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Do Pilots Sugar Coat Emergency Annoucements?  
User currently offlineMatt_milligan From Canada, joined Jan 2002, 79 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1362 times:

Do Pilots sugar coat, lie or tell other mistruths to keep passengers calm during emergencies?

What would the pilot tell passengers if an engine blew or if a hydraulic sensor came on?

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6811 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1341 times:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are about to ditch the aircraft in the middle of the ocean, but don't worry, the water temperature's great, and today should be a perfect day to work on that tan you've always wanted!!"

User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1327 times:

I don't think the pilot would HAVE to tell the passengers if the engine blew  Big grin. As far as I know, which isn't too much as I am nota commercial pilot, the pilots usually explain the situation and then act as if it's not a big deal. But lately, if someone gets up to go to the bathroom at the wrong time, it makes front page on every damn newspaper in the country.


User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4365 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1310 times:

Why would we have any reason to lie to you? We tell you what's wrong and what the next plan of action is. We won't go into the gory details of why and what exactly we're doing, there isn't time for that. But there is no reason to tell anything other than the truth. Passengers have mysterious ways of finding out the truth anyway, so why not tell you? People get pissed off when we don't say anything, usually it is because we're crazy busy when it hits the fan, or we just don't know any information (like during a mechanical delay). Relax and have faith in the people doing their jobs. That's why they're there, to keep you safe.


User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3081 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1278 times:

I would hope that pilots wouldn't cheat their passengers out of an opportunity to make their peace with God if the situation warranted it. Pilots, take note.

User currently offlineWillfly4food From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1245 times:

If that is the only reason you want to know what is going on then I'm not going to bother telling anyone anything.

I can just see it now. "Folk's we just wanted to let you know the windshield wiper on the copilots side just fell off. No need to be alarmed. Just wanted to keep you informed." ......and this cat's sitting in the back making his piece with Gawd!

I have taken note.

User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1236 times:

i was on a united 767 LHR-JFK and the pilot in command made the announcement that swiss air just crashed off nova scotia.we were about 1hr from touchdown, i kid you not.pilot came on and said folks we just got word that a swiss air md-11 crashed about 30min after taking off from jfk.please let our prayers be with them and their families.that will help put your life into perspective,dont sweat the little stuff!!!

User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1203 times:

Some of the 9/11 accounts say that pilots of diverted airplanes came up with various reasons to explain the unscheduled landings. The terror attacks weren't mentioned until after the planes landed.

"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineJeff G From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 449 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1193 times:


You won't ever hear a pilot come on the PA telling you it's time to make peace with God. That's because any pilot worth his salt will never, ever give up trying to save the plane, no matter how hopeless it seems. By making that announcement, the pilot just said that it's all for nothing and we're all gonna die. He just gave up and your death is being assisted by an incompetent idiot. There may be situations when you're truly in extremis, but the pilots are way too busy to tell you that. And if there's time enough to tell you anything, then you're not going to die yet. So yeah, I've taken note, but saving the aircraft is always going to take precedence over giving you your final two minute warning.

Bonus tip: make your peace with God now, and you won't have to worry about it.

User currently offlineDelta737 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 517 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1188 times:

Sure do!

The problem is, is that you don't want folks in the back of the aircraft overestimating the severity of the problem and starting an uncommanded evacuation of the aircraft which 99.9999% of the time means injuries and lawsuits.

Like I lost control of the pressurization on a 727 once and only notified the flight attendants. Basically, I let them know if the oxygen masks happened to drop, it's for real and make sure the people put them on.

The cabin altitude didn't reach the "magic number" to automatically drop the masks so it wasn't an issue. But I do know if I did a PA about our pressurization problems and the possibility of deploying the oxygen masks, grandma and uncle Cleetus would have absolutely panicked even though nothing bad happened.

Doug Taylor

User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1180 times:

I was once on a flight from PHL to ORD. It was a 727 and I was about 12. WE circled ORD for 35 or 40 minutes w/ no explaination. then finally the captain came on to say they couln't tell if the gear had locked. It was a night flt so a fly by of the tower couldn't help.

He never sugar coated it. He told us they thought the gear had locked based on the feel of the plane. but they couldnt be sure the light was out and the replacements didn't work. he told us that he was reasonalbly sure it was an electrical problem in the cockpit. Advised everone to brace in te crash postion. My younger brother and I had the time of our lives. WE thought we were going to get to slide down the emergency slide. How disappointed we were when we landed without incident, and taxied to the GATE.

Anyway the pilot after the Long delay laid everything our for the passengers. We were all calm. Except of course my brother and I who were excited and enjoying the adventure. How lucky we were.

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