Zkpilot wrote:rfields5421 wrote:AR385 wrote:Is there a standard SOP across the industry for WHO initiates the emergency evac, or does it vary from airline to airline? Do FAs have to wait for the specific instruction of the Captain or can they initiate it themselves?
From what I´ve seen it seems to me to be all over the map.
The AF A340 that went off the runway at Toronto had its evac initiated when an FA saw fire outside, as I recall reading on the final report. But then again the Captain was hurt and trapped below his seat.
The IB A346 that did same at UIO did not evacuated. Then again there was no fire.
Then there´s the recen SQ 777 that had a massive fire in its wing. Honestly, if I had been an FA I would have started getting people out, but I´m not an FA so I don´t know.
So who has the final decision for initiating one?
No - there is not an industry standard.
And you forgot one - the FAs in the US Airways plane that ditched in the Hudson River initiated the evacuation, not Captain Sullenberg. He has stated that when he opened the cockpit door, he was relieved to see the evacuation was already underway.
The final decision always rests with the captain - legally.
There have also been several passenger initiated evacuations. When the parents of one of my high school classmates were on DL-1141 at DFW, when the plane came to a stop, the fuselage was broken, and the passengers started getting out and away from the burning plane.
Every airline has their own procedure, priorities, but the culture of the nation, individuals involved can impact how decisions are made. In some cultures, the crew will not make a decision to evacuate - that is the captain's call is drilled into them. Even if the Captain is dead from the impact.
Some FAs are experienced enough, and are willing to bet their career, or rather not bet their lives, that an immediate evacuation is necessary. Even if the cockpit has not announced an evac, their assessment is that survival means get out now.
Most airlines have a policy that the command to evacuate comes from the Captain (in effect the flight deck) in a LAND emergency.
However in a DITCHING most airlines have a policy that it is the cabin crew that initiate the evacuation (since time can be even more critical due to sinking).
In case of a crash landing the command comes from the FAs. And to be honest in that case, there was surely no command needed. It was a crash, there was smoke, there was structural damage, the plane was in an not normal position.