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United GRU-ORD Divert to MIA to Offload Purser

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United GRU-ORD Divert to MIA to Offload Purser

Old 26th Jul 2009, 11:08
  #441 (permalink)  
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I think - and I do - that it is quite interesting that an on board dispute is getting as much attention as a fatal RPT accident.

And I will take a risk - the egos are just as up front.
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Old 26th Jul 2009, 11:15
  #442 (permalink)  
 
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You can bet the Crew did not pull the CVR CB after they blocked in. The good news is thatís thereís one less Captain Solo in the skies that some poor unsuspecting F/O and CC have to worry about.

When flying long haul, during the brief with the entire crew, I laid out a time line of events during the trip where crew swaps were to be made. I also told that cabin crew, before I turning off the fasten seat belt sign I would inform them of any special request, such as a potty break, or coffee infusion, so as to minimize any disruption. Also during crew swaps issues relating to crew meals, paper work, and potty breaks were tended. With this in mind, again, there was minimal disruption of their routine cabin service.

After all running a trip isnít as complicated as launching the space shuttle, is it??? or perhaps for some more so.
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Old 26th Jul 2009, 18:53
  #443 (permalink)  
 
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MU3001A

Would doing what you tell 'em to do include dropping everything to provide you with completed crew decs in the middle of cabin service, early in an 11 hour flight? Then if the combination of security SOP's and lack of available crew meant the decs were pushed under the cockpit door instead of handed to you in person. Would this constitute reasonable grounds for chewing out the individual responsible for this shocking breach of protocol within the hearing of 1st class passengers, stewing over the matter for a further 5 hours then electing to divert the flight to offload the offender with no thought given to the disruption ensuing to passengers, operations or other parties on the ground in MIA?
I will admit that my airline experience has been in finance and marketing.

But, I also think that I have a perspective that has not been heard here.

I view the captain as a platoon leader. Within the orders given, the captain has the responsibility and authority to carry out the safe, timely and cost effective operation. That is beyond question.

However, the captain is not the general leading the overall operation. That belongs to the airline as a whole and *they* are the ones who give the captain *his/her* orders. The captain is limited by the then current FOM and SOPs (not to mention regulatory bodies). And the captain and his/her actions will be judged by the airline on that basis.

In addition, the *other* members of the crew also have orders from the general. They are to carry out their duties as assigned (including seeing to the passengers) and adhere to their rules and SOPs and will be judged accordingly.

Putting aside the diversion (which seems a tough decision to justify IMHO), what constitutes order compliance v. insubordination will be judged on the basis of these (sometimes conflicting) duties/rules/SOP for both the order giver and order taker.
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Old 26th Jul 2009, 19:30
  #444 (permalink)  
 
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Red face The underlying issue....

The underlying question would be pretty straightforward: Was there a threat - and if so, was it justified to wait for 5 hours to divert because the decision was so difficult to make?
We dont know if the decision (whatever it was) was "so difficult to make".
I dont believe it has to be a "threat" in an immediate and direct sense.
If the purser was being insubordinate or 'coping an attitude' he could fairly decide,
"I want her off this plane. Once having decided that, he could implement that decision whenever he chooses to." behavior like that is poisonous and contagious. Kicking her off in their point of origin could have led her to to "take the crew with her" - In the US, not so big a deal. -who knows?

He is still subject to review, as all judges are.
I think - and I do - that it is quite interesting that an on board dispute is getting as much attention as a fatal RPT accident.
Interesting, but not in the least surprising, conjuring up as it has, visions of mutiny, pilots run amok.

I do know that if there have been issues 'simmering' with the crew and the captain did what he did, even as SLF i would be behind the capt. 100% as he did his true prime directive, which was to get me from point A to point B safely.

If the captain had erred into a runway incursion or some other incident and the inquiry turned up 4 days of passive aggressive laden BS goading him to distraction as a contributory cause, every one would have been saying, you should have "Tossed the b** off with or without parachute!"

- everyone...ok a lot -of us have this purser up as some kind of 'Mother Theresa' and that she may be, but I dont buy it. "Miss Congeniality" plays well only for Sandra Bullock.

I suspect that the REAL issue for the pilot's career is not so much the diversion (and UA's position on that) but any declaration he made to the TSA /Federal authorites/FAA regarding the whole incident.

UA would then have it a lot easier as they wouldn't have to do much from their end, just allow the FAA to throw the book at him, then say, "<shrug> our hands are tied...we have to let you go! "

overall, the whole thing has me quite sad, really.
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Old 26th Jul 2009, 19:39
  #445 (permalink)  
 
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jehrler

I don't see any reason to assume the captain intended security SOP's be bypassed to comply with his request. He probably expected the purser to grab one of the FA's busy doing cabin service, if that's what it took. The Purser seems to have come up with a compromise on her own initiative, that didn't require interrupting cabin service. But she should probably have called the captain to let him know she had pushed the decs under the door, which would have been easy enough to do. Still, nothing that a reasonably well adjusted person needs to get all worked up about, still less something that rises to the level of diverting the aircraft merely to offload the perceived insubordinate crew member. Old time pirates may have pulled that kind of crap with crew members who fell out of favor or were surplus to requirements, but such behaviour has no place in modern airline operations.

I agree that staff discipline as it relates to this incident remains UAL's call. But there is also the little matter of the reason given government agencies for the diversion, which according to as yet unconfirmed reports may have involved a false claim by the captain of a compromised security situation aboard the aircraft. I'm given to understand that the TSA would tend to frown upon such things and has the power to levy large fines and worse.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 00:03
  #446 (permalink)  
 
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The underlying question would be pretty straightforward: Was there a threat - and if so, was it justified to wait for 5 hours to divert because the decision was so difficult to make?
You assume there was only one incident, and that there was a delay of 5 hours between that single incident and the decision to divert. Your assumptions may turn out to be correct but, at the moment, they are merely assumptions based upon limited information. Judges base their decisions upon facts found to be proved.
So it all boils down to the factual scenario - what did actually happen on board of that aircraft?
Not all, but it would be the starting point.
the sheer numbers will not be in favour of the captain
Maybe, but judges consider quality as well as quantity.

"United will easily find a Dani-style expert witness"
I'm sure they could but I doubt very much they would want to. No competent lawyer would. Just a few examples:
Post #67: "Let me guess: The captain was near his 60's. These guys should just go.
"Post #158: "I think the case is closed" and: "I think it's also no coincidence that this incident happened in a major airline. And in the US."

"The captain a Rainboe-style expert witness"
Possibly not for a case of this nature, but Rainboe has qualities I always looked for in an expert witness when I was a barrister: Long experience, depth of knowledge, a 'facts first, conclusions second' approach, says what he thinks even if it's not what others want to hear.

"if there is, as so often, conflicting expert evidence, not much is won from the judge's point of view."
That is not correct.
Judges are well practised in assessing the respective quality of experts giving conflicting opinions. (And they would have done it for decades even before becoming judges.)

Based on an assessment what the most likely evidence presented to a court would be, I would be very very hesitant to tell the captain that his case is rock solid and that he has nothing to worry about. So how about a golden hand-shake?
There we differ.
Firstly, circumstances in which any (competent) lawyer would tell any client that his case is rock solid are very rare.
Secondly, no (competent) lawyer would give the captain an opinion either way until he was in possession of, and had closely examined, all the available evidence.
That includes the captain's account of what happened and his reasons for doing what he did.

The theoretical application of law is one thing, how it works out in the court-room is another. You will know that as much as I do.
I've been working in the courts for 35 years, fighting cases for the first 33 of them and now in a different capacity. You can safely assume that I know a great deal about how judges approach cases.
.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 00:23
  #447 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC,

I always heard it was far easier to supervise a hundred Men than three Women.

Throw in today's standard set of Cabin Crew and I reckon along with the Leadership training we ought to include Sensitivity Training, Diversity Training, and education on how not to brutalize sensitive emotions brought on by intimidation by authority figures. Granted most American airlines today probably ought to be given credit for hiring the elderly.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 00:32
  #448 (permalink)  
 
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Granted most American airlines today probably ought to be given credit for hiring the elderly.
Would that be the flight crew, cabin crew or both?
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 00:47
  #449 (permalink)  
 
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MU3001A

The Purser seems to have come up with a compromise on her own initiative, that didn't require interrupting cabin service. But she should probably have called the captain to let him know she had pushed the decs under the door, which would have been easy enough to do. Still, nothing that a reasonably well adjusted person needs to get all worked up about, still less something that rises to the level of diverting the aircraft merely to offload the perceived insubordinate crew member.
Agree 100%. In fact, in an earlier draft of my comment, I stated that I hoped she had, in fact, told the flight crew of the "under the door" disposition.

Still, even if she had done it silently "to just show him" I still don't see how he could use that as justification to his UA "generals" for the diversion.

I hope, for the captain's sake, that there is some big smoking gun hiding in the ether.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 01:33
  #450 (permalink)  
 
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In the last 8 years most US major airlines have not hired anybody as crew members. The pilots I saw after 9/11 were turning in their manuals and none have been called back and probably won't be for a long time. If they can maintain their recall rights they will be senior citizens when they come back. We have a lot of senior flight attendants, years wise, who may never come back.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 03:19
  #451 (permalink)  
 
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Would that be the flight crew, cabin crew or both?
New FMC option making it's way to the flight deck, braille and super sized keys.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 07:32
  #452 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SAS
I always heard it was far easier to supervise a hundred Men than three Women.
- I think I might even increase that ratio

However, on a serious note, the problems with the 'leadership by osmosis' group do not lie specifically in gender-related issues but in overall attitude to 'inferior folk'. Obviously those (male) ASGs who consider women 'inferior' have added issues which can affect their judgement.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 09:40
  #453 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
BOAC,
I always heard it was far easier to supervise a hundred Men than three Women.
What year have we, 1956?

No wonder some pilots have problems managing their crew.
 
Old 27th Jul 2009, 10:38
  #454 (permalink)  
 
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What year have we, 1956?

No wonder some pilots have problems managing their crew.
We have 2009 and a pilot with a mischievous sense of humour who often uses it to stir the pot.

He usually catches someone.
This time it was you.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 11:31
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Captain's defense with ALPO at his side.

"Hurt my knee countering the effects of "P" factor on my last 767 flight... had surgery. Lots of pain after the operation. Took pain pills to kill the pain. Guess I popped one one too many pain pills before the flight!!! Please... put me in rehab!!!"

Need to keep the job since the old ESOP account went to just about zero!

Hmmm since the company office is moving to the Sears aka Willis Towers in Chicago... I wonder if I can get a discount on my Hager Pants with a my UAL ID?
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 11:47
  #456 (permalink)  
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Captain's defense with ALPO at his side.
This is not much of a stretch from what I've seen in recent years. If you can somehow invoke medical, alcohol, substance abuse, gender or diversity issues in a hearing, you are almost guaranteed to keep your job. In some cases you must do mea culpas and go through rehab but it is very hard to fire a union worker covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

From some of the earlier comments, I'm not sure the captain is in ALPA, though.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 12:55
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...a union worker...
A member of good standing of ALPA after (as reported here on PPRuNe, so it must be true ) blowing in to UAL as a direct entry captain during an industrial dispute in 1985?

Life just gets curiouser and curiouser Alice...
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 13:14
  #458 (permalink)  
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No it doesn't. Completely and utterley irrelevant to anything!

Dani, you are posting some very weird stuff!
If you still cannot agree (I guess it's your nature), I gladly agree on a bet about every sum or good you want. But I won in the THY/AMS thread, in the Hudson case and surely in the AF thread. Why? Occam's razor is a sharp tool!
'You 'won' in the THY/AMS thread,Hudson case and surely the AF thread too'? Won what? Do you think this is some gladiatorial arena with people slugging it out until one is left standing? What a strange way to view it. Try and view it as a discussion place, with no egos to be plumped up. Are you really walking around thinking you 'won' in those threads? Judging by some of your opinions here which seem bizarre, who is deciding? I don't remember these 'slug-fests' you seem satisfied to have 'won'!
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 13:33
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Aw gee Heliport....and the fishing is so good here!

It seemed this has been a tempest in a tea pot with all sorts of ego (on both sides) getting into the affray.

As I posted way back towards the start of this.....the Captain's actions and those of the Purser would be reviewed and corrective action if needed, would be done in the cold light of day.

I would have thought most folks would have waited until they had the facts before launching off on their diatribes but I see Mr. Obama is in good company here.
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Old 27th Jul 2009, 13:41
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And who the hell is 'Occam'?
lex parsimoniae
"The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory."
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