nycfuturepilot
Posts: 773
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:50 am

Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:18 pm

I made another thread about a fight on my a/c the other night but have a question about calling 911 from an a/c.

A woman sitting behind me called 911 to report the altercation and to request help as she was worried about a friend sitting in the back but the 911 dispatcher said that they cant do anything and it has to be reported by the pilot to ATC.

I'm a fire fighter and an EMT in NJ and i know that here anytime 911 is called they have to send help and once a responder starts at a scene they cannot leave until everything is safe because of abandonment laws. Shouldnt 911 have helped the caller and try to send help or find out more about the situation because what if the pilots werent aware of the incident and other pax had gotten hurt, wouldnt blame have been put on the 911 dispatcher. what are the rules for this
Father, Son, HOYA spirit
 
baylorairbear
Posts: 2841
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:25 am

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:23 pm

I didn't catch your other thread. Can you post a short summary of the events? Were they in the air?

Thanks,
BaylorAirBear
I'm just skipping stones...
 
efohdee
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:52 am

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:28 pm

Its the way the cellphone works, the phone transmits to the nearest antenna, which happens to be on the ground. The location of the ground antenna is where the 911 dispatcher sees the call originating from. Your not supposed to use cellphones inflight anyway.
Tell the flight attendants or use one of the planes intercoms to notify the flight crew of the problem. They can relay the emergency through ATC and use emergency 121.5 if they have to. Using a cellphone inflight bypasses all this and just complicates the problem.
 
aviationwiz
Posts: 882
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:20 pm

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:40 pm

I read the other thread... and the plane was on the ground at the time this happened, at any rate, if there were a situation that warranted calling 911 *WHEREVER* I was, regardless of rules, laws, or anything else, I would do my best to call it.

Most phones now can be traced via means of E911 to a rather specific location (ie. at least in this case within the airport property lines.)

I'd say the dispatcher is at fault, the information should have *AT LEAST* been relayed to local airport police on the ground, even if they already knew about it, it never hurt to tell em' twice.
Proudly from the Home of the Red Tail.
 
kaniksu
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:54 pm

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:52 pm

Well I'm pretty sure if the 911 dispatcher said that she was unable to do anything... then she was UNABLE to do anything. Do you think this person just made it up so they wouldn't have to do any work? lol

The person that made the call to 911 should have notified flight crew and not called 911.
 
nycfuturepilot
Posts: 773
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:50 am

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:51 pm

This is true in theory however, the 911 dispatcher did not know the extent of the situation, say it had been a terrorist and the guys in the back had weapons and were threatening to use them on anyone who tried to call for help or contact the pilots and the pilots did not find out about the situation until after people had already been hurt then the dispatcher would have been screwed. They should have tried to get more information before hanging up on the caller
Father, Son, HOYA spirit
 
efohdee
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:52 am

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:07 am

Yeah if they were on the ground it's a completely different situation than being airborne.
 
nycfuturepilot
Posts: 773
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:50 am

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Thu Aug 18, 2005 1:53 am

Quoting Efohdee (Reply 6):
Yeah if they were on the ground it's a completely different situation than being airborne

it was on the ground
Father, Son, HOYA spirit
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:55 am

Quoting Aviationwiz (Reply 3):
Most phones now can be traced via means of E911 to a rather specific location (ie. at least in this case within the airport property lines.)

This is, unfourtinately, correct only in a very small portion of the country. In most cases, if you call 911 from your cell phone the operator will have no means of locating call in real time. [In some cases the cell company can triangulate after the fact, but this is not, from what I understand, common practice]*

To the original poster's question... If this was one of the "AirPhone" sets I am supprised that the 911 call terminated anywhere... and it almost certainly was not a real PSAP. In that case the person answering the other end was likely just a customer service operator in a call center somewhere and really couldn't do anything. If this was on a real cell phone... I'm not sure what should have been done.

Lincoln
* - My mom used to work for Plant Equipment Inc. -- one of the leading providers of 911 call center technology... including the technology that allows the dispatcher to locate the position of a cell phone.
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
Aisak
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:56 pm

RE: Calling 911 From An Aircraft

Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:32 am

The exact location of a cell phone may not be know at the beggining of a conversation, but the company know what antenna is giving service to that specific terminal. On some network intelligence calls (911, 1-800...) call enrouting, divertion... is made depending on the location of caller, and in cellular telephony this is done depending where the cell is

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