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Old 10-18-2012, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
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Flyover Mission: Passing Air Canada Flight Helps Rescue Stranded Australian Yacht | NewsFeed | TIME.com

Air Canada diverts flight to try to find boat lost at sea.
Do US pilots have the ability to make such decisions on their own?
Would the parent company allow/encourage them to do this?

I think people like Canadians so much because this is an example of their spirit.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:40 PM
 
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Nice story. Thanks guys..
Is there some reason an American passenger jet wouldnt render similar assistance if called upon to do so?
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:46 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
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Well, not sure... maybe some lawsuit happy passengers would sue the airline for arriving to late ?
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:42 PM
 
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There is a discussion about this on the Aviation forum and an American pilot already replied that yes American jets are called upon to do this from time to time.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Well, not sure... maybe some lawsuit happy passengers would sue the airline for arriving to late ?
You can't sue for showing up late to your destination. Of course, the lateness might be held against the airline in their on time stats, though. What I find sad is that anyone would assume that Americans wouldn't help in this situation. I guess other countries have a corner on kindness?
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:57 PM
 
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Seriously, lets think logically here before we even answer this question. If I'm flying an airliner, how on earth would I be able to aid a Yacht? Jets arent designed for water. In general, cross ocean flights are IFR. We have limited connectivity to remote stations. And we simply dont have that type of luxury in fuel.

This has nothing to do with willingness. The ONLY aid we can offer is relaying an SOS signal. Meaning, if we see an SOS or distress signal from the sky, we relay the coordinates to a nearby station. Thats it. This isnt Family Robinson or Giligan's Island.

Jesus christ, is this really a question?
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicant310 View Post
Seriously, lets think logically here before we even answer this question. If I'm flying an airliner, how on earth would I be able to aid a Yacht? Jets arent designed for water. In general, cross ocean flights are IFR. We have limited connectivity to remote stations. And we simply dont have that type of luxury in fuel.

This has nothing to do with willingness. The ONLY aid we can offer is relaying an SOS signal. Meaning, if we see an SOS or distress signal from the sky, we relay the coordinates to a nearby station. Thats it. This isnt Family Robinson or Giligan's Island.

Jesus christ, is this really a question?
Did you even read this article?

FTFA:

The pilots aboard Flight 33 decided that they had enough fuel to assist in the search, enlisting the help of crew and passengers to search for the origin of the distress call.

Read more: Flyover Mission: Passing Air Canada Flight Helps Rescue Stranded Australian Yacht | NewsFeed | TIME.com

So it would seem they did have enough fuel and the "only" aid they provided was radioing back the position.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:13 AM
 
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Yes, of course, a US jet might have been called on and responded just as the Air Canada and Air New Zealand ones did. For that matter, and Air Italia jet or any other could have been asked to help had they been in the vicinity. It's not that the pilot discovered independently that someone was stranded and decided on his own to do a search - they were enlisted to help and determined that they were able to do so. Since an Air New Zealand flight was nearby, they were asked to help also, and their paths would have been coordinated to avoid collision. Commercial pilots don't just veer off course on their own without telling anyone - if they do, there's major concern and consequences.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:10 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
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Few thing to keep in mind. The boat had a 406mhz ELT That put out the GPS Long/Lat so Search & rescue know about where to look. But as they are mobilizing the SAR crews, SAR would like to know if there is infact a boat in trouble or did the ELT fall over board.

ATC would be able to give the Long/Lat to the pilots and they can put them into there Flight Computer. On a flight like that I would guess they landed with several hours of fuel left, the Air New Zealand flight that did the confirmation probably had less 'extra' fuel, but still more then enough.


The Captain would have done the how much fuel would this burn calculation before s/he said yes to ATC that he would look. There was time to get from FL41 to 6-8000 feet so the Jets had to some distance off when they asked.

SAR also requested a nearby container ship to assist, The Container ship sat next to the boat to block the waves from hitting the boat, until SAR crew could arrive and move the captain off the stricken boat.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,507,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
You can't sue for showing up late to your destination. Of course, the lateness might be held against the airline in their on time stats, though. What I find sad is that anyone would assume that Americans wouldn't help in this situation. I guess other countries have a corner on kindness?
No, it's just that the bottom line is sometimes the ONLY consideration of US companies and airlines are complaining that they are hurting, so . . .

I am sure there are bean counters who evaluate the losses if they search for the guy unsuccessfully against the gains in publicity if they find him. It's the nature of business. Before a car recall is made an evaluation is done weighing the cost of all the probable deaths against the cost of retooling the factory to make safer cars.

Last edited by goldengrain; 10-21-2012 at 04:54 PM..
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