when you make the New York Post, a tabloid rag, for being voluntarily "gutzy" and it involves your pilot certificate and an airliner with people on it...you're doing something risky and questionable.
Again I will ask what if there was a maintenance thing on the ground ? if it was the standard sign off that took an hour? Then what?
what if one of the pilots felt ill? what if one of the flight attendants was injured by a bag falling on her hand during deplaning? what if you go to start the engine and you have low oil pressure or high oil temperature? what if you have a bleed leak or duct overheat?
somebody else said these are things that don't happen often ... but when you take a look at the overall picture something does happen frequently.
anyone of those things could've happened and delayed their departure.
I understand that many of the readers on here are not pilots. I also understand that many people that are pilots are not airline pilots. I mean no offense to these people.
as an airline pilot in 2017, in the United States of America,for one of the world's safest airlines, you do not take unnecessary risks without a way out or a backup plan.
this was an incredibly gutsy move but had to work the first time. that makes it an incredibly stupid move.
this isnt a military operation, where you go back to evacuate guys that are surrounded by the enemy. you simply cannot run an airline with that mentality .
if Delta felt the need to evacuate passengers and/or crew from San Juan: you do it earlier, you do it off of a shorter flight with more predictability (from Florida or Atlanta) and you close up shop well before you're anywhere near this thing .
I think this pretty much sums it up:
[quote] Our meteorology team is the best in the business,” said Erik Snell, vice president for Delta operations and customer center. “They took a hard look at the weather data and the track of the storm and worked with the flight crew and dispatcher to agree it was safe to operate the flight. And our flight and ground crews were incredible in their effort to turn the aircraft quickly and safely so the flight could depart well before the hurricane threat.” [/quote}