We are posting this for all flight attendants to know that they have to be very proud of their job. Regardless if people calls them “glorified servers in the air” or the likes, these flight attendants should be proud that their primary role inside an aircraft is to ensure the safety of the passengers and this does not come easy. It takes tremendous training and sleepless nights just to be able to be a certified cabin crew.
Flight attendats are often underated as compared to pilots. People thinks of pilots as those brave and skilled people who can bring the passengers from one place to another in a single piece. Sadly, a flight attendant is not seen this way even though their primary duty is as equal as that of the pilot, to ensure the safety of the passengers.
Here are 5 stories about flight attendants and their heroic acts. We hope to inspire the cabin crew that no matter what, they are in one of the most dangerous jobs this world have ever known, and their duty is that like of a soldier. To put the lives of others on top of their own.
BARBARA JANE HARRISON, BOAC 712, April 8 1968
A Boeing 707 left Heathrow London bound for Sydney Australia when one of its engines encountered an engine failure during take off which led to a fire. The engine in question then fell off the aircraft in mid-air which caused an emergency landing. Despite the successful emergency landing, 5 people on board perished including flight attendant Barbara Jane Harrison who was 22 at that time. She remained at her post at the rear starboard of the aircraft encouraging all passengers to jump out to safety. She refused to leave her post until everyone was out. Her body was found next to that of a disabled passenger who she was trying to rescue. She was awarded a posthumous George Cross for her actions.
JACQUI UBANSKI, SHARON FORD, ARTHUR BRADBURY and JOANNA TORF, British Airtours 28M, August 22 1985
On its way taking off from Manchester Airport to bring passengers to Corfu, a loud thumping noise was heard by the Captain and First Officer. Thinking it was a blown tire, they abandoned take-off and engaged the thrust reversers gradually braking until the plane ended up at the right side of the runway. However, the crew later discovered that the sound was not from a blown tire, but from a fire at engine number one and this spreaded out causing the deaths of 53 passengers and 2 cabin crew, most of whom died from smoke inhalation. The two cabin crew members who met their deaths in the line of duty while opening the doors were Jacqui Ubanksi and Sharon Ford. They were posthumously awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal. Meanwhile, Crew members Arthur Bradburry and Joanna Torf returned back time and time again to the cabin on fire pulling out and to drag passengers to safety. They were awarded the same honor as their fallen colleagues.
NEERJA BHANOT, Pan Am 73, September 5 1986
This Boeing 747 was hijacked by the Abu Nidal group while at the ground in Karachi, Pakistan. 20 passengers were killed by the hijackers, 7 from the USA and 13 from India. There were 360 passengers on board. During the stand-off, the flight attendants were ordered to collect the passports of the passengers. Senior purser Neerja Bhanot, 22, fearing that the American passengers would be singled out for execution, hid some of the passports under a seat and some were disposed at a waste chute. Later on, the hijackers threw a grenade and began to open fire on the passengers. Flight attendant Bhanot then deployed an escape chute from one of the exit doors which passengers managed to open and they helped in assisting others to escape. Bhanot was killed while protecting three children from gunfire. The government of India posthumously awarded her the Ashoka Chakra, the highest civilian awarded for bravery. The United States also posthumously awarded her the special courage award.
NIGEL OGDEN, Bristish Airways 5390, June 10 1990
This BAC-111 flying from Birmingham to Malaga had only been in the air for 15 minutes when the left cockpit windscreen failed and blew out causing Captain Lancaster to be violently sucked out the window but fortunately, his legs were caught on the flight controls. Cabin Crew Nigel Ogden then went to the rescue, holding on the legs of Captain Lancaster all throughout the decent and had safely landed in Southampton. Ogden suffered bruising and frost bites for his effort. Captain Lancaster was presumed dead by the crew but they still held on to him to avoid flying into the engines which may cause the aircraft to crash. Luckily, despite suffering major injuries and shock, Captain Lancaster made it out alive and went back to work five months later. Nigel Ogden suffered a dislocated shoulder and frost bites on his face and eye. His actions together with two flight attendants who relieved him shortly before landing, saved a pilots life and assured the safety of all the passengers aboard the aircraft.
LEE YOON HYE, Asiana Airlines 214, July 6 2013
An Asiana Airlines 777-200ER landing at San Francisco International Airport was flying in too low from the correct glide slope causing it to hit the sea wall of the runway. Three flight attendants were ejected from plane’s sheared off tail section while strapped into their seats. The aircraft then tumbled on the runway until coming to a complete stop and later on, fire started engulfing it. The rest of the flight attendants than took control in evacuating 290 passengers on board, using knives to slash seatbelts, using the axes to free two colleagues trapped by malfunctioning slides, and evacuating passengers as quickly as they could. Notable was flight purser Lee Yoon Hye, 40, who was seen carrying injured passengers on her back to safety, getting back to the aircraft, and rescuing the next passenger. The three flight attendants who were thrown off survived. A total of 291 were on board with 16 crew members. OZ214 had 2 fatalities, one of them who died after allegedly being ran over by a rescue vehicle after being thrown out the rear section too. Ms. Lee Yoon Hye together with her crew were considered heroes after successfully evacuating all passengers who were left inside successfully.