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SQ 6 Captain and F/O sacked

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SQ 6 Captain and F/O sacked

Old 26th Jul 2002, 06:14
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SQ 6 Captain and F/O sacked

The Straitstimes today reports that the Captain and F/O of SQ6 have been sacked by Singapore Airlines.

Is this an admission of guilt by the airline?

From http://www.straitstimes.com.sg

SIA sacks SQ006 pilots

THE two pilots at the controls of SQ006, which crashed in Taiwan two years ago killing 83 people, have been sacked by Singapore Airlines.

A statement from the airlines on Friday said: 'SIA has terminated the services of Captain Foong Chee Kong and First Officer Latiff Cyrano in accordance with their terms of employment.'

The third man in the cockpit -- First Officer Ng Kheng Leng -- has not been sacked.

The airline did not give any reasons for the sackings.

When asked, an SIA spokesman said that there was a clause in the pilots' contract that allows their services to be terminated with three months salary given in lieu of notice. 'The airline is exercising that clause now,' the spokesman said.

The statement also noted that the airline had received confirmation from Taiwan's High Prosecutor's Office in Taipei that it had agreed with the earlier decision by the Tao Yuan prosecutor to not prosecute the pilots.

There were several conditions attached to the decision to suspend prosecution for three years -- the pilots had to perform 240 community service in Singapore and not fly any aircraft into Taipei for one year.

But with Monday's announcement that the pilots have been sacked, it is not clear if they would still be bound by these conditions.

Last edited by smiling monkey; 26th Jul 2002 at 06:18.
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Old 26th Jul 2002, 09:33
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Why am I not surprised.

Somebody had to carry the can for SQ I spose. Instead of carrying the corporate can it's much easier to take out the individuals.

It would be a pity if, as it seems, nothing was learned.

They have much to learn from M. Foucault and the virtues of parrhesia.

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Old 26th Jul 2002, 10:15
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Angry Dangerous Employers

Once again SQ has lived up to its reputation of being

a 'slave' employer.

The public announcement of the sacking only serves as a

warning to the whole workforce : do not look for support

from the company and least of all no sympathy.

SIA do not give nor expect loyalty or employee support, just

your 'usable' working life..

My thought and prayers goes out to the 2 guys..
Old 26th Jul 2002, 11:40
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Forgive me but they ****** up!

Why were they out there anyway, taxying in high winds, poor visibility, bad forcast etc, get home itis!

They had, in my opinion sole discretion for a go no go and made the wrong call, a call which was compounded by the situation on the ground.

If as a result of my actions, I kill 83 people, the very least I would espect is to lose my job!
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Old 26th Jul 2002, 12:59
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Have to agree with above, it's universally accepted that the burden of responsibility lies with the guys and girls at the pointy end, it goes with the job.

Admittedly it's criminal that the airport authority didin't have a process for physically blocking entry to an unserviceable runway.

As usual, a sad chain of events...
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Old 26th Jul 2002, 13:28
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The closed runway was notamed as a temporary taxyway. SQ006 took off on the closed runway. Nobody else did. I feel very sorry for them and the people who died as a result of this mistake but the buck stops with the captain.
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Old 26th Jul 2002, 14:07
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hang about!
I've never bothered to reply/ post anything before, but this is off the 'scope...
1. Sacking a crew for an admittedly, in 20/20 hindsight, bad decision,,,
2. Give kudos, for what is on the face of it, culpable negligence for continuing flight from departure point and by-passing suitable alternates is okay...
Gimme a break SQ! You are kids with grown-up's toys.
be very ashamed.
spleener out.
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Old 26th Jul 2002, 14:48
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After the accident it was generally accepted the crew would never fly another SQ aircraft.
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Old 27th Jul 2002, 03:00
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Straits Times, Saturday 27 July 2002

Singapore Airlines yesterday terminated the services of the two pilots at the controls of Flight SQ 006 when it crashed in Taiwan two years ago, leaving 83 dead.
Captain Foong Chee Kong, 43 and First Officer Latiff Cyrano, 38, were told of the airline’s decision yesterday, three months after investigations by Singapore’s Transport Ministry concluded that the crash at Taipei’s Chiang Kai Shek airport was “an accident waiting to happen” and not the fault of any individuals.
The airline issued a statement, but did not give any reasons for its action.
Spokesman Rick Clements would only say that the airline was exercising a clause in the pilots’ contracts that allowed their services to be terminated with three months salary paid in lieu of notice. End.

Surely some mistake? If no individual is at fault, as officially stated by the Ministry, then, in the absence of any similarly official Singapore Airlines linkage of the terminations, they are for some other reason(s) than presumed by the world at large?

Should the airline not now release the hitherto unsuspected reason(s) for termination of the pilots, so as to at least satisfy the curiosity of the individuals and their families, not to say the wider interest of both the aviation community and the travelling public?
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Old 27th Jul 2002, 04:39
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This is not the first, nor will it be the last, time that Singapore Airlines have sacked crew members using the 3 month termination clause. I was in Singapore for four and a half years and witnessed that clause used twice. The employee doesn't have the same comfort zone because of the enormous bond you are required to sign up to when joining. SQ are exponents of exploitation.

As gaunty has already mentioned - it would be a bigger tradgedy if nothing is learnt from this unfortunate accident.

Good luck to the two crew members concerned.
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Old 27th Jul 2002, 05:44
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Any country which will fine somebody hundreds of dollars or so for discretely spitting on a sidewalk has some serious attitude problems.

Singapore must be an "enjoyable" place to live.
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Old 27th Jul 2002, 06:45
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Would events of yesterday in fact reveal that the recent investigations by Singapore’s Transport Ministry, the findings of which were used to rebut the findings of the Taiwanese ASC’s own investigation into the circumstances of the SQ 006 tragedy, now turn out to be a sham?

At the time, the Singapore Transport Ministry’s rebuttal was wholly accepted in the Republic as a true reflection of the circumstances. Firing of the pilots surely undermines this position, of which one feature was that the accident was “not the fault of any individuals”.
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Old 27th Jul 2002, 09:48
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Famous words from the Airline Pilots Association - Singapore:

Straits Times June 26:

<<'no option but to withdraw all forms of goodwill and co-operation it has extended to the company'.>> referring to the breach of agreement when SIA directed relief crew to rest in economy class seats instead of the usual business class seats from now on.

Straits Times July 27:

<<'disgusted by the grotesque display of the company's lack of will in understanding the pilots' plight'.>>


<<Association president Dilip Padbidri, 51, told The Straits Times last night: 'We will appeal to SIA and the Government and, if that fails, we will use our contacts and links to try and get the two pilots re-employed in other airlines.'>>

Yeah, right. Appeal? Don't waste your time. Everyone knows what the outcome will be.

If there is one thing the Association is good at, it is expert at conjuring up fancy verbal reactions, after the fact. Nothing more. No wonder we get what we deserve - an insipid pilot's association and a bully of an employer. Prospective joiners take note of how you will be used and abused.

From the reactions to this topic in this forum as well the Far East forum, it looks like no one is really bothered. Cowed into submission already, boys?

It's not as though we are genetically unable to speak up - look at the intensity of (eg) MAS or RBA issues - those guys sure can talk.
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Old 27th Jul 2002, 17:29
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This is my observation :
1) SQ was trying to ram the current in-effect CA down the pilots' throat.
SQ6 crash in TPE.

2) Against the wishes of the pilots’ body, SQ was trying to fast-track an introduction of cruise captains.
A spade of engine failures in-flight; the highlight being 2 separate engine failures on the same 777 aircraft within 11 flying hours, and with it the 'grand plan' of using the 777 over the Pacific.

3) The strong-armed introduction of EY seats for flight crew in-flight rest instead of J seats as per a signed agreement. This practice has since been temporary suspended, and will be implemented once SQ finds a way in court to overturn the CA.
SQ29's knock down two 747 tailstands in TPE. Creating a big media fracas in Taiwan, and being branded "pot-calling-the-kettle-black".

Seems that every time SQ runs a fast one on its pilot body, something bad happens.
And now, the sacking of the two pilots at the controls of SQ6.

You all have a nice day now.
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Old 28th Jul 2002, 00:30
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If it were dangerous to take off why was the airport open for business?
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Old 28th Jul 2002, 17:58
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I don't see how SIA had any alternative but to fire both Foong and Cyrano. Would it have been fair to reinstate them at the ranks they held at the time of the accident? Demote them and let them continue flying? Give them desk jobs? As others have pointed out, any pilot could have made the mistake of taking off from the wrong runway that night but, unfortunately, they were the ones who committed this particular error. Somebody has to carry the can. In this case, two undoubtedly fine pilots had to pay the price - yet another sad outcome of this tragic accident.
What I wonder is, would this punishment have been meted out if there had been no fatalities (if, for example, the aircraft had run into ground equipment early in the takeoff run and only suffered external damage without breaking up and catching fire)? I am thinking of the aftermath of QF1's overrun at Bangkok in Sept/99, which resulted from a gross error of judgment by the captain (who wasn't even PF). The aircraft (a 744) was so substantially damaged that it was essentially a write-off but Qantas, in order to preserve their record of no hull losses in their history, spent the replacement cost on repairs. But, there were no significant injuries. As far as I know, the captain continues to fly in the LHS for Qantas.
Does anyone know what the fate was of the China Airlines crew who took off from a taxiway at Anchorage earlier this year, hit an obstruction on lift-off, and blithely continued on to Taipei? Temporary suspension? Rap on the knuckles? The sack?
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Old 28th Jul 2002, 23:01
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Likewise, the management who made the mistake of investing in ANZ should also be fired like the pilot. Agree?
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Old 29th Jul 2002, 00:43
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Sorry, finger trouble. I'll try that get again.
I'm not sure if your message was directed at me or even what exactly you're driving at but I don't think SIA's business plan has much to do with this particular topic (besides, SIA's financial results for 2001-02 were pretty healthy, especially when compared to the rest of the industry).
I'm genuinely interested in what people within the industry think about the appropriate retribution for pilot error.
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Old 29th Jul 2002, 01:31
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My five cents...

As long as there are humans acting as pilots, you'll have human error. These particular pilots made a mistake that ended in a huge loss of life. Unless they were shown to have blatantly disregard rules and/or shown reckless disregard for safety, why should they be sacked?

This should not be taken as diminishing the loss of life, which is terrible - but should loss of life alter the "wrongness" of the action? If we sacked/jailed every pilot that made a mistake, nobody would fly.
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Old 29th Jul 2002, 08:10
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Nobody has mentioned the 737 that took off on the closed runway just before SQ. It got airborne just before the machinery (meters, one suspects) and wouldn't have made it easy for the SQ crew to identify the runway as closed.

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