Avianca Airlines flight 52 crashed in Cove Neck, Long Island,, New York in January 25, 1990. The flight was bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport when it left Bogota, Colombia. The airplane ran out of fuel after waiting for more than hour to be cleared for landing. The crash killed 73 of the 158 people on board the plane. This could have been a smaller number if only the flight crew have advised the flight attendants of their situation. The flight attendants, in turn, could have warned the passengers of the emergency that could have saved their lives if only they were able to brace themselves.
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The flight crew had more than enough time to at least advise the flight attendants of their low on fuel situation. They were on hold around the JFK for more than an hour. Sometimes pilots tend to be complacent in their jobs, especially experienced pilots who think everything is just routine. They might have broken the sterile cockpit rule under 10,000 feet, which means they should not have been talking about anything that is not relevant to the flight. In a sense it was also the Air Traffic Control’s fault because they put the flight on a very long hold.
Out of boredom, the flight crew might have chitchatted while waiting to be cleared for landing, thus, forgetting to advise the flight attendants of their situation. When they failed in their approach the flight crew was on scramble mode, trying to figure out how they would get out of their predicament. This confusion resulted into the failure to warn the flight attendants and passengers that they would do a crash landing. The passengers oblivious, they didn’t put their body on the brace position and passengers with infants didn’t have enough time to protect their children, resulting into more fatalities.
If only the flight crew have advised the flight attendants of their low fuel state, the flight attendants could have asked the passengers to prepare for an emergency landing even if the flight crew did not notify them. Flight attendants should know if something is wrong, by the time it was obvious for them and the passengers that they were in trouble, it was too late. There could have been more survivors.See More on Organization, School