Topic Author
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2001 3:46 pm

Should We Know What's Going On With Our Aircraft?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 5:36 pm

This is just only personnal notice when any incidents occured with the aircraft we're flying with, the pilot always keeps it secret and let passenger innocent till we land or leave the aircarft. for instance:
-TG 429 skid off runway in Penang and paseengers were stucked in the aircraft for an hour without any movement and being noticed..
-Also Israel charter flight yesterday were shooted by misile, fortunately it missed the target. But the passenger didn't recognize what was going on with their aircraft at all untill the arrived at Telaviv...

my point: if they let passenger update with the incidents while still boarding, imagine what the helly mess would it be.
on the otherhand , the passenger always blaim and be angry the airline if they know just after the incident, assuming themselves as stupid and foolish.
what's your aspect??

CX Flyboy
Posts: 6075
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Should We Know What's Going On With Our Aircraft?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 5:45 pm

If the aircraft is diverting, then passengers should know. However, by telling them that they narrowly missed being hit by a missle while they are still in the area and at the beginning of their flight does nothing but spread panic. You then have people possibly wanting the Captain to land, or whatever when this may not be the best course of action. The passengers may gang together and cause a riot on board, and as they far ournumber the crew, this becomes a very dangerous situation. There is nothing that the passengers can do, but they may not see it this way.

The China Northern MD80 that crashed a while ago with a fire on board apparently did not crash because of the fire. It crashed because everyone ran to the front of the aircraft in a panic while getting away from the fire. While this is understandable, the same thing could theoretically happen if a situation with the passengers gets out of hand. Deliberately spreading panic on board is not a good idea.
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Should We Know What's Going On With Our Aircraft?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 6:31 pm

Not telling the passengers can be a good thing as it prevents panic reactions in the cabin.
It's a tight line to dance of course, if there's smoke streaming by the windows, passengers will wonder what it is and not telling them might be worse than having them in the know.
I wish I were flying
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Should We Know What's Going On With Our Aircraft?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 6:43 pm

Being in a plane where fuel was venting uncontrollably, engine failure, crew having a fight... Well, in a situation like that (I've been in it all on the same flight), I'd like to know what was going on... but, rather than causing panic... I'd rather have the crew answer my questions discreetly rather than being clueless...

I've seen what announcement can do to people... Once on SAS DC10 BKK-CPH... the captain announced "Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may see, our plane is a DC10, which if you've been reading the news in the last few days, has had a few problems lately. Let me assure you that we will do our best to keep this an uneventful flight. Now let's board the plane quickly and quietly and be on our way"

I wasn't surprised to see that I was the only one rushing to board ! LOL. The Captain greeted me at the door and told the purser to put me in a spare Business Class seat ! the flight left on time somehow... I think the other pax needed some persuasion...

When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 1999 1:33 am

RE: Should We Know What's Going On With Our Aircraft?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 6:45 pm

I fully agree with Cx Flyboy in the subject of inflight safety. For sure, it is not the best idea to tell the passage that "the airplane has nearly been hit by two missiles"... Can you simply imagine what would go on on board? Better forget it. Even imagining that the passengers were so disciplinated that nobody moved from their seats (veeeery hardly believable), can you condemn them to fly the next three or four or six hours that scared? No... they did VERY WELL not informing the passengers.

Another case, however would be a "go around" or a "take off rejected". I usually go by BCN's rwy 25 threshold with my scanner. Last week a Lufthansa flight (A320) was approaching at 160 kts behind a Fokker 50 doing 120. When LH 7243 was already above the asphalt the Fokker had not cleared rwy 25 yet, 118.1 called "LH7243, go around please. Initially climb 3000 hdg 240 and stand by". Then they were still sent 6000 ft, turned back slowly first to hdg 200, then 180, then 050, then 070 , then north, then 280 to intercept the localizer, all of it through frequencies 127.7, 118.05, 119.1 and finally back to 118.1. The landing occured 17 minutes after the go around. I hope the passengers were conveniently informed, otherwise whoever could start a riot fearing mech problems...

Or worse...

One month ago, it was rainy and windy. An Iberia A320 was given take off clearance and after 20 secs the following speech was made by the crew: "take off rejected, Iberia 3248, take off rejected" The answer of the tower was "will you need any help?" and the captain answered "no thanks, it was a little problem, we're ready to proceed again to rwy 20 holding position". Never said what was that little problem, and the following take off was "normal?". I don't know what the passengers were informed about, and I presume the rejection had to do with the wind. But can you imagine yourself in a full throttle t/o roll and suddenly full brakes... and go back to, from the point of view of a non-into aviation passenger, "trying take off again?". OK, I would not mind... but I truly hope passengers were duely informed, otherwise how many histerical people or simply "forced passengers" of those who MUST fly but are terrorized by the "experience" could cause to spread panic among all the passengers?

Honestly, passengers must be informed for safety reasons, but in case of becoming terrorist objective...

Best turbulences
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Should We Know What's Going On With Our Aircraft?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 8:07 pm

Talking about rejected take off and announcement...
I was about to depart from BOM to LHR in an AC 747 combi...
On the runway, engines revved up, brakes released and within a split second, the brakes went on, and engines spooled down... this continued twice...

Passengers were getting very worried, and were looking at each other asking questions... then the flight deck came on and explained the problem... they say they had the Side Cargo Door alert light coming on everytime the released the brakes... they were trying to recycle the locking procedures from the cockpit once more, and if it doesn't work, we were going to go back to the ramp and have it seen. On the next attempt, we took off, shortly after the flightdeck came on again to say the problem is solved and assured us it will be a safe flight. Apparently a cabin crew told me later that some pax upfront were concerned that the flight would be unsafe...

Handled nicely...

When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
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RE: Should We Know What's Going On With Our Aircraft?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 11:57 pm

All good comments... as a pilot our first priority is the safety of the passengers and crew. If we have a problem, become delayed or have a rejected takeoff or something else occurs that might need explaining we do it when we have time. During a goaround for example - it is a very intensely busy time upfront and we simply can't get to the PA until things have calmed down. Whenever it is me who is getting to do the PA, I always provide complete explainations in simple terms and with the right amount of information. I firmyl believe that we shouldn't keep our passengers in the dark on the issues at hand. Especially in this environment of nervous folks etc... some examples: on my walkaround in SDF I noticed the plane took a birdstrike the night before (it wasn't written up - and that's a whole other story we won't get into) so I mentioned it to the captain and he started the maintenance process on the phone. Mind you this was a totally full flight first thing in the morning. At departure time if we aren't out of the gate we are required to make an announcement and then every 15 min thereafter - regardless of if there is new info. So, I said hello, introduced myself and explained what happened and that we were on the phone with maintenance control to take further action. I also explained that having bird debris is something we don't want in our engine so we are taking this as a precautionary measure. We ended up deplaning and getting everyone reaccomodated and as the passengers were deplaning - many of them commented on how they appreciated our caution and safety in the matter and how they also appreciated being informed. There were also the idiots who just were so angry with us for being safe that they just shook their head at me as they deplaned. Well, you can't please everyone I guess. Another time earlier this month we were flying from Memphis to Jackson, MS and the weather wasn't that great. It was VERY windy and rainy with t-storms in the area. I hear from a flight attendant that a passenger was very concerned about the weather and the safety of our flight. THe capt was busy so I went back to her and her husband and sat down and chatted with them about the weather and explained the situation and pretty much put her to ease. She was most appreciative of my concern for her wellbeing.

My point is that every pilot has your best interest at hand- Some are more social and some are all about just telling them what you NEED to know. I hate being kept in the dark so I explain what I am allowed to and what is appropriate because I know if I were sitting in back I'd want to know the same information. I've actually gotten alot of comments from passengers about my PAs and how much they liked getting the information they received. Though if I knew we were nearly hit by missles - there is no way to dance around that issue - so nothing should be said. IF a precautionary landing had to be made I would have said "due to a security issue we will be landing at XYZ airport." It is your right and need to know what's going on - but there is certain protocol, time contraints and tact with telling you the story.


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