In my last article I discussed the importance of safety training for anybody tasked with working onboard a private aircraft. I am often asked what training do Cabin Crew actually go through?
Cabin Crew working in commercial operations in Europe have to complete an Attestation of Cabin Crew, this is the initial cabin crew training. This will then be followed by specific operator conversion on to aircraft type and company procedures. Training can be anything from seven days for the Attestation up to five weeks by the time the safety and service elements have been completed, although this is more applicable to commercial airlines. Examinations and practical assessments must be completed throughout the training to pass the course – it’s not as easy as what people may think.
For Fight Attendants that work on the truly private aircraft training requirements are slightly different; however the European Aviation Safety regulations specify; Initial cabin crew training should have been completed for a person to be assigned to any safety related duties. Also to be classified as cabin crew as opposed to being a cabin server (somebody onboard for service only).
The training format generally follows:
Safety & Emergency Procedures (SEP) – This is possibly one of the most intensive elements of training. It includes the emergency drills, abnormal situations and aircraft evacuation. As well as a working knowledge of the safety equipment onboard.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) – These are the defined procedures for crew to carry out their daily duties.
Dangerous Goods – Crew need to be able to recognize dangerous goods and prohibited articles, as well as how to handle them if found onboard.
Survival -If your aircraft crash lands or ditches you need to know how to keep yourself alive, protect yourself from the elements and to be located. Also what to expect from the rescue authorities.
Wet Drills – Part of survival training completed in the pool. What to do in ditching, survival techniques in the water, use of life vests. How to launch the life and slide rafts and get people on to them. Some operator’s crews go through ditching training in underwater simulators.
Fire theory and Practical -Crew will practice firefighting technique in different scenarios, the donning and use of fire fighting equipment. They will tackle fires in various aircraft scenarios and find their way through a smoke filled cabin. The training addresses the theoretical side of fire fighting, passenger handling and how to prevent fires happening in the first place.
Crew Resource Management (CRM) – CRM improves flight safety by addressing the human factor that have and can contribute to aircraft accidents and incidents.
Aviation Medical – As well as understanding how how the physiological effects of flying can affect our passengers and us. Crew must be able to deal with inflight medical emergencies as they occur. Training also includes CPR and use of the defibrillator.
Aviation Security – Aviation has been subject to some horrific acts of terrorism and sabotage. Crews receive training on the current threat to aviation, hijacking, bomb threats, conflict management, and general security awareness.
Aircraft Specific – This is the type of aircraft the crew will be working on, it will include, operating procedures, use of doors and emergency exits and equipment location. As well as cabin, lavatory and galley specifics.
As you can see, the training is very intensive, the priority is always safety and the crew’s actions could make all the difference in an emergency situation. So, next time you are travelling spare a thought for your cabin crew and pay attention to that safety demonstration – you might just be glad you did!