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AA And DL Both Pulling Out Of Asap Program  
User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4228 posts, RR: 6
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7898 times:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28073242/

This is very sad in my opinion. This program allows pilots, dispatchers and Mechanics to point out a lot of issues that are safety releated without fear of losing their certificate or retribution from the Airline. Without the information gathered from this program, it is very difficult for pilots to point out things they think might be safety releated without it either being ignored, or facing retrobution. The fact that they are ending these programs is very sad. I know it has been very helpful at my carrier, as it seems to be the only tool we have that makes management actually listen.

For any pilots in here, what are your thoughts on this?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7819 times:

ASAP is one of the best things in aviation. This is really sad they're pulling out of it....

Pilots make lots of little mistakes all the time (just like anyone in any career field) and ASAP gives pilots (and dispatchers/mechanics/etc) the ability to write down exactly what happened and why, without having to worry about retribution. Without ASAP, due to fear for their jobs, most of these mistakes would get covered up and go unnoticed until something more serious happens. Managers in aviation... chief pilots/FAA/etc... tend to take a guitly till proven innocent and no second chances attitude towards pilot mistakes. The problem is, mistakes happen to even the absolute and you can't "punish" them away with discipline. The only way to eliminate them is to recognize that procedures, training, etc may need to be changed.

With ASAP, pilots are able to submit reports on any and all errors without needing to hide anything at all. Everyone involved gets the absolute 100% truth on exactly what happened and all parties involved (pilots, company, FAA) are able to look at how to prevent the problem again in the future. Its extremely helpful when the same mistake appears repeatedly and dozens of reports by different pilots flood in of them all making the same mistake and you can recognize the patterns of whats causing it. Without ASAP, you wouldn't have this information.

Maybe a checklist item is confusing pilots? Maybe theres an error on an instrument approach chart that causes a mistake? Maybe controllers are using phrases that cause pilots to think one thing when they mean another? ASAP allows situations like this to be addressed and corrected instead of just punishing the pilot and not caring why it happened in the first place. Sure, if there is a problem with the pilot, they will receive training and corrections, but they will not be faced with discipline for submitting their safety reports.


Unfortunately, some management teams don't understand the reason for this program and go around its safeguards and try to use these supposedly confidential non-punitive reports to discipline pilots. It undermines the entire system and destroys any confidence pilots have in it. Management looks at ASAP as a wall blocking them from punishing pilots and it sounds like thats whats going on here. It really is sad to see these airlines eliminating this extremely valuable safety program... like I said, you can't punish your way to safety.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24735 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7727 times:

AA and DL are not the first ones. Some others like Atlas and either UPS or Fedex also pulled out recently.

Has mostly to do with behind the scenes politics with pilot unions.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineDoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3399 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7685 times:

I was going to add my 2 cents, but Fly15 said it all, and much more eloquently than I could have. This is very disheartening.


When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2233 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7673 times:

ATC is just instituting an ASAP program. From what I hear in the field, the controllers are already having problems with management abuse. Sad, it could do so much to improve procedural and safety issues.


I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 3886 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7614 times:

The problem is that mgmt thinks they can use the confidential information (names etc...) to target for discipline. Only a small circle of individuals that make up the ERC know the identity of the pilots (and FAs, mechanics and dispatchers, who have their own ASAP programs). They cannot discipline outside of the ASAP program. That is what killed the program at Comair and nearly killed the program at Mesaba. I don't know the details as to why the program was killed at other airlines, but I would imagine it would be along the same unfortunate lines.

It is a tremendous program that improves the safety of the airline. It's too bad that short sighted individuals over step their bounds and help destroy the trust and benefit for all.


User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7481 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7600 times:

Ohh, AA's pilots are probably going to have a fit with this one.

I honestly dont know enough about the program, but since AA's pilots have fits over things that dont even have much to do with them, they will take this one to town probably.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4228 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7586 times:

At my company, only one manager responsible for the program knows the identity of anyone who submits a report. No one else even on the ERC know these identities.

User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 3886 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7538 times:

Well, should there be a "meeting" between the ERC and a pilot involved, the entire ERC would obviously know. But right... in general the names are only known by the "neutral" individual on the ERC.

User currently offlineMeanGreen From United States of America, joined May 2006, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7527 times:

The Controller one is called ATSAP and I have noticed any problems with it. I just filled one out yesterday and I'll let you know if I get screwed or not.

User currently offlineADXMatt From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 950 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7277 times:

The majority of the mistakes would have gone unnoticed by anyone if the pilot/dispatcher/fa/mechanic didn't self disclose. You would not know how widespread a problem is. Many ASAP reports are not even mistakes that are made. It is for preventive care too. Pointing out that a MEL is not clear enough, a procedure could use changeing because a mistake could be made, maybe a sign should be added or moved etc.

Here at CO we have had many improvements due to these type of reports for systemic issues that were able to be imporoved before mistakes were made.

The NASA program is good but the reports are not as timely and are more general for indutry issues accross all the airlines and not towards a particular carrier's procedure. The ASAP program creates change faster and for things that may only affect that carrier.

The ASAP teams also reguarly meet to discuss their finding with their ASAP colleagues at other carriers to share information on a general level. So that safety improvements can be shared to other airlines to make the industry safer.

It is sad that these leading airlines are going backwards. I hope it is only temporary and that they re-instate it.


User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2552 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7250 times:

Sounds like one of the worst decisions yet made by AA and DL. ASAP saves lives, period. Fear of retribution and loss of your job used to keep many pilots quiet. ASAP let them speak their mind and help find ways to correct problems with the system.

For those who don't know, it isn't a 'get out of jail free' card. If you did something knowingly and willingly against the rules, chances are the problem wouldn't be accepted into the ASAP program. But if you unintentionally erred on something, or just found a problem that you thought should be corrected, ASAP was a great way to get the problem looked at and solved. The problem lies in the attitude of some management personnel that any mistake is willful, and the offender should be punished by loss of pay and/or job.

We have a robust ASAP program here at HA, and we're much better off now with it than before. We've had a number of potential problems pointed out through the system that were addressed, making everyone's career (and our passengers journey) safer.

This is something that the pilots at these airlines should fight for as hard as their next contract.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3462 posts, RR: 47
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7194 times:

AA/APA started the entire ASAP program for the entire industry. As an 8 year aviation safety professional in the US Navy, I was amazed that such an honesty based, no-fault program would ever be approved by the FAA... let alone airline management. Since its inception it has worked flawlessly reporting thousands of times more potential problems than anything else, before or since.

At AA, the pilot ASAP reports are reviewed by an Event Review Committee (ERC) with one member each from AA (management), FAA (gov't/ATC) and APA (pilot). In order for ANY disciplinary action to be taken, all three ERC members must agree that the ASAP reported action was an intentional violation of a rule, policy or procedure. Yes, AA has had a couple of instances where pilots have been disciplined following an ASAP reported incident where unanimous agreement by the ERC members was that the incident did not qualify as an "honest mistake" per ASAP rules --so it is difficult to argue the APA representative is totally biased at protecting pilots.... he is there to protect the integrity of the ASAP program.

During the negotiations for the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (the authorizing document for ASAP programs), AA management proposals have included a "majority vote" to disqualify an ASAP reported incident (previously required unanimous vote) claiming that is what the FAA is now requiring on all ASAP MOU renewals. APA has refused to sign such MOU (for obvious reasons) and proposed renewal using the same identical language that has been in use since ASAP's inception. The FAA has publicly claimed it is not requiring any language change, but it is known that Delta's renewal process went the same way as AA's is currently going [or rather "not going"].



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineKohflot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7161 times:

Sounds like it's time for the government to mandate ASAP for airlines with more than x number of operational employees. Argue about pay, sick time, or retirement.. but safety is not a political football.

User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12400 posts, RR: 37
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6745 times:



Quoting Kohflot (Reply 13):
Sounds like it's time for the government to mandate ASAP for airlines with more than x number of operational employees. Argue about pay, sick time, or retirement.. but safety is not a political football.

Absolutely agree; the FAA needs to take action on this and maybe this can be a priority issue for the incoming FAA administrator. Such a superb contribution to air safety cannot be allowed to fall between the wheels of the labour agreement juggernaut.

What happens if there is a major disaster which can be traced to something which (were it not for the failure of ASAP) would have been reported? The airlines could find themselves facing serious legal action.

Solution: 90 days for the airlines to get these programs up and running, of their own volition; otherwise, they become law and failure to institute becomes a criminal offence involving six figure fines.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19299 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6702 times:



Quoting Kohflot (Reply 13):
Sounds like it's time for the government to mandate ASAP for airlines with more than x number of operational employees. Argue about pay, sick time, or retirement.. but safety is not a political football.

How about all pilots walk off the job? Completely strand the country. "If we can't fly safe, we won't fly."

I guarantee that it will take less than 12 hours for it to be federally mandated.


User currently offlineQXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2404 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5625 times:

So are all commercial airlines in the United States using the ASAP program except AA and DL? Is there a list I can read? I know that to me, safety is #1 over any airline fare, customer service, or time of travel. I will probably try my hardest to not fly with AA or DL now until they get back with ASAP.


Don't Tread On Me!
User currently offlineSkyyKat From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5196 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
How about all pilots walk off the job? Completely strand the country. "If we can't fly safe, we won't fly."

Great idea, but it wont happen.

I have a hard time understanding safety programs like this are actually being taken away. A century of aviation and hundreds of accidents later no airline should be taking away safety programs.

This is what unions should be for, take a stand, pull everyone off the job and the FAA will federally mandate ASAP.


User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5110 times:

Unfortunately since in Comair crash in Lexington, ASAP has been pretty much frozen. We've wanted an ASAP program since I started at the new airline and have been unable to get our FAA to go along with it.

Since the judge allowed the use of ASAP reports in the litigation, there has been a concern about using the program and starting new programs. This is probably why the renewals weren't going as smoothly as they normally would. Add to that labor relations issues and this is, sadly, the result.

Checko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5041 times:



Quoting SkyyKat (Reply 17):

Great idea, but it wont happen.

I have a hard time understanding safety programs like this are actually being taken away. A century of aviation and hundreds of accidents later no airline should be taking away safety programs.

This is what unions should be for, take a stand, pull everyone off the job and the FAA will federally mandate ASAP.

In short, they're being taken away because management doesn't like the fact that they have pilots they can't punish. Discipline is the middle name of most airline chief pilots in this country... In times, such as contract negotiations it really turns into an "us vs them" attitude between the pilots and management. Unfortunately, some management teams think that eliminating ASAP gives them a good way to exert power over and scare pilots.

But, airline management is not alone. There are cases of the FAA repealing ASAP at certain airlines as well because they also wanted to discipline pilots. It really is unfortunate that so many people in power in aviation think that you can discipline your way to safety. Its impossible when you're talking about honest mistakes that nobody intended to do... pilots aren't sitting there thinking "oh I'd love to screw up a radio call, except they might catch me and punish me so I guess I'll do it right". You have to take an all-hands in proactive stance towards fixing the root cause of the problems, not punish the end result, ignoring why it happened in the first place.


User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7528 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4947 times:

In flight training there was program somewhat similar that more or less protected you from the FAA, I think it was called a NASA report IIRC, and you could file one, say you broke into restricted airspace, however, you were only protected with one per 12 months.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineSCXmechanic From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 534 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4495 times:



Quoting SkyyKat (Reply 17):
So are all commercial airlines in the United States using the ASAP program except AA and DL? Is there a list I can read?

http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_i...n/asap/media/asap_participants.pdf


User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4415 times:



Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 20):
In flight training there was program somewhat similar that more or less protected you from the FAA, I think it was called a NASA report IIRC, and you could file one, say you broke into restricted airspace, however, you were only protected with one per 12 months.

It applies to all flying and a pilot (FA, mechanic, or ATC for that matter) can file as many as they want. I have not found anything saying that one can only use an ASRS report in an enforcement action once every X years. However, I could imagine a second enforcement action after one was taken care of by an ASRS report would not be handled the same way.

Its quite a useful program, it just lacks the immediacy of the ASAP program. I've filled many reports since I started flying.

http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/index.html

Checko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4303 times:

The problem with the NASA program is that it is for general industry wide reporting. The majority of incidents are specific to an airline, airport, etc where it is imperative that the airline, its pilots, and associated FSDO branch find out about problems immediately (ASAP reports must be filed within 24 hours of the event) instead of months later only receiving a brief summary of all events in a NASA newsletter.

The NASA ASRS also only provides limited protection to the pilots from the FAA and no protection to the pilots from airline management. ASAP is intended to provide full protection to the pilots from all sources so that they can fully disclose everything that happened including their own mistakes without fear.

NASA ASRS is a nice tool for general aviation but it has essentially no specific value to an airline or airline pilots.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21425 posts, RR: 56
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4243 times:



Quoting SCXmechanic (Reply 21):

Pretty much everyone is on that list. Hell, even GoJet is on it, and they're not known for treating pilots well. DL and AA are now joining the illustrious likes of Mesa in repealing ASAP.  thumbsdown 

The logic that would lead to such a decision is just unfathomable.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
25 Fairwarning : I've flown for more than one Regional Airline, and I've seen this program work pretty well. Unfortunately, the management at the last one I worked for
26 Apodino : You know, some Feds have been accused of being too cozy with the airlines, and this might be proof of that. That being said, at my airline, our Fed h
27 Fairwarning : Funny- that's exactly what our POI's would tell us. They would talk tough, but never follow through. Believe me, it didn't take long for management t
28 AAR90 : The unions ARE taking a stand... do NOT use ASAP to punish ANYBODY... use it for SAFETY solutions only! An FAA manadated ASAP program will solve noth
29 TheGreatChecko : Not to argue semantics, but all it says is that a pilot cannot have an enforcement action within 5 years. It never refers to the use of the ASAP repo
30 AAR90 : To ensure we are speaking clearly.... The FAA may not use a NASA ASRS report to generate enforcement action. IF the FAA discovers an incident through
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