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"How Many Souls?"  
User currently offlineVarig767 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 243 posts, RR: 3
Posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6008 times:

Hello everyone,

Lately this was asked to the pilots of KL691 when they declared a fuel emergency due to the AF358 accident. A few years ago I've seen a movie about ATC and when there was a plane in trouble this was also asked.

I understand that it is about persons aboard, but with what exact intention this is being asked by ATC?

With regards,

Martijn

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMatt72033 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1617 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6005 times:

in case of a rescue attempt?
emergency services would probably like to know how many people are on board so they dont leave anyone behind!

just a guess!


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5983 times:

Makes sense.But In an Emergency I dont think theres time for counting.
Maybe later.
It could be to inform Fire & Medical dept so that they can bring in the No of Emergency Vehicles needed.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineGoinv From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 264 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5985 times:

During a recent visit to the Control Tower at Inverness airport I witnessed a small freighter take off for Edinburgh (about 100 miles away). The Captain of the cargo plane stated that he had a 'Supplementary' of "Three Souls on Board, endurance 180 minutes".

The Air Traffic Controller advised me that this was told to ATC as the terminal in Inverness would be closed when the flight was due land in Edinburgh.

Should the flight not make it to Edinburgh it would be known that there were three people on board and that the aircraft had enough fuel for 3 hours of flying.

As the ATC tower at Inverness closes at 22:00 (before arrival in Edinburgh), this 'Supplementary' information was passed on to en-route ATC.



Be who you are, The world was made to measure for your smile. So Smile.
User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5983 times:

It's just an efficient way of saying how many people onboard. This number would inlude crew, passengers and jumpseaters. I imagine in the past (pre-9/11 or even pre-hijackings) that there was a possibility that deadheading crews, jumpseating crews and employees hitching a ride weren't listed on the official manifest.

User currently offlineAirmech From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5940 times:

They use the term "souls" to denote how many live humans are on board. To avoid confusion if a aircraft is hauling cadavors, animals, pets and such.

User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9077 posts, RR: 76
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5925 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Hi,

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 2):
Makes sense.But In an Emergency I dont think theres time for counting.

Sure you dont have time to count! But before you took off you have an information on your loadsheet which will tell you how many F, C, Y class passengers, Jumpseats, infants! So, just look on the Loadsheet and then you have the souls on board!

ATC wants to know the souls on board, fuel on board and if there are any dangerous good on board. So the rescue units know what they have to deal with and how many injured/dead people they have to look for. Fire fighters would be really interested in the amount of fuel on board upon touchdown. High risk of fire. And dangerous goods is a helpful information for everybody because of maybe biological, flammable, toxic etc substances on board.

WILCO737
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2444 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5905 times:

They use the term "souls on board" to include infants that may not be occupying a seat, and to make it clear that it is the total number of living people on board. Otherwise there may confusion over whether the number includes both passengers and crew members.

They don't have to count the people before landing. That number is known before they takeoff. It has to be known to do the weight and balance calculations, for one thing.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlinePlainSmart From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5894 times:

I have heard that in emergency situations when you are asked how many people are on the plane frequently the pilot will not include himself and sometimes the crew. I think it is a mental thing when asked souls vs. people.

User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2565 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5853 times:

Surely it's more about prioritising the emergency? If it was just about counting bodies after an accident the loadsheet from the operator would do the job just as well.


The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5838 times:

Of course, we shouldn't assume all living people have souls.  Wink

Wouldn't it be better to say, "There are 243 living humans on board."

Mark

[Edited 2005-08-07 22:25:51]

User currently offline320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

Even on engine runs, we tell the ground controller how many souls on board, and how much fuel. When the thing torches itself, and the CFR (Crash Fire Rescue) arrives, they want to know if everyone is off. Just because there are three people running away doesn't mean that there's not three more trapped inside.

As mentioned, "souls" differentiates between live people and cargo (cadavers).



The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
User currently offlineAGM114L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

Just don't ask this question to an Athiest pilot. "Atlanta Center, Zero souls aboard"

User currently offlineBjones From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5687 times:

It has nothing to do with prioritizing the emergency and everything to do with the responders knowing how many people to look for. If an emergency crew showed up and saw five people standing near a 737 that just crashed they would be likely to think that there are more people still on board. However if word was passed to them that this there were only five people they would not unnecesariily risk there lives searching for additional people and could focus on helping those people and preventing a fire etc.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5688 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 10):
Wouldn't it be better to say, "There are 243 living humans on board."

Out here the term used is also ...eg 140 + 7 thru Security.Normally used prior to Start up.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1260 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5020 times:

Quoting Airmech (Reply 5):
They use the term "souls" to denote how many live humans are on board. To avoid confusion if a aircraft is hauling cadavors, animals, pets and such.

In theory. Once saw a CJ pilot get a thorough tongue lashing from the owner when they told flight service the number of souls onboard "4 souls and a dog". Needless to say, the ensuing argument over if Dogs have souls was entertaining.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4991 times:

They ask about fuel because they want a better idea of your endurance.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4976 times:

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 16):
They ask about fuel because they want a better idea of your endurance.

That and given the possible alternatives, how much of a fireball you might make when you get back down.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offline9VSIO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 724 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4912 times:
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I would have thought that they'd ask the number of souls onboard to prepare the ambulance crews. After all, you wouldn't want one ambulance turning up for a fully loaded 747 in an emergency!


Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
User currently offlineOpso1 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 527 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4846 times:

I've been on several military flights, usually back from the Middle East when we have had "XX persons on board VV (VV = XX minus one or two) souls on board". This is so that, in the event of the crash crews being required, they will keep going until they have all of the "souls" accounted for. If they have all of the "souls" off alive, job done as well as hoped. If they total souls does not equal total persons at any time, they know to keep going...

OPSO1


User currently offlineN710PS From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4845 times:

Because they need a count on how many ghhost protective sheets to put on the bodies when they get to the crash scene. No in all seriousness it is so there is a head count to calculate what magnatude the rescue operation would be, and as morbid as it sounds how many hursts, body bags, or ambulances depending on severity of the situation might be required.


There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4791 times:

Quoting N710PS (Reply 20):
hursts

As a hearse fan, that's hearse-not hurst. Additionally, funeral directors are loathe to put unnecessary wear on hearses due to their expense-$70,000+ for a new coach. Usually they will send out a refitted van or truck that is used as a First Call vehicle. If a hearse is used for First Calls, it will almost always be an older coach that has been retired from use in funeral services.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineSmcmac32msn From United States of America, joined May 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4617 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 17):
That and given the possible alternatives, how much of a fireball you might make when you get back down.

Thats hilarious.... welcome to my RR list. The other day I asked a Ops agent of a particular agent when their plane would "hit the ground". She gave me this weird look and said "You mean 'landing'?" I replied smugly with "Sure, however you want to say it."



Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
User currently offlineHPLASOps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4490 times:

I think infants are the primary reason why the phrase "Souls on Board" is used. Infants account for zero weight when it comes to load planning, and as mentioned earlier, do not officially occupy a seat. A flight could have a trim count of 183 plus crew and jump (we'll say 7 total for this example), meaning that only 190 persons' weight much be accounted for, but if there are say, 3 infants, the SOB becomes 193.

Quoting Dw747400 (Reply 15):
In theory. Once saw a CJ pilot get a thorough tongue lashing from the owner when they told flight service the number of souls onboard "4 souls and a dog". Needless to say, the ensuing argument over if Dogs have souls was entertaining.

I would've paid good money to hear this conversation. To the FAA, a dog is just another 30 lbs piece of cargo, but try explaining that to the dog's owner.


User currently offlinePlainSmart From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4154 times:

I have heard that times the pilots will not count themselves or their crews. When asked how many people are on board they may reply "three" (if it is a small plane). In reality though there is five when the two pilots are counted. Pilots tend to exclude themselves from body counts when asked how many people are on board, hence the word souls.

25 744rules : when the gate agent wants the headcount from the crew, they will use "souls on board" if they included the infants (as they do not occupy a seat). The
26 Post contains images Sea2Pdx : Although we're not required to use the "souls on board" verbiage, that's the idea when we clear our flights. Most of us (me included) still break the
27 Bsergonomics : Sorry, peeps. I haven't been around for a while. The term "Souls on board" dates back many centuries to the (not surprisingly) naval world. If you (as
28 ARFFdude : Pretty much. If there's a possible crash scenario, we need to know the potential magnitude and scope in order to prepare for it. There may be an airl
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