FA Calls on short final..

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
At least they called you before landing.

About three weeks ago they told me somebody was in the lav during landing after we had parked at the gate and the passengers were exiting the plane.

But I agree. Land.
 

jtrain609

Antisocial Monster
Go around. If you know they're in the lav, and something goes wrong, and they're injured, your butt is going to be in a sling.

If you don't know you don't know.
 

Bumblebee

Commodore
you could put them in worse shape with a go around...

well, not from 1000 feet...but that's not really short final...if I'm past the FAF and the FA doesn't use the emergency call, I ignore it.

1000 feet from the threshold? Land and ignore :)
 

SteveCostello

My member is well-known.
If the FA was concerned about someone in the lav, she should have brought that up after the final announcements before landing after their final walkaround.
 

jtrain609

Antisocial Monster
you could put them in worse shape with a go around...

well, not from 1000 feet...but that's not really short final...if I'm past the FAF and the FA doesn't use the emergency call, I ignore it.

1000 feet from the threshold? Land and ignore :)
Is it legally permissible (under the FAR's) to knowingly taxi, takeoff or land an aircraft with a passenger outside of their seat, without a seatbelt on, outside of an emergency situation?

The answer to that question will answer this question.

EDIT: Before somebody says "EMERGENCY AUTHORITY," is this REALLY an emergency? Unless your option are go around and die, or land, it likely wouldn't be.
 

SteveCostello

My member is well-known.
Is it legally permissible (under the FAR's) to knowingly taxi, takeoff or land an aircraft with a passenger outside of their seat, without a seatbelt on, outside of an emergency situation?

The answer to that question will answer this question.
If that is, indeed, the case, what are the repercussions to the FA, then? Calling the FD at 1,000 feet (I'm assuming altitude here, not distance from the threshold... but either way) about some in the lav, and the go around that would be legally necessary (if that is the case) would be expensive, potentially dangerous, and also more than likely make a few people miss their connections, all because the FA did not make the call sooner.

If there are legal ramifications to the FD crew for putting the wheels to the ground with someone in the lav after a late call, there should be some type of ramifications to the FA for making the call so late in the approach in the first place.
 

jtrain609

Antisocial Monster
If that is, indeed, the case, what are the repercussions to the FA, then? Calling the FD at 1,000 feet (I'm assuming altitude here, not distance from the threshold... but either way) about some in the lav, and the go around that would be legally necessary (if that is the case) would be expensive, potentially dangerous, and also more than likely make a few people miss their connections, all because the FA did not make the call sooner.
Let's separate issues into ones that matter, and ones that don't. Issues that matter: legality and danger.

Issues that don't matter: expense and missing connections.

With that being said, let's discuss the two issues that matter. First, the legality issue. FAR part 121.311:

Sec. 121.311

Seats, safety belts, and shoulder harnesses.

(a) No person may operate an airplane unless there are available during the takeoff, en route flight, and landing—
(1) An approved seat or berth for each person on board the airplane who has reached his second birthday; and
(2) An approved safety belt for separate use by each person on board the airplane who has reached his second birthday, except that two persons occupying a berth may share one approved safety belt and two persons occupying a multiple lounge or divan seat may share one approved safety belt during en route flight only.
(b) Except as provided in this paragraph, each person on board an airplane operated under this part shall occupy an approved seat or berth with a separate safety belt properly secured about him or her during movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing. A safety belt provided for the occupant of a seat may not be used by more than one person who has reached his or her second birthday. Notwithstanding the preceding requirements, a child may:
Emphasis added.

I think that covers the issue of legality fairly well.

Second, danger.

Are you truly going to advocate that going around at 1,000', which isn't exactly buzzing the tower, is more dangerous than landing? If you believe this, will your chief pilot agree with you? Your company POI?

If you injure the guy following YOUR rules when he broke the rules, are you going to cover your butt better by injuring him during a go around, or while landing?

If there are legal ramifications to the FD crew for putting the wheels to the ground with someone in the lav after a late call, there should be some type of ramifications to the FA for making the call so late in the approach in the first place.
Would the FA be in hotter water by NOT telling the pilots, thus allowing them to mitigate the potential injury, or by calling them while at 1,000'?

How about the marker?

5,000'?

At what point are you going to say that the landing must be performed in order to have the safest possible outcome?
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
It looks to me like 121.311(b) is a requirement that is directed at the passenger, not the crew. I certainly won't argue that the crew also has some responsibility in enforcing the reg, but to what extent are they required to do so, at what point can their efforts be considered legally adequate, and how is the decision to discontinue the efforts to require compliance made?

Let's assume a situation where the passenger is ill and vomiting (or other!), and the F/A has made multiple announcements, banged on the door, etc. The Attendants have done everything they can think of, they don't think the pax is coming out, and the aircraft is getting close to landing. The call is made to the flight deck that someone is still in the lav - at that point is it required, legally, that the crew do a go-around? Does the crew bear the burden of going above and beyond to try to enforce a rule that says "each person...shall occupy...seat...with safety belt properly secured", rather than a rule that says "no person may operate an aircraft (surface movement, takeoff, landing) unless each person on board..."?



Sec. 121.311
Seats, safety belts, and shoulder harnesses.
(a) No person may operate an airplane unless there are available during the takeoff, en route flight, and landing—
(1) An approved seat or berth for each person on board the airplane who has reached his second birthday; and
(2) An approved safety belt for separate use by each person on board the airplane who has reached his second birthday, except that two persons occupying a berth may share one approved safety belt and two persons occupying a multiple lounge or divan seat may share one approved safety belt during en route flight only.
(b) Except as provided in this paragraph, each person on board an airplane operated under this part shall occupy an approved seat or berth with a separate safety belt properly secured about him or her during movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing. A safety belt provided for the occupant of a seat may not be used by more than one person who has reached his or her second birthday. Notwithstanding the preceding requirements, a child may:
 

SteveCostello

My member is well-known.
With all of the extremes that one could assume about this situation, I'd like to assume that the path to this particular situation probably would go something like this (mind you... I'm nowhere near operating in Part 121, much less 91, for that matter, so correct me where I've gone wrong...):

  1. Landing announcement, seat belt sign, chairs upright, tray tables locked, walkaround to be sure everyone is buckled in. FA notices lav is still occupied and attempts to notify passenger to get in their seat.
  2. The last walkaround by the FA to pick up trash, chastise the people who are STILL using their electronic devices, despite being told at least 5 times now to turn them off (seriously, people... just turn them off!)
  3. FA notices pax still in the lav. Knocks on door, tells person to get to their seat. At this point, I would think that the FA would call the FD to let them know what's up. Maybe that's just me, but by now, everyone should be buttoned up and the FAs should be getting ready to buckle in. But their job is not yet complete due to the lav still being occupied, which, IMHO, would warrant a call to the FD.
  4. FD responds cool, thanks for letting us know, keep us in the loop.
  5. FA makes yet another attempt to get the person out of the lav. Now it's a judgment call. Is the person truly having health issues in the lav that would prevent them from returning to their seat? Or are they being obstinate?
    1. Health issue: At that point, what is the typical company policy? I mean... ya gotta land, and the person is not in any shape to leave the lav due to some medical situation (which could include soiling themselves, which presents a health issue to other passengers).
    2. Obstinate passenger: Again... company policy? Wrangle them out of the lav and subdue them? Leave them in there, land, get to the gate and arrest them?
  6. Either way, by 1,000 feet, one pattern or another has emerged. By the time you get to 1,000 feet, you'd think that between the FA/FD and potentially a company call, a plan of action has been established. I would think that plan would have been established and acted upon before you get to 1,000 feet.
 

jtrain609

Antisocial Monster
It looks to me like 121.311(b) is a requirement that is directed at the passenger, not the crew. I certainly won't argue that the crew also has some responsibility in enforcing the reg, but to what extent are they required to do so, at what point can their efforts be considered legally adequate, and how is the decision to discontinue the efforts to require compliance made?
Some responsibility? Would the standard of "some responsibility" be a legitimate answer to a captain enforcing all the FAR's? At what point does "some responsibility" get discharged with an MEL? With dealing with dispatch?

I'm not trying to mock your point, instead I'm trying to point out that the FAR's are, in many ways, bright line rules. The person is in the seat, or they are not. The item is MEL'd, or it's not. Does that make sense?

Let's assume a situation where the passenger is ill and vomiting (or other!), and the F/A has made multiple announcements, banged on the door, etc. The Attendants have done everything they can think of, they don't think the pax is coming out, and the aircraft is getting close to landing. The call is made to the flight deck that someone is still in the lav - at that point is it required, legally, that the crew do a go-around? Does the crew bear the burden of going above and beyond to try to enforce a rule that says "each person...shall occupy...seat...with safety belt properly secured", rather than a rule that says "no person may operate an aircraft (surface movement, takeoff, landing) unless each person on board..."?
Don't you especially have to go around at that point? The FA and a passenger are up, and if you're aware of it, I wouldn't be landing (personally).

Now if the person is in the back puking, yeah, that sucks for them, but they can puke in their seat.

You also have to assume there comes a point where the FA is unlocking the door themselves and going to get them eh?
 

jtrain609

Antisocial Monster
With all of the extremes that one could assume about this situation, I'd like to assume that the path to this particular situation probably would go something like this (mind you... I'm nowhere near operating in Part 121, much less 91, for that matter, so correct me where I've gone wrong...):

  1. Landing announcement, seat belt sign, chairs upright, tray tables locked, walkaround to be sure everyone is buckled in. FA notices lav is still occupied and attempts to notify passenger to get in their seat.
  2. The last walkaround by the FA to pick up trash, chastise the people who are STILL using their electronic devices, despite being told at least 5 times now to turn them off (seriously, people... just turn them off!)
  3. FA notices pax still in the lav. Knocks on door, tells person to get to their seat. At this point, I would think that the FA would call the FD to let them know what's up. Maybe that's just me, but by now, everyone should be buttoned up and the FAs should be getting ready to buckle in. But their job is not yet complete due to the lav still being occupied, which, IMHO, would warrant a call to the FD.
  4. FD responds cool, thanks for letting us know, keep us in the loop.
  5. FA makes yet another attempt to get the person out of the lav. Now it's a judgment call. Is the person truly having health issues in the lav that would prevent them from returning to their seat? Or are they being obstinate?
    1. Health issue: At that point, what is the typical company policy? I mean... ya gotta land, and the person is not in any shape to leave the lav due to some medical situation (which could include soiling themselves, which presents a health issue to other passengers).
    2. Obstinate passenger: Again... company policy? Wrangle them out of the lav and subdue them? Leave them in there, land, get to the gate and arrest them?
  6. Either way, by 1,000 feet, one pattern or another has emerged. By the time you get to 1,000 feet, you'd think that between the FA/FD and potentially a company call, a plan of action has been established. I would think that plan would have been established and acted upon before you get to 1,000 feet.

At what point do you land with somebody in the lav? When you have to.

And in saying that, I'm not trying to be obscure, so let's try to pick out some examples of when you'd NEED to land:

-Running low on fuel (at which point you'd declare an emergency, half for the fuel, half for the guy in the lav that obvious needs assistance).
-A fire.

So let me bring up something else where we, as a group, chastised a person for "being committed to landing" when they obviously could of (and should of) gone around; Senator Inhofe's landing on a closed runway.

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/new...ed_runway_texas_faa_investigate_203537-1.html

He said that people who "fly a lot" don't check NOTAM's, and that doing so would be impossible with the number of flights he takes. Now I don't see the quote on this story, but I remember him saying something to the affect of there being a point where you're committed to landing, and that you need to follow through with that. I think he also said that point happened for him 5 miles out when he saw the X for the closed runway.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
Some responsibility? Would the standard of "some responsibility" be a legitimate answer to a captain enforcing all the FAR's? At what point does "some responsibility" get discharged with an MEL? With dealing with dispatch?

I'm not trying to mock your point, instead I'm trying to point out that the FAR's are, in many ways, bright line rules. The person is in the seat, or they are not. The item is MEL'd, or it's not. Does that make sense?
I'm not sure the MEL or dispatch parallel holds though. What does the wording on the MEL reg say - something to the effect of the aircraft cannot be flown with broke equipment unless blah, blah, blah....where the responsibility of the aircraft operator (crew, company, et al) is specific. As opposed to the seat belt rule, or as another example the requirement to obey all posted placards, or not smoke, lies primarily with the passenger. If a passenger decides to smoke, to what extent is the crew required to make them comply with the FAR? Can they use force? MUST they do what ever is necessary to make him comply? Back to the sick passenger example, if they're puking (or have diarrhea) is there really a requirement for the crew to put them in their seat anyway? Doesn't the crew responsibility end with doing their best to get them to comply, then when unable leave the enforcement/punishment up to the FAA after the fact?

Don't you especially have to go around at that point? The FA and a passenger are up, and if you're aware of it, I wouldn't be landing (personally).

Now if the person is in the back puking, yeah, that sucks for them, but they can puke in their seat.

You also have to assume there comes a point where the FA is unlocking the door themselves and going to get them eh?
I'm not 121, so in reading the OP I assumed that the FA was seated and just making an advisory phone call. Standing F/A is a different story as far as go-around versus land. Can the FA really "go get them"?
 
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