View Full Version : Ifalpa slams SIA

7th Aug 2002, 11:41
Hi folks,

This was carried in the Singapore Straits Times, 7 August 2002.
The sentence at the end begs an answer !

Anyone knows how influential is Alpa-S ?


World pilot body slams SIA

Shocked that airline terminated services of SQ 006 pilots, it says the action was unjust, wants men to get their jobs back

By Dominic Nathan

SINGAPORE Airlines has come under fire again for terminating the services of the two pilots who flew the SQ 006 plane that crashed at Taipei airport two years ago.

This time, it is the international body for airline pilots which has slammed the move, calling it 'unjust, unwarranted and entirely unreasonable'.

In a strongly-worded letter, the president of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (Ifalpa), Captain Ted Murphy, said the news was 'greeted with shock, dismay and disbelief'.

He asked SIA chief executive Cheong Choong Kong to reinstate both men, who were asked to go on July 26. SIA did not give any reason for its decision.

Captain Foong Chee Kong, 43, and First Officer Latiff Cyrano, 38, were at the controls of the airliner when it crashed in October 2000, killing 83 of the 179 people on board.

In calling on SIA to reverse its decision, Captain Murphy said: 'We believe that any other decision is bad for flight safety worldwide, never mind the appalling effect that this must have had on the morale of your own pilots.'

Ifalpa represents more than 100,000 pilots and flight engineers in about 100 countries.

Capt Murphy explained that accident investigations were important in promoting aviation safety.

'Of equal importance is that pilots who cooperate with investigators and who allow all their actions and conversations to be recorded in the pursuance of flight safety, are not then subjected to unjust punishment when they are not guilty of gross dereliction of duty or criminal negligence.'

If these principles are not upheld, then the whole 'blame-free' culture which is so vital to flight safety will be put at risk, he stressed.

The local pilots' body, the Air Line Pilots Association (Singapore) or
Alpa-S, has also tabled a resolution condemning SIA's actions.

The association will hold an extraordinary general meeting next Friday to pass the resolution, which states that 'SIA's action would have a negative impact on accident and incident investigations and consequently, compromise aviation safety'.

Alpa-S plans to appeal to SIA and the Government to reinstate the pilots. If that fails, it will try to find the two men jobs at other airlines.

Ifalpa also criticised SIA for letting the pilots go - 'without explanation, without a hearing, without a right-to-appeal' - despite the efforts of the international pilots' body and others who had lobbied hard against the pilots' prosecution in Taiwan.

'Does that action not make it seem as if Singapore Airlines actually
believes that the crew should have been prosecuted and jailed in Taiwan?'

SIA had said that it reached its decision before the Taiwan authorities had completed their probe.

But it delayed making public the decision, because it did not want to complicate the decision-making process of the Taiwan investigators.

But Captain Murphy said in his letter that SIA must have been aware of the pressure that both Ifalpa and Alpa-S had been bringing to bear to have the pilots' licences re-validated.

Dismayed that in the end the men had their services terminated, he asked: 'Would it not have been more honest to tell us of your intentions?'


8th Aug 2002, 00:29
The sad fact remains that these two pilots have to bear a degree of responsibility for what happend and the deaths of almost ninety people. The company have decided that dimissal is a fair price to pay for the extent of their guilt in this accident.

All of us, as pilots, would hope that they would get away with something less and remain employed but, realistically, we all knew that there was little chance of them keeping their jobs, the same would apply world wide in pretty well all carriers.

Naturally IFALPA are going to put up a spirited fight to help them, that is what pilots pay their union dues for, any lessening of the sentence will be welcome too, not just by these two unfortunates but by everyone who could one day find themselves in a similar position and will be reperesented by IFALPA.

As has been mentioned on another thread also, it is quite likely that the insurance underwriters would expect nothing less prior to the next renewal, how would one explain it away if one of the two had a bad day when their luck ran out and was involved in another serious incident?

8th Aug 2002, 02:47
Blue Eagle

Sadly what you say is the reality, it doesn't mean I agree with it just that it is.

I'm surprised Dominic Nathan hasn't been arrested and gaoled for publishing the letter. He is a very brave man