Two Virgin Australia cabin crew were injured after the Captain failed to follow cockpit protocols.
One of the crew sustained minor facial injuries, while the other broke her leg after being flung in the air.
The incident happened back in 2017 but the report of the Australian Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) was just recently released.
Virgin Australia Cabin Crew Injured
On September 13, 2017, the one-hour Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Adelaide went smoothly.
However, things took a sudden turn during descent.
The seat belt signs were still off giving the crew some time to finish preparing the cabin for landing.
However, the airspeed suddenly had a radical increase that made the Captain “abruptly” pull back on the controls despite having the First Officer manning the aircraft.
No verbal announcement of control takeover was mad by the Captain to the First Officer.
With this strong force, the autopilot disengaged – causing “sudden changes to the aircraft’s pitch attitude and vertical acceleration.”
ATSB director of transport safety, Dr. Stuart Godley said:
“Even though the autopilot was operating correctly, when the aircraft was approaching and exceeding the maximum operating speed, the captain’s perception was that the autopilot was not controlling the aircraft and that urgent intervention was necessary.”
However, Godley admitted that the Captain failed to follow the proper protocol of taking over aircraft control.
Perhaps the captain didn’t trust neither the autopilot nor the First Officer who was in control of the aircraft.
As a result of his impulsive reaction, two cabin crew who were at the AFT galley obtained injuries.
One of the crew suffered from minor facial injuries.
The other had it worse.
She was thrown into the air and broke her leg upon landing awkwardly on the floor.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, she had to wait in the galley floor for 90 minutes after landing before being transferred to a hospital.
She couldn’t sit on a wheelchair and a stretcher wouldn’t fit in the aisle.
The ground operations manager also didn’t allow the fire and ambulance personnel to use a catering truck at the rear doors to come and get her.
Eventually, she had to be placed on a plastic sheet and dragged down the aisle before being transferred onto a stretcher.
Because of this untoward incident, Virgin Australia implemented changes to its internal training to prevent similar situations from happening again.
Fortunately, all 151 passengers on board weren’t injured.
Poor cabin crew. I hope they are both fully recovered and well now.
I can’t imagine having a broken leg and still have to wait for more than an hour after landing just to be taken to the hospital.
I hope the captain comprehends how his failure to follow basic aircraft protocols caused anguish for his colleagues.
Photo Credit: leftseat