PUSHBACK WITH PASSENGERS STANDING
CHIRP Report Text: We were boarding a really busy flight. People were standing in the aisle as they were struggling to find space to put their bags in the lockers when the dispatcher decided to close the aircraft door. The Captain then pushed back with people still standing and bags in the aisle.
Lessons Learned - They should wait until everybody is seated and the bags safely put away. We shouldn't put punctuality ahead of safety. In the event of an evacuation all those bags in the aisle are a hazard.
CHIRP Comment: The CAA issued Safety Notice SN2011/05 in June 2011 due to an increasing number of reports on excess cabin baggage and its storage in non-approved stowages. The purpose of the notice was to remind operators of the need to ensure that baggage was secured safely in a manner which did not endanger aircraft safety.
The decision to pushback could have been made because the flight crew were unaware of the situation in the cabin. Proactive communication between the cabin crew, flight crew and ground staff is essential in managing situations with excess cabin baggage. Cabin crew should refer to their Operations Manual for the specific company procedure.
However the SCCM, if at all possible, should not permit the aircraft door(s) to be closed until they are satisfied that cabin baggage has been stowed and that they are content with the safety of the situation within the cabin, with all passengers seated.
They need to relay the problems with cabin baggage to the flight crew and confirm that the doors should not be closed until rectified. If, for any reason, the doors are closed without the SCCM’s agreement, the Captain should be advised that passengers are still standing, some cabin baggage needs to be stowed and request that pushback is not started until these issues are resolved.
The ground staff will be aware of how busy the flight is and they should be keeping track of what the passengers are carrying onto the aircraft and whether it is too large to stow in the cabin.
Once boarding has been completed, it would be beneficial to advise the ground staff that the baggage has been too large or hard to stow as a reminder that it needs to be checked before the passengers board the aircraft.
Reporting these types of concerns to the CAA and the operator is very important so that the operator can keep track of incidents and investigate why they have happened.
If they are not reported, they will be unaware of the issues faced on a daily basis.
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476