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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, 04:32
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United flight canceled after upset pilot refuses to fly

Posturing before the inevitable next round of furloughs and pay cuts, United ALPA is bringing management to their knees by refusing to wear their hats.

United flight canceled after upset pilot refuses to fly

By Roger Yu, USA TODAY

United canceled a flight from Salt Lake City Thursday afternoon after the pilot announced to passengers that he was too upset to fly, according to one passenger on board.

The pilot, who may have been involved in a labor-related dispute with colleagues, said that he didn't feel he could fly safely, said Paul Jacobson, an energy company executive who was aboard United Flight 416 to Denver...

David Kelly, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents United pilots, said the union won't comment on the incident.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it's up to the airlines to determine when and how pilots can walk away from the cockpit if they feel unfit to fly. "But we'd expect that if the pilots aren't fit to fly, they would not fly," said FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette.

Jacobson said he saw the pilot in a heated cellphone conversation at the gate before he boarded, and overheard the pilot saying that "he was going to complain to the union."

After the passengers were seated, the pilot made his announcement.

"I'm roughly paraphrasing here, but the pilot came on the PA and said, 'some of you may have witnessed an incident I was involved in at the gate. I'm not going to go into the details, but it was an interpersonal confrontation that upset me significantly to the point where I'm not focused enough to fly you to Denver. I feel like I may not be calmed and focused enough to fly to Denver for another hour,' " Jacobson said.

The passengers reacted to the pilot's announcement with a collective groan. "I'm going to give him credit for standing in front of people and saying that," Jacobson added. "Still it was a very unusual situation."...

Jacobson said another passenger questioned the crew and that passenger told him the incident stemmed from crewmembers from another United flight observing the pilot wearing his hat. United's pilots union has been urging pilots to remove their hats when they "are likely to be viewed by management," as a form of protest, according to a notice on ALPA's website.

"In the concourse, on the jetway, wherever. Show solidarity with your fellow pilots, show management our solidarity. Don't wear your hat," it says...
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/fligh...ed-pilot_N.htm
Airbubba is offline  
Old 21st Jun 2008, 05:57
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Thanks for that.... USA TODAY is doing a better job of covering this than AP.

Doubt UA will do anything (even if they can) to discipline someone who was, effectively, (if the report is accurate) being ragged by union members for appearing pro-management. I assume (hope) ALPA will smooth things over between the pilots,

if pilots are allowed firearms in the cockpit, the last thing we need is to have them PO'd at each other.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 09:29
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He's got Kudos ! Many of us dream about having those sort of balls. Then again it is the old US of A. Where potential litigation and unions give him a huge safetly net.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 09:40
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I would like to think we would all do it, I would
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 09:49
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Kudos for the Captain... if he feels unfit for flight... don't take the flight!
Though … the consequences for his feat?
Likelihood of aircraft incident??? non existent. Likelihood certificate action??? none… Odds of company castigation??? I would say a pretty good shot… Probability of ALPA supporting this pilot??? NONE!
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 12:09
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Is it just me or is there a need for proper punctuation here?
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 12:22
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The Trident crash at Staines springs to mind.

I take my hat off to this Captain who had the guts to do what he knew was right.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 12:46
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Hmmm, seems to me that the chief pilot should send a note to the finance department to the effect of...deduct a days pay for this guy.
And then suspend him for three more...without pay.

Don't want to work?
Goodbye.
Plenty more where this malcontent pilot came from.
ALPO is no better...just a bunch of spoiled brats.

Collectively, pilots had better get used to changing conditions, for it ain't going to get better, anytime soon.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 12:55
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Hmmm… fines, penalties, and suspensions imposed by the D/O or Chief Pilot as such are knee jerk reactions… reminiscent of the lynch jobs of the Wild West… you know… a hanging without a proper trial and testimony from all those involved with the incident.

I would like to think that no D/O or Chief Pilot worth their salt would suspend any of his/her pilots without consideration of all the facts.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 13:16
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I find the "ignore button" works wonders for the likes of 411a.
To miss-quote someone.........." Never let the truth get in the way of a knee jerk reaction!"
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 13:21
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to the pilot.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 15:47
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If you dont feel up to flying DONT DO IT its part of basic training.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 15:53
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Wus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 16:59
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All though I applaud his honesty; since he had been seen and heard in a an argumentbut I think it was more damage control for himself and his company.

I would like to think that a pilot can put aside his personal issues for a few hours and do the job he has been trained to do. This is part of being a professional. If the avg. Joe didn't fly when he was upset at something then we'd never have an airplane in the sky!
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 17:11
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I find the "ignore button" works wonders for the likes of 411a.
Oxidant, 411a has been on my ignore list for years now. Did he add anything of interest, as all I can see is
This user is on your Ignore List.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 17:14
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Ringgg, ringgg.
"Hullo"
"Captain X ?"
"Yes"
"This is R.Sole from the union"
"Sorry don't have time to talk now, my flight is boarding"
Click.

Have your hissy fits in private, not in front of the CUSTOMERS.

Or a meringue ?
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 17:54
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Paper Tiger -

Spot on. Unions sometimes forget who is paying them.

Last edited by Rightbase; 21st Jun 2008 at 17:55. Reason: Clarification
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 18:06
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411a:
Don't want to work?
Goodbye.
Plenty more where this malcontent pilot came from.
ALPO is no better...just a bunch of spoiled brats.
And this is represents the safety culture established at your airline under SMS?

No wonder your contributions are put on auto-ignore.

For the record, I like Paper Tiger's scenario. BTDT. I've also got off a flight or two over the past 35 years which, through circumstances quite familiar to all line pilots, I wasn't fit to fly because my passengers' welfare came first and not my company's concerns over scheduling, aircraft routing or management's concerns over the actions of "another prima-donna pilot" as is the attitude succinctly expressed in your words.

Judgement within this forum is as swift as the lifetime of a Higg's particle but aviation human factors and particularly SMS requires, especially of management as SMS is implemented, precisely the opposite, where judgement is suspended in favour of curiosity at least until the facts are comprehended and can be dealt with intelligently. What does, "Goodbye" contribute to the dialogue? How does such an approach further SMS within your organization especially in the face of what appears to be a significant and responsible aviator's decision on flight safety?

Regardless of genesis, for the two must be separated as almost all have done here, the Captain made the correct choice even though he may be considering that genesis privately and perhaps envisioning alternative strategies to avoid such confrontations next time. These are issues about which pilots are passionate - the same passion in terms of exactitude that keeps their passengers safe.

Consider the statement offered and observe how it has not carried the dialogue on safety anywhere, but has instead turned it inwards when the opposite is required by all, to implement SMS well at major and small carriers alike.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 18:14
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I can only relate to this from a human standpoint.

I'm reminded of the beginning of road rage. It comes on suddenly when perrhaps somebody cuts you off and then begins to harass you.

One needs to detox your own emotions, if its difficult, then pull off the road.

The pilot did the right thing. What caused it is the problem.

We (the reader) can support the solution, but we can't really solve the originating problem.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 18:33
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Blue320,

I think the pilot concerned was being very professional.

No matter what the cause, how major or minor the argument was, If he felt he was not fit to fly, then he made the correct decision.

Is that not what our medical certificates are based on? Self evaluation?

411A, I hope the next time I have a disagreement with the wife, nearly get taken out by some idiot on the road on the way to work and then find out that my leave is cancelled and I then go flying, that you and your family are in the back. Feel safe??
 

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