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jetmatt777
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:47 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 42):

Good thing you guys don't work in Safety. Every single person that works at an airline has the right to stop an operation for safety and the ability to refuse unsafe conditions. If the airline doesn't allow this they have a terrible safety culture.


The Safety Culture worked! The F/A's stopped the operation until the conflict could be cleared by professionals. Should the airplane have been scrapped? What level of assurance is required?
 
rbavfan
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:06 pm

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):

Usually FA's enter from the jetway & never see the tarmac. How was it she "saw" the graffiti near the back end of the plane along a curving location that you cannot see from the jetway? Did one of her friends put it there?
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:18 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 49):
If the plane sits on the tarmac while the plane is fully screened, and they time out.

Do the crew get paid.

That depends. If they time out and leave no, they are not paid for the trip. At some airlines they would be required to pick up another trip to make up the time or they can opt just to get paid for what they actually have flown for the month. It gets complicated. But generally, if they are projected to run out of time scheduling can give them a minimum crew rest and reschedule the flight to leave the following day. So if flight 201 on the 15 January actually leaves on the 16th, it will still be called flight 201/15 Jan so as not to be confused with flight 201/16 Jan.
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bjorn14
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:29 pm

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 51):

The FO, after his walk around mentioned it to one of the FAs and the situation snowballed from there.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:35 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 48):

They are on the United seniority list, it's not like Delta where they are a separate workgroup with inferior conditions. This applies to all of Unuted's foreign bases except for GUM, which will be integrated onto the same contract and seniority list when/if there is a single contract.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
AT
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:48 pm

What if instead of the flight attendants it was the cockpit crew who decided it was unsafe and decided to not fly?
Would we be reprimanding, let alone firing, the pilots then?

the only thing that does not work in the flight attendants' favor is that AFTER they raised the concerns, a subsequent security check was done and the plane was deemed fit to fly.

I don't think raising the concern and refusing to fly was itself dismissible. But refusing to fly after a subsequent security check cleared the plane may be a different issue.
 
B737900ER
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:50 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 42):
Every single person that works at an airline has the right to stop an operation for safety and the ability to refuse unsafe conditions. If the airline doesn't allow this they have a terrible safety culture.

But what happens after the unsafe condition has been deemed safe? Do you still have a right to stop the operation just cause?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 45):
The TSA? Since when do they operate in Hong Kong?

Where did you read that this took place in Hong Kong?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 45):
Also, since when are they at all decent at anything other than performance theater?

You should educate yourself on the role of the TSA
 
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compensateme
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:57 pm

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 47):

So in essence what you're saying is that it's a lot more likely that one employee group, that has no training or experience with the affected area knows more than the three that do. Got it.

Your link is an editorial. That's great and all but it didn't bring any new information to the discussion.


I'm aware you just want to be condescending, but the point in linking the article was to show that the trained & experienced employee groups considered the incident to be a hoax and did minimal checks.

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 50):

The Safety Culture worked! The F/A's stopped the operation until the conflict could be cleared by professionals. Should the airplane have been scrapped? What level of assurance is required?


They asked for a full sweep of the aircraft, not for the aircraft to be scrapped...

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 56):

But what happens after the unsafe condition has been deemed safe? Do you still have a right to stop the operation just cause?

The a/c wasn't fully swept. The FA believed that was plenty of just cause.

[Edited 2016-01-15 12:03:46]
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
Flaps
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:59 pm

God forbid any flight attendants ever crawl into an aircraft belly some day and witness the graffiti written in there!!! The whole planetary airline system would grind to a halt   

Seriously, someone here was either just a bit too big for their britches or suffering from delusions of grandeur. Good riddance. Hopefully their departure will make way for seniority upgrades for 13 more professional crew members on the list below them.
 
bennett123
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:31 pm

Hard to see how this was viewed as a threat.
 
deltal1011man
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:49 pm

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
Just curious as to the outcome of the Hong Kong based United flight attendants who were fired for insubordination after refusing to work on an aircraft with suspicious graffiti written near the APU. Did these FAs ever get their jobs back, or does the ruling to fire them still stand?

Were they HKG based or just doing a HKG flight? I thought it was just doing a HKG flight.


if they aren't AFA (which I bet the international FA's aren't) then they are probably screwed. Its pretty hard to fight a company when you have to pay for it.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):

The Captain makes the decision whether it's safe to operate, period, he did so.


End of subject.

uh no.
I know you guys like to think its 100% up to you, but it isn't.

and in this case, IIRC, UA sent maintenance back out to the plane and it was jointly decided by the company, MX and pilots that an extra security sweep wasn't needed.
The FA's disagreed and walked.


not going to give my opinion on it but just looking at it from what I know, If i was in MX I wouldn't have signed off on it. Risk isn't worth the reward here. JMO
 
Maverick623
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:49 pm

Quoting AT (Reply 55):

I don't think raising the concern and refusing to fly was itself dismissible. But refusing to fly after a subsequent security check cleared the plane may be a different issue.

Given what I've heard (which is probably NOT the whole story), I don't feel they deserved to be fired, or at least not all of them.

This was probably the classic "telephone" case, where a story changes ever so slightly (or sometimes deliberately) with every retelling, going from "There's some suspicious graffiti by the APU" to "Someone wrote a bomb threat" by the time the 13th F/A heard it.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 59):
Hard to see how this was viewed as a threat.

Stress. The decrease in quality of life, combined with constant reminders of threats that may or may not actually exist without any psychological screening, training, or therapy has made that particular workgroup more susceptible to overreaction or an inability to cope with certain situations.

Add to that typical airline and union politics, and you pretty much get what happened here.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:49 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 57):

I'm aware you just want to be condescending

Not at all. I just find it odd that you think you should take the word of a group of labororers as holy writ, but when three groups of professionals have a different view, then all of a sudden we're over to "well we weren't there, there must be a good reason."

Too much leap, not enough logic.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 57):
but the point in linking the article was to show that the trained & experienced employee groups considered the incident to be a hoax and did minimal checks.

Maybe that's the point you were trying to make. But it's an editorial, so it's really just someone agreeing with your supposition. That doesn't do anything for me.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 57):

They asked for a full sweep of the aircraft, not for the aircraft to be scrapped...

And they got it.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 59):

Hard to see how this was viewed as a threat.

Yeah, I could say the same thing. But I think a sweep was warranted. Sometimes we're just better off being careful.

13 people getting hysterical over it and making a big mess, on the other hand, is not excuseable.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
deltal1011man
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:55 pm

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 62):

And they got it.

they did?

whoops I didn't think they did. My mistake
 
sxf24
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:56 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 35):
Bull spit.

https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/refuse.html
Quoting OSHA:
"Refusing to do a job because of potentially unsafe workplace conditions is not ordinarily an employee right under the OSH Act."

"Your right to refuse to do a task is protected if all of the following conditions are met:

Where possible, you have asked the employer to eliminate the danger, and the employer failed to do so; and
You refused to work in "good faith." This means that you must genuinely believe that an imminent danger exists. Your refusal cannot be a disguised attempt to harass your employer or disrupt business; and
A reasonable person would agree that there is a real danger of death or serious injury; and
There isn't enough time, due to the urgency of the hazard, to get it corrected through regular enforcement channels, such as requesting an OSHA inspection."

United can (legitimately) claim it eliminated the danger and that reasonable people, including corporate security and the flight crew believed there was not a real danger of death or serious injury.

So, basically there is not the ability to refuse to work because you feel unsafe.
 
B737900ER
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:04 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 57):
The a/c wasn't fully swept.

What exactly did they want? The aircraft was swept per UA security protocol. But that wasn't good enough. Who were they to say more needed to be done? You have a corporate security department who are experts in this area and yet you are saying that they should have the power to overrule them. Where does it stop? Let's say an FA feels that the mechanic who changed a tire didn't do it right. Should they have the right to cancel the flight based on their feelings? Just because they felt it wasn't enough doesn't mean they have the right to do what they did.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:04 pm

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 63):

they did?

whoops I didn't think they did. My mistake

No worries. Yeah, they de-boarded the plane and performed a search of the cabin, APU box, and cargo areas. They may have done more too.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
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compensateme
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:07 pm

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 62):

Not at all. I just find it odd that you think you should take the word of a group of labororers as holy writ, but when three groups of professionals have a different view, then all of a sudden we're over to "well we weren't there, there must be a good reason."

Too much leap, not enough logic.
Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 62):

And they got it.

Please show me where it's acknowledged UA has made a full sweep of the aircraft; the FA's argument is that they asked for a full sweep of the aircraft but the Company would only agree to inspect the impacted area of the plane, insisting a full sweep wasn't necessary.

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 64):
United can (legitimately) claim it eliminated the danger and that reasonable people, including corporate security and the flight crew believed there was not a real danger of death or serious injury.

So, basically there is not the ability to refuse to work because you feel unsafe.

I'm sorry, but that's not how the process works. UA would have to perform a full investigation, which they did not (again, they refused to sweep the entire aircraft). UA will have to introduce some compelling evidence that the aircraft did not needed to be swept.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
silentbob
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:07 pm

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
The flight was obviously safe

Survival does not equal safety. I've done any number of things in my life that could have resulted in death or serious injury, yet none of them did. That does not mean that my actions were "safe"

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 8):
Didn't the Pilot-In-Command and UAL ground staff on site determine that it was safe after a visual inspection? It is, after all, their responsibility to make that determination.
Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
The Captain makes the decision whether it's safe to operate, period, he did so.

I know a number of pilots that have made poor decisions regarding safety, they are not infallible. The fact that they chose to operate a flight does not mean that it was safe to do so.

I'm not saying the flight attendants were justified in their actions, simply that some of the assertions here are not entirely valid.
 
B737900ER
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:12 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 67):
(again, they refused to sweep the entire aircraft)

They did what their manuals told them to do in that situation, which is approved by not just UA but many government agencies. Even then they went above and beyond what was required. UA has no obligation to be led by what a group of FA think should be done. What they wanted was unreasonable, and a very bad precedent would be set by giving into their bully mentality.
 
winginit
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:14 pm

Quoting AT (Reply 55):
the only thing that does not work in the flight attendants' favor is that AFTER they raised the concerns, a subsequent security check was done and the plane was deemed fit to fly.

While I'm not sure if it was your intention, you've stated that as if it's just a minuscule point versus an overwhelming amount that falls in favor of the FAs here, which isn't the case as I see it.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 57):
The a/c wasn't fully swept. The FA believed that was plenty of just cause.

Yes. It was. The plane was fully de-boarded and a full sweep took place to include the entirety of the cabin, cargo areas, etc before being deemed fit to fly. That being the case, the FAs no longer had just cause to refuse to do their jobs, or if they did they certainly didn't appear to express as much besides just having a bad feeling about doing their job. In that that isn't an acceptable reason to refuse to do your job, they were fired, or suspended, or whatever, and in my opinion should lose any wrongful termination suit.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:58 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 67):
the FA's argument is that they asked for a full sweep of the aircraft but the Company would only agree to inspect the impacted area of the plane, insisting a full sweep wasn't necessary.

B737900ER's reply is on the money here. Anything I'd say to you would be a duplication, so there you go.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
coairman
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:37 pm

In my opinion what happened seems very simple.

- A mechanic or other ground crew, whether being a catering representative or ramp, etc ......were just horsing around with no bad intentions being implied with the graphics.

- I have seen in the cargo bins over the years that had silly and immature graffiti on the walls of the bins.....sometimes people are immature and may have too much free time on their hands.

-In this case someone had access to a lift and was just having "fun", not realizing how the graffiti could have been interpreted in a threatening way.

- After the flight attendants saw the graffiti on the tail, they got spooked, maybe even having thoughts to MH370.

-The flight attendants then couldn't shake off the spooky feeling...... and couldn't perform their duties in a professional and friendly manner.

-There was no real threat to the safety of the passengers and crew....just a lot of disgruntled passengers who had their flight cancelled and the huge inconvenience of being rerouted with a last minute delay and then cancellation.



Again..... This is my opinion only.... But it makes sense and obviously the flight attendants overreacted ..... but I can understand the spooky feeling they might have had.

[Edited 2016-01-15 15:44:31]

[Edited 2016-01-15 15:50:02]
The views I express are of my own, and not the company I work for.
 
jayunited
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:29 am

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 20):
I have no reason to believe that they were innocent little angels, but I have no reason to believe that they weren't legitimately concerned. Having said that, I don't really care either. I'm more concerned with the broader implication that if someone has what they believe to be a legitimate reason to feel unsafe to board an airplane, then there should at a minimum be an opportunity for them to make their case before being terminated - not that they should get a free pass.

I have someone close who's a flight attendant and has been for decades. She has had a number of occasions where what she deemed unsafe was different than what the airline or pilot deemed unsafe, and they usually over-ruled her. After going through a few nasty cabin decompressions and other questionable (to her) stuff (I'm keeping it very generic), she has on at least one occasion refused to fly, forcing them to bring in a new crew. She wasn't fired - she was, of course, investigated and probably admonished, but isn't that why you have unions - to protect you when you feel you are being put at risk?

Okay lets start by setting the record straight. After the graffiti was discovered and the pilots informed the FA's and station management the aircraft was reinspected. As a matter of fact all UA aircraft have a security inspection done before the first flight of the day and for any aircraft operating internationally an inspection is required before each and every departure. Whether the aircraft if operating to the U.S. or leaving the U.S. There are several layers of security and multiple departments conducting security inspections all of which must be documented in the computer prior to departure or else the security system UA has in place will prevent final weights from being sent to the crew. You can not fake an inspection because there are video cameras everywhere recording your every move. These inspection are required by the FAA so any employee who would be stupid enough to claim they did a security inspection but never did not only faces termination but could be prosecuted by the federal government for falsifying a required FAA document.

The reason the FA's were fired was because they were not satisfied with the re-inspection that was done after the graffiti was brought to the attention of the pilots and station management. The FA's wanted to have the aircraft de-planed and have a security search done again in the cabin after going over the security measure UA has in place the pilot overrode the FA's request because (A) a security search of the cabin had already been done . (B) The area where the graffiti was found was was searched. (C) The graffiti was drawn on the aircraft in ICN and after reviewing the video tape of the incident in ICN it was clear this was just graffiti and ramp level personal never boarded the aircraft or entered after the cabin after the cabin security search was done in ICN.

So to review you had a cabin security search done in ICN, a cabin security search done at SFO, multiple layers of exterior security searches done. A second exterior security search done plus a search of the effect compartment at the request of the pilot. The pilot in command said a second security search of the cabin wasn't necessary and was satisfied with the searches that had been accomplished and was ready to take the plane but the FA's decided all of this was not enough and demanded a second search of the aircraft cabin be done which would mean deplaning all passenger and according to UA would have resulted in the cancelation of the flight because the flight crew would have been illegal.

This argument people are trying to make that somehow UA did not address the FA's security concerns is a load of crap. UA addressed the security issue and once those issues were addressed and cleared their attention turned to getting their customers to HKG but FA's were determined to have the cabin cleared when there was no need to take a 365 passengers off a plane. So when they refused to fly after secondary searches were done and the pilot signed off and was willing to take the plane they then were charged with insubordination. Knowing the many layers of security UA is required to do by law and knowing that all those security measures must be documented prior to departure I don't think these FA's stand a chance in a court of law of getting the jobs back. It is unfortunate and I feel for these FA's but they should have known that UA would never risk their safety or the safety and lives of 365 customers, another reason why I think UA is fighting this lawsuit because UA wants their customers to know that UA takes safety and security seriously and any notion that UA somehow does not take it seriously if categorically false. So while UA's reputation in other areas maybe tarnished UA will fight to preserve its reputation that it runs a safe and secure operation.
 
IPFreely
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:59 am

Quoting compensateme (Reply 35):
Quoting sxf24 (Reply 33):

There is no such US law.


Bull spit.

https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/refuse.html

First of all, that is not a law. It's a regulation. I know you are not aware that these are different things, but they are, in fact, very different. You owe sxf24 an apology.

And secondly, it says the opposite of what you want it to say. Specifically, it reads "But, as a general rule, you do not have the right to walk off the job because of unsafe conditions. If you do and your employer fires or disciplines you, OSHA may not be able to protect you."

These flight attendants walked off the job. United fired them and hired better ones. End of story.
 
AngMoh
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:37 am

Quoting jayunited (Reply 73):
Okay lets start by setting the record straight.

Thanks for this info. If this is the full story, it shows that the complaint was made, taken seriously and handled appropriately by UA. Based on this, the termination will most likely not be overruled by the courts.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 74):
These flight attendants walked off the job. United fired them and hired better ones. End of story.

Sorry, but up till jayunited giving the background, there was no acceptable explanation why termination was appropriate. "The aircraft is safe because the captain says so" and "they were lazy" are not valid arguments.
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charlienorth
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:02 am

A mechanic would have signed this off as no defects found, the fa's in my opinion were trying to pull some kind of a power trip..seen it many times in 25 years on the operational side, the captain,corporate safety were satisfied with the findings, what more did these fa's want? The airlines have policies and procedures for these kind of events these flight attendants had no grounds for expansion of these policies and I've seen the term "sweep" used..can anyone define "sweep" and what it entails? Who is qualified to do a "sweep"? As far as I can see there is no such thing as a sweep, does it involve removing seats? panels? cargo compartments? what if all of the above would these fa's have been satisified with the findings? 300 people inconvenienced for a vague fear? Nothing would fly if that became accepted practice. I see a bunch of flight attendants looking for a quick buck using safety as the reason.....good riddance.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
L1011Lover
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:50 am

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 10):
If these employees were Hong Kong based, then they fall under Hong Kong law which is based on British law and it would be virtually impossible to fire them for a safety related issue brought up which was ignored by the company.

Not exactly... it's not that easy.

If it was in fact a HKG based crew they were only based there. However they're employed by UA in Chicago and that's an American entity. All current UA flight attendants - pre merger that is, not including CO - are employed under the AFA (Association of Flight Attendants) union contract. The only non-union FA's in UA's sytem were BKK and SIN based and were considered as foreign/regional crew.

So in this case I'd presume it be mostly US law, however if they also live in HKG, pay taxes there etc. then both US and local jurisdiction might come into effect.

Best regards
L1011Lover
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:01 am

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 37):
I think the company was completely justified. They can't force you to do something you don't want to do, and the other option is termination of you are asking for an unreasonable amount of assurance that the plane is safe.

There is likely a middle ground in some circumstances.

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 37):
Aviation is 100% about trust, and if you can't trust your fellow professionals, you need to leave the game.

I think that's very true, but it also sets up a situation where questioning safety beyond company protocol is no longer an option. The problem is that protocol is not necessarily infallable.

One thing I'd add is that they "may" have just been spooked and could not safely perform their duties. If this is a terminable offense, then so be it. I think it sets you up for a failure at some point.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 73):

The reason the FA's were fired

So they were fired. It's still been a bit murky.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 73):
Okay lets start by setting the record straight. After the graffiti was discovered and the pilots informed the FA's and station management the aircraft was reinspected. As a matter of fact all UA aircraft have a security inspection done before the first flight of the day and for any aircraft operating internationally an inspection is required before each and every departure. Whether the aircraft if operating to the U.S. or leaving the U.S. There are several layers of security and multiple departments conducting security inspections all of which must be documented in the computer prior to departure or else the security system UA has in place will prevent final weights from being sent to the crew. You can not fake an inspection because there are video cameras everywhere recording your every move. These inspection are required by the FAA so any employee who would be stupid enough to claim they did a security inspection but never did not only faces termination but could be prosecuted by the federal government for falsifying a required FAA document.

The reason the FA's were fired was because they were not satisfied with the re-inspection that was done after the graffiti was brought to the attention of the pilots and station management. The FA's wanted to have the aircraft de-planed and have a security search done again in the cabin after going over the security measure UA has in place the pilot overrode the FA's request because (A) a security search of the cabin had already been done . (B) The area where the graffiti was found was was searched. (C) The graffiti was drawn on the aircraft in ICN and after reviewing the video tape of the incident in ICN it was clear this was just graffiti and ramp level personal never boarded the aircraft or entered after the cabin after the cabin security search was done in ICN.

So to review you had a cabin security search done in ICN, a cabin security search done at SFO, multiple layers of exterior security searches done. A second exterior security search done plus a search of the effect compartment at the request of the pilot. The pilot in command said a second security search of the cabin wasn't necessary and was satisfied with the searches that had been accomplished and was ready to take the plane but the FA's decided all of this was not enough and demanded a second search of the aircraft cabin be done which would mean deplaning all passenger and according to UA would have resulted in the cancelation of the flight because the flight crew would have been illegal.

This argument people are trying to make that somehow UA did not address the FA's security concerns is a load of crap. UA addressed the security issue and once those issues were addressed and cleared their attention turned to getting their customers to HKG but FA's were determined to have the cabin cleared when there was no need to take a 365 passengers off a plane. So when they refused to fly after secondary searches were done and the pilot signed off and was willing to take the plane they then were charged with insubordination. Knowing the many layers of security UA is required to do by law and knowing that all those security measures must be documented prior to departure I don't think these FA's stand a chance in a court of law of getting the jobs back. It is unfortunate and I feel for these FA's but they should have known that UA would never risk their safety or the safety and lives of 365 customers, another reason why I think UA is fighting this lawsuit because UA wants their customers to know that UA takes safety and security seriously and any notion that UA somehow does not take it seriously if categorically false. So while UA's reputation in other areas maybe tarnished UA will fight to preserve its reputation that it runs a safe and secure operation.

If that's the accurate info, then thank you for the synopsis.

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
alfa164
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:01 am

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 62):
Not at all. I just find it odd that you think you should take the word of a group of labororers as holy writ, but when three groups of professionals have a different view, then all of a sudden we're over to "well we weren't there, there must be a good reason."

Are you saying Flight Attendants aren't "professional"; that they are just "a group of labororers (sic)"? I don't have a dog in this fight, but I find it highly demeaning to say that. Flight Attendants undergo serious training - professional training - to reach their profession.

On the other hand, the company can name anyone - one of your "labororers", perhaps, as an "inspector"... so your "three groups of professionals" needs more verification. Can you enlighten us?

Quoting winginit (Reply 70):
The plane was fully de-boarded and a full sweep took place to include the entirety of the cabin, cargo areas, etc before being deemed fit to fly.
Quoting jayunited (Reply 73):
The FA's wanted to have the aircraft de-planed and have a security search done again in the cabin

You guys need to get your stories straight; were the passengers de-boarded, or were they not?
I'm going to have a smokin' hot body again!
I have decided to be cremated....
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:26 am

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 79):

Are you saying Flight Attendants aren't "professional"; that they are just "a group of labororers (sic)"?

I don't really care what you read there. You're not going to believe this, but not all jobs are equal, nor are all professional opinions/findings. Being an FA requires nothing like the time and experience, training and certifications that flight operations, maintenance, and corporate safety do. If you find that offensive, I don't know what to tell you...

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 79):

On the other hand, the company can name anyone - one of your "labororers", perhaps, as an "inspector"... so your "three groups of professionals" needs more verification. Can you enlighten us?

Oh yeah, hospitals do that all the time too. Hey, that orderly looks like a surgeon. Let's call him one. Not.

Jayunited made a pretty clear posting of the timeline (though there are some specifics I'd heard differently).

In any case, no, airlines do not just randomly appoint people to do professional grade work. Pilots, MX, etc have to be type rated and specifically trained. And this after large amounts of higher education. FAs require a HS diploma and an 8 week certification course. If there's a difference like this, the airline knows who to talk to first and how to weigh what they're looking at. I don't know why anyone thinks UA made a bad decision here...
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
usflyguy
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:04 am

Quoting migair54 (Reply 15):
theyre just cabin crew
Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 62):
group of labororers as holy writ, but when three groups of professionals have a different view,

Maybe you will both have heart attacks on your next flight but the laborers will just stand there and stare at you, I mean, they are just cabin crew. Or maybe there will be a fire in the cabin and they'll just stand there and not do anything about it. Or maybe your next flight into SFO will hit the retaining wall at the end of the runway and the flight attendants will just sit there.
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
B737900ER
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:16 am

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 81):

You are right. There are certain things that FAs are qualified in. Deeming an aircraft airworthy isn't one of them. And that is the topic at hand.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:48 am

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 82):

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 81):

You are right. There are certain things that FAs are qualified in. Deeming an aircraft airworthy isn't one of them. And that is the topic at hand

Game, set, and match to B737900ER. Winner by knockout.
 
777way
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:44 am

I didnt even know the crew were Asian/Chinese, apparently its not mentioned anywhere even in the news, one site mentions them as living in Asia, could be caucasians living there.
 
Max Q
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:07 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 26):
Where I work the correct course of action would be for the CN to make a tech log entry for any abnormalities observed externally, and these to be investigated by the mechanics before being signed off and being released for flight.

If cabin crew raise a concern, I would write it up, and get it checked. That is our documented safety system.

Don't know what a 'CN' is but it doesn't matter, the aircraft was inspected and there were no issues, the Captain was satisfied it was safe so that's enough.


Great shame that apparently in Cathay the Captains authority is no longer sufficient to make this decision.
It's not the airline I remember.

[Edited 2016-01-16 02:20:34]
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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zeke
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:33 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 85):
Don't know what a 'CN' is but it doesn't matter, the aircraft was inspected and there were no issues, the Captain was satisfied it was safe so that's enough.


Great shame that apparently in Cathay the Captains authority is no longer sufficient to make this decision.
It's not the airline I remember.

Not sure what you are getting at here, our pilots and cabin crew have never had the ability to determine if an aircraft is airworthy. If cabin crew or tech crew observe a defect or something unusual, it is written up in the log. The people with the airworthiness authority, the mechanics who hold the appropriate engineering licence will follow the approved maintenance procedures to return the aircraft to service. Pilots and cabin crew do not have access in their normal course of duty to the approved maintenance manuals, or to the historical maintenance rerecords.

A captain can normally only accept an aircraft that a mechanic has released for flight in the tech log. I am not aware of any large airline that does not have a similar safety management system in place with a top-down business-like approach to managing safety risk, which includes a systemic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountability, policies and procedures.

Obviously we have different styles and personalities. If cabin crew came to me with a concern, I would not dismiss it as being trivial just because they are cabin crew. They will also be on the aircraft, and need to feel safe in their workplace. I would make a point of having them involved in the reporting of their observations to the mechanics, and hearing first hand the results of the investigation from the mechanics.

I actively encourage crew to let me know of things they think are unusual when I brief them before every flight, its called CRM.

[Edited 2016-01-16 05:41:58]
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
jayunited
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:43 pm

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 79):
You guys need to get your stories straight; were the passengers de-boarded, or were they not?

My report is accurate I'm not getting gym information from articles or reporters, working at WHQ in the department that I'm in all employees have access to and can read all the delay and cancelation reports. By the time the FA's were informed that there was graffiti on the aircraft and what that graffiti entailed the passengers were already boarded. This is one of the reasons why the pilot said a second security search of the cabin was not necessary because the security search of the cabin had already been done and passengers were on board the aircraft and he didn't want to inconvenience the passengers more than what they already were by having them de-board the flight. Anybody who works in airport ops knows the moment you de-board an aircraft there are always passengers who get "lost". If those passengers fail to re-board then their bags must be removed from the flight. All of this would have caused the flight to be canceled and UA was trying to avoid that outcome but at the same time assuring the aircraft was secure for flight. But unfortunately the flight was canceled because the FA's refused to work the flight after all security issues were addressed and the pilot in command sign off and was ready to go.

For what ever reason these FA"s made a decision now they must live with the consequences of the decision they made.
 
copter808
Posts: 1384
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:20 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 42):
Good thing you guys don't work in Safety. Every single person that works at an airline has the right to stop an operation for safety and the ability to refuse unsafe conditions. If the airline doesn't allow this they have a terrible safety culture.

Exactly! It's the basis for CRM. If we start thinking "The captain (or mechanic, CEO, FA, or whatever) said it's right so we go" we move back to the dark ages of aviation.

However, I think in THIS case it's much ado about nothing. Someone did what they thought was "funny" and someone else didn't think it was so funny. Kind of like writing "Wash Me" on a dirty car.

Very difficult to know if they deserve to be terminated without knowing what was in THEIR mind at the time.
 
copter808
Posts: 1384
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 3):
Because their termination was illegal?

Was it? That's the whole question. Was this a lobor issue or safety issue?

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 7):
Quoting compensateme (Reply 6):
Wrong. An employer cannot ask an employee to pretake in unsafe behavior.

Sorry but you are of course 100% wrong. The flight was obviously safe. And that determination is not up to the FA's. If it was, every lazy FA out there would cry "unsafe" and refuse to do their job whenever they wanted, hoping for some nutty court to protect their laziness. A business cannot operate in this environment. They made their choice and they were justifiably fired. Maybe they will be smarter at their next job.

That determination is up to the CREW, and last I knew the FA make up part of the crew. If this is a labor issue, and it may very well be, then perhaps they deserve termination. But not if it's for reasons of safety

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 75):
Quoting jayunited (Reply 73):

Okay lets start by setting the record straight.

Thanks for this info. If this is the full story, it shows that the complaint was made, taken seriously and handled appropriately by UA. Based on this, the termination will most likely not be overruled by the courts.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 74):
These flight attendants walked off the job. United fired them and hired better ones. End of story.

Sorry, but up till jayunited giving the background, there was no acceptable explanation why termination was appropriate. "The aircraft is safe because the captain says so" and "they were lazy" are not valid arguments.

And thank you to Jay for setting the record straight.
 
copter808
Posts: 1384
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:30 pm

Quoting coairman (Reply 72):
In my opinion what happened seems very simple.

- A mechanic or other ground crew, whether being a catering representative or ramp, etc ......were just horsing around with no bad intentions being implied with the graphics.

- I have seen in the cargo bins over the years that had silly and immature graffiti on the walls of the bins.....sometimes people are immature and may have too much free time on their hands.

-In this case someone had access to a lift and was just having "fun", not realizing how the graffiti could have been interpreted in a threatening way.

- After the flight attendants saw the graffiti on the tail, they got spooked, maybe even having thoughts to MH370.

-The flight attendants then couldn't shake off the spooky feeling...... and couldn't perform their duties in a professional and friendly manner.

-There was no real threat to the safety of the passengers and crew....just a lot of disgruntled passengers who had their flight cancelled and the huge inconvenience of being rerouted with a last minute delay and then cancellation.



Again..... This is my opinion only.... But it makes sense and obviously the flight attendants overreacted ..... but I can understand the spooky feeling they might have had.

I think you have hit it exactly on the head!! This may still be a labor issue (unhappy with labor relations), but I think you have the story pretty accurate.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8631
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:56 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 86):

Not sure what you are getting at here, our pilots and cabin crew have never had the ability to determine if an aircraft is airworthy. If cabin crew or tech crew observe a defect or something unusual, it is written up in the log. The people with the airworthiness authority, the mechanics who hold the appropriate engineering licence will follow the approved maintenance procedures to return the aircraft to service. Pilots and cabin crew do not have access in their normal course of duty to the approved maintenance manuals, or to the historical maintenance rerecords.

A captain can normally only accept an aircraft that a mechanic has released for flight in the tech log. I am not aware of any large airline that does not have a similar safety management system in place with a top-down business-like approach to managing safety risk, which includes a systemic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountability, policies and procedures.

Obviously we have different styles and personalities. If cabin crew came to me with a concern, I would not dismiss it as being trivial just because they are cabin crew. They will also be on the aircraft, and need to feel safe in their workplace. I would make a point of having them involved in the reporting of their observations to the mechanics, and hearing first hand the results of the investigation from the mechanics.

I actively encourage crew to let me know of things they think are unusual when I brief them before every flight, its called CRM.

[Edited 2016-01-16 05:41:58]

You are missing the point, the aircraft had been cleared by maintenance and any security issues were addressed, at that point the Captain decided they were good to go so that should have been the end of the matter.


These Flight Attendants took a stand for something that made no sense.


Good speech though Zeke.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
alfa164
Posts: 3772
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:47 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:27 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 91):
Good speech though Zeke.

I don't think Zeke is making a speech; he obviously works for an airline that respects the concerns of all its employees, and does not hold the One-Time-Departure-God in higher esteem than its concern for the safety and well-being of its employees and passengers.

United... now I am not so sure it upholds those same principles.
I'm going to have a smokin' hot body again!
I have decided to be cremated....
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:50 am

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 92):

I don't think Zeke is making a speech; he obviously works for an airline that respects the concerns of all its employees, and does not hold the One-Time-Departure-God in higher esteem than its concern for the safety and well-being of its employees and passengers.

System wide, we work with about 50 different airlines and operators. I don't think any of them have safety as anything less than no. 1 priority.

But On-Time is indeed the next thing very close right behind that. And that includes both CX and UA.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
Brewfangrb
Posts: 292
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:52 am

Quoting compensateme (Reply 34):
Do you think THIRTEEN FA fabricated such story?

"Fabricated"? No. But I'm sure you know that not all people are equal. Certainly, the FO didn't tell all 13 cabin crew members what he saw at once. So now you have distortions, conflations, etc that likely innocently and unintentionally occur, until all of a sudden you have a couple or a few F/A who are certain the plane will explode over the ocean and they aren't going to believe ANYONE that it's safe. Also, this situation likely had a few assertive, strong-will personalities that weren't going to take what they saw as being view inferior by the other workgroups and were going to stand their ground. The rest of the F/A feel natural social group pressure to "go along".

It's hard to put myself in their shoes. But if the captain, first officer, mechanics and UA security all told me they are good to go, I think I have to trust my coworkers. Given how airlines are VERY QUICK to divert for any sort of obvious hoax threat or bigoted, hysterial American idiot whining about "Arabs" or "Muslims", I find it difficult to believe that after the checks were done, that if anything but a clean result was found that UA would have allowed the flight to proceed without a cancellation and full sweep. The FAs, IMO, chose this hill to die on and they will have to live with that decision.

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 56):
You should educate yourself on the role of the TSA

I have no illusions or misunderstanding of their "role". However, I think you should educate yourself on the TSAs efficacy and contributions (or lack thereof) to aviation security.
 
B737900ER
Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:26 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:21 pm

Quoting Brewfangrb (Reply 94):
However, I think you should educate yourself on the TSAs efficacy and contributions (or lack thereof) to aviation security.

I don't understand what you're implying. But the idea of the TSA being only passenger screeners is wrong. It's a huge department that gets involved in many airport security issues. And they do get involved when it comes to issues of individual aircraft security.
 
AngMoh
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:30 pm

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 92):
I don't think Zeke is making a speech; he obviously works for an airline that respects the concerns of all its employees, and does not hold the One-Time-Departure-God in higher esteem than its concern for the safety and well-being of its employees and passengers.

I think Zeke's point is that the captain is not a god who can overrule everyone which seems to be Max Q's argument. In Asia, Zeke's point of view is more likely applicable....
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739/ER 742 743 744/M 752 753 762 772 77E 773 77W 788 A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A35K A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E170 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 Q400 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
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TVNWZ
Posts: 2275
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RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:59 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 81):
Maybe you will both have heart attacks on your next flight but the laborers will just stand there and stare at you, I mean, they are just cabin crew. Or maybe there will be a fire in the cabin and they'll just stand there and not do anything about it. Or maybe your next flight into SFO will hit the retaining wall at the end of the runway and the flight attendants will just sit there.

Why are you insisting on denigrating laborers? There are millions of laborers who do substantive jobs. Flight attendants are one group of them.
 
DTWPurserBoy
Posts: 2374
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:33 pm

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:44 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 54):

They are on the United seniority list, it's not like Delta where they are a separate workgroup with inferior conditions. This applies to all of Unuted's foreign bases except for GUM, which will be integrated onto the same contract and seniority list when/if there is a single contract.

the Pacific Division flight attendants do not work under "inferior" conditions. With f/a bases in MNL, PEK, PVG, NRT, SIN and I think TPE is still open, Each nationality has their own rules. Some, such as the SIN based crews are unionized but in their own union. Pre-merger NW f/a's and now DL flight attendants would have a collective stroke if non-US based crews were on their seniority list. We have always felt that all of those positions should be filled with Americans since we are a US carrier.

Each base is paid differently depending on salaries in their country. They have some nice perks that I would like to have--like a debit card usable anywhere where their salaries and per diem are deposited. It is my understanding that their per diem can be drawn while they are flying a rotation instead of waiting until the following month like we do. Many of them have advantageous sick leave and vacation time superior to ours with a better system for bidding vacations. They are all excellent employees, a joy to work with and very professional. Many stick around for many years (especially NRT-based employees whose salaries far exceed ours). The purser and the "chaser" as we call them are the only two Americans on intra-Asia flights but it seems DL is leaning towards all-American crews although they have not really done anything about it yet. DL likes to have control over every employees actions rather than dealing through a third party.

I have worked with these people for many years and I can honestly say I have never heard a complaint from any of them. The fact that many of our Asian-based f/a's quit jobs at Philippine Airlines, Air China and even Singapore to work for us tells a lot.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: UA's Fired HKG FAs-Any Updates?

Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
The Captain makes the decision whether it's safe to operate, period, he did so.


End of subject.

Not completely true. I have grounded aircraft due to safety relevant technical issues (structural damage out of limits in a critical area), where the crew wanted to press on because they wanted to go home and not end up getting stuck in a cheap hotel near a provincial airport over holidays. The damage seemed to be small, but the structural repair manual stated clearly that there was absolutely NO DAMMAGE ALLOWED in this area. I had to get the damage evaluated by Boeing first before I could release the aircraft, and the instructions from Boeing (written by a design engineer based on damage dimensions and photographs we sent to him) included an NDT inspection for cracks, reworking the damaged part (bending a bent stiffener back into it's old shape) and then doing another NDT inspection. If any cracks had been found, we would have had to replace this pressure bulkhead stiffener.

Jan
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