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SQ 6 Captain and F/O sacked

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SQ 6 Captain and F/O sacked

Old 29th Jul 2002, 09:22
  #21 (permalink)  
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Albatross, where did you get that information about the 737 taking off just prior to SQ 006??
Thats news to me, I have not read anything about that, methinks you have got your dates wrong.
That would be a huge mitigating factor in the accident and indeed if that did occur then the airport authorities would have to be found culparable.
Old 30th Jul 2002, 01:55
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W H Squiffy.
With respect, you are skirting the issue. OK, you feel Foong and Cyrano should not have been dismissed. How, then, should SIA have treated them?
You suggest that only if crewmembers blatantly and recklessly disregard rules and safety procedures should they be fired. That's not easy to prove. I turn again to QF1@BKK, 23/9/99. I don't know if you're familiar with this accident but you can read the full report of the investigation of it on the Australian BASI website. In essence, just before touchdown, because the landing was long and fast in poor weather, the PIC instructed his co-pilot (the PF) to go around. As the latter advanced the throttles, the main wheels contacted the runway, the end of the runway came into view through the rain, and the PIC decided to complete the landing and retarded the throttles to idle. They ran off the end of the runway a distance of some 200 m. I'm not a pilot, but common sense tells me you don't reverse a decision to go around once you've committed to it. In fact, I feel you could argue that, by his action, the PIC showed a wanton disregard for the safety of his passengers and crew and, by your lights, he should have been fired. Yet, as far as I know, he wasn't and continues to fly for Qantas as a captain.
What about the China Airlines A340 crew who, earlier this year, took off from ANC from a taxiway at right angles to their assigned runway? The taxiway was only 6000 ft or so long, if memory serves, and they barely made it off. Clear case of reckless disregard for procedures and safety, I hear you say. But if the taxiway had been 10,000 ft long, would you say the same? I would but some might argue, that's not sufficient cause for dismissal. Tricky. I don't know what eventually happened to the crew. Perhaps someone can enlighten us.
I don't know what to think but I still have the nagging feeling that SIA was justified in sacking Foong and Cyrano, although I sympathize wholeheartedly with the two pilots.
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Old 30th Jul 2002, 05:19
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Further to your post of 27 July, perhaps the sacking of the two pilots at the controls of SQ6 will presage SQ not getting the 180 minutes ETOPS clearance from CAAS, desperately needed for the inauguration of the SIN-LAS service on 2 August.

Stranger correlations have historically been given credence within SQ – witness the removal of the Airspeed Oxford from pride of place outside STC!
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Old 30th Jul 2002, 09:15
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A good point 3 holer - is this the same management group who allowed the Silk Air captain who eventually solved his debt crisis at Mach 1 in an Indonesian swamp to continue flying after he exhibited several gross breaches of regulations etc etc??
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Old 30th Jul 2002, 09:50
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Thumbs down Shot in the foot!

My only assumption from this sacking is simple.There are just 2 points:

1)SQ defends their pilots (read that as the management & their policies) to the hilt during the post event of the disaster up till the release & findings from the investigations of both authorities.Even ALPA-S asked help from IFALPA to protect the pilots!

2)When the smoke blows over & the issue has been laid to rest (conveniently), SQ sacks the 2 pilots as the natural scapegoats.

Just shows the KIASU mentality is alive & kicking in good old SQ management.

I only have pity for my colleagues across the Tebrau Strait.Not only do they have the present pressure cooker & microscopic (myopic? ) management to deal with, now the pilots are added with the knowledge of a certain job loss with every mistake that they make.The recent incident in TPE illustrated my point here very well.

Hang in there guys............

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Old 30th Jul 2002, 18:39
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If you read line 2), you would notice that it meant 180 ETOPS.

Something else will creep up.

SQ pilots are the most stressed pilots around. The threat of being called into the office for operational/safety decisions that do not bode well with commercial interest is very real; unless you are an expat, because local pilots have nowhere else to go.
And now with the axe hanging above our heads whenever we report for work, how is this going to enhance flight safety ?

The SQ management should write a book called "how-to-enhance-your-job-security, salary and bonuses-with-each-screw-up", they would make millions !
MBA schools all round the world would race each other to start a new module based on it.

You all have a nice day now.
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Old 30th Jul 2002, 20:38
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The real reason they get fired now?

FYI SIA has repeatedly refused to make the pilots available for questioning by survivors' lawyers - the stated reason being that there was an investigation under way, and that that had to be cleared up first.

Now the tune has changed - since the pilots no longer work for SIA, so sorry but no way for airline to compel them to testify!
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Old 31st Jul 2002, 00:10
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Given the large amount of verifiable facts that are all ready out there for all to see just what, exactly, do you want the (ex) Captain and F/O to say in court?
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Old 31st Jul 2002, 08:49
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The truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth!

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Old 31st Jul 2002, 15:27
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On closer inspection of line 2), I agree that you do imply 180 ETOPS.

However, SQ had been hoping to creep along the route using 120 ETOPS. The temporary closure of suitable airports, Petropavlovsk and Magadan has put paid to that for the moment and has indeed required the A340 to go back on the ICN-YVR route.

I further agree that SQ pilots must be amongst the most stressed pilots around not least for reason of the military ethos that is now running the show and which evinces a distinct preference for punishment as an antidote to human error.

On another matter, it will be interesting to note the degree of cooperation or otherwise, displayed on the part of the two ex SQ pilots, when giving evidence in a US court, at the behest of the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the upcoming civil suit.
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Old 31st Jul 2002, 17:42
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Clearly some form of punishment,retraining or demotion was called for.If gross negligance was proven then dismissal would seem appropiate, and most contracts cover that.
Her in RBA this has been the case for years until the recent sackings of 4 pilots. One was a junior ,but not the most junior, captain ,had no black marks against him,or had any warnings( His father was the retiring DFO who had upset a lot of people in his 15 year tenure) The 3 others were the most senior F/O's and again had nothing on their files to indicate a lees than satisfactory performance.
The moral is, if you work for a third world company do not expect any fairness or support. Do the job, take the money , keep your head down.
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Old 31st Jul 2002, 20:13
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Hey guys, can someone tell me what happened to those Fedex MD-11 (NJ crash) and SWA (737 overrun in California) captains?
Did the employers show mercy to the pilots?
The fact is: 3rd world or 1st world, the procedure is the same with minor adjustments.
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Old 2nd Aug 2002, 06:43
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The way of the world (sad but true)

I believe the two captains referred to in the above post were both sacked or allowed to retire early on threat of termination.

To my knowledge, it is generally accepted within airline management circles that a crewmember who is directly involved in a fatality accident will never operate for that carrier again.

Seems that the risk associated with retaining the individual(s) in an operational status - on the chance that they would be involved in ANOTHER fatality incident or accident - is too great and thus insurance premiums too expensive.

To my knowledge, the only exception to this precedent was the flight engineer / second officer on a Delta 727 that crashed on takeoff in Dallas in the late 80's.

As I recall, all three crewmembers were terminated by the airline once the NTSB report was published - but as the board failed to cite the S/O's performance as a contributing factor (evidently he read the takeoff checklist correctly but the 'front-seaters' both responded in error) the man was later reinstated by the airline.

Evidently SQ followed this precedent by not sacking the F/O who occupied the jumpseat in the mishap aircraft.

Right or wrong, it does seem to be the way of our airline world.
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Old 7th Aug 2002, 12:35
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Straits Times 7 August 2002

Singapore Airlines has come under fire again for terminating the services of the two pilots who flew the SQ006 plane that crashed at Taipei airport two years ago.

This time it is the international body for airline pilots which has slammed the move, calling it “unjust, unwarranted and entirely unreasonable”.

In a strongly-worded letter, the president of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (ifalpa), Captain Ted Murphy, said the news was “greeted with shock, dismay and disbelief”.

He asked SIA chief executive Cheong Choong Kong to reinstate both men, who were asked to go on July 26. SIA did not give any reason for its decision.


In calling on SIA to reverse its decision, Captain Murphy said: “We believe that any other decision is bad for flight safety worldwide, never mind the appalling effect that this must have had on the morale of your own pilots.”


Captain Murphy explained that accident investigations were important in promoting aviation safety. “Of equal importance is that pilots who cooperate with investigators and who allow all their actions and conversations to be recorded in the pursuance of flight safety, are not then subject to unjust punishment when they are not guilty of gross dereliction of duty or criminal negligence.”

If these principles are not upheld, then the whole “blame-free” culture which is so vital to flight safety will be put at risk, he stressed


Ifalpa also criticized SIA for letting the pilots go – “without explanation, without a hearing, without a right to appeal” – despite the efforts of the international pilots’ body and others who had lobbied hard against the pilots’ prosecution in Taiwan.

“Does that action not make it seem as if Singapore Airlines actually believes that the crew should have been prosecuted in Taiwan?”

SIA had said that it reached its decision before the Taiwan authorities had completed their probe.


But Captain Murphy said in his letter that SIA must have been aware of the pressure that both Ifalpa and Alpa-s had been bringing to bear to have the pilots’ licences re-validated.

Dismayed that in the end the men had their services terminated, he asked: “Would it not have been more honest to tell us of your intentions?”


Plus ça change?
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Old 7th Aug 2002, 15:21
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So far, for the most part, we have heard from assorted airline pilots, the majority of whom naturally stand up for their kindred and apparently want Foong and Cyrano not only reinstated but exonerated by SIA. As a dispassionate but interested outsider, this seems to me to fly in the face of common sense.
In contrast, 747400CA makes what seems to me a very plausible case for the dismissal of Foong and Cyrano, yet his posting was greeted with deafening silence from the PPrune fraternity.
Surely, although SIA cannot see themselves rehiring them, Foong and Cyrano have an excellent chance of continuing their flying careers with another airline. Both had excellent records prior to SQ6 and Foong, especially, has extensive command experience in heavy jets. Would this not be the appropriate compromise to put this tragedy behind us and move on?
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