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FO Threatens Capt. With Gun

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FO Threatens Capt. With Gun

Old 1st Nov 2023, 11:16
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FO Threatens Capt. With Gun

From Avweb
A California airline pilot who is a member of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program has been indicted for allegedly threatening to shoot his captain for diverting a flight for a medical emergency. The Associated Press said the Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General confirmed Jonathan J. Dunn, who has received training to carry a loaded pistol while on the flight deck, is charged with interference with flight crew for the incident, which happened in August of 2022. He will be arraigned in Utah on Nov. 16.The OIG is not saying exactly where the alleged incident occurred or for what airline Dunn was flying but did confirm it was a commercial airline flight. “After a disagreement about a potential flight diversion due to a passenger medical event, Dunn told the Captain they would be shot multiple times if the Captain diverted the flight,” the inspector general’s office told AP in an email statement. The indictment itself alleges Dunn “did use a dangerous weapon in assaulting and intimidating the crew member.” The indictment doesn’t name the airline, either.
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 12:19
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It was a Delta Airlines flight. Delta confirmed the copilot no longer works for them

https://viewfromthewing.com/delta-co...ed-the-flight/

I wonder if the flight diverted or if it continued? I think the gun would override the medical condition.

With the guy on the flight deck jump seat who tried to shut down both engines last week, this incident and the pilot who who took an axe to the barrier in a car park a few months ago when he could not get out of the car park, mental stress on pilots needs to be taken seriously.
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 13:58
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mental stress on pilots needs to be taken seriously
Yes, it does. One issue that seems to manifest is that of being reluctant to admit to an issue, or issues and probably down to in all probability suspension of medical and loss of earnings/career. Other than very small or poor airlines, an airline though will have the decent medical and license suspension schemes that can take care of the individual and address health issues and cover loss of pay and allows no increased penalty to the individual concerned to admit to an issue. Is it perhaps the case that something else is causing lack of admission?.
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 18:29
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Is it perhaps the case that something else is causing lack of admission?

Yes, the fact that if an individual has that sort of problem, there is every chance they don't know they have it.
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 19:32
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Once upon a time many years ago

2 regular customers we were contracted to transport rode right off the cliff one evening and were completely hors de combat the next morning. They were good fellows with good reputations, were not known for such behaviour and from description of events there was some suspicion that they had been drugged in perhaps an attempt to rob them. In the morning the aircrew, after phone calls and hard knocking on doors had to gain entry to their rooms, there was no smell of alcohol and it was very, very difficult to wake them. EMS was very nearly called such was the level of concern. Also they were in each other’s rooms and one of the room keys was never found.
The aircraft returned them direct to base and the client took them to the hospital as they were still groggy and had no recollection of events after about 2100 hrs the evening before until they were finally awaked at 1000 hrs.
However the client sent them for mandatory assessment and put them on paid leave for a week. They had a very good drug and alcohol program. They were cleared and returned to work the next week.
The Helicopter company also had a new program, recently rolled out, “Think you have a problem…self report..we will help”.
One of the pilots asked a visiting very senior, very old school pilot, in the crowded crew-room what they would do if a similar event happened to one of our crews. He was expecting to learn how the program worked as we had not had any training yet aside from a short 2 page memo lacking in any detail.
His reply “We would get rid of them immediately.”
Needless to say there was no great initial rush to seek help within the program after that statement got around.
Things got much better soon afterwards, The program, its aims and implementation were reinforced, training carried out and complied with.
People were helped and careers saved.


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Old 1st Nov 2023, 20:28
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If it turns out that Dunn's intimidation tactics persuaded the Captain to abort his intention to divert and that as a result of the non-diversion, there were otherwise avoidable consequences for the passenger experiencing medical distress, is there a prospect that Dunn could be facing a civil suit in the future (in addition to losing his FFDO qualification and career advancement opportunities)?
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 21:58
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Originally Posted by EddyCurr
(in addition to losing his FFDO qualification and career advancement opportunities)?
This guy will have a hard time finding a flying job from here on. He might allege mental issues but there may not be enough benevolence available to rescue him.

At some point you just ace yourself out of the game. Would you hire him ?
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 23:09
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Originally Posted by draglift
.......With the guy on the flight deck jump seat who tried to shut down both engines last week, this incident and the pilot who who took an axe to the barrier in a car park a few months ago when he could not get out of the car park, mental stress on pilots needs to be taken seriously.

How about not hiring nut jobs in the first place ?

What possible reason caused any of those loss of human control incidents and this idiot to object to diverting for a medical emergency ? What possible reason could they have against doing so ?

In recent years, psychometric testing and unrealistic time-limited maths and verbal reasoning tests have become prevalent in pilot selection and a substitute for selecting mentally stable and normal candidates. How precisely did they help in the selection of this FO and other accident aircrews ??

Those of us who are mentally normal, very experienced and stable but perhaps slightly more advanced in years, are given the brush off as soon as we are required to produce our passports and DoBs. Yet we are starting to see crews who seemingly cannot even fly or follow basic memory drills or basic flight operation requirements.

What is going on here ?
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Old 1st Nov 2023, 23:51
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Why?

What could possibly be the reason the FO didn’t want to divert? Hot date? I mean seriously, there has to be so much more to the story.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 00:23
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In the days when pilots were hired from the military or from other airlines, one of the jobs of the Chief Pilot was to ring around squadrons and other chief pilots to get a rough idea of who had applied to his new airline. For some reason (Ha!) this became illegal in some countries and was frowned upon in many more.

In an airline in Asia with which I was familiar the above was the process for many years. The CP who was responsible for recruitment had already a pretty good idea of the abilities, both mental and flying skills of people who applied. At the airline a simple interview, sim check and medical, and if all good, the person was hired.

Then one day the director of Human Resources (sic) told the director of Flight Operations that from now on, "He would decide who was recruited and fired from the airline." The Sim check was reduced to, I believe, 15% of the scoring for interview, and psychometrics became the method of scoring for a pass to employment.

In the ensuing three years the airline recruited a section of society who in my personal opinion should not have been holding an ATPL. As one First Officer pointed out when showing me a roster and pointing at certain new names, "Do you know this guy?' I did not. After a few of these he informed me that in their country of origin they were un-employable as pilots, and due to their issues were known nation-wide in that country as incompetent. These three years of HR recruited pilots moved through the airline like a pig in a snake, and caused training disruptions at every stage of their advancement. Flight Operations took back control after a new CEO was appointed, and things got better.

I believe that the recruitment program to ensure that a pilot has ample flying skills and sound mind is broken. The pressure to put a warm body into a flight deck who will fly for food reduces the chances that the pilot will be of a satisfactory level of competence and ability. FAA/ICAO minimum standards are not sufficient to operate in today's environment.

But what do I know after 40 years in airlines...

Last edited by anxiao; 2nd Nov 2023 at 16:50.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 01:35
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SLF here. This sort of selection criteria has become pervasive in hiring for any job here in the U.S of A. A candidate for a job will list previous employers, but it is not possible to garner any information about actual abilities of the potential hire. If a previous employer is contacted and asked about the candidate all the company can legally say is that he/she 'worked here' with no indication of ability, whether they were fired, etc. Lawsuits are very successful if the previous employer mentions anything negative about the candidate, to such a degree no information about ability is ever revealed. Needless to say, there are responses that convey the status of the candidate by smoke signal.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 02:16
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Originally Posted by anxiao
In the days when pilots were hired from the military ……one of the jobs of the Chief Pilot was to ring around squadrons …….. to get a rough idea of who had applied to his new airline. both mental and flying skills of people who applied.
The pilots who crashed Egyptair, Silkair and tried to crash FedEx were all ex military. I’d suggest that ‘recruiting method’ wasn’t foolproof.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 02:19
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
How about not hiring nut jobs in the first place ?
Or the most obvious solution the rest of the planet can clearly see.

How about not allowing any firearm anywhere near a commercial aircraft? The presence of a firearm on a commercial aircraft has presented many safety incidents, accidental discharges, guns being left unattended etc.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 04:41
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Never liked the FFFO program, guns in the cockpit should not be allowed, the danger is brought inside instead of kept out as intended

Years ago a Captain fired his gun accidentally, fortunately not hitting anyone but put a hole in the aircraft, now this, what’s next ?
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 07:20
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Originally Posted by dr dre
Or the most obvious solution the rest of the planet can clearly see.

How about not allowing any firearm anywhere near a commercial aircraft? The presence of a firearm on a commercial aircraft has presented many safety incidents, accidental discharges, guns being left unattended etc.
Understandable sentiments but see how that works next time you have a VIP on board or even just call the police to a dispution incident.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 09:47
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all the company can legally say is that he/she 'worked here' with no indication of ability
Don't know about airlines, but in my industry (IT/tech) if all you say is "I can confirm that XXX was employed by us from ... to..." then that can and will be glossed as "don't touch this person with a 1000 metre pole". If you would actually re-hire the person then you say all sorts of nice glowing things. You never say anything explicitly negative.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 11:37
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Originally Posted by Consol
Understandable sentiments but see how that works next time you have a VIP on board or even just call the police to a dispution incident.
Regarding the VIPs and their armed bodyguards there are company specific rules dealing with that. All the ones I have come across so far ensure that no one can have a loaded gun on board while the doors of the aircraft are closed. But I am not flying in the US, different rules may apply there. And regarding the police: They can board the aircraft with loaded firearms, but only as long as it is on the ground. If they want to stay on board during the flight they can't keep their guns.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 12:08
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Originally Posted by what next
Regarding the VIPs and their armed bodyguards there are company specific rules dealing with that. All the ones I have come across so far ensure that no one can have a loaded gun on board while the doors of the aircraft are closed. But I am not flying in the US, different rules may apply there. And regarding the police: They can board the aircraft with loaded firearms, but only as long as it is on the ground. If they want to stay on board during the flight they can't keep their guns.
In the US, it is my understanding that if a government-employed LEO has an operational need, or if his employers policy requires it, and he has completed the TSAs “LE flying armed” training, he can carry on the airlines.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
How about not hiring nut jobs in the first place ?

What possible reason caused any of those loss of human control incidents and this idiot to object to diverting for a medical emergency ? What possible reason could they have against doing so ?

In recent years, psychometric testing and unrealistic time-limited maths and verbal reasoning tests have become prevalent in pilot selection and a substitute for selecting mentally stable and normal candidates. How precisely did they help in the selection of this FO and other accident aircrews ??

Those of us who are mentally normal, very experienced and stable but perhaps slightly more advanced in years, are given the brush off as soon as we are required to produce our passports and DoBs. Yet we are starting to see crews who seemingly cannot even fly or follow basic memory drills or basic flight operation requirements.

What is going on here ?
And here we have the problem in a nutshell.
'Nutjobs' as you so delicately put it, are not hired on purpose. Spotting them is not an exact science.
Who says you are 'mentally normal'? Most people who 'lose it' are normal most of the time.
Pilots are as human as the next person despite what they may believe.
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Old 2nd Nov 2023, 15:36
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Originally Posted by dr dre
Or the most obvious solution the rest of the planet can clearly see.

How about not allowing any firearm anywhere near a commercial aircraft? The presence of a firearm on a commercial aircraft has presented many safety incidents, accidental discharges, guns being left unattended etc.
Other countries have air marshal programs. The ramped up authorized firearms aboard aircraft was done post-9/11. Have we solved the bad-guy-with-a-weapon problem such that layered defense aboard aircraft is no longer required? The abysmal TSA screening failure rates would indicate we have not.

As for the “many safety incidents…,” in context of miles/passengers flown, the FFDO/FAM incident rates are exceptionally low.

The solution of “not allowing any firearms anywhere near a commercial aircraft” makes about as much sense (and similar efficacy) as the “gun-free zone.”
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