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Cathay Pacific 777-300ER Fly-By Pilot Loses Appeal  
User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15229 times:

Cathay pilot sacked for unsanctioned fly-by loses appeal
Simon Parry

Mr Wilkinson appealed against his dismissal and attended a hearing chaired by Cathay's director of flight operations, Nick Rhodes, on April 10, an airline spokeswoman said. He was informed on Tuesday that his appeal had failed, she said.

"The [hellip] hearing concluded that the decision of the acting general manager (flying) was appropriate and the pilot concerned remains dismissed from the company.

"There is one further level of appeal open to him which will be heard by either the chief executive or the chief operating officer. The timing of [this hearing] will have to be agreed by both parties."

Supporters of Mr Wilkinson said they were disappointed at the outcome and had hoped he would be reinstated to a non-flying, managerial position because of his long and distinguished record.

"Everyone knows that what he did was daft, but it was a rush of blood to the head and no one was hurt," said one colleague. "It seems a shame that he should have to pay such a heavy price for it."




Excerpt from South China Morning Post. No link. Dow Jones Factiva document SCMP000020080416e44h0002f


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
62 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 70
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15200 times:

Quoting Singapore_Air (Thread starter):
"Everyone knows that what he did was daft, but it was a rush of blood to the head and no one was hurt," said one colleague.

Was the colleague from the north of England?

P.S. SQ are a great way to fly.

[Edited 2008-04-17 04:27:48]


One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15096 times:

Pilots are the type of people that shouldn't be having a rush of blood to the head.

Though i agree it was harsh.

[Edited 2008-04-17 04:39:36]

User currently offlineQANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5855 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15079 times:



Quoting RJ111 (Reply 2):
Pilots are the type of people that shouldn't be having a rush of blood to the head.

neither are management...  Wink



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15030 times:

If all the instructor-pilots with a managerial function who've done some sort of what I call 'testosteron flying' would be sacked for it, I reckon there would be quite some interesting vacancies open at top airlines.  Wink

The guy in question really is the victim of all the negative attention his behavior has received in the press.
Just compare it to the widely positive attention the surprise TAP fly over at an Airshow in Portugal got...
or the lack of attention several other events I know of have seen...
Different cultures, different reactions, so it seems.

Airlines rooted in the Anglo-sakson mentality generally look at things differently than airlines rooted in the Latin tradition.

It should not have happened, but he shouldn't be getting more than a temporarily suspension for it really.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9105 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14999 times:

This has got out fast, nothing has been said to employees.


We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineFrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14884 times:

It was to be expected. What wasn't expected is that they would let him appeal in the first place. CX is not know for allowing the people it fires to do it.

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 4):
Just compare it to the widely positive attention the surprise TAP fly over at an Airshow in Portugal got...

Remember that the only reason Capt. Wilkinson got fired is that a formal request for a fly by as per the company procedures wasn't filed and he had no official authorization to do it. Doing it in the confines of an airshow with an empty aircraft and a proper clearance is another matter.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14792 times:



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 6):
Remember that the only reason Capt. Wilkinson got fired is that a formal request for a fly by as per the company procedures wasn't filed and he had no official authorization to do it. Doing it in the confines of an airshow with an empty aircraft and a proper clearance is another matter.

I wouldn't be so sure the fly by on the airshow by the TAP A310 was performed as previously agreed to by the company...

I've been hearing some pretty strong rumours that the crew added a little bit of extra personal input as they were flying along, but the airline preferred to keep the lid on this.  tapedshut 

Which leads me to say:

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 4):
Different cultures, different reactions.



User currently offlineFrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14567 times:



Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 7):
I wouldn't be so sure the fly by on the airshow by the TAP A310 was performed as previously agreed to by the company...

I've been hearing some pretty strong rumours that the crew added a little bit of extra personal input as they were flying along, but the airline preferred to keep the lid on this.

Well, you know more than I do about that one. And if they indeed went a little hot headed there too, it's interesting to note that the local civil aviation authorities didn't give the airline or those pilots any headaches over it, at least not openly.

The HKCAD, on the other hand, did not feel too lighthearted when they saw the flagship of the main airline they oversee just a couple of tenth of feet off the ground on the front page of the local newspaper... Big grin

The sh#t only started to hit the fan after it made it to the media, really.
In any case:

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 4):
Different cultures, different reactions, so it seems.

I wholeheartedly agree, for having experienced both extremes of the scale!



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineFlyingDoctorWu From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 14179 times:

This dude got hung out to dry....
The Fly-by was on Jan 30th... my big question is when did Cathay fire him. If they were so upset they should have fired him right after the incident... the pics and youtube and media didnt get hold of this story till late february...
Oh, and apparently the chairman of the company, Christopher Pratt was sitting behind him...
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/05/business/pilot.php


User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13877 times:



Quoting FlyingDoctorWu (Reply 9):
Oh, and apparently the chairman of the company, Christopher Pratt was sitting behind him...

What relevance is it as to who was either sitting behind him, or on board the a/c?


User currently offlineTb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1597 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 12724 times:

Damn, I would have been fired years ago, along with a lot of other guys out there. Lighten up some Cathay!


Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineSurfrider1978 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 12660 times:

Hopefully he can land another job with Virgin, or BA

User currently offlineRichM From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 798 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 12096 times:

I think it's a real shame and a bit over the top. A warning for not following company procedures would have been more than sufficient in my opinion, after all, I'm betting he wouldn't be likely to do it again if he had been given a formal warning.

User currently offlineFlyingDoctorWu From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 12035 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 10):
What relevance is it as to who was either sitting behind him, or on board the a/c?

Apparently Christopher Pratt was said to have enjoyed the event... Yeah it doesnt matter if it was the janitor sitting behind you but the Chairman of the company can definitely decide to go to bat for you; especially if he was at the scene of said incident. Like I said before., they hung him out to dry. Someone's had to be the scapegoat and it was Wilkinson. I wonder how the conversation went in the cockpit before takeoff.. I wonder if WIlkinson told Pratt he was going to do it... or what if Pratt suggested it himself.... Anyway I bet Wilkinson got a nice severance package out of the deal...


User currently offlineNorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 11915 times:
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Quoting FlyingDoctorWu (Reply 14):
Apparently Christopher Pratt was said to have enjoyed the event... Yeah it doesnt matter if it was the janitor sitting behind you but the Chairman of the company can definitely decide to go to bat for you; especially if he was at the scene of said incident. Like I said before., they hung him out to dry. Someone's had to be the scapegoat and it was Wilkinson. I wonder how the conversation went in the cockpit before takeoff.. I wonder if WIlkinson told Pratt he was going to do it... or what if Pratt suggested it himself.... Anyway I bet Wilkinson got a nice severance package out of the deal...

i was just thinking, reading that article, who ratted him out and why didn't Pratt go to bat for him? I wonder, as chairman, if Pratt could overturn the decision and bring him back anyway.



Why are people so against low yields?! If lower yields means more people can travel abroad, i'm all for it
User currently offlineUSAFDO From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 11774 times:

Glad to hear CX is enforcing rules that are for everyone to follow, and not just some "privileged" few.

He should remain fired, and black-balled to all airlines as he demonstrated total disregard for written company rules & policy.

Thank you CX.


User currently offlineSh0rtybr0wn From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 528 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 11755 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 5):
This has got out fast, nothing has been said to employees.

Whats the general feeling among CX pilots about this case? Do you ever get the urge to perform a flyby in an A340 ?


User currently offlinePeterPuck From Canada, joined Jun 2004, 323 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 11730 times:

I cannot understand why people believe what he did was dangerous in any way!? Airplanes are made to fly. He flew over a runway!

User currently offlineUSAFDO From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 11685 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 5):
This has got out fast, nothing has been said to employees

Employees don't really need to know anything other than this guy, who was in one of the highest flying positions at his company "blatantly" with total disregard for company policy broke the rules.

It's refreshing to see that CX appears to be fair in the way they handled this very serious issue of gross misconduct with the top dog pilot.

They should be commended as they demonstrated that nobody is above the law.


User currently offlineUSAFDO From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 11634 times:



Quoting PeterPuck (Reply 18):

I cannot understand why people believe what he did was dangerous in any way!? Airplanes are made to fly. He flew over a runway!

Are you a stand up comic?

Why don't you do this with your airlines 727, and get back to us!


User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 11453 times:



Quoting FlyingDoctorWu (Reply 14):
Apparently Christopher Pratt was said to have enjoyed the event... Yeah it doesnt matter if it was the janitor sitting behind you but the Chairman of the company can definitely decide to go to bat for you; especially if he was at the scene of said incident. Like I said before., they hung him out to dry. Someone's had to be the scapegoat and it was Wilkinson. I wonder how the conversation went in the cockpit before takeoff.. I wonder if WIlkinson told Pratt he was going to do it... or what if Pratt suggested it himself.... Anyway I bet Wilkinson got a nice severance package out of the deal...

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you entirely. With all due respect, no-one "hung him out to dry", and he did that entirely by himself. Yes, of course I know who Pratt is and that was largely my reason for asking what relevance. However, as Captain, he was entirely in charge of, and legally responsible for, the aircraft and all those on board. It's of absolutely no relevance as to who was on board (or even if he was asked to do it), he made the decision and KNOWINGLY AND DELIBERATELY broke the rules and company procedures.......so where exactly are you getting "a scapegoat" from?

I am actually quite amazed (and somewhat appalled) by the amount on here who feel he was seemingly hard done by! Sorry, but this is absolute nonsense.....a pilot has responsibility, yet many are claiming he should just should have got a slap on the wrist. Spin it how one wants, but this pilot put the safety of the aircraft in jeopardy without the express authority to do so, and with passengers on board, yet many are claiming what he done should be classed as trivial!!!!!
Just out of pure curiosity (and of absolutely no direct relevance whatever, just a genuine question). in the case of say AF1, who is in ultimate command of the AIRCRAFT while in flight......the Captain or your CIC?

Quoting USAFDO (Reply 16):
Glad to hear CX is enforcing rules that are for everyone to follow, and not just some "privileged" few.

He should remain fired, and black-balled to all airlines as he demonstrated total disregard for written company rules & policy.

As harsh as it unfortunately may sound, I absolutely agree with you 100%


User currently offlineThreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2136 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 11432 times:



Quoting USAFDO (Reply 16):
He should remain fired, and black-balled to all airlines...demonstrated total disregard..."blatantly" with total disregard...very serious issue of gross misconduct...top dog pilot

Wow, here's a guy with no sense of ha-ha.

I think each of your points above could be successfully countered. This was no hot-dog cowboy - it was a very safe, very precise, very considered incident. It also just happened to be outside the company SOPs, and thus the discipline.
I agree with the outcome of this event, but certainly not with your skewed assessment and character assassination that followed..



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlineUSAFDO From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 11347 times:

Amazing how many flyers want to "disregard" the rules to protect some idiot who abused his position.

He ABUSED his position and acted as though he was "above it all".


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9105 posts, RR: 75
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 11226 times:



Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 17):

Whats the general feeling among CX pilots about this case?

Most people I talked to had similar views, in any case I do not feel it is appropriate for me to comment on it until the company announces the grievance procedure has run its course.

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 17):
Do you ever get the urge to perform a flyby in an A340 ?

No

Quoting USAFDO (Reply 19):
Employees don't really need to know anything other than this guy, who was in one of the highest flying positions at his company "blatantly" with total disregard for company policy broke the rules.

They did communicate to us the background, and what was being done. I have not seen an update, maybe one will come out today.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
25 CX747 : If only CX saw some of the stuff that the Navy does when they are out at sea. Has anyone seen the F-14 and F/A-18 fly-by with the Hornet upside down w
26 AirNZ : Of absolutely what relevance is this? Since when is a Boeing 777 a highly advanced fighter jet or, for that matter, the pilot of such so highly train
27 JBirdAV8r : Absolutely right.
28 Chas121 : Cathay Pacific has an excellent pilot group, very well trained and tightly managed. Very British. This low pass was done very well but still unnecessa
29 PeterPuck : I've done it. Asked the tower, they approved it, did the fly by, tower said it looked "awesome". Company did not mind, it was a ferry flight. Anythin
30 VC10DC10 : Welcome to my Respected Users list. Extremely well-put.
31 Threepoint : I believe your fervor to crucify this individual has granted you some insight that may or may not actually exist. Where is the evidence of any abuse?
32 VC10DC10 : I'm surprised that this is still being handled internally (i.e., by Cathay Pacific). At what point would the court step in -- would Captain Wilkinson
33 Post contains links Zeke : Actually, more pilots are Australian of origin than anything else, and that goes back to the beginning, the airline was setup by one Australian and o
34 VC10DC10 : In fairness to all concerned, I'm not sure how relevant this is -- some passengers will file suit for anything, anywhere, anytime. There are probably
35 WestJetYQQ : Please don't take my opinion as uneducated, uninformed and immature, because it is not. Seeing a prestigious pilot get in trouble for something like t
36 YWG : I'm sure he'll really have a hard time finding another job...... ANY pilot good enough to make it to Cathay, can do whatever he or she wants. There a
37 Zeke : I think he will, mainly due to his age, he was already flying past the normal retirement age.
38 Fridgmus : And mine as well. I'm not a pilot (horrible vision) and yes, I still hero-worship all of you, especially on cross-wind landings! I think Captain Wilk
39 SKA380 : I'm guessing he of course had clearance from the tower to do this flyover.. So why are they reporting him to the FAA in the aftermath?? It sure seems
40 Zeke : Look at it another way, if a controller cleared a pilot for say a published instrument approach, and then the pilot failed to perform the published m
41 Post contains images Leezyjet : Only because the relevent permissions had not been sought, otherwise it would have been ok. Exactly, hardly any differant from a low level go around,
42 Sabenapilot : Right on, especially the part about the 'Britishness of the reaction'. This really is the typical reaction from a company rooted in an anglo-sakson m
43 YWG : Not when you're type rated on a 777.
44 Chas121 : The ultimate fly-by was August 7, 1955 when Tex Johnson rolled the Dash 80-707 over Lake Washington. The president of Boeing Aircraft commented, "Just
45 777ER : I find the way this appeal was handled interesting. In New Zealand if you loose your job, then you go to the Employments Relations and the matter goes
46 Zeke : This is an internal procedure, similar happens in most big companies I know of. Nothing stopping him from taking the company to court if he likes.
47 WestWing : Which expectation(s) of the controller might have not been met? Would the controller have thought that the aircraft flew too low without gear down? W
48 Bennett123 : There was an earlier thread at the time. My understanding from a link to pprune was that the guy had been riding on thin ice for some time. In that ca
49 Threepoint : Well I might disagree with your assessment. Most CX pilots are excellent at their craft. I personally know five. One of them is marginal at most task
50 Kubik : I have spoken to one of the CX pilots who said that the chief pilot should be setting the standards and not braking them. Kubik
51 YWG : No kidding. It happens in EVERY industry. Sounds like someone got the shaft from CX? I did not make any "assessment", nor did I base my OPINION on fa
52 Viscount724 : Their safety record is a good indication of CX standards. Not many airlines their size have gone 36 years without a fatal accident, and that one was
53 CX flyboy : I am not so sure it was as deliberate and malicious as you imply. Our company manuals give a set of requirements before things like flypasts, perform
54 Zeke : And they are given in Vol 1, they are the GMF/GMO/GMA, the CP does not report to the DFO, and is not a deputy to the DFO. I think you should have a l
55 777ER : Those those who havn't seen the fly-by video, could someone please post a link?
56 Post contains links 71Zulu : http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=00a_1204000744
57 CX flyboy : We are always told in training that if we follow what is in our manuals, that we will also be meeting those local regulations who's manuals we as pil
58 Zeke : Vol 1 says all flights shall be conducted in accordance with the relevant provisions of the operations manual, training manual, an instructions. If i
59 AirNZ : Firstly, I apologise for any misunderstanding you ssem to have taken from my post. I was not implying "knowingly and deliberately" in the literal sen
60 Wowpeter : I personally think the initial PR was bad... but once the Cathay Corporate communications department got their hands on this, there's a pretty quick c
61 Threepoint : If you refer to me, then no. I have never applied to Cathay, nor do I ever intend to. I'm sorry, but flying any airliner is not among my top ten flyi
62 Post contains images CX flyboy : I still think it was a PR disaster. Cathay acted to suspend the pilot when they saw the video on YouTube. At that stage there was nothing in the medi
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