BA cabin manager accidentally deploys emergency slide during demonstration

Mario Hagen/ Markus Mainka/

A British Airways cabin manager accidentally deployed the emergency slide on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft while giving a demonstration to a colleague. 

The incident, which took place on on January 4, 2024, was first reported by aviation news blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo and occurred after flight BA 139 touched down at Mumbai International Airport (BOM) after an eight-hour flight from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and the aircraft was taxiing to the airport gate. 

It is understood that the cabin manager gave an impromptu demonstration to a junior colleague showing how to open the aircraft door during an emergency situation. In doing so, the emergency slide at the forward left-hand door deployed. 

This latest incident marks the fourth instance in less than a year that a British Airways cabin crew member has mistakenly triggered an emergency slide. 

Previous accidental slide deployments were primarily due to the cabin crew failing to disarm the slide mechanism before opening the aircraft door.  

The first incident occurred almost a year ago, on January 13, 2023, when a new cabin crew member accidentally activated an emergency slide on a Boeing 777 during pushback from the gate at LHR Airport. 

On June 15, 2023, another newly hired cabin crew member deployed the emergency slide on a  A350 aircraft by mistake at LHR airport minutes before taking off for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) in Texas.

The third incident occurred just days later on June 20, 2023 at Madrid Airport (MAD) when the slide on an Airbus A320 was unintentionally deployed by a cabin crew member shortly after the aircraft landed from LHR Airport.

Due to the alarming frequency of these occurrences, it has been reported that British Airways will introduce the Japanese ritual of Shisa Kanko on its flights to prevent further incidents. 

Commonly practiced by railway operators in Japan, Shisa Kanko is a mindfulness occupational ritual of pointing and calling, believed to both reorient and activate a worker’s attention towards a target for future action.

The term Shisa Kanko translates to “checking and calling”, and is a technique that Japanese railway employees have used for more than 100 years. It is taught as part of their training program and studies have shown it can reduce mistakes and even save lives

AeroTime has reached out to British Airways regarding Shisa Kanko and has yet to receive a response. 

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