Topic Author
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 4:29 am

Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:04 am

Greetings everyone!

I have a couple of questions to put out there for anyone who takes to skies on a regular basis!

First of all, have anyone of you been on a flight where the pilot would explain as to why there was "smoke" coming out of the engines in cruise flight? (Obviously, these were just contrails, but I can see how someone could get confused) For example, I was sitting next to a woman that was convised the engines were on fire and demanded to talk to the pilot. Now this is not something I've never heard explained by the pilots, but I could see why it would be.

Also, what about those freakin' amazing takeoffs out of SNA? Blast off like a rocket and then cut back on power until it feels like you're going to fall out of the sky. Have you ever been on a flight where the pilots explained why and when this would happen.

Again, I was on another flight where a man was convinced we were going down and started calling his wife on the GTE phone to tell her good-bye.

Do pilots ordinarily explain these kinds of things?
Do you think they should?
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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:21 am

Off topic...

What's with the takeoffs from SNA? I haven't heard about it before. Do they need to clear something?

I had a pilot on a flight once that explained a lot about when we got in the pattern. He explained that when there is crappy weather, I think there was a little bit of fog on the ground. He said that planes need to be spaced out more, which slows things down. And he explained the area we would be circling around. It was pretty damn cool!

I was also on a flight where the captain came on the p/a and said they had requested a slight diversion in order to dip the wing over Niagra Falls from 35,00ft. It was real cool.
Topic Author
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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:29 am

SNA takeoffs are like that due to noise restrictions in that area.

Power takeoff due to the short runway and then they cut the engines back once you're off to cut back on the noise.

After that, they go ahead and power up.

But it's the staight-up feel to the takeoff that makes it so very cool. But I must admit, the first time can be a bit unnerving if you do not know what is going on.
Thats why I feel there should be an explaination.

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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:48 am

i am an FA and my company in australia has a policy that tech crew must explain to pax any abnormal event such as early turns and power reductions. this is always mentioned during taxi prior to take off.
Topic Author
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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:00 am

Very interesting.
I know this cannot be policy for US Airlines as there are many times the pilots do not say anything from "Flight Attendants, please be seated for departure" to "Flight Attendants, please take your seats for arrival."

Personally, I find this very annoying, but I guess it's up to the people up front and as long as we land safely, what can you say?
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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 3:32 am

PAs from the cockpit concerning abnormal situations are encouraged by the airlines. However, pilots must be very careful choosing thier words when describing some type of malfunction. Passengers will often second guess the pilots, or think that the problem is being "sugar-coated" no matter what the explanation is. I think the best way to handle the information that the passengers recieve is to keep it very, very simple. For example - an engine is running hot and the pilots are having to divert, the PA might sound like this: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Captain speaking. We have an abnormal engine indication in the cockpit and we have decided that the best course of action would be to divert to Dallas, which is only about 50 miles away. I assure you that this is no cause for you to be concerned about, and we are landing only as a precaution. Once on the ground, our flight will be met by a representative from the airline to assist should this delay cause any inconvienence. We apologize for the unscheduled stop, but safety is our number one priority. We should be landing in a few minutes.
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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:36 pm

You have to remember that from the pushback to level off and from commencing the decent to shut down at the gate, the pilots are very busy. Sometimes there just isn't time to give a complete briefing prior to landing or prior to take off, so we have to just get the required elements out there. Although in an abnormal situation we work on the problem first and then announce what's going on when duties permit. And when we announce things we do keep it straight to the point etc... the other night on the last leg of the day during the taxi out, we had a generator trip offline. The APU gen picked up the load like it was supposed to. We worked the problem out on the taxi and all was good. The passengers never had any idea we were a few seconds from returning to the gate. In those situations, there is no need to announce anything. That's why we work on the problem first, then announce something. Also don't forget that the First Officer is also allowed on the PA, so you may not always be hearing the captain. In fact, on most airlines it is the duty of the FO to make the "FA's prepare for departure please" announcement. So whenever you hear that announcement 99% of the time it is the FO. Then if you hear that same voice making subsequent PAs in flight, you know it is the captain's leg to fly.

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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Tue Feb 26, 2002 1:39 pm

A friend of mine deadheading to MEM from PHL once told me a story that an explaination was badly needed and never came.
Apparently the DC-9 they had had a pressure problem a butterfly valve in the back was jamed open. They had to decend to a unpressurized alltitude. Now they didn't have enough fuel to get to MEM so they diverted to DTW.
My friend being a pilot thought the announcement was great until the fuel part. Not explaining that they HAD enough fuel for MEM at cruise alltitude but not enough fuel at the lower alltitude w/ thicker air caused some unease in the cabin.
My friend didn't step on the captains toes and correct him but he did privately calm as many confused people as he could.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
GunFighter 6
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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Wed Feb 27, 2002 12:08 am

I have been flying US Airways recently and they told during the PA message that they would be making special movements to avoid large populated areas.

this was during a late evening departure out of PHL.

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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Wed Feb 27, 2002 12:34 am

I ALWAYS briefed the pax before the SNA "launch". It is unlike a takeoff from any other airport in the U.S.

I understand the local resident's concern over noise in the past. But, Stage III aircraft are so quiet it seems unnecessary for us to have to perform such a maneuver now. It is uncomfortable for the pax AND if you lose an engine at exactly the right might make a whole lot of noise.TC
FL450, M.85
Topic Author
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RE: Cockpit P.A. Explainations

Wed Feb 27, 2002 12:47 am

Does anyone know the loudest plane out of SNA?
Is it, the MD-80?

I know CO has 735/73G into and out of that airport.

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