Lights Stuck On

Old Dec 30, 17, 8:34 pm
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Lights Stuck On

Currently on a night flight where the FAs announced prior to departure that the cabin lights were inoperable in that they are stuck in the full on position with no ability to turn them off or dim them. Problem cannot be fixed until arrival in ATL (where my flight is headed). Not complaining, just an odd issue and one Iíve never encountered in all my flights. Not irritating to me as I travel with my own eye mask and can fall asleep standing up, but I was thinking this would be pretty bad on a long-haul overnight flight for most passengers.

Anybody else ever had this or a really random issue like this that I have to imagine is pretty rare?

On a related note, while the chance has to be infinitesimally small and I personally am not genuinely worried about it on this specific flight, this situation led me to wonder what would happen if an electrical short in the wiring for the lights were to start an onboard fire and nobody could kill the lights? This thought occurred to me from when Iíve watched documentaries about planes that have turned off their transponders in flight, such as the mystery around MH 370. When pilots have been interviewed about why a plane even has the ability to disable the transponder, the answer has always been ďpilots want to be able to turn absolutely anything off that runs on electrical power in the event of an onboard fire, including the transponder switch.Ē So what about these lights? Happy New Year!
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Old Dec 30, 17, 8:51 pm
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What type of aircraft and how long was the flight?
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Old Dec 30, 17, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by DCP2016 View Post
What type of aircraft and how long was the flight?
A321 (particularly odd problem on a pretty new aircraft) and clocked in at 2 hours 27 minutes of flying time BOS-ATL.

When I mentioned this being worse on an overnight flight, I was thinking long-haul TATL or TPAC with this issue. Perhaps they would take a delay to fix it on one of those flights.
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Old Dec 30, 17, 9:58 pm
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They can probably be turned off with a circuit breaker, but it may be in the cockpit or otherwise inconvenient to access.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by DesertNomad View Post
They can probably be turned off with a circuit breaker, but it may be in the cockpit or otherwise inconvenient to access.
It may also turn off some required lights onboard when pulled.

However I'm shocked they would take off with lights on. They turn off lights for safety during night takeoff. If you crash, you won't be able to see properly at first, thus night time lights go off.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 1:56 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
It may also turn off some required lights onboard when pulled.

However I'm shocked they would take off with lights on. They turn off lights for safety during night takeoff. If you crash, you won't be able to see properly at first, thus night time lights go off.
Agreed. I would have removed myself and asked to be accommodated on another flight.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 6:45 am
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I would have rolled the dice, but I'm a pretty wild, reckless person.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 7:20 am
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I wish this happened on all my trans-Pacific flights.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post


Agreed. I would have removed myself and asked to be accommodated on another flight.
Really? That's probably the most stupid reply I've ever read on here! I can just hear you saying to the Purser..."Can you return to the gate please, as I can't be on this flight with the lights on!"
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Old Dec 31, 17, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by audidudi View Post
Really? That's probably the most stupid reply I've ever read on here! I can just hear you saying to the Purser..."Can you return to the gate please, as I can't be on this flight with the lights on!"
I would have considered it too. I don't want to have to evacuate at night if I can't see.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by audidudi View Post
Really? That's probably the most stupid reply I've ever read on here! I can just hear you saying to the Purser..."Can you return to the gate please, as I can't be on this flight with the lights on!"
Did you read the comments before that? It might be a safety concern if the lights can't be turned off. No need to degrade a poster because of your views/thoughts.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
Did you read the comments before that? It might be a safety concern if the lights can't be turned off. No need to degrade a poster because of your views/thoughts.
If it were a safety issue, then the captain would have made the decision, in conjunction with the dispatcher, to have returned to the gate before take-off. Obviously it wasn't a safety issue!
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Old Dec 31, 17, 9:15 am
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The switch is not a MEL, it is not a flight safety issue and thus no reason to delay the flight for repairs. Delaying maintenance to the next downtime for the aircraft, especially a major hub, is common for these sorts of minor faults which need not be operational.

Offloading oneself is absolutely crazy, but people do crazy things all the time and carriers accoomodate them because it is better to deal with on the ground than with somebody who goes off the rails at FL35.

All electrical systems can be shut down in an emergency. The cockpit has circuit breaker access for just that. But, this was not an emergency.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 9:16 am
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Technically, yes, it's a safety issue. But getting on a plane in the first place has risks. How much of an additional risk is this, compared to the cost of waiting until the next day to get where you're going? What is your time worth?
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Old Dec 31, 17, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by audidudi View Post
If it were a safety issue, then the captain would have made the decision, in conjunction with the dispatcher, to have returned to the gate before take-off. Obviously it wasn't a safety issue!
I'm betting it never crossed the captain's mind. Turning off of lights in cabin is something on the FA checklist, not pilot. The FA probably has no clue of the reason and never brought it up.
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