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Fatal Flying on Airlines no Accident..

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Fatal Flying on Airlines no Accident..

Old 30th Dec 2009, 18:17
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Fatal Flying on Airlines no Accident..

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- On the evening of Dec. 10, 2007, pilot Kenny Edwards got the order to fly a Continental Airlines Inc. commuter flight from Tampa, Florida, to West Palm Beach. He told his dispatch supervisor he wouldn’t do it.

The plane’s collision avoidance system was broken, and a worn seal around the main cabin door made it difficult to maintain air pressurization above 10,000 feet, he told his bosses.

Gulfstream International Airlines Inc., which operated the Continental flight, ordered Edwards to fly the 19-passenger Beechcraft 1900D turboprop plane anyway, Edwards says. He refused. As a result, he was fired.

Edwards filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration, bringing into focus the hidden dangers of flying on regional airlines, which account for half of all scheduled passenger flights in the U.S., Bloomberg Markets magazine reported...

Fatal Flying on Airlines No Accident in Pilot Complaints to FAA - Bloomberg.com
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 18:47
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If the article is to be believed, I hope his union are 100% behind him and fund his action. Fortunately, it looks like there are deep pockets behind the other party so he shouldn't go away empty handed when he wins.

The Bloomberg article also highlights the potential perils of self selecting, self sponsoring zero to hero courses which include line training on the back of the course. The cheap airlines who benefit from this arrangement are, if they were people, the sort who would turn up at a party (un-invited) and not take any booze. They are also the people who should be named and shamed. Make them spend the money they save on not paying for training on marketing the idea that its OK not to pay their employee and legal fees for when it goes pear shaped.

Best of luck,

PM
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 18:53
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My, oh my

If even 30% is true...



God bless America for providing these means to "the Dream"...

P.S.: It is high time PPRuNe dedicates a forum to educating the SLF. As far as I can remember from an article I read 2-3 years ago, the FAA is one of the most underfunded agencies in the USA. Obviously they alone can't do too much. If the SLF don't vote with their money or Uncle Sam doesn't step in himself, it will all end in much more tears.

The trend is already there (Flight Global article on safety) - human factor is the most contributing cause for mishaps for the first time in 10 years world wide!
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 18:54
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Ms Salas obviously has a bit of a crush on Gulfstream International Airlines, but if half of what she alleges here is true then they deserve greater scrutiny, but that's the point isn't it - all of these alleged infractions are outside the current legal and regulatory framework, so who's supposed to be enforcing that? Oh, that's right, the FAA, your tax dollars inaction again.

Where's the outcry to make the regulatory body effective?
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 18:55
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I'm fairly sure both those item's are MEL'able. Unless they were overdue on the tolerances, his only excuse medical ie: plugged ears etc... I think the highest thing in florida is the Six flags/disney rollercoaster at around 400'. That said if you mel the pressurization, you cannot use the rear baggage area, the way TC's was written anyway.


That said, if a pilot isn't comfortable don't fly the airplane. I hope that he gets compensation.

Last edited by rigpiggy; 30th Dec 2009 at 19:11.
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 19:24
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Here we go with the "pay for training" debate...I think 1500 Hrs for a 121 crewmember is a good idea...

What happened to flight instructing, banner towing, night freight/checks to bank, sighteeing tours, etc, to earn your stripes????

This is not an argument pro/con about pay for training...just my viewpoint that you can't "buy" the experience needed to fly my family commercially...
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 19:42
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No!
You can, but be prepared to do it like the LH or AF or similar cadets in Europe. Where it costs them up to 100k EUR with the 10 years interest.
Not like in this criminal Gulfstream outfit.
Like the hookers - you get what you pay for...
IMHO
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 20:06
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I'm fairly sure both those item's are MEL'able. Unless they were overdue on the tolerances, his only excuse medical ie: plugged ears etc... I think the highest thing in florida is the Six flags/disney rollercoaster at around 400'. That said if you mel the pressurization, you cannot use the rear baggage area, the way TC's was written anyway.
A SINGLE MEL item may warrant only 'normal' scrutiny, but ANY combination of multiple deferred maintenance items warrants close scrutiny by the Captain and his best judgement as to take the airplane or not. The Captain didn'n need an "excuse" -- he believed the airplane was not safe FOR THAT FLIGHT, IN THAT CONDITION.

A VERY reasonable scenario is easily visualized: The pressurization problem forces flight at 10,000' or less -- the area where most light civil GA flying is done. The lack of TCAS greatly increases the risk of collision in that environment -- an environment in which he would not normally be flying in the first place!
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 21:32
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“The way the industry is structured is that management will go out and find a new airline and start siphoning off the business to whoever will fly for cheaper,” says Rice, 52, a pilot at United for 23 years.

“The American public is only just starting to wake up to that,” Rice says. “What they are buying is the lowest-cost operation that’s available.”

Guaranteed Cockpit Time

Pilots, mechanics and crew schedulers say Gulfstream International doesn’t want to hear complaints about safety. Founded in 1988 as a charter airline, Gulfstream now flies commuter planes for Continental and United, mostly in Florida and the Bahamas. Gulfstream has never had a fatal accident.

Pilots say Gulfstream has an unhealthy relationship between its airline and its flight school. Gulfstream’s training program is different from others, because it guarantees students time as a first officer, the No. 2 position in the cockpit, flying passengers for its own airline, Gulfstream says on it Web site.

“We offer the fastest possible transition to the ‘Right Seat’ of a commercial airliner,” Gulfstream says.

For $32,699, students get 522 hours of training -- including 250 hours as a first officer for Gulfstream International Airlines. That means student pilots are paying Gulfstream for the privilege of flying as first officers.
“Gulfstream is selling the job,” says Charlie Preusser, a regional airline pilot who flew for Manassas, Virginia-based Colgan Air. “When you’ve got a guy fronting the cash, there’s a lot of pressure on the company to keep him onboard no matter how bad he is.”
Well well well.
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 21:34
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I think the highest thing in florida is the Six flags/disney rollercoaster at around 400'.

No it isn't. There are some masts up to 1500' just south of the approach to PBI. Oh, and there's that radar sonde that goes to 14000' near EYW.
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 21:35
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A SINGLE MEL item may warrant only 'normal' scrutiny, but ANY combination of multiple deferred maintenance items warrants close scrutiny by the Captain and his best judgement as to take the airplane or not. The Captain didn'n need an "excuse" -- he believed the airplane was not safe FOR THAT FLIGHT, IN THAT CONDITION
But the "Captain's Judgement" is the very thing that apparently fails with this outfit. They either have insufficient experience to be making multiple MEL calls, or they are basically indentured servants until they pay off the training debt, or they are overridden by a cavalier management culture which they are too vulnerable or exposed to challenge effectively. Or maybe it's all of the above.

Choices are be a Captain and hope it doesn't kill you, or be a (unemployed) hero and call it like it is. A culture of ethical and morally correct behavior can only exist if the entire organization subscribes to it. It's no good if only the flight crews understand that point if management will neither support or endorse appropriate command behavior.
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 21:43
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As far as I can see, neither of those items require special procedures except max 10,000'.
I'd have taken the flight.
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 21:59
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Miserlou; you can only say that if you are in possession of ALL the facts. I've refused to take aircraft in the past; thankfully my employer (usually) accepted that the captain was the guy taking the responsibility.
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Old 30th Dec 2009, 22:10
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He made the right call

I notice that those second guesing this pilot tend to cover their real location and aviation knowledge in their files, maybe so they can trash sound decisions made by this pilot without revealing their own total lack of background to make these charges.Having just returned from that part of the USA there is NO WAY one should take a load of pax at low level without a TCAS or as I have ,a poor mans version of same in our 421, further to this I wonder if these folks have ever heard the howl of a leakey door seal?belive me I have had one so load we couldnt hear ATC! The pilot made a decision based on his view of things,its his butt, not yours so belt up if you wernt there! By the way I avoid flying on any conector in the USA, I felt safer on a Sqdn with a 50% loss rate per year than I do as a pax on any of them, at least we had a seat with a big red handle.

Last edited by clunckdriver; 30th Dec 2009 at 22:17. Reason: Two Tees in BUTT!
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Old 31st Dec 2009, 01:38
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If I remember correctly, there was a lawsuit brought by the CA against the airline for unfair dismissal, or what ever it is called, but as Florida is am "At Will" state, meaning that you or your employer can terminate the employment without cause, there was no case to answer. Very screwed up system, especially when it comes down to safety. There should be some re-percussion for the airline when this happens. Their argument as I remember it was the TCAS was MELable, and thus the CA was out of line. Not that they had to prove anything anyway as I said. At will means just that. In the US you either have at will or unionised. Total left or total right.

Downin3green, lets not do the hours debate thing again. European carriers and US military trust 200 hr guys in the rights seat. Their accident record is as good as any other unless you can show otherwise. Although paying for time at a 121 carrier should be outlawed. How can it be competative, or how can the wrong people be weeded out if all that matters is if their cheque clears?

Why don't the FAA stop giving away licenses with frosties tokens and 3 months in a flight school? At least adopt the US military approach to training if not the rest of the civilised world civilian training. Get rid of part 61 for commerical, make all training for airline be approved under 141. Oh, and make the written tests harder so at least it's not an attempt at proving you really are smarter than a 5th grader!

Show me a list of accidents that have been caused or have even involved an FO with less than 1500 hrs at the time of the accident.

Fix the FAA first. Take them out of the airlines pockets. Get rid of POI's so that they get inspected by the next available inspector. Stop the cosiness!
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Old 31st Dec 2009, 02:55
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Realistic...Regarding Fla's "right to work" law, that generally applies to unions, however, lawsuits (and settlements) are quite common...check out the Administrative Law Judge website...(sorry can't remember the exact name) and search "Custom Air Transport"...You'll find several pilots who were fired for dropping a dime to the feds....big money to the pilots involved....
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Old 31st Dec 2009, 07:51
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Fly the aircraft at 10000ft not a problem as long as the airway starts below this altitiude/level, if their is an airway.

If not and it is class G airspace, tell the ops guys to fly it themselves, oh but they cant because they have not got a license and fly a desk
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Old 31st Dec 2009, 08:31
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One cannot imagine the level of congestion in that airspace unless ou have experienced it, good decision by the Captain, bad choice to join a shonky outfit like that to begin with.

One can only hope after the Buffalo crash, the major airlines start being a bit more picky when they choose their regional partners...doubt it though
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Old 31st Dec 2009, 08:54
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P.S.: It is high time PPRuNe dedicates a forum to educating the SLF.
Most SLF (or fare-paying passengers as we're otherwise known) who participate in PPRuNe are fairly savvy about issues of safety, and not just in the USA. I've flagged concerns with UK domestic and international carriers and also lobbied my Member of Parliament on aviation safety matters, especially when he was a junior transport minister in the government.

It's ironic that over on JB, someone recently suggested that PPRuNe should be for professional pilots only. While it's clearly a board for you folks, it's also an opportunity for engagement with people like me who are the end users of the service you provide. Long may that continue.
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Old 31st Dec 2009, 11:59
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there is NO WAY one should take a load of pax at low level without a TCAS
Maybe at your operation you don't use the MEL, most of the rest of us do, if you couldn't make this flight without theTCAS, maybe you should stick to a train or bus, you probably rely soley on these cute little instruments while you read the paper, what you are not aware of is that others may not have a transponder that you see or an operating TCAS, looking out the window that is supplied may be a good idea.

Good luck D.L.
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