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Do Any Flight Attendants Get Trained To Use Radio?  
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3571 times:

Do any flight attendants get any training such as using the radio incase there is an emergency in the cockpit? For example if one pilot is not able to function and the other pilot is underpressure from the additional workload, can a flight attendant assist in using the radio? I know that it might not be feasible to actually have a flight attentant trained to do some pilot functions but at least if one can help in an emergency such as using the radio to send or recieve messages that could be very beneficial.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1457 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3543 times:

You know it's sort of a good question...something I've always wondered was, "If something happens to both of them...then what?" My manual just tells me how to get INTO the flight deck in the even both pilots are incapacitated.....after that...I guess I just pray....?


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineLucky42 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3523 times:

To my knowledge they are not. But I do not know for sure...Although I think it would be a good idea. I guess they feel they are trained for so many other contingencies I think the airlines feel this is a remote possibility which is why I don't think they want to spend the time and money training F/A's for something they think will never happen..But as we all know anything is possible...I think it would be a good idea for a senior F/A to know some radio knowledge even if it is never used.

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6370 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3515 times:

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 1):
You know it's sort of a good question...something I've always wondered was, "If something happens to both of them...then what?" My manual just tells me how to get INTO the flight deck in the even both pilots are incapacitated.....after that...I guess I just pray....?

Well, this should be a non-issue on your airline, seeing how they don't serve the fish, so the captain and FO can't both choose the fish...  duck 



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineDoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3402 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3514 times:

If its a big enough emergency that you need the F/A doing the radios, then its a big enough emergency to go ahead and not worry about the standardized phraseology. As long as the speak and understand English they are "trained".


When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineBuckFifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3491 times:

Generally, if there was an emergency with only one pilot in the cockpit, he or she would handle it as a single pilot ops. The F/A in the cockpit will generally be there to assist with reading the checklist to make sure all the critical items are done, but no more than that. It would just add to the stress if the F/A were to do more than what they were trained for (which is reading the checklists).

If both pilots were incapacitated...well, the last documented example, if not totally proven, was the Helios crash.


User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

Some corporate flight attendants in their training are taught how to use the radio or set the transponder. (The training is not consistent though and varies from company to company.)


Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3473 times:

Quoting BuckFifty (Reply 5):
Generally, if there was an emergency with only one pilot in the cockpit, he or she would handle it as a single pilot ops

I agree, normally that should not cause any big problems for the safety of the airplane.

An event in which both pilots suffer from let's say a heart attack at the same time and thus be incapacitated is so unlikely that it does not really need to be addressed by the airlines IMHO. The Helios Crash showed that it is more likely that a failure like decompression happens which results in incapacitation of a number of people on board including the pilots. AFAIK passengers entered the cockpit and tried to fly the plane but didn't know how to work the autopilot until they too passed out.

So maybe instead of training Flight Attendants to work radios maybe they should have some kind of an emergency list in a prominent position on the flight deck which tells you how to set the autopilot to 10,000 feet and how to contact someone with the radio.


User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3454 times:

Quoting Flexo (Reply 7):
AFAIK passengers entered the cockpit and tried to fly the plane but didn't know how to work the autopilot until they too passed out.

The official accident report discusses the possibility that the cabin crew took too long before checking on the flight crew. After a decompression, the aircraft should be making a descent. If the masks drop, and the cabin crew notice that the aircraft is not descending, the report suggested it would be important for the crew to check the pilots for incapacitation. The administration of oxygen by portable oxygen to the pilots in the early stages of decompression may have allowed them to regain consciousness.  Sad



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineFlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2315 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

As has been pointed out here, no airlines actually train cabin crew on the radios, we have enough training as it is (5 intense weeks). My previous airlines have not done this, one did actually go through the use of the fire handles which I thought was quite interesting (for if we are on the ground with no flight crew and one goes off).

Of course, it never hurts to already be knowledgable in RT  Wink

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):

Well, this should be a non-issue on your airline, seeing how they don't serve the fish, so the captain and FO can't both choose the fish...

I don't think airlines serve fish anymore, not since then  Smile

Phil
FlyingColours



Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3372 times:

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 4):
If its a big enough emergency that you need the F/A doing the radios, then its a big enough emergency to go ahead and not worry about the standardized phraseology. As long as the speak and understand English they are "trained".

I was not referring to the phraseology aspect but the ability to tune to right transponder etc.


User currently offlineHelvknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3358 times:

Quoting BuckFifty (Reply 5):
Generally, if there was an emergency with only one pilot in the cockpit, he or she would handle it as a single pilot ops.

IIRC when the Captain of a CO 757 had a heart attack and died on the flight the co-pilot brought a pax with a private licence in to run checks, work the radio and so on.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
Well, this should be a non-issue on your airline, seeing how they don't serve the fish, so the captain and FO can't both choose the fish..

off topic a bit I thought it was a FAR that the Captain and co-pilot could not have the same meal in case this happened - or is this an urban myth?


User currently offlineFlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2315 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3339 times:

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 11):

off topic a bit I thought it was a FAR that the Captain and co-pilot could not have the same meal in case this happened - or is this an urban myth?

Thats pretty much true, they can not have the same meal (usually crew meals are all indivdual) and only one can have a spare passenger meal (because we only have the regular pax meals aside from spare veggie meals etc...). Sometimes the flight crew will both have passenger issue puddings, cheese & crackers etc, though I don't think there is a risk in that  Smile

Incidentally, I've found a few dozen crew meals which are "Fish based"  Wink

Phil
FlyingColours



Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
User currently offlineDoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3402 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3301 times:

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 11):
off topic a bit I thought it was a FAR that the Captain and co-pilot could not have the same meal in case this happened - or is this an urban myth?

pretty sure thats a company policy thing (could be wrong). Anyway, I often eat the same biscoffs as the captain......



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

Given the statistical chances of the training being needed, it's a waste of time. There's enough training going on out there without adding to it needlessly. If anFA can work a PA system, they can talk on a radio. Push the button and speak. If there is a conscious pilot there, he can set the switches up fo the FA. If they are unconscious, the FA should be trying to rescucitate them. You have to accept that there is no way to prevent all possible emergencies, and sometimes aircraft will crash.

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6370 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

Quoting FlyingColours (Reply 12):
Incidentally, I've found a few dozen crew meals which are "Fish based"

Phil
FlyingColours

Oh Lordy Lordy, hope Otto (as in Otto Pylit) is available on standby when you need him  Wink How about Ted Stryker? He seems to have done more harm than good on approach to ORD...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3267 times:

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 11):
off topic a bit I thought it was a FAR that the Captain and co-pilot could not have the same meal in case this happened - or is this an urban myth?

Myth at least in the US. I've worked for several airlines and the pilots routinely eat the same meals.

I know the basics of how to use the radio. But never recieved any formal training. There are some airlines that do give a brief overview to new FA's.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3252 times:

Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 16):
Myth at least in the US. I've worked for several airlines and the pilots routinely eat the same meals.

Not out here.The Meals are Different.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTom775257 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3044 times:

As background info, at the airline I work for all first officers very early in the line training have to carry out a flight where at some point the captain pretends to die; and you have to carry out the rest of your flight by yourself (Captain will still monitor you and come back to life if you mess up). I think this is a very good idea.

User currently offlineHighFlyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3036 times:

In a level D sim or a real aircraft revenue flight?


121
User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 11):
IIRC when the Captain of a CO 757 had a heart attack and died on the flight the co-pilot brought a pax with a private licence in to run checks, work the radio and so on.

Wow, just think of hearing that announcement over the PA. "Well folks, we are cruising here at 35000 ft, take a look out the left side to see the Grand Canyon, your drink service will be starting soon, and by the way...is there anyone on board who happens to be a pilot?" Is this an urban legend or did this really happen?


On that note, FA's only need to know one word and say it 3 times. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. I guarantee everyone on frequency will shut up and our wonderful friends in ATC will go into overdrive to help you out.


User currently offlineTom775257 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3004 times:

"In a level D sim or a real aircraft revenue flight?"

In real flight. Remember the captain is there monitoring you. I think this enhances flight safety; although I can understand the initial reaction of 'why do it on the line when sims are good enough.' Sims are good, but they don't quite get real life. I would prefer to prove to myself I can fly a jet single crew with the CM1 monitoring than actually by myself for the first time.

This also means your handling of a crew incap can be checked and corrected if necessary. It does feel a bit strange doing everything yourself I will admit.

I would add it is also a good test of our knowledge of the Captains duties - we have to carry out both jobs and if we fail at them we don't get to fly - tested in a route check.

[Edited 2007-04-05 19:39:55]

User currently offlineBuckFifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2920 times:

Quoting Helvknight (Reply 11):
IIRC when the Captain of a CO 757 had a heart attack and died on the flight the co-pilot brought a pax with a private licence in to run checks, work the radio and so on.

That would be a non-starter where I work. Alas, bringing in someone who is not a company employee, never mind type rated on the aircraft, would just add to confusion and increase workload. However, if there was another colleague who was type rated on the aircraft paxing on the flight, then it may be a prudent move.

It's something any private pilot would want to be asked to help in such a situation, I've also imagined myself in such a situation. But in reality, such situations rarely arise, even in extreme circumstances. The flight attendents are trained to do the checklists, and that's all I'm looking for.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9595 posts, RR: 52
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 4):



If its a big enough emergency that you need the F/A doing the radios, then its a big enough emergency to go ahead and not worry about the standardized phraseology. As long as the speak and understand English they are "trained".

Well what you say on the radio is not that important as long as it is English. The person on the other end speaks English or if you are in a local country and you prefer conversing in the local language, that is acceptable. All pilots have been taught that you can use laymen's terms and just regular English if you are confused and don't know what to say.

However knowing how to physically use the radio is not intuitive. If you have to change a radio frequency, then it is good to know how to know hot to tune into a frequency with the knobs/controls and where to find them. It is important to be able to identify what the radio is and how to talk if absolutely necessary. That would not be a difficult thing to do.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
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