Orgasmotron, I take it you have inside gen, seeing as you know that this was a 1Time ELS flight, without anyone else here mentioning details. No problem with that. I spoke to a mate who works for 1Time and he confirmed the details as you put them down.
Before I add my 2 cents worth (which I'm sure will attract some criticism!) let me point out that I do not work for 1Time
. I do not have any ill feelings towards them apart from the way they are treating professional pilots, of whom some are my friends. But, to continue...
To add to the poor skipper's dilemma, the aircraft had been carrying a u/s APU for several days. He was sitting in JNB with a full load of pax waiting for an air starter (no APU thus very hot and
bothered pax!) when he called ops to ask them what they wanted him to do about engine starting in ELS. That's when they came up with their bright idea!
I fully agree with his decision not to dispatch under those circumstances and
applaud him for standing up to their management. You can guess whose license would have been pulled if something had gone wrong in ELS!
This is just another symptom of how these guys operate. They've taken the low cost model too far - no reserve aircraft, no spares stock, minimal maintenance and continuously pushing their air and ground crews to the FDP limits (sometimes even over the limit when they can bully or bribe certain individuals into it).
There's another thread on this forum voicing concerns over the fact that the SA low cost carriers are pushing their people too hard. 1Time sees most of their pilots doing 1000 hours a year, every year. Not bad if you're trying to get quick jet time, but, sooner or later something's got to give. Remember this is short haul flying which takes its toll on pilots doing 4 rotations a day, 23 days a month. They are so short of pilots that most days they don't have anyone on standby, but still refuse to employ more guys.
No wonder there's a whole bunch of guys leaving.
Why can't these guys learn a lesson from airlines that do things properly AND still make a profit? I guess it's just greed. Even the charter companies in SA are getting their act together
1Time started off well but they've built a reputation for being unreliable due to operating on a shoestring.