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Old 1st Sep 2005, 10:59
  #27 (permalink)  
Norman Stanley Fletcher
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: 'An Airfield Somewhere in England'
Posts: 1,094
Shuperstar Loadie

Just to correct any misunderstanding - I did not 'lose my job' but left when I had a better job to go to. Channex were good to me personally but nonetheless the safety issues were very real. In addition to the accidents I alluded to, there was at least one more after I left involving another F27. I am extremely familiar with both the facts and personalities of the fatal F27 crash and I am slightly wary of entering into a debate about it - therefore I won't! As a little aside, in that moment you saw the magnificent best of PM - he was fantastic to the families. It is nonetheless fact that Channex suffered a series of accidents including the fatal one with the F27 which is not the case with other equivalent airlines.

A discussion over safety in any airline is a bit like an argument over some of the Asian or African airlines with high accident rates. Inevitably hackles are raised by some of the professional and contientious people who work for them when they feel their credibility is questioned. There are actually many similarities between these companies and the Channex operation. Poor pay and conditions, old aircraft with a wide variety of non-standard fits, a few 'maverick' captains with a lot of non-standard practices, non-rigid SOPs and interference in flight operations from commercially-driven bosses are the backbone of airline bad practice. All of these features applied to Channex when I was there but only current Jet2 crews can say if that is the case now.

It is only when you have worked for different companies that you can tell if there was a 'safety culture' in place at a particular organisation. The problem is that if the 'safety' card is played by disgruntled crews then the management often get stroppy rather than address the genuine issues. I can only tell you my own experience - there was no effective 'safety culture' in Channex when I was there when compared to the companies I have worked for more recently. You can be offended by that - it is nonetheless the truth.

Therein lies the problem - you are faced with a sharp, hard-hitting, no-compromise CEO who you either love or hate. What has made Jet2 an apparent success is the drive of PM. Like all such people he can be the best of the best and worst of the worst. You see the crux of the problem here - some people loved 'morning prayers' and others loathed them! That is the nature of the beast. His style inspires both unswerving loyalty and undying loathing depending on who you speak to. My point is that if Channex are to avoid another accident then they must put in place a 'safety culture' which by definition higher management outside the Flt Ops world cannot interfere in. It seems unlikely to me that given the personalities involved that will happen.
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