I just saw a YouTube video of a landing airliner with the gear not fully extended and the cabin crew gave the instructions "Stay down! Heads down!" repeatedly to passengers but without any technical help like PA. Why is that the case? Why don't they use the PA system for commands like that?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm going to guess that the PA is left unused because there might be a need for other announcements that override the "stay down" yells. Particularly the pilots might need to say something, like "prepare for water landing" or "evacuate now". The pilots don't have any other way of communicating. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


Not knowing that specific video, impossible to tell the scenario.

But in general, you want to not have to rely on technology in an emergency situation. What if you were trained to use the PA system but there is no electricity? So you train to shout and use non-verbal communications to get your point across in an emergency.


She is strapped in and won't be holding the PA handset in the final moments because it can be a dangerous missile in a crash.

And they can get by without it. Most of an FA's training is in how to speak, project and dominate in chaotic situations. They are effectively riot cops you might say, with extensive training on crowd/person control, who are likely to spend their entire careers working undercover as waiters/stewards until that one in a million moment comes along like in that video.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nonsense... they absolutely have access to the PA microphone while seated & strapped in to the jumpseats. Lack of access to the mic is most certainly NOT a correct answer here. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 6:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes my mistake. By lack of access I meant it's more of an SOP thing where they are not supposed to hold the handset when about to crash because it's going to be a fairly heavy flying object. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 13:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your hands also become a dangerous missile in a crash. Why there's a specific hand position when bracing, which is not holding a handset to your face. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 21:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .