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Pilot Letter about UAL MGMT (get ready for a long read...), UAL 895..7/26/08

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Pilot Letter about UAL MGMT (get ready for a long read...), UAL 895..7/26/08

Old 6th Aug 2008, 04:51
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Peter Gordon got it right in his opinion piece I think. My bolding for those that think the crew deserve to get a hit as well. Management need to get out of the office and see what goes on at the coal face. While I go along with rigpiggy's take (Pretty simple, your illegal don't fly the airplane, don't taxi it. Find a hotel, and sleep, add the necessary time to the rest until your legal, then report for duty. If you had any issue who do you think is going to get hung out?), as sevenstrokeroll said "I feel for the pilots."

My final reflection on the day is that frontline staff, those that actually deal with customers, are one of a company's most important assets. In this case, the impeccable crews on the plane seem to have been let down by less-than-entirely-adroit departments elsewhere.

And the next time - in an election campaign or a discussion of economic woes or a minimum wage - that someone complains about "the workforce," I'll remember that this is just another term for "people" and that it's people that ultimately make all the difference in the world.
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 05:01
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Correct me if I am wrong, but as I read it the weather was the ultimate decider. Enven if the crew had accepted the offered deal, nothing would have changed because the the crew were out of time before the plane could fly.

The complaint to me seems more about the games being played and lies by the people on the other end of the phone. As I read it, these games and lies made the pilots more tired and made the situation worse.
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 13:10
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Managment 101:

Passengers come and go; employees stay forever. If you treat your employees well then your passengers will be well treated.

A concept almost totally ignored by the airline industry.
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 13:36
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Managment 101:

Passengers come and go; employees stay forever. If you treat your employees well then your passengers will be well treated.


A concept almost totally ignored by the airline industry.
A professional will perform his/her duties at his/her best no matter how is treated. Saying that, as professional, you are treating a paying passenger badly because you are not happy with your management is very deplicable.
Furthemore when all PAX are gone, what are you going to do?

AN
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 15:02
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Question

This is an interesting thread and I enjoyed following it so far...

But: why is a Captain (or the rest of his crew) of a transport category aircraft unable to calculate the maximum allowable flight-duty and ensueing rest-time by himself? Even if the flight has been crossing several time zones.

That's the kind of stuff I was asked to do for both my European and FAA ATP written test - many years ago.

I don't understand. Am I missing something here...?
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 15:22
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But: why is a Captain (or the rest of his crew) of a transport category aircraft unable to calculate the maximum allowable flight-duty and ensueing rest-time by himself? Even if the flight has been crossing several time zones.

The crew was well able to calculate their duty time. The clown at the other end of the line was just playing the fool when he said the crew wasn't out of time. As the text states, if you've only got 3 minutes of duty time left, for all intentions and purposes, your duty period has expired.
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 16:02
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While I have lots of sympathy for the crew being buggered about by people back in the us, what on earth is this all about?

Originally Posted by ryu2
After discussions with First Officer ***** I was concerned that we were being forced to ride on a public ferry boat that was neither inspected by ALPA, approved by ALPA, or had any type of security or screening for passengers. {and so on}
Will United crews only travel on private vessels or vehicles with an armed escort or something? What on earth is wrong with taking the Macau to HK ferry?
It's not like you're in the depths of Africa or something - these are first world territories.
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 23:02
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Been there, done that with a scumbag 747 freight outfit. When things even start to get stupid, as the captain you have to TELL operations what's going to happen. No negotiation. No bargaining. No holding out for a better deal.

Park it at the gate and say "My crew will be at the hotel, and we're not answering the phone until 12 hours after we check in. Good-bye."

I got tired just reading this debacle. I dare say that an accident investigation board would have come to the conclusion that the crew was too tired to continue from the outset.

It's sad to see that United, and other once-great carriers have such incompetent management.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 08:00
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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But: why is a Captain (or the rest of his crew) of a transport category aircraft unable to calculate the maximum allowable flight-duty and ensueing rest-time by himself? Even if the flight has been crossing several time zones
Because under FAA regs, there AREN'T any limits on duty time for an augmented crew. What is being discussed is a CONTRACTUAL limit which can be waived by mutual agreement.

Th FAA FTL regs are decades behind the rest of the world.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 09:56
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Frequent SLF,

Don`t be stupid...

If the Capt`s decides to go after a 20 Hr journey and something happens , for sure you would be questioning why the Capt decided to go.

Sorry Sir , This is one of the most stupid posts I have ever seen in this forum...

Shame on you
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 10:41
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Reading between the lines of Capt Kravitts' letter, even before getting to the comments about the ferry, I have the impression that the people he was dealing with in UAL and he deserve each other.

His intention in publishing it is clearly to discredit UAL, and he has achieved that in spades, if what he describes is true as I am sure it is.

It's a pity that he discredits himself as well, after doing what was obviously a fantastic and professional job of getting the aircraft down safely in the first place.

As someone has pointed out, he cannot very well play the fatigue and safety card when he was quite prepared to extend his own and the rest of his crew's duty so long as the price was right.

But if I were running UAL, I would sack those who fought him over that issue so stupidly.

And yes, any one of the hundreds of pilots I have worked with not only can work out the FTL aspects of situations such as this, but would insist on doing so and making his/her own decisions accordingly.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 11:10
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What evidence do we have that it is he who leaked this letter to the public?

The only time to negotiate from the flight deck is when a Hostage Rescue Team is enroute.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 11:13
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Frequent SLF,

Don`t be stupid...

If the Capt`s decides to go after a 20 Hr journey and something happens , for sure you would be questioning why the Capt decided to go.

Sorry Sir , This is one of the most stupid posts I have ever seen in this forum...

Shame on you
Would you please point out in where I posted what you are calling stupid?

Thanks
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 12:18
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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From the letter:
After discussions with First Officer ***** I was concerned that we were being forced to ride on a public ferry boat that was neither inspected by ALPA, approved by ALPA, or had any type of security or screening for passengers. I spoke with **** (HKCS Manager), who apparently arranged the ferry boat ride, and she assured me in no uncertain terms that the boat was not for the public but rather for guests of the Venetian Hotel. I asked her specifically, “Are you saying that nobody can just buy a ticket on the ferry?” She said, “Yes.” I queried the hotel manager who told me that what ***** told me was not true. I called the FODM with my concerns and reservations. I told him that I was uncomfortable riding on a ferry in any case, and very concerned that United Airlines was forcing me to ride on public transportation with no security measures onboard. I told him that there were other options including a helicopter. The company has used this option many times in the past. I also told him, because I didn’t want to disrupt the operation anymore than it had been, that if he ordered me to go that I would, but that I wanted this reflected in my CALREC or ID. He said that he would do that and that we were ordered to go on the ferry.
Wimp. I can't believe that I actually trust these people with my life.
I'll have my union qualifying arlines next.
Per
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 13:12
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Those of you who are so critical of his security concerns regarding the ferry might want to remember that UAL's view on employee security was changed forever thanks to 9/11. While I may think it's a bit of an overreaction, given that many of their colleagues in the flight deck and cabin gave their lives that day, I am willing to give them a bit of a break. A history like 9/11 is pretty hard to shake when it affects you personally.

Frequent SLF:

You accused the captain of treating his passengers badly. There's much evidence, including a newspaper editorial, to indicate that he (and his crew) in fact were the only UAL employees who treated the passengers well under very difficult circumstances. The fact that you can't see that is unfortunate.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 14:24
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He wasn't prepared to travel by ferry, but was quite happy to travel by a helicopter, in fact he asked twice, that had also not been inspected and approved by ALPA.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 16:47
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O. J.

As Capot rightly pointed out he was ready to extend his duty time as long as the price was right. In matter of fact I fully agree with the whole of Capot post.
I am not questioning if he shuld or not extend his duty time, I do not agree on how the whole issue has been dealt with. I see that the only loosers were the PAX. And both UAL and Captain could have handled the situation better.
I do wonder if the PAX and the journo would have the same opinion on how they were treated after reading the letter.
AN
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 16:49
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@ Wizofoz: thanks for the clarification!

I am wondering, why the driver of a public transport vehicle is even considering to head on to a more 'convenient' destination after having been on the road for such a long time.

Tired people make bad decisions and I wouldn't like to be a passenger on such an airplane, boat, bus or whatever. There must be a published ultimate flight-duty limit somewhere, after which you call it a day. Also for US-carriers.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 18:52
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I hungrily started searching for 411A's (predictable) take on the situation - but he's nowhere to be seen? No doubt we will hear in due course
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 21:01
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I had a lot of sympathy with the captain until I saw the bit about the ferry. We call them "jobsworths" Seems like the whole airline deserves each other.
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