View Full Version : CATHAY SACKS PILOT

11th Apr 2001, 10:27
Gloomberg just reported that CX sacked a pilot due to an incident in a HK bar !

Apparently according to Gloomberg, the pilot & CX's CEO were involved in some sort of incident ? !

11th Apr 2001, 11:03
According to the SCMP, Captain Scott Munro was dismissed in early April after he allegedly threw nuts at Cathay's CEO David Turnbull in a Hong Kong bar.

1 of many
11th Apr 2001, 11:46
Was that a case of 'Nuts to the CEO' then?

Perhaps he was unamused, 'cos coconuts are quite noticeable!

Always a dangerous option when it's public.

11th Apr 2001, 12:37
Makes you wonder what would motivate someone along these lines, but after reading fragrant
I now understsand.

11th Apr 2001, 12:39
Go to Fragrant Harbour for more details.

11th Apr 2001, 12:40
HONG KONG, April 11 (Reuters) - A senior Cathay Pacific pilot was sacked for throwing nuts at the airline's boss in a bar, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Captain Scott Munro was dismissed in early April after David Turnbull, chief executive of the Hong Kong airline, accused the pilot of showering him with nuts.
"The (sacking) decision was taken the same afternoon after a disciplinary hearing," the Cathay spokeswoman said.
Munro could not be contacted for immediate comment.
"He was dismissed for throwing things at me. We have to operate a disciplined company and you do not throw things at the chief executive," Turnbull was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post on Wednesday.
"He's the captain of the ship. It's not what you expect of him...if the cabin crew did that to a passenger, they would be dismissed," Turnbull added.

In the slot
11th Apr 2001, 12:43
They should have been drinking in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, Singapore!! Then the throwing of peanuts and their shells would not have been a sackable offence, but merely following a tradition!!

Flap 5
11th Apr 2001, 15:36
I am afraid that this is all too frequent with Hong Kong airlines. It is rare for a pilot to be sacked for any professional reason. It is almost always a political reason - such as the company, or a senior individual in that company, taking a dislike to the pilot concerned. It has happened in Dragonair as well with certain 'A scale' pilots being pushed out for obscure reasons.

11th Apr 2001, 21:16
fire the nut!!! not the pilot

11th Apr 2001, 21:29
I disagree with CX's CEO.

An extremely petty incident resulted in the loss of this guy's job.

This occured *outside* of both parties' positions of professional capacity (ie. they weren't in the office, they were in a BAR!-an informal setting!) and thus both men's positions in terms of seniority were completely irrelevant.

Outside the office & off the job should have meant they were both equals!

And what incited Scott Munro's actions anyway? That hasn't been reported! Hmmmmmm....

11th Apr 2001, 21:51
AJ: Couldn't agree more!
I'm not CX, so have stayed out of this until now. Seems like the CX CEO should get a life iso being so stuck up. If he was in a bar having a pi$$ up with the rest of the crew, then whats his problem? If the kitchen's too hot....
BTW, have only been to HKG twice; Crew-rest thru Kai-Tak (followed by a great night out in Joe Banana's & met a good CX crowd) & CLK once in transit.
Yr CX NOMFWIC needs his head looked at.

rgds Rat

11th Apr 2001, 21:57
In such cases many argue that nomatter where such a behavior occured, it tells a lot about one's poor judgment, a poor judgement that may exhibit itself in much more serious circumstances as well.

> AJ said:
> This occured *outside* of both parties' positions of professional capacity (ie. they weren't in
> the office, they were in a BAR!-an informal setting!) and thus both men's positions in terms
> of seniority were completely irrelevant.

11th Apr 2001, 22:35
If the CEO was a real man who would of settled the matter outside man to man.
Must be nice to be able to hide behind a nice suit and solid mahogany desk. Bet he got bullied at school though.

11th Apr 2001, 22:38
Well, I can well understand this pilot's anger. His salary has been reduced over the years and now he only makes 150,000. He has to fly as much as 60 or 70 hours in clapped out old new aircraft. He has to live in the hills, sea and sun that make up Hong Kong. Yeah -you're right, I'd go nuts for his job - what a plonker!

11th Apr 2001, 22:52
Whilst I don't intend to hijack this post with my replies;


Conditions are not an issue here; the issue is:

Was this dismissal fair?

What other disciplinary measures could DT have taken, apart from ruining someone's day?

Don't get me wrong, I would never have expected Mr.CX CEO to have sat there laughing after being thrown peanuts by someone who should have perhaps restrained himself.

To immediately fire him-and thus make things extremely difficult for this guy career-wise??>>> well, doesn't that smell of an overreaction to you?

As suggested above, an out-of-bar settlement would have perhaps been better for Mr.Munro and CX's reputation-the news sends the wrong signals to prospective CX aircrew!!


Good Morning Buenos Aires

11th Apr 2001, 23:21
What's the point of giving his name to the mass media ? He's been fired (even if he doesn't really deserve it, who knows ?), isn't that enough ?

And who does this CEO think he is ???
Or maybe I should ask when does he think he is ? Middle-Ages ?

12th Apr 2001, 00:29
Does Capt. Munro want a job as a BALPA rep.

Throwing nuts is a great improvement on caving in and being "nice"

12th Apr 2001, 01:28
bourbon, you must work for Cx's PR agency, you make salaries and bases up so well. Never mind, I don't expect you allow facts (such as wx or notams) to interfere with your opinions!

12th Apr 2001, 01:29
I understand that the CEO commented "If a Flight Attendant had thrown something at a Passenger, they would have been fired.."

I can understand that, as the Passenger is a fare paying customer. However, the CEO is in many ways, just along for a free ride!

Now were the peanuts, dry roasted, honey roasted or just plain?

Cheers, OffshoreIgor http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif

12th Apr 2001, 05:40
Sounds like the concerned el Capitan was demonstrating his rather juvenile attitude after one-too-many. Maybe he will exercise better judgement in retirement.

Tom Tipper
12th Apr 2001, 06:09
411A sounds like you're voicing your usual jealous opinions on career pilots as opposed to fly-by-night mercenaries. You are once again showing poor judgement - and I might add, who are any of us to sit in judgement.

12th Apr 2001, 09:35
411 What a sad git you are ,you and the CEO of cathay are two of a kind. What goes on in a bar off duty should have been the end of it!! Unless of course a major fight or somethink took place. What are the Cathay pilots going to do about it?? There must surely be some kind of appeal system!!??

12th Apr 2001, 10:48
I hope the pilots at Cathay will react as they would do in most airliners : all for one !! Good luck to the guy.
I pity the ones on this thread who understand and maybe agree with the dismissal : after all these years they still don't have a clue of what aviation is all about.

12th Apr 2001, 17:14

How pathetic of the CEO to have him sacked.

Maybe I'll throw my fist, should I ever meet the dinosaur.

PPRuNe Towers
12th Apr 2001, 17:47
Am I losing it folks? Has the memory finally gone walkabout?

Didn't a CX management pilot allegedly once do something a little more extreme in a similar baroom situation?

I think we should be told.

Regards from the Towers
[email protected]

Jurassic Jet Man
12th Apr 2001, 19:46
No doubt the CEO acted even more immaturely than the good captain. Never drink with or near management! If it walks like a duck...

Unfortunately, CX pilots now have a hostage situation. I do not know the union set-up there, but where I hail from, my union would now be bargaining hard to get this guy his job back. My (from a distance) guess is that he will/should get it back, but it will come at a price for everyone else to pay, directly or otherwise. What item on the next contract negotiation session will this cost the pilots?


12th Apr 2001, 21:31
>>Unfortunately, CX pilots now have a hostage situation. I do not know the union set-up there, but where I hail from, my union would now be bargaining hard to get this guy his job back.<<

Yep, at United ALPA would get his job back. Also, he could claim that alcohol made him do it so he couldn't be fired if he agreed to go to rehab. But HKAOA isn't ALPA and Hong Kong isn't the U.S....

12th Apr 2001, 22:04
I agree that sacking the guy was extreme. Perhaps suspension for a few weeks would be more appropriate.

But c'mon, you people can't defend his inappropriate actions (even if he was inebriated)! As a captain, he is "presumed" able to demonstrate appropriate judgement. Instead, his actions were directed, juvenile and inappropriate. That is unequivocal.

Now, if he were a high-powered politician, you can be sure that his actions would have been vilified in the press and he would have been pressured to resign for demonstrating poor judgement and acting inappropriately - in a way "not worthy of his position". You know that would be the case - whether you agree with it or not.

I agree that sacking him is too harsh - suspension would have still sent out the same message. He is probably a great pilot/person when he is sober - firing him is too extreme.


13th Apr 2001, 00:51
Who is to say that, if the concerned el Capitan was very annoyed with his First Officer, he would not have thrown something at him? Very poor judgement on his part. And lets face it, airline Captains are SUPPOSED to exercise good judgement, even in adverse situations. The guy was a jerk.

13th Apr 2001, 05:57
"The guy was a jerk"

Yes, but what's your point!?

13th Apr 2001, 06:10
Rule #1 in any Company is never EVER drink with management EVER! I find management types simply cant settle an issue that started in a social atmosphere without recourse to their position at work. They dont have the balls or chest hair. Unfortunately gutless wimps in power are not just confined to CX.

13th Apr 2001, 06:21
"That" managment Capt. (nicknamed "The Swire Bottler") took early retirement and is no longer with CX. "Peanuts" was not a member of HKAOA but most agree that the punishment was too harsh. I am also sure that the CEO did not expect this level of publicity. Apart from Pprune, the incident got a mention , with names, in the South China Morning Post.

The Resistance
13th Apr 2001, 10:38
...mention on the BBC World Service yesterday morning. Made 'Turdbull' sound like the complete pratt that he is. What a truly shameful situation, and something that the entire pilot group must react to. Those of us on a base are 'forced' by the company to stay at the minumum security prison called 'Headland Hotel'. That being the case, they had better damn well start to respect our right to have a social enviornment free of any contact, and interaction with, our management. This is NOT optional. We should ALL boycott the Dakota until this situation is addressed. 'Darby', not the most brilliant of moves.....but the punishment is completely over the top. You have my sympathies, and I await the AOA's direction in regards to securing your re-instatement.

[This message has been edited by The Resistance (edited 13 April 2001).]

13th Apr 2001, 10:55
So will this Cathay CEO find anyone to drink with ever again? Apart from sycophantic toadying types? I suggest that he is 'sent to Coventry' by anyone and everyone he tries to engage in conversation. Silent protest can be very effective - a polite 'yes' or 'no', then talk to someone else!

13th Apr 2001, 18:58
Pprune Towers:

You are talking about the Discovery Bay incident, right? I did an archive search on pprune but couldn't find the original thread. I could only go back to Jan 2000. I believe the incident happened in early 1999. Can you do a search and post the url here?

aiming point
13th Apr 2001, 19:55
At work and at play are two separate lives and should be treated as such.
So a pilot gets a parking ticket. Well sack him as his an obvious rule breaker!!!
Another likes to go rock climbing, a sport many may consider borders on the suicidal.Well better sack him to just in case he brings those suicidal tendencies into the flight deck.
Just where do you draw the line.
At work a pilot(or anyone else)should be judged by their conduct, behaviour and standard as one thing.
Outside leave the law and legal system to deem what is appropriate behaviour just like it does for everybody else!

20th Apr 2001, 10:54
Management pilot threatened a young Second Officer in Discovery Bay bar with a broken beer bottle and was given a 'stiff talking to'.
Turnbull has completely lost it but, unfortunately, none of the sycophants around him are going to speak up about anything - ever.
Last 'twist' is that Capt Munro had taken it upon himself to disobey a Union directive and had thus been suspended from the Union. I think they are quietly helping.

20th Apr 2001, 17:18
Looks like these CX guys should stay OUT of bars.

20th Apr 2001, 21:38

Let me start by saying to you, and all others who have posted, I am not condoning the descision of the CEO, but...

1. Like it or lump it, for the last 10 years, there has been no such thing as "in" or "out" of work, you MUST by law (yes, by law - EU directive) act in a profesional manner while dealing with colleauges in or out of the workplace.

2. Recent Posting - AerLingus Groper
Should this man be "let off" for groping a female colleauge? after all, it wasnt done "at work".

3. Would you, as a senior captain,allow a F/O /junior/ steward(ess) poke fun at you in front of other crew members?

Obviously, there was tension between these two men long before this incident, whatever this was, the captain should never have allowed his anger to spill out in such a way.

Or, the captain was merely childish and having a little fun at the expense of the CEO, not a very clever thing to do.


you throws your nuts, and you takes your chances.

20th Apr 2001, 22:01

I concur with your reasoning; however, I dispute the ultimate result.

It's difficult to put myself in the CEO's position (naturally, :) ), but I can't imagine myself responding, in what appears to me, such an UNREASONABLE manner.

I might well be peed off, but I certainly wouldn't have fired the guy.

I guess the moral of the story, as Slasher well knows, is don't drink with management.

How sad life can be.

21st Apr 2001, 05:02
I can recall a CX Captain being dismissed for making an error of judgement when travelling with another carrier in his own time.

Unfortunately in dismissal cases any junior pilots profit from ones demise and some senior people could not care less.

CX would have to be desparate for pilots for the offender to be re-instated.

21st Apr 2001, 08:25
Borg 32,

I would answer yes to question number 3. After all, they are my friends and colleagues.

But I must admit, as far as this particular incidence is concerned, without knowing the full facts, I do believe the pratt was let go for good reasons. Yes, I know emotions runs high, but somewhere there has to be a line and I feel he overstepped it.

21st Apr 2001, 15:16
What in case the Capitano would in stead of throwing peanuts have told the CEO; hat certain management practises are illegal and a potential danger to the safety of the passengers he is responsible for.
What if he got sacked for that, by taking his medical for psychological reasons, let's say paranoia,claiming il capuinano made some false allegations ???

Could Cx and the CEO get away with that ??

Smooth Trimmer

21st Apr 2001, 21:41

Further to your query;

I would, as a professional, put these concerns in writing to my manager "cc" it to senior management and CEO (or The Board of Directors).
I certainly would not go throwing peanuts to get my point across.

Companies tend to respond rather quickly if these things are put in writing.


22nd Apr 2001, 15:28
You are very naive

Star of the County Down
22nd Apr 2001, 21:25
Is Scott Munro Scotish ex. Orion?
Well done my friend...you CX guys have been treated in the past for ''ncidents' off duty and in some cases summary dissmissal. So keep your 'kilt on' dispite things that have been said here and otherwise.

22nd Apr 2001, 22:21
I believe Borg has a very good point, for those ex-mil imagine throwing things at your CO in the Mess, just wouldnt happen.

However this might make people consider which pencil necks they are working for and the history between these two personalities.

22nd Apr 2001, 23:02
This is in the only bar in the 'biosphere' . CX crews stay at the company hotel which is attached to the HQ building. It's not like it's our first choice, it's the only choice.