Airliner circles to dump fuel before crash landing do they still serve drinks?

Imagine the scenario. The pilot comes on to say they have some problem with the landing gear and will have to circle round for a couple of hours to use up fuel before making a (crash) landing on just one wheel.

What is the policy regarding serving liqueur and food for that matter, though I doubt many would be feeling hungry under those circumstances.

Do they close the bar to stop people getting drunk and possibly aggressive or as the plane is going to crash anyway give away all the liqueur and let everyone drink themselves into a passive “what the hell” attitude?

Personally I think I’d like to drink myself into oblivion and wake on the ground up with pretty paramedic nurse telling me we all landed safely.

Fortunately this does not happen very often in real life but when it does what is the policy for serving alcohol in this situation?

The primary duty of the flight attendants is the safety of the passengers, not serving food and drinks.

In an emergency situation like that, I’d guess that they’d be concentrating on safety matters, e.g., making sure the passengers in the exit rows know what to do, making sure that there’s nothing loose in the cabin that will fly around in a crash landing, making sure there’s nothing to block the aisle in the emergency evacuation, and calming the passengers. That would be more productive than trying to get everyone drunk.

If an airliner has to truly dump fuel, they won’t fly around burning it up. All modern airlines have fuel pumps just for that purpose, pumping fuel out of the fuel tanks into the air. In most cases the fuel will vaporize and not reach the ground. The fuel is pumped through a tube located on the back of the wing between the outboard flap and aileron. You can see in clearly in this photo. My first job when I was assigned to the Boeing 777 program was testing the overboard fuel pumps, there are 2 for each wing tank and 3 for the center tank.

Because if you don’t land safely, a drunk victim is at higher risk than a sober one. Alcohol is a vasodialator, so you bleed more, for one. And if you have to evacuate the plane, I don’t want to be fighting for the exits with a bunch of panicked drunks.

As others have said. If we have a no-shitter situation, the FAs are fully occupied prepping the cabin & the passngers. And drunk people are a positive liability to themselves and others. The bar is closed, period.

FYI, fuel dumping capability is common on large (international-size) airliners like A330/340 and B767 & 777. It’s rare on mid-sized (domestic) airliners like A320 & B737. And it’s completely absent on regional jets.

Not all aircraft:

Edit: ninja’d by LSLGuy!

I’d just like to point out that in recent years “problems with the landing gear”, including a complete failure to deploy, have NOT resulted in crashes at all. The landings are serious and not fun, and sort of eff’s up the airplane itself, but no one inside gets hurt. At all.

I really wish people would get away from the idea that any and all problems in an airplane will inevitably result in Fiery Death. That’s simply not true.

I was once on an aircraft in a vaguely similar situation. The problem was with the engine, and I don’t know that dumping fuel was called for. I just know that we circled an airport at least once, and the flight attendants hustled to get all the packaging from the snack we’d been served before the engine started acting up reclaimed, made sure everyone was buckled up, and we landed.

We went from “What? There’s something wrong?” to “We’re on the ground, where?” in no time flat.

I’ve been on 2 flights where we had to dump fuel. It wasn’t really an emergency, but some system wasn’t working properly and safety protocols had to be followed. The problem was discovered shortly after takeoff on a New Zealand-Californina flight, and we had to fly around for quite awhile to dump the fuel before returning to land.

What was really annoying was that they put us on the same plane for the next flight and it had the same problem. That was one long day, I can tell you–but they did serve free drinks during both incidents.

My experience about a decade ago was that the plane was flown at a fairly steep attitude in order to help burn off the fuel, so it would have been quite difficult to push the cart up the aisle.

Up, or down?

I thought drunks survived DWI crashes while the sober folks died.

DWI survivors don’t have to locate the emergency exit in a smoke filled plane, then jump down an inflatable slide.

I bet they do in first class.

Plus there’s probably not enough liquor on the plane for everyone to drink themselves into a stupor. It’s like the lifeboats on the Titanic, really.


Carry on.

Just to reiterate what Giles said: The reason there are flight attendants on the plane at all is that regulations require them to have some number of people on board who are trained to deal with emergencies. Now, there usually aren’t emergencies, so the attendants aren’t usually doing their primary job, and so the airlines figure they might as well get some use out of them in serving drinks and such. But if that were all they were for, there’d be no way the airlines, with all of their cost-cutting, would keep paying them.

I bet you LSLGuy could fly the plane sipping a martini, while responding to queries on SDMB on his laptop.

You mean he doesn’t do this already?

Stirred, not shaken… and probably the same for the martini.