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AA Pilot Gives 'Come to Jesus' PA

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AA Pilot Gives 'Come to Jesus' PA

Old 8th Feb 2004, 23:36
  #21 (permalink)  
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What an obnoxious ****. I have flown with a few religious fanatical zealots, "hi I`m captain Smith and I`m a christian, have you been saved first officer Jones?" NIP IT IN THE BUD! I DO!
There MAY be a time and a place, but its not on a commercial flight, on company time whilst being well paid to perform a rather important function.
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 00:16
  #22 (permalink)  
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There are certainly regional differences in attitude about this sort of thing.

Here's the New York version of the story from the Daily News:

Pilot's crazy rant


An American Airlines pilot terrified passengers aboard a Los Angeles-to-New York flight when he asked Christians to identify themselves and then called those who weren't Christian "crazy," witnesses and an airline spokesman said yesterday.
Fearing the pilot might have some sinister plans for the flight, many frantic passengers tried to reach their families on their cell phones, witnesses told CBS News.

Shortly after takeoff on Friday, the pilot asked people aboard Flight 34 to "raise their hand if they were Christian," according to one passenger, Amanda Nelligan, of Los Angeles, who spoke to CBS.

He then told the passengers that "everyone who doesn't have their hand raised is crazy," Nelligan said.

"He continued to say, 'Well, you have a choice: You can make this trip worthwhile, or you can sit back, read a book and watch the movie," Nelligan said.

Flight attendants contacted ground control about the incident, assuring passengers that they didn't think they were in any real danger.

Nelligan said she and other passengers thought the behavior was "bizarre" and wondered whether his comments were a threat.

CBS identified the pilot, but confirmation was not immediately available.

American Airline spokesman Tim Wagner said the incident was being investigated, and added that the company has guidelines about appropriate behavior.

The pilot had apparently just returned from a missionary trip to Costa Rica, the spokesman said.

"It falls along the lines of a personal level of sharing that may not be appropriate for one of our employees to do while on the job," Wagner said.

The 8 a.m. flight arrived at JFK Airport about 4:20 p.m. without incident.

The Federal Aviation Administration is not investigating, a spokeswoman said.



And here's the Texas version from the Fort Worth paper:

Posted on Sun, Feb. 08, 2004

American investigating pilot for religious inquiry on flight
Los Angeles Times

An American Airlines pilot was under investigation Saturday for asking passengers on his Los Angeles-based flight to raise their hands if they were Christians, an airline spokesman said.

Pilot Rodger Findiesen of Annapolis, Md., then invited others to talk with these passengers about their religious beliefs during the 4 1/2-hour cross-country flight on Friday, spokesman Tim Wagner said.

Findiesen had recently visited a Christian mission in Costa Rica, Wagner said.

"I guess he was moved by the experience and wanted to share his emotions," he said.

Wagner said airline officials had interviewed Findiesen about the incident aboard Flight 34 and "have already begun an investigation into it."

"It is a question of whether his judgment was appropriate while on duty," Wagner said. He was unsure of what company rules the pilot might have broken.

The guidelines "all boil down to just showing respect for our customers and employees," he said, "and making sure everyone feels comfortable on our flights."

Findiesen declined to comment Saturday. "I can't speak to you," he said. "My wife is here, and she's very upset."

The pilot told airline officials that he made the comment as his Boeing 767-200 passenger plane was taking off from Los Angeles International Airport about 8 a.m. local time, Wagner said.

When other crew members received inquires from some passengers, Findiesen told them he would be available to respond after the flight landed Friday afternoon at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

At least one passenger apparently complained to a TV station in New York City.

"At the moment, I do not know of any official complaints from passengers on board," Wagner said. "We would prefer they would come to us first."

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Old 9th Feb 2004, 00:21
  #23 (permalink)  
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The crux of the matter is that religion is a very personal matter. Many people have strong feelings one way or another about their religion.

Religion is also a personal pathway in a person's life, and when one is made to feel outside of their personal "comfort zone" or that their pathway is being challenged, then they may become uncomfortable about the person(s) who made them feel that way.

If I were an F/O I would not like to feel "uncomfortable" around the Captain. As a passenger I want to do as little "thinking" about the Captain on the flight as possible.

It may be nice for the other (in this case) christians on the flight, but what about the feelings of the others?

There are no grounds to compare Saudi Airlines to this situation, in many Islamic countires the way of life revolves around their religion and their religion can be observed in most daily events. This is not the case in most western cultures. An event like this is expected on Saudi Airlines, not quites so with AA ??

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Old 9th Feb 2004, 00:55
  #24 (permalink)  
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Why is it in the land of the free some people feel the need to wear their religion on their sleeve, and others seek to impose theirs on the rest of us (i.e. idiot judge in Mississippi with his 10 commandments tablet).

Religion is/should be a personal preference in a free society. You have yours, I have mine. Let's keep it that way eh?
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 01:17
  #25 (permalink)  

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Exclamation ***WARNING***

The next person to mess up this thread, intentionally or not, with discussion that is not DIRECTLY related to the pilot concerned or pilots and PA's will have their posts deleted in order to prevent the discussion descending into the usual flame war when religion is dicussed.

So, if you don't want a wasted effort, think VERY carefully about what you write before submitting it. Remember, the discussion is about an AA pilot making what is considered to be an inappropriate PA, in this case about religious issues to a captive audience which in this case caused some consternation amongst them, and not about the differences in attitudes to or amongst different religions and societies.
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 01:44
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I wonder what neurotransmitters were bubbling about in the Captain's brain while he was feeling such uncontrollable emotion about Jesus. Why couldn't he control himself and behave appropriately?

There is a lot more to this story than we know.

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Old 9th Feb 2004, 05:11
  #27 (permalink)  
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Irrelevant behaviour!

That's my opinion about this captain...
I fully approve Tightslot judgment about this foolish announce.
As many have said, this preacher-captain has mistaken public and private, 21st and 13th century, fundamentalism and secularism. a plane and a church,.....I wonder if he reads 230 heading on the altimeter and so on.

Something which isn't funny at all : he pretented to convince everyone onboard HIS religion was best, and that reminds me what happened in Spain around the time C.Colomb discovered West Indies.

Upon this time, kind of mandatory debates were organised in many Spanish cities, with the participation of high ranking religious authorities.
The theme of the debate was to allow a public competition between Christian and Jewish religion.
You can guess who was the winner!
It was a tool wich led to forced conversions, expulsions, torture and stakes, and this lasted a very, very long time, extended to Portugal... and overseas.

Please! This man is dangerous!
Have him to shutup or go fly paper planes in psychiatric asylum!
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 05:33
  #28 (permalink)  

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I wonder if he closes his eyes when the rad-alt passes through 666' ?

Dear oh dear - where did the guy think he was? Having access to the PA button does not give him the right to take advantage of having a captive audience. Nor should he think that he can manipulate the passengers in this way, "suggesting" that they discuss their religious views during the flight. What arrogance!

If preaching is what he would like to do, best he find himself a more suitable and appropriate setting. He is there to operate the flight, not preach.

I'm amazed that none of the passengers complained there and then.
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 07:48
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Complain on the plane?? Are you kidding? This character could radio ahead and have me arrested on whatever charge he wanted. The US TSA is very touchy about "problem" passengers. If no marshals were aboard the plane, it would strictly be the captain's word. His would have a lot more weight than mine.

I'd just be happy to get safely on the ground. I might complain later - but would that put me on the no-fly list?
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 08:18
  #30 (permalink)  
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If I was on a flight where the "Captain" told all Christians to raise their hands, my first thought in this day and age would be: are there terrorists on board that want to know who are the "Christian enemies"??? heh, folks... now THAT is scary!!!

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Old 9th Feb 2004, 08:46
  #31 (permalink)  

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If no marshals were aboard the plane, it would strictly be the captain's word.
Hardly. Not when an entire aircraft-load of passengers heard what he said!!!

WestWind1950 ... that would have been my first thought too. I would not have felt comfortable with being asked to publicly identify myself for ANY reason let alone on religious grounds and I would not have felt terribly happy at the prospect of remaining on board after that ill-advised announcement.

What the pilot did was inexcusable. An employee on company time should not indulge in personal crusades.
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 10:07
  #32 (permalink)  
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Complain whilst on board? Have any of you seen the film 'Anger Management'? Those that have will remember the scenario where the guy (Adam Sandler) is eventually done for air-rage when all he was trying to do was get a headset for the movie. Hilarious but scary when you see how the scenario unfolds in the movie.

Now, consider the American Airlines flight in question. Whatever the good intentions of the pilot concerned, he had no right to try and dictate what the fare paying passengers should or should not discuss, especially religion! I would imagine that the pilot will be referred for psychiatric assessment (or re-assessment) if he has any intention of keeping his job.

The SLF expect a safe, professional, worry free flight. It would seem that in this case they had a lot to think about and no doubt for many of them a cringingly embarrasing time with no choice but to listen to the brainwashing attempts by an evangalist who literally had their destiny in his hands.

Tea and buiscits with hat on (and no tea and buiscits) with the Chief Pilot was probably the order of the day for this captain (for now).
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 10:09
  #33 (permalink)  
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The desire of Christians to spread the Gospel is quite understandable, but one has to pick the proper venues.

It's seems rather obvious the Captain involved was deeply touched and otherwise affected by his missionary trip the previous week (a proverbial "religious experience"), and I'm sure he's undoubtedly a nice fellow, but his use of the left seat as a pulpit for even a basic broaching of any religious topic (of any faith) was both ill-advised and unprofessional.

Sacking him (as some others have advocated) I think is pretty harsh, and it'd be my hope that he be given some time off (perhaps with counseling) to search for (and hopefully find) that best balance between personal belief and knowing where/when to espouse it.
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 10:56
  #34 (permalink)  
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i am of no religion whatsoever, i do respect other peoples rights to religion, but i draw the line when they try and sell it to me, this pilot may have had the best intentions, but this situation is similar to when the jehovahs witnesses come knocking, only in this case u cant slam the door on them, whats gonna be next different seating areas for different religions
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 11:35
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It's usually the people who "mean well" who cause life's biggest annoyances. They don't really create major crises, but they sure do drive us nuts and mess up perfectly good days.

I rather doubt that telling him to cool it will do much good. Some people think that their religious beliefs supercede everything, including others' rights to a calm and peaceful life. They mean well and maybe their reward in the next life will be to experience what they have imposed on others ... for all eternity. HA!

I am a religious person, one who feels that people have the right to work next to me without listening to my views on the Deity of my choice.

I wonder if the pilot has one of those plastic statues of Jesus that we had? You know, the kind that supposedly fell off if we exceeded the speed limit?
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 13:03
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Did any of you Gents travel on Malyasia Airlines recently? Every seat has individual TV screens and access to the In Flight Tracking System. That system is interupted every five minutes or so by an arrow pointing to Mecca so Pax know where to face and

And you know what: I find it offending as a non muslim. As offending as if some Jesus freak were to make a P.A. praising Christianity or being forced Kosher or Halal food.

When I pick up that mike to announce the pax I know it isn't the same as being on stage. I keep it short and factual. What this AA guy did was nothing short than P.A. terrorism!
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 13:18
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One should expect NOTHING less than arrogance from AA guys, after all...they seem to find the places to have incidents/accidents better than any other US aircarrier.

Avoid, without a doubt, if at all possible.
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 13:26
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Well I think the guy just opened a new way to generate income for AA. Just next time instead of promoting his religion he may promote Panasonic mobiles, GM cars or Hertz auto rentals.

Rwy in Sight
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 14:08
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It would make you wonder though if a guy like that had a problem with the aeroplane, would he reach for his Flight Manual or his Bible? When flying aeroplanes, prayer is a last resort, not a first action. I lost a colleague in an aeroplane where the only message on the CVR before impact was 'God has control'
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Old 9th Feb 2004, 14:08
  #40 (permalink)  
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Mmm...'remids me of a Captain shortly after the war, when the holiday industry was just starting. He was a charming man, a pleasure to fly with, and held a service on the tarmac when the airline suffered a serious accident. Fine, one could choose to attend or not, and anyway, to most it seemed appropriate.

Years later a frantic jet F/E scuttled back to a dead-heading training capt, and said words to the effect "for Fu**s sake do something...we are running out of fuel and XXX keeps saying God will provide. The F/O is seriously talking of putting the fire axe in the skipper's head"

It is to the best of my knowledge a true story, but i don't know the extent of the fuel shortage, though i gather they did land en-route. Whatever the skipper's intentions, he certainly scared the proverbial out of the crew. It was not in any way appropriate behavior.

I believe that we must divorce our belief-system from our daily science. I also happen to believe that if there is a creator, they would want us to get of with the job of being on this trial and testing ground of a planet, to do a job the best we can...without keep calling up to the head office for guidance.

It seems that this man was doing a good job as an humanitarian and Christian...prior to coming back to work. So many well-intentioned people cannot see the dividing line.

Sadly, it is probably true that to make such a bad judgement call, needs looking at very carefully. Should he not have seen that such comments were out of place and may scare the captive congregation. If he could it's bad, if he couldn't it's worse.
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