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Fired for refusal to fly through ash cloud

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Fired for refusal to fly through ash cloud

Old 16th May 2010, 02:33
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: merseyside
Posts: 81
Better to be safe than sorry !

From my own personal experience as a a regular airline passenger i would support the descision of the guy who sits in the drivers seat more than the guy in operations at the airline or the suits behind the top desks ...even if he was eventually found to be wrong in making that descision .

I was a passenger on a channel express aircraft some years ago ( aircraft had been chartered for a holiday flight to the algarve ) it was on or around the time when the FAA issued special conditions for filling the central wing tanks on boeing's after the Twa 800accident .

I assume thats what caused there to be a fuel spillage after refuelling ..any way firebrigade where in attendance mopping up the spill etc when some bloke stood up and started screaming " I am an engineer ..this aircraft is unsafe ..i want to get off now ...proceeding to drag his wife and 2 children out of their seats ...the steward tryed hiis best to calm him down and he just lost it even more ...all the time screaming " if you dont get off this aircraft you are all going to die "

As you can imagine people where getting very anxious and uncomfortable however the captain came out of the cockpit and also tryed to intervene but to no avail so this chap was removed from the aircraft along with his sobbing wife and children .

The captain then addressed us passengers ...he explained that if for one single second that he thought that the aircraft that we where sitting on was dangerous and unsafe he would refuse to fly it and that he said was the case even if he was put in a position where he could lose his job .

He then explained the reason for the fire brigades attendance and why these new refuelling methods where being used ...followed by a statement that any passengers who where still uncomfortable with the incident that had just occurred and where frightened by what he had explained could also leave the aircraft ,,

This guy was so cool , calm and collected that no one moved an inch ..all ov us trusted his judgement and explanation ...He was a credit to his profession .

we where delayed by 2 hours but the flight was totally uneventfull and on landing he didnt just get the chav clap as i call it he got a standing ovation .

On leaving the aircraft i overheard him saying to the steward that the idea of anyone thinking that he would put any of his passengers lives at risk and take off in an aircraft that was dangerous was so gut wrenching it hurt .

I for one believed him ..that guy would never have put any of his passengers lives at risk ..even if it meant him losing his job .

So to all of you ppruners who are having a go at this spanish captain & fellow pilot is it not better to be safe than sorry ?
even if you are eventually proved wrong ...
you have acted in the best interests of your passengers and thats what matters...
dicksorchard is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 03:10
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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John Telders.

Thankyou, you hit it perfectly.

Being pronounced " incorrect ", or for that matter " correct ", is offensive to the guy who took the decision.
emptyagain is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 04:48
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
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No one pronounced anyone correct...but based on what he wrote as an explanation of his actions...it seems the decision was sound, legally,...and perhaps you'd understand the tone in my post if perhaps I'd written

Capt Best: " I did not; fly into the mountain, other aircraft, red spots on the radar

PA would say: that was the correct decision, not condescension, which is not my thing, sorry, I should have paid more attention in charm school
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 06:53
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Thumbs up A backseat perspective...

As a backseat paying member of the SLF fraternity I would much rather the Captain of this airborn ship have the final say...fly-no fly. What I don't want, and will never know, that the one in the left seat has come on board, pissed at someone, or something. If the informed decision is not to fly it must be respected. No other person should be able to counter that decision. Passenger safety is first, profits are second. I choose my carrier very carefully, based on history not price. Can you say Air Canada. Good luck to A320.
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Old 16th May 2010, 07:45
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Thumbs up Biological processing

What you expect in a country of opportunism and corruption-ademas, look in the streets, Franco is still the commander!
In Germany by the way is the same, look at people like Hunold, CEO of Air Berlin, only looking for profit, until the first plane falls out of the sky

I agree, more solidarity among pilots!!!
airwörk is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 07:53
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
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In matters of safety and ash cloud problems it is the same across the board, both Meyerhuber and Hunold are of the same mind about it, as are all the other CEOs.
Denti is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 07:55
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Well done!

Well done!
Pilots who critisize this decision are not professional @all and most probably greenhorns in airline business, better they should change their diapers first, than the picture gets clearer.
airwörk is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 09:35
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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No one has ever lost their lives due to an encounter with ash polluted air heavy or light (unless they smoke) and that is over 50 years in aviation history
cos ppl don't fly in affected areas maybe?

Next this pilot will refuse to fly in the bird migration season
I know if i see a pack of birds on my take off path i wouldn't fly into the pack and hope its gonna be ok. Same reason i won't fly into volcanic ash.
Guppy....You are full of your self.
i like this one tho

Not much of a team-worker, eh?
This is the answer.
Being a Captain is about responsibility and authority
authority doesnt necessary mean no CRM. He's leading the group doesn't mean he didn't consider their opinions.

"I would avoid flying at night which isnt a major problem at this time of year".

What the f...?
haha i was thinking the same thing too. Wth....?

Ironically, there was no mention of the copilot.Wasnt there one or he didnt count
Maybe the FO said something like- "errr captain i don't know. i got like 500 hours. Captain, if it's not safe for u then its not safe for me."?
Neupielot is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 10:37
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Bus driver refusing to drive because it is rainy outside?
Surgeon refusing to do the job because there is some blood around?
Plumber says he will not fix it as hammer may incidentally hit the finger?

How often you hear that and what would be you reaction?

Get a live and stop moaning about greedy CEOs. You were all paid for April, aren't you? Did you ever care where CEO got money to pay your salaries after loosing revenue due to grounded flights? Not your business? Yeah, right. So do your business - fly aircraft. Or leave the industry.
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Old 16th May 2010, 11:39
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
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Quote A320 driver: "they don't pay me enough money to put the safety of my flight at risk and fly through it."


Would be interesting to learn how much money those greedy CEO´s have to pay in order to make you put the safety of your flight at risk.
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Old 16th May 2010, 12:33
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Ok, bus drivers,, do you know that if a speedometer becomes defective on a journey, you are allowed to complete the journey and then return to depot. The next time that the vehicle is used on the road is for the afformentioned speedometer to be repaired. Even radio controllers threaten discipline unless you continue fully in service, we´ll put a sticker on it and it´s valid for use for 7 days..... unfortunately not true but may get a driver to risk his/her license.

A bus with a defective speedo will not kill hundreds of people, I´m with the pilot, if he/she deems the journey to be unsafe, then it is unsafe. They want to get back to their family as much as I do.

A bus can do 62mph, a plane???? No contest.

Never heard of a surgeon upset with blood..........

I read the book, "all four engines have failed" , superb airmanship saved the day, DON´T PUSH YOUR LUCK with another attempt at flying through Volcanic ash!
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Old 16th May 2010, 14:37
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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I would recommend that no pilot who has been dismissed in this matter comes here to post things. 320 driver, I recommend you tell this to your friend.

vanHorck is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 15:08
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Bus driver refusing to drive because it is rainy outside?
Surgeon refusing to do the job because there is some blood around?
Plumber says he will not fix it as hammer may incidentally hit the finger?

How often you hear that and what would be you reaction?

Get a live and stop moaning about greedy CEOs. You were all paid for April, aren't you? Did you ever care where CEO got money to pay your salaries after loosing revenue due to grounded flights? Not your business? Yeah, right. So do your business - fly aircraft. Or leave the industry.
Yup, agree.
However, we now seem to have a large group of junior 'pilots' on this forum who seem to be woefully uninformed about the subject of volcanic ash, and together with aviation authorities in Europe, who have not had to cope with this much before (except perhaps the Italians)...all seem to be scared of their own collective shadows, and will look for any excuse to not fly.
It would therefore appear that the entire commercial aviation business throughout Europe/UK is going to the dogs (so to speak)...and I for one, couldn't care less.
Let them stew in their own juice.
411A is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 17:01
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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This is such a simple matter really. According to driver320 he had a just cause to cancel the flight. And that is that! Of course as the captain he can call a decision like that with such weight. I would be very surprised if he doesn't win in court.

No one has ever lost their lives due to an encounter with ash polluted air heavy or light (unless they smoke) and that is over 50 years in aviation history
What an absolutely idiotic statement! Must someone die before you change your mind. Perhaps the fact that nobody has died is testimony to safety measures being taken and in one very famous case, to very good airmanship.

So he got fired.
He will go to court and probably win his case
Thats all folks, lets bury it.

=FIN=
gravity enemy is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 17:10
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
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He will go to court and probably win his case
Quite likely not, unless....he has very good qualified experts to back up his case.
You can bet your boots the company will resist to the last possible motion.
Hope the guy has deep pockets...he will need them.
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Old 16th May 2010, 17:14
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
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411A

You can say that again. In fact, you should say that again. And in case you don't, I will:

However, we now seem to have a large group of junior 'pilots' on this forum who seem to be woefully uninformed about the subject of volcanic ash, and together with aviation authorities in Europe, who have not had to cope with this much before (except perhaps the Italians)...all seem to be scared of their own collective shadows, and will look for any excuse to not fly.
It would therefore appear that the entire commercial aviation business throughout Europe/UK is going to the dogs (so to speak)...and I for one, couldn't care less.
Let them stew in their own juice.
126.9 is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 17:32
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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agree with Van Horck....
This is not the right place to raise these issues. company colleagues shouldn´t be very happy with this post at all.
reach59 is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 17:33
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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126.9 you mean you were never a young pilot?

Perhaps my age and 'naivety' are making me not understand this better, so I would kindly ask you to explain. driver 32o mentioned that his routing took him through a published ash cloud zone. Please let me know if I have gotten that wrong. This is a sincere request and I am not trying to be funny or act as a smart ass.

Regards GE
gravity enemy is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 17:46
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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411A, sometimes you vent to the point of sounding as if you are so up your own a*** and lost in your own ego. This is very much an unknown. Geology and geography in particular set this apart from other events; most volcanic eruptions don't cause clouds of ash to drift over heavily populated airspace not do they usually involve erupting through a glacial ice cap. I have it on very good authority from a BA pilot, now retired, with over 30 years experience, most as a captain, that he would not fly if there was any possibility of ash cloud contamination. I trust his judgement more than someone who lives in a rather inert geological zone prone to endless blue sky, despite where else you may have shown off your prowess. His somewhat understated, modest demeanour not to mention skill is something to aspire to.
DB64 is offline  
Old 16th May 2010, 17:54
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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The position on this incident is very clear to me.
By attaining the title of "Captain" , the employer, and the certifying body has put certain authorities in his hands. They are saying he is responsible for making all kinds of judgements, that affect safety, among other things.
AND they , by giving this rank, are acknowledging that they are putting trust in his capabilities.

The employer has , in my opinion, every right, after the fact to discuss with the Captain, how he came to this decision and why.

They may, as in this case, disagree with his final decision .

But it is a dangerous precedent to dismiss a Captain for his decision without some compelling evidence of dereliction of duty.

Even if the case were a bad decision, to err on the side of safety, a post discussion of such would only be warranted . Unless a pattern over time is observed, one must assume that his decision was made in good faith, with the safety of his passengers a priority.
A Captain should not have to consider in his/her assessments of a a safety issue whether it will lead to a firing.

Imagine....."Hello Captain XYZ , yes you are the final authority for your airplane today, by the way if you make one decision that we dont like (read cost us money) we will fire you ,we do not care about your exemplary record, or anything else...what? of course we trust you to do the right thing ! "
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