$100k DOT Fine- Punishment by Example

denny

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Where was the captain during all this? It really is a shame that the airline was fined and not the captain, too.
 

BLUE BAYOU

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Maybe they should fine the TSA for not being available. Oh wait, I guess the government can't sue itself. Not familiar with the airport, but what if the Captain decided to use his authority to taxi over to the FBO on the field and deplane the pax in a nice and cozy lounge area with restrooms and catering at the companies' expense... No, wait, he'd get slapped by TSA!!! It was a no-win situation for the crew...
 

BLUE BAYOU

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Where was the captain during all this? It really is a shame that the airline was fined and not the captain, too.
My understanding of the situation was the Captain pretty much pleaded his case to everyone he could with no one willing to come out and play...
 

atpcliff

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Hi!

It was a female capt, and she asked for help numerous times during this debacle. I think that is the reason that Mesaba was fined, because Mesaba refused to help when the capt asked for it.

The TSA does not need to be there, to deplane the pax.

cliff
NBO
 

denny

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Correct. TSA not required. And the captain has the ultimate authority to do what needs to be done. Pleading for help and getting none is a non starter. If help doesn't arrive then do what needs to be done. Get the people off the airplane. Use your crew. I swear this society has gone overboard on condom think. This captain failed to adhere to the standards of being a captain when Plan A didn't work out.
 
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Colonel Savage

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DOT should split the fine between the passengers. They are the ones who earned it.
 

Lear70

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Not to armchair quarterback, but I've been known to return to the gate, open the door, and walking the passengers up the jetbridge stairs, in the door, and back into the concourse.

Sometimes you do what you need to do. What's the old expression? "Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission."
 

generaltso

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The young kids at the regionals have no idea of the concept of CAPTAINS AUTHORITY. They are too scared to lose their job or get a slap on the wrist, and have to explain that blemish on an interview.
 

waveflyer

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Well- tso- I doubt you know what you're talking about- some of the strongest capts I've had were in the smallest planes- bc we worked for company's that could give a damn if you get violated-
newer AF guys seem to be the ones who can't see the forest for all the trees and constantly search for an FOM answer -just an observation
 

Minimaniac

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or make the capt pay it for not doing something
While that was my reaction at first, the CVR and other recordings (phone calls to the company, etc.) seemed to show that the captain actually made a more than adequate effort to get those passengers off the plane.

Remember, this wasn't a planned seven hour delay, but rather one that was extended multiple times, for multiple reasons. I do think the captain was a little too mission-oriented, in that she was only considering options that got the passengers to their destination that night (bus ride or on her plane). A FBO deplanement would have stranded everyone until morning.

Also, remember that her decisions were made based on the information she was fed by the company and by the ground handling. The recordings proved that she was misled by multiple people, and the content of those conversations had a heavy impact on the outcome.

This captain tried to do the right thing. I felt she came up way short, but I was proven wrong. In the end, I give her a pass. In hindsight, yes she should have done something else, but I have had hour delays devolve into five hour delays and been honestly powerless to get people off my airplane. It happens, and we should trust that the investigators made a sound decision. These investigators are generally not pilot friendly, so the fact that they dismissed the captain from blame says a lot about what really happened.
 

rigger

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(quote) but I have had hour delays devolve into five hour delays and been honestly powerless to get people off my airplane.

That is the issue, when ANY captain thinks he/she is Powerless! YOU ARE NEVER EVER POWERLESS on the ground! Sure in the air if the wings rip off....maybe (unless your sully) That is what is being discussed here.....the mindset that somehow you feel you do not have the authority to do what you need to do! Not wanting to step on toes or trying to be PC or ......you get the picture! But that said if you are trying to be one of the above then you are not a CAPTAIN are you!!!

Have some nads and to hell with the consequences! Take care of YOUR pax! Lead from the front!!!!
 

Skyboy722

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Do the expressjet aircraft have airstairs or the jetway doors? If they don't have airstairs (and those rj's don't have slides, mind you) then the crew NEEDS help from the ground. Period. At what point do you start risking broken ankles, CAPTAINS?

Bad situation with an undesireable outcome, no doubt, but lets not monday morning quarterback this crew.
 

HalinTexas

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Not long before ATA shut down, we pulled into the ramp in OAK after returning from HI. We had one "official" gate at the time, and co. aircraft was occupying with a MX delay. Almost every other gate on that concourse was open. It was either a holiday or a weekend, can't remember. Every passenger on the left side of the aircraft could see the same thing we could.

After inquiring a few times with ops. they weren't sure when our airplane would push, and said the airport authority would not allow us to park at any other gate. So, what did we do? We made a PA explaining the situation and asked if any passengers had pull with local authorities, half jokingly. Sure 'nuff. There was a pax on the phone with her neighbor, who just happened to be upper management at the airport, on his day off. Amazing how fast we got a gate.

We talked to the lady on the way out. We were apologetic and thankful. She was gracious and learned a bit that day.
 

Baronman

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Capt was not a young kid. Probably graduated high school in the 80's. Do the math.
 

Baronman

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Do the expressjet aircraft have airstairs or the jetway doors? If they don't have airstairs (and those rj's don't have slides, mind you) then the crew NEEDS help from the ground. Period. At what point do you start risking broken ankles, CAPTAINS?

Bad situation with an undesireable outcome, no doubt, but lets not monday morning quarterback this crew.
XJT aircraft do not have airstairs or a slide.
 

luckytohaveajob

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The factor of CAL/XJT/ and Mesaba lying to the involved parties is why CAL and Mesaba ultimately were fined $100k and $75k respectively.

Yes, captains have ultimate authority but making good decisions based on lies is impossible.

CAL was the responsible party as the ticket issuer even though XJT was the service provider and Mesaba was the accomplice in the civil crime committed.
 

filejw

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One unfortunate result of this incident is you maybe on your own if you offline divert. What had been basically a gentleman's agreement to help each other will be to risky if it could end up with a 75000$ fine.
 

luckytohaveajob

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One unfortunate result of this incident is you maybe on your own if you offline divert. What had been basically a gentleman's agreement to help each other will be to risky if it could end up with a 75000$ fine.
Hopefully, the above quote will be the result, preventing dispatch from using paper alternates without viable support resulting in increased fuel loads to reach station alternates.

It is also nice to see the ticket issuer responsible for the passengers regardless of the service provider. This should support the lawsuits being filed against CAL concerning the BUF Colgan accident in which CAL is trying to blame shift its responsibility.

CAL runs a crap operation regardless of its bought and paid "awards winning service".
 
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