reply 36):
This is one of the problems. The SB sign should be for the pax/crew safety. If it's smooth enough for the FAs to be up and about, it should be smooth enough for the pax as well.

I tend to totally disagree with you on this. if the turbelance was really severe and geopradize our safety, the captain will announce "Cabin crew Take your seats". As for light or moderate turbelance, we will be required to suspend the hot beverages service, but you will see us move around, however, we are trained for those situations in light and moderate turbelance, if it hits suddenly, we will know how to brace our selves, which cannot be said for passengers, where they can easily hurt themselves.

[Edited 2010-07-31 10:16:44]

Topic: RE: Pilots And The Seatbelt Sign...
Username: SQ_EK_freak
Posted 2010-07-31 12:56:20 and read 6768 times.

Quoting iaherj (Reply 4):
Here's my take. I haven't posted on here in a while. I fly the 757 and 767 and on long flights like the one you were just on, I try to take several things into consideration. If the flight is going to take place mostly at night(mainland U.S. to Europe) I turn the sign off at cruise if it is smooth. If we encounter or anticipate turbulence, I turn it back on. If all signs are pointing to smooth air for a few more hours after the 1st relight of the sign, I'll turn it off again. It it looks like we are going to be in and out of choppy air, I will leave it on, even if that means several hours of flying with it on. My reasoning, the modern aircraft have automatic announcements when the sign is turned on. I don't want to cycle it all night waking up the passengers who are trying to sleep. I discuss with the FA's that if we anticipate areas of real turbulence, we will give them a call and they will strictly enforce the sign. Otherwise, we have made announcements and if someone gets up and moves around with the sign on, it is at his/her own risk. We don't have too many nazi enforcers at my airline but if we are going to fly through areas of known turbulence, we will inform the FA's to enforce the sign. The last thing anyone of us wants is for a cabin crewmember or passenger to be hurt on our watch. At the same time, we want you to be comfortable and feel free to move around on long segments.


On a long day flight, we will try to keep the sign off as much as possible. What happens sometimes on long segments is multiple seat swaps in the cockpit with augmented crews going on breaks and forgetting to discuss the seatbelt sign with those returning from break etc. I will make an effort to give more thought and discuss seatbelt sign usage more often with the other pilots I fly with in the future.

   This way the passengers actually respect when the sign is illuminated.

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 11):
Quoting airlinereporter (Reply 6):
Pilots are human and probably forgot. Sometimes FA's will remind them, but some pilots aren't so hot on FA's telling them what to do

In which case they need to go back for CRM training.

  

And as several pilots have noted already on this thread, sometimes they are busy climbing out of or around rough weather, factors that passengers don't always know. The other day we were briefed that we expected a pretty smooth climb out but expected to hit rough air about 20 minutes into the flight, so the flight deck was going to keep the seat belt sign on till we cleared it, and that all of us were to remain on our jumpseats and to strictly enforce the seatbelt sign. I was sitting on the L3 jump seat which on the A332 is a passenger facing seat. Lo and behold I had to stop people from getting up no less than four times. My fellow crew sitting across at R3 had a hard time getting her passengers to sit down. The Purser made an additional announcement that the sign was still on, but as usual no one really heeded the announcement. The couple seated across me finally annoyingly asked me why we were being rude (which we weren't, we were being stern) and that it wasn't bumpy at all, and quipped "why, are you just lazy to do the service?" I replied with a smile that the captain had informed us that there were some reports of rough air, nothing to worry about, but still worthy of the seatbelt sign ahead. He scoffed and said something to the effect of "damn Emirates, racist crew.." - I didn't dignify that with a response. And about five minutes after that we hit the anticipated rough patch with several consecutive air pockets, to which some people responded with yelps in the back of the cabin. He looked at me a bit concerned, and I just looked back at him, smiled, said "nothing to worry about" and looked away.

This was a flight originating in India, and you'd think with all the hullaballoo of the recent turbulence related incident with an Emirates flight headed to India, people would be more understanding. It was an overnight flight that was a turn for the crew, and trust me, the crew are just as interested in getting the meals out as soon as possible as the passengers.


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