"Canadian officials praised the
crew of an
Air France plane that crashed on landing at Toronto's Pearson International
Airport for quickly evacuating passengers and getting them to safety.
The A340-300 aircraft skidded off the end of a 9,000-foot runway after
touching down at 4:03 p.m. ET Tuesday, and then burst into flames as
passengers desperately fled.
"Credit certainly is due to the crew onboard that airport. They did an
excellent job of moving passengers off that plane in a timely fashion," said
deputy police chief Jim Cochrane."
2, 2005. USToday, Toronto.
When flight 092, a
British Midland B737 got a fan blade failure at top of climb and damaged
one engine, the pilots analysed the situation quickly and found that they
have to shut down the damaged starboard engine. The black box revealed that
the Co-pilot was a little bit hesitant if that was the correct decision, but
very soon he adjusted himself to his Captain. The pilots also informed the
passengers that they had to shut down the starboard engine and that they
intended to return to the airport for a safe landing with a single engine.
Since the pilots couldn’t smell any smoke longer, they were convinced that
the situation was under control.
cabin, the passengers together with the cabin crew listened carefully to the
information from the cockpit. One member of the crew was anxiously
monitoring the engines when he made a quite remarkable observation: the
pilots had mistakenly performed a precautionary engine shutdown on the wrong
engine! However, since he expected the flight deck crew to possess the
competence and experience needed to handle this critical incident, he
strictly followed the sterile cockpit concept he was trained to.
In the accident investigation, ”pilot error”
was discussed while of course “cabin crew error” was never mentioned. There
are a number of events where the outcome of a flight incident or accident
could have developed quite differently, depending on the activities of the
cabin crew. Nevertheless, there are also countless cases where the
cabin crew made the difference and saved hundreds of lives. The problem is
however, that while Flight Academies around the world are teaching and
training young flight attendant candidates how to behave professionally in
the cabin, they will never be able to offer courses in personality change,
judgment, independence, self-esteem and other traits necessary to handle
the rules and procedures on board adequately. Flight Academies are able to
enhance, refine and optimize potentials, but they hardly can change deeply
rooted personality characteristics. This is the main reason why a careful
selection of cabin attendants is of the same vital importance as the
selection of flight deck crew. Expressed in another way, we should train
cabin attendants for skills and select them for attitude.
Cabin Attendants are primarily associated with service, their most
important role on board is to safeguard safety. Many examples have shown
that resolute action from the cabin crew can contribute in a meaningful
way to keeping a critical incident from turning
into an accident. There are many skillful and pleasant
C/A applicants with great potential for giving excellent service, but
there are far fewer candidates with a balancing firmness and a potential
for acting with determination while resisting panic in an possible
emergency. Can you afford not to find them?
has served SAS in designing a Cabin Selection concept with a combination
of interviews, stress resistance tests and group exercises to test
skills in a social context.
We have also trained the C/A recruiters to
identify and select applicants with high safety and service standards. Do
you still think a nice smile is enough to make a reliable Cabin Attendant?
The thought of one single mistake in an emergency situation should be
enough to change your mind.