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-   -   Emergency landing - Flight 3235 on 8/2 - horrible FA performance (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/us-airways-dividend-miles-pre-consolidation-american-airlines/1491769-emergency-landing-flight-3235-8-2-horrible-fa-performance.html)

socalterp Aug 6, 13 7:40 pm

Emergency landing - Flight 3235 on 8/2 - horrible FA performance
 
Was on 3235 from DCA to Burlington VT on 8/2 that diverted to PHL. Sen Leahy from Vermont was on the plane, so the incident made the news a bit.

A bit out of DCA, the Captain came on the PA and announced that we had lost our hydraulics, and that we were diverting to PHL. The captain was very calm, and told us that he had over 30K flight hours and that we had nothing to be worried about. He was terrific through the whole process - explaining what would be happening, why PHL was chosen, that there would be vibrations from a full flat landing, etc. There would be emergency equipment meeting the plane, we would get checked out, etc...then hopefully get towed to the gate. He was calm, professional and did a great job getting the plane down and stopped safely.

On the other extreme, the two FAs on the plane were a mess. One of them, who was manning the PA system, literally sounded like she was going to burst into tears. The other was running madly up and down the aisle, berating passengers who had questions, etc. They barely were able to demonstrate the brace position, and generally looked panicked and at a loss for what to do. Definitely not calm or professional. I hate to imagine what would have happened had there been a crash landing of any sort.

It all ended fine, but really a tale of two cities in terms of how the crew performed.

cwe84 Aug 6, 13 7:58 pm

Ive worked with both F/As on that flight. I found them both to be very competent. Since I wasnt there I dont know the full details of how much time they were given or how the instructions were delivered from the FD to the F/As. I have flown with both pilots before too.

Believe it or not but a planned land emergency is harder to cope with than say what happened in SFO. I got complaints from my planned emergency and its shocking to see what people complain about in that situation too.... One was they didnt get a refill on their water...

socalterp Aug 6, 13 8:31 pm

It was bad. Actually, beyond bad. Appalling...and the talk of a lot of passengers. At least one filed a complaint at the gate when we landed in BTV.

Note that I did not have a run-in with the crew - but several around me did.
You never know how people will react in pressure situations, but it was handled extremely poorly onboard.

To the airlines credit, another E170 was found pretty quickly and we were on our way to BTV after a short time in PHL, with the same crew.

GAC Aug 8, 13 11:15 am


Originally Posted by cwe84 (Post 21227504)
Ive worked with both F/As on that flight. I found them both to be very competent. Since I wasnt there I dont know the full details of how much time they were given or how the instructions were delivered from the FD to the F/As.

Since we have a first hand account from somebody who was there its obvious that you would need to rethink how competent they actually are.

Being nice serving coffee is one thing but when a entire profession tries to sell their main exsisitance as 'being there for our safety' they better walk the talk.

AirShuttle6162 Aug 8, 13 12:26 pm

"act like you've been there before".

tommyleo Aug 8, 13 2:34 pm


Originally Posted by GAC (Post 21237421)
...when a entire profession tries to sell their main existence as 'being there for our safety' they better walk the talk.

^

You beat me to it.

To be fair, it's not the entire profession that tries to sell this "safety" mantra. It's mainly the United States FA's mantra.

GAC Aug 8, 13 3:49 pm


Originally Posted by tommyleo (Post 21238673)

To be fair, it's not the entire profession that tries to sell this "safety" mantra. It's mainly the United States FA's mantra.

Correction noted and agree.

dcpatti Aug 8, 13 5:22 pm

OP, I would hope that you'd report this to US along with posting it here. Whether or not the FA's are competent is not really the issue; it's the appearance of competence projected (because it's very hard to truly know how competent someone is; we can just judge off of what we see outwardly). You can be the most capable, level-headed, well-trained person in the world but if you lose your composure in an intense situation, not only does it diminish your image and cause people to lose faith in you, but it affects the way the people around you will handle themselves. Act calm, cool and collected, and your passengers are more likely to act the same way.

If the way the FA's handled the emergency landing caused you to question their ability to respond to a worst-case scenario, then that really needs to be handled more formally than just in this forum.

socalterp Aug 8, 13 6:24 pm


Originally Posted by dcpatti (Post 21239605)
OP, I would hope that you'd report this to US along with posting it here. Whether or not the FA's are competent is not really the issue; it's the appearance of competence projected (because it's very hard to truly know how competent someone is; we can just judge off of what we see outwardly). You can be the most capable, level-headed, well-trained person in the world but if you lose your composure in an intense situation, not only does it diminish your image and cause people to lose faith in you, but it affects the way the people around you will handle themselves. Act calm, cool and collected, and your passengers are more likely to act the same way.

If the way the FA's handled the emergency landing caused you to question their ability to respond to a worst-case scenario, then that really needs to be handled more formally than just in this forum.

Absolutely...reported via their website, have not received a response yet. Hopefully I am not the only one who reported it. Also commended the captain in my comment.

BTW - there was probably at least between when the Captain announced the issue and when we landed. Lots of time to gain composure and get your act together. We dumped fuel, etc before landing on runway 27, I think, at PHL. FlightAware track is below.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...415Z/KDCA/KPHL

BoeingBoy Aug 8, 13 8:18 pm

FWIW, I don't know of any of the Express planes that have fuel dumping capability.

Jim

socalterp Aug 9, 13 4:39 am


Originally Posted by BoeingBoy (Post 21240378)
FWIW, I don't know of any of the Express planes that have fuel dumping capability.

Jim

You might be right, but both my wife and the person sitting next to her at the window said that they saw fuel being dumped from the right wing. There was a distinct smell of gasoline as we got close to the ground, but not sure where that came from.

Not sure how much gas we would have been carrying for a short flight to BTV, and whether dumping would have been necessary or not. Do not remember if the pilot specifically mentioned that part of the process.

He did comment on the fact that the E170 has short field landing capabilities, and that PHL had long runways in good condition (and good weather that day).

BTW, not only did the pilot land us safely in PHL...but when we got to BTV, he invited our 4 yr old son into the cockpit after landing and spent a good couple minutes showing him different controls, letting him push a few buttons, etc. Nice gesture on his part, and made the day for my airplane obsessed son.

LowlyDLsilver Aug 9, 13 6:27 am

cwe84 - how much recurrent training do F/As get on emergency procedures?

Reason I ask is pilots get manufactured crises thrown at them every time they step into the SIM - and the best defense against the startle reflex is solid training and checklists.

TimesTwo Aug 9, 13 7:51 am

Don't planes have backup hydraulics? I was on a flight from PHX - YVR earlier this year and we had to stop in SEA to change planes because of failed hydraulics. The captain sounded annoyed that he was forced to land 20 minutes before we would've reached our intended destination.

CLTmech Aug 9, 13 8:44 am


Originally Posted by TimesTwo (Post 21242465)
Don't planes have backup hydraulics? I was on a flight from PHX - YVR earlier this year and we had to stop in SEA to change planes because of failed hydraulics. The captain sounded annoyed that he was forced to land 20 minutes before we would've reached our intended destination.

Yes and no. There are usually 2 or 3 separate hydraulic systems and redundancy come from how the systems may be routed to various hydraulic powered systems (flight controls, brakes, etc).

Using the CRJ series as an example; there are 3 independent systems, but do not have cross-pressurization capability from system to system. All three systems are linked to the elevators/rudder, and 2 are linked to each aileron. Spoilers and brakes are split between systems so any one pair has a single supply. Remaining items are single system supplied.

geo1005 Aug 9, 13 9:05 am


Originally Posted by cwe84 (Post 21227504)
Ive worked with both F/As on that flight. I found them both to be very competent. Since I wasnt there I dont know the full details of how much time they were given or how the instructions were delivered from the FD to the F/As.


Originally Posted by GAC (Post 21237421)
Since we have a first hand account from somebody who was there its obvious that you would need to rethink how competent they actually are.

I think crew84 was pretty clear about stating his past personal experiences with this crew and that he wasn't there "first hand" during this emergency.


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