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Russian airline regulator tells airlines to keep crew members from swearing on intercom

Source: Meduza

The Russian federal airline regulator Rosaviatsia has instructed airlines to keep pilots and crew members from using obscenities while on the aircraft intercom. The regulator’s letter to Russian airlines prompted doubts about the officials’ industry competence.

According to Kommersant, a Russian business news outlet, a letter signed by Dmitry Yadrov, deputy head of Rosaviatsia, claims that the regulator has been receiving frequent passenger complaints about obscenity in the speech of airline crew members. Yadrov goes on to conclude that airline pilots and flight attendants are not unfamiliar enough with standard operation procedures and with equipment onboard, and that their communication style in “unsatisfactory.”

The evidence for these claims seems to be a spoof video, in which a pilot “forgets” to turn off the mic and goes on to swear flagrantly while looking for the intercom off-switch. The same audio has been recycled in a number of other comic videos circulating on social media.

Airline pilots point out that it’s technically impossible to “forget” that you’re on the aircraft intercom, since the pilot has to be pressing a button to be heard by the cabin. On Boeing aircraft, professionals explain, cabin and ground dispatch communication buttons are placed side-by-side, and can be easily confused. Still, “pilots don’t swear at airline dispatchers, apart from very rare occasions,” said one of them.

The regulator’s ideas about aircraft intercoms have cast doubts on their own competence. According to an Aeroflot crew captain Andrey Litvinov, “only people completely unfamiliar with aircraft equipment and aviation at large could suppose that pilots don’t understand the cockpit and its audio equipment.”

Flight instructor Alexey Kochemasov concludes that airline industry officials “have no other problems left and got too much free time on their hands.”

Airlines contacted by Kommersant assure the public that they monitor their crew members’ communication style and have full confidence in their manners. Obscenity onboard is out of the question, they insist.

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