Browsing Tag: Pilots

Cockpit of Virgin America Airbus A320

Cockpit of Virgin America Airbus A320

Senator Jim DeMint (R from South Carolina) is looking to change the rules about airlines being able to access recordings from the cockpit. He is currently working on a bill, called the “Pilot Professionalism Assurance Act,” that allows airlines to review the cockpit voice recorder when there are cases against the pilots for misbehavior or “to evaluate or monitor the judgment or performance of an individual pilot.”

Currently, labor contracts between pilots and airlines stop an airline from using the data stored in the flight-recorders against the pilots. Airlines can only listen to the voice recorder if there is an accident or major incident being investigated by the FAA or NTSB.

Today, there is an anonymous reporting system, where pilots can report safety lapses  to the FAA. This allows the FAA to record statistics and help to fix future issues.  There is a fear that there one files  a report, then the airline or the FAA will want to listen to the conversations and pilots would be much less likely to report such safety issues.

I have some serious issues with this proposed legislation. I feel the bill (even the name) questions professionalism of the pilots. Yes, there have been some pilots who have been making poor decisions, but as I talked about the other day, a huge majority of pilots are extremely professional and do they do their jobs well. Should people that do their job well be punished? I think not.

What do you think about this proposed legislation? Is reducing the privacy of pilots worth the increased safety? Would you want a voice recorder at your work that your boss could listen to?

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Source: WSJ
Congratulations pilots! You win the first ever AirlineReporter.com AWESOME Medal!

Congratulations pilots! You win the first ever AirlineReporter.com AWESOME Medal!

Commercial airline pilots haven’t been getting good press recently. I am reading a lot in the “mainstream” media about how this is an epidemic and how pilots are now so unprofessional. Most of these folks like big headlines, but offer little content or support.

Sure, they do have some valid material to work with. We have the Qantas pilots who forgot the landing gear, we have the pilot asking passengers to pray, we have the pilots who overshot an airport, and most recently a United Airlines pilot got arrested for being too drunk.

Yes, all these incidents are not professional, inappropriate, and dangerous. These pilots should be dealt with appropriately. But this is NOT an epidemic, this is not going to be an on-going trend, and most importantly these actions do not represent the huge majority of pilots out flying today.

Pilots don’t always have it easy. With pay cuts, increased hours, time away from family, it can be a difficult job. But most pilots are not doing it for the free airline tickets or a fancy pilot’s hat. They do it because they have a passion for flying and absolutely love their jobs.

On any given day in the United States there are about 87,000 flights. About 30,000 of which are commercial airline flights.  Those are a lot of flights flown by professional pilots who safely get their passengers, cargo, and themselves to their destination safely each and everyday.

I just want people to be aware and do not discriminate against a whole profession, just from a few bad apples!

So, to celebrate the 99.9% of wonderful pilots out there, I give my first ever AirlineReporter.com AWESOME medal to all those great pilots out there, who help to make an airline industry exciting!

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Image: Orig from American Airlines
Oops! Pilots on Qantas Airlines Forget to Lower Landing Gear
Qantas flight JQ12, a Boeing 767, was on approach at Syndney Airport on October 26th, when the pilots received a “gear too low” warning at about 700 feet. They had forgotten to put their landing gear down. They reacted quickly, aborted the landing and flew around again. Normally the aircraft should lower its gear between 2000 and 1500 feet.
It appears there was a communication breakdown between who was lowering the gear. Both pilots have stepped down during the investigation.
“The incident was reported to the ATSB and the pilots were stood down. We are supporting the ATSB’s investigation and our own investigations will determine what further action might be warranted,” a Qantas spokes person confirmed.
The airline states there was no “flight safety issue,” which I would have to disagree with. If the warning system had malfunctioned, this incident could have turned out much different. Putting down the landing gear is one of those important things to remember on a pilot’s landing checklist and should not be taken lightly when overlooked.
Source: News.com.au Image: Andrew Tallon
http://www.news.com.au/travel/story/0,28318,26303318-5014090,00.html
Qantas Boeing 767-300ER landing (with gears down)

Qantas Boeing 767-300ER landing (with gears down)

A Qantas Boeing 767, was on approach at Sydney Airport on October 26th, when the pilots received a “gear too low” warning at about 700 feet. They had forgotten to put their landing gear down. They reacted quickly, aborted the landing and flew around again. Normally the aircraft should lower its gear between 2000 and 1500 feet.

It appears there was a communication breakdown between who was lowering the gear. Both pilots have stepped down during the investigation.

“The incident was reported to the ATSB and the pilots were stood down. We are supporting the ATSB’s investigation and our own investigations will determine what further action might be warranted,” a Qantas spokes person confirmed.

The airline states there was no “flight safety issue,” which I would have to disagree with. If the warning system had malfunctioned, this incident could have turned out much different. Putting down the landing gear is one of those important things to remember on a pilot’s landing checklist and should not be taken lightly when overlooked.

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Source: News.com.au Image: Andrew Tallon