Attendant Safety, Health and Security Committee
IN THE EVENT OF AN AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT
For assistance, contact any member of your Local Reserve Committee. You can find a list of Committee Members on your Local Council Committees page. For your convenience, a list of Committee Chairs and links to the Local Committee lists are below.
The chances of your being involved in an aircraft accident or serious incident is statistically very low. Nevertheless, if you are involved in an accident, you could be subject to government enforcement action and/or disciplinary action by your employer. AFA-CWA can help you protect your personal interests. Here are some guidelines to assist you.
If you are involved in an Aircraft Accident, please notify AFA-CWA. As soon as you are assured that the immediate needs of your passengers and fellow crew members are being met, contact any AFA-CWA representative immediately. If you are unable to contact your local AFA-CWA representatives, call the International AFA-CWA Toll-Free at 800-424-2401 and Press 9 – there is about a 10-15 second pause, please wait during that time while you are connected to AFA’s emergency contact. The sooner you notify AFA-CWA, the better we can support you. Be prepared to relay the following information:
- Your name and employee number
- Airline involved
- Accident location
- Aircraft type
- Number of injuries and/or fatalities
- General description of accident
- Names of crew members and extent of injuries
- Phone contact at current location
- It is in your best interest to contact an AFA-CWA representative.
- Know your rights to representation. (see below)
- Prepare all written statements with the help of AFA-CWA. The statement should include only what you actually saw, heard, or did during the accident. Avoid speculating about what happened and what others did. Always tell the truth.
- If the company or a government representative presses you to make a statement before and AFA-CWA representative is present, refer to your representational rights below. If you are forced to make a statement, use the sample statement provided below.
- Never talk to the press
- Stay with your crew. If possible, coordinate travel away from the accident area.
- Your first reaction may be to say, “I’m okay.” However, consider and advocate for not just your physical needs but also your emotional needs.
- Contact your family, but do not invite them to the accident area.
- If possible, make copies of all documents related to the flight and/or statements.
Right to Representation
As a member in good standing of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, you are entitled to the services of all Departments of the organization. In the event of a major aircraft accident or evacuation you are entitled to representation. Following any such event, members should consult with an AFA-CWA representative before making statements to anyone, including the news media. You may make the following declaration:
“Before making a statement or report, I wish to consult with a representative from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.”
Flight Attendants have the right to representation and every effort should be made to advise the Flight Attendant of that right prior to the investigation.
Any person interviewed by an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) during the investigation, regardless of the form of the interview (sworn, unsworn, transcribed, not transcribed, etc.), has the right to accompanied, represented, or advised by an attorney or non-attorney representative.
Once the Flight Attendant(s) have received medical attention and are emotionally ready, it can be expected that written statements as well as interviews will be requested by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), management at the carrier and/or local law enforcement.
Prepare all written statements with the help of an AFA-CWA representative. Remember: A quick written statement may be taken out of context and used against you in the future.
If you are compelled or forced to make a statement, you may write out the generic statement below and use it as your statement.
I, __________ (name), an employed as a flight attendant by _________ (airline name). I am based at ________(location). I served as the ___________(state position, i.e. A, Lead, etc.) flight attendant on Flight # ______ (number), scheduled from _____(departure city) to _________(arrival city) on _________(date). The aircraft was a _______(type i.e. A320), tail number _______(list if known).
During ________(phase of flight), ________(factually describe incident, i.e. “a fire erupted in the lavatory.”) We made an emergency landing at __________(airport) and evacuated the aircraft. (You may state some simple facts such as, “we used all available doors,” or “we used all available doors except the forward entry door because the slide failed to inflate.”)
Im not in a position to provide further specific factual information at this time. I will fully cooperate in any investigation regarding this situation and will provide further facts relating to this incident as soon as I’m able.
(Signature and date)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS)
ASRS is an important system that allows employees to report when they are involved or observe an actual or potential hazard to aviation safety. ASRS offers reporters limited immunity from the FAA and guarantees confidentiality. A NASA ASRS report must be filed within 10 days of the incident and should be sent by registered mail. ASRS will send you back the identity strip as a receipt that you submitted a report. The burden of proof that you filed an ASRS report rests on you. Do not give this identity strip to anyone!!! Once the ASRS de-identifies a report, not even NASA ASRS can provide you with a copy. You can file an electronic or paper report at: http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov.
Post Accident Alcohol and Drug testing
If your performance either contributed to an accident or cannot be completely discounted as a contributing factor, your company can administer an alcohol test up to eight hours and/or a urine drug test up to 32 hours after the accident. Be readily available for such testing. If the alcohol test is not administered within eight hours, the employer shall cease attempts to administer an alcohol test and shall prepare and maintain a record stating the reasons the test was not administered. FARs Part 121 Appendix I & J
Further, FAR 91.17 states that a crew member must submit to alcohol testing when requested by a law enforcement officer authorized by the state or local law to conduct the test. The FAA may request the results of such tests.
Violation of both of these rules may lead to discipline, termination, or being permanently barred from working as a flight attendant.
Post Accident EAP Assistance
It is common, and even normal, for people to experience “emotional after shocks” when they have been involved in or impacted by a serious event such as an accident. AFA-CWA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is trained to assist victims. Remember that EAP assistance is available to you throughout the investigation as well as, anytime afterwards – just ask your EAP Representative or call AFA-CWA EAP at800-424-2406 for help.
In the Event of an Accident
Points to Remember
Right to Representation:
Flight Attendants have a right to AFA-CWA representation at debriefings, NOIs, other company meetings and at NTSB interviews. Be sure to call AFA-CWA for your own protection! If you are forced to provide a written statement use the sample statement provided above this information.
Never make a statement to the press
If possible, stay with your crew or know the location of your fellow crew members.
AFA Emergency Contacts:
MEC ASHS Chair: Mari-Rene Alu – Cell: (702) 596-6358
MEC EAP Chair: Gwenn Davidson – Cell: (313) 268-9404
MEC President: Deborah Crowley Cell: 586-350-8080
AFA-CWA International Accident Hotline 800-424-2401, Press 9
AFA-CWA International EAP Helpline 800-424-2406