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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, 12:57 pm
  #76  
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Originally Posted by BerenErchamion
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?
We don't know if it is mental illness or substance abuse yet. Either way, she embarrassed the company and it is likely that passengers and crew may not want to fly with her again after this episode. Employees usually get in a lot of trouble for embarrassing the company. Look at the school that fired their social media director over a funny but innocent comment that some people took offense too. That was far less embarrassing than this.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 1:08 pm
  #77  
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Originally Posted by zeus2120
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.
IANAS. Perhaps someone with the appropriate medical degree and experience can help us understand how great the changes of a relapse are after such a patient is deemed cured compared to the chances of a random other pilot exhibiting such a problem for the first time.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 1:17 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by lixiaojuventus
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.
Only 'bout 160 miles of hiway separate Austin and Houston so one can
drive it in a couple hours.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 1:24 pm
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by BerenErchamion
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?
Her biggest challenge is going to be maintaining a FAA first class medical certificate. The deferral process for psychiatric issues is a magnificent pain in the rear. If she can get past that hurdle, my guess is that she won't have too much trouble finding work, even if it isn't with United.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 1:53 pm
  #80  
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Slightly off-topic but… related

Many years ago I was flying from LHR to SFO on a United flight. A pilot who I assumed was the captain, and who indeed was the captain, was chatting with some of the folks in first class as boarding was finishing up. His uniform was all askew – his tie was at an angle, he wasn't wearing his hat, sleeves were rolled up – and his hair was somewhat disheveled. He was also slightly red-faced, but within what a normal ruddy faced person would look like. As I was still a fairly nervous flyer, I became extremely nervous. So I asked one of the flight attendants if she knew this Capt., and did she think he was okay. she didn't know him but she got the purser, who said, oh yeah that's "Charlie." He's an odd duck but a great captain. In fact if you put on channel 9 you will find he talks nonstop throughout the flight. But he's totally trustworthy. He likes to hang out with the passengers before he gets ready.
And indeed, a few minutes later "Charlie" ducked into the restroom, and emerged a few minutes later looking every inch a 747 Capt. We had an uneventful flight, and as those were the days are we still had channel 9, I turned it on for a bit and notice he did talk almost nonstop.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 2:01 pm
  #81  
 
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I personally would not feel comfortable having her fly me anywhere, no matter how much care and recovery she had been through. While I sympathize, I draw the line when my or my families life is on the line. I certainly understand that she could recover just fine and be an able bodied member of society, and that there is a stigma attached to mental illness, however, I would truly hope UA would not let her back in the cockpit again.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 2:03 pm
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by BerenErchamion
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!



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.
This is a ridiculous comparison. If you do not have the mental capacity to stop yourself from acting like a complete fool in your profession..walking on an airplane you are the captain of in street clothes, going on the intercom to take a poll of how she should be dressed, start talking politics, start talking divorce, getting testy with the guy who didn't feel safe on the plane...that is a mental problem and quite frankly unless someone is force fed medication, it's incurable. Food poisoning passes. A mental issue does not. Do you think she could handle a stressful situation as a pilot after this? Would she have the mental capacity and stamina to handle a double engine bird strike? Or would she have a nervous breakdown?
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 2:41 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by DENflyer3
I personally would not feel comfortable having her fly me anywhere, no matter how much care and recovery she had been through. While I sympathize, I draw the line when my or my families life is on the line. I certainly understand that she could recover just fine and be an able bodied member of society, and that there is a stigma attached to mental illness, however, I would truly hope UA would not let her back in the cockpit again.
+1.

I'm fine if she gets help, gets right, and gets a job as a cargo driver (assuming other pilots would be willing to fly with her). I would be really uncomfortable with her back in charge of a passenger airliner - ever.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 2:46 pm
  #84  
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Moderator Note

This thread is beginning to take on a general discussion of mental health -- as this a forum on flying United Airlines we are getting a bit OT. The individual may have a mental health issue but instead of armchair diagnosis, there are automatic mechanisms to handle this both within UA and with the FAA. Decisions of those mechanisms or the impact on UA operations or of course the actual incident are fine topics. However, speculation on the cause or curability of mental illness in general seem to be topics for other forums.

Let's return to the UA related issues.

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Old Feb 13, 2017, 2:55 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by pinniped
+1.

I'm fine if she gets help, gets right, and gets a job as a cargo driver (assuming other pilots would be willing to fly with her). I would be really uncomfortable with her back in charge of a passenger airliner - ever.
What if she signed up with Uber?

I assume she isn't the first (or last) pilot with similar issues (perhaps not always extreme symptoms). Surely there is an established FAA (and UA) process for addressing this.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 3:09 pm
  #86  
 
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I wonder if the Germanwings crash affects the decision-making on stuff like this. I don't doubt that in the past quite a few pilots with the odd mental problem were allowed back into a cockpit after some counseling and so forth, but now we have a recent 'first world' example of an insane pilot killing himself and his pax. I don't think that dude had even shown any prior apparent signs of it and yet the concerned airline still took a pretty big PR hit.

If you let someone into the cockpit again after they messed up publicly like this and then something happens, you might just kiss your airline goodbye.

From an UA point of view there's really no pros in keeping her around, only negatives. ALPA, of course, probably see it very differently.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 4:26 pm
  #87  
 
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare
http://tribunist.com/news/united-air...?utm_source=BP

First of all, why did the gate agent let her have access to the aircraft? Valid ID or not someone claiming to be a crew member but out of uniform needs to be held for questioning and confirmation. Gate agents absolutely have the authority to deny access to anyone they find questionable.

Second of all, why did the first officer not have the captain removed? The captain will likely never fly again and need a psychiatric evaluation. But the first officer needs to be sent back to CRM training. Similar situation with have occurred in the past but the FO contacted the authorities and had the captain removed.

I hope the captain gets the help she needs but I would never want to be on a plane with her in the flight deck again. Maybe UA can move her to a desk job if she is able to undergo counseling and clear things up.

Passengers left in tears after pilot rants about her divorce over plane's intercom - YouTube
Here's a possible scenario for all the Monday Morning QB's here:

Captain calls the FO & says she's running late, for whatever reason.

She shows up & most pre flight tasks are done by FO.

She thanks FO for doing tasks & tells him she'll make a PA re running late etc out of uni,( no BFD) then it obviously goes downhill from there.

Who knows if she was on Ambien or what, but it's a moot point now.
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