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Home > Air Travel > If we don?t hear any announcement from the pilot, are we okay?
If we don?t hear any announcement from the pilot, are we okay?
Flying - Air Travel
Tuesday, 04 October 2005 10:29
Dear Captain Lim,

I am a frequent flyer but turbulence always scares me to the point that I have to be prescribed Valium to calm my nerves.

What I want to know is; at what point during a flight would the pilot announce to the passengers that there is a problem with the plane (if there is one)?

I often fear that they and the cabin crew know something we don*t know and will wait till the last minute to avoid panicking the passengers.

If there is a problem, do we get told straightaway or do they keep this information to themselves? Basically, if we don*t hear anything from the pilot, are we okay?

Kind regards,

Catherine.

Hi Catherine,

Normally, pilots do in fact make timely announcements. They know passengers need their assurance that the plane is being flown safely. Yes, I have received quite a few emails from passengers complaining about lack of information from the cockpit. Most airlines continue to remind their cockpit crew to provide timely information on the status of any delays or safety of their planes.

However, it must be remembered that announcement would not be made during a period when the pilots are involved with high workload activities. So, if you feel something is wrong and the pilots aren*t speaking to you all on the PA immediately, it should not be misconstrued that the silence is a concealment of some imminent danger. The pilots are busy. Safety must come first!

It is only after the plane has been safely secured before the cockpit crew keep the passengers informed. Besides keeping the passengers updated, they also have to notify the air traffic control and the company flight operations of any emergencies. Of course, if there were a serious problem, passengers would be informed as soon as possible as their cooperation is necessary - for example, an evacuation after a crash landing would require some briefing and preparation. Otherwise, if you don*t hear anything from the pilot, I would assume that everything is okay. (Personally, I would keep my passengers informed for any reason even though safety is not a concern)

Remember, a moderate or severe turbulence is generally not an emergency and does not require a lengthy announcement except "Please fasten your seat belts...!" However, to some first time travelers, a brief explanation of CAT (clear air turbulence) or wind shear by the captain is a good assurance for them. While some carriers with well-trained crew are good at meeting this expectation, some are not.

I wish you a safe and pleasant flight! :-)

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