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UA455 AUS-SFO Pilot Removed After Rant About Divorce & Election 11 Feb 2017

UA455 AUS-SFO Pilot Removed After Rant About Divorce & Election 11 Feb 2017

Old Feb 13, 2017, 11:04 am
  #61  
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Fifty bucks?

That's really poor on United's part. That suggests that they view this situation as an incredibly trivial issue, akin to running out of coffee on a flight.

They'd almost be better offering no compensation and some explanation that they aren't required to do so. Giving people peanuts is a far worse look.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 11:04 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare
Wow. That isn't very much. DL gave everyone (regardless of status) a $100 voucher at the gate for a very delayed CVG-MCO flight I was on. And that didn't involve any rant from the crew.
I'm sure the UA offer was before this went all viral. If even now they are still only offering $50, that's just shocking.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 11:11 am
  #63  
 
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So what does actually happen to the pilot in cases like this? I assume that this is a termination event for UA. In fact, I would frankly hope it is (yes, I also hope she is okay and gets the help she needs). In cases like this does the pilot lose their license etc? What are the rules about ever getting into a cockpit again?
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 11:13 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by DENflyer3
So what does actually happen to the pilot in cases like this? I assume that this is a termination event for UA. In fact, I would frankly hope it is (yes, I also hope she is okay and gets the help she needs). In cases like this does the pilot lose their license etc? What are the rules about ever getting into a cockpit again?
If the FAA revokes her certificate then UA's hands will be tied. I'm guessing UA hopes this happens as it makes things easier on their end. If she loses her certificate she obviously can't fly the aircraft any longer.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 11:15 am
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare
If the FAA revokes her certificate then UA's hands will be tied. I'm guessing UA hopes this happens as it makes things easier on their end. If she loses her certificate she obviously can't fly the aircraft any longer.
Agreed. Because if the union supports her -- gets counseling, takes her meds, etc. - and she has a quiet period, it might be difficult to force her to leave the airline, although I suppose her duties could be changed.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 11:22 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by DENflyer3
So what does actually happen to the pilot in cases like this? I assume that this is a termination event for UA. In fact, I would frankly hope it is (yes, I also hope she is okay and gets the help she needs). In cases like this does the pilot lose their license etc? What are the rules about ever getting into a cockpit again?
There are a few parts of the issue:

Firstly, there is a disciplinary issue (tardiness, interacting with customers rudely, etc.). ALPA and UA probably have some process to get through this part, and it wouldn't be career ending assuming she doesn't have a history of conduct violations.

Secondly, there is concern about her mental health. She will be grounded pending a full mental health assessment, and the decision to let her fly again is the FAA's. If she gets the treatment she needs and can pass a first class medical at some point in the future, she will be able to fly again. It will take the FAA a long time to make that decision about whether to grant her the medical again.

Thirdly, there's the PR aspect. UA looked really bad in the media after this incident. Also, her fellow pilots (which probably sympathetic) may not want to fly with her in the future. For this reason, even if she gets her medical back, she may not want to fly for UA again, and UA may not want to take her on.

The system is set up so rehabilitation will happen if it's possible. Without knowing exactly what led to this incident, it's hard to say whether she'll be flying again or not in the future.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 11:43 am
  #67  
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Originally Posted by spainflyer
Agreed. Because if the union supports her -- gets counseling, takes her meds, etc. - and she has a quiet period, it might be difficult to force her to leave the airline, although I suppose her duties could be changed.
Yeah, maybe give her a desk job at the most if she successfully completes counseling. There are too many good pilots who need jobs to allow second chances. It sickens me to see stories of pilots showing up drunk or high and then getting their job back. You had a great job and you blew it, game over.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by spainflyer
Agreed. Because if the union supports her -- gets counseling, takes her meds, etc. - and she has a quiet period, it might be difficult to force her to leave the airline, although I suppose her duties could be changed.
The union will do everything they can to keep this woman flying. Period.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by LarryJ
I would caution regarding speculation over what was happening behind the scenes.

One of the articles included a flight status display showing the flight departed--with the replacement Captain--slightly more than two hours late (2:06?). Considering that Austin is not a pilot base, the decision to replace the Captain must have been made very early in the process.
I have some doubt about this possibility. If the decision to replace the caption has been made so early, how was she able to continue speaking on the intercom in the aircraft, and how would the FAs say that she was cleared to fly if they had known a replacement had been found?

Moreover, I imagine it does not take too long to find a replacement pilot in Austin, because Houston (IAH) is just 300 miles away. Therefore, it is very likely that a replacement pilot flew in from IAH within two hours, which is entirely possible.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Exleftseat
The union will do everything they can to keep this woman flying. Period.
Which typically means they'll do everything to support her getting her problems under control. Not just "meh, she's got a pulse, put her back in the left seat".
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:22 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by iMedic
Which typically means they'll do everything to support her getting her problems under control. Not just "meh, she's got a pulse, put her back in the left seat".
Never underestimate a union... A Northwest Airlines pilot was arrested for cocaine and the union argued he did nothing wrong, just having a little fun and no need for any punishment.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare
Yes it happened on Feb 11. Obviously this captain isn't running on all six cylinders. Hopefully the ink has already dried on the dismissal papers and FAA revocation of certificate.
I hope not.

These things are absolutely recoverable. It'll take a lot of time and work, but once she's past it why shouldn't she be able to resume her career?
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:40 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare
Yeah, maybe give her a desk job at the most if she successfully completes counseling. There are too many good pilots who need jobs to allow second chances. It sickens me to see stories of pilots showing up drunk or high and then getting their job back. You had a great job and you blew it, game over.
There's a big difference between knowingly and willingly violating the rules on sobriety, and a temporary mental health issue over which you have no control and which just happened to occur at a bad time.

Mental illness is no different from any other illness. You wouldn't fire someone for developing food poisoning symptoms at an inopportune time, why would you fire someone for this?
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by BerenErchamion
I hope not.

These things are absolutely recoverable. It'll take a lot of time and work, but once she's past it why shouldn't she be able to resume her career?
I'm sorry, but something in her head is messed up. I would never feel comfortable having someone flying me in an aircraft that has demonstrated "going off the deepend". What will happen next time? Will she go suicidal? Will she fly a plane into a mountain? This woman should never step foot in a cockpit again.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by zeus2120
I'm sorry, but something in her head is messed up.
When someone comes down with food poisoning at a bad time and passes out in the cockpit, something in their body is messed up.

In both cases, they're more often than not temporary and recoverable.

And it turns out that in both cases, we have highly-trained professionals capable of telling us when that's occurred!

I would never feel comfortable having someone flying me in an aircraft that has demonstrated "going off the deepend".
Would you feel comfortable having someone in the cockpit who once suffered from food poisoning? How do you know that steak they had for dinner last night wasn't undercooked? What will happen? Will they pass out? Will they get diarrhea and have to spend the remainder of the flight in the lavatory while the other pilot has to get the plane on the ground in a hurry, by him/herself? Clearly, people who have had food poisoning should never set foot in a cockpit again.
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