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monkey
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You've asked more questions than one, there. You'll need to be more specific.

 

Does every company pressure you to fly unairworthy equipment?

 

Does every company pressure you to fly past-limit equipment?

 

Short answer is no, longer answer is yes.

 

Not every company has the same culture or values, and not every company will blatantly tell you to do something illegal or unsafe. A razor-thin profit margin exists in aviation, however, and when it comes to a choice between grounding an aircraft or having that aircraft earn revenue, there is a point of diminishing returns for most operators.

 

Start with the most basic, simple example: a burned-out navigation light. Is that light required for day VFR? No. If it's installed, however, and if the aircraft was certificated with that installed equipment or if it's part of an STC for that aircraft, then it must be airworthy and operative, or properly altered in a manner acceptable to the Administrator (deactivated, placarded).

 

Airworthy means two things, both of which must be satisfied to be considered "airworthy:" the system, appliance, aircraft, or component must be safe, and it must be legal. Being legal means operative or acceptably altered, and in compliance with it's design and certification criteria (type certificate data sheet, STC, TSO, etc).

 

If it's not airworthy, it must be deactivated and placarded, even if not required for that phase of flight (day VFR, for example). If you get a pop-up flight and find the nav light is burned out, can you replace it, or are you pressured to take the flight...it's day VFR, after all. Is it a Part 135 flight? You can't replace the light yourself. Is it a Part 91 flight in a strictly Part 91 aircraft? You could replace it, if you had one, but do you know what to do? Do you know you can't touch the bulb (no oil from your skin)? Do you have the right tools? Do you have access to a current maintenance publication? Can you verify the correct part number, voltage, etc? Do you know what to inspect while you're changing the bulb? What if it's not burned out, but shorted? Do you know what to do?

 

Perhaps you can't change it. You're Part 135, and there's not a mechanic available, or there's not a spare bulb. Can you deactivate it? Do you know what's required? How about appropriately placarding the item. Are you really going to tell the employer that you just grounded the aircraft or delayed a revenue flight for a nav light on a clear, VFR day? What's the employer got to say about that?

 

How about a missing screw? How about a fuel filter light that comes on, even though you know it's a pressure switch that needs replacing? One is on order. Can you fly until the switch arrives? What about a medical flight: you know that a life is depending on our decision to go. What are you going to do? How about the weather at the destination below minimums: it's a Part 135 flight. Can you go? Can you dispatch? What if the employer needs to show dispatch reliability: doesn't care if you actually arrive at the destination, but does care that the company can show you departed. Client has an important business engagement.

 

Almost an unlimited array of scenarios. Will every employer pressure you to go on every one of them? No, of course not. Will many employers draw the line somewhere and pressure you to go on some of them? Almost certainly. Are there employers out there who will shrug any time the pilot states he doesn't want to go? Possibly, but there are limits, and no matter where you fly, do it enough, and you'll be seeking another job. Judgement, understanding, and professionalism go a long way here.

 

As for out of limit items: if it's beyond limits, then it's not airworthy, but you still need to define what you mean by "limits." Is it an engine that's beyond TBO? It depends on the rules under which it's operated, doesn't it? TBO isn't a hard limit unless spelled out in the airworthiness limitations in the aircraft flight manual, or unless operating under Part 121 or 135.

 

Is a part worn beyond maintenance limits? Is the company pressuring you to operate with that part installed? Is it germane to the flight being conducted? You've got a broken seat rail on board, but won't be using that seat. It's beyond limits, and it's not an airworthy seat, but you're flying solo and won't be using that seat...does it matter? Are you going to turn down the flight? What will the company say if you do?

 

Broad-brush statements about "every company" are hard to make and hard to support, but I think you'll find that most companies have their limits on what they'll accept and what they won't. You can make a good case, in almost all cases, for grounding an aircraft if you look hard enough. If you do that every time, then you'll find that virtually all companies will either pressure you to go, or find someone else who will. That said, you should never operate an aircraft outside your comfort or safety limits, or against your own conscience or judgement.

 

I've certainly refused flights or operations on numerous occasions when other pilots said yes, they'd do it (and sometimes did it). I've also felt comfortable taking flights at times when others did not, but have rejected the flight or aircraft out of solidarity (sets a bad precedent when the employer can pick and choose someone to take the flight, and puts others in the hot-seat if they're refusing to fly, but you're taking the flight in their place). I've also taken flights that were within my comfort zone based on professional judgement and experience, that might not have been for someone with less experience. Again, judgement. I've certainly seen cases in which the employer would pressure me to go, but wouldn't have pressured someone with less experience: the effort by the company is equally subjective to the circumstance. You'll need to be more specific.

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Err, what's a "past limit" helicopter? A limit is a limit, and any pilot who overflies such a limit is a fool, period. But what is a limit?

 

We, as professional pilots have to know the rules backwards and forwards. In my experience there is a lot of confusion among pilots as to what constitutes an airworthy aircraft. People have some awfully strange opinions.

 

Operators on the other hand are usually well-versed in what is legal and what is not. As Avbug noted, margins in aviation are thin, so operators have to know exactly what they can "get away with" to stay legal and safe and ultimately profitable.

 

Will an operator blatantly pressure a pilot to fly a helicopter that is genuinely unairworthy due to it or a component of it being over a "hard" limit? Probably not. It's not good for business. That's not to say it would never happen. But if I ever met such an operator I would get in my car and drive away fast. That operator is not worth working for...risking my certificate and perhaps my life.

 

Over the years I have seen disagreements arise with pilots who thought something was unairworthy when in fact it was not. They got on their high horse, made their stand and then claimed that the operator was pressuring them to fly an unairworthy aircraft. Hmm.

 

One pilot may elect to fly an aircraft under part-91 with a component that is beyond its recommended overhaul interval. Another pilot might claim that the practice is totally illegal and unsafe. Who's right? (With respect to components that have reached their finite-life there is no argument or even discussion. Finite-life limits are not to be overflown.)

 

So the question the OP posed is unanswerable without specifics.

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Does every company pressure you to fly unairworthy, past limit helicopters?

 

 

In my experience there is a lot of confusion among pilots as to what constitutes an airworthy aircraft. People have some awfully strange opinions.

 

Operators on the other hand are usually well-versed in what is legal and what is not. As Avbug noted, margins in aviation are thin, so operators have to know exactly what they can "get away with" to stay legal and safe and ultimately profitable.

 

Will an operator blatantly pressure a pilot to fly a helicopter that is genuinely unairworthy due to it or a component of it being over a "hard" limit? Probably not.

 

 

One pilot may elect to fly an aircraft under part-91 with a component that is beyond its recommended overhaul interval. Another pilot might claim that the practice is totally illegal and unsafe. Who's right?

 

So the question the OP posed is unanswerable without specifics.

 

 

Monkey,

 

What some think is not airworthy maybe incorrect. Be specific, what limit are you talking about?

 

No, not every company, no way. Most companies try their best to ensure you’re flying an airworthy aircraft. That’s their primary responsibility under FAR 91.403 and FAR 135.413.

 

As stated in Nearly Retired’s post, there’s lots of confusion among pilots as to what constitutes an airworthy aircraft.” As an example, there’s a difference between an airworthy aircraft under FAR 91.403[c] and FAR 135.421[a].

 

A year ago it was asked, whether or not an R22 could legally operate past 12yr./2,200 hours without completing the recommended engine overhaul. REF: R22 Airworthiness past 2200 hrs

 

 

 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) long ago adopted a standard for airworthiness that was based on the statutory requirement for the issuance by the FAA of an airworthiness certificate for an aircraft.

 

A seminal case is Administrator v. Dopes, 5 NTSB 50,52 n.6 (1985) ("The term 'airworthiness' is best defined by reference to Section 603[c] of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (49 U.S.C. § 1423[c]) which imposes a two-prong definition. In order to be airworthy, an aircraft (1) must conform to its type certificate, if and as that certificate has been modified by supplemental type certificates and by Airworthiness Directives; and (2) must be in condition for safe operation.")

 

This currently is found in 49 V.S.C. § 44704(d), which provides that: "The Administrator shall issue an airworthiness certificate when the Administrator finds that the aircraft conforms to its type certificate and, after inspection, is in condition for safe operation.

 

Ref: Chief Counsel’s legal interpretation, Witkowski, March 26, 2008

Edited by iChris
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Does every company pressure you to fly unairworthy, past limit helicopters?

 

It's firing offense at my present and former employer if one intentionally flies an un-airworthy aircraft. "So and so said I could/should/had to..." just makes the event funny.

 

Maintenance records expose the operator if issues are not properly resolved and documented.

 

The possibility of a $10,000 fine per flight seriously focuses management's attention.

Edited by Wally
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Ok to be a little more specific.... I was just wondering about maintenance with the companies out there you may have experienced, because what I have experienced so far has been not so great. And how that plays into the profit margin for the company and pressures to fly from the company that avbug talked about. Things like limits on the t/r pitch links, overspeeds and inspections supposed to be done after, not things like a light out or screw. What I would consider to be essential parts, and by the book past a limit, and still being asked to fly? Just wanted a feel...hoping its gets better than what Ive seen is all...

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My experience has been that employers are very reluctant to say openly that they want you to do something illegal. I've had more than a few tacitly try to get me to go there, but when it comes to an open admission of guilt, very few are brazen enough to push that home.

 

If, for example, you note that a component time is beyond limits, openly challenging that fact will make an employer very uncomfortable.

 

"I note that an overspeed occurred, and an inspection is required for that. When will we be conducting that inspection?" may produce an interesting answer...more than likely it will result in the aircraft being inspected.

 

I make a habit of photocopying squawk sheets that I submit, as well as making copies of the flight log. I've caught employers on more than a few occasions re-writing the squawk sheets under the premise of consolidating the maintenance discrepancies...and in the process making the inconvenient ones go away. They're quite embarrassed when I'm able to produce copies of the original squawks.

 

Issues involving an inoperative radio or panel lighting are one thing. Clear safety-of-flight items are entirely another. There's no leeway on items which invalidate the airworthiness of the aircraft. Even an item which has been performed, but not signed off invalidates the airworthiness of the aircraft, and is a no-go item.

 

I once discovered smoking rivets in a critical location, during a patient pick-up, while I was waiting for the medical crew. They were with the patient, and I was doing a post-flight inspection during the wait. I immediately notified the crew that we wouldn't be moving the patient, and notified the company that alternate arrangements would need to be made for the patient.

 

I once fell into the position of Director of Maintenance after the individual filling that position quit. I didn't want the position, but it became necessary, and I held the qualifications. That job required me to visit the aircraft logs in depth, and I discovered that one of the aircraft was two phases behind in inspections, and had several major discrepancies. One of them was a component inspection that was nearly 20 years out of date, and ultimately required replacement of the component. I grounded the aircraft, and notified the owner that if he wanted it producing revenue, he would have to bring it into compliance without any argument regarding cost, and he'd have to do it now. Only after it had been brought into compliance would I take the job. He was livid.

 

I insisted that the work be done at a repair facility that specialized in that type of aircraft. I didn't want it done in house. I wanted impartial eyes looking that aircraft over, head to tail. I also insisted on computerizing the logs and instituting a better maintenance tracking program.

 

The initial inspection and subsequent work required came to just under a million dollars. I wasn't popular with the ownership. However, the aircraft had been flown on revenue operations carrying patients for some time with those discrepancies in play. Additionally, the accounting for cycles and aircraft time was off by hundreds of hours, which brought numerous other inspections and maintenance into question. The fines that the owner would have been facing if the FAA had made those discoveries were a staggering number, and the cost of getting it done right was far less. The owner calmed down once I took the time to lay those numbers out. The bottom line was that either the work got done, and done right, or he lost his business and the aircraft.

 

The work got done.

 

It's your pilot certificate. You can always find another employer (if an employer is trying to force you to do something unsafe or illegal, then you probably need a different employer). You can't do that without your pilot certificate, and you need to understand just how devastating a violation can be on your record. Don't let that happen to you, and don't let yourself be pressured to operate in ways that can get you violated, hurt, or killed.

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Some very good points have been made here. However, when we use the term 'The Company', we may be getting a little off track. In my experience of almost 40 years, most of the pushing issues have been from 'dispatchers'. By dispatchers I mean these who assign us the trips. Normally they are not licensed dispatchers and therefore do not have a dispatcher certificate or training. The know very little about the operations manual, regulations, weather, etc. And with few exceptions have no knowledge of what we do. I have worked for companies that required each 'dispatcher' to do at least one trip a year as a ride along.

 

They generally work under the Director of Operations and under his authority. Unfortunately, many of these 'dispatchers' assume the authority of the DO and push too hard. As pilots we do need to understand that part of the 'dispatcher's' job is to get the flights out. It is our job to do so safely and legally and to refuse those trips that can not be done within those parameters. The usual remarks from 'dispatchers' when pilots try to place limitations on the flight, like fuel stops, include: 'everyone else is doing this way.' Guess what, I really don't care what everyone else is doing. I am dealing with my situation. So as pilots we do need to push back a bit from time to time to keep ourselves safe and legal.

 

One problem I have been seeing is that we can be our own worst enemies. Not writing up aircraft discrepancies. Going a few pounds over on weight. And so on. It makes it harder on the guys who are trying to do things right. It is not a lot of guys doing this, just a small handful, and they know who they are. They keep telling themselves that they are helping the company. The reality is that they are not. And they are hurting themselves and the other pilots within that pilot group.

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My favorite line from dispatchers has been "Just go." It was a standard answer when a pilot would complain about weather, maintenance, fuel, fatigue, or other issues. Just go.

 

Many companies don't utilize dispatchers, however, and most of those that do, aren't actually dispatchers. A dispatcher is an actual FAA certificate; many companies use schedulers that like to call themselves dispatchers, but are not.

 

A very common problem I've run into at various companies is a lack of solidarity among the pilots. When one pilot refuses an aircraft or a flight, no other pilot should touch it, except in those cases where the first refused simply becuase he wasn't experienced enough to take the trip. If a pilot refuses a flight based on safety concerns, however, other pilots ought to respect that decision enough to support it by refusing to go, too.

 

Nothing undermines a pilot group more than management that knows if they can't get Pilot A to do it, Pilot B will always say yes.

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Things like limits on the t/r pitch links, overspeeds and inspections supposed to be done after, not things like a light out or screw. What I would consider to be essential parts, and by the book past a limit, and still being asked to fly? Just wanted a feel...hoping its gets better than what Ive seen is all...

 

It doesn't. Not if you're in the flight training world. It gets a little better when you get out in the turbine world.

 

Let me say this- I'm not a mechanic. Aviation is based on trust. I take the word of certificated mechanics. Sometimes it disagrees with what I had been taught previously or what I "felt" was correct. Live and learn, I say.

 

When you talk about limits on t/r pitch links...do you mean excessive play? We see this a lot- pilots will gripe the bearings in the pitch links as being too loose. I always ask: Are you getting a vibration or other symptom that the play is excessive? And are you an A&P mechanic trained to determine whether such play is excessive or not? Did a mechanic feel it and pronounce it okay based on his experience? If so, and you're not getting any medium-freq vibes, I'd take the mechanic's word on it. If the play is truly beyond-the-limits sloppy, no mechanic is going to let the machine go flying.

 

And don't forget that there's more than one way to skin a cat. If you're seriously bothered by the play in the pitch links, you can always make a write up...something like, "Tail rotor pitch links seem to have a lot of radial end-play." Then a mechanic will have to put his name on the paper one way or the other.

 

As far as the overspeed, is it documented? Did the overspeeding pilot write it up? Or is it one of these informal, word-of-mouth discreps that I hate? If it was a legitimate overspeed, write it up and have the necessary corrective action performed! If it was one pilot *saying* that he got an overspeed but not willing to put it in the logs, then maybe you don't need to be working there. Either/or. Either it was an overspeed requiring an inspection or it was not. There is no such thing as, "Yeaaaahhhhh, wellllll, it was *only* a hundred rpm over..." Over is over. Copy? Roger. Over and out.

 

Now, about these "essential parts, by the book past a limit." Okay, WHICH limit? As has been explained to you, under part-91 parts can be flown past their *recommended* TBO (at least until the next Annual or 100-hour inspection, and perhaps beyond that depending on the opinion of the IA doing the work). Again, life-limits are non-negotiable: The aircraft is grounded until the part that has reached its finite life-limit is replaced. Period. As PIC you cannot accept for flight an aircraft that has components that are beyond their finite-life limit. Doing so would just be stupid.

 

If your boss/operator is routinely running parts beyond TBO, then YOU have to decide whether this is a place at which you want to work. The practice is not necessarily unsafe or illegal, but it is obviously unwise.

 

So we need some explanation here. The rules are pretty clear. Document everything. Not in an angry, malicious, "I'm going to fry your asses when I send this all to the feds!" way, but just discretely to CYA.

 

And seriously, maybe you don't need to be working there.

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Even an ad i see consistently not complied with. Definitely have been considering that thought NR

 

Considering it?? I'd do more than just consider leaving if I saw that the company I was working for was consistently not complying with an AD. You know, the FAA calls them "Directives" not "Airworthiness Stuff We Wish You'd Do At Your Leisure...Or Not."

 

Too often in this industry pilots are hemmed-in. They need the job and are therefore under self-imposed pressure to overlook things that would cause another pilot to summarily walk away. Employers know this! Do some take advantage of it? Abso-friggin-lutely. So...what do you do?

 

We all know pilots who have the reputation of being a "crybaby" or "whiner" or merely just a "complainer." We all know how these pilots are looked upon by management. We all know that some of these pilots never seem to work out at any company - but (according to them) it's never...never their fault that they have so many employers on their resume. There is always some barely-plausible reason that the job "didn't work out." But you get to know the guy and you quickly come to the conclusion that it's "not going to work out" here either. Come on, we all know pilots like that. And we don't want to be that pilot.

 

On the other hand, letting management run roughshod over you and ignoring serious safety issues - that's no good either. You can't just throw your hands in the air and give up. But sure enough, we've all met pilots who are fairly careless about what they fly...so long as they get to fly!

 

What's a diligent, competent, safety-conscious pilot to do?

 

Start by developing a reputation from the get-go. Know (and understand!) the rules backwards and forwards. DO NOT accept aircraft that have open AD's, components that are over their life-limit, or discrepancies (e.g. overspeeds) that have not been corrected. Don't be a dick about these things - just be calmly professional. "This is not correct." Don't yell it - no histrionics. Don't get baited into an argument. Just be insistent, "This is not correct. And I'm not going to fly it."

 

Short story from early in my career which I may have already posted: In the 1980's I worked as an SIC for a company running a scheduled service with Sikorsky S-58T's. We had one ex-Army pilot who was known to all as being extremely nit-picky about maintenance. He'd been through the Army's "test pilot course" (something I came to realize that *most* Army pilots get to go through, which is basically an expanded course in How To Do A Proper Post-Maintenance Ops Check Flight). He considered himself an expert on all things aviation. Very pompous and arrogant. Even more pompous than I turned out to be! - which is saying something.

 

One morning he came in and griped that the left tire on the S-58 he was scheduled to fly that day was way underinflated. Made a big deal about it. Big deal. Maintenance let him rant on and on for a while before sending someone to check. Sure enough - the pressure was wrong! Only...it was the right tire that was over-inflated; the left one was at the correct pressure. The mechanics ridiculed him unmercifully (mostly behind his back), and the guy toned it down after that.

 

Me? Lesson learned: Make sure you know what you're talking about before making definitive statements.

 

Being in aviation can be tricky. It's your certificate...and more importantly your life that you're always risking. I'd be very careful about the risks I took if I were you.

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When maintenance issues become officially known, the operator will present a believable excuse concocted with expert assistance (if they're smart), thorough knowledge of the records, and a scape goat or two. The operator may also pay a significant fine to stay in business. Unless you can play in that league with a better than even chance of winning (expert assistance, better knowledge of the records than the operator and a GOAT), you're gonna lose one way or the other.

 

 

All you can do is document the discrepancy however you're required to do so. It isn't a discrepancy until it's on paper with a signature. If the issue is then resolved, repaired, complied with, or whatever- good. If the documented issue disappears somehow or is brought back on you, it's time to move on, the gun is at your head. It's possible to get another job. It's tougher to recover your certificate if somehow you're the goat, but that too can be done. Being killed by shoddy maintenance almost always ends your career. That happens, believe it.

Edited by Wally
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Too often in this industry pilots are hemmed-in. They need the job and are therefore under self-imposed pressure to overlook things that would cause another pilot to summarily walk away. Employers know this! Do some take advantage of it? Abso-friggin-lutely. So...what do you do?

 

My philosophy has always been to never take a job that you're not willing to walk away from on the spot. I've done it a few times. This is power. This is leverage. Be prepared at any time to walk out the door. Sometimes, it's the only power you've got.

 

In the cartoons, superheroes have superpowers. They can bend metal. They can see through walls. They fly faster than a train, read things with their minds, and turn water to ice with just a glance.

 

None of us are superheroes. We all have power, however. Our power rests in our judgement. Our power rests in our certification. We have the power to make an aircraft do what we want. We have the power to be precise. We have the power to make things happen. We have the power to move people, and given enough time and money, even mountains. We can save lives. We can do a lot of things with that power. Those powers are not without limits, however.

 

Superman had his kryptonite, a substance that disabled him and made him weak when it came near. He knew to steer clear of kryptonite, and he learned to get away when he first felt its effects. Superman, of course, was also imaginary.

 

We have kryptonite, but it comes in the form of employers, and it comes in the form of all things mechanical which break, go out of tolerance, sometimes fail, sometimes lose power, and that quit. We have pressures to fly. We have duty times and limits. We have rest requirements. Some of those things are protections, and sometimes they come back to bite us when we don't respect them...just like kryptonite.

 

We have one superpower, and it's very under appreciated. It's the ability to say "no." Sometimes it's heard as "enough." Once in a while it's manifest as "I won't." But it always comes back to a simple "no."

 

We have a great responsibility to use that superpower, and we should never hesitate to do so. When the employer invests millions in an operation and has revenue riding on the flight, the employer is motivated to make that flight go, sometimes at all costs. Carson helicopters, as we all know, is a good example, and good people paid with their lives for that motivation. In the movies, Spiderman's uncle tells him that with great power comes great responsibility, and with our great power, our superpower to say "no," comes a great responsibility to use it.

 

14 CFR 91.3 places a massive burden on us as the pilot in command. It states, in part: "The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft." There is no higher temporal authority regarding the authorization of that aircraft. The employer does not outrank us, neither does the President of the United States. Insofar as the operation of that aircraft goes, we're Lord and Master. We're where the buck stops. Ours is the final say regarding the safe operation of the aircraft, and because ours is the power of flight, it's up to us to make that aircraft go, or not. Therein lies the secret of the superpower of "no."

 

If the employer wants that aircraft to go fly, only you can say "yes." The aircraft exists in a state of "no" until you say "yes" and use your lesser powers of flight to make it go. Until then, you have the supreme authority. Only you can make it fly, and once you do, it becomes your aircraft, lock, stock, and barrel. You are the final word. If you say that simple word, "no," then the aircraft doesn't move. No engine starts, no rotor turns, no cyclic or collective moves. Nothing.

 

The employer who doesn't like that may threaten you with your job: "fly it, or else." Perhaps it's "just go." You might hear "I can replace you in a heartbeat." Not uncommonly the employer says "pilots are a dime a dozen." I've heard more than a few times "any number of guys would kill to have your job." Well, let me save them the trouble, and in the process, save at least one life. Don't kill anyone. Take it. I'm out of here. G'day.

 

I hear the rumblings. You're not saying it, any of you, but I hear it. "How can he tell me to just up and quit? Is he exceptionally wealthy? Doesn't he understand what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck? They've got me over a barrel! I can't just quit! Who's going to pay the bills?" That's right. You, in the third row, in the red shirt. I heard you.

 

I was homeless for a year. I've been without food, without shelter, and lived in a hangar for some time. I've been in aviation since I was a teen, which means I've been starving and struggling for most of my life. Reality. I do understand. I also understand what Spiderman's uncle said, and I take it to heart. I'm not much on superheroes, and I'm not close to one myself, but I know how to say "no," and I know that I can find other work outside of flying, and I know that I'm not above doing whatever it takes to pay the bills and feed the family, even if that means doing something that doesn't involve flying. That's how committed I am to the power of "no."

 

Not too long ago I found myself in some really terrible weather in Afghanistan, and was ordered to land below minimums at Bagram. I refused. I was threatened, and I refused. I was sent to Kandahar, but it was packed with people diverting from other locations. Icy runways up north, nasty weather, no way to fly the approach, and the runways and taxiways were sheets of ice and glass. Total white-out. Ugly. I was told what to do, and I refused to do it. I ended up in Pakistan, as it turned out, against the protests of the Pakistani's and some of my own organization. In the end, however, it was my call. It was also my butt. It was more than my butt, however. It was a big, sophisticated aircraft with a lot of expensive parts, with other people on board, and needed and valued equipment. I had sensitive things on board, which made landing where I did somewhat dicey. I had no choice, given the circumstances, and I said "no" to everything but that choice.

 

As soon as I got done with that particular fiasco, I wrote a 17 page report which ruffled a lot of feathers, and resulted in two top dogs traveling to Afghanistan and spending a lot of time out of their comfort zone. They weren't happy campers. The stage was set; them in one corner, me in the other. I pressed on anyway, didn't back down. Won't. If you want a career, you see, you can't. You can always go somewhere else to work. You can always start over. You can always fill out another application or fly for someone else, or turn wrenches, or drive a delivery truck or work at Home Depot. Any of those are better than falling out of the sky, running into a mountain, catching fire, or coming unglued at a most inopportune time. It's your butt to risk. Do you want to do that?

 

I don't.

 

Grade school kids have it down pat: "Just say no."

Edited by avbug
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I was just wondering about maintenance with the companies out there you may have experienced, because what I have experienced so far has been not so great. And how that plays into the profit margin for the company and pressures to fly from the company......

 

 

 

When you have time, watch the following video. Frontline looked into similar issues in the airline industry.

 

Frontline Online- Flying-Cheaper

Edited by iChris
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