By all accounts the flight crew of Asian flight 214 did some pretty heroic things to save passengers lives after the plane crashed while landing at the San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
The 12 person crew, made up of 11 women and 1 man between the ages of 21 and 42 years of age used every tool at their disposal and then some.
According to accounts from those present, they used knives to cut seat belts that were not budging, axes to free two colleagues trapped by malfunctioning slides, fought flames, and brought out frightened children.
Half of the crew was injured and three flight attendants were ejected from the aircraft while still strapped to their seats. Those who were not injured, displayed heroic actions required in the evacuation of 300 passengers.
“I wasn’t really thinking, but my body started carrying out the steps needed for an evacuation,” Asiana head of the flight crew Lee Yoon-hye, 40, said during a news conference Sunday night before federal safety investigators instructed the airlines not to let the crew discuss the accident. “I was only thinking about rescuing the next passenger.”
This has brought to attention that flight attendants are there for so much more than smiling while bringing you coffee or juice during a flight.
Although, Asiana is not discussing the training level of their employees at the request of the NTSB, it is obvious that the crew of flight 214 knew what to do under the circumstances.
“In the face of tremendous adversity and obstacles, they did their job and evacuated an entire wide-bodied aircraft in a very short period of time,” said Veda Shook, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants and an Alaska Airlines flight attendant.
Flight attendants are not only trained in first aid and firefighting skills, but every year they must practice the moves needed to get passengers off a plane in 90 seconds or less, Shook said.
Flight crews go through timed trials, practicing skills that include shouting over pandemonium and engine noise, communicating with people frozen in fear and opening jammed doors and windows, she said. The goal is to make performing these tasks automatic.
These skills seemed to have been put in place during the chaos that followed the crash landing of flight 214, even when the order of evacuation was delayed by 90 seconds.
What do you think of the actions from the crew of Asiana flight 214?