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OMP777X
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Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:07 pm

The dispute between pilots and the management at Allegiant continues. According to this report, Allegiant has fired one of the two pilots involved with an emergency landing that took place back in June. Apparently they chose to do so on the basis that the plane was found to have zero issues by the mechanics who inspected it after the landing. Doesn't this set an awful precedent throughout the company that implies safety is not their #1 priority?
http://www.tampabay.com/news/busines...earwater-emergency-landing/2247121

The incident in question is reported on in the link below.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/...-landing-in-Florida/6201433853526/

It seems to me that the pilots union attorney's should have a case for wrongful termination on their hands with this one. If a pilot put a plane full of people into a risky situation like an emergency landing just to bring shame upon the airline then they certainly should be fired, however in this case the smell of "smoke" from an apparent electrical fire was reported by the cabin crew to the pilot, so it appears it was not solely his idea to land the plane in the first place, though in the end the decision was ultimately theirs to make. It was a logical choice based on safety to land ASAP and make sure the plane reached the ground safely, and not to press on just in case nothing was actually seriously wrong with the plane. What does the a.net community at large seem to think?

Best,

OMP777X
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flyby519
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:38 pm

Union lawyers will devour this one. Pilot will get his job back, with back pay. Bad move by Allegiant.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:51 pm

Is it that easy to spot if some electrical wire/component has had an event but is still working ? With computers I have seen many times smoke from a wire shorted or a burst capacitor, with everything still working afterwards.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
National757
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:54 pm

At what point does Allegiant Travel Company outsource the operation to an airline other than Allegiant Air? It would sure make these operational and labor issues easier to deal with...
 
910A
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:08 pm

Just more proof why unions are still needed in this day and age.
 
AA737-823
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:34 pm

I don't think we have much to worry about here.
In the US, we've got all sorts of recourse. Either this pilot made an idiotic decision and deserved to be terminated (which, admittedly, seems unlikely, but we must remember that NONE of us were involved in the investigation), or he made a good decision and Allegiant is a bunch of idiots for firing him.

Additionally, the FAA is already investigating multiple issues at the company; surely, that would be a particularly bad time to inappropriately terminate someone?

Quoting 910A (Reply 4):

Just more proof why unions are still needed in this day and age.

Irrelevant. This is 2015- wrongful termination is something that can be readily handled by the civil court system. All he'd have to do is lawyer up. Which he'll probably do anyway. This situation doesn't really speak to the need- or lack thereof- of the union representation system.

Edited to add- though, come to think of it, if I were this guy and even HALF of the stuff we're hearing about Allegiant was true, I'd probably thank them and walk away. He'll easily find other flying jobs, even with this "blemish" on his record.
 
apfpilot
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:40 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):
Irrelevant. This is 2015- wrongful termination is something that can be readily handled by the civil court system.

On what basis? If he's in a right to work state and an at-will employee unless he was fired for being discriminated against due to being in a protected class or sexual harassment etc... what coverage is there?

I'm not the biggest fan of unions by any stretch of the imagination with a few notable exceptions where the employees have invested time and money in their education on their own and there really aren't any performance metrics to judge them by without compromising the operation (i.e. Pilots, Nurses, etc...)
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
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tb727
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:47 pm

I've worked at a company that had the kind of mentality that made pilots have second thoughts about diverting for potentially serious airplane issues. I would avoid Allegiant like the plague if that is the kind of operation they are going to run. I hope the pilots continue to do the safe thing in their mind. If they let this scare them the next time there is smoke or an issue and they wait to long to make the right choice, it could be another Valujet.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):
Edited to add- though, come to think of it, if I were this guy and even HALF of the stuff we're hearing about Allegiant was true, I'd probably thank them and walk away. He'll easily find other flying jobs, even with this "blemish" on his record.

Yeah, it would be a good interview story.
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apodino
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:23 pm

Pot calling the kettle black. It looks like the guy who fired this pilot was the same pilot involved in the Fargo incident.

This is sad...and if companies keep doing this stuff and putting fear into guys lives will be lost. Look at the Alaska Air MD 80 crash for an example.
 
bennett123
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:35 pm

IMO, this is linked to possible lawsuits from passengers injured in the evacuation or the Manager CYA.

I seem to recall some years ago BA installing a telemetry system.

Sometimes, the pilot reported an issue and MX said everything is OK.

However, the telemetry indicated an intermittent defect.

Personally, I think he took the only sensible action.
 
flyby519
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:01 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):
Irrelevant. This is 2015- wrongful termination is something that can be readily handled by the civil court system. All he'd have to do is lawyer up. Which he'll probably do anyway. This situation doesn't really speak to the need- or lack thereof- of the union representation system.

Everyone in the US has equal access to the legal system, but not everyone can afford to hire a lawyer. Especially if the company decides to draw out the case and cause the pilot to go bankrupt in the process by paying legal fees.

How much could you spend if you were in this pilot's shoes? $5,000? $10,000? $100,000? It is all a drop in the bucket for a company like ALGT, but not for the individual on the other side.
 
jc2354
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:14 pm

Passengers noticed the smell of burning rubber shortly after take-off. For me, this suggests that the landing gear wheels were hot when retracted. This would also explain why mechanics couldn't find anything wrong. The pilot seemed to react based on information from the flight attendants. With something as serious as a burning smell, the proper and only action is to land immediately and evacuate. Think Valujet in the Everglades and British Airways in Manchester. A possible catastrophe may have been averted. The pilot who fired him is the one who should be fired for obviously not making safety a priority, in this case, and let's not forget his actions in Fargo.

As for the passenger suing for injuries related to the evacuation, I bet she was hurt while blocking the aisle to retrieve her carry-on from the overhead compartment.
If not now, then when?
 
Max Q
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:20 pm

Quoting tb727 (Reply 7):
I've worked at a company that had the kind of mentality that made pilots have second thoughts about diverting for potentially serious airplane issues

Yep, been there done that, at the time it was only me in the Aircraft risking my you know what but you CANNOT have this mentality on a passenger airline.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 7):
I would avoid Allegiant like the plague if that is the kind of operation they are going to run. I hope the pilots continue to do the safe thing in their mind. If they let this scare them the next time there is smoke or an issue and they wait to long to make the right choice, it could be another Valujet.

Agree and this story should remind some of the anti-union voices on this site that the ability to resist management pressure to 'fly the schedule no matter what the safety issues' is the MOST important function of a Pilot union and the legal protections it provides.


I GUARANTEE you a decision to divert like this on UA /AA/ DL would be backed up by management.
The only possible criticism I would have is to have held off on the evacuation until I knew positively there
was a fire or not, lots of people can be hurt evacuating.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 7):
Edited to add- though, come to think of it, if I were this guy and even HALF of the stuff we're hearing about Allegiant was true, I'd probably thank them and walk away. He'll easily find other flying jobs, even with this "blemish" on his record.

Yeah, it would be a good interview story.

It would be nice if it worked that way but it doesn't really.


A potential employer looking at hiring a Pilot will definitely be 'put off' by a termination like this no matter what the reason
or how justified the Pilot was, its just something they don't want to deal with.


As an example the Captain on the BA 777 that deadsticked into LHR a few years ago and did such an outstanding job along with his FO and the rest of the crew resigned and then could not be hired anywhere else as he had been involved in
an accident.


No matter that it was not his fault or that he had performed brilliantly, no other airline wanted to deal with the controversy.
Fortunately he ended up returning to BA as a Captain.


A good, strong Union is VITAL to protect Pilots in cases like this, knowing they have your back on safety issues is invaluable.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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tb727
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:41 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 12):
A potential employer looking at hiring a Pilot will definitely be 'put off' by a termination like this no matter what the reason
or how justified the Pilot was, its just something they don't want to deal with.

That is especially true I suppose now that he may have possibly been involved in the FAR fiasco. Don't bring it up at an interview there guy! lol

Quoting Max Q (Reply 12):
A good, strong Union is VITAL to protect Pilots in cases like this, knowing they have your back on safety issues is invaluable.

Exactly what happened when I left the last company. It was a non-union place until as I left, that's when the Teamsters were voted in. The day I turned my 2 week letter in and talked to the guy whose name is on the side of the airplane, he questioned why I would leave in the middle of all the union stuff. I told him I had fought for crews for years(as a voice for all and then as the ASAP lead when we got it)and that they had a legitimate concern about safety at the airline and that it had nothing to do with money. And no matter how hard I tried to make changes, specifically with being on-call 24 hours a day, his response was "well everyone that came here to fly knew what they were getting into." I said thank you, that made my decision to leave much easier. Burned that bridge I guess! Talks have been slow there over the last year but I hope for the safety of my friends that things change there soon.

You just can't fire guys for doing what they thought was the right decision in a situation that could quickly become catastrophic in a matter of a minute. Monday morning quarterbacking at it's best. You don't have time to second guess yourself in those situations and now they probably have a few guys that just may do that.
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rbavfan
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:58 pm

Quoting apodino (Reply 8):

Alaska Airlines crash had nothing to do with a pilot claiming an emergency to land. It was a fully varied including by radar emergency. The plane crashed due to the failed part. This is quit different situation. No one ever questioned the Alaska pilots choice to declare an emergency. And the plane could not be inspected after landing in the same way as Alaska was an uncontrolled landing. Also known as a crash.
 
DDR
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:00 pm

I really, really hope this pilot gets his job back and that Allegiant has to pay a big settlement to him. I don't want to fly with pilots who feel intimidated by mgmnt. If you smell something burning you land!!! No one wants to die in a SR or VJ type incident.
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:10 pm

Quoting apodino (Reply 8):
Look at the Alaska Air MD 80 crash for an example.

The jack screw on the tail broke, the pilots declared an emergency and were cleared direct to LAX (they were off the coast) but were unable to land because the ability to control pitch was lost.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines_Flight_261

I think this is an apples to oranges comparison. Regardless, bust out the popcorn cause this will be entertaining. If in fact the pilot declared an emergency due to his own crew smelling burning rubber, there's no way the termination will be upheld.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:17 pm

I think the issue wasn't the diversion but rather the evac, which injured people and which is a separate issue. I' believe the evacuation is the thing that Allegiant felt was unnecessary and was designed to make the airline look bad. They doubtless have more than just what's public.
 
DDR
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:32 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 17):

Here is the problem. I am a FA and yes we are supposed to wait for the cockpit command to evacuate. BUT we are also told that if danger is obvious, we can initiate the evac without waiting for the cockpit.

If the cabin was filling with smoke and a burning smell, I would not hesitate to get my passengers off the plane. I know tons of pilots and none of them, not one, would initiate an evac just to make the airline look bad. An evacuation is always the last resort because using the slides can easily lead to injuries.
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:59 pm

the stories about Allegiant recently are certainly troubling and make one pause to consider booking them. I seriously hope Allegiant gets their act together and works out these issues because Allegiant is good for the smaller cities it serves and provides and alternative to the high cost legacies. For instance in my hometown of CID, I can fly non stop to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa/St Pete and Ft Myers non stop. Ive flown them before with no issues. Its nice to have the options, Im just hoping G4 isnt pressing the buttons that could somehow halt their service in the future.
 
flyguy89
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:59 am

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 17):
I think the issue wasn't the diversion but rather the evac, which injured people and which is a separate issue. I' believe the evacuation is the thing that Allegiant felt was unnecessary and was designed to make the airline look bad. They doubtless have more than just what's public.

This. People are glossing over the fact that four people were injured due to the evacuation, and now one of those passengers is suing. Tarmac evacuations are dangerous. The aircraft was already on the ground safely, we've heard nothing that smoke was actually confirmed to have been seen in the cabin. I'll leave it up to y'all if you want to debate whether a full-fledged slide evacuation on the tarmac was necessary.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 13):
FAR fiasco

What fiasco? Particularly considering that we now know the aircraft was fueled adequately and the NOTAM indicated the airport was to remain open to scheduled traffic.
 
avek00
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:06 am

The pilot deserved to be fired. Do people not have religion these days? He should have prayed to God for a safe journey, and continued the flight until the plane could fly no more.
Live life to the fullest.
 
atct
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:09 am

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 20):
I'll leave it up to y'all if you want to debate whether a full-fledged slide evacuation on the tarmac was necessary.

Former F/A chiming in. If I smelled smoke, told my captain there was the smell of smoke in the back, I'd expect an evac upon landing. Far safer to do an evac than pull a Saudia 163. I can't fault the decision making of the pilot from the information that has been presented in this thread.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudia_Flight_163

(edited for link)

[Edited 2015-09-27 18:09:48]
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flyguy89
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:18 am

Quoting atct (Reply 22):
Saudia 163

Saudia 163 had smoke in the cabin, not the case with the Allegiant flight. Only the smell of "smoke/fumes" was reported.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:20 am

It is unfortunate that a labor dispute between pilots and management at Allegiant has caused a potentially dangerous and unacceptable level of risk to the pilots, crew and passengers of distrust and hostility. The financial pressures to hold down labor costs due to pressure from pax for the cheapest fares means many pilots (as well as f/a's, ground and mx staff) have seen real compensation sharply decline. Management doesn't want any abuses of work rules, or false calling of emergencies if not true as part of an unofficial work action, no pilot want's to fear discipline if a question of safety exists. I don't know how to resolve this. The workers want pay raises and benefits costs to at least keep up with real inflation, management must realize being too cheap can be expensive but not have to raise fares encouraging customers to go elsewhere just to save a few bucks.
 
maxpower1954
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:21 am

Quoting apodino (Reply 8):
Pot calling the kettle black. It looks like the guy who fired this pilot was the same pilot involved in the Fargo incident.

This is sad...and if companies keep doing this stuff and putting fear into guys lives will be lost. Look at the Alaska Air MD 80 crash for an example.

I believe you are referring to pressure the maintenance inspector was under to sign off the stabilizer jack screw - which was exactly at wear limits, not to the actions of the flight crew, correct?
 
bluejuice
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:29 am

I do simple VFR flying but some lessons my CFI taught me have stuck. When it comes to fire, suspected fire, or indication that a fire may be starting, get the plane on the ground and evacuate. On a couple of flights he would remark, "Things are going too perfect. I think I smell some wires burning." This would be my cue to execute proper fire checklist and land. It's better to look silly when nothing is found than end up dead. Unfortunately, Monday morning quarterbacks are always there to challenge that decision.
Not biased against vacuum flush.
 
Yakflyer
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:40 am

The problem for this unfortunate pilot is there is no union at Allegiant so he has to fight for himself.
 
Max Q
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:49 am

Quoting tb727 (Reply 13):
"well everyone that came here to fly knew what they were getting into.

Yes, heard that many times when working for a guy with a similar mentality, I know what you're saying.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 13):
You just can't fire guys for doing what they thought was the right decision in a situation that could quickly become catastrophic in a matter of a minute. Monday morning quarterbacking at it's best. You don't have time to second guess yourself in those situations and now they probably have a few guys that just may do that.

Couldn't agree more, they have planted the seed of doubt among the Pilots that they won't be supported for putting safety first, a terrible example.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 21):
The pilot deserved to be fired. Do people not have religion these days? He should have prayed to God for a safe journey, and continued the flight until the plane could fly no more.

Er, what ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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tb727
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:58 am

Quoting Yakflyer (Reply 27):
The problem for this unfortunate pilot is there is no union at Allegiant so he has to fight for himself.

They are Teamsters.
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Blackbird1331
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:26 am

Remember that line from the TV commercial, "Is this any way to run an airline?" And, is there not an industry standard?
Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
 
b747400erf
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:34 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):

Irrelevant. This is 2015- wrongful termination is something that can be readily handled by the civil court system.

That does not make sense. There is no such thing of "wrongful termination" unless you have specifics in a contract and representation by a union. Especially in "at will employment" states. You sound like all the anti-union union workers I've come across, you have to hide the fact that you benefit from a union but still bash them anyway.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:40 am

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 14):
Alaska Airlines crash had nothing to do with a pilot claiming an emergency to land. It was a fully varied including by radar emergency. The plane crashed due to the failed part. This is quit different situation. No one ever questioned the Alaska pilots choice to declare an emergency. And the plane could not be inspected after landing in the same way as Alaska was an uncontrolled landing. Also known as a crash.
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 25):
I believe you are referring to pressure the maintenance inspector was under to sign off the stabilizer jack screw - which was exactly at wear limits, not to the actions of the flight crew, correct?

Also, the investigation also showed that Alaska maintenance was suggesting that landing short (diverting) may not be necessary and to bring the aircraft to SFO. As it turns out, it made little difference.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:43 am

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 6):

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):
Irrelevant. This is 2015- wrongful termination is something that can be readily handled by the civil court system.

On what basis?

Whether or not there was just cause for the discharge. Even in a right to work state, there's a huge difference between "just cause" and "just cuz"....
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
b747400erf
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:46 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 33):

Whether or not there was just cause for the discharge. Even in a right to work state, there's a huge difference between "just cause" and "just cuz"....

On what basis can you claim you ere wrongfully terminated for this, or almost any action from a pilot, unless you have union protection and experienced union lawyers? "I ordered an evacuation and there turned out to not be an emergency, I was wrongfully terminated" does not sound like it would hold up in America court.
 
apfpilot
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:50 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 33):
Whether or not there was just cause for the discharge. Even in a right to work state, there's a huge difference between "just cause" and "just cuz"....

again, on what basis? In a right to work state there is no need for cause.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
mm320cap
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:05 am

This is such an outrageous act by Allegiant management that it's frankly hard to believe. We have all seen enough examples of fire on an airplane spreading rapidly enough to kill that if I chair fly this I feel strongly that a case could be made for an evacuation, and the CAPTAIN, not Allegiant management, is the one with the authority to make that decision according to the FAR's.

Disgusting human beings that would play politics with someone's life. Sweet sweet justice that the management tool that called to fire him had to declare a fuel emergency THE SAME DAY. Nice decision on the fuel load there "c"aptain.

I have no doubt he will get his job back with back pay, but here is the problem. In the meantime he has to put food on the table for his family. What an unnecessary stress. For those that think pilot unions are necessary and evil (LOTS of you on this board), this is why they are necessary. To stop crap like this that endangers us all. I don't want a Captain thinking about whether he has to worry about his job when making safety decisions. Neither do you
 
alfa164
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:08 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 33):
Whether or not there was just cause for the discharge. Even in a right to work state, there's a huge difference between "just cause" and "just cuz"....

That is absolutely wrong. Employees in those states are generally considered to be "at will" employees, and can be fired for any reason at all. There is no recourse other than illegal (i.e., race, creed, color, or, depending on work rules, age) discrimination.
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wjcandee
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:45 am

Quoting mm320cap (Reply 36):
For those that think pilot unions are necessary and evil (LOTS of you on this board), this is why they are necessary. To stop crap like this that endangers us all.

Good thing unions do: require due process for firing/discipline.

Bad thing unions do: Make you start all over at the bottom of the pay scale regardless of experience if you want to switch to another airline. If the universe of airline jobs were not based on seniority at that airline, a lot of people could and would walk from an airline that had poor labor relations (or was going down financially) and go to one that had good labor relations. A different way of encouraging fairness. Folks rarely see how a union HELPS management by forcing pilots to stay with the sinking ship or work for the idiot boss, lest their pay drop to 20K from 120K.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:06 am

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 35):
again, on what basis? In a right to work state there is no need for cause.

RIght to work has nothing to do with it. Either you are an employee at will or you aren't; right to work is a totally different animal, which has to do with a union's ability to compel people who don't wish to join the union to pay dues to the union and subject those people to the contract.

In the case where you are an employee at will, there are still myriad prohibited reasons for firing someone. And I think that's what the poster meant. Where you have a union contract, you get a hearing and an appeal as a matter of course. Where you don't have a union contract, you have to go to court based on a claim that the termination wasn't lawful, normally a tougher thing to show.

All of that said, Allegiant would be foolish for firing the guy unless they had some solid evidence (CVR from the flight, for example, or subsequent recorded statements by the captain) which indicated that his decision to evacuate (not to divert/return, but to evacuate) was motivated by something other than a good-faith belief that there was a danger sufficient to warrant an evacuation. The decision to return and the decision to order an evacuation on the taxiway, where there is a 100-percent chance that people will be injured, are two entirely-different animals. That the union spokesman in his statement has chosen to conflate the two raises a red flag for me.

"Well if you smell smoke the only safe thing to do is to divert and pop the slides" is total crap. Flights divert every day for smells, which then dissipate upon landing or do not get worse, whereupon the plane taxis to the gate and deboards the pax in a safe and orderly manner while maint looks the thing over. There is no indication that the cabin was filling with visible smoke, there is no indication that ARFF recommended an evac based upon an external examination of the aircraft, etc., etc.

What we have is a situation where by all accounts the guy did the right thing to divert. The union PR folks focus their entire argument on that, and then make it seem as if popping the slides always happens when one gets the thing on the ground as a precaution. That they just roll the evac up into the "well somebody smelled something" argument gets my attention.

So, to review, the divert was obviously within his discretion and arguably the only proper thing to do.

What we don't have is any articulated basis for why he ordered an evac on the taxiway. In terms of whether he should be disciplined or not, the basis for his decision to evac is the million dollar question. And if Allegiant has any evidence that he did so to make a point or "help" the union campaign, then he unreasonably imperiled his pax, and it's time to be shown the door. If there is evidence of occurrences after landing that a reasonable industry professional would consider to be sufficient to order an evac, based on common sense as well as the company's published procedures and policies, then Allegiant is going to take a pounding.

There simply isn't enough hard information in the public domain to make a decision, and I know well that the first story is rarely the whole story.

[Edited 2015-09-27 22:07:08]
 
wjcandee
Posts: 10004
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:14 am

Quoting DDR (Reply 18):
I know tons of pilots and none of them, not one, would initiate an evac just to make the airline look bad.

Which is why if they have evidence that that's what this guy did, he should have been shown the door.

None of us has any actual knowledge sufficient to determine whether the evac was an appropriate call or was motivated by malice. I just don't know, and there is no reason to assume that one side or the other is right.

One interesting development is that the lawsuit by the passenger who says that the evaucation was unnecessary will likely lead to the disclosure of lots of evidence on the issue of why it was done.

And Allegiant had to realize that firing the guy was something that was likely to make it harder to defend that lawsuit. It's so interesting how disparate are the effects of one action like a firing.

[Edited 2015-09-27 22:16:35]
 
bennett123
Posts: 10593
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:30 am

This "no crashes" approach seems rather shortsighted.

In addition to the other information you hold about each candidate, you have a detailed, AAIB report about how this pilot handled a real emergency.

If you have concerns from that report, fair enough, but a blanket ban is just daft.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8664
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:37 am

Quoting mm320cap (Reply 36):
This is such an outrageous act by Allegiant management that it's frankly hard to believe

Not really, this has been going on since the dawn of commercial aviation.


When a limited budget is combined with weak management that i'm guessing is dominated by an autocratic, penny pinching
CEO the result is predictable.


The Pilots that take a stand for safety get cut off at the knees while most of the remaining are intimidated from taking care of their number one duty, the safety of the operation.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
User avatar
green12324
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:49 am

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:52 am

I smelled (what I and a coworker perceived to be) burning electrical wiring on an overnight aircraft once. Maintenance was called and the two guys didn't detect the scent. No other mechanics or third opinions were called, and the plane was found to be without issue without any further investigation.

Just because maintenance doesn't identify a problem doesn't mean there's no cause for concern. If the pilots perceived a smell of smoke they absolutely did the right thing. Allegiant is speaking volumes of their operation by firing him, and certainly doesn't look good for an airline that has repeatedly dealt with safety incidents.
The views expressed in this post are my own. They have not
been reviewed or approved by my employer.
 
DAL763ER
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:20 pm

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:10 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 38):
Bad thing unions do: Make you start all over at the bottom of the pay scale regardless of experience if you want to switch to another airline. If the universe of airline jobs were not based on seniority at that airline, a lot of people could and would walk from an airline that had poor labor relations (or was going down financially) and go to one that had good labor relations. A different way of encouraging fairness. Folks rarely see how a union HELPS management by forcing pilots to stay with the sinking ship or work for the idiot boss, lest their pay drop to 20K from 120K.

While I agree with everything you said, how would you judge where to place a pilot if it wasn't for seniority? Hours of flying? More or less flying doesn't mean more or less experienced. If I were a pilot with an airline for, say, 10 years, and I'd know I'm getting the captain's seat soon, I wouldn't like some new guy coming in from a different airline and nab that captain's seat because he has 1000 hours more than me or whatever. There's just really no way to fairly judge who gets what without seniority in play.
 
bennett123
Posts: 10593
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:27 pm

Which places all the cards with the employer.

Firstly, if he is furloughed or the airline folds then he is stuffed.

Secondly, actual flying ability counts for less than keeping his nose clean.

Strangely, it does not apply to the BOD.

[Edited 2015-09-28 05:29:01]
 
apfpilot
Posts: 742
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:19 pm

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:33 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 39):
RIght to work has nothing to do with it.

Right to work is used in 2 confusing ways. One is used to describe at-will employment, the other is the right to decline to join a union at a union shop. I was using it as the former.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
apfpilot
Posts: 742
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:19 pm

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:37 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 39):
Either you are an employee at will or you aren't; right to work is a totally different animal, which has to do with a union's ability to compel people who don't wish to join the union to pay dues to the union and subject those people to the contract.

Right, most states have a public policy exception. Florida however does not, save for 3 limited exceptions which don't apply here.

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 44):

While I agree with everything you said, how would you judge where to place a pilot if it wasn't for seniority? Hours of flying? More or less flying doesn't mean more or less experienced. If I were a pilot with an airline for, say, 10 years, and I'd know I'm getting the captain's seat soon, I wouldn't like some new guy coming in from a different airline and nab that captain's seat because he has 1000 hours more than me or whatever. There's just really no way to fairly judge who gets what without seniority in play.

And that is another reason why I support unions for Pilots. There are no metrics you can judge them on in performing their job. Most on-time arrivals? Lowest Fuel Burn? None of those can be used as an indicator without possibly compromising safety.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
apodino
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:41 pm

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 14):
Alaska Airlines crash had nothing to do with a pilot claiming an emergency to land. It was a fully varied including by radar emergency. The plane crashed due to the failed part. This is quit different situation. No one ever questioned the Alaska pilots choice to declare an emergency. And the plane could not be inspected after landing in the same way as Alaska was an uncontrolled landing. Also known as a crash.

That's not what I was referring to. If you read the accident reports...a Mechanic with Alaska had noted that part should have been replaced well before the crash. However he got overridden by MX managers. He whistleblowed this to the Feds and ended up getting fired over the incident. When the part failed, his fears were realized. No it wasn't pilots declaring an emergency, but it was a mechanic exercising best judgement in the name of safety. He got fired for speaking up. We need to get away from this mindset.
 
toneale
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:46 pm

RE: Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:49 pm

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 6):
On what basis? If he's in a right to work state and an at-will employee unless he was fired for being discriminated against due to being in a protected class or sexual harassment etc... what coverage is there?

This cracks me up. Every state but one in the US is an At Will state. Montana is the only exception to that.

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