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Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies  
User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5535 times:

There are increasing number of cases in which loss of human life occur inflight. This may be due to various reasons such as the passenger might be sick even before boarding the aircraft and so on. Recently a person from my City passed away inflight while enroute to US. That was when I started thinking of it. What if the same thing happens to one of our relatives or friends or people we like the most. What do you think Airline officials must do when such a case happens inflight. And how would you like the crew to handle the deadbody if such an incident happens in the middle of a trans oceanic flight or a non stop long distance flight. What are your opinion and recommendations to the crew to handle such a situation?

S.K.George


Happy Landing
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSouthwestMDW From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 303 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5503 times:

Personally, I think I would like the crew to not point a lot of attention to it, keep it as secret as long as possible; just because I would probably think that other passengers would not be comfortable around a dead/rotting body. I would also think in extreme cases, an emergency landing would be in order because if there is a bad odor from the body, you do not want that to keep being circulated in the air.

SouthwestMDW


User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5466 times:

I do agree with you suggestion that the airline crew must try to remove the body from the aircraft as soon as possible and without much attension of the passengers.




Happy Landing
User currently offlinePilotNtrng From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 897 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5435 times:

well first and foremost the aircraft is going to declare medical emergency and divert to the nearest airport. That happened to us twice this past summer both with ATA. One being a 757 and one a 737NG. One died in the air and another lived, but was transported to a local hospital. I have seen a lot of these and trust me the most utmost care and sensitivity is given both from the flight crew and the ground crew.


Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5407 times:

In the case of diversion of flight due to Medical Emergency will the passengers family have to bare with all the costs involved with the handling of the deadbody until it reaches back home?




Happy Landing
User currently offlineHa763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3655 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5316 times:
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At the airline I have worked for, the procedure has been that unless the deceased person is in danger of releasing their body fluids, the body should be put into a seat, covered, and if possible, pax moved to other seats. I believe there was also an option to move the body to the rear door. If possible, pax should be moved. Once on the ground, medical personal will remove the body.

If a person passes away during a flight, the body is then considered to be a biohazard.


User currently offlineAq737 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 612 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5300 times:

I would hate to be on one of these flights! Wouldn't everyone turn il because air is recirculated? Anyway, you said passengers would be moved if possible. What would happen if the plane was 100% full?

I remember learning (source unknown) that once a body was put into a closet because there were no other suitable locations or something.

Aq737


User currently offlineFlyinghighboy From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 749 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5287 times:

oh man, if i found out the person next to me was dead i'd freak. I'd have probably thought that the person was just sleeping throughout the flight

User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 968 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5276 times:

Another option could be to place the body in a lav and lock the door from the outside with 'inop' sign. Cabin air is exhausted from lavatories and galleys.
I'm sure I've heard of this being done, but I have been fortunate enough not to (knowingly) be on such a flight.



LD4



∙ ---{--« ∙ ----{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ---{--« ∙ --{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ----{--« ∙
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5265 times:

do agree with you suggestion that the airline crew must try to remove the body from the aircraft as soon as possible and without much attension of the passengers

Wrong!!!

If the person is actually declared in flight then the cops have got to meet the airplane and conduct an investigation. You want to preserve the scene as much as possible.

This is one of the reasons the passengers are moved away, that and the whole sitting next to a body thing, and the covering the body is, well, both a respect thing and an sitting next to the body thing.

I work medivac flights, and although it hasn't happened on one of my shifts, there have been cases where the transport expired in-flight. Heard that there where cops all over the place doing their evidence and statement gathering.




OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5256 times:

Why would you get ill from having a dead body on the plane? You may feel uncomfortable around a dead person, but if the person had a heart attack etc...being around the body is not going to do anything to you. It will take quite a long time for the body to go into any type of condition where you will notice any smell. People die, it is part of life.

User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5249 times:

Are there any known cases in which the airline crew(Pilots or flight attendants) expired inflight?In such a case how is the situation handled?


Happy Landing
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5248 times:

Well, I understand that all muscles relax typically, so you end up basicly doing your last Number #1 and #2 right there.

And although bodies decompose, I suspect 2912 is correct, they don't decompose that fast.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 968 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5235 times:

From 'Commando'...

Schwarzenegger, to F/A after breaking neck of the guard seated beside him at the start of flight: "Please don't bother my friend. He's dead tired."









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User currently offlineEK345 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

Are there any known cases in which the airline crew(Pilots or flight attendants) expired inflight?In such a case how is the situation handled?

I believe that a captain had expired on a British Airways flight a couple of years ago. The flight continued on to its final destination (i think it was somewhere in south east asia), and then they took the body off the flight. the passengers were never notified only the crew was informed. That is all i remember. anyone else who remembers more details feel free to elaborate.

EK345

[Edited 2003-12-27 10:39:47]


"and miles to go before I sleep..."
User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5188 times:

...talk about a permanent crew rest...

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L


User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

What a time to miss place my AIM/FAR manual! I'm sure this issue is addressed and I don't have my manual with me. Anyone have one handy? I have been on flights when people have become ill, so ill ARFF crews met the plane, but I have never been on a flight where a person passed away. And each occasion of a death is different, would CPR be called for or is the patient terminal with DNR papers signed by a doctor? And do the airlines (individually) have internal policies on what to do in this situation? So many questions, so little time...........


Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5156 times:

Well once you start lifesaving operations, such as CPR you are supposed to continue to preform those actions until relieved, physically unable to continue or a doctor(who AFAIK is the only person that can actually declare someone dead) declares the person dead.

So I guess say a person starts to croak on an airplane, you have to start CPR. You are going to be stuck through doing CPR probably through until EMS meets the aircraft on the ground.

I wouldn't worry about breaking the seatbelts FAR's on landing. That guys life is more important. Besides if you didn't continue all the way through untill the EMS guys showed up, I would think the second-guessing "did I do everything" would be horrible.




OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5126 times:

L-188:

Reference starting CPR, you're absolutely correct about being relieved (etc), but that's here in the States. What if this was an international flight occurring outside the States?

I have heard of flights where a patient went into full cardiac arrest and passengers/crew were performing CPR, the flight diverted and patient care handed off to EMS/ARFF. I guess my question is: Do airlines have policies on this or is it addressed in a AIM/FAR manual? Is it handled case by case? Now I can't wait to get off work to get home and look it up.



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5117 times:

I dunno.

My thoughts on this situation, is screw the manual, and perform it until you loose hope.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5109 times:

L-188,

Oh, I agree, I'm right there with you. I guess I was just curious on what the Feds have to say on the matter.



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5067 times:

In practice, a death NEVER occurs inflight. As has been pointed out here, the paperwork and formalities involved are horrendously long and complicated.

If the passenger is obviously dead and there is no medical diversion feasible (eg. mid-ocean), the passenger will be placed in an empty row of seats with an oxygen bottle. That way, the passenger is not officially declared dead until they are removed from the aircraft and examined by a doctor - and hence the death did not occur on the aircraft.

Decomposition is hardly an issue in most circumstances. Far more dangerous is the risk of rigor mortis setting in, especially if the body is stowed in a strange or unnatural position.

I know of multiple crew members who have passed away inflight. It is usually treated no differently than if a passenger passes away unless there is a crew shortage issue involved (eg. one of two pilots dies), in which case they divert at the earliest.


User currently offlineNWA330Tony From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5030 times:

Very touchy subject for me! My brother passed in flight to PuertoRico aboard TWA when i was younger to this day My father refuses to fly. To those who have never witnessed, consider yourselves lucky. to those who think airline should hide the body,how would you feel if this was a member of your family and crew asked to place body out of site, how would you react?
Just something to think about b4 u start posting ignorant answers here!

Despite my bad luck on Airplanes i still love aviation and im currently in school for ATC.

Tony C  Crying


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5015 times:

In practice, a death NEVER occurs inflight.

Absolutely correct!



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5003 times:

Are flight attendants trained to do CPR and other life saving techniques and are the qualified enough to do that in the case of an emergency?


Happy Landing
25 L-188 : Trained to do what? Declare death? NOOOOO!!!
26 Santhosh : With reference to NWA330T I do agree with what you told.I have never witnessed such a situation inflight or have lost any of my relatives onboard. But
27 AALGAgirl : I can remember working the gates at lga when we were notified inbound DC10 had an emergency contact med and the port.He was the husband of an employee
28 PiedmontGirl : Crew members are not authorized to pronounce anyone dead in flight. Occasionally someone will die inflight and no one knows until the airplane lands.
29 MD11Engineer : To perform effective CPR you have to place the person stretched out on a hard surface. The only place on board where you have sufficient space to work
30 Post contains images FunFlyer : Does the airline charge you for diverting the flight?? If you got sick or died? Because it does cost a lot to do that I'm sure. Just Thinking
31 SA006 : Well I found this out from my mom who was an F/A for SAA. If there is a dead body on the plane it is the captains decision. If someone is having a hea
32 Markyboy : A couple of months back on a flight between Glasgow in the UK and Birmingham a rather large fellow had a massive heart attack and died right next to m
33 PiedmontGirl : MD11Engineer: To perform effective CPR you have to place the person stretched out on a hard surface. The only place on board where you have sufficient
34 Bruce : Why do so many people die inflight? Is it because the air pressure in the cabin is equal to 8,000 feet? I know some older people or those with weak he
35 PiedmontGirl : Bruce: Why do so many people die inflight? I think the overwhelming majority of them would have died had they been sitting behind their desks or on th
36 Tcfc424 : As a firefighter/EMT, I have dealt with death/dying and the legalities of it, as far as on the ground is concerned. I believe that f/a's are certified
37 GlobeTrekker : KLM agent here. A few year ago a gentleman traveling from Aruba to Amsterdam died on board the aircraft. It was a 747-400 and he was sitting in World
38 PiedmontGirl : Tcfc424: I believe an AED is rapidly becoming standard (though I would hesitate to shock someone at 35K feet in an aluminum tube...) Those AEDs are be
39 Afay1 : I remember reading about a Swedish gentleman who expired on-board an Aeroflot flight last year. He originated in BKK and was connecting through Moscow
40 2912n : Being in a line of work where we wind up dealing with dead people on a fairly regular basis... It is fairly rare that people urinate/defecate when the
41 L-188 : Frequently more damage is done by people doing CPR on a person who actually still has a beating heart Don't doubt that. More then once I have heard th
42 Tcfc424 : CPR... Yes, if you aren't breaking ribs, you probably aren't making enough compression to affect the heart...however, not always...you have to look at
43 Jetjack74 : Doctors will rarely declare someone dead on a flight. The refer to them as a fataly sick, because then they become responsible for testimony for issui
44 MD11Engineer : Here in Germany doctors take the responsibility when they pronounce a person dead that there hasn´t been foul play. To be sure it would meabn either
45 OPNLguy : A few years back, I got a call from a SLC-PDX flight that was about halfway there, and they had an elderly lady that had stopped breathing. There was
46 Kilavoud : I have flewn this week-end Madras-Singapore-Zurich with SQ with a one day stop-over in Singapore. My flight was wonderful, free upgrade to Raffles Cla
47 Necigrad : Not reading every post, but read like the first third. If someone were to die inflight, the flight would declare a medical emergency and land at the n
48 Acvitale : When I worked for Pan American we rarely if ever had anyone die on the plane. There were quite a few that expired on the jetway just off the aircraft.
49 TWAL1011 : Once on a 767 at AA we were performing CPR on a large male passenger in the rear of the 767. Unfortunately he passed and we still had two hours left i
50 MD11Engineer : Due to liability reasons many airlines carryforms which state that the airline would take over any liability for mistakes made in case a doctor or oth
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