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Pilot's Job Threatened For Restricting Extra Lavatory

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Pilot's Job Threatened For Restricting Extra Lavatory

Old 2nd Jun 2002, 21:03
  #21 (permalink)  
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411,

I always look forward to your posts, especially on issues such as this...

I have flown VIP Transport Cat A/C for a single owner for more than 6 years and I agree with you...1st/Business Class pays the bills...

My owner sends me Business or First always and I have seen that (even prior to 9-11) the service has degenerated.

I expect to take heat for this comment, but BA has always been my airline of choice across the Atlantic, and they rarely disapoint...
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 21:39
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This is unchartered territory in legal precedent, as far as I can tell.

Captains authority seems to cover this, the rub being what happens after the flight terminates.

The captain is accountable for his actions and decisions, and under the circumstances that exist today, I think a judge or jury would look favorably on such actions.

Time will tell. I wish you well. I went to the wall a few times like this, dealing with demanding extra fuel.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 22:02
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757 lavs & first class pax

to all,

aa's 75's are configured with a lav forward of the galley another seperating first and coach lastly two in the aft of the aircraft, forward of the rear galley.

this restriction is no inconvenience to the first class pax, the lav seperating them from coach was given priority for them, the two in the rear were for the coach pax.

i have never had a paying passenger complain, they appear to appreciate the added level of security. the complainers were two managing directors, who apparently couldnt pee near the common folk.

having owned a couple charter businesses, i know who butters the bread. i am careful to be considerate and explain the reasons for the procedure, and make clear the availability and priority to the mid lav.

for those condescending critics, at least listen before acting like management.

dale
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 22:05
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Lets not forget that for the first 4 months after 9/11 the forward LAV was officially off limits to all pax to prevent congregating around the cockpit door.

Is it any coincidence that this happens at the same time Don cAArty calls for removing security put in place after 9/11?

Cheers
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 22:05
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you all also seem to miss the point.

i was threatened with job loss, for continuing a procedure the company had originally put in place after 9/11.

it had never been criticized unil the two managing directors complained.

the "whistleblower" was for threat of job loss over a safety decisicion, one well within the prerogatives of a pilot in command.

dale
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 23:38
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Well done, Duster

Until there's two secure doors with an interlock, it's possible for a martial arts trained bad guy to muscle aside a pilot reentering the cockpit in a surprise move, latch the secure door behind and take out the remaining pilot protected from any further interference from the remaining crew and passengers.

Until there's two doors, I don't want anybody but crew in the forward galley as crew entering the cockpit are vulnerable to a surprise attack.

Now once a hijacker pulls this off and an F16 is called in, Duster will become another famous underling that management ignored.

I'm sure he and many others would be much happier if management clued in before rather than after.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 01:47
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Procedure put in place just after Sept 11, kept for awhile, then recinded. Suspect a memo was sent to all crew accordingly.
So far so good....but then a Captain decides that's not good enough so, contrary to memo, decides for himself to restrict access to fwd lav for "security"...well I guess he must have had a good reason (wonder what it was, a specific threat perhaps)....or maybe he decides that "because it's Tuesday and i'm the boss" that's the way it will be. He's "right" of course, as he is the Commander.
Of course, when looked at later by management, after complaints....perhaps not such a good idea.
Wonder what the justification was?
A better idea then double doors and pistol 'packin pilots is
armed and properly trained Sky Marshals on all flights. This was tried before and worked well...wonder why the pilots are not pushing for this now?

Last edited by 411A; 3rd Jun 2002 at 01:54.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 04:20
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duster-

Hang in there, don't mind 411a, he's the wind up king.

Those of you who know the 757, the forward galley and lavatory can become quite crowded and is a major pain in the butt for the cabin crew when it comes to full service time. Quite frankly, it can be rather unsanitary as well. Nothing like someone dropping a load in the lav, opening the door only to be within feet of the "freshly prepared food". The business class passengers are not inconvenienced as there is a second lav right behind the galley. The in charge quite frequently blocks access to the forward lav and has my full support. (And yes, this has been done over the PA.

The forward galley is separated from the cabin by a curtain; if the pax know that the forward lav is there they have to open the curtain, stick their head in and interrupt the cabin crew. Since 9/11, if that curtain is closed consider that area off limits and secure .

As I've stated before on this forum, there is no galley or lavatory on the flight deck! 411 you're sharper than the average stone, I'm sure you can imagine the rest of the scenario...

P.S. For the wannabee commanders (I've posted this several times); Canadian Statutes -
Criminal Code Chapter C-46. In This Act, "peace officer includes" (f) the pilot in command of an aircraft while the aircraft is in flight. It further defines in-flight as: (8) For the purposes of this section, of the definition "peace officer" in section 2 and of sections 76 and 77, "flight" means the act of flying or moving through the air and an aircraft shall be deemed to be in flight from the time when all external doors are closed following the embarkation until the later of: (a) the time at which any such door is opened for the purpose of disembarkation* The Aeronautics Act, Chapter A-2 stated: "pilot-in-command" means, in relation to an aircraft, the pilot having responsibility and authority for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time. *

And yes, I understand customer service. Part of this service is providing a competent professional captain and crew that have to make decisions...
----------------------------------

Last edited by Orca strait; 3rd Jun 2002 at 04:38.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 05:28
  #29 (permalink)  

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411A,

You claim to be just taking the 'Devils Advocate' stance?

I would put it to you that that is the only stance you ever take. I have yet to see you take any stance that supports Aircrew in general, or Aircraft Captains in particular. Yet you claim to have been an Aircraft Commander in the past!

Somethings must be defended against. Terrorists are an obvious threat, beaurocratic/ management/beancounter excess are another less obvious one.

The forces responsible for the current state of our industry are,

1/. Terrorists,
2/. Govt,
3/. Management/bean counters.

If you can tell us that the responses of 2/. and 3/. above have been truly effective against 1/. , let alone cost effective or reasonable then you are truly just a sad old git who's out of touch with current reality....having flown with Captains like you in the past I strongly suspect your grasp on reality has always been tenuous!

That any airline management would not support it's Captains/Aircrew in these matters at this time (post 911) is disappointing to say the least...that it comes from an Airline that was so involved in 911 is just bizarre.

Dale more power to you!

I might lose my job in the not too distant future because of my stance against certain things that any Chief Pilot would consider unacceptable...I can exactly identify with your sense of frustration at being deserted by those who should be supporting you...I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to have also lost peers/friends in the thunder of 911....like all of us I could only sit in disbelief as it all unravelled on CNN.

But for my money it's better to stand fast for what you believe in and be shot in the face than to live cowering in a dark corner because you believe in nothing...like 411A.

Chuck
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 06:32
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Well Chuck, I positively believe in what I say...

After 37 years in the airline industry, I can clearly see the following...
Airline 'security' in the USA is a joke, the high school drop-outs that have, up to now, been responsible for terminal security...could not find their a@@ with both hands, even if the lights were on.
In the early 60's, Continental 64, an LAX-HOU flight (old 707 straight pipe) was hijacked to Cuba. After this incident, properly trained and "equipped" Sky Marshals were deployed on most USA flights.
Result...highjacking stopped...until the Sky Marshals were withdrawn.
IF you have these guys back on board, the "problems" would...go away, period.
Works for El Al,.....case closed.
Question: WHY has ALPA /APA not pressed for this?
Answers on a postcard...or even here, for ALL to see.

As you can see, i'm very direct with my comments...yet some seem to "skirt 'round the issue".

SO, what's it gonna be....Sky Marshals...or not?
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 06:34
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411A,

As a biz pax who, though I don't know exactly what you do, probably also pays *your* salary, I fully support this captain's decision. The next time I fly AA in or out of DFW I hope Mr. Duster's upfront running his ship the way I would expect, neigh, demand, it be run.

Screw the marketing, this is not a drill or a pussy recreational yacht trip. Just my view from down the back: Management wake up, it's our asses we're primarily concerned about, not whether we have to walk further for a pee.

Assuming Mr Duster is the real thing of course...
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 11:49
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Let's assume that Duster is the guy, shall we?

So he's the pilot in command. The key word is "command". Borrowing from military usage, "command" means that he is responsible for every single thing that happens on that a/c from the time he asses it to the time he un-asses it, and more besides.

It's become far too common these days to question, second-guess and cavil at those who are placed "in command". Everyone's an expert, everyone knows what's best, and everyone has exquisite vision - in hindsight. Everyone claims to have the highest respect for those who are "in command", but this kind of experience shows that that respect is highly situational.

When a PIC uses his command skills and judgement - oh, let's say, to bring a two-engined DC10 with no hydraulics and no directional control surfaces to an airfield in the middle of BF Nowhere - he's a superman, and hero and an Example To Others. Which is as it should be.

But when a PIC uses his command skills and judgement to decide what he thinks is best for the security of the a/c and every soul on it - and it involves some first-class passengers with delusions of their own importance having to walk a few extra steps to pee - he's a jerk.

What first-class passengers think of themselves and their relative importance to the success of the airline is insignificant. If their bathroom access is so GD important, they can buy a Gulfstream of their very own. An airliner is a common carrier, not a magic carpet whose functioning is dictated by those who happened to pay more for a wider seat and to have their delusions pandered to. Part of the common carrier deal is that any and all decisions that involve the safety, security and correct operation of the airplane are at the sole decision of the pilot In Command.

I applaud Duster for showing the true exercise of command authority in making sure that even the more minor details of cabin security are addressed. I want the people in the first-arriving seats to have their minds completely engaged in every aspect of the operation of the aircraft. If I fly AA through DFW, I hope I'm seated behind Duster - and not some pilot who is prepared to compromise his/her command decisions in order to avoid giving offense, or to further the self-absorbtion of some self-important jackass who thinks that a higher disposable income (or a fatter expense account) gives him/her the right to Command.

llater,

llamas
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 13:19
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411a-

90,000 plus Air Marshals would be required in the U.S.A. alone; run that one by the bean counters. I'm not sure if those numbers include every operator that has a big airplanes or not (charter etc.).

I suspect it may be a lot easier to keep an Isreali Marshal interested in his/her job as they are dealing with such small numbers of flights. How long do you suppose you can keep a highly trained Air Marshal fit and interested after a couple of years of torture in the cabin riding around the U.S. skies?

Air Marshal's are random; you guess whether your next flight has one or not. We have to get over this grand idea that one big answer solves one big problem; everyone has a part to play.

Time to include the aircrews in the overall security package (so give back our nail clippers...)

(edited for spelling)

Last edited by Orca strait; 3rd Jun 2002 at 17:48.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 15:34
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Well, orca strait, you pay for those 90,000+ Sky Marshals out of the already paid pax ticket tax (and STOP the routing of these funds to the general account that Congress spends on pork-barrel projects)...and get rid of the army of high-school dropouts now employed to hand search 85 year old grandmas.
IF proper security is desired, it must be paid for....and if the flying public demands same, the funds WILL be found.
And, pistol packin' pilots are NOT the answer....these guys belong up front, in control of the machine, not in the cabin with delusions of Wyatt Earp.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 16:06
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411A - The pilots need guns IN THE COCKPIT for when the armed intruder gets in there.

Who would seriously think otherwise?
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 16:22
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What you cannot enforce, do not command. -Socrates

The break even funding for the air marshal program won't happen; as you stated, gov't pork barreling will ensure that. The logistics of the program are enormous and maintaining the level of proficiency that is required over the long term will fall by the wayside. In my view, the air marshal program is random and temporary.

Why do you insist that all Pilot's want to be Wyatt Earp? These views from an airline pilot....please enlighten us as to how you justify your blanket accusations.

As an aircraft commander, with responsibilities and authority legislated by law, I find it painful and bewildering to be placed on the same list as passengers when it comes to security issues. At the end of the day, the commander and crew will be held accountable, responsible and liable for all actions on their aircraft. This is not about packing heat.

The last 15 years have seen the concepts of safety and crew resource management grow in leaps and bounds. When the CRM concept was introduced, some of the old salts reiterated the belief that all that was required for crew input was "gear up and shut up". Read llamas post regarding The Sioux City Iowa experience on how modern day CRM saved the day. Flight Safety and CRM programs are now regarded as integral to an airlines longevity and profitability. Security now needs to be incorporated into Safety and CRM.

Last edited by Orca strait; 3rd Jun 2002 at 16:29.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 16:26
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Dale,
Good on you for standing by your decision...as to the merits of the decision itself,I dont know all the facts,and a lot would depend on how it was explained to the pax.Pilots pre 911 have traditionally been anonymous...pax now appreciate this type of no-nonsense take charge approach..even if we get it wrong at first,and even if the decision is not to the benefit of their comfort.Its only natural that after years of being soo low profile,that our new role will result in errors(I am not suggesting yours was),but the point is that the pax see that somebody is in charge and not afraid to make a stand.That they respect.

411a,
Couldnt disagree with you more...I think that the no.of pax who will gladly forego a comfort that was once taken for granted in order to comply with the Commanders decision may yet surprise you.No one has shorter memories than the travelling public and perhaps this solidarity with the crew will soon change but for now it remains pretty solid.We've always lived under the assumption that pax want wider seats and pretty FA's(and they do),but what they really want is a a guy(or gal) up front who's not afraid to make a decision and stand by it,right or wrong.They want the Captain to be a Captain,not just a pilot.It shouldnt infringe on the customer service side of things needlessly,but when it does for good reason,99% of the people will understand and accept it.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 17:44
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What Holden said.

I've spent far too much of my life as SLF.

As with brain surgery and doing brake work on my truck, I want someone in command - not someone who's trying to make me happy.

I, personally, believe that the airline management is still mired in a 60's-style, glamourous-Jet-Set conception of air travel, and as a consequence, they have let customer-happiness issues get out of hand.

I've seen more than my share of spoiled, self-absorbed jackasses whining and snivelling like spoiled teenagers to try and get their way, or treating the crew like dirt, or throwing tantrums - and other things - in order that they may continue to use the airplane as their own private playground. Without wanting to use that hackneyed term whose initials are AR, I suggest that the rise in incidents of serious passenger misbehaviour is due - in part at least - to a management that is more interested in presenting a picture of "glamourous adventure through the skies for you, our valued guest" than it is in bursting the passenger's bubble and exposing the awful fact that air travel is now a common-carrier, price-driven business. And that the safety and security of the entire complement of souls on board is simply not a subject for negotiation based on how much you paid for your ticket.

As a sometime copper, I was once involved in helping the cabin crew subdue a passenger who was the worse for drink and behaving badly. I still recall one of the FA's (male) thanking me profusely, along the lines of "we could have handled it with no problem, but would have faced all sorts of questions and second-guessing from our management for man-handling a passenger in that way. All those questions go away when other passengers get involved."

Well, pardon me, but the folks in charge of making 100 tons of aluminum filled with people fly from one place to another should not have to be frightened of having their best judgement questioned, especially by some over-lawyered jackanapes or other. More power to captains who exercise their command authority seriously and deliberately, and it is only to be hoped that their example is followed by others.

llater,

llamas
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 21:40
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Hmmm, interesting comments.
What many STILL do not realise is that the passenger airline industry...is still "customer driven". Never mind if you like it or not,
the high yield pax pays the bills....and if they don't (as in going somewhere else) than many of those nice comfy jobs...go up in smoke.

But the biz-jet fractionals are smiling....all the way to the bank...and, don't forget, providing jobs for (what a surprise) pilots, sometimes retired airline pilots. Know several...and you can bet your boots that they have learned to say "yes SIR" to their very important customer...AKA, the paying passenger.
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Old 4th Jun 2002, 00:07
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411A
Are you really a pilot?
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