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Captain UA455 removed from flight for "emotional meltdown"

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Captain UA455 removed from flight for "emotional meltdown"

Old 13th Feb 2017, 00:53
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 5,074
She was divorced in 2015 after 28 years of marriage.

Originally Posted by JW411 View Post
I would imagine that the F/O was looking at the seniority list.
She's been with United since the late 1980's according to my sources. That would put her in the early EEOC hires with the Frasca trainer interview at Stapleton.

She's 54 with a daughter and a son from the marriage and lives near Sacramento. Her father flew for Pan Am back in the glory days and her son is in Air Force flight training.

Originally Posted by tsgas View Post
the was that she is dressed would be suitable for driving a cab
I would suggest that grooming and uniform standards have not been consistently enforced for females at U.S. airlines. Any comment on appearance or hairstyle can be spun into a harassment claim from what a male supervisory pilot told me a few years ago. He seemed to speak from experience.

Anyway, she was in civilian clothes. But I still wouldn't wear flip-flops to work, even to check my crew mail, much less to command an airliner. I've sure had to find a phone booth to change into a uniform a time or two over the years when I was a commuter.

Some ops manuals I've used actually do have a procedure for operating a revenue flight in civilian attire with authorization. Don't know about United.

Last edited by Airbubba; 13th Feb 2017 at 05:21.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 01:13
  #42 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Derbyshire, England.
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My last employer insisted that all positioning flights were in uniform, solved any potential problems regarding choice of civilian clothes and kept the crew sober!
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 01:14
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1998
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this incident raises the question of personal health and a company's REAL attitude towards it, not the fluffy "we'll look after our staff" PR spin.

I'm not referring to UAL, don't know how they would treat this. There are many people out there who expect that there employer would suspend them immediately, without pay and would make every effort to terminate them asap, rather than work together to find a mutually acceptable solution.

This leads to situations where pilots are flying when they should not be.

Before anyone shoots me down, not all employees have the luxury of union representation or a sympathetic management.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 01:43
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
How would they know she is the "working" captain? She could be dead heading on the jump seat for all they know. Crews are dead heading all the time in the USA.
Gate agents are supposed to check id's. They know who the operating crew is.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 02:00
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
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you mean there are human beings at the pointy end of the plane and that they can suffer from mental illness (stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD etc..) how can that even be possible?! surely these pilots are infallible demi-gods?! and that folks is what is wrong with our industry and regulators the world over. A total failure to recognise the weakness of the human condition and to accept that pilots are just as likley to suffer from the same mental health issues as the general populus (1:3 get depression and or other mental illnesses). Pilots under pressure not to put the hand up and get the help they need due to Company pressure (loss of job) or Regulator pressure (loss of licence/medical) so they either seek private help below the radar and keep it hidden or soldier on without help and have a total meltdown or drive it into the ground. There are some good, caring companies and some good regulators that are being proactive in this area but the balance is far too much towards the other end and its very worrying. Before anyone beats me up, I'm just stating some facts here - it's a very complex and emotive issue and I don't really know what the solution is but the status quo is a 'swamp' which is a breeding ground for these types of incidents to continue. The fact is, and anyone who has held a medical certificate on this thread knows, it is very easy to hide these kinds of problems from an AME and with an unforgiving industry and regulatory environment, where loss of licence and career is likely, there is a great incentive to do so. We don't need 'loonies' up front that can potentially crash an aircraft and kill all on board but at the same time, we need an industry and regulatory environment that can have a 'grown-up' discussion and come up with some real solutions to these problems.....
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 02:46
  #46 (permalink)  
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Very well said bluesideoops.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 03:08
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
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What kind of uniform was that she wearing? Tee shirt and baseball cap?
First thing I noticed. Who was that person on the IC and how did she access airside?
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 06:19
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Shame she took her issues to work so publicly but my heart goes out to her, I can empathise and I hope she gets the help she needs.

Divorcing after 28 years is brutal, I know from personal experience.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 08:55
  #49 (permalink)  
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There are peer assistance groups that offer confidential assistance to pilots PAN - Peer Assistance Network, with some basic info & resources and info on the page.

This model is quite successful and has been going since the early 90's. The only person who truely understands all the pressures and medical licensing issues is another pilot, not involved with the union, management or regulator on a strictly confidential basis.

PM me for info.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 09:35
  #50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Deep and fast View Post
Mentioned the other pilot was a man and ranted politics with Clinton and trump. Sounds like an anti man feminist rant. Hubby probably cheated and got caught leading to divorce.
The real problem is not calling time on work instead of washing your dirty clothes in public.
Like it or not, she's toast.
Your "final" report is missing Taf and Metar.
Companies are heartless bar stardians that why I made this comment.
If more compassion existed in business there would be less fatigue, less mental health issues, less divorce, less etc etc.
But the heartless kings, the accountants are running the show now.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 10:17
  #51 (permalink)  
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Heartfelt sympathy to this person. Divorce is really horrible, and stress is easy to miss, believe it or not.

The really sad thing is that she did not feel that there was anyone she could talk to: Her Union, her manager, her HR department, her occupational health office, her AME, her doctor.

Companies need to understand that the way they are running airlines these days is leading to vastly increased stress on aircrew's lives. Therefore, there needs to be some way that an employee can talk to a suitably trained person if need be - and be listened to confidentially and sympathetically. That person doesn't necessarily need to be the person's manager - they could be the source of the stress - so there needs to be other people in a company that a person could go to and talk to confidentially.

I went to my doctor after having not done very well in a SIM once. I told him I didn't know what was wrong with me and why I was performing so badly. He asked me some questions and then on the spot, he signed me off work for two weeks for stress. I had no idea that I was even stressed.

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Old 13th Feb 2017, 10:41
  #52 (permalink)  
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Man or woman, we all need our hands holding at some time. Maybe her problem was that she couldn't find anyone to talk to. Someone who would listen to her and tell her not to go to work until she gets a few things sorted. The thing is she cared enough about her passengers to tell them she was having a problem. It is just a shame for her that she lost the plot when she did.

What is clear is that whatever processes and procedures they have to support pilots before they get this far did not work in her case. As for the future, we will now see how good her employer and union are when they work together to get her back onto the straight and narrow. I truly hope she is given the help she needs and is able to get back to work in the near future, if that is what she wants.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 10:46
  #53 (permalink)  
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Companies need to understand that the way they are running airlines these days is leading to vastly increased stress on aircrew's lives
Ain't that the truth.
I think that sleep disruption exacerbates any other problems that are common in people's private lives. We have more sleep disruption now in Airline flying than ever before.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 11:57
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: United Kingdom
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Trouble is it is now the norm to self posn into your base. A well known airline in the U.K. Even has someone positioning in from Vancouver prior to operating along haul sector which frankly is a joke. Plenty position in from France.
Until pilots stop shooting themselves in the foot. (Complaining about fatigue & rostering whilst the above continues) Not much is going to change & more incidences of " burn out" will occur.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 12:21
  #55 (permalink)  
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Plenty position in from France.
Going slightly off topic but please, not that old one chestnut again - take a look at the map...my door to door journey from France to LHR is probably less in time and distance than that of people who commute by road or train from Manchester, Leeds etc, and I don't do any of the driving. Knowing our lot if they forced everybody to live in Longford they would then go to EASA/CAA and ask for approval for longer FDPs.

Back on topic, we need need to be aware of stress, and things like sleep issues creeping up on people but I don't think it's something that can be solved by increasing the number of rules in the rule set....as PM said: "Man or woman, we all need our hands holding at some time. Maybe her problem was that she couldn't find anyone to talk to." and I absolutely agree. I've certainly seen a couple of male colleagues who have come unglued due stress, and we as a group can be awfuly bad at asking for assistance when we need it....

I for one wish the lady a speedy and full recovery.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 12:58
  #56 (permalink)  
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Commuting to LHR in the rush ours is probably easier from France than Camberley Maidenhead Amersham and numerous other common aircrew locations in UK (ok a bit tongue in cheek I know)

I will go back to my original point that i am surprised at the lack of empathy some ehre show for someone who could hardly be more 'one of your own' as flight crew with generations either side of her involved with flying and her clearly ahving had a fine career up to date. If those attitudes are fairly common in the US pilot community (and I am not saying they are) then it is hardly surprising the poor woman 'lost it' with a divorce after all that time god alone knows what the fiancial consequences might have been and maybe she saw herself facing some fiancial hardship close to the end of her career as a result along with all the other stresses.

As for crews pitching up in casual clothes,operating crew not being gate checked etc, it seems completely out of step with all the so called security checks claimed for pax and crew these days .

Anyway I think it is above everything a very sad story and speaks volumes for the increasing heartless species Homo Sapiens has become
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 13:42
  #57 (permalink)  
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Sad story

Great sympathy for her. Divorce after long marriage a huge stressor. Wish there were some good reliable solution foe her and United. Unfortunately, best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Impossible to know if such could or would ever happen again to this woman. Thoughts and prayers are with her and what sounds like a fine family.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 14:36
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
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Gusz said:

Gate agents are supposed to check id's. They know who the operating crew is.
Yep sure, the emphasis being on "supposed". Having seen it at first hand more than once, things can get a little lax at times, especially on domestic flights and when the gate agents are busy dealing with multiple pax at the gate desk.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 14:44
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Divorce after long marriage a huge stressor
Divorce after any length of marriage is a huge stressor.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 14:55
  #60 (permalink)  
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It was being lax about security on domestic flights that lead to 9-11 ,
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