Re: ATR Revocation

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         07 Jul 94 00:13:06 
References:   1 2 3
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In article <airliners.1994.1421@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Nathan N. Duehr) writes:
>: pilot's career for a single indiscretion which did *not*, in fact, pose a 
>: threat to safety?  
>This may seem extreme to you, but the passengers in the back have *paid 
>for* a flight crew that is doing the job 100% of the time.  Yes, 
>overwater flights must be booring, but in reality there had better always 
>be something to do in a cockpit.  Hell, if you're bored, turn off the 
>autopilot and find out how rusty you are at hand-flying the tub.

If you knew anything about airliner operations, you would realize how extreme
this (and the Russian) incidents were.  The regulations (FAR 121.333) require 
that whenever a pilot is absent from his station, the remaining pilot must 
be at his, AND on oxygen.  In this case, we have a pilot who is both absent, 
and a crew who isn't there.

Now, the ramifications of your ah, "management philosophy" aside,
there are two things which strike me:

1.  That it happened.  This suggests a problem at the airline/training level,
and, likely, a widespread and cavalier attitude towards the rule.  This shit
happens.  Just look at the appalling transcripts of the Delta 727 crash at
Dallas a few years ago.  

2.  The NTSB comments about the provocative behavior of the first officer.  
Which leads to the suggestion that it may have been a set-up.

Nothing about this case mandates revocation, IMHO.  Like I said, suspension
and rehabilitation are more appropriate, especially since the captain's 
career was spotless.  So, in effect, the individual's actions are being judged
as irrelevant, and the captain is being made an *example*, and, essentially,
it's an enforcement and a warning to all other pilots.  

I find this approach reprehensible.  We're talking about professionals, and
there are proven, better techniques to approach such problems--education
and training being paramount.  

When one throws in the questionable behavior of the first officer, the
decision is, simply incomprehensible.

>The recent stories of the Airbus crash in Russia where the young boy may 
>have been at the controls instead of a qualified pilot should be enough 
>to refute your claims that pilot's leaving their seats without someone 
>else who is qualified at the controls is not a safety problem.

No, actually it doesn't come close to refuting my argument, particularly
inasmuch as I'm not defending the pilots--only their right to a just
disciplinary action.

I do stand aghast, however, at the cavalier attitude by which others can 
trivially dismiss the life experiences of people they don't even know.  
This guy was probably a representative of a problem.  There's no reason to
suggest he couldn't have been rehabilitated, and no reason to suggest
that he couldn't have gone on to complete a successful career.


Robert Dorsett