Who makes the call?

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flyingspark
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Who makes the call?

Postby flyingspark » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:56 pm

When the BA 777 incident happened at Heathrow recently, some passenger statements gave the impression that it didn't really seem like a crash, more like a hard landing. Now, I appreciate that F.A's are highly trained and can spot an under carriage strutt popping up through the wing but in that kind of event, where the aircraft is still in one piece and some confusion and suprise is present, who makes that instant decision to evacuate and how do you let all other attendants know before you start shouting (calmly asking passengers to leave :lol: ). Would they have had prior knowledge from the flight deck with such a short amount of time from the initial problem to the incident itself?

Dont want to start another thread on the crash itself but am interested in the F.A's perspective.

Thanks for any replies.


Clive

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PurduePilot
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby PurduePilot » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:39 pm

Wouldn't the flight crew have hit the Evacuate horn after the plane came to a stop?

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Dmmoore
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby Dmmoore » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:06 pm

Some things are self evident.
Hard / firm landing followed by a very sudden stop, no engine noise and the lights go out.
I think the call has been made. No one said a word but every one knows what to do next.
Evacuate!
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David Hilditch
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby David Hilditch » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:53 am

Probably most major airlines are the same, but in British Airways the senior cabin crew member is empowered to authorize an evacuation if in his/her judgment it is necessary.

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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby Digger » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:27 pm

This is a question, not an informed opinion: Wouldn't cabin crew sometimes be in an even better positon to initiate an evacution than flight crew, due to the fact that they can look out the side windows and see, for instance, that there's fire; something that can't be seen from the flightdeck?

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Dmmoore
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby Dmmoore » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:21 pm

Assume the aircraft came to a stop on the runway, the engines are off, emergency lighting has illuminated there is nothing to indicate an evacuation is necessary, you normally sit until the cockpit advises what action to take.

If a fire is detected by the cabin crew, they can and will call for the evacuation. The keys are aircraft stopped, engines off and emergency lighting illuminated. Then smoke in the cabin or fire is cause to evacuate.

If smoke or fire is present with the aircraft in motion, the evacuation will be initiated immediately after the aircraft comes to a stop.
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby Digger » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:56 pm

Assume the aircraft came to a stop on the runway, the engines are off, emergency lighting has illuminated there is nothing to indicate an evacuation is necessary, you normally sit until the cockpit advises what action to take.


Actually, thinking further about this...The cabin crew would almost certainly need to have the authority to order the evacuation in some circumstances, since they may not know whether the guys in the cockpit have been disabled or not. Right? I mean, if the plane has stopped, and there's no word, or response, from up front at all....

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flyingspark
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby flyingspark » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:03 pm

Great answers, thanks.
I didn,t realise that there was an evacuate horn in the cockpit, but now I think about it, it makes sense that there would be. Interesting about who has the authority in the cabin. I suppose if only one senior member has it then it stops any confusion. The key is communication between crew members I suppose.

Clive

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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby Dummy Pilot » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:44 pm

flyingspark wrote:I didn,t realise that there was an evacuate horn in the cockpit


While an evac signal may indeed be an option for various aircraft models, I've never flown one that had it.


As far as initiating an evacuation, let me give you a little insight. I can't speak for all airlines, but I can tell you that with the exception of a few very specific instances, the evacuation is always initiated by the cockpit. This is because there is a checklist that goes with an Evac that helps to aid in the effectiveness of the evacuation and limit injuries. The first step is to STOP the aircraft. This sounds obvious, but only the cockpit has control over the parking brake and an evacuation that is started while the plane is moving will be disastrous. This is one of the reason why following an aborted takeoff we make a very loud PA to the pax to remain seated to help avoid a passenger initiated Evac while the plane is being taxied off the runway. Second, the plane should be properly configured. This includes things like stowing the spoilers and placing the flaps at the position that will best facilitate an overwing evac. It includes properly shutting down the engines. You don't want passengers milling about near engines that are spinning away. It also includes depressurinzing the aircraft. Attempting to open doors with the aircraft pressurized will prove very difficult. Lastly, the pilots may also be aware of which engine or part of the plane may be on fire and he may want to add specifc instructions to his Evacuation command on which exits to use or avoid.

Now with all that said, we allow our F/As to initiate an evacuation when A) the aircraft has come to a complete and final stop and B) there is an immediate life threatening situation (i.e. fire or smoke)

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flyingspark
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby flyingspark » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:06 pm

Great reply.

Thanks for such a detailed response. I have often wondered who started the ball rolling. I pressumed that it would be the folks in the cockpit with info from the crew in the back when possible. Different senarios dictate the exact sequence of events though I guess.


Regards,

Clive.

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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby Sumisid » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:07 pm

Swissair had the following rules:

If there is a fire after landing or something else, that indicates an evacuation is necessary and the cockpit can't see it from the front, every FA, not only the Maitre de Cabine, can push the evacuation-button. There usually is one at every jumpseat station and it makes sense, that also FAs can decide that it's time for an evacuation. How can the captain see a fire when it's somewhere in the back?

I'm sure every airlines has different policies concerning that matter.
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Re: Who makes the call?

Postby rattler » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:21 pm

Interesting thread, thanks for sharing (actually first time I glimpsed into this section).

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Sincere condolences to all Norwegians! I guess you will need some aquevit to get over this.


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