LU Trains Flight Attendants on Emergency Landings

Lynchburg, VA - Several future flight attendants got to learn all about emergency landings Friday and Saturday in Lynchburg.

They went through training that involved fires, life vests, rafts, and lots of water. It's all part of a course taught at Liberty University's School of Aeronautics.

If it's just past 7 p.m. on a Friday night at LU's School of Aeronautics, that means that the "flight attendant orientation" class is underway.

"And also, as a flight attendant, you will do the inspection in the back," said the instructor.

"And a lot of flight attendants go, 'this is how you put on your mask,' and they don't (put the mask) on fully," said senior Sarah Cinnema.

She knows how to use the masks, and fasten the seatbelts correctly,

but for her next lesson, she's taking a trip outside LU's flight mechanics school. Friday's lesson plan includes learning how to properly put out a fire. In this class, safety and emergency preparation is everything.

"I am the face of the company and that is part of my job, but in the event of an emergency, my number one job is to keep those passengers safe and to get everyone off the plane," said Cinnema. "I'm responsible for 50 passengers and I have 90 seconds to get them off the plane."

In an emergency, she would need to get her passengers off the plane into any kind of condition, including open water. That was Saturday's lesson plan at LU's indoor pool.

"We have to pull ourselves into the raft which is actually quite difficult in deep water, which is difficult in waves," said senior Angela Stevens.

"And then once you get into the raft how you organize as a team and look at safety precautions," said Associate Dean Ernie Rogers.

It's a lesson future flight attendants like Cinnema are taking to heart.

"I hope this is as close as we'll get to the real thing. I really don't want to ever have to go through a water landing, but now I know," said Cinnema.

Some students taking that course are getting their associates degrees in flight attendant studies. But anyone can enroll in the flight attendant orientation class for $250. You can sign up for the spring semester. For more information call LU's School of Aeronautics at: 434-582-2183.