LV
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What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:10 pm

We all know about the WN incident a couple of weeks ago with the rapid decompression. So last weekend when I was flying I was watching the flight attendants doing drink service and got to wondering.... if there is a rapid decompression the masks fall for the pax and there are masks in the cockpits... but what about the FA's?
 
warden145
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:17 pm

I could be wrong, but I think that that's one of the reasons why there are 4 masks for every 3 seats...for FA's as well as for infants in a mother's lap, etc.
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lhr380
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:18 pm

Quoting LV (Thread starter):
but what about the FA's?

Extra masks every couple of rows, and portable masks in certain areas of the cabin.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
GT4EZY
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:14 pm

In short. Sit or wedge in and strap in. Get yourself on one of the spare oxygen masks in the cabin. Wedge or tip any carts, ditch hot water where possible. Once the emergency descent has been completed we "monkey swing" to reach portable oxygen and check on passengers.
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:51 pm

The emergency descent is not a violent manuever.... it is just an idle descent with the speedbrakes out (like we do frequently). There is an extra 02 mask each row, so if they are up serving, they just grab one of those and wait for us to give them the all clear to take their masks off.

My personal thoughts are that the WN crew actually rushed down too much... they ran the speed up to Mmo/Vmo with known structural damage. That just sounds like a bad idea. I've always been of the school of thought to not exceed the speed the structural failure occurred at. Just feels like a bad idea to put more stress on an already compromised airframe.
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WNCrew
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:07 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 4):
The emergency descent is not a violent manuever.... it is just an idle descent with the speedbrakes out (like we do frequently).

I've been in one... and I can assure you it's NOTHING "like we frequently do". I was at another carrier so, as stated, I wedged the cart in where I could and secured myself somewhat but had I not been able to, I would've been on the floor. Walking was impossible. Violent?, maybe not, but Abrupt and Extreme... yes. Feels much different when you're sitting strapped in vs up walking about.
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GT4EZY
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:57 am

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 5):
I've been in one... and I can assure you it's NOTHING "like we frequently do". I was at another carrier so, as stated, I wedged the cart in where I could and secured myself somewhat but had I not been able to, I would've been on the floor. Walking was impossible. Violent?, maybe not, but Abrupt and Extreme... yes. Feels much different when you're sitting strapped in vs up walking about.

I know a colleague who has been in one too. The emergency descent resulted in two crew being injured.
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TZTriStar500
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:30 am

Quoting warden145 (Reply 1):
I could be wrong, but I think that that's one of the reasons why there are 4 masks for every 3 seats...for FA's as well as for infants in a mother's lap, etc.
Quoting lhr380 (Reply 2):
Quoting LV (Thread starter):
but what about the FA's?

Extra masks every couple of rows, and portable masks in certain areas of the cabin.


There is a certain percentage extra required plus for lap children. Also there are drop down masks at every F/A seat and at a certain number of portable bottles near the F/A seats as well.
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tdscanuck
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:27 am

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 6):
I know a colleague who has been in one too. The emergency descent resulted in two crew being injured.

Good lord, what did they do? I've done, I think, about 12 now and not a single one has come anywhere close to causing injury to anybody.

Tom.
 
Elevated
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:21 am

Done nearest oxygen mask and sit down. Period.

At each seating grouping on our a/c there are 6 seats in each row and a total of 8 oxygen masks (for lap children, etc.--one extra on each side of the isle). In the event of a rapid decompression, that's the mask we are grabbing without hesitation and sitting down--pending of course where lap children are throughout the cabin.
 
Western727
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:36 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 4):
The emergency descent is not a violent manuever.... it is just an idle descent with the speedbrakes out (like we do frequently).

Correct. In a DL MD-88 I flew on, the initiation of emergency descent (smoke in the cabin that turned out to be due to faulty air conditioning after an emergency landing at JAN) felt like a normal one from TOD, except that the pitch motion was more sustained with the speedbrakes being activated simultaneously. Once the pitch was complete the nose-down angle appeared to be more pronounced than normal...but that was about it.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 4):
My personal thoughts are that the WN crew actually rushed down too much... they ran the speed up to Mmo/Vmo with known structural damage. That just sounds like a bad idea. I've always been of the school of thought to not exceed the speed the structural failure occurred at. Just feels like a bad idea to put more stress on an already compromised airframe.

Thank you for bringing this up. This has nagged me a bit as well since the event. Anyone?
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HAWK21M
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:28 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 4):
y personal thoughts are that the WN crew actually rushed down too much... they ran the speed up to Mmo/Vmo with known structural damage.

Whats your reasoning for this?.
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A300605R
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:38 pm

Quoting warden145 (Reply 1):
I could be wrong, but I think that that's one of the reasons why there are 4 masks for every 3 seats...for FA's as well as for infants in a mother's lap, etc.

You are completely right. Take the nearest mask you can reach and sit down anywhere...
That is also the reason why there is only one infant allowed in every row with 6 seats.

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 2):
portable masks in certain areas of the cabin.

These (4 in A319) are first aid equipment primarily. As the TUC (time of useful consciousness) is only somewhere between 6 an 15 secondes at FL390 no FA would have the time to take them out of the compartement that the o2-bottles are stored in if not standing right beside. Much better to take the common Oxygen mask at any row, in the lav, or in the galley, whereever you might be standing.
Also, were are not allowed to move in the cabin until the secure altitude has been reached.
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Mir
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:55 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 4):
My personal thoughts are that the WN crew actually rushed down too much... they ran the speed up to Mmo/Vmo with known structural damage.

Did they know they had structural damage? Of course we know now that they had it, but unless someone from the back called up to the cockpit to say they had a hole in the ceiling, I'm not sure they would have known at the time.

-Mir
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Western727
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:20 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
unless someone from the back called up to the cockpit to say they had a hole in the ceiling, I'm not sure they would have known at the time.

I see...but would a rapid decompression by itself not clue one in on the possibility?
Jack @ AUS
 
Western727
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:46 pm

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 5):
Walking was impossible. Violent?, maybe not, but Abrupt and Extreme... yes. Feels much different when you're sitting strapped in vs up walking about.


Forgive me for not noticing this earlier but that makes sense...on the aforementioned MD-88 emergeny descent/landing I recall the less-knowledgeable pax starting to freak out (at the smoke) and the FAs calmly barking calm-down orders to them. Almost immediately the descent started and I indeed recall the couple of FAs in the economy aisle having to secure themselves against the overhead bins until the pitch motion was complete.
Jack @ AUS
 
Mir
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:41 am

Quoting Western727 (Reply 14):
but would a rapid decompression by itself not clue one in on the possibility?

How rapid are we talking about? Keep in mind that the pressurization systems on airliners are pretty strong - you can lose an entire cabin window on a 747 and the flight crew might not have any idea - the regular outflow valves close up and the open window becomes the new outflow valve. The person sitting next to the window would certainly notice, and they'd be in for a crappy rest of the flight, but until someone calls up to the cockpit to report it, they might not take any action at all.

In my mind, if I know it's an explosive decompression, I'm automatically assuming structural damage. But there are other ways to lose pressurization besides an explosive decompression. If I just see the cabin altitude rising uncontrollably (by which I mean that I can't get it back down again, not that it's going up very fast), it could be a hole that the pressurization can't keep up with, or it could be an outflow valve getting stuck open (which amounts to the same thing as far as the pressurization system is concerned), and that's not going to affect the structure of the airplane at all. So these things are very difficult to diagnose in the heat of the moment.

-Mir
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wn700driver
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:24 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 11):
Whats your reasoning for this?.

Known structural damage of an unknown quantity. Just being cautious, I guess. It's been my experience, driving wreck autos off the road, etc, that you really want to slow down as soon as you safely can anytime you know your integrity has been compromised. Who knows? It may be the difference between a salvageable aircraft and a write-off.


Related to topic...

Quoting Western727 (Reply 15):
on the aforementioned MD-88 emergeny descent/landing I recall the less-knowledgeable pax starting to freak out (at the smoke) and the FAs calmly barking calm-down orders to them.

The one and only flight I've ever been on involving a rapid "emergency" descent, my most profound memory was of some jerk shouting "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-Haw" about seven rows behind us. No $#*t. My travel companion would stop laughing at that one for an hour.
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Pihero
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:37 am

In some airlines, there is a specific PA from the flight deck : " Attention Flight attendants, sit down and fqsten seat belts. Emergerncy descent", which mleans that one cannot rush the procedure.
In any case, there is no need for a violent maneuver 1/ because we don't need to stress the structure further, and 2/ because we can arrange to have positive Gs ( for instance a turning descent away from the airway centerline).
Like most abnormal maneuvers, the importance is more in the precision and completeness of the procedure rather than precipitation.
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Zkpilot
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RE: What Do FA's Do If There Is Rapid Decompression

Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:37 pm

Extra masks, secure yourself where you can. The descent 9/10 won't take long (unless there is terrain), so will be down to levels of breathable air quite quickly.
There are also portable oxygen bottles around the aircraft (mostly for medical reasons) that can be used (although mostly for follow-up duties after a decompression if needed)
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