Op-ed: Airlines Must Take the Seatbelt Sign More Seriously

1. Have there been any credible reports that the seat belt signs were on BEFORE the incident occurred ?
Not that i would describe as definitive.
Surely the CVR and FDR will be able to provide information on the status of the aircraft systems (incl cabin indicators ), pilot conversations and actions, once the investigation is underway
I‘m not sure that the FDR would record anything regarding the signs. CVR might catch something.
2. Not surprisingly, the media (and here)has in the main, concentrated on the speculative and negative aspects of the SQ flight. Wouldn't it be nice, for a change, to have some more positive reporting ?
Come on, you know that’s not how the media work.
Howabout the structural integrity of modern day aircraft to survive such an event?
I suspect that the g loadings were actually quite low. I’d guess in the region of .-5 to +2. Very likely that the aircraft didn’t even momentarily exceed the ’normal‘ limits, much less get anywhere near the structural ones. Normal (clean) limits would be -1 to +2.5.

The actions of the crew both up front and in the cabin ?
This will be the interesting bit.
 
This whole thing is a media beatup.

The particular route and location does at times suffer from a lot of turbulence. This is well known, and at this time of the year that particular location (intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is at high risk of turbulence.

I think that the media have gone crazy over this case because someone died. I don't recall the last time someone died due to turbulence.

I wasn't on board but agree that if the passengers were seated and wearing their seatbelts then serious injury would have been avoided. Those moving about the cabin would have been the only ones injured.
 
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I think that the media have gone crazy over this case because someone died. I don't recall the last time someone died due to turbulence.

I wasn't on board but agree that if the passengers were seated and wearing their seatbelts then serious injury would have been avoided. Those moving about the cabin would have been the only ones injured.
Perhaps the non seatbelt wearers were the majority of those injured.....the investigation report should be an interesting read !!!
 
I think it’s a bit more nuanced.


So I can understand airlines that think ‘granny shouldn’t be walking’ so we’ll put the sign on, but crew are entirely capable to do so.

Unfortunately the seatbelt sign is binary, there’s no ‘exercise caution’ setting.
I have thought about this a bit and can see the argument of trained people ie cabin crew being able to move about while the seatbelt sign is on at least for low-moderate turbulence. Qantas even do it on the ground if not in the air.

I just wonder.if SQ are.just buying some breathing space while they undertake a.more thorough review.
 
Maybe a little light above the seat that turns on when the seatbelt is not used (like the dashboard symbol in motor vehicles). Then even the crew will know who the problem children are. Mind you, you could just click it in and then sit on top it also.
I seem to remember these lights installed in Emirates J and also Etihad F.
 
Maybe a little light above the seat that turns on when the seatbelt is not used (like the dashboard symbol in motor vehicles). Then even the crew will know who the problem children are. Mind you, you could just click it in and then sit on top it also.
Like the lights on the QF J seats that say if they are in take off/landing/taxi position?
 
It’s a tough one when you are on a flight that the pilot seems to reacts to even the smallest tremor, after a while, justified or not, people just apply the ‘boy cried wolf’ sticker and get up and go to the bathroom…

I was on a SQ night flight and I stopped counting at 27, the times they interrupted said everyone sit down FAs included service suspended etc for a tiny bump….

Now I wasn’t in the coughpit I don’t know what they were / weren’t seeing and what reports they were getting in from wherever - but after about the 13th announcement people just started getting up anyway and the SQ FA’s aren’t the most assertive - did nothing to stop them…

I think the seatbelt sign remained on for about 60% of the flight.
 
The problem is that we are often in very close proximity to some quite nasty weather. The seat belt sign is on, not because it’s rough, but because the slightest misjudgement may give you a real thunderstorm encounter, with absolutely zero warning. But, we’re generally not subject to such errors, and so miss the weather by an inch or two, and your ride remains smooth. But, when you do get it wrong, you get exactly what happened with SQ. If SQ were telling the cabin crew to be seated, then it was probably down to half an inch.

The seat belt sign is in some ways a prediction. Not of what it is now, but of what it might become in the next few seconds.
 
The problem is that we are often in very close proximity to some quite nasty weather. The seat belt sign is on, not because it’s rough, but because the slightest misjudgement may give you a real thunderstorm encounter, with absolutely zero warning. But, we’re generally not subject to such errors, and so miss the weather by an inch or two, and your ride remains smooth. But, when you do get it wrong, you get exactly what happened with SQ. If SQ were telling the cabin crew to be seated, then it was probably down to half an inch.

The seat belt sign is in some ways a prediction. Not of what it is now, but of what it might become in the next few seconds.
It’s the new rule on SQ. Cabin crew must be seated at any time the sign is illuminated. And SQ turns that on at the slightest of bumps.

Compare to QF where it has to be quite noticeable before the captain decides to get everyone seated.

Per pauly7’s post… if the sign is on 10, or 15 times, how are you ever going to complete a meal service? Food will be over cooked, crew rest patterns will be severely interrupted, passengers will be sitting with tray tables set up, and empty dishes.
 
The problem is that we are often in very close proximity to some quite nasty weather. The seat belt sign is on, not because it’s rough, but because the slightest misjudgement may give you a real thunderstorm encounter, with absolutely zero warning. But, we’re generally not subject to such errors, and so miss the weather by an inch or two, and your ride remains smooth. But, when you do get it wrong, you get exactly what happened with SQ. If SQ were telling the cabin crew to be seated, then it was probably down to half an inch.

The seat belt sign is in some ways a prediction. Not of what it is now, but of what it might become in the next few seconds.

Exactly right - but passengers just don’t/wont accept this especially when the seatbelt sign is on for 6 hours of a 10 hour flight, regardless of how close it was or not, an inch or a mile….
 
Exactly right - but passengers just don’t/wont accept this especially when the seatbelt sign is on for 6 hours of a 10 hour flight, regardless of how close it was or not, an inch or a mile….
And it doesn’t explain why some airlines are much more “reasonable” while others tend to overdue it. Most passengers have flown with more than one carrier before so you can tell.

Flew QF over the Tasman yesterday and while we had been warned that it “might get a bit bumpy”, the seatbelt sign never went on. But quite bumpy it was indeed- plenty of other airlines would have seatbelted for at least half of the flight.
 
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Thanks to all for your contributions to this thread. Let me say upfront that I always have my seatbelt fastened tightly unless I'm on my way to/returning from the toilet, or accessing the overhead bin.

At first I put 100% of the blame on those not wearing their seatbelts. But I now have a developed different opinion. As I understand it from comments by @Mattg and others, SQ have a policy that cabin crew are permitted (required?) to continue service while the seat belt sign is on (only restriction being that they stop serving hot drinks?) and they walk around the cabin, etc. If that is correct (and I have no reason to doubt Matt and the others on this thread), then SQ is, IMHO, responsible for the injuries to the cabin crew. Are they not responsible for providing a safe workplace?

Furthermore, if the pax see the cabin crew walking around, continuing service, then perhaps they can be forgiven for thinking that "it can't be too serious". If they then leave their seatbelts unfastened, is not SQ at least partly responsible for creating/promoting/allowing this potentially dangerous situation to develop and continue?

Again, I always keep my seatbelt fastened. But I am beginning to see why some don't take it as seriously as they should; and SQ (and others) have, as a minimum, contributed to this situation.

Perhaps a class action for negligence is what is needed to ensure that airlines take a more responsible attitude to crew and pax wearing seatbelts? Unfortunately, it would also probably result in some airlines just leaving the seatbelt sign on for the entirety of all flights so that they may have some legal protection.
I too always keep my seatbelt on unless going to the loo or getting something from a bin. But a Cathay flight not too long ago made it very difficult to time my loo trips. A night flight, no actual experience of turbulence and the sign on for well over 5 hours while cabin crew were presumably having a quiet night(Could hear a bit of chat in the galley). In the end I just went when I felt I needed to; but I don't think it would have been entirely my fault if I did happen to get thrown around.
 
It’s the new rule on SQ. Cabin crew must be seated at any time the sign is illuminated. And SQ turns that on at the slightest of bumps.

Compare to QF where it has to be quite noticeable before the captain decides to get everyone seated.

Per pauly7’s post… if the sign is on 10, or 15 times, how are you ever going to complete a meal service? Food will be over cooked, crew rest patterns will be severely interrupted, passengers will be sitting with tray tables set up, and empty dishes.

SQ won't be able to manage meal services with this new requirement.
 
“You’ve got this all wrong. It’s my goddam right to do what I please. Seatbelts are just another way of governments to control us and I’m not going to allow them to do that. “

These are the sorts of comments you see on the comments in YouTube and twitbook when seatbelts are discussed.

There are a big number of physicsally challenged people out there.
This would be the FREEDUMB crowd…

QAnon says put your seatbelt on folks! And wear a mask when you’re sick. 😁
 
A hold far too close to Iranian air defence systems for my liking…
Well to be out on that side of Dubai, the flight would have come from London, so would have just flown over much of Iran. I was always more concerned about some of the ’friendly’ ships.
I guess there must have been sig wx OMDB.
Weather was why I posted the image. Basically surrounded by heavy rain, which is what the radar is showing. There’s also at least six other aircraft.
 

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