Hey airline travelers, do your fellow humans a favour this holiday season (and any other time for that matter) by staying in your seats when the pilot, who's paid to do more than just sound professional on the intercomm, keeps that little overhead seatbelt fastened light illuminated.
To ignore the cute little lighted cartoon is to maybe suffer the fate of a plane load of passengers trying to get to Frankfurt out of Philadelphia on the night of 19 October. The US NTSB pubished its initial report on incident on 20 December.
US Airways Flight 702, a Boeing 767-2B7 (N253AY) was climbing through 22,600ft toward its cruise altitude that night when the aircraft came upon a few minutes of unexpected moderate turbulence.
The captain had announced when passing through 10,000ft that passengers could use their portable electronics, but he did not, according to pilots and flight attendants, say "feel free to move about the cabin". In fact, the seatbelt sign had remained lit.
Despite the warnings, as we all have seen too many times, at least one passenger got up to use the lavs and learn a hard lesson in physics. She broke her ankle quite badly in the turbulence.
Injuries to time and money for other passengers and the airline then followed.
The pilots and flight attendants reported the situation to virtual physicans at Medlink, through company dispatch. A physician who happened to be on board also helped.
The consensus: Back to Philadelphia.
The pilot declared an emergency and returned to the airport to land overweight at 26,400lb, which led to a sink rate of 280fpm, which apparently is high.
The passenger was cared for by medical personnel at the airport.
Meanwhile, the two pilots, one international relief pilot and the flight attendant who cared for the injured passenger had to fill out a gob of paperwork while the aircraft had to receive an overweight landing inspection.
And then there were 200+ other passengers who didn't get to Frankfurt that night/morning.
Attached below are the reports the crew had to fill out. Makes for some good perusing.
So this holiday season, please show goodwill toward men by sitting your butt in your seat when the fasten seatbelt light is on! (please?)All the More Reason to Pay Attention to Seat Signs