Rumor: Pilot Pulled From Co Flight

 
Old Mar 8, 08, 9:25 am
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Rumor: Pilot Pulled From Co Flight

The rumor mill abounds with the tale of a CO DIA/IAH flight yesterday morning which apparently had one or more "missed approaches" on the assigned duty runway, and after going around again, chose to land on another runway (not the one the tower had chosen). The tale further has the a/c escorted to the gate by fire engine(s) and "police" cars, with the pilot being taken off (under restraint) when the door was opened. As told, the windy conditions in Houston led to substantial cross wind conditions on the duty runway, and the pilot, after the missed approaches, simply chose to ignore ATC instructions (again, likely some story-inflation underway?).

Obviously, rumors grow, swelling and exaggerating in the retelling, but may have some germ of truth in their origin, Who knows (or is telling)?
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Old Mar 8, 08, 9:54 am
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I haven't heard this one, but the part that sounds most specious to me is where the pilot is led off in restraints. Sure, it may be windy and the pilot had a missed approach or two, and even if he decided to land on an inactive, crossing runway, he would, at least, temporarily have some protection under FAR 91.3, which says that the "pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft." Of course, the FAA will most definitely sort things out later on, and all sorts of outcomes are possible, but based on the scenario described, unless the pilot was acting irrationally, obviously intoxicated, or something similarly evil, the likelihood of being led off the plane in manner described, IMHO, is quite remote.
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Old Mar 8, 08, 11:05 am
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Old Mar 8, 08, 11:34 am
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I saw a plane escorted by fire and police yesturday evening around 8ish. It could have been for this but it was in the evening.
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Old Mar 8, 08, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by UAL Traveler View Post
...even if he decided to land on an inactive, crossing runway, he would, at least, temporarily have some protection under FAR 91.3, which says that the "pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft."
Does Part 91 apply in this case? I thought it would be 121? I can't remember.
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Old Mar 8, 08, 1:54 pm
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Continental's operations are governed by the FAR Part 121 which covers commercial carriers, however Part 91 is still effective as the flight was conducted in US airspace.

It is a foregone conclusion that ultimate responsibility for an aircraft's operation lies with the PIC, but it is my understanding that, unless the PIC has properly declared an emergency (or some other emergent situation), he is subject to immediate discipline and potential loss of certificate if he commits an action in disregard to the instructions of ATC.

Sounds like a communication breakdown, if true. I highly doubt that the pilot of a commercial jetliner would simply elect to land on another runway on a whim without requesting clearance, but we'll have to see. Scary stuff, either way...
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Old Mar 8, 08, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by CODC10 View Post
Continental's operations are governed by the FAR Part 121 which covers commercial carriers, however Part 91 is still effective as the flight was conducted in US airspace.

It is a foregone conclusion that ultimate responsibility for an aircraft's operation lies with the PIC, but it is my understanding that, unless the PIC has properly declared an emergency (or some other emergent situation), he is subject to immediate discipline and potential loss of certificate if he commits an action in disregard to the instructions of ATC.

Sounds like a communication breakdown, if true. I highly doubt that the pilot of a commercial jetliner would simply elect to land on another runway on a whim without requesting clearance, but we'll have to see. Scary stuff, either way...
Even if he did do this, I doubt the police would be waiting for him. The chief pilot maybe, not the police
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Old Mar 8, 08, 3:13 pm
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Furthermore, violation of the FAR is not a criminal offense, AFAIK.

Something else is up here, unless the arrest is hogwash.
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Old Mar 8, 08, 9:38 pm
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FAR violations are not criminal violations. A very few FAR violations would also constitute a criminal violation: operating a moter vehicle under the influence is one of the few I can think of... I could see an FAA inspector showing up at the gate...but the police, I just don't buy it.
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