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United flight canceled after upset pilot refuses to fly

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United flight canceled after upset pilot refuses to fly

Old 21st Jun 2008, 18:51
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Hat's off to that pilot. I'd like to think that I'd cancel out if unable to concentrate 100% on the flight. Can be tough enough of a situation to cancel if feeling a bit sick or for tech reasons, but to call a stop to the flight over psychological reasons and then make that statement to all and sundry. I'd like to think that I'd make the right decision... but would I? Would you?
Temptation to get the right seat to run things until I could get my head together would not be insignificant......
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 19:11
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Congrats on having the balls to do that. Personally I think I would've taken a few minutes to myself, maybe delay the flight a few minutes, and let my FO take that leg once I regrouped. That's got to be a weird PA to give to your pax.

rcl
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 19:12
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Maybe I'm completly off the mark, but let me recapitulate:

-The guy refuses to follow the union's action not to wear a hat.

-Then the guy gets confronted with guys who follow the union.
-The guy gets upset.
-The guy gets so much upset that he cannot fly anymore,
much to the damage of the company he was so strongly affected to.
-Then the guy gets into an argument with the company.
-Then the guy says "I will call the union".

Is that the same union he refused to follow the guideline?

As I said, maybe I don't see clearly, but if you ask me, this guy has a mess in his head.

Obviously his personal judgement was good enough to give a speech in front of the customer. Why is he not able to fly? I guess there is another point there - hidden agenda.

Dani
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 19:52
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I cant agree with 411a on this.
Pilots must stand down if they are emotionally upset prior to taking a flight.Someone mentioned Staines and Dryden was also a case in point.Safety is paramount and an emotional upset leads to distraction which can have grave consequences.A good CP will always back his pilots 100% if their decisions were made on the grounds of safety.No questions asked.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 20:14
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As a regular contributer to the Middle East forum as 411a is, and as someone who talks through his ar$e most of the time, I now but have to agree with him.

Emotions and other causes should be dealt with before sign-on. Not during boarding.

I don't know what this fellow said or had to say during the boarding of the PAX on his cell-phone, but that is unprofessional in it's self.

Any issues should be dealt with prior to sign-on. If not stand-down

An emotional halas
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 20:18
  #26 (permalink)  

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Fully brhind the decision not to fly.

If you feel you cannot do the job and give due concern to your passengers and crew, then Do Not Fly.

It goes above your lack of paperwork, your lack of trouble, your pay, your job, your ease of career.
Better a planeload of annoyed pax gathered at the gate than a meeting with no tea and biccies over a pranged plane, or worse....

Last edited by nosefirsteverytime; 21st Jun 2008 at 20:41.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 20:26
  #27 (permalink)  
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halas

Disagree. Vehemently. What caused the upset is absolutely irrelevant to the decision NoGo. Commanders make the call, given conditions instant. What somebody "should have done to prevent the cause of upset" is crap until debrief and a better way to handle prior issues is addressed. This is a narrow command call. Subject to judgment? Probably. Correct?

BY DEFINITION.
 
Old 21st Jun 2008, 21:08
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Totally agree with the above. Only he knows his true state of mind, and only he can make the decision. It may have been a ridiculous matter to begin with, but he did the right thing, in my book.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 21:14
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SLF here. While I agree that it's responsible to step aside when you know you should not be flying...

(a) There are two people on the flight deck, and the calm one is qualified to drive the a/c to its destination while Capt Upset cools down.

(b) This is not Egypt Air, where the primary goal is to off oneself and to Hades with the pax.

(c) It was a short flight, not a milk run thru short runways in the mountains.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 21:37
  #30 (permalink)  
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RiverCity;

Thank you for identifying yourself as "SLF" - I don't like the term because it's "SLF's", you, that pay our salary, but there it is - fought it and it stays..

WRT your 3 points -to varying degrees, b perhaps being the most rare and extreme "justification" to press on, yes, from the passengers' point of view those may be perceptive and valid points - in fact, we could go so far as to say, that is what our long-established SOPs for crew member incapacitation are for, but, no, none of the points count from a professional airman's pov. The last SOP for example, is an emergency reponse and not a daily operational procedure intended to deal with pre-departure events and occurences. Yes it can be done - but it is demonstrably poor risk management and, as so often can occur when one thing lines up and then another, can place the flight and ultimately the organization at risk. Accident literature is full of exactly this kind of story.

Among the miriad of daily operational scenarios which come your aircrews and airline managements alike in the 35,000+ daily flights over the US alone, this is exactly the kind of safety response that is required of individual employees working under SMS, and especially crew members. If management cannot support a decision such as this made by one of their Captains then their SMS safety culture requires re-examination.

In the previous post, I obliquely referred to the fact that crew members continually self-assess, self-criticize (relentlessly, it seems). Any crew member involved in an out-of-the-ordinary event will replay it over and over, seeking learning, improvement and the best response for the next time - it is the nature of the work and of the profession, something which is incomprehensible to bean counters and many hand-maidens to those focussed only on the bottom line and who have long-since checked their aviator's hat at the door to management.

SMS is a key strategy, but there are a number of threads on PPRuNe discussing this very approach to organizational safety as the regulator steps back to take an "oversight" role.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 21:41
  #31 (permalink)  
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RiverCity

You miss my point, and revert to "confusion default". This is a command decision, the flight deck is not a democracy. I am generally a good deal more long-winded, but again, this was a command decision. End of story.
 
Old 21st Jun 2008, 21:44
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PJ2 --

Thanks for the informative and reasoned response. Again, I go with knowing when it's time to fly and when it's time to step aside and cool down.

I presented them as thoughts to see how they went over with the people in the pointy end. The view in that section of the plane is often far different than those of us closer to the back lavs.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 21:55
  #33 (permalink)  
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I too live in River City

And may have been hasty and seemingly dismissive. If you "go with knowing when to fly" and "knowing when to step aside and cool down" you'd be a fine pilot. Just so you know that if the Captain is "stepping aside", then the trip won't fly, it wants two fully qual, aviators in the pointy end. Used to be more than two, but I'm old.

rgds. Airfoil

(Travel to White Haven often, familiar?)
 
Old 21st Jun 2008, 22:00
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I take the White Haven road occasionally out to a friend's house at Penn Lake. Used to work at Sikorsky Aircraft, knew Igor, but never been in one of the products.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 22:01
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RiverCity
(a) There are two people on the flight deck, and the calm one is qualified to drive the a/c to its destination while Capt Upset cools down.

(b) This is not Egypt Air, where the primary goal is to off oneself and to Hades with the pax.

(c) It was a short flight, not a milk run thru short runways in the mountains.
I can only disagree with your thoughts:

Because you need two fully fit pilots on normal operation , no matter who is PF, in fact I find that PNF can be much more demanding, specially on short flights.

I can only but support this proffesional since he went for the safer option.

Last edited by eagle21; 21st Jun 2008 at 22:29.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 22:06
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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eagle--

RiverCity here. I had three thoughts, but one primary statement which overshadowed the rest: I agree that it's responsible to step aside when you know you should not be flying. The others were merely points of argument that you might find in the imaginary discussion forum when an SLF meets some pilots. Like, here.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 23:04
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Although this pilot seems like a hero to many of you, quitting a flight minutes before it is scheduled to depart full of paying customers is very bad form. In any other industry histrionics like this would result in immediate termination. Either he's an emotional basket case or he's playing some sort of game.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 23:08
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Anger management

He was right for not flying if he thought he was not fit to fly.
But, he is responsible for not preventing the event (hanging up the phone,etc.) that made him upset.
And he is responsible for not controlling his temper. If not, this
situation could happen again.
He is going to need to learn some anger management.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 23:15
  #39 (permalink)  
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Correct me if I'm wrong, 'coz I may well be.

Upset over a hat?

Paxload inconvenienced over a hat?????

I must be missing something. Sure hope I am.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 23:22
  #40 (permalink)  
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CR2

You are missing something, how much, time will tell. The story's just begun.
 

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