Newagebird From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 64 posts, RR: 1 Posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4454 times:
Just wondering what might happen to a pilot if he messes up in a major airline...for example if he overran the runway like the guys in fedex did. Are the implications serious? Does anyone know any examples of pilots (w/o naming anyone of course) being fired for the slightest misdemeanour?
I suppose it would depend on the employer but just wondering how far u can screw up and still get away with it...
Jamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4442 times:
If there was a runway over run (or any other incident) then an investigation would be launched and if it came back to be the pilot's fault then the airline decides on the punishment, If it was snowy and icy i doubt they would get fired maybe a 90 day suspension but if it was a nice perfect flying day then they might get fired.
You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
CX flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6805 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4375 times:
It does not take much to get fired for many airlines. but it also depends on the nature of the incident. Even a minor incident if due to wrecklessness can end your career, whereas something which might not have been your fault 100%, the airline might be slightly more tolerant.
I know of an incident where a captain lost his job after one of the main gears left the taxiway and sank into the soft ground during a tight turn on a narrow taxiway. Doesn't take much especially if your past record is checkered!
Okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3788 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4370 times:
Exactly why most major operators end up with union representation.
Quoting Newagebird (Thread starter): I suppose it would depend on the employer but just wondering how far u can screw up and still get away with it...
Generally it would depend, if a pilot had a bad record, as a previous mishap or did not do well on proficiency previously, then something that seems minor can be the straw that broke the camels back so to speak if the pilot has a bad record.
On the other hand if an incident is something minor or questionable about the pilots responsibility then more training or suspension is in order or tea and biscuits with the boss.
As we do not have all the facts in this particular incident at MSP there could be something wrong with the brakes or anti-skid that was out of the pilots control.
Most operators have invested quite a large amount of money in training pilots and it is not to their advantage to just terminate pilots without just cause. Operators will tend to let pilots wash themselves out early on if they do not fly well or adhere to operational procedures long before they get to the left seat.
Grbld From Netherlands, joined Dec 2005, 353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4330 times:
Quoting CX flyboy (Reply 2): It does not take much to get fired for many airlines.
It really depends a lot on the national and corporate culture of an airline. Some airlines back their employees very well and go to great lengths in order to keep them flying with them. Others will fire you if you call in sick one time too many (the criterium set by management).
Even in case of a major screw-up and subsequent damage, some airlines will take care of you in a good way and some will pretend they don't know you, fire you or even worse, prosecute you.
The only thing that will get you fired really quickly with every airline is if you intentionally mess something up.
Like Okie says, many airlines invest lots of money in their pilots. It's also the case that airlines that don't, fall into the category that will rip your head off if you do something they don't like (do I need to name names here?).
I hope these are not part of the same contiguous line of thinking. Overrunning the runway for any reason is not the slightest misdemeanor (US spelling ) Accidents can and do happen, and when they do, the pilot may be exonerated if there is a clear trail of duly diligent flight planning. Any evidence of incorrect planning or misconduct could be grounds for regulatory action, and if that happens, losing one's job is only the tip of the iceberg. If a license is suspended for a violation of regulations, that pilot may never be employed as a pilot again.
Grbld From Netherlands, joined Dec 2005, 353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3786 times:
Quoting SCEagle (Reply 6): Like any other business... if you cost the company money instead of making the company money, you'll be gone.
As I said, this is not necessarily the case. It depends largely on company culture. In some airlines, you get fired when you sneeze, in others, they'll stick by you even if you accidentally slam your wing into a building.
Saab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1621 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3782 times:
It depends on the nature of the incident and the level of avoidability. At my airline we have had a number of pilots marshalled right into obstacles, striking a wing. It is very difficult to see the wingtip from the flight deck and the way it works in the US is that the marshallers have 'wing walkers' who tell the lead marshaller if they should proceed. In the cases I am thinking of the pilot was absolved of all responsibility because the marshaller should have been more careful.
Sometimes pilots are let go for seemingly minor things to a non-pilot, but which are sort of major sins in the pilot world, like an altitude bust. We had two pilots let go from SWISS when I was there after they ran an airplane off the runway and did significant damage. Another pilot who had a similar thing happen was not let go. Why? In the first incident I mention, the result was the end of a huge chain of very avoidable errors and non-followed procedures. Also, in the case of the captain, it was not his first incident.
It really depends on the error and the role the crew played. Most airlines will not penalise you for unavoidable things, but in the procedures and regulations almost every conceivable thing is covered and if you follow the procedures and regulations almost nothing can happen.
The SOPs of most major airlines are pretty watertight and when someone ends up in trouble it is usually because someone deviated from the procedures. You bend an airplane after following the procedures and, depending on the circumstances, it might be nothing. But if you bend or scratch one after ignoring procedures and you are in for a very lonely day with the Chief Pilot!
Rolfen From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 1822 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3301 times:
I guess it depends on how reckless and disrespectful the pilot is toward policies and regulations.
I read about a pilot getting fired for having sex with an f.a. on duty, on the other hand the pilots of the Gimli glider did not loose their jobs. The whole thing was partially their fault, but they were other contributing factors, and I guess the way they handled the emergency made the airline want to keep them.