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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Underseer, Feb 9, 2004.
Hey, I didn't know Hellfire was a pilot!
As a pilot, this truly sickens me. I hope the local FSDO yanks his license after a stunt like that. I am well aware that probably half the professional pilots out there are of some mainstream religion or another, and as long as they keep it to themselves and out of their job, fine by me. And for the most part, they do! They are really good at it. In my years of flying I can't remember ever running across a pilot who ever mentioned religion, let alone their own personal beliefs. But when something goes wrong on that flight... I'd rather have a non-believer at the controls. I just get images of the die-hard religious fanatic pilot getting into trouble, and instead of running through emergency procedures and troubleshooting steps to correct the situation, he's just sitting there praying to his object of worship to save his butt and the butts of his passengers. If I were on this pilot's flight, I would not only get off the plane; I'd also remind him of his arrogance in assuming that not only is he correct but that all of his non-conforming passengers are wrong and crazy. And, for good measure, I would mention to the FAA that I "thought" I smelled alcohol on his breath. Well...maybe I wouldn't go that far, but I'd sure be tempted to.
If this was an Alaska Airlines pilot he might be idolized by the company, but I think AA is a little more on the level and hopefully they discipline him appropriately.
In all fairness GPBH... you are stereotyping people by your statement there. I agree that what this pilot apparently said is way out of line and totally inappropriate as well, but I stop short of the extreme where the man would lose his license. It would be reckless to jump to conclusions that he was making even a veiled threat to the passengers on his flight or that he would even do anything that would jeopardize his passengers. It's likely that he either just "found the lord" or that he felt firmly about his faith, and that he had a very bad lapse of judgement. Declaring ones faith over a public intercom like that is simply not appropriate.
I think that having the pilot disciplined is in order, and I hope that the airlines question the pilot thoroughly regarding his intentions.
That would have freaked me out bad. I would just have assumed that the pilot had lost it and was planning on sending me to face judgement or something.
Dang, that is bizzare. I don't think people who shelled out the money to buy an airline ticket expected a religion seminar during the flight.
This is precisely why I would recommend he DOES get his license yanked, or at least suspended. "very bad lapse in judgment." One of the most stringent qualifications to become an airline pilot is an extraordinary sense of good judgment in all situations. Many pilots are not even allowed one bad call, even if no harm results from it. I've had fellow pilots here at work get canned after one mistake in 15 years of service. If this pilots judgment is flawed to the point that he did not realize his actions were wrong while parked at the gate, then I have every right to be wary of his ability to make the right call in the air, during an emergency, with little time to think. There is no room for error in this business. Pilots are among the most scrutinized people in the world for a good reason.
I can understand where you're coming from there, but having it yanked though? I guess that seems pretty extreme for an action such as that. Granted, I totally agree that his actions were unwarranted and that he should face reprimand and something punative for his actions. It's a good thing to have high scrutiny for the profession, but it just seems a bit too harse.
Wow... canned after one mistake in 15 years? Mind if I ask what the mistake was? I guess I would understand if it were a pretty huge one... but maybe you can shed some light on the actual scrutiny that is placed on pilots.
Lunar, maybe you are right... yanking the license is kinda harsh... but getting canned wouldn't be. He'd still have his license, but would have to find work elsewhere.
Yeah, the guy who was canned after 15 years was a 727 captain with us for about 10 years. Somehow, somewhere, it was discovered that he was mis-reporting his flight hours. I don't know the details, but that is a violation of the FAR's and company policy. It wasn't even a safety issue, yet it was enough to earn a pink slip.
Two years ago, another pair of pilots were fired...the captain and the first officer. The captain was flying an approach into Kotzebue. There was a stiff crosswind, and the approach was flown in a dangerous manner (i.e. the captain should have aborted the approach and made another attempt). But, the captain continued on, and ended up scraping the right wingtip on the ground. It destroyed the outboard #8 flap and some of the wingtip. So the captain was fired, and the first officer was also fired, for not being assertive enough to insist that the captain abort the approach. He had made a few suggestions during the approach about it, but he was not as assertive as he should have been.
Pilots for part 121 operations have a lot of scrutiny. At minimum, they are required to have annual checkrides which, in our case, mean a week long trip to Dallas, TX where the simulator is. But, the annual requirement is just the FAA rule. Our company requires it every six months. Additionally, throughout the year each crewmember is given periodic "line checks" (like a suprise inspection) by a company check airman, and also the FAA will send observers, without notice, to accompany flights for the purpose of ensuring the crew operates the airplane according to all rules and regulations. The line checks are to make sure the crew is doing normal operations correctly; the simulator recurrent training is to practice emergency situations such as 1-engine or 2-engine failures; loss of gyro instruments; loss of radios; rapid decompression/emergency descents; rejected takeoffs; go-arounds, stalls, mach buffets/tuck unders; stuck landing gear; etc... so that even if you fly 20 years without a problem, when one happens you will likely have practiced it, and succeeded at recovery under the eye of an instructor, less than six months earlier. For instance, I have never had a rapid decompression, but when one does happen we know the immediate procedure: Oxygen masks on, close throttles, nose down to 30 degrees, right bank turn at 60 degrees, lower gear, and never exceed Vfe. In this manner we can get from any altitude to the target altitude of 14,000 feet in less than four minutes.
As if all those checks weren't enough, each six months we must also receive a medical evaulation by an aviation medical examiner. Airline pilots must have first class medicals, which is the strictest. They check everything... eyes, ears, BP, history of conditions, previous doctor visits, cough test... it's more or less a complete physical. Every six months. If something falls below par, you are grounded until you recover, and that's IF you recover.
Also, all flight documentation (flight releases, weight/balances, loadsheets, hazmats, flight plans, weather reports, etc) must be kept for 90 days after the flight is over for FAA inspection. They'll check random flights to see if any have flown overweight or out of limits somewhere.
There you have it... a glimpse into the scrutiny of a pilot. With the exception of the medical, all the scrutiny is designed to observe the pilots judgment, and to a lesser extent, technique.
Wow... thanks GPBH for clearing that up... I guess on some levels I'm not surprised, as the FAA has some tremendously strict guidelines in place to assure the utmost safety. It's funny... because statistically, one has greater odds dying in an automobile accident than they do in an airplane related accident.
I guess that because of the strict guidelines, it certainly doesn't create much leway for pilots and/or co-pilots when it comes to on-the-job concerns or issues. I can understand the two incidences you mentioned... mis-representing hours is an integrity issue, and I can totally understand him losing his job over it, but wow... weird to think that even with great seniority there isn't always job security. (i.e. no "cutting slack" for someone that has been around for some time).
I think I'll stick with social work myself.
That is true of passengers, and yes... it is funny because, if you believed the news, people would die on plane crashes left and right! But what isn't so funny is a statistic I read last month in my Aviation Safety trade publication. I learned that if I am an Alaskan pilot (by that I mean a pilot in Alaska, not one working for AK Airlines), for 30 years, then I have a 1 in 8 chance of dying in a plane crash. This is greatly skewed however; airlines rarely have a fatality here; but small plane pilots crash constantly. But it drives home the issue of safety.
If you replace "Christian" with "Muslim" the guy would already be in a small room somewhere with a lot of government and military folks asking him interesting questions.
Hah, I laughed 10 lines down from the article for some reason.