Clydenairways
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Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:16 pm

 
nomadd22
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:20 pm

OK. Why would you need an oxygen mask right after takeoff? And how do you twist an ankle when you're buckled in?
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Clydenairways
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:24 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
OK. Why would you need an oxygen mask right after takeoff? And how do you twist an ankle when you're buckled in?

I know. Sounds like a real chancer!
 
citationjet
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:24 pm

The report says:
"Ms Hartshorn (30), who featured in media coverage of the incident at the time, claims that shortly after take-off there had been a sudden loss of cabin pressure and some, but, she alleged, not all, of the oxygen masks had deployed."

At take-off the cabin altitude is the same as the field altitude.
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RussianJet
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:32 pm

Apparently the flight got up to FL120, is that enough for oxygen to be critical? Please excuse my ignorance if the question sounds silly.
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travelavnut
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:35 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 4):
FL120

FL120 is 12.000 feet which is ~4KM, I guess the cabin would be pressurized a bit, but not much.
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Goldenshield
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:14 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 4):
Apparently the flight got up to FL120, is that enough for oxygen to be critical? Please excuse my ignorance if the question sounds silly.

I know that EU and US regulations are different, but anyway, here in the U.S., oxygen is require for the crew above 12,500 feet---but only if you're going to be above 12,500 for more than 30 minutes. Above 14,000 feet, oxygen is required for all occupants.

So, to answer your question, FL120 is not a critical altitude.
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crosswinds21
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:38 pm

Not to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering, can't airlines put a clause in the contracts of carriage that says that passengers waive their rights to sue to airline? I believe that cruise ship contracts have this, which is why it's practically impossible to sue them for anything. Can airlines just not do the same thing?
 
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Crosswind
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:40 pm

Have a read of the official report, the tailstrike in it's self was not serious and the aircraft turned out to be fully serviceable when inspected afterwards, but the incident was badly handled by the flight and cabin crew resulting in more serious consequences.... Interesting reading.
http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...eneral/12484-REPORT_2009_025-0.PDF

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rfields5421
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:47 pm

First - I'm glad to see a crazy lawsuit in some nation other than the US.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 6):
FL120 is not a critical altitude.

Not for most people, but it can be an issue for people with breathing difficult or an infection which restricts oxygen flow.

The issue I see in the article is the psychological one. Some of the masks came down (which was probably a mechanical malfunction related to the G forces of the tail strike). Her mask did not come down.

Thinking like most passengers would - she thought she needed a mask to breathe, and twisted her ankle trying to get to a mask. Until the FAs made an announcement that the mask which dropped were a mistake and that there was no need for oxygen - you can understand the pax concern.

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):
I'm wondering, can't airlines put a clause in the contracts of carriage that says that passengers waive their rights to sue to airline? I believe that cruise ship contracts have this, which is why it's practically impossible to sue them for anything. Can airlines just not do the same thing?

You can sue a cruise line, at least in the US. You just have almost not chance of recovering damages unless you can prove either fraud or gross negligence.

The same with this lady and airlines. Anyone can sue. Almost no one ever collects any money.
 
U2380
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:16 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 6):
I know that EU and US regulations are different, but anyway, here in the U.S., oxygen is require for the crew above 12,500 feet---but only if you're going to be above 12,500 for more than 30 minutes. Above 14,000 feet, oxygen is required for all occupants.

If I recall correctly, under EU-OPS, oxygen is required for the flight crew above 13,000ft and for the pax it is required at 15,000 ft (continuous supply in a pressurised A/C). So they''re broadly similar.

As for this woman, well, she is rather ignorant.
 
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Aquila3
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:28 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9):
ou can sue a cruise line, at least in the US. You just have almost not chance of recovering damages unless you can prove either fraud or gross negligence.

Not a lawyer, but I believe that you most probably hang in a jurisdiction problem. The ship normally is registered in some convenient foreign country (say Liberia or Panama) and once in international waters, that might be the only jurisdiction applicable.
Maybe easier to sue the manufacturer of the ship, but that might be Italian, and our average civil trial lasts some ten years, for disasters it can take much longer...
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rfields5421
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:54 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9):
Some of the masks came down (which was probably a mechanical malfunction related to the G forces of the tail strike). Her mask did not come down.

After reading the link posted just before my post - I see that I was wrong.

The aircraft leveled out a FL120

The crew did the Tailstrike checklist. This included depressurizing the aircraft. Since the aircraft was under 14K ft, the masks did not automatically deploy though the depressurization alarms did sound. The flight crew FAILED to inform the cabin crew that they were depressurizing the aircraft at altitude, and failed to confirm the passenger oxygen system was activated as they donned the cockpit oxygen masks..

The flight crew was donning their oxygen masks per the checklist and did not respond promptly to concerns/ requests from the FA crew.

Three of the aircraft PSU units failed to deploy - separate issue.

As a result of this incident in 2008, Ryanair has modified their training and procedures in ensure better flight/ cabin crew coordination.

They have also addressed the one serious mistake made by the flight crew - the aircraft should not have climbed to FL120 before the flight crew identified the cause of the problem.

The aircraft is not supposed to be pressurized after a tail strike. Had there been structural damage from the tail strike, there could have been an explosive decompression with severe consequences.
 
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:56 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 4):
Apparently the flight got up to FL120, is that enough for oxygen to be critical?

People with healthy respiratory systems would be fine. People with compromised systems may exhibit some signs of hypoxia after a while but are unlikely to suffer permanent damage.

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):

Not to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering, can't airlines put a clause in the contracts of carriage that says that passengers waive their rights to sue to airline?

They can put anything they want in there...but it's almost certainly not enforceable. In many jurisdictions, you can't waive your right to sue.

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):
I believe that cruise ship contracts have this, which is why it's practically impossible to sue them for anything. Can airlines just not do the same thing?

They can put in the clause but the airlines are *far* more heavily regulated than the cruise lines.

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TC957
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:36 pm

Given Michael O'Leary's past record of handling passenger complaints and grievences against his airline, I should imagine his response is something unprintable along the lines of where she can stick her lawsuit and future business.
 
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:13 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9):
Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 6):
FL120 is not a critical altitude.

Not for most people, but it can be an issue for people with breathing difficult or an infection which restricts oxygen flow.

Agreed, even a couple of thousand feet can be a struggle for some older people. I've flown in a Dash 8 at FL80-100 which was having pressurisation issues and it did make you feel a little light headed. The cabin crew found this especially whilst doing the service.


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art
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:37 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):

The aircraft is not supposed to be pressurized after a tail strike.

You would think that the flight crew would know that.
 
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Semaex
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:39 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 5):
FL120 is 12.000 feet which is ~4KM, I guess the cabin would be pressurized a bit, but not much.

Having flown at 11,000ft in a non-pressurized light aircraft, I can tell that it's not really life-threatening. However, a little dizziness may occur, nothing serious. And nowhere as hazardous as this woman makes us want to believe.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 9):
First - I'm glad to see a crazy lawsuit in some nation other than the US.

Hahaha. Seriously  
I must admit to my own shame that when I started reading the title I thought to myself "Why would an american fly with Ryanair?"

Quoting U2380 (Reply 10):
Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 6):
I know that EU and US regulations are different, but anyway, here in the U.S., oxygen is require for the crew above 12,500 feet---but only if you're going to be above 12,500 for more than 30 minutes. Above 14,000 feet, oxygen is required for all occupants.

If I recall correctly, under EU-OPS, oxygen is required for the flight crew above 13,000ft and for the pax it is required at 15,000 ft (continuous supply in a pressurised A/C). So they''re broadly similar.

In fact the legislation is much more complex and beaurocratic and covers a lot of book pages for CS-25 certified aircraft, but for this case study the 13,000-15,000 rule you mention does apply.


I am quite annoyed at the naivity of this woman. I don't understand where she takes the right to sue an airline for her own misconduct. "Twisting her ankle"? She wasn't supposed to get up in the first place and she knows it. Having gotten up to reach for some oxygen mask (I presume), she put herself in a position which might have lead to a shortage of oxygen in her body, simple hypoxic hypoxia due to stress. Sitting down and relaxing would have solved the problem. Even if she had become unconcious during the event her body would have regulated the oxygen supply/demand by itself again.
I feel that this woman is taking legal action only because she was informed that the flight crew wasn't dealing with the situation according to procedure. If they had, this case would've never started. Sick world.
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kcljj
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:05 am

Just from reading the article, it seems that the legal issue is to do with her claim for psychiatric injury. I am going to play devil's advocate and say that I don't think that her claim is unmeritorious. I am more familiar with the law in the UK so what I say may not apply in Ireland. However, I do believe that Ireland is a common law jurisdiction so it should not be too far off.

Firstly, both parties agree that there was a tail strike and subsequent investigation shows that the crew mishandled things. If it is proven that the crew were negligent then I don't see why she should not be entitled to damages.

From the report posted above, there was clearly depressurisation in the cabin but the flight crew failed to co-ordinate with the cabin crew. When the oxygen masks did come down, some failed. I don't know about you guys, but if my mask didn't come down, I would be pretty concerned.

Even if she had contributed to her injury by getting up that should not defeat her claim for damages.

In my opinion, this suit isn't as crazy as it seems. If the psychiatric report can show that her mental illness is related, she has a decent case and really should get judicial opinion.

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):
Not to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering, can't airlines put a clause in the contracts of carriage that says that passengers waive their rights to sue to airline? I believe that cruise ship contracts have this, which is why it's practically impossible to sue them for anything. Can airlines just not do the same thing?

Just to confirm what others have said, exemption/exclusion clauses do not apply in contract or tort law if there is personal injury. I think this is standard in all common law jurisdictions, at least it should be for the UK but not sure about Ireland.
 
YVRFlyer
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:09 am

Quoting TC957 (Reply 15):
Given Michael O'Leary's past record of handling passenger complaints and grievences against his airline, I should imagine his response is something unprintable along the lines of where she can stick her lawsuit and future business.

That will be a great Christmas present! It will be entertaining for sure... the MOL Smackdown 

Thinking about these kinds of cases, I'm surprised airlines have not proposed adding frivolous litigants and personal injury lawyers to a blacklist of people prohibited from flying. Just as they ban people who are abusive, why not add those who pose risks of lawsuits? With all the court records of lawsuits, it wouldn't be difficult to determine who is likely to frivolously sue them; in fact some people make a living off of it and do it as often as they can. Despite all the human rights/anti-discrimination laws, airlines could argue that these people are just as damaging to them as violent or drunk people who disrupt flights and threaten passengers and crew.

For those who will be affected, let them fly on NetJets. *Eff 'em!   
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XT6Wagon
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:27 am

Quoting Semaex (Reply 18):
Having flown at 11,000ft in a non-pressurized light aircraft, I can tell that it's not really life-threatening. However, a little dizziness may occur, nothing serious. And nowhere as hazardous as this woman makes us want to believe.

you can have serious problems at 11K ft or even lower. It takes a while to happen though. Altitude sickness isn't fun and it can happen to people already used to higher altitudes. I'll agree that it shouldn't be a serious issue on a properly flown plane, but if some joker keeps the cabin alitude at 10Kft+ for an extended duration... Well even healthy athletes can start being in serious trouble.
 
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kanban
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:58 am

Doesn't O'leary charge for oxygen? and the passenger was actually standing to put her Euro in the slot?
 
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:19 am

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 16):
...even a couple of thousand feet can be a struggle for some older people.

   Dear OlymSpotter, take MAD, which isn't a really high airport, it is at exactly 2000 feet. The sort of people you mention would suffer already at the check-in counter. And what if they happened to live in Madrid? A lot of people do. That altitude is roughly equal to the deepest valley in Switzerland.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 16):
I've flown in a Dash 8 at FL80-100 which was having pressurisation issues and it did make you feel a little light headed.

A dozen thousand airliners cruise each day with millions of passengers at 30-40,000 feet with a cabin altitude of 8,000 feet. I have never heard of any people having problems with that. You may feel it in the ears while climbing and descending, but that's all.

Some tuboprop airliners are certified to max FL250. They have no oxygen masks for pax. They can descend fast enough to safe altitude in case of decompression.

I'm not a mountain climber, but one day I took the lift to the top of Kleines Matterhorn in Switzerland, altitude just under 13,000 feet. People were skiing up there in August with no issues at all. Oldest man in my group was 71. We made a long walk in the snow - into Italy and back, no issues at all. Nobody asked us in advance if we were healthy, but on the top they had put up a signpost telling that in case someone didn't feel well, then excessive physical stress should be avoided.
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greaser
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:47 am

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):

Not to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering, can't airlines put a clause in the contracts of carriage that says that passengers waive their rights to sue to airline? I believe that cruise ship contracts have this, which is why it's practically impossible to sue them for anything. Can airlines just not do the same thing?

No, they cannot. Cruise lines often have forum selection clauses that force passengers to sue in a ship's "home-turf." The argument for this is that it's not fair to subject cruise lines to defend themselves in hundreds of jurisdictions across the world, due to the nature of their international business.

Quoting Aquila3 (Reply 11):
Not a lawyer, but I believe that you most probably hang in a jurisdiction problem. The ship normally is registered in some convenient foreign country (say Liberia or Panama) and once in international waters, that might be the only jurisdiction applicable.
Maybe easier to sue the manufacturer of the ship, but that might be Italian, and our average civil trial lasts some ten years, for disasters it can take much longer...

In the maritime world, jurisdiction is usually not a problem. If a US district court finds that the defendant cruise line's forum non conveniens motion will not provide a fair and adequate trial, it can deny the motion and hear the case. Also, the passenger can sue the vessel itself (in rem), in which case whereever the ship is flagged has no bearing as long as the plaintiff can get the sheriff to seize the vessel until a bond is posted or the matter is resolved.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 13):
They can put anything they want in there...but it's almost certainly not enforceable. In many jurisdictions, you can't waive your right to sue.

You are right, it's not enforceable. You cannot contract away your liability in many instances.
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Aquila3
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:31 am

Quoting greaser (Reply 23):
In the maritime world, jurisdiction is usually not a problem. If a US district court finds that the defendant cruise line's forum non conveniens motion will not provide a fair and adequate trial, it can deny the motion and hear the case.

No doubt this is an interesting possibilty offered from the US law.. It remains to see if the US court decision can be effectively enforced on a foreign carrrier for a fact occoured otside the US .

Quoting greaser (Reply 23):
Also, the passenger can sue the vessel itself (in rem), in which case whereever the ship is flagged has no bearing as long as the plaintiff can get the sheriff to seize the vessel until a bond is posted or the matter is resolved.


This may work well if the ship connects to the US soil at least sometimes. I was thinking to the typical mediterranian cruise, really.
What they do in this case, they send the Sheriff in arms to Tunis to seize the ship? Or would the US Navy take over?
Let's say the ship has Chinese or Russian flag just to level the field. Again I see it tifficult to enforce the right in practice.
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asctty
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:30 am

I regularly fly with Flybe on their Q400 Dash 8s. They fly at around 25000ft and I do not recall any oxygen masks, nor any briefing on how to use them.
So, my question is - what altitude doe you need oxygen at?
Anyway, this passenger in purely 'ambulance chasing' Ryanair and seeking publicity for her pocket!
 
747-600X
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:28 pm

You'd have to be in pretty poor shape to need oxygen at 12,000 feet, though, either way. The air is thin, yes, but not unbreathable. Also, I don't think there actually is an FL120.
 
art
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:32 pm

Quoting 747-600X (Reply 26):
Also, I don't think there actually is an FL120.

FLnnn is not used below 20,000ft, I seem to recollect. Anyone know why?
 
greaser
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:18 pm

Quoting Aquila3 (Reply 24):
No doubt this is an interesting possibilty offered from the US law.. It remains to see if the US court decision can be effectively enforced on a foreign carrrier for a fact occoured otside the US .

So this is a more complex scenario than I let on. You are right, enforcement is another matter. So the easiest case is if a Iranian or North Korean flagged ship gets into legal trouble. Unless the operator has personal minimum contacts with the US, obviously enforcing any judgment will be impossible (because there's nothing to collect in the US) without going to overseas assets, which American courts can't do. However, the issue can be raised during treaty negotiations by the state department, etc. A good example of an uneforced judgment was the Passenger lawsuit against the Libyan government after the Lockerbie bombing. Libya was held guilty, but nothing happened until Ghaddafi tried to normalize relations with the US, after which the US gov't tried to collect at least some of the damages as part of a friendship agreement.

Quoting Aquila3 (Reply 24):
This may work well if the ship connects to the US soil at least sometimes. I was thinking to the typical mediterranian cruise, really.
What they do in this case, they send the Sheriff in arms to Tunis to seize the ship? Or would the US Navy take over?
Let's say the ship has Chinese or Russian flag just to level the field. Again I see it tifficult to enforce the right in practice.

No, the Sheriff can only seize a ship where he/she has jurisdiction. I'll give you a common scenario: Panamanian flagged vessel is sued in rem. The court issues a warrant for the ship, the sheriff then sends a crew (usually 5 or so) of officers to the ship, AS LONG AS the ship is in that jurisdiction's port. Think of it as a wanted poster, but for a ship. I've never heard of a situation where the ship's master has resisted the ship's arrest - that would certainly lead to his/her personal arrest. But the sheriff can only seize things that are in his/her jurisdiction - i.e. port. So if the Panamanian flagged-ship was not found at port in the jurisdiction (Say California), the ship can never return again to California unless the matter is solved.
Usually plaintiffs are very sneaky about this (for obvious reasons), and will prepare an in-rem suit, but won't act on it until they see the ship is in port, so as to ensure it can't run away in time.

These kinds of suits are regularly enforced against foreign carriers - Chinese and Russians too. They do the same thing to North American ships.
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Aquila3
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:15 pm

Quoting greaser (Reply 28):

Very interesting. I believe I understand how it works now.
Only question , is there no extra-territorial issue oat all for a foreign ship (or airplane, of course) when it is moored at an US port?
So could the Sheriff board it with men in arms and arrest the master or the captain?
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rfields5421
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:20 pm

Several lawsuits have been filed in the US over the Costa Condordia sinking. The suits are against a US corporation, Carnival Corp - as the corporation which owns Costa Cruise Lines.

Among the people trying to sue in US courts are hundreds of passengers and approx 1,000 Italian citizen businessmen on the Gigilo Island. The passenger suits of course deal with lost property, medical claims and trauma. The claims of the business owners are that their economic well being was damaged by the disaster, and restrictions on tourism this past summer.

The jurisdiction question has not been settled. The Florida state courts may refuse to hear the cases - deferring to the US federal lawsuits. The US courts could decide there is standing for the lawsuits to continue, defer to admiralty courts, or say the jurisdiction is in Italy.

No matter what - it will take years, and cost Carnival several million dollars for lawyers and such.
 
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Semaex
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:39 pm

Quoting art (Reply 27):
FLnnn is not used below 20,000ft, I seem to recollect. Anyone know why?

Depends on country's legislation. In the US FL starts at 18,000ft, in Germany for examply at 5,000ft.
There are quite a number of reasons for that. Amount of overall traffic, amount of VFR and light aircraft traffic, terrain situation, airspace structures etc.
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brilondon
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:41 pm

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):
Not to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering, can't airlines put a clause in the contracts of carriage that says that passengers waive their rights to sue to airline? I believe that cruise ship contracts have this, which is why it's practically impossible to sue them for anything. Can airlines just not do the same thing?
Quoting greaser (Reply 23):
No, they cannot. Cruise lines often have forum selection clauses that force passengers to sue in a ship's "home-turf." The argument for this is that it's not fair to subject cruise lines to defend themselves in hundreds of jurisdictions across the world, due to the nature of their international business.

That is what I thought. You elected to be a passenger on the aircraft, but by accepting you as a passenger they must take the responsibility of transporting you safely. The cruise ship scenario plays out in the Costa Concordia incident. The lawsuits filed are all in Italy where the ship grounded out and even though I believe that like most of the ships in the world, it was registered in Liberia.
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rfields5421
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:46 pm

Quoting Aquila3 (Reply 29):
Only question , is there no extra-territorial issue oat all for a foreign ship (or airplane, of course) when it is moored at an US port?

No. There is not for civilian ships or aircraft. This isn't just the US. Remember recent threads about aircraft being seized in the UK and France where were supposedly owned by Iraq. They could be siezed and sold at auction to settle some of the judgements for Kuwait against Iraq for the 1991 war.

Estra territorial issues are only for military and diplomatic vessels/ aircraft.

[Edited 2012-12-22 06:48:01]
 
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Semaex
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:59 pm

Quoting Semaex (Reply 31):
Quoting art (Reply 27):
FLnnn is not used below 20,000ft, I seem to recollect. Anyone know why?

Depends on country's legislation. In the US FL starts at 18,000ft, in Germany for examply at 5,000ft.
There are quite a number of reasons for that. Amount of overall traffic, amount of VFR and light aircraft traffic, terrain situation, airspace structures etc.

Just to add briefly: In Ireland (where the flight started) the transition altitude is 5,000ft, in England (where the flight was supposed to go) 3,000ft in most places. However according to an article from Flightglobal from Jan'11 both nations are working on finding a common level. I don't know how far they are at this point in time.
So for this FR flight they were definitely on a Flight Level already.

Quoting asctty (Reply 25):
I regularly fly with Flybe on their Q400 Dash 8s. They fly at around 25000ft and I do not recall any oxygen masks, nor any briefing on how to use them.
So, my question is - what altitude doe you need oxygen at?
Anyway, this passenger in purely 'ambulance chasing' Ryanair and seeking publicity for her pocket!

The legislation is quite tricky and so your question isn't easy to answer. First of all we must destinguish between those aircraft that are able to cruie at more than 25,000ft and those that aren't. As the Q400 belongs to the former category, it has to have the same specs as any jet airliner, meaning, that passengers must be provided with supplemental oxygen for a certain duration of time depending on the altitude you are cruising at.
Or to put it in simpler words: your Dash8 should definitely have oxygen masks ready to use immediately. I'd be worried if it hadn't. The time of useful conciousness at FL250 isn't so small that all people abord were to die immediately after a rapid decompression (it's something like 10 minutes), but sick people, infants and old people would go numb rather fast.
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asctty
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:36 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
Quoting Semaex (Reply 34):
The legislation is quite tricky and so your question isn't easy to answer. First of all we must destinguish between those aircraft that are able to cruie at more than 25,000ft and those that aren't. As the Q400 belongs to the former category, it has to have the same specs as any jet airliner, meaning, that passengers must be provided with supplemental oxygen for a certain duration of time depending on the altitude you are cruising at.
Or to put it in simpler words: your Dash8 should definitely have oxygen masks ready to use immediately. I'd be worried if it hadn't. The time of useful conciousness at FL250 isn't so small that all people abord were to die immediately after a rapid decompression (it's something like 10 minutes), but sick people, infants and old people would go numb rather fast.

This from wiki:

Q400
Stretched and improved 70–78 passenger version that entered service in 2000. Its 360 knot (667 km/h) cruise speed is 60–90 knots (111–166 km/h) higher than its competitors/predecessors. Powered by PW150A engines rated at 5,071 shp (3,781 kW) at maximum power (4,850 shp or 3,620 kW maximum continuous rated). The maximum operating altitude is 25,000 ft (7,600 m) for the standard version, although a version with drop-down oxygen masks is offered, which increases maximum operating altitude to 27,000 ft (8,200 m).

I didn't think they had masks hence the safety brief doesn't include them.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
   Dear OlymSpotter, take MAD, which isn't a really high airport, it is at exactly 2000 feet. The sort of people you mention would suffer already at the check-in counter. And what if they happened to live in Madrid? A lot of people do. That altitude is roughly equal to the deepest valley in Switzerland.

Then they would be acclimatised to it - which is key. Many older people have ailments which make them struggle for breath when exercising, even relatively small changes in altitude produces similar affects.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
A dozen thousand airliners cruise each day with millions of passengers at 30-40,000 feet with a cabin altitude of 8,000 feet. I have never heard of any people having problems with that. You may feel it in the ears while climbing and descending, but that's all.

It must have been higher then, the flight was a while back and the affects were definitely noticeable for the crew.


Dan  
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting Semaex (Reply 17):

Having flown at 11,000ft in a non-pressurized light aircraft, I can tell that it's not really life-threatening. However, a little dizziness may occur, nothing serious. And nowhere as hazardous as this woman makes us want to believe.

Canadian regs say no oxy needed below 10,000ft for anybody. Crew can fly between 10k and 13k for 30 minutes without oxy. Only 10% of the passengers are required to have oxy available between 10k and 13k. Everybody is required to have oxy available above 13k. Pressurized aircraft do not require oxy for passengers if they can go from cruising altitude to 10k feet within 10 minutes.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 20):
but if some joker keeps the cabin alitude at 10Kft+ for an extended duration... Well even healthy athletes can start being in serious trouble.

I've flown for hours in an unpressurised aircraft as PIC, while smoking, (ah...the good ole days...but nobody was around to tell on my anyway), without noticing any ill effects at all. That being said, hypoxia is insidious...most people don't notice the onset of hypoxia since one of the first symptoms is impaired judgement.

Helios 552 is proof of that.
What the...?
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:47 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 37):
I've flown for hours in an unpressurised aircraft as PIC, while smoking, (ah...the good ole days...but nobody was around to tell on my anyway), without noticing any ill effects at all. That being said, hypoxia is insidious...most people don't notice the onset of hypoxia since one of the first symptoms is impaired judgement.

Altitude sickness is different than hypoxia.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001190/

from what I've read on it, it usualy takes a solid amount of time to develop, but when it does its quite possible to result in death if the person doesn't get to a lower altitude or oxygen. My own experience is that you get confused, and suffer severe fatigue that only continues even if you stop moving. You never feel out of breath or low on 02. Mind I lived at 7,400ft and experienced it at just over 10K ft so even being used to alitude only helps, doesn't ensure you won't get it.
 
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Semaex
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:37 pm

Quoting asctty (Reply 35):
The maximum operating altitude is 25,000 ft (7,600 m) for the standard version, although a version with drop-down oxygen masks is offered, which increases maximum operating altitude to 27,000 ft (8,200 m).

Oh wow, I didn't know they had two different types just for the oxygen solution. Nice to know, thank you.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 37):
Canadian regs say no oxy needed below 10,000ft for anybody. Crew can fly between 10k and 13k for 30 minutes without oxy. Only 10% of the passengers are required to have oxy available between 10k and 13k. Everybody is required to have oxy available above 13k. Pressurized aircraft do not require oxy for passengers if they can go from cruising altitude to 10k feet within 10 minutes.

That is very close to EU-OPS too.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:52 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 38):
Altitude sickness is different than hypoxia.

Ok...hypoxia is a symptom of altitude sickness...but most of the other symptoms take time to occur and result from prolonged exposure to lack of oxygen and low air pressure. Loss of conciousness due to simple lack of oxygen, (hypoxia) can happen in seconds, and is the symptom of greatest concern while flying at altitude.

Up to 18,000ft, a simple nasal cannulus to supply breathing oxygen is all that's required and pressurized oxygen is necessary above that, for prolonged exposure.
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kellmark
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:03 pm

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):
Not to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering, can't airlines put a clause in the contracts of carriage that says that passengers waive their rights to sue to airline? I believe that cruise ship contracts have this, which is why it's practically impossible to sue them for anything. Can airlines just not do the same thing?


No. They are required by EU legislation as to what they must provide to the passenger.

Here is a link to the Ryanair contract/conditions of carriage. This is what applies. All passengers agree to this when they fly.

http://www.ryanair.com/en/terms-and-...ns#regulations-aircarrierliability

Note the references to the Montreal Convention of 1999 and EU regulations 2027/97 and 889/2002.

These are what govern the relationship between the passenger and the airline.

The issue here seems to be that of psychological injury. That is not something normally allowed under the Montreal Convention, which is what the EU utilizes. In the article, that is what Ryanair is contesting. She is claiming ongoing anxiety and a panic attack.

It will be interesting to see how it goes.
 
Mir
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:14 pm

Quoting Crosswind (Reply 8):
Have a read of the official report, the tailstrike in it's self was not serious and the aircraft turned out to be fully serviceable when inspected afterwards, but the incident was badly handled by the flight and cabin crew resulting in more serious consequences.... Interesting reading.

Very interesting indeed. The coordination between cockpit and cabin was certainly lacking in this scenario.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 37):
Pressurized aircraft do not require oxy for passengers if they can go from cruising altitude to 10k feet within 10 minutes.

Really? That means that virtually no airliner would need passenger oxygen masks, as that's not that much more than a normal descent rate.

In the US, you need passenger oxygen if flying above 25,000 feet, no matter how long it takes you to get down to 10,000. And you're supposed to be able to descend from cruising altitude to 10,000 feet in four minutes.

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longhauler
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:42 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
They have also addressed the one serious mistake made by the flight crew - the aircraft should not have climbed to FL120 before the flight crew identified the cause of the problem.

That would appear the be the issue, as the problem was not "identified" until then, and even still it was speculation.

Quoting art (Reply 16):
You would think that the flight crew would know that.

A tail strike is a check list procedure, not a memory drill, so until they were following the checklist, in theory it is not yet "known". I have seen many errors completing a checklist where the crew "knew" what was coming, out of order and incorrectly.

Quoting kcljj (Reply 18):
Firstly, both parties agree that there was a tail strike and subsequent investigation shows that the crew mishandled things.

"Mishandled" may be a bit harsh. They followed the checklist correctly, in the correct order following the chain of events. The only "finesse" item that could have been added, is to warn the Flight Attendants it was about to happen. But .. sometimes that luxury is not there, namely in a Rapid Depressurization. It would appear that if structural damage is suspected, then you depressurize the aircraft as quickly as you can. Sometimes getting a hold of the F/A's as they are starting their service is time consuming.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:31 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 42):

Really? That means that virtually no airliner would need passenger oxygen masks, as that's not that much more than a normal descent rate.

I looked over the regs and here is what they say about having oxygen available for all passengers;

Quote:
(a) Entire period of flight at cabin-pressure-altitudes exceeding 13,000 feet ASL

(b) For aircraft operated in an air transport service under the conditions referred to in paragraph (a), a period of flight of not less than 10 minutes

Here are the oxygen requirements for all crew and 10% of passengers;

Quote:
(a) Entire period of flight exceeding 30 minutes at cabin-pressure-altitudes above 10,000 feet ASL but not exceeding 13,000 feet ASL

(b) Entire period of flight at cabin-pressure-altitudes above 13,000 feet ASL

(c) For aircraft operated in an air transport service under the conditions referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), a period of flight of not less than

(i) 30 minutes (Note 2), and

(ii) for flight crew members, two hours for aircraft the type certificate of which authorizes flight at altitudes exceeding FL 250 (Note 3)

Here are the referenced notes;

Quote:
NOTE 1:

In determining the available supply, the cabin pressure altitude descent profile for the routes concerned must be taken into account.

NOTE 2:

The minimum supply is that quantity of oxygen necessary for a constant rate of descent from the aircraft's maximum operating altitude authorized in the type certificate to 10,000 feet ASL in 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes at 10,000 feet ASL.

NOTE 3:

The minimum supply is that quantity of oxygen necessary for a constant rate of descent from the aircraft's maximum operating altitude authorized in the type certificate to 10,000 feet ASL in 10 minutes, followed by 110 minutes at 10,000 feet ASL.
What the...?
 
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antoniemey
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:37 am

Quoting greaser (Reply 28):
Usually plaintiffs are very sneaky about this (for obvious reasons), and will prepare an in-rem suit, but won't act on it until they see the ship is in port, so as to ensure it can't run away in time.

Which, if one were suing a cruise ship, would be relatively easy to pinpoint time in port, since those beasties run regular schedules year round. A charter vessel or aircraft would be a little harder, of course.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:47 am

She should just be happy that Ryanair didn't charge her five euros for the use of the oxygen mask.

I think she was probably a fearful flyer before all this happened. Then on takeoff she heard the bump and then saw the F/A banging on the flight deck door in a panicked state. Then not all the O2 masks dropped. Some people were banging on the access panels to get the masks released. All of this probably contributed to her having a full blown panic attack. And sometimes when people get in these states they aren't aware that in their panicked state they can hurt themselves, hence the twisted ankle, etc. She probably was screaming or walking sideways by the time she got off the jetway. She had already seen the money potential in all this.

But also a lot of times when something is going wrong with an aircraft, people can also just freeze.
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art
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:33 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 46):
I think she was probably a fearful flyer before all this happened. Then on takeoff she heard the bump and then saw the F/A banging on the flight deck door in a panicked state.Then not all the O2 masks dropped. Some people were banging on the access panels to get the masks released. All of this probably contributed to her having a full blown panic attack.

Why did the pilot not ensure that the cabin crew were alerted that the plane was about to be depressurised before doing so?

I'm not a fearful flyer but I think I would be very alarmed if the inside of the cabin misted suddenly over. Had the PF or a flight attendant explained to the pax that it was necessary to depressurise, people would have been far less alarmed by what then ensued.
 
U2380
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:52 am

Quoting art (Reply 47):
Why did the pilot not ensure that the cabin crew were alerted that the plane was about to be depressurised before doing so?

I'm not at all familiar with the events of this flight, nor am I familiar with FR's SOP's. However, from day one of flight school we are told fly the aircraft first and do not let anything distract you from that until your aircraft is stabilised and out of danger. Communicating with the cabin crew is of very little use as you fly into terrain on the climb out path. (I'm not saying that this was a risk here, just using it as an example.)

Clearly, it is essential to maintain good communication with the cabin crew (and ATC even more so), but in some situations it is essential to: Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

As I say, I'm not familiar with the case in hand, I'm just giving a general overview from my perspective.



[Edited 2012-12-24 02:59:22]
 
rfields5421
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RE: Passenger Sues Ryanair Over Tail Strike

Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:07 pm

Quoting art (Reply 47):
Why did the pilot not ensure that the cabin crew were alerted that the plane was about to be depressurised before doing so?

1) The checklist is very clear. Pilots are not to allow the plane to be pressurized after a tail strike. The pilots in this case climbed too high and allowed the plane to pressurize. The investigation found the pilots deficient in their troubleshooting of the problem. To be fair, this is not a memory item, but a checklist that has to be looked up after figuring out there was a tail strike.

2) The pilots apparently did not know that the oxygen masks do not automatically deploy if the aircraft cabin atmosphere is below 14,000 ft. (How many of you knew this before reading this thread? I didn't.) Depressurizing the plane at 12,000 ft of altitude made the cabin crew and some passengers aware that the plane had depressurized.

3) The pilots were putting on their oxygen equipment and did not hear calls from the cabin crew.

Quoting U2380 (Reply 48):
Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

Yes, however, this was not a safety of flight situation at that point. When the pilots depressurized the aircraft, they had many options to communicate with the cabin crew, communicate with the passengers, request lower altitude immediately from ATC, etc.

This only became a Mayday situation when the captain learned that manually depressurizing the aircraft had subjected the passengers to a few minutes flight at 12,000 ft with no oxygen masks, and that three of the packs had failed to deploy when he manually deployed the masks.

Quoting U2380 (Reply 48):
nor am I familiar with FR's SOP's

The link on the investigation details above clearly shows that FR did not have proper training and SOPs in place FOUR YEARS AGO when this incident occurred.

It also shows that FR did consider the issue serious, and has modified flight and cabin crew training and SOP to address the issues this incident brought to light.