|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0001 To 0600|
|Locale Reference||airport : cyvr.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||A319|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||ground : parked|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||non adherence : company policies|
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
Cabin Crew Human Performance
|Airport||other physical facility|
Violation of minimum flight attendant staffing. Due to vancouver security breach and associated delays, the flight attendants were projected to exceed maximum contractual duty limits en route to san francisco. They agreed to conditionally waive this limit. Boarding went much slower than anticipated, as some passenger were only now able to check in at the front counter. With the added delay becoming rather extensive the purser advised me 1 flight attendant would be unwilling to continue to san francisco if the delay persisted more than 4 more mins. Moments later the purser and 2 station representatives leaned into the cockpit to tell me a flight attendant deplaned! (At that time the contractual duty limit would not be reached for another 45-60 mins.) I asked the purser if she knew where he was and a station supervisor interrupted with 'he left, he's gone.' I then directed the supervisor to 'immediately' deplane the passenger, as FARS require 3 flight attendants to permit passenger on the aircraft. I repeated this direction and regulatory limit to the station manager. Without any justification offered, nor a request for me to reconsider, the station did not comply. I elected not to announce deplaning myself since, absent station cooperation at a customs regulated gate, the passenger could be driven into a hallway of locked doors. With over 100 passenger at that time I believed this was a less safe alternative. So we sat in intentional disregard of the far for about 15 mins until a station supervisor told me they knew where the flight attendant was. I asked him to tell the flight attendant 'the captain says to get back on the aircraft right now!' the flight attendant complied and boarding was completed. None of the original flight attendants believed they could safely continue to san francisco. So the cabin was recrewed with flight attendants from an inbound flight. Other than the refusal to comply with my direction to deplane the aircraft, all vancouver station personnel were extremely cooperative in every respect through numerous difficult challenges to the operation. As for the flight attendants, I fully support their evaluate that they could not safely continue to san francisco after far more delay than anticipated when they waived the contractual duty limit. However, the unilateral action of one to abandon his post can only be justified if his continued presence posed a hazard to himself, the aircraft or its occupants. I was unwilling to discuss the matter in front of others so I have no idea what he was thinking.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PAX ARE ON BOARD AN ACFT AT THE GATE WITHOUT THE REQUIRED COMPLEMENT OF CABIN STAFF. CREW FATIGUE, DUTY LIMITS, STATION STAFF UNDERSTANDING OF THE REGS AND THE SAFETY HAZARDS OF INTL TERMINAL DESIGN ARE FACTORS IN THE INCIDENT.
Narrative: VIOLATION OF MINIMUM FLT ATTENDANT STAFFING. DUE TO VANCOUVER SECURITY BREACH AND ASSOCIATED DELAYS, THE FLT ATTENDANTS WERE PROJECTED TO EXCEED MAX CONTRACTUAL DUTY LIMITS ENRTE TO SAN FRANCISCO. THEY AGREED TO CONDITIONALLY WAIVE THIS LIMIT. BOARDING WENT MUCH SLOWER THAN ANTICIPATED, AS SOME PAX WERE ONLY NOW ABLE TO CHK IN AT THE FRONT COUNTER. WITH THE ADDED DELAY BECOMING RATHER EXTENSIVE THE PURSER ADVISED ME 1 FLT ATTENDANT WOULD BE UNWILLING TO CONTINUE TO SAN FRANCISCO IF THE DELAY PERSISTED MORE THAN 4 MORE MINS. MOMENTS LATER THE PURSER AND 2 STATION REPRESENTATIVES LEANED INTO THE COCKPIT TO TELL ME A FLT ATTENDANT DEPLANED! (AT THAT TIME THE CONTRACTUAL DUTY LIMIT WOULD NOT BE REACHED FOR ANOTHER 45-60 MINS.) I ASKED THE PURSER IF SHE KNEW WHERE HE WAS AND A STATION SUPVR INTERRUPTED WITH 'HE LEFT, HE'S GONE.' I THEN DIRECTED THE SUPVR TO 'IMMEDIATELY' DEPLANE THE PAX, AS FARS REQUIRE 3 FLT ATTENDANTS TO PERMIT PAX ON THE ACFT. I REPEATED THIS DIRECTION AND REGULATORY LIMIT TO THE STATION MGR. WITHOUT ANY JUSTIFICATION OFFERED, NOR A REQUEST FOR ME TO RECONSIDER, THE STATION DID NOT COMPLY. I ELECTED NOT TO ANNOUNCE DEPLANING MYSELF SINCE, ABSENT STATION COOPERATION AT A CUSTOMS REGULATED GATE, THE PAX COULD BE DRIVEN INTO A HALLWAY OF LOCKED DOORS. WITH OVER 100 PAX AT THAT TIME I BELIEVED THIS WAS A LESS SAFE ALTERNATIVE. SO WE SAT IN INTENTIONAL DISREGARD OF THE FAR FOR ABOUT 15 MINS UNTIL A STATION SUPVR TOLD ME THEY KNEW WHERE THE FLT ATTENDANT WAS. I ASKED HIM TO TELL THE FLT ATTENDANT 'THE CAPT SAYS TO GET BACK ON THE ACFT RIGHT NOW!' THE FLT ATTENDANT COMPLIED AND BOARDING WAS COMPLETED. NONE OF THE ORIGINAL FLT ATTENDANTS BELIEVED THEY COULD SAFELY CONTINUE TO SAN FRANCISCO. SO THE CABIN WAS RECREWED WITH FLT ATTENDANTS FROM AN INBOUND FLT. OTHER THAN THE REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH MY DIRECTION TO DEPLANE THE ACFT, ALL VANCOUVER STATION PERSONNEL WERE EXTREMELY COOPERATIVE IN EVERY RESPECT THROUGH NUMEROUS DIFFICULT CHALLENGES TO THE OP. AS FOR THE FLT ATTENDANTS, I FULLY SUPPORT THEIR EVAL THAT THEY COULD NOT SAFELY CONTINUE TO SAN FRANCISCO AFTER FAR MORE DELAY THAN ANTICIPATED WHEN THEY WAIVED THE CONTRACTUAL DUTY LIMIT. HOWEVER, THE UNILATERAL ACTION OF ONE TO ABANDON HIS POST CAN ONLY BE JUSTIFIED IF HIS CONTINUED PRESENCE POSED A HAZARD TO HIMSELF, THE ACFT OR ITS OCCUPANTS. I WAS UNWILLING TO DISCUSS THE MATTER IN FRONT OF OTHERS SO I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS THINKING.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.