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Old 22nd Jun 2008, 09:00   #61 (permalink)
Dream Buster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: U.K.
Age: 61
Posts: 344
To fly or not to fly - whose decision?

In August 2004 I elected not to fly as a co pilot whilst a training captain due to multiple roster changes and feeling very unwell with a poor memory and chronic fatigue.

This is how my airline dealt with me in a letter sent shortly after the incident from the General Manager.

" It is my opinion that you allowed yourself to become distracted by minor issues which then compounded to raise your stress levels such that you were unable to fly safely. Indeed, the captain himself had doubts as to your suitability to operate that day. I would expect a senior captain to behave in a more responsible manner and was disappointed by your actions on XX August 2004. If you have any concerns then I stongly suggest that, in future, you complete your duties and then present a formal grievance so the the matter can be properly investigated and, if substantiated be dealth with.

To simply make a stand as you did does not help. It promotes further roster disruption to your colleagues and does little to help with morale. This company looks to its captains for leadership and to present them as a role models to the rest of the work force."

This is a real extract from a real letter of a leading UK loco carrier.

Around 18 months later, after electing not to fly again, I was grounded due to 'chronic stress'.

In May 2006 I was diagnosed as suffering from 'chronic poisoning' - Yet another victim of contaminated air. I had no idea and nobody ever mentioned it to me.

My sympathy to the pilot who elected not to fly - I did the same three times - I look back on those command decisions as being the best, hardest ones of my life.

If in doubt - DON'T! You will be all on your own; but at least you (and your crew and your passengers) will be alive.... for anybody who needs assistance.

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