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Oxygen Masks Out In Non-emergency  
User currently offlineLH455 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4426 times:

I was on a BA flight from JFK-LHR last Wednesday and the oxygen masks came out about 5 hours into the flight. The head FA came on PA immediately to tell passengers not to put the masks on, that they were accidentally activated?

After we landed, the pilot came on PA to tell us that deboarding would be delayed because there was a sick passenger on board and that was the reason oxygen masks came out earlier -- the person needed oxygen and the system was accidentally activated?

Do any pilots or FAs know how this happens? Is this common? I've never heard of it happening and I was sleeping when they came out and woke me up -- staring at the masks in the face I thought I was in a bad dream or dreaming I was a model in the inflight safety video. I think I was the only one so scared I yanked mine out and put it on!

They served breakfast an hour later with the masks still dangling in front of everyone and I got some yogurt on mine.

Also, this same flight started off two hours delayed after the tow bar fell off the tug truck and the plane ran over it and broke it! We had to be pushed back to the gate and they had to put a new tire on the front wheel while we were all sitting on the plane. At least that is what the pilot said.

But I digress -- my main query is about oxygen masks. Is that a common occurrence?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3985 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4416 times:

I've only seen the masks come down once... We'd landed at MCO in a VS 747-200 and the hardness of the landing caused a few rows of masks to drop!

User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4377 times:

Quoting LH455 (Thread starter):
I was on a BA flight from JFK-LHR last Wednesday and the oxygen masks came out about 5 hours into the flight. The head FA came on PA immediately to tell passengers not to put the masks on, that they were accidentally activated?

They can accidentaly activated or intenionally activated from the cockpit.

Quoting LH455 (Thread starter):
After we landed, the pilot came on PA to tell us that deboarding would be delayed because there was a sick passenger on board and that was the reason oxygen masks came out earlier -- the person needed oxygen and the system was accidentally activated?

This is a big nonsense !!! Oxygen masks above the seats are there ONLY
in case of a lost in Cabin pressure. If the Cabin pressure reaches 14000ft, the Oxygen masks are released automatically.

Beside, Oxygen in bottle with special masks are on board for medical use, in a case of an emergency.


User currently offlineLando From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4347 times:

Ive had the oxygen masks drop before on one of my flights. It was a Sun Country 727, but they dropped due to our hard landing. Every row of masks fell out.

User currently offlineLH455 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4288 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 2):

This is a big nonsense !!! Oxygen masks above the seats are there ONLY
in case of a lost in Cabin pressure. If the Cabin pressure reaches 14000ft, the Oxygen masks are released automatically.

Yeah -- I thought so too and I always knew there is oxygen available for medical emergencies but always thought it's on a little carriage and it's in a cylinder right? It is in no way related to the mask system. I don't understand why they went down. The cabin lights went on when they came down also.

I also wonder how difficult it is to put them back in? Do they clean them? I put mine on in a panic and I had drool all over my face from sleeping. I hope they disinfect!


User currently offlineGman3 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4278 times:

I had them drop down about 10 minutes after takeoff. This happened on an AA DC-10 LAX-JFK back in 1988. We then had to dump fuel and return to LAX. There was no emergency or sense of urgency, but we did return to the field.

User currently offlineSeanp11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4271 times:

Quoting LH455 (Reply 4):
I also wonder how difficult it is to put them back in? Do they clean them? I put mine on in a panic and I had drool all over my face from sleeping. I hope they disinfect!

They probably replace the PSU, since people did put them on, which would have depleted the oxygen generators.


User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4258 times:

It's not common but there is a button in the cockpit that drops the masks for MX.

User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4209 times:

Quoting LH455 (Reply 4):
I don't understand why they went down. The cabin lights went on when they came down also.

This shows that it was more likely a technical/electrical problem, or an accidental activation from the cockpit :

When all the masks are released, in case of a cabin pressure problem, it automatically :
- Turns on the Cabin lights full bright
- Turns on the seat belt signs
- Turns on the emergency lights (exit signs / Floor path marking)
- Stop the Video/IFE and retract the overhead monitors
- Turns on an anouncement (Lady & Gentlemen, fasten your seat belt, grasp a maks bla bla bla )

That's the procedure on AF, but I guess it must be similar on other airlines.

O2 masks released from one PSU, after a hard landing or during taxiing is quite common.
The release of ALL the masks when there is no emergency is quite rare.


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4148 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I have experienced it as well on a BA flight from JNB-LHR. Just when we rotated, the oxygen masks in a few rows were released. The Captain or FO, I really can't remember, came out to get them back in position, as soon as we reached cruising altitude.


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 8):
Turns on an anouncement (Lady & Gentlemen, fasten your seat belt, grasp a maks bla bla bla )

Not all aircraft have a pre-recorded announcement, but it is my understanding that BA aircraft are equipped with them. LH445, did you hear an emergency announcement like, "Attention, attention, there has been a loss of cabin pressure?" before the Flight Attendant came on telling you not to put it on?


Do you know what type of a/c you were flying? Some have theraputic oxygen outlets inside the PSU which allows an oxygen mask to be connected to it, specifically for medical use. It also doesn't make sense if you were on an Airbus, for instance, because the oxygen system is an individual chemical oxygen generator that lasts for only 12-15 minutes.



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineMKEdude From South Korea, joined May 2005, 1011 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4111 times:

On a QF 744 from LAX to AKL there was a small boy in the row in front of me who needed O2 for some reason. They managed to release the masks for that row only, and he was breathing through one of the masks.


"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4085 times:

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 10):
Do you know what type of a/c you were flying?

On BA LHR-JFK, it was certainly not an Airbus ...  Wink

Quoting MKEdude (Reply 11):
On a QF 744 from LAX to AKL there was a small boy in the row in front of me who needed O2 for some reason. They managed to release the masks for that row only, and he was breathing through one of the masks.

It is possible on certain aircraft, but in that case, they don't release ALL the masks in the cabin !

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 10):
It also doesn't make sense if you were on an Airbus, for instance, because the oxygen system is an individual chemical oxygen generator that lasts for only 12-15 minutes.

Not systematically on all Airbus.
We have some A340 with chemical individual PSU AND some with a general Oxygen supply.


User currently offlineLH455 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4017 times:

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 10):
Not all aircraft have a pre-recorded announcement, but it is my understanding that BA aircraft are equipped with them. LH445, did you hear an emergency announcement like, "Attention, attention, there has been a loss of cabin pressure?" before the Flight Attendant came on telling you not to put it on?

It was a 744. All I remember (I was asleep listening to music on inflight system) was the masks shot down, the lights went on, music stopped and almost immediately the head purser came on PA and said something along the lines of We apologize. This is not an emergency. Please disregard the masks. Please DO NOT pull the masks out further. We apologize.

At that point it was too late for me because all I could think of was SR111 (morbid I know) and I panicked. Also, if you read other part of my post this was about the third odd incident of the flight and the pilot had said the tug bar breaking was no big deal even though it delayed us 2 + hours so I thought it must really be an emergency and they don't want us to know.

So, -- I don't remember there being a prerecorded announcement -- but lights went on and IFE stopped. The head FA said he regretted loss of IFE and was working quickly to reset the IFE.

I wonder if any of the passengers taking pics was an Anutter because then we'll have some photos of the incident! After it happened I thought I was at a fashion show or on the red carpet -- there were camera flashes going off all over.

Also -- this affected the entire aircraft. I sat in row 51 and when we deplaned we walked up to door 2L (I think?) and all the masks were down for as far as I could see.


User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4071 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4002 times:

It was a B744. BA B747 have a gaseous passenger oxygen system. The ring main can be pressurised to allow the use of therapeutic masks for sick passengers. They are plugged into sockets in the PSU.This is the same ring main that is used in emergency. There are two switches in the flight deck, one drops the masks, and the other pressurises the main without dropping the masks. The pilot operated the wrong switch. If you dont touch the masks no oxygen will flow.

User currently offlineLH455 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3996 times:

Yes -- that explains it then. After we had landed and were told of the additional delay because of the sick passenger, the pilot said that was why the masks came down. That's what I couldn't figure out.

I was on a CO T7 flight from HKG-EWR in 2005 and there was also a sick passenger aboard and I think they administered oxygen with a tank and none of this happened. We did have to make emergency landing due to length of flight left.


User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4071 posts, RR: 33
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3970 times:

Quoting LH455 (Reply 15):
CO T7 flight from HKG-EWR in 2005 and there was also a sick passenger aboard

The B777 has oxygen generators for the passengers.
I have never understood why some aircraft have generators and some have gaseous. I understand the problems with flights over mountains and MDA, but why the B744 has a gaseous system I don't know. Perhaps it was a good idea at the time.
By the way the HS Trident 2E had no drop down pax oxy system! It could descend quick enough to get down in the time allowed.


User currently offlineLH455 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3961 times:

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 16):
By the way the HS Trident 2E had no drop down pax oxy system! It could descend quick enough to get down in the time allowed.

Jeez -- that would startle me enough that I'd lose my breath.  knockout 


User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3874 times:

Quoting LH455 (Reply 15):
Yes -- that explains it then. After we had landed and were told of the additional delay because of the sick passenger, the pilot said that was why the masks came down. That's what I couldn't figure out.

Actually, it doesn't! Oxygen mask PSUs can be manually opened, individually, including on the B747 WITHOUT having to deploy the entire system. I'm not going to say how (lest everyone reading this thread try to do it...  Wink), but it can be done rather easily and the cabin crew knows how it is done. It doesn't explain why the entire system was set off...



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3865 times:

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 14):
The pilot operated the wrong switch.

Oh, wait, THAT would explain it.  Wink TH445, when you had your oxygen mask on, did you see if there was a green part of the clear bag that inflated? (Or a green indicator on the tubing?) That would have told you if oxygen was flowing to the mask.

Quoting LH455 (Reply 17):
that would startle me enough that I'd lose my breath

Check out how this pax oxygen system works on the AN-72!!!

http://www.safetycards.ru/cards/Moldova/Vichi/Antonov+An-72/side2

Excuse me ma'am...I...can't...breath...need...mask...please...



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineQXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2405 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3861 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 2):
Beside, Oxygen in bottle with special masks are on board for medical use, in a case of an emergency.

Is this not required? Why would they not use this in the first place? One one of my flights on HP from PHX-DTW there were 2 people on oxygen! So they have to keep these on board. Why even play with the masks?



Don't Tread On Me!
User currently offlineLH455 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3808 times:

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 19):
when you had your oxygen mask on, did you see if there was a green part of the clear bag that inflated? (Or a green indicator on the tubing?) That would have told you if oxygen was flowing to the mask.

Nope -- I didn't notice anything green. It was all so surreal.


User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5126 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3789 times:

This would be a good question to ask someone from Alaska Airlines. Alaska knows everything about oxygen masks.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineQXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2405 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3699 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 22):
This would be a good question to ask someone from Alaska Airlines. Alaska knows everything about oxygen masks.

Do you ever do anything in your life besides bashing AS? Come on F9Animal!



Don't Tread On Me!
User currently offlineAussiestu From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 780 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3667 times:

Sorry to hear about the mask incident on your flight and hope that this will explain. The ring main system on BAs 744 is used when passengers are ill and need oxygen. A mask is plugged in and then we ask the Flight deck to turn the system on. Once the green flow indicator shows we can use the mask for the ill passenger. When the sytem is no longer required or at the top of decent we ask the Flight deck to turn the system off and then once the green indicator has gone we can release the mask.

If the mask is removed and the system is not turned off then you have the deployment of all oxygen masks throughout the cabins. I believe this is what happened on this flight and I am sure that a certain crew member will be having to go back in for SEP refreshing. I believe that this also happened on another flight recently so appears that even some of BAs FAs can make mistakes.

By the way one of your First passengers left your flight and got on ours because he said the Captain had said that changing the tyre would not take long but he was sure that the flight was going to be delayed and wanted to get away due to connections he had in London. Nice man and glad to get him to London on time.


25 Post contains images F9Animal : LMAO!! Come on QXatFAT, that was not bashing!! I was just trying to help the chap out. I figured AS has had so much experience on the subject lately,
26 LH455 : They let people off the plane?! So you were in the T7 to the left of us, I presume. I was the chap looking out longingly from the window as your late
27 Post contains images QXatFAT : Who doesnt? No offense to you F9Animal, I am just saying that sucker punches are not always the best to do. Thats why I dont get the WN people. They
28 NWADC9 : How 'bout the Metro III? You have to personally take out the mask and screw it in into an outlet on the ceiling.
29 Post contains links and images MarkHKG : http://www.cabinsafety.com/samples/commuters/swm.html Yup, that's pretty bad too. I know I would be fumbling with the connector!
30 Tod : Not always, it's a customer option. Some have gaseous, some have generators. Tod
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