Issue Number 224
February 1998
A Monthly Safety Bulletin from The Office of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System
P.O. Box 189, Moffett Field, CA 94035-0189

"Cabin Crew Reports from 1997"

In 1997 ASRS introduced two new reporting forms, for maintenance and cabin crew personnel. This month we share some of the reports ASRS has received involving cabin crew. A disturbing number of these described serious incidents of passenger misconduct and abuse of crew members. Our first few report excerpts involve that seat of many passenger transgressions--the lavatory.

Booze and Blues

In the following incident, the passenger in question appeared to be fine during boarding, but trouble began after he awakened from a nap:

ASRS learned from a callback to several cabin crew members who reported this incident that a company report was filed about the disturbance. The FBI also investigated the incident, and a crew member pressed charges against the disruptive passenger.

Bodies Double

"Three Pints High" Title being Sprayed from Spray CanA flight crew reported that the discovery of hazardous materials ("hazmat") carried on board by a passenger caused them to do some soul-searching afterwards about their handling of the incident.

"Aerial and Ground Ice Capades"Ice can take its toll on aircraft on the ground and in the air, leading to less-than-satisfactory conclusions to planned flights. A Part 135 cargo pilot reports that a fast approach and a short, icy runway is not a good combination.

Another Part 135 cargo flight, this time in a corporate jet, encountered ice problems in-flight, and endured a much more costly incident. The Captain reports:Chilly Aircraft

Each aircraft type has its own icing characteristics, but most require the anti-ice equipment to be turned on before encountering icing. Ice that adheres to some unprotected sections of the aircraft may shed suddenly, as was apparently the case in this incident. Ice may also persist long after the aircraft has departed icing conditions.

Not Quite Enough...

Well before an aircraft leaves the ground, icing needs to be given serious consideration. An air carrier Captain tells how long delays for weather, resultant schedule pressure, a nighttime departure, and a possibly inadequately-trained ground crew combined to set the stage for a potential icing disaster--averted by two sharp-eyed passengers.

The First Officer's report concludes that standard procedure should include a visual inspection of the aircraft by a cockpit crew member after the deicing process. Although it is not a requirement, many pilots already follow this sage advice.

...And Way Too Much

A pilot reports that her small twin-engine aircraft was deiced prior to takeoff on a snowy IMC day, but that the deicing process created a whole new problem.

It was later determined that more than 76 gallons of deicing fluid had been used to deice the aircraft. The initial heater and radio problems were ignored because the aircraft had some history of electrical "glitches," but the reporter states that such glitches will not be ignored in the future.

ASRS Recently Issued Alerts On...
False localizer signal at a Central American airport
Failure of all three pitot-static systems on an MD-11
B757-200 hydraulic leak restricting wing flap movement
Armed passenger undetected by a Texas airport's gate security
FK10 fuel cross-feed problem due to circuit breaker malfunction
December 1997 Report Intake
 Air Carrier Pilots 2,017
 General Aviation Pilots 637
 Controllers 54
 Cabin/Mechanics/Military/Other 69
 TOTAL 2,777