Head Down....or...chillout
October 5, 2010 7:38 PM   Subscribe

Emergency Landing What's it like when your aircraft is making an emergency landing? A bit disturbing to say the least. CNN suggests that, instead of the proscribed chant that the Attendants yell, Ze might have a better idea. (previously)
posted by HuronBob (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
When I saw this on YT originally, I did think it was kind of annoying and alarming (the screaming attendant, I mean). I know they're required to repeat this "chant" repeatedly, but you can do it with force and be calm and not shrill like her. Not that I would necessarily do any better in the situation and not that I've been in the situation myself, so I can't truly judge her for it. But I do think they could find a better way to get the message across.
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:46 PM on October 5, 2010

if a mod could change that to "prescribed", I would look less like an illiterate.
posted by HuronBob at 7:47 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ok, I didn't die this time. I've got a few recommendations on how you can make it more pleasant next time.

Is this really the state of CNN and other "news networks" these days?
posted by mollweide at 7:54 PM on October 5, 2010

Idiots. I've pulled dying and burnt bodies from flaming wrecks. It's neither funny nor worth sharing. Morons like that those dipsticks thinking that these events are some kind of spectacle are disgusting. Put your sharp metal toys away, prepare to assist when needed, and get the fuck out of the way.

Bread and circuses indeed.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:56 PM on October 5, 2010 [4 favorites]

Is this really the state of CNN and other "news networks" these days?

90 minutes of commercial-free, uninterrupted coverage when Anna Nicole Smith died. That is all you ever need to know about cable news networks. I know a lot of very smart people who nevertheless watch them regularly, and I've never been able to understand it.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:29 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

But I do think they could find a better way to get the message across.

Any way would be better than listening to that voice as I'm shuffling off. Regardless of that, flying cattle rarely listen to any form of instruction, no matter how many goddamn times it's repeated to them.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:30 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Odd, I'd already seen the video and so the first thing I clicked on was the zefrank link. Coming back from happy-and-charmed-and-uplifted land to read these comments was rather jarring. That's not a criticism of the thread . . . just kind of a revelation for me on the kinds of language associated with different states of consciousness (anxious/terrified vs calming/warm-fuzzies) and how the kinds of words and phrases associated with those states carry emotional payloads.
posted by treepour at 8:40 PM on October 5, 2010

What's it like when your aircraft is making an emergency landing?
  • pitch for best glide airspeed
  • locate emergency landing spot (preferably an airport)
  • attempt engine restart
  • set transponder to squawk 7800
  • call "Mayday Mayday Mayday" on appropriate frequency (121.5 if not talking to ATC)
  • deploy landing gear unless ditching in water
  • touch down at minimum controllable airspeed
  • exit aircraft and locate change of underwear
posted by exogenous at 8:48 PM on October 5, 2010 [6 favorites]

exogenous: Add between each bullet

posted by Long Way To Go at 8:52 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

I would add "pray that someone as professional and skilled as Sully is your pilot."
posted by zoogleplex at 9:00 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Indeed, as opposed to the incompetent crew of Colgan 3407.
posted by exogenous at 9:03 PM on October 5, 2010

Whoa. I knew Ze Frank was one of the internet's greatest treasures, but I didn't know that he was also the Eels.
posted by No-sword at 9:14 PM on October 5, 2010

set transponder to squawk 7800

um, 7700.
posted by pjern at 9:34 PM on October 5, 2010

Because the word "proscribed" was in the original post, I wondered if she were yelling "OH FUCK SHIT GODDAMN HELL GOD WHY WHY WHY?" So to find a simple safety instruction was an improvement.
posted by dhartung at 11:28 PM on October 5, 2010

um, 7700.

Yeah, and, uh, use the checklist!
posted by exogenous at 4:47 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Because the word "proscribed" was in the original post, I wondered if she were yelling "OH FUCK SHIT GODDAMN HELL GOD WHY WHY WHY?"

That's only if Jack Rebney is the flight attendant.
posted by biscotti at 5:18 AM on October 6, 2010

Regardless of the media outlet that produced this clip, I found it interesting. I have a weird interest in all things airline-related. Thanks for sharing, OP.
posted by sundrop at 6:06 AM on October 6, 2010

I note that bending over to grab your ankles has been superseded by "lean forehead against the personal video screen in the seatback in front of you."
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:27 AM on October 6, 2010

This only reinforces my long-standing conviction that watching television makes people stupid.
posted by warbaby at 8:07 AM on October 6, 2010

"Heads down! Stay down! ...And kill that fucking saccharine shit ZeFrank music so I don't have to rip my own ears off!"
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:19 PM on October 6, 2010

I was on a plane that made an emergency landing on September 10, 2001. Somewhere around 10 minutes after taking off, at around 10,000 feet I'd guess, there was an explosion in one of the rear engines. I was about three rows up from the back of the plane on the left side. I looked behind me and out the window on the right side, and smoke was pouring out of the engine. Instead of going up, up, up, we started going down, down, down.

Aside from the sound of the explosion, the only noise in the plane was a brief, involuntary scream from the woman sitting next to the window just in front of that engine. After that, the plane was absolutely silent. No one screamed. No one talked. We all looked at each other and tightened our seat belts, but there was no commotion. There was silent waiting, and that's it.

We eventually leveled off and began back towards DFW. The pilot did not make an announcement. The flight attendants did not make any announcements. We were obviously headed back towards the airport, but they did not tell us what was going on.

I learned afterwards, after doing my own research, that on that type of plane (can't remember the model, now), they let fuel out by venting it off the wings. They couldn't do that in this case because a) we were still over the Metroplex, and it was too populated of an area to receive a shower of jet fuel, and b) they knew the engine wasn't actively on fire, but didn't know whether whatever happened would have led to conditions that would ignite jet fuel. So instead of dumping fuel and landing the plane, we circled for about 15 minutes while they shut down the far half of DFW so that we could land without blowing the rest of the airport up.

All that time, there were no announcements from the cockpit or from the flight attendants, and there was still smoke coming from the rear engine.

As we approached DFW, we could see fire trucks and ambulances, lights flashing, waiting near the runway. Still no announcements. Did they expect us to burst into flames on touch-down? Was it precautionary? We had no idea. I'm sure everyone on that plane was asking themselves the same questions. But it was still silent. No one asked them out loud.

Just before the landing gear met the runway, the pilot came on the PA and said "Hold on." That's it. Those were the first words from anyone. And by god, we did need to hold on.

Planes aren't supposed to land heavy. If they make it to their destination, they've burned off enough fuel to be substantially lighter. That's why planes that have to land right after take off want to dump as much fuel as possible before touching down. And let me tell you, I now know from having experienced it how difficult it is to stop a heavy plane. Talk about momentum and g forces and all that other stuff I've heard about but only vaguely remember from high school physics. Being in that plane while they tried to bring it to a stop hurt. I woke up the next morning with actual whiplash.

In any case, as soon as we came to a stop, we were surrounded by those fire trucks and ambulances. Men in heat-proof mylar suits climbed onto the plane and inspected it. After some 20 minutes or more of sitting there -- with still no updates from the cockpit or the flight attendants -- we taxied to the gate.

At that point, the pilot came on and said "Sorry about the delay, folks, but we're going to have to find another plane to get you home tonight." That's all the information we got from him.

My point is that the chant, in that case, would have been welcome. Any information would have been. Circling DFW for 15 minutes after hearing one of your engines explode and wondering if you're riding in a soon-to-be bomb makes you crave any information at all.

And waking up the next morning and seeing the news about the WTC makes you realize that things could always be much, much worse.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:54 PM on October 6, 2010 [5 favorites]

Really? People bitch about a scared to death flight attendant's chant? Really? How about the professionalism of the crew? Thank goodness pilots and flight attendants do what they're trained to do in an emergency and take care of we passengers.

There are a lot more close calls than we'll ever know about. Once, on a FLL to LAX flight we encountered the WORST turbulance I've ever been in. The lady in the seat next to me held my hand. There was a lady in the back of the plane who shrieked "Dios Mio!" over and over (how's THAT for a chant.)

Once we were leveled off and not dropping thousands of feet with every jolt, the captain explained the turbulance, showed us the cloud formations that were the indicators of that type of turbuland and then admitted that HE had never been in such terrible turbulance. Naturally I think we all paid for a cocktail in coach that day.

I fly a lot and with the hassle that it's become, it's easy to forget that those people in the uniforms aren't flying waiters and waitresses, they're there for our safety.

So chant away nameless flight attendant and I'll keep my head down!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:22 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

what an intense story!
posted by electroniccigarettes at 1:36 PM on October 6, 2010

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