Gonzalo
Topic Author
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VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:59 pm

I Hope you don't shoot me for this questions, I'm just asking because one sentence in this article caught my attention and I hope someone can clarify this for me. I know some European carriers are loosing money, and are asking the best effort from their workers at any level, but this seems to be a little exaggerated ( if true ) .

Here says that the F/O was incapacitated , and another pilot, who was on the flight "amongst the cabin crew" , took the place of the ill pilot and continued the flight.
( AFAIK, "cabin crew" are flight attendants and everyone involved in customer service for the passengers, while a Pilot/Co-pilot is "Flight Crew" ).

Is VS asking the pilots to perform as "cabin crew" occasionally ? And if the answer is yes, do you know why ???

Thanks.-

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=452cf615&opt=0

Rgds.
G.
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roseflyer
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:03 pm

It sounds like one of the flight attendants had a commercial pilot rating, rather than was an actual pilot for VS. It's not that uncommon to find flight attendants to have pilot ratings. They are involved in aviation afterall and flight attendants can go to pilot training too!

It is also possible there could have been a deadheading or non-reving pilot on board too. LHR-BOS is short enough to not need any relief crew, but it could have been a relief pilot as well.

[Edited 2012-08-07 11:06:24]
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catiii
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:06 pm

Or it could have been as simple as being the international relief pilot, who was sitting in the crew rest seat in the cabin.
 
slinky09
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:08 pm

Per one response to the AV article there were eight positioning crew members on the flight, one was a FO and when the crew heard of the problem he or she stepped into the flight deck.
 
jwhite9185
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:08 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
It is also possible there could have been a deadheading or non-reving pilot on board too. LHR-BOS is short enough to not need any relief crew, but it could have been a relief pilot as well.

Read about this a few weeks back and I'm pretty sure that was the case.
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GT4EZY
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:09 pm

I maybe wrong but even though pilots are in command of an aircraft, I don't think they are necassarilly trained to be cabin crew. If there were there would be a quasi-pilot/cabin crew rank and there isn't one at VS to the best of my knowledge. Besides, why employ a pilot on a pilots salary to then work as cabin crew. Hardly efficient is it?
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gabrielchew
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:10 pm

During the BA cabin crew strike, there were some flight deck crew working as cabin crew....I was served by a F/O on the MCT-AUH-LHR leg.
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roseflyer
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:19 pm

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 5):
I maybe wrong but even though pilots are in command of an aircraft, I don't think they are necassarilly trained to be cabin crew. If there were there would be a quasi-pilot/cabin crew rank and there isn't one at VS to the best of my knowledge. Besides, why employ a pilot on a pilots salary to then work as cabin crew. Hardly efficient is it?

Sometimes pilots can be trained as cabin crews. Occasionally as a way to break a flight attendant strike (some pilots allow them to be scabs for FA's while others do not).

Also some airlines like People Express cross trained people and would regularly have pilots working as flight attendants, flight attendants as gate agents, etc.
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Gonzalo
Topic Author
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:33 pm

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 6):
During the BA cabin crew strike, there were some flight deck crew working as cabin crew....I was served by a F/O on the MCT-AUH-LHR leg.

Now that you mention, I think I read something about that a few years ago ( was 2009 or 2010 maybe ? )

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 7):
Sometimes pilots can be trained as cabin crews. Occasionally as a way to break a flight attendant strike (some pilots allow them to be scabs for FA's while others do not).

I wonder how that kind of situations can affect the environment on board once the strike ends and the F/A are back... I guess some cups of coffee are "accidentally" spilled over the pilots    


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virgincrew
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:21 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
It sounds like one of the flight attendants had a commercial pilot rating, rather than was an actual pilot for VS. It's not that uncommon to find flight attendants to have pilot ratings. They are involved in aviation afterall and flight attendants can go to pilot training too!

I agree, I have flown with many cabin crew at VS, that want to be pilots 'flight crew' and have a commercial pilots licence with flying hours under their belts.

In the event of a pilot becoming incapacitated, then it is procedure for a member of the cabin crew to sit in that pilots seat anyway... to read checklists etc...

In this case it was just a bonus that one of the cabin crew had a commercial licence.
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virgincrew
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:03 pm

I've just spoken to a friend, who was working cabin crew on that flight....

There were 8 positioning crew on the flight (dead heading) and one of them was a qualified First Officer, when the Flight Service Manager (FSM) heard of the incapacitation, the positioning FO offered their services and the captain agreed with the authority of VS Operations in London.
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Gonzalo
Topic Author
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:07 pm

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 10):
There were 8 positioning crew on the flight (dead heading) and one of them was a qualified First Officer, when the Flight Service Manager (FSM) heard of the incapacitation, the positioning FO offered their services and the captain agreed with the authority of VS Operations in London.

Thank you for your very clear explanation. Mystery solved   


Rgds.

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virginson937
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:39 pm

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 10):
There were 8 positioning crew on the flight (dead heading) and one of them was a qualified First Officer

Were the crew and the FO deadheading all VS employed crew? Or did they work for another airline?

Will
 
virgincrew
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:28 am

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 12):
Were the crew and the FO deadheading all VS employed crew? Or did they work for another airline?

that I don't know..... sorry
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Gingersnap
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:40 am

I don't know, an FO on a rest break once served me a drink during a VS flight  
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dcaviation
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:33 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
It sounds like one of the flight attendants had a commercial pilot rating, rather than was an actual pilot for VS.

Do you know any? I don't think so. If they did have one, why would they serve drinks and clean trays for $14 per hour if they could seat up front for $150 per hour?
 
bok269
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:15 pm

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 15):

Do you know any? I don't think so. If they did have one, why would they serve drinks and clean trays for $14 per hour if they could seat up front for $150 per hour?

Big difference between being having a commercial pilot's rating, and having the hours and experience needed to get in the right seat of an airliner (which often requires an Airline Transport Pilot rating, which I believe requires 1500 hours of flight time).
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virgincrew
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:40 am

RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:53 pm

Quoting bok269 (Reply 16):
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 15):
Do you know any? I don't think so. If they did have one, why would they serve drinks and clean trays for $14 per hour if they could seat up front for $150 per hour?

Big difference between being having a commercial pilot's rating, and having the hours and experience needed to get in the right seat of an airliner (which often requires an Airline Transport Pilot rating, which I believe requires 1500 hours of flight time).

exactly......

there are cabin crew at Virgin Atlantic that I have worked with and they have commercial pilots licence, they are working as cabin crew whilst they get the experience and flying hours under their belt (in their spare time).
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B777LRF
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:37 pm

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 12):
Were the crew and the FO deadheading all VS employed crew? Or did they work for another airline?

There are 2 hints. 1, the Op writes they were positioning 8 crew members. That implies the airline flying is positioning their own crew. EU based airlines don't position the crew members of other airlines like that - if you're a BA needing to hitch a ride on VS, you go buy x amount of tickets. 2, it states the FO was "qualified". That, to me, means he/she was not only an employee of the airline, but qualified on the aircraft type on which the incident took place.

So, all in all, I think it's pretty safe to assume the FO was a VS employee.
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JRadier
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RE: VS Pilot As Cabin Crew In TAT Flight?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:49 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 18):
EU based airlines don't position the crew members of other airlines like that - if you're a BA needing to hitch a ride on VS, you go buy x amount of tickets.

While probably true in a lot of cases, and I agree with your final assessment, this generalisation is wrong! While positioning on other airlines is not ideal, it happens, and it happens a lot!
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