pilotaydin
Posts: 2099
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:30 am

Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 2:05 am

I heard from a friend following this story that the captain was German and had his license revoked in Germany. Does anyone have any credibility or a link to this story at all?
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
vfw614
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:13 am

All I know is that he was a former Interflug pilot. He used to fly for easyjet and apparently until a couple of months ago for Jet"
 
vfw614
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:23 pm

I meant to write "Jet2".

This is from the Guardian:

Quote:
The captain of the Cypriot airliner that crashed Sunday was a former East German airline pilot who worked for a Dublin, Ireland-based agency that supplies pilots to airlines, a German newspaper reported.

The Bild daily said that Hans-Juergen Merten, 58, had flown with Helios Airlines for six months before the crash but was an employee of Direct Personnel International, an agency that connects pilots and airlines.

Shane Pollard, managing director at Direct Personnel International, said, ``We're making no comment'' but added that ``we are working with the family'' of Merten, whose body has not yet been found.

Merten had also been a pilot for the airline Interflug in the former East Germany, German news media reported.

The airline went out of existence after German reunification in 1990. Like many Interflug pilots who had flown the airline's Soviet-built planes, Merten would have undergone retraining to fly Western aircraft.

The German pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit said it had no information on Merten or his background. He had a valid airline pilot's license, said spokeswoman Cornelia Eichorn from Germany's Luftfahrt Bundesamt aviation authority, who could provide no further information.


This is from TheTimes:

Quote:
The body of the German pilot, Hans-Juergen Merten, 58, has not yet been identified. He had previously worked for two months for the British budget airline Jet2 and before that for easyJet. Jet2 refused to comment on claims yesterday that Mr Merten had been sacked after a series of safety breaches.

According to PPRUNE, the row at Jet2 centered around a refusal of Merten to accept an aircraft.


To sum it up, he had a valid German licence. Maybe this revocation rumour is related to the fact that he was a former Interflug Tupolev pilot and needed to be retrained after 1990.

[Edited 2005-08-17 15:32:32]
 
BostonGuy
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:30 pm

Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
I heard from a friend following this story that the captain was German and had his license revoked in Germany. Does anyone have any credibility or a link to this story at all?

I think you should go back to your friend and make him provide confirmation to back-up his claims.

Posting comments from a "friend" reeks of inaccuracy and urban mythology. It would help us tremendously if you let us know why your friend would even have access to this information (job position) or where he got it (web site address, etc.).

For all we know, and this happens at times on this forum, your "friend" could be a 12 year old.
 
vfw614
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 2:11 am

This is an offical Helios press release - obviously a result of all the speculation:

Quote:
The pilots who operated the Boeing 737-300 were both highly experienced and held valid Air Transport Pilot licenses recognised by the Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation, which is a member of the European Joint Airworthiness Authorities (JAA). As part of the normal procedures followed by every airline which operates under JAA standards, Helios Airways pilots regularly undergo recurrent training and proficiency checks, as well as regular medical examinations to ensure their fitness to operate large transport aircraft.

The Captain of flight ZU522, Capt Hans Jurgen Merten, had operated more than 17,500 flying hours, including 12,500 hours as pilot-in-command on jet aircraft, of which more than 8,000 hours were on Boeing 737 variants. Capt Merten, who was a German citizen, held an Air Transport Pilots' Licence (ATPL) issued by the German Civil Aviation Authority (LBA), which was valid until 14 April 2006.

The First Officer, Pampos Charalambous, who was from Cyprus, had amassed more than 7,500 flying hours, including 3,700 hours on the Boeing 737. Mr Charalambous held a valid ATPL issued by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and had flown with Helios Airways since May 2000.

All pilots employed by Helios Airways must hold an Air Transport Pilots' License issued by a JAA member state, and must have both a valid type rating (license to fly a specific aircraft type) and a valid aviation medical certificate. Pilots joining Helios Airways are required to undergo a company Operators' Proficiency Check (OPC), which is mandated by the JAA, and may also take a Licence Proficiency Check (LPC), which is an instrument flying check performed in a simulator.

Pilots are also required by the JAA and by Helios Airways to take an intensive company-specific training course in order to acquire familiarity with company manuals and procedures. This includes training on emergency procedures, safety equipment and crew resource management (CRM).
 
AMSSFO
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:42 am

RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:07 am

Quoting BostonGuy (Reply 3):
your "friend" could be a 12 year old.

or Nektarios-Sotirios Voutas... Smile
 
EZEIZA
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:52 am

Quoting BostonGuy (Reply 3):
Posting comments from a "friend" reeks of inaccuracy and urban mythology. It would help us tremendously if you let us know why your friend would even have access to this information (job position) or where he got it (web site address, etc.).

I believe that is exactly why the thread starter asked if anyone had any information on this  Smile
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
vfw614
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Sun Aug 21, 2005 7:06 am

Further news in the German media about the CPT:

When flying for Interflug in the GDR he was demoted from CPT to F/O because of "unsettled family issues" - which could also indicate a political issue.

After Interflug's collpase, he applied to fly for Lufthansa but was not accepted, apparently because was assessed as lacking team skills, a bad communicator and having a bad temper.

He started flying for various foreign airlines, from 1997 - 1999 for Virign Express, then for Easyjet, Jet2 and finally for Helios.

Jet2 denied that he was sacked from the airline because he had failed a simulator test. As said above, according to PPRUNE, his departure from Jet2 allegedly centered around a refusal of Merten to accept an aircraft

Cyprus Mail reports that Merten and the F/O had a row two weeks before the crash over personal issues.
 
jjbiv
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Sun Aug 21, 2005 12:18 pm

It's just a bit distasteful to gossip about a dead pilot, no?

joe
 
CORULEZ05
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:59 pm

Yet ANOTHER anet user jumping on the "let's bash an airline during the difficult times" high horse....must be a contagious plague going around this place....sheesh  

Why don't we start another rumor. Let's all say that the pilot was really a homeless guy that Helios management picked up and put him up as a pilot......great isn't it?  Yeah sure

[Edited 2005-08-21 07:00:52]
Fly jetBlue today!!!!!!!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:06 pm

Quoting CORULEZ05 (Reply 9):
Why don't we start another rumor. Let's all say that the pilot was really a homeless guy that Helios management picked up and put him up as a pilot......great isn't it

Agreed.Verbally many persons may say many things.
The Very fact that the Person concerned was Selected to Fly for the Airline means He was Qualified & his performance was satisfactory to the Airline Mgmt & Flt Ops Mgmt.
I guess it would be better to await the "Official" Report before commenting.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
vfw614
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RE: Helios Pilot Was Banned In Germany?

Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:53 pm

Look, it has been alleged here and in various media that

a) the CPT had his licenced revoked at some point
b) was fired at Lufthansa
c) was fired at Jet2

The information I provided is merely to illustrate that he was an experienced pilot and had not had his licence revoked at any point, but was

a) only demoted and only for dubious reasons that anyone with a knowledge of the former GDR could very well attribute to political issues. At least I have never heard that "family issues" are a reason to demote someone from CPT to FO. If "family issues" are a real issue, someone would have to be grounded altogether, not demoted.

b) was not accepted by Lufthansa after the demise of Interflug on personal reasons that did not have anything to do with his piloting skills. In the first place, he had been flying with Interflug for 20 years or so and the reason Lufthansa gave obviously did not bother his former employer and none of the airlines he flew with afterwards. At its demise, Interflug had a fleet of 30 aircraft, none of which was taken over by Lufthansa. Just do your maths how many of Interlfug's flight crews Lufthansa needed to take over and how many they needed to get rid of - with some sort of explanation that was difficult to challenge...

c) was not fired at Jet2 because he could not pass a sim test but left, at least according to what other Jet2 personnel have hinted at in another forum, over a dispute whether he should or should not have accepted an aircraft - which clearly indicates that he did not take safety issues lightly and obviously made his point when necessary (see also a) above).


If you are into real gossip and mud-slinging concerning the man in question, I invite you to do a google search with his name, particularly on German sites.