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TMccrury
Topic Author
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Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:23 pm

According to the linked article, from CBS news, a flight attendants back was broke during a hard landing at John Wayne in Santa Ana. According to the article she thought the plane had crashed. She pain in her upper back and was unable to move.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/southwest- ... alifornia/
 
ScottB
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:24 pm

TMccrury wrote:
According to the linked article, from CBS news, a flight attendants back was broke during a hard landing at John Wayne in Santa Ana. According to the article she thought the plane had crashed. She pain in her upper back and was unable to move.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/southwest- ... alifornia/


The FA had a vertebral compression fracture, which is not really a "broken back." While the immediate cause of the fracture was likely the hard landing, this sort of injury generally occurs in people who have lost bone mass due to conditions like osteoporosis, and it's not uncommon in older people. A VCF can happen due to a forceful sneeze in cases of severe osteoporosis, or lifting a heavy object in cases of moderate osteoporosis. The fact that no one else on the plane was injured likely points to osteoporosis as a contributing factor (hopefully since the other potential causes are worse).
 
hiflyeras
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:37 pm

It must’ve been the new first officer’s leg.
 
mcdu
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:10 pm

hiflyeras wrote:
It must’ve been the new first officer’s leg.


The other socal landing mishaps at SWA haven’t been new hires.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:10 pm

I mean, anyone who's flown a lot has had a "hard landing" on a flight they're on. Really need to see numbers that may or may not exist and/or hear passenger comments on it. Can range from a very firm touch to a knocks open the overhead bins type one. That will be what will more tell how much was the landing and how much might be due to some pre-disposition for this type of injury. Could be either, and when the NTSB info is released, it'll probably tell.

WN can't release anything now - they are a party to the investigation.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:11 pm

Nothing wrong with responding with facts to media over-hype. Not diagnosing her injuries and "blaming her" to state what usually causes compression fractures of a vertebra. I would have thought you needed to fall off a building to have vertebral compression fractures, turns out that I may be sick enough that just to cough hard can cause it. That's significant and fair information to share.
 
hpff
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:18 pm

I hope she recovers completely and quickly.
 
kiowa
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:21 pm

John Wayne is a relatively short runway so pilots tend to put the aircraft down quickly rather than go for a smooth landing. It sounds like this was a rough landing even by southwest standards. A go-around is almost always an option if the landing will be bad though.
 
MrBretz
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:28 pm

I enjoyed how the article ended comparing SNA’s 5700’ runway to LAX’s much longer ones. I once landed at SNA in windy/rainy weather and we thumped the ground what seemed way beyond the normal touchdown point. When we finally stopped, we were into whatever the asphalt area beyond the end of the runway is called. The pilot had to do a 180 turn since there are no exit ramps to get us to the terminal. At least I didn’t break my back. It all happened so fast, I wasn’t even scared.
 
DenverTed
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:32 pm

Are the flight attendants seats designed to mitigate impact in a crash? Maybe this is a design error which needs to be fixed so the flight attendant can better withstand vertical impact in a real crash so they can function. Maybe a reclined position like an astronaut would be better.
 
Prost
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:17 pm

DenverTed wrote:
Are the flight attendants seats designed to mitigate impact in a crash? Maybe this is a design error which needs to be fixed so the flight attendant can better withstand vertical impact in a real crash so they can function. Maybe a reclined position like an astronaut would be better.

The Marquis de Sade couldn’t come up with a contraption worse than a FA jump seat.
 
kiowa
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:29 pm

Prost wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
Are the flight attendants seats designed to mitigate impact in a crash? Maybe this is a design error which needs to be fixed so the flight attendant can better withstand vertical impact in a real crash so they can function. Maybe a reclined position like an astronaut would be better.

The Marquis de Sade couldn’t come up with a contraption worse than a FA jump seat.



Like the FAs themselves, the seats are there for safety not comfort:)
 
lxman1
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:46 pm

I would think that there may have been a preexisting condition before the hard landing. Being someone who has had 3 back surgeries, 1 Lumbar fusion and 2 cervical fusions, I can relate. Regardless, I hope that they can repair her damage so that she can lead a painless life afterwards. Being in pain every day is not fun at all!!
 
IFlyVeryLittle
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:22 pm

So, is it a write-off?
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:48 pm

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
So, is it a write-off?


The flight attendant or the aircraft?
 
ILS28ORD
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:14 pm

Based on this story I'm surprised Ryanair has any able-body staff left to work their flights
 
Canuck600
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:30 pm

Hope she regains function & sensation, spinal cord injuries are nothing to joke about.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:31 pm

ScottB wrote:
mcdu wrote:
Great job diagnosing her injuries and blaming her for her injury via a news article. Without the hard landing wouldn’t she be fine today….unless she sneezed?


The first line of the linked news article states what the FA's injury was: "a compression fracture to a vertebra in her upper back." That is a VCF. I didn't have to diagnose it; someone else, presumably a physician, already did. The article doesn't disclose the age of the FA, but from her gender, it's likely she was susceptible due to osteoporosis. If she was the only person injured, and the plane wasn't damaged, it's likely that osteoporosis contributed to the injury. That's not "blaming her for her injury," that's explaining why she was injured in this particular way when no one else was. Osteoporosis and VCFs are literally the cause of a condition which is common enough to have an old-timey name: the dowager's hump.


Thank you Scott for adding that extra detail in about what can cause a VCF. That provided needed detail for me, and provided some insight as to why this FA was the only one on the plane that was injured.

Now I'm curious from the people that are aware of FA's health requirements, would osteoporosis at this level disqualify her from duty? Or is this something that she can have both the fracture and the osteoporosis treated and return to duty?
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:37 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
So, is it a write-off?


The flight attendant or the aircraft?


Really nothing funny about potential life altering injuries.
 
Babyshark
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:13 pm

kiowa wrote:
John Wayne is a relatively short runway so pilots tend to put the aircraft down quickly rather than go for a smooth landing. It sounds like this was a rough landing even by southwest standards. A go-around is almost always an option if the landing will be bad though.


Bad landings can still happen even on relatively calm conditions and stable approaches.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:29 pm

hiflyeras wrote:
It must’ve been the new first officer’s leg.

Ex-USN?
 
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TheRedBaron
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:11 am

I once landed at MIA in a 738 with American Airlines, I was seated in the last row the landing felt like a crash, its the only time I have heard a Flight attendant gasp. Then both of them laughed and commented on the "landing".
Hope the FA has a speedy recovery.

Best Regards
TRB
 
panam330
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:04 am

TWA772LR wrote:
hiflyeras wrote:
It must’ve been the new first officer’s leg.

Ex-USN?

The amount of people that haven't gotten this joke is astounding.
 
planecane
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:45 am

kiowa wrote:
John Wayne is a relatively short runway so pilots tend to put the aircraft down quickly rather than go for a smooth landing. It sounds like this was a rough landing even by southwest standards. A go-around is almost always an option if the landing will be bad though.


Southwest standards? I've flown probably 100 legs on southwest and never had a particularly hard landing. The hardest I've ever experienced was a Delta flight years ago.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 4:50 am

I was asked to comment here. I'm a pediatrician and also I don't know the case, but if she was the only injury, I do wonder about a compression fracture, which would be associated with osteoporosis.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:22 am

Have had more than a few flights than the average near myself and WN does like to slam them hard and take the first taxi turnoff possible. Then United is a close second. Admittedly, those airlines are what the vast majority of my flying has been so I'm not very exposed to other airlines.

But last week I did a DEN-DFW-DEN day trip on AA, both legs being A321s. Smoothest landings I've ever had. The light turbulence bumps on approach to DFW were harder than the landing itself, which I only knew happened because the reversers opened and the air started sounding different from the spoilers. Anecdotal but damn those guys/gals knew how to land a plane!
panam330 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
hiflyeras wrote:
It must’ve been the new first officer’s leg.

Ex-USN?

The amount of people that haven't gotten this joke is astounding.

Those are usually the best jokes. But scary when you have a Q400 pilot who thinks they're a carrier guy when that types MLG failures were happening! Had a few of those myself.
 
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LaunchDetected
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 6:07 am

ILS28ORD wrote:
Based on this story I'm surprised Ryanair has any able-body staff left to work their flights

I don't think that Ryanair is more prone to hard landing than other airlines.
 
AAPilot48Heavy
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:03 pm

I've heard, any landing you can walk away from is a good one, so the saying goes - :bigthumbsup:

In all seriousness, things happen and certainly wish her nothing but the best in her recovery.
 
11C
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 3:25 pm

panam330 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
hiflyeras wrote:
It must’ve been the new first officer’s leg.

Ex-USN?

The amount of people that haven't gotten this joke is astounding.

What leads you to believe that people aren’t getting the joke? It’s kind of like the “is it a write-off” joke. After several thousand iterations it is only funny to a few people.
 
PhilipBass
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 3:37 pm

LaunchDetected wrote:
ILS28ORD wrote:
Based on this story I'm surprised Ryanair has any able-body staff left to work their flights

I don't think that Ryanair is more prone to hard landing than other airlines.

age profile of Ryanair and European cabin crew would differ to US cabin crew where it is a job for life rather than a stepping stone/deadend depending on how you look at it.
edit: generalisation above.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 4:34 pm

I hope she recovers fully and gets her job back. And that Southwest acts responsibly in regards to this injury and the help she's going to need.
 
ILS28ORD
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:14 pm

LaunchDetected wrote:
ILS28ORD wrote:
Based on this story I'm surprised Ryanair has any able-body staff left to work their flights

I don't think that Ryanair is more prone to hard landing than other airlines.


I was joking. It's a known running joke in aviation that Ryanair is known for extremely hard landings. In fact, from what I've read, Ryanair actually trains it's pilots to land firmly instead of trying to grease the landing because it decreases the chances of a missed approach / go-around and saves fuel. Not sure if that's actually true, but a quick Youtube search of Ryanair hard landings will show an abnormally high number of carrier deck landings by Ryanair pilots. And yes, that's in comparison to all other airlines.
 
FlyingColours
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Thu Aug 11, 2022 9:38 am

kiowa wrote:
Prost wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
Are the flight attendants seats designed to mitigate impact in a crash? Maybe this is a design error which needs to be fixed so the flight attendant can better withstand vertical impact in a real crash so they can function. Maybe a reclined position like an astronaut would be better.

The Marquis de Sade couldn’t come up with a contraption worse than a FA jump seat.



Like the FAs themselves, the seats are there for safety not comfort:)


True, that said the only real safety aspects of the jumpseats is the four point harness, head support and in theory it being faced backwards. Comfiest one's I've ever used were on the old ex-Britannia 767-200s that they put on Australia runs, they were designated as "rest seats" so could only be used in-flight and/or by supernumerary crew, they had a lot of extra padding and could semi-recline. As you said though, they are there for safety and not comfort, in theory we'd only be sat down for a couple of minutes anyway.

Over the years I've had a few "landings" which felt more like impacts, including one or two where those of us in the back galley have blurted out the name of our lord and saviour...

Phil
FlyingColours
 
N755US
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:21 pm

I was a flight attendant in the 80s and early 90s. We had Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Fokker aircraft and I can tell you that the least padded and ergonomically comfortable jump seats were on the 737- 300s and 400s - it was like sitting on a piece of cardboard. Hard landings when you were seated in the back were definitely jarring on your body.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:40 pm

JetBuddy wrote:
I hope she recovers fully and gets her job back. And that Southwest acts responsibly in regards to this injury and the help she's going to need.

She’ll work it out with the workers’ comp insurance company.
 
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litz
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Re: Southwest FA Breaks Back During Hard Landing

Thu Aug 11, 2022 7:38 pm

I had an America West flight once to Vegas that thumped down hard enough to pop the latches on half the overhead bins.

Comment from the row behind me : "well, we know where HE learned to fly ... the deck of the Kennedy!"

And realize, that wasn't anywhere near an actual hard landing.

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