CRM: cabin resource managment??

FL000

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Here's an interesting conundrum, one that I hadn't considered before. Your aiplane burps, but you deem it safe to continue the flight. However, your passengers vote for a return to the departure field. What do you do?

Personally, I think there are a lot of factors involved, like distance of the flight and passenger demeanor, to name two. There obviously isn't a correct answer to this, but the following story got me to thinkin'...

Italian Plane Passengers See Flames, Vote to Land

MILAN (Reuters) - Terrified Italian holidaymakers forced the pilot of a chartered plane to turn back and land after seeing flames shoot out of an engine during takeoff, airport officials said on Monday.

The pilot of the Yesair jet, which left Milan's Malpensa airport on Sunday bound for Cuba, told the 250 passengers that the aircraft was safe, but his reassurances failed to calm nerves and he decided to put the issue to a vote.

The holidaymakers elected overwhelmingly to abort the 5,000-mile journey and return to Milan.

"I saw flames, it was incredible. It looked like the whole engine was about to go up," one unnamed passenger told state television news.

But the chief executive of Portugal's Yesair company denied that flames had come out of the jet and said the plane had suffered a simple engine stall.

"There were no flames. The passengers may have seen smoke, which is normal in these cases," Jorge Abrantes told Reuters from Lisbon.

"The plane proceeded normally on its route and was already at cruising speed at a height of 28,000 feet when it was decided by consensus, due to the passengers' concern...to return to Malpensa," he added.

"There was not even an emergency call. The plane landed, disembarked the passengers and returned to Lisbon," he said.

The holidaymakers finally flew out of Milan on Monday on a different plane
 

skydiverdriver

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Our operation's manual actually says that you should never take a vote to decide on what to do. It makes it look like your not in command, and governing by consensus is never a good thing.
 

FL000

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I absolutely agree with that, but in this case you're looking at a 10 hour flight with passengers that are freaking out (??). Is it safer to continue or turn back? What if someone has a heart attack? Like I said, so many factors...
 

mar

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The cockpit is *not* a democracy, but...

I agree on the point that there is one person in charge of a flight (or should be) but a lot of pilots forget where they stand in the realm of customer service.

I read the posts and didn't understand what type of airplane this was but it sounds like a modern turbo-jet.

I can live with some smoke during start-up--maybe even a brief flame--but this apparently happened during take-off. I can understand the passenger's reluctance.

My concerns as captain are (in this order): Safety, Legality and Comfort for the passengers.

Comfort may be my last concern but it's still in the top three.

Obviously this flight returned with the consent of company dispatch. Hopefully nobody will suffer retributions for keeping in mind where we stand in the customer service equation.

Fly safe
 
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