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A baggage handler was locked in the cargo hold during flight #UA6060 from Charlotte to Washington Dulles

United Airlines says it is investigating after a baggage handler was found in an aircraft's cargo hold following a flight from Charlotte to Washington Dulles International Airport. ( 기타...

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Years ago while still at the gate on a 737 at Newark I heard banging noises below the floor under my seat, and muffled shouting, and I notified the flight attendant. I had a window seat right over the cargo hold, and I watched them re-open the hold. I then saw a very upset cargo handler after he got out of the hold. I still wonder how he got stuck in there.
sparkie624 10
I remember a long time ago on a 737, I was working in the Aft Compartment just in front of the APU finalizing some work. I had a tall ladder and the door was open. Next thing I knew the a/c started pushing back form the gate. I had the log book locked up in the vehicle.. First thing I did was start pulling cannon plugs... especially when I heard the #2 engine starting to spool... I disconnect the stabs, and any other cannon plug that I could find (at least a dozen of them). Upon being pulled back into the gate another mechanic climbed up and opened the door and I flew out! he hollared at me and said (Before you go and kill someone, what did you do"... I yelled back! "Canon Plugs"... Never did find that moron, and I think he knew better than to show his face that day!... I talked with the Captain and asked to see his log book... He could not find it.... I advised him that it was locked in my truck! He had nothing else to say!
The railroads have a safety protocol where a worker places a blue flag that can be seen by the engineer, and it means personnel working...don't move! Only the person placing the flag is supposed to be able to remove it. Sounds like the airlines need a similar protocol. A "remove before flight" flag that could be locked to the nose gear in sight of the tug operator would do.
The cargo hold of all modern passenger aircraft are pressurized, it is contained within the fuselage pressure vessel, but is not necessarily heated. I'm betting he was fairly cold by the time he reached the other end of the flight.
Very True, but it is also quite small, uncomfortable, and not safe. How could anyone close this compartment with someone inside? Also, why was he not making so much noise that the Pax would complain. If it were me, I would remove the canon plugs from the Fire Detectors.... What good would that do... Simple... It would though a failure to the crew and they would have had to do a return to gate or at least send maintenance out to check it. You can defer 1 detector, but not both... To me, I think this guy probably fell asleep, did not realize what was going on and was 1/2 way there before he woke up....
Or he pissed off his co-workers and they shut him in the hold for a one way trip in an attempt to getting him fired. Heard about something like that happening years ago at O'Hare on a Delta flight to somewhere in the southeast (Atlanta maybe?). The guy didn't lose his job, but some other ground handlers did get reprimanded.
As they should have been. They should have been fired on the spot. When you close a compartment, you look inside of it first... PERIOD NO EXCEPTION... Even if you are just looking for FOD!
Would the average ramper know about the plugs in the course of the job?
sparkie624 -2
" If it were me, I would remove the canon plugs from the Fire Detectors.."
Those plugs.
sparkie624 -1
There are a lot of types of Plugs... Wondering which ones.
I think Joel is referring to the canon plugs you indicated you removed during your adventures in the cargo pit.
I think so, but mine was in the Aft Equipment Bay! While working on the Aircraft!
I inferred from your "If it were me" that there were some plugs in the cargo bay available for pulling to get the attention of the flight deck. I was wondering if the baggage stuffers would normally be aware of them and the effect of pulling them.
I recall your mention of your experience in the bay, but enjoyed the reminder.
I can certainly guarantee that I would have done something... I would have been pounding on the floors to where everyone would have heard if not felt me! UGH...
This entire story stinks. The coincidences and mysterious circumstances lead me to question all aspects of this story.
It does sound suspicious!
Could be he was the last man inside and waiting for last-minute baggage (stretched out and snoozing), and the others forgot he was there when they closed up. If he was the kind who did not like to make a fuss he could have just gone back to sleep and waited for the arrival.

This could not have happened on an Airbus aircraft, where they use baggage containers and not loose luggage pieces loaded via a belt.
As I just stated, on ac a/c, you do not close a door until you look inside to make sure that everything is as it should be. In the case of the person closing the door for the last time should have made sure that the cargo nets were in place. Last person closing any door is responsible.
Great having friends to pull stunts on a guy like that.
I guarantee the guy fell asleep in the bin and the ramper who attached the netting didn't check. Obviously the guy doesn't snore. :-)
just saw the report on WBTV-3 Charlotte. Very questionable circumstances.
Followup squawk that indicates it's not fake news (Or if it is, FAA got phaked)
WatnNY 2
Was he alive???
..and well. Refused medical treatment on site.
See above post by Tim Marks.
That does not mean that he could not have otherwise needed some attention.. Mentally, Physically... You would think they would at least suspected Higher than normal Blood Pressure :)
Years ago while working at Delta Airlines, I worked with a guy that got locked in the aft cargo hold of a DC-9. He got an unexpected trip from MEM to STL. He told me the trip wasn't all that bad, but just a little too noisy.
Why don't aircraft or the service vehicles have a badge board? I work on launch pads once in a long while, but we have safety badges in addition to our IDs that we have to exchange at the fence line so that if something goes south while we're inside they know who to look for or whose NOK to notify.
Well - SKYWEST is investigating - they operate this aircraft type and flight as United Express
Except it was Mesa.
And Republic does too.
How the hell does this happen?
As a former ramp rat, I learned that sleeping on the loaded baggage in the cargo hold is a perk accorded to senior ramp personnel and very brave new hires. No one checks because when the order is given to close the doors there are other chores to be done quickly to avoid delays.
Not to beat a dead horse, but.... I took the latest weather out to the ramp to a delayed flight, an NWA Stratocruiser (B-377) at MSP, from Dispatch, mid-1950s. Just as I handed the paper to the pilot, the order came to start engines. I hurried to the exit but the door was closed, stairs pulled. I went down the spiral stars to the bar and through a door to the rear cargo area just behind the wings. I then opened the door to the tarmac getting out as the roar of starting engines and wind hit me, just making it. Phew!
Jim, you will have many on this thread wondering what a Stratocruiser is and how it had spiral stairs. May need to explain the aircraft origins/history, that the roar was from propellers and that the A380 was not the first double-decker passenger aircraft.
Tim. I loved that airplane! I often flew on pass and as a dispatcher in the cockpit on occasion. Google has good write-ups on the plane describing it better than me. It was a true classic, only one seating: first class. The bar below had seats for eight and an FSA (male flight service attendant) to barkeep. 83 passengers was the max, 75 on the upper deck. We flew them coast to coast and to Tokyo.
A little off topic, but some great footage of Pan Am's flight 6/943 (Boeing 377) ditching & passenger recovery on YouTube here:
Comments there include those of some passenger & flight crew relatives.
Yeah, a little off topic, but thanks for posting it.
DON'T just tell, put it all down either on a PC or on hard copy so your family will know....NOW!!!!!! My late Father who surer end w/the Navy on Mainland China behind Japanese lines during WW2 finally decided to learn how to use a PC to put his stories down. He had a stroke that night & passed away the next day.
Jim, sounds like have some good stories to tell from fond times of years past. Be sure to tell your grandkids and I hope someone in your family has tried follow in your footsteps - aviation is a great career and I hope to tell my grandkids someday about some of my best times.
True! Evolution went down then back up!
My first flight was in 1954 at age 2 on a Pan Am Stratocruiser from HNL (home port)to SFO. Took off just at twilight, I had a window seat right behind the wings and still remember getting scared and starting to cry when they fired 'em up and long flames burst from the exhausts on those big radials. Didn't take long to stop crying and fall in love, though.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Seems you didn't read, or quite comprehend the article...
It says the aircraft landed safely. It's mute on the condition of the baggage handler.
To say the least... I am sure that he was PO'd


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