nitepilot79
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Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:52 pm

Here's the old thread thread (now locked):
Allegiant Pilot Terminated Over Emergency Landing (by OMP777X Sep 27 2015 in Civil Aviation)

And the addendum:

Captain Kinzer has made the right decision, again.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...ng-smoky-plane?cmpid=yhoo.headline

Article quote:

"Allegiant Airlines was accused of wrongfully firing a pilot who evacuated his plane after learning smoke and chemical fumes were filling up the passenger cabin, in the company’s latest safety-related flap.
Jason Kinzer, who worked as an Allegiant captain, alleges he was 'maliciously' ousted over his decision to make an emergency landing in St. Petersburg, Florida, in June and order his 141-passengers off the Boeing Co. MD-80 plane, according to a lawsuit filed in state court in Las Vegas.."
 
INFINITI329
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:14 pm

Sue the sh*t of them and then go fly for someone else, who actually values you a bit more.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:35 pm

Surprised the union didn't help the guy out here...

Firing pilots over safety of flight decisions does not set a good precedence 
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badgervor
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:35 pm

Wow I can't believe G4's management. What was he supposed to do, call management first and ask if he can evacuate? I always thought the captain had final authority, especially when it comes to safety..
 
flyingcat
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:36 pm

I think deep down most of us know they are skirting the line and are headed for an aluminum shower.

There is actual smoke coming from them but its clear that unless the FAA shuts them down they will not stop any flight unless the engine falls off.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:52 pm

Quoting badgervor (Reply 3):
Wow I can't believe G4's management.

This is an extremely bad message to send to the pilots. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment when things have to be done quickly, Allegiant is saying to their pilots that they should think first, as they may be repremanded for that decision.

Armchair quarterbacking is common in the airline industry. Heck, we see it here all the time. Especially with the luxury of knowing what would have (or have not) happened. But ... to sit in an aircraft with reported smoke and not evacuating would take onions of steel.

I know in the same circumstances, I would have done the same thing. The big difference ... where I fly, I would have been sincerely thanked, and made a "hero" on internal websites!

It is very bad public relations for the world to know that safety of your passengers comes after the cost of safety of your passengers.
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OMP777X
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:46 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):

Surprised the union didn't help the guy out here...

IIRC, they aren't yet under the union umbrella yet.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 5):
I know in the same circumstances, I would have done the same thing. The big difference ... where I fly, I would have been sincerely thanked, and made a "hero" on internal websites!

I feel as if that is important to highlight here. At some point what good pilot would want to stick around and risk them tarnishing their reputation?

Quoting longhauler (Reply 5):

It is very bad public relations for the world to know that safety of your passengers comes after the cost of safety of your passengers.

  

I can't think of any good reason for boarding one of their planes under any circumstances considering I value my safety and my own life more than the difference between the ticket prices to fly on G4 instead of other carriers. I know statistically speaking I could probably board their flights daily for the rest of my life without any incident, but seeing as they're really on a roll lately with these incidents, I won't push my luck.

I'm interested to see if they'll settle soon with him just to avoid more of a PR crap storm than they have already been hit with this year.

Best,

OMP777X
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F9Animal
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:56 am

I won't rush to judgement about G4's handling of the Captain. But!!! I do find it shocking IF the Captains allegations are true. I think it is terrible any airline would condemn a crewmember for making a decision based on the safety of the passengers and aircraft. If these allegations are true, I think the FAA should be all over G4. Actions like this create fear for other crewmembers! Oh, a fire on engine #2? Maybe I should just keep the plane flying, so I don't get fired. 《《《《《《 I know that is a dramatic example, but I think it's scary any company would fire someone for taking safety as the top priority.  
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nws2002
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:51 am

Rumor from inside the company is that the CA was already on thin ice before the incident. He was fired for his handling of the emergency not for making an emergency landing and then evacuating.

I agree it looks terrible though and I'm sure if effects the safety culture of the airline.
 
OMP777X
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:57 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 7):
I know that is a dramatic example, but I think it's scary any company would fire someone for taking safety as the top priority.  

It is sad, but it happens, so I find that example to be perfectly reasonable. I worked for a contractor who had the electrical maintenance accounts on the biggest skyscrapers here in Chicago, and they wouldn't allow you to stay on and work with them if you openly voiced safety concerns. I'm not even talking about any formal complaints, I mean it was frowned upon if you questioned the safety of anything. If you spoke up, suddenly you were no longer needed by them, they'd lie to us and our union and say there was no work until you were forced to ask for a layoff and collect unemployment, even though the work was there most of the time.

When I was younger and less understanding of my union representation and what benefits came from it, I put myself in more possibly life threatening situations than I can count on my two hands while working for them. The first couple of days I worked on the roof of the John Hancock Center installing a conduit raceway for a microwave dish without any safety harness to tie myself off with because they claimed none were available. They told me I didn't need one on top of a 100+ story building unless I was within 6' of the edge of the building. The problem with that is the wind up there is vicious and unpredictable, and several times myself and coworkers had to kneel down and lay flat to avoid being blown toward the edge of the roof while running our rigid conduit.

I've since been let go by them due to them declaring I missed too much time from work due to doctors appointments related to an injury that I sustained at my old apartment complex on my way to work one day when a door closing box tore off the buidling and hit me in the top of my head. My close former coworkers are either on disability from work related accidents, or have left the trade because they were in close calls and were nearly seriously injured or almost lost their lives, so they gave up on that shop and sat for far too long on unemployment waiting for more work to turn up elsewhere.

One day my friend Keith almost lost it all after the shop allowed a guy with no union card or electrical work experience whatsoever onto his crew, and the guy stepped in between two trusses on the roof at Chicago's Union Station and fell through it. While he was dangling and holding on for dear life, my coworkers also almost all went through with him while trying to lift him back up above the ceiling so he wouldn't fall down the 40'+ below to the ground. The idiot hack pulled Keith through the hole he had made as he hung onto the guy, and the only that saved the two of them was the fact that their crew successfully made a human chain out of themselves for the two freely hanging to climb back up. Keith was laid off two weeks later due to "lack of work" after he voiced his opposition to the nonunion guy ever being on the job in the first place. The second guy in the chain of men who pulled the hack back up tore his rotator cuff and will be lucky if he can ever return to the trade after multiple surgeries. Others have quit to move onto other jobs because they were on the union unemoloyment book as unemployed for far too long after asking for a layoff (the wait to be placed with a new contractor was over a year).

To me the problem with the lack of safety culture at some construction outfits isn't nearly as potentially deadly as the same thing existing at G4 or at any airline for that matter, yet somehow this makes the news repeatedly and people continue to fly on with them since there has yet to be a G4 catastrophe. When flying G4 now it seems you could be in for way more than your average commercial airline experience while onboard the plane. You could potentially end up shooting across the sky in a 25 year old aluminum pencil that hasn't been properly maintained lately, and for all you know might be about to crap out on you and fall out of the sky, whilst destroying anything in its path on the way towards its imminent destruction. I surely don't want to partake in any of that. I truly hope the FAA gets their heads out of the sand and grounds them after this until they can retrain current management, or simply oust them in exchange for people who have functional brains in their skulls.

[Edited 2015-11-12 18:00:47]

[Edited 2015-11-12 18:02:32]
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N1120A
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:06 am

Disgusting. I absolutely refuse to fly G4. An elevator malfunction should NEVER happen. A pilot should NEVER be fired over an evacuation with fumes and smoke.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
Surprised the union didn't help the guy out here...

They don't have a union, or didn't then.
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777Jet
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:08 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 1):
Sue the sh*t of them and then go fly for someone else, who actually values you a bit more.

An airline that actually values human life...

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
Surprised the union didn't help the guy out here...

Most unions are just as scummy as employers as they usually sleep in the same bed.
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UPNYGuy
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:19 am

Quoting flyingcat (Reply 4):
I think deep down most of us know they are skirting the line and are headed for an aluminum shower.

There is actual smoke coming from them but its clear that unless the FAA shuts them down they will not stop any flight unless the engine falls off.


I have this exact same impression of G4. I was going to go out of my way and try them for shits and giggles. I wanted to add them to my "airlines Ive flown" list. Now, I will not do this. I have this inkling that they are skirting maintenance to save a dollar here and there, and will eventually have a major issue ala ValuJet
 
wjcandee
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:08 pm

When the guy's suit gets dismissed or he loses at trial, there will be a lot less press and vituperation from the above posters.

The story always includes the assertion that he was fired for "making an emergency landing", which is apparently untrue. The union's storyline always includes the making the landing part, because it would seem irresponsible to fire somebody for making a precautionary landing when there is even the slightest bit of probable cause to do so, which there apparently was here.

But the union's storyline never provides an independent basis for the pilot ordering an evacuation, which I personally find very interesting. All the union has ever said, to my knowledge, is that it was a reasonable thing to do after a precautionary landing.

In fact, nobody argued that the captain was wrong for putting the plane down. Nobody. Nada. Never.

What they argued with was the evacuation, which actually put passengers at risk. If you evacuate down the slides, someone will be hurt. And here three pax and an f/a were indeed hurt; two ended up in the hospital and one of the pax (so far) is suing Allegiant on the theory that the evacuation was unwarranted.

G4's position was that it was at a minimum amazingly-poor judgment to evacuate down the slides, and that none of the factors that are supposed to be present when ordering an evacuation were present.

And possibly, G4 had conerns about with his motivation for the evacuation. G4's position is that either the guy panicked or did it for some improper purpose. Either way, not good.

The captain is indeed the final authority as to the operation of the flight. Which means that if he gives any crewmember a direct order, they have to follow it, period.

But the FARs do not say that the captain is infallible. And the whole point of CRM is a recognition that captains do do stupid things and do reveal poor judgment, and that crewmembers have an obligation to push back when they believe that the captain is wrong. CRM helps define how to push back constructively, and to what point.

The airline is absolutely within its rights to review the captain's actions and to take disciplinary action in the event that he exercised poor judgment, particularly if the guy is on thin ice to begin with. Again, if you evacuate, there is a 100-percent chance that someone will be seriously-injured, so it does not follow that you evacuate on the runway every time you make a precautionary landing.

How quickly G4 has gone from a darling of a.net to "unsafe".

There may be issues where G4 could improve safety practices. But from my reading of the information on this incident, there is a good argument that this isn't one of them.

Here's the Review-Journal article, which has a good deal of information and is well-balanced for a mainstream media article: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/la...over-being-fired-emergency-landing

Even that headline gets it wrong and says he was fired for the emergency landing, which he wasn't. Bloomberg gets it right and says for evacuating.

[Edited 2015-11-13 09:02:24]
 
wjcandee
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting UPNYGuy (Reply 12):
I have this inkling that they are skirting maintenance to save a dollar here and there, and will eventually have a major issue ala ValuJet

Is it your impression that ValuJet was a maintenance issue?

Is it your impression that American Airlines, and now AAR, is not an appropriate maintenance provider?
 
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zeke
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:28 pm

Did anyone get hurt ?

The major risk with evacuation slide use is the speed the passenger builds up on the slide before getting to the ground. The MD80 slides would be smaller than many slides found in children's playgrounds, the captain would know this. The floor height must be only around 6-8'.

Yes there is a risk with fire, smoke, evacuation. Evacuation injury risk I would see as low in this case.
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stburke
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:34 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 13):

When the guy's suit gets dismissed or he loses at trial, there will be a lot less press and vituperation from the above posters.

The story always includes the assertion that he was fired for "making an emergency landing", which is apparently untrue. The union's storyline always includes the making the landing part, because it would seem irresponsible to fire somebody for making a precautionary landing when there is even the slightest bit of probable cause to do so, which there apparently was here.

But the union's storyline never provides an independent basis for the pilot ordering an evacuation, which I personally find very interesting. All the union has ever said is that it was a reasonable thing to do after a precautionary landing.

In fact, nobody argued that the captain was wrong for putting the plane down. Nobody. Nada. Never.

What they argued with was the evacuation, which actually put passengers at risk. If you evacuate down the slides, someone will be hurt.

G4's position was that it was at a minimum amazingly-poor judgment to evacuate down the slides, and that none of the factors that are supposed to be present when ordering an evacuation were present.

And possibly, G4 had conerns about with his motivation for the evacuation. G4's position is that either the guy panicked or did it for some improper purpose. Either way, not good.

The captain is indeed the final authority as to the operation of the flight. Which means that if he gives any crewmember a direct order, they have to follow it, period.

But the FARs do not say that the captain is infallible. And the whole point of CRM is a recognition that captains do do stupid things and do reveal poor judgment, and that crewmembers have an obligation to push back when they believe that the captain is wrong. CRM helps define how to push back constructively, and to what point.

The airline is absolutely within its rights to review the captain's actions and to take disciplinary action in the event that he exercised poor judgment, particularly if the guy is on thin ice to begin with. Again, if you evacuate, there is a 100-percent chance that someone will be seriously-injured, so it does not follow that you evacuate on the runway every time you make a precautionary landing.

How quickly G4 has gone from a darling of a.net to "unsafe".

There may be issues where G4 could improve safety practices. But from my reading of the information on this incident, there is a good argument that this isn't one of them.

Here's the Review-Journal article, which has a good deal of information and is well-balanced for a mainstream media article: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/la...nding

Thanks for your input and bringing some amount of levity to the conversation. However, I must disagree that evacuating the airplane was the best outcome given the information (and lack of information) available to the crew at the time. If it was suspected the aircraft was on fire then it should have absolutely been evacuated. When there's fumes of unknown composition from unknown sources filling the cabin, you should absolutely evacuate the aircraft. Illness or incapacitation resulting from the unknown fumes could have spelled disaster if someone was unable to evacuate after sitting on the ground wondering if they should evacuate or not. I feel the captain knew full well someone would get hurt on the slide but that was a trivial price compared.
 
flyguy89
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:41 pm

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 11):

An airline that actually values human life...
Quoting flyingcat (Reply 4):

I think deep down most of us know they are skirting the line and are headed for an aluminum shower.

There is actual smoke coming from them but its clear that unless the FAA shuts them down they will not stop any flight unless the engine falls off.

I see the a.net drama queens are out in full force.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 13):

Excellent post all around.

Quoting zeke (Reply 15):
Did anyone get hurt ?

The major risk with evacuation slide use is the speed the passenger builds up on the slide before getting to the ground. The MD80 slides would be smaller than many slides found in children's playgrounds, the captain would know this. The floor height must be only around 6-8'.

Yes there is a risk with fire, smoke, evacuation. Evacuation injury risk I would see as low in this case.

Yes, 4 were injured during the evacuation, 2 were taken to the hospital, one of whom is suing Allegiant over the evacuation.
 
savethequads
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:46 pm

After the BA 777 in Vegas, it shows how quickly things can go from a bit of smoke to a plane engulfed in flames.

In my mind British Airtours 28M set the precedent for these types of incidences and just how fast things can change.

I do not blame the pilot, it was the right decision to evacuate via the slides, I hope he wins.

From the day Allegiant was conceived I though: sweet old md-80s flying for a cut rate airline operating on razor thin margins attracting awful clientele to sub par destinations. Sign me up! Luckily they don't even fly from my city.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:50 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 15):
Did anyone get hurt ?

Three pax and one f/a were injured.

Strategically, the union almost had to sue in order to get some press in defense of the captain. It is likely that the lawsuit by the passenger against the airline for the captain's wrongfully ordering an evacuation would ultimately flush out facts that made the captain look bad, although it isn't getting much press for obvious reasons: it doesn't fit the current preferred union/media storyline about Allegiant.

There likely will be depositions of the captain, etc., in that suit. Suing on the same subject, the captain gives himself some ability to tactically-influence the timing of the proceedings in the passenger's suit and the nature and timing of what is released to the public in that suit.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:57 pm

Quoting stburke (Reply 16):
When there's fumes of unknown composition from unknown sources filling the cabin,

It's not clear that this was the case. The only trigger for the evac was that ARFF said that they saw some smoke coming off the right engine after it was shut down. There was a request by somebody over the radio, apparently, to hold off on the evacuation, which the captain ignored. I think the captain's lawyer is implying that it was an Allegiant management person, which he would like so as to imply that Allegiant doesn't value safety. I'm sure the speaker will be able to be identified in one or both of the lawsuits, if the parties want to spend the money to find out.

I would like to hear that audio, but I don't see where it was ever spun off of liveatc.net and posted. Maybe I will make them a donation to pull it and post it.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:06 pm

Quoting savethequads (Reply 18):
After the BA 777 in Vegas, it shows how quickly things can go from a bit of smoke to a plane engulfed in flames.

In my mind British Airtours 28M set the precedent for these types of incidences and just how fast things can change.

Don't forget AC 797. The fire flashed through the cabin in the middle of the evacuation at CVG. Half the people got out; half died in the cabin.

I don't know all the details of the G4 incident, but the industry standard for smoke events that can't visually be confirmed to be extinguished, is to get on the nearest piece of concrete. It's then the captain's judgement if the airplane should be evacuated.
 
flyguy89
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:11 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 20):

Quoting stburke (Reply 16):
When there's fumes of unknown composition from unknown sources filling the cabin,

It's not clear that this was the case. The only trigger for the evac was that ARFF said that they saw some smoke coming off the right engine after it was shut down. There was a request by somebody over the radio, apparently, to hold off on the evacuation, which the captain ignored. I think the captain's lawyer is implying that it was an Allegiant management person, which he would like so as to imply that Allegiant doesn't value safety. I'm sure the speaker will be able to be identified in one or both of the lawsuits, if the parties want to spend the money to find out.

I would like to hear that audio, but I don't see where it was ever spun off of liveatc.net and posted. Maybe I will make them a donation to pull it and post it.

Exactly, there was never any reports of smoke in the cabin, only reports of a smell of fumes, and even then only by a few.
 
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JetBuddy
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:16 pm

From the Review-journal article:

"After a routine landing, the jet stopped at the end of a runway and emergency response crews took a look at the plane and its engines.

An emergency responder confirmed that smoke was coming from the plane's right engine. After consulting with his first officer, Kinzer made the decision to evacuate the plane.

After a conversation between the air-traffic-control tower at the airport, the emergency responders and the flight deck, an unidentified voice entered the discussion, according to a recording of radio transmissions. The man didn't identify himself in his transmissions and urged the pilot to "hold off on that evacuation, please."

After two inquiries from the flight deck on who was requesting the delay and why went unanswered, the evacuation was ordered.

Kinzer and the other crew members were interviewed at Allegiant's Las Vegas headquarters and the pilot said he believed he made the right decision to evacuate the plane."

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/la...over-being-fired-emergency-landing

Who was this voice on the radio, urging the captain not to evacuate and refusing ot identify himself? Could it be company?

To me this whole article makes me believe the captain took the right decision, not the other way around.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:52 pm

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 22):
Exactly, there was never any reports of smoke in the cabin, only reports of a smell of fumes, and even then only by a few.

The Boeing procedures don't differentiate. The unannunciated procedure is "Smoke, Fire, or Fumes". It doesn't say you have to see smoke. You could have the beginning of a catastrophic electrical fire and only smell fumes without seeing visual smoke, for example.

What you state is absolutely no way invalidating the action of the captain.
 
OMP777X
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:55 pm

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 8):
Rumor from inside the company is that the CA was already on thin ice before the incident. He was fired for his handling of the emergency not for making an emergency landing and then evacuating.

Would you care to elaborate on the rumor for the sake of furthering the discussion? Is there any true substance to this word that has gotten out about this captain?

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 13):
The union's storyline always includes the making the landing part, because it would seem irresponsible to fire somebody for making a precautionary landing when there is even the slightest bit of probable cause to do so, which there apparently was here.

But the union's storyline never provides an independent basis for the pilot ordering an evacuation, which I personally find very interesting. All the union has ever said, to my knowledge, is that it was a reasonable thing to do after a precautionary landing.

That is which union again? From what I'm hearing these pilots aren't being represented by any union at all right now. IIRC, they're under negotiations to be represented by the Teamsters in the future, but as of yet are not.

My whole point of going off above about my past union issues relating to safety is there is fault to be had sometimes within unions and they aren't as great out in the real world as we think they are on paper because they're run by humans, but I didn't mean to insinuate any union was at fault here. I'm not secretive about being pro-union but it seems bashing a union here is unwarranted. Safety culture should hopefully improve there drastically with some union oversight to back any work related disputes involving safety, but again that only will go as far as the operator will allow it by re-establishing the appropriate safety culture and patching things up between the pilots and them after their union representation is finalized. Mind you, my experience in this industry is limited to runway electrical construction and repair work, not flying planes for airlines, so anyone who wants to correct any points I'm maybe wrong on here please feel free to do so.
"Happy Flighting!"
 
B52overSMF
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:02 pm

Quoting nitepilot79 (Thread starter):
in the company’s latest safety-related flap.

Stepping away from the seriousness of the thread for just a moment, did nobody else catch the (I'm betting unintentional) pun?
 
OMP777X
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:16 pm

Fox has added some details in their latest report on this case.

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/1...says-was-fired-for-evacuating-jet/

"Evacuations are expensive for airlines. Allegiant declined to say how much it cost to reinstall the emergency chutes on Kinser's plane, but after a JetBlue flight attendant intentionally deployed a slide in 2010, a police report said replacing the chute cost more than $25,000 — that was one slide on a much smaller plane than Kinser's MD-80, which had four slides.

In an interview this week, Kinzer, who joined Allegiant in January 2013, said the airline's own operations manual calls for evacuation in case of a potential fire.

"I have not had a moment of remorse over this," he said. "No aviator should ever feel the fear of retribution ... (for) doing something in the interest of safety."

Bryan Dougherty, a passenger, said once the captain gave the evacuation order, "It was pure mayhem. Everybody was pushing everybody." He said an older woman who was pushed down a chute by a flight attendant wound up going to the hospital.

Dougherty said he didn't smell smoke before the evacuation but that others sitting in the back of the plane did. He didn't think it was necessary to use emergency slides, but added, "I'm no airline expert.""

Edit to include the following article (by far the most detailed and has a picture of the incident): http://abcnews.go.com/US/pilot-sues-...gency-evacuation/story?id=35165366

The pilot claims to have been blackballed by the industry since his termination, and claims to have had a previously clean performance record.

[Edited 2015-11-13 11:39:44]
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BoeingGuy
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:30 pm

Quoting OMP777X (Reply 27):
Dougherty said he didn't smell smoke before the evacuation but that others sitting in the back of the plane did. He didn't think it was necessary to use emergency slides, but added, "I'm no airline expert.""

How do you expect the captain to know that it wasn't a potentially catastrophic electrical fire? Both SW111 and AC797 crews initially believed they had harmless air conditioning smoke. Instead they had catastrophic electrical fires.

I'm with the captain on this one. Further, the idea that a pilot would be fired for making a judgement in safety is just unbelievable.

[Edited 2015-11-13 11:33:01]
 
Passedv1
Posts: 649
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:04 pm

Does anyone know why this was filed in state court? Is there a concurrent Air21 (aviation whistleblower) complaint, or did he miss that deadline and is now stuck in state court. From the facts presented here anyway, it would seem to me that this was an open & shut Air 21 win for th Captain...not sure what the point of the state suite is.
 
alfa164
Posts: 3057
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:09 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 13):
The union's storyline always includes the making the landing part, because it would seem irresponsible to fire somebody for making a precautionary landing when there is even the slightest bit of probable cause to do so, which there apparently was here.

Except there was no union.....

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 19):
Strategically, the union almost had to sue in order to get some press in defense of the captain.

Please... get the facts first. There was - and still is - no union!

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 20):
The only trigger for the evac was that ARFF said that they saw some smoke coming off the right engine after it was shut down.

Initially, the plane returned because passengers reported smelling smoke in the cabin. Emergency responders confirmed smoke coming off the right engine once the plane landed.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 21):
I don't know all the details of the G4 incident, but the industry standard for smoke events that can't visually be confirmed to be extinguished, is to get on the nearest piece of concrete. It's then the captain's judgement if the airplane should be evacuated.

  

Quoting OMP777X (Reply 27):
"Evacuations are expensive for airlines. Allegiant declined to say how much it cost to reinstall the emergency chutes on Kinser's plane

Poor Allegiant. "We can't take safety precautions because they are expensive!'

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 24):
The Boeing procedures don't differentiate. The unannunciated procedure is "Smoke, Fire, or Fumes". It doesn't say you have to see smoke. You could have the beginning of a catastrophic electrical fire and only smell fumes without seeing visual smoke, for example.

     

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 28):
How do you expect the captain to know that it wasn't a potentially catastrophic electrical fire? Both SW111 and AC797 crews initially believed they had harmless air conditioning smoke. Instead they had catastrophic electrical fires. I'm with the captain on this one. Further, the idea that a pilot would be fired for making a judgement in safety is just unbelievable.

        
I'm going to have a smokin' hot body again!
I have decided to be cremated....
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:17 pm

Quoting OMP777X (Reply 6):
I can't think of any good reason for boarding one of their planes under any circumstances considering I value my safety and my own life more than the difference between the ticket prices to fly on G4 instead of other carriers.

I agree. And few of us on this board are quick to panic over such things. We understand that a dirty cabin with a loose panel does not mean an unsafe aircraft. We understand that aircraft age does not make them unsafe.

But unsafe procedures DO make G4 unsafe. I hope that the FAA will step in and take appropriate action. There have been enough "sentinel events" (as we call them in medicine) that it shouldn't require an aluminum shower to set off the warning bells.

And it isn't just this. It's two senior pilots having to declare a fuel emergency because they tried to fly to a closed airport and a few other assorted issues where the layers of protection became eroded.

I won't get on a G4 aircraft and it has nothing to do with their treatment of passengers.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
OMP777X
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:30 pm

Now I'm finding a report that Allegiant Pilots are represented by the Teamsters, and there may just be confusion due to them being in negotiations for their new contract. I'm also now reading that the mechanics are the ones not represented by a union.

So, it is fair game to lob the whole "the union is trying to make the airline look unsafe to help their negotiations" argument, but it seems like that is pretty far fetched. Despite there being no visible smoke in the photo above, there are independent witnesses as noted above who totally validate the captain’s claims. Here are some additional details on the status of the contract negotiations: http://www.tampabay.com/news/busines...t-of-contract-negotiations/2249914

And here is their Locals webpage: http://teamster.org/allegiant

And here is a letter from their pilots to the passengers of the airline issued by their local:

Allegiant Air Pilot Letter to Passengers

Dear Allegiant Air Passengers,

We are writing to make you aware of a number of concerns that we, as pilots, have with Allegiant Air. The fact is we are uncomfortable remaining silent about company practices that negatively impact our customers’ travel and vacation, including your comfort, and – most importantly – your safety.

Thanks to your business, Allegiant Air is the most profitable airline in the industry and has had 48 consecutive profitable quarters. That’s why it’s so hard for us to understand why company executives are driving a race to the bottom in service, safety standards and treatment for veteran pilots. There is simply no reason why we – you or I – should accept flying an airline that is content with just barely meeting acceptable safety standards.

If you’ve had problems with Allegiant, you are not alone. The company’s record delays and cancellations have led Allegiant to have the second-highest customer complaint rate out of any U.S. commercial airline. Meanwhile, the fleet is plagued by persistent mechanical problems due to poor equipment and the company’s unwillingness to invest in its operation or its workforce, as attested by the numerous FAA safety investigations, aircraft groundings, and training program closures.

While our CEO and largest shareholder has taken home tens of millions of dollars in dividends in the past few years, the company has refused to reinvest returns into our infrastructure, our operation or the workforce. The company’s profits are propped up by the extra workload placed on its understaffed, underpaid and overworked workforce and its minimalist approach to maintenance and safety.

With Allegiant making millions in profits each year, our customers and our families should not be put at risk by a company that is content to just barely meet safety standards – a mindset that results in the delays and cancellations you experience when you fly with us.

Allegiant represents the worst in an economy today where greedy CEOs disregard needed investments into a company’s workforce and infrastructure at the expense of passenger safety and for the benefit of Wall Street.

Pilots at Allegiant Air are speaking out because our passengers’ safety is our top priority, and we know that investments in the company’s infrastructure, fleet, pilots and mechanics are needed to ensure its long-term success.

Unfortunately – rather than respond to our concerns – Allegiant’s executives have led a protracted legal battle to avoid a federal court order directing them to restore benefits and working conditions that the company illegally took from us. Allegiant has rolled back our benefits and job protections, including ending our loss of medical coverage for pilots who become ill or disabled and taking away reliable scheduling. The unreliable scheduling practices mean that some pilots are away from home for months at a time – one pilot, for example, was held away from home for nine months. Imagine the toll that spending months on the road away from home takes on our families. Beyond the impact that it has had on our personal lives, Allegiant Air has taken away our ability to serve as valuable members of important safety committees as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and this reduces the overall safety of our operation.

After Allegiant decided earlier this year to ignore a federal court ruling ordering it to restore our benefits and scheduling back to prior levels, we voted to authorize a strike if it became necessary.

We are workers, just like you. It is our hope that Allegiant Air will take the necessary steps to provide a safe, stable, equitable, workplace for us – and thereby a safe airline for you. We hope you will join us in standing up to a corporation that has such disregard for its employees, customers, and the law.

In the meantime, we will continue to speak out to protect travelers and our pilots from being taken advantage of by a company consumed with a dangerous approach to its safety standards, customer protection and employees.



Sincerely,

The Pilots Flying for Allegiant Air"

http://www.apa1224.org/AllegiantAirPilotLetter.asp

And here's a very interesting link that documents all of their woes: http://www.willallegiantbethere.org/

Edited to add last link.

[Edited 2015-11-13 12:40:01]
"Happy Flighting!"
 
jc2354
Posts: 608
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:00 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 20):
I would like to hear that audio
http://gma.yahoo.com/ex-pilot-sues-a...2448481--abc-news-topstories.html#

The captain did not ignore the request to hold off the evacuation, the captain was trying to determine who was making the request, and went unidentified. Without authentication, the captain made the correct decision to not follow the unknown's instruction.

We know for a fact there was smoke in the cabin. Both crew and passengers identified it as an acrid smell. From ground witnesses, we know that there was smoke underneath the aircraft, coming from the general area of engine #1. Inside an airplane, you never know the source or the cause of the smoke. Granted, flight deck instruments might show where the smoke should be coming from, even the flight crew may witness the smoke. It is during the "why is there smoke" that can waste valuable time and be the difference between life and death. Even after the engine power had been cut off, it did nothing to resolve what was going on in the cabin. At this point, any responsible captain, myself included, will order an evacuation, if the passengers haven't already started on their own.

In his termination letter, "Allegiant called the evacuation of Flight 864 “entirely unwarranted” and stated that Kinzer had failed in his duty to operat[e] each aircraft safely, smoothly and efficiently and striv[e] to preserve the company’s assets.” In other words, he was fired because his actions were too expensive for Allegiant. An airplane was out of service, cost of repairs, cancelled flights, mad passengers, etc.

Let's not forget, this is the airline that the VP of Operations, piloted an airplane from Las Vegas to Fargo, did not check his notams, flight plan, weather, or complete a fuel analysis. Neither pilots knew their airport was closed for an airshow until the few minutes before they were going to start their descent. Yet, he is still VP of Operations.

Which pilot would you prefer be in command of your next flight?

Interesting comments here:

http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/major/75731-allegiant-air-330.html

And, pilot fired for safety reasons:

http://archives.californiaaviation.org/airport/msg13342.html
If not now, then when?
 
wjcandee
Posts: 7989
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:01 pm

Quoting ALFA164 (Reply 30):
Please... get the facts first. There was - and still is - no union!

There is ABSOLUTELY a union, and they are in negotiations. They are doing everything they can to make life difficult for Allegiant to drive them to a contract. They tried to call a strike. They even commissioned a report by mechanics that had never seen Allegiant planes to pronounce them concerning safety-wise. They even got the court to declare that the previous written policies of the airline constituted a "contract" for purposes of the labor laws, which means that what they are negotiating, apparently, is an "amendment".

If you think they're not involved in this, I really don't have anything more to say.

[Edited 2015-11-13 13:06:16]
 
flyguy89
Posts: 2583
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:43 pm

RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:04 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 24):
What you state is absolutely no way invalidating the action of the captain.


In and of itself it's not supposed to, just context. The cabin was not filling with smoke or fumes as some news stories and some on this board imply. An odor was reported by some and the captain made the right call in making the emergency landing. Allegiant has had slide evacuations before, so it's doubtful they would have terminated the guy unless there really was good reason, which conveniently for the union, Allegiant cannot legally comment on.

Hard to know the truth here when you have the union on one side with an obviously vested interest in gaining any type of PR leverage against Allegiant, and the company with an obvious interest to protect their own image.

Quoting Passedv1 (Reply 29):
Does anyone know why this was filed in state court? Is there a concurrent Air21 (aviation whistleblower) complaint, or did he miss that deadline and is now stuck in state court. From the facts presented here anyway, it would seem to me that this was an open & shut Air 21 win for th Captain...not sure what the point of the state suite is.

An Air21 whistleblower complaint is not applicable here, the pilot was not whistleblowing on any type of federal rule violations for which he was retaliated against. In any case, the Teamsters aren't interested in actually winning the case, they've lost every case they've tried to bring against the company, they're just contented to drum up the bad publicity and hope it gives them leverage in negotiations.

Quoting ALFA164 (Reply 30):
Except there was no union....


The Allegiant pilots are represented by APA Teamsters Local 1224. You're naïve if you believe the union has nothing to do with this, it was their PR firm who hosted the press conference.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 31):
I agree. And few of us on this board are quick to panic over such things. We understand that a dirty cabin with a loose panel does not mean an unsafe aircraft. We understand that aircraft age does not make them unsafe.


I would disagree with you there. Many on this board are no better than non-aviation Muggles when it comes to media sensationalism.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 31):
But unsafe procedures DO make G4 unsafe. I hope that the FAA will step in and take appropriate action. There have been enough "sentinel events" (as we call them in medicine) that it shouldn't require an aluminum shower to set off the warning bells.

Any numbers to back that up? The FAA is far more clued into the facts and figures than we are, yet it's Southwest who's racking up millions of dollars in fines (I'm not implying Southwest isn't safe, just some context again).

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 31):
And it isn't just this. It's two senior pilots having to declare a fuel emergency because they tried to fly to a closed airport and a few other assorted issues where the layers of protection became eroded.


Oh you mean the one where, once again, a.net posters jumped to conclusions when it later turned out that the plane was adequately fueled and the airfield notice sent out stated that the airport was to remain open for scheduled service?

Quoting jc2354 (Reply 33):
We know for a fact there was smoke in the cabin.

At no time was there smoke reported in the cabin.

[Edited 2015-11-13 13:09:35]
 
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TVNWZ
Posts: 2204
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:05 pm

If they popped the chutes every time I smelled fumes in an airplane I would never get anywhere.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 7989
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:14 pm

Quoting OMP777X (Reply 32):
And here's a very interesting link that documents all of their woes

At the end of the day, a court that was very sympathetic to their cause found only that they were entitled to take their three "baby days" (days they could have off after they had a baby) at any time they were working, not just the days after the birth of the baby. Basically everything else they lost. Seriously -- that was their best argument about how their "valuable benefits" were being taken away -- "baby days". Gotta look at the actual facts and not just some PR firm's characterization of the situation.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 7989
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:23 pm

Has nobody noticed that there isn't a whisp of smoke anywhere in any of the photos of the aircraft?
 
User avatar
longhauler
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:00 am

RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:27 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 38):
Has nobody noticed that there isn't a whisp of smoke anywhere in any of the photos of the aircraft?

Are you saying that's good or bad? I am saying that is great!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, if that Captain knew then, what we all know now, the outcome would be different. But, he was told there was smoke/fumes in the cabin. On landing, he was told there was smoke around the rear of the aircraft. He didn't have the luxury of looking at pictures of the aircraft at his desk at home, a month after the landing.

The Captain of AC797 was told THREE TIMES that the fire was out. 23 people died.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:36 pm

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 35):
Oh you mean the one where, once again, a.net posters jumped to conclusions when it later turned out that the plane was adequately fueled and the airfield notice sent out stated that the airport was to remain open for scheduled service?

So they declared an emergency with adequate fuel? That doesn't sound so good, either.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6314
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:38 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 39):
The Captain of AC797 was told THREE TIMES that the fire was out. 23 people died.

Further, those 23 people died when the fire flashed through the cabin DURING the evacuation. That's how close it was. The other 23 were already out of the airplane.

What if the G4 captain delayed evacuation and it were a catastrophic fire that flashed through the cabin?
 
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zkojq
Posts: 3943
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:37 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 28):
How do you expect the captain to know that it wasn't a potentially catastrophic electrical fire? Both SW111 and AC797 crews initially believed they had harmless air conditioning smoke. Instead they had catastrophic electrical fires.

   Exactly. Throughout all of aviation history how many people have died during evacuations that weren't necessary? Compare that to how many have died due to evacuations not taking place or being called for too late? I rest my case.

Better safe than sorry, you don't want to have a Saudia 163 kindof situation.
First to fly the 787-9
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:43 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 38):
Has nobody noticed that there isn't a whisp of smoke anywhere in any of the photos of the aircraft?

What exactly is your point? What is it that you are suggesting in your pro-company, anti-pilot posts?

I'm sure you are completely unaware that Swissair 111 likely didn't have a single visible wisp of smoke outside the airplane either when it slammed into the Atlantic Ocean at 500 mph with a raging fire in the overhead panel that made the airplane completely un-flyable and unsurvivable within about 20 minutes.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 7989
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:05 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 43):
your pro-company, anti-pilot posts

Yeah, that's it. I'm a company stooge. And I hate pilots.

Why don't you look at my posts about some things at G4 that I do think merit attention? Or the myriad posts supporting pilots in numerous cases? Or talk to my friends who actually sit in that office?

Why would a post saying that perhaps THIS pilot screwed up be generally anti-pilot? Are all pilots above reproach? Are all pilots just as good as any other? Are all captains always right? If so, then why do we have CRM? (Answer: because they may not always be right, although they always are the captain.)

It's a sad commentary, but probably predictable, I suppose, that so much discourse has devolved into a "my team, your team" shouting match, and attempts at talking about actual facts and actual circumstances, and truths about how organizations behave, results in "kill the messenger" attacks, or attempts to undermine a person rather than the reasoned argument that he/she is presenting. It's much easier when you can just ignore the other guy's argument because he is on the other team. It's what drives politics these days, and it's just pathetic.

Listen, I do the "we're good, you're bad" thing for a living. So when I actually want to talk with friends about a complex subject, I don't pick sides in advance. I let the facts take me where they will. But pardon me if I am suspicious when the original story they wanted to tell was about firing him "for making a precautionary landing", which anyone with a brain would agree was totally-appropriate under the circumstances, or when they now try to change the narrative so that when Allegiant quotes the guy's job description in its termination letter, it's suddenly a confession (through selective editing by ABC) that they fired him to save money on evacuation slides, which is also idiotic.

All that is called "spin", and it's the job of certain people to spew it out, and I know it when I see it and it usually means that the real facts...um...need bolstering. Show me where there was a reasonable basis for this guy to pop the slides, given that doing so is bound to injure people (and did here) and I will reconsider. And don't tell me that others told him that they thought they smelled something, because if they popped the slides every time that happened, nobody would ever make it to their destination. A basis to return? Yes. By itself a basis to pop the slides? Hmmmm.

And pardon me further if I chuckle when ABC solemnly says that the FARs make the captain the "final authority" blah, blah. He exercised that authority, and people obeyed. FARs thus complied-with. What the FARs don't say is that the exercise of that authority is not subject to later review. It is.

[Edited 2015-11-13 15:11:40]

[Edited 2015-11-13 15:13:33]
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Posts: 2204
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:24 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 44):
It's a sad commentary, but probably predictable, I suppose, that so much discourse has devolved into a "my team, your team" shouting match, and attempts at talking about actual facts and actual circumstances, and truths about how organizations behave, results in "kill the messenger" attacks, or attempts to undermine a person rather than the reasoned argument that he/she is presenting. It's much easier when you can just ignore the other guy's argument because he is on the other team. It's what drives politics these days, and it's just pathetic.

Word!

I would add you to my RU list...but you already are there! Nobody wants the facts or reasoned discourse. It's always about winning and losing.
 
UPNYGuy
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:14 pm

RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:08 am

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 14):
Is it your impression that ValuJet was a maintenance issue?

Is it your impression that American Airlines, and now AAR, is not an appropriate maintenance provider?

it was an issue caused by a maintenance subcontractor...so YES!
 
wjcandee
Posts: 7989
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:59 am

Quoting UPNYGuy (Reply 46):
caused by a maintenance subcontractor...so YES!

Nice try.

Spin on.
 
Max Q
Posts: 7809
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:01 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 1):
Sue the sh*t of them and then go fly for someone else, who actually values you a bit more.

I don't think you understand how difficult that is, no matter how justified his decision was, other Airlines
don't want to deal with a Pilot dismissed for almost any reason.


The BA Captain who performed such a good job after his 777 lost power in both engines resigned
and then couldn't get hired at any other airline as he'd had an accident !


No one cared it wasn't his fault.



Allegiant remind me a lot of Valujet, same sort of shaky old fleet, cheapskate Pilot pushing management
and constant maintenance issues resulting in numerous diversions, precautionary and emergency landings.



It may only be a matter of time before a tragedy occurs.



This Captain was undeniably wrongly terminated and I believe he'll get his job back, i'm still not convinced
an emergency evacuation was warranted but I wasn't there and at the end of the day you can't completely
discredit him for initiating one.


Evacuations are hazardous but so is staying on board if you suspect there is a real fire risk.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
cbphoto
Posts: 1231
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RE: Fired Allegiant Captain Suing

Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:26 am

I can't go into details about the incident, however I did hear from a few close and very reliable sources within that the Captain was fired for his conduct after the emergency. It would seem during the investigative process after the emergency, he became defensive and argumentative. I would guess his attitude was more the reason he got fired, as opposed to the the actual emergency and evacuation.

Just my two cents
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