1. What are the considerations that my affect the pilots’ decision whether to continue the flight to London’s Heathrow Airport? For any pilots in the aviation industry, safety of the passengers and its crewmembers is probably the biggest consideration involving any emergency. Pilots are trained to fly and make correct decisions in case of any emergency event. In the case of British Airway 268, the pilots’ concern is whether the engines suffer any big damage after the small explosion that would affect the other 3 engines or perhaps even other instruments not visible to naked eyes.
Although Boeing 747s are certified to fly with 3 engines under British regulation, not knowing the extend of the damage could lead to disaster. Other consideration as mentioned in the case, the amount of reimbursement to the passengers and the loss incurred in dumping the full load of fuel maybe of some concern to them. However we believe it is probably the least of their consideration. After all, they are just pilots, decisions regarding company’s expense should not be the biggest concern in an emergency situation. 2. From British Airways’ standpoint, what are the stakeholders involved in this decision-making?
Why? Cabin crewmembers: Continuation of the flight may increase the safety concerns of the cabin crewmembers and reduce overall employee morale in the event of an accident. Passengers: The airline will need to be concerned with the safety of the passengers. In addition, if the passengers are delayed within a 5 hr. time frame, British Airways will pay up to a total of $275,000 in compensation fees. Airline Company: Since British Airways has a strong reputation for safety they may lose that image in the event of continuing the flight instead of landing at the nearest airport.
Moreover, flying through 5,000 miles through a low attitude on only three engines may cause safety concerns for the company’s brand image. Insurance Company: In the event of an accident, insurance companies will need to pay a large sum of money to all those involved in the accident. Furthermore, if an accident occurs, insurance company’s may sever ties or raise premiums for British Airways. Federal Aviation Administration: Since the FAA criticized British Airways for careless and reckless operation, the FAA may even refuse British Airway flights entering into U. S airspace.
Environmental Agencies: If British Airway decides to return to LAX immediately, they may have to face charges for unloading 80 tons of oil into the ocean. 3. If this engine failure incident fortunately ends with no casualty, what are the specific actions you would recommend to avoid this type of critical situation? 1. Given the ambiguity of the US flight regulations in relation to whether a plane is able to fly with 3/4 of the engines, we believe it necessary for both CAA and the FAA to amend their regulations with a segment that covers inter-continental flight. . As there was little to no precedence to this incident, there was no clear-cut way for pilots to make a sound decision. In the case, pilots were faced with several options. They could have just returned to LAX immediately, continue to another major airport en route and have damages assessed/switch planes, or basically to continue on its original route back to Heathrow. Typically, a natural response for passengers on a plane to the occurrence of an explosion and failure of an engine would be that of fear.
However, the choice that the pilots eventually took, which was to fly back to Heathrow, did not consider the airline’s stance on Corporate Social Responsibility. They made the decision based on the fact that it would save British Airways a hefty paycheck and not how it would affect the passengers feeling. To prevent critical situations like this from happening again, the Airline should come up with a method to cut costs without resulting in putting their corporate image at risk. 3.
British Airways should come up with a system to simulate situations in order to assess the severity of the simulated event, and have engineers, pilots, and crewmember make decisions in regards to safety in the most cost effective manner. The results of these simulations could be stored in a database and be referred to as a way to measure feasibility and codify actions to take aside from solely depending on the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). This will allow airlines to make better-educated decisions on rare occurrences instead of only depending on the rigidity of the FAR.