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Ditching Alarm Triggered On BA LHR-HKG Flight  
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3007 posts, RR: 48
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 14185 times:
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Quote:
British Airways pilot alarms passengers after accidentally sounding emergency warning

The pilot pressed the wrong button which triggered an automated voice message that was broadcast throughout the plane, The Sun claimed.

It said: "This is an emergency announcement. We may shortly need to make an emergency landing on water."
Source

Well, that's not a fun thing to hear, although it cracks me up in hindsight.

How common are thinks like this? And where is the button located to trigger this announcement? Can it really be pushed by mistake?


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 14125 times:

I didn't know there were any prerecorded emergency announcements? I always thought the cabin crew and pilots made announcements in the event of an emergency...


My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlineatcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13953 times:

I wonder if it's an option or if the message(s) come standard on certain aircraft..?


If I wanted your opinion, I'd give it to you!
User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13810 times:

It's usually an option installed on aircraft, usually called a "pre-recorded announcement" (PRA) system. Some of these PRAs are triggered automatically (i.e. oxygen mask drop) while others can be loaded/played on a control panel near or on a forward cabin panel. Usually the PRA system will include scripts in English and other languages and includes information for (i) Emergency Landings, (ii) Ditchings and (iii) Decompressions. Accidentally playing the PRAs isn't exactly an unheard of occurrence - I remember reading of a few cases on other aircraft, one of which the problem was traced to a hardware problem rather than someone accidentally setting it off.

The benefit of the system is that it frees crew up to do their emergency demos (brace position, lifejacket donning) or for them to sit down and don an oxygen mask and not have to waste oxygen talking when it's a decompression. Also, the ability to provide instructions in languages other than English is invaluable.

You can hear two PRAs here in Turkish followed by English (the English announcement is probably very similar to what the BA passengers heard):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTwU2dt6YP4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g80dWAN9isY&feature=channel

[Edited 2010-08-27 01:07:34]


Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineHeavierthanair From Switzerland, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13782 times:

G'day

How about that one

Ladies, Gentlemen and others. This is a prerecorded announcement. At the present speed and altitude we are going to run out of fuel in two hours. We will be crashing if overland or ditching if over water unless the pilots maneuver this aircraft to and land at a suitable airfield before this happens. Please refrain from panicing before the two hours have elapsed, thank you for your attention.  

Cheers

Peter



"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein, 1879
User currently offlineSchweigend From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 573 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13687 times:

That is a serious alarm. Hopefully, after the false announcement, the cabin crew quickly came on the PA and corrected it.

Scottie


User currently offlineBA777ER236 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 278 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13639 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
The pilot pressed the wrong button which triggered an automated voice message

Typical of the British press to get this wrong: The flight crew have no control of this function, PRA is a PA system function and activated by the cabin crew.

Later in the article it goes on to say:

'There was a malfunction of the public address system and we apologise to our passengers.'

-from a BA spokesperson, so how can this be interpreted as 'The pilot pressed the wrong button'!

Cheers
 



Flying would be easy if it wasn't for the ground
User currently offlinesmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1488 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13244 times:

This happened on a QF flight I was once on from HKG to MEL. There was an automated announcement, something along the lines of :

Attention! Attention! This is a decompression sit down! Sit down! Fasten seats belts immediately! Don your oxygen mask, Don your oxygen mask! Fasten seat belts, sit down, sit down, we are descending to a lower altitude …..

Was rather funny really as we were still on the ground with the bridge still attached, but it did cause a slight delay as they couldn’t shut it off so I suspect it was a fault as opposed to accident lol


User currently offlinejetMARC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 543 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 12946 times:

I thought I read that this happened before on BA where a passenger pressed the same ditching button that was located on some panel near an FA jumpseat and caused panic in the cabin...


"Sucka, I'm gonna send you out on Knuckle Airlines. Fist Class!!" ~ Mr. T
User currently offlinekonrad From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 12738 times:

Reminds me of this classic:
"This is your captain speaking: there is absolutely no cause for alarm"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVWCEKDDI-E


User currently offlinepink77W From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12397 times:

i would rather it be a false announcement than a real one any day

User currently offlineORDFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11543 times:

Any word on what type of aircraft this was? I wonder if this is a feature that both Boeing and Airbus offer?

User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 10944 times:

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 11):
Any word on what type of aircraft this was? I wonder if this is a feature that both Boeing and Airbus offer?

The Hong Kong is operated twice daily by a 747 400.

Just a bit scary for the passengers.....


User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2001 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10222 times:

Quoting konrad (Reply 9):
Reminds me of this classic:
"This is your captain speaking: there is absolutely no cause for alarm"

This was the exact same thing I thought of when I read this story. 


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 892 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8782 times:
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Maybe BA should start carrying spare underwear on their flights... Just in case.

BEG2IAH



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7951 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8750 times:

Probably a good thing then for most passengers to look out the window and realize their route was overland  


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlinenqyguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7871 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 15):

This apparently happened over the North Sea.. so they would have either got a plane full of oil rig or floated gently over to Amsterdam.


User currently offlineusafdo From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6833 times:

I have never heard of a "ditching alarm".

I've heard and seen an emergency evacuation alarm signal.

You can hear one activated in the Iberia 747 evacuation of flight #6250 on you tube.

I won't post the link because every time I do my post gets deleted.....


User currently offlinemultimark From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6803 times:

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 14):
Maybe BA should start carrying spare underwear on their flights... Just in case.

BEG2IAH

Yep, they must have had to clean a lot of seat covers during the turnaround!


User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12322 posts, RR: 35
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6065 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 15):
Probably a good thing then for most passengers to look out the window and realize their route was overland  

Yes, I was wondering when that was gone to come up! Depending on what route is flown, there is a very tiny proportion of that route flown over water.

I do recall, a few years back, that the recording (in French) of a similar warning was played on an Aer Lingus flight. Les passagers Francaises were not amused! (Zut alors!)


User currently offlinecharliecossie From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 479 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5884 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 19):
Depending on what route is flown, there is a very tiny proportion of that route flown over water.

**Every** international flight from GB is over water at some point.

Quoting usafdo (Reply 17):
I have never heard of a "ditching alarm".

Neither the OP nor his linked report mention the words "ditching alarm". If you'd read the thread, you'd now know about the PRA system fitted to numerous aircraft.


User currently offlineBeakerLTN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5672 times:

I was on EZY2271 a couple of months ago with a bit of an old duffer pilot (sounded very ex RAF). 2/3's of the way through he made an announcement, but the tone of his voice was exactly what was needed to get people's attention. Everyone shut up and listened straight away...

..he then proposed on behalf of someone in the plane.

.. and she said yes.



I know this is relatively common, but nice to see none-the-less. (and a good way to get free Champagne - even on ezy)



300/319/320/321/330/732/733/734/73G/738/744/772/77W/146/EMB135/EMB145
User currently offlineB2468 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5618 times:

I am not sure if this is related to the BA announcement, but on MU 346s, there is a pre-recorded turbulence announcement. When entering an area of turbulence, the recording comes on the public address system in both Chinese and English stating something like "we are experiencing some turbulence; please return to your seats with your seatbelts fastened".

While I understand that it is a necessary safety feature, it is annoying as hell, since they use it whenever they hit the slightest bump. However, they seem to not use it past two hours into the flight.



Dash-8/ERJ/306/310/319/320/332/333/343/346/388/72S/731/732/733/734/73G/738/741/744/74E/752/762/763/77E/77W/DC9/D1C/M82
User currently offlineNavigator From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 1144 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5508 times:

No matter what caused this it is a source of grave concern. How can an airline have procedures that let this happen? If they can not handle it they should not have such prerecorded announcements in my opinion!


747-400/747-200/L1011/DC-10/DC-9/DC-8/MD-80/MD90/A340/A330/A300/A310/A321/A320/A319/767/757/737/727/HS-121/CV990/CV440/S
User currently offlineoldtimer From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 191 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5173 times:

Quoting Navigator (Reply 23):
No matter what caused this it is a source of grave concern. How can an airline have procedures that let this happen? If they can not handle it they should not have such prerecorded announcements in my opinion!

Thats a bit OTT, have you never pushed the wrong button on your remote. It should not happen, but it did. It may not have even been a crew member who set it off. I definetely was not a pilot, unless he was fooling around in the cabin.
oldtimer



Oldtimer, I should have known better!
25 CrossChecked : One of the major problems with these PRAs and the most common cause for accidental activation is when we're using oxygen masks (theraputic/medical) on
26 Post contains links Blythy : ahh british tabloids, always willing to mislead the public to fulfil their agenda. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...ews/3113394/British-Scareway
27 1stfl94 : There was a similar incident on another BA flight a few years ago, also on a 747-400 where the ditching alarm was accidently hit. Unfortunately the ai
28 Post contains images GSPflyer : I picture the scene from AIRPLANE! where they asked if there was a pilot on board and everyone panicked
29 njxc500 : I can't picture the button in question....Does anyone have a picture. I did a search here and google and got nothing.
30 MarkHKG : It's not really one button...it's usually a control panel. And most airlines/vendors will not post a picture of it because as Crosschecked said, pass
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