Strangest reasons for delays

 
Old Jan 30, 15, 4:14 pm
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Strangest reasons for delays

I'm sure we all have had great war stories over the years but today kind of takes the cake....

Flight 166 from DFW to STL - The flight is fully boarded and about to pull back when the pilot announces "We have good news and bad news. The good news is that this plane is going to St. Louis. The bad news is that apparently on the inbound flight, somebody stole the ashtray from the rear lavatory. Smoking onboard is against the law however the FAA considers a missing ashtray as a NO FLY."

Fortunately as DFW is a hub and well stocked with critical things like ashtrays, the entire delay was only about 25 minutes and the crew was great. But I can't help but compare this to the mentality I lived with when I was in the military....you can't smoke but you can't fly without an ashtray LOL!

Feel free to try to top that one.
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Old Jan 30, 15, 5:15 pm
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It's because when an idiot ignores the no smoking sign (and yes it does happen) you want them to have an ashtray to dispose of it vs them stuffing it somewhere, like the trash can, and starting a fire on the plane.
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Old Jan 30, 15, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
It's because when an idiot ignores the no smoking sign (and yes it does happen) you want them to have an ashtray to dispose of it..
Well .. I don't. That's just a rationalisation and a way to exonerate the FAA from its sin not modernising it's regulatory inventory.
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Old Jan 30, 15, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by weero View Post
Well .. I don't. That's just a rationalisation and a way to exonerate the FAA from its sin not modernising it's regulatory inventory.
I think the FAA doesn't want to take a chance some bozo won't smoke and think he stubbed out the cigarette and dump it into the hand towel and tissue bin.

Ref. Air Canada 797, June 2, 1983 - possibly started by a cigarette disposed of improperly in the lab causes

And a number of confirmed aircraft fires started by passengers smoking in the lavatory: http://www.iasa.com.au/folders/Safet...elavfires.html

I'll opt for keeping an ashtray, though perhaps it ought to be classified as a non-critical item (excluded from the MEL) these days. Though I've experienced boneheaded pax on a couple of flights smoking in the lab since smoking was banned in passenger aircraft.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 31, 15 at 12:27 pm
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Old Jan 30, 15, 10:18 pm
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I once had a flight delayed over an hour so they could ferry a plane part (for a different aircraft) to the destination airport. And they actually announced the reason!
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Old Jan 30, 15, 11:44 pm
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I had an AA plane taken out of service due to too many square inches of peeling paint.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 1:44 am
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Inbound 752 came in too fast on final and had a flap overspeed. Delay due to go-around and then a 2 hour inspection of the slats, flaps, and wing.

A "dent" on the forward cargo door of a 752 that turned out to be a scratch smaller than a pinky nail. 90 minute inspection and paperwork.

First officer timed out and a replacement first officer dispatched. Stepped into cockpit and realized he was not rated to fly MD80s. 60 minute delay to find another FO.

A319 replaced by MD80 and encountered an issued on pushback. The station hadn't received an MD80 for a while and no one knew how to remove the towbar. 30 minute delay.

Contractor working on the ramp parked his work truck behind our 738 and went to lunch. 45 minute delay.

No toilet paper. 15 minute delay.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 7:28 am
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You can't believe what they tell you about the reason for a delay. Sometimes they just make stuff up so the pax will accept the delay without complaint, sometimes they're just kidding, and sometimes it's a private joke.

I once had a pilot announce that the ac was going mx because the pilot's seat was broken, when actually, I gathered that the autopilot was not functioning properly.

I once overheard a GA tell a pax that the flight was delayed because the President was in town (Los Angeles), at the same time as the President was live on CNN from Washington, DC.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
..Ref. Air Canada 797, June 2, 1983 - possibly started by a cigarette disposed of improperly in the lab causes ..
That was when smoking was still allowed on board ... not need to hide in the bathroom.

But I thought this was a wiring or short circuit fire akin SR111?
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Old Jan 31, 15, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by weero View Post
That was when smoking was still allowed on board ... not need to hide in the bathroom.

But I thought this was a wiring or short circuit fire akin SR111?
The actual cause has never been pinpointed to my knowledge.

The most frustrating delays I've experienced recently:

AA136 departed the gate on time. We taxied for takeoff from runway 25R uneventfully, and were given takeoff clearance. Abort! Abort!

Whoops! The cockpit crew had forgotten they'd never received the log from maintenance, so we did a high speed taxi up the runway to the high speed taxiway, returned to the gate. Where we were unexpected, so it took significant time to arrive and have the jet bridge extended, and considerably longer to fetch the log. We eventually departed...

Two instances where maintenance had performed maintenance at DFW but then sequestered the log and forced the crew and pax to wait for an extended time for an AMT to sign and return the log. (Yeah, guys and gals, that's a sure fire way to gain moral support from passengers and notice from management. )
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Old Jan 31, 15, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
I once had a pilot announce that the ac was going mx because the pilot's seat was broken, when actually, I gathered that the autopilot was not functioning properly.
A DFW-PIT flight last year actually did have a broken pilot's seat. 4 hour delay and there was indeed a MadDog cockpit seat carcass in the jet bridge as we (re)boarded.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 11:14 am
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Back in about 2002 on an America West Express SCK-PHX. As the gate agent is letting everyone on to the ramp to board the pilot gets on the gate PA and announces "Folks, there's only one lavatory on this aircraft and it is out of service. So if you need to go, do it now." About half the passengers disappear into the terminal bathroom. Took about a 10 minute delay.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
I once had a flight delayed over an hour so they could ferry a plane part (for a different aircraft) to the destination airport. And they actually announced the reason!
It's field Service or Service Parts that need to be shipped to the installing site. This is possibly very crucial for the site as the aircraft cannot fly without these parts. Parts need to be located first but this takes time. AA is our customer so we are well aware of this. Not really that strange.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 1:10 pm
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It was on BA, but two weeks ago on a LHR-ZRH, after waiting about 15 minutes for some connecting passengers, the captain came on to let us know that the runway in ZRH had been snow plowed for a meter less wide than he was certified for. While no one thought this was an actual problem, BA decided to get a reserve pilot rather than try to get an exception. Total delay was about 90 min, which caused us to then spend at least 20 min longer than should've been necessary at immigration as we therefore arrived just after an EK A380 and its herd of passengers. So that was a new delay for me. And there was - at most - an inch of snow on the ground in Zurich.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
Back in about 2002 on an America West Express SCK-PHX. As the gate agent is letting everyone on to the ramp to board the pilot gets on the gate PA and announces "Folks, there's only one lavatory on this aircraft and it is out of service. So if you need to go, do it now." About half the passengers disappear into the terminal bathroom. Took about a 10 minute delay.
With this in mind, in the OP's situation AA could simply have taken the entire lavatory out of service rather than waiting for an ashtray!

Anyway, I don't have any really strange delay reasons to relate, although a few years ago on DFW-ORD they held it about 45 minutes for the announced reason that a number of connecting passengers were late in arriving from Mexico City. Sure enough, about 45 minutes later, a whole bunch of people boarded. I thought it was strange given the more typical scenario of not allowing someone to board if they arrive a minute after the boarding door is closed.

(I do understand that AA can make the decision to hold a flight as they wish.)
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