Jetblue, VA ansd Skywest benefit from ALPA.......again...

Rez O. Lewshun

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Perhaps JB, VA and SW should have the CVRs monitored on a regular bases, its pilots called in and questioned on their professionalism and why they made decisions....




Bill Seeks to Allow Airlines Access to Cockpit Conversations

Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, plans to introduce a bill that would break a taboo in the airline industry: allowing airlines to use information from cockpit voice recorders in cases against pilots they want to discipline or fire.
Current labor contracts effectively bar major U.S. carriers from relying on information gathered from cockpit-recorders, or, in some cases, flight-data recorders to punish pilots or monitor their performance during trips. But the proposed legislation seeks to overturn those longstanding restrictions in both areas, which is already riling pilot union leaders.
The move also shines a spotlight on privacy and other complex legal questions surrounding the use of such information by airlines to make personnel decisions.
Today, cockpit voice recorder data doesn't become public or lead to actions against pilots unless there is an accident or serious incident investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board. Allowing airlines to use the information for their own personnel decisions would significantly open up an area that currently is considered to be an almost private sanctum for accident investigators.


Called the "Pilot Professionalism Assurance Act," the bill drafted by the Sen. DeMint envisions downloading voice or flight-data recorders "to discipline or discharge a pilot . . . for actions that endanger the safety or well being of passengers." The bill also proposes using previously sacrosanct recordings of cockpit conversations "to evaluate or monitor the judgment or performance of an individual pilot."
Sen. DeMint has not yet formally introduced his legislation and it is unclear what type of support it might find in Congress. The legislation is bound to face stiff resistance from both pilot unions -- and potentially the FAA and the NTSB. One of their principal objections is that the bill could put a chill on the current system of voluntary reporting of safety lapses by pilots. Currently, pilots are encouraged to file anonymous reports on safety problems that arise in the course of duty. Allowing airlines to review cockpit recordings could make pilots more reticent to report shortcomings because they might worry that they would be exposed to disciplinary action from their employer.
However, the bill comes in the wake of several commercial-aircraft accidents and incidents, including the bizarre October flight of a Northwest Airlines jet that lost contact with air-traffic controllers for more than an hour and overflew its destination. The pilots, whose licenses were revoked after the slip-up, told investigators they were engrossed in conversation about revised crew-scheduling procedures and became distracted by turning on and using their personal laptops on the flight deck.
That has created new impetus for stricter pilot oversight measures. There have been two attempts on Capitol Hill in recent weeks to draft legislation supporting installation of video recorders in cockpits. Pilot union officials successfully lobbied and managed to head off those efforts. The Air Line Pilots Association or ALPA, which is the largest pilot union in North America, is gearing up to quietly try to kill the DeMint bill before it is introduced, according to people familiar with the matter.
The escalating controversy focuses on how pilot professionalism conflicts with recent examples of distraction and lax safety standards in the cockpit. Randy Babbitt, the head of the FAA, has spoken out strongly on the need to enhance pilot performance and raise the safety bar by having larger airlines and veteran pilots mentor less experienced pilots at the smaller commuter partners.


But so far, the FAA chief has opposed drastic moves such as stripping cockpit recorders of the confidentiality they have enjoyed for decades. Currently, flight-data recorders are routinely screened for unusual occurrences, but the analysis is done privately inside each airline and the results generally don't become public.
John Prater, president of ALPA, has previously said media pressure shouldn't "lead our industry in a direction that is detrimental to the goal of accident and incident prevention."
Earlier this week. Mr. Prater put out a statement urging Congress to avoid "drafting legislation that simply reacts to events already under investigation."
Write to Andy Pasztor at andy.pasztor@wsj.com
 

cybourg10

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I thought republicans were for small and non-intrusive government? What a crock of sh1t. How about we put a camera in Demint's office and see what happens behind closed doors when the lobbyists come to visit.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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The Air Transport Industry gave DeMint $62,000 in campaign money.
 

JoeMerchant

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Funny how Rez O. Lewshun becomes a Libertarian when the issue deals with him....Kinda ironic....

He wants MORE regulation on EVERYONE BUT HIM.....
 

ualdriver

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Perhaps JB, VA and SW should have the CVRs monitored on a regular bases, its pilots called in and questioned on their professionalism and why they made decisions....
When I read that article yesterday, I was thinking the SAME exact thing about how ALPA is going to have to go to bat for the industry again while certain carriers get a free ride. Then, if for some reason this ridiculous law passes, everyone will be blaming ALPA.
 

GuppyPuppy

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As a JB pilot I know that I am benefitting from the hard work and dues of union pilots. I want to thank you for all that you have done. I voted for ALPA last winter and will continue to try and round up support for the cause.

Maybe if I could suggest to Mr. DeMint that he should have all his conversations recorded so that ethics committees and the people of South Carolina could monitor his professionalism and real intents, then he might backoff on this bill.

Maybe we should introduce a bill to have George Orwell become our ultimate superior leader. It's 1984 all over again!

GP
 

gearupflapsup

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As a JB pilot I know that I am benefitting from the hard work and dues of union pilots. I want to thank you for all that you have done. I voted for ALPA last winter and will continue to try and round up support for the cause.

Maybe if I could suggest to Mr. DeMint that he should have all his conversations recorded so that ethics committees and the people of South Carolina could monitor his professionalism and real intents, then he might backoff on this bill.

Maybe we should introduce a bill to have George Orwell become our ultimate superior leader. It's 1984 all over again!

GP
Wow. That was good!
 

OurMoney1

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Funny how Rez O. Lewshun becomes a Libertarian when the issue deals with him....Kinda ironic....

He wants MORE regulation on EVERYONE BUT HIM.....
My thoughts exactly.

Makes you wonder what his true values are, or are not.
 

Gator1999

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This scumbag has no values, Demint was one of the senators against a bill that would enable a woman to sue her employer because she got gang raped on the job...WTF???
 

Skywest Pylot

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Perhaps JB, VA and SW should have the CVRs monitored on a regular bases, its pilots called in and questioned on their professionalism and why they made decisions....
To my knowledge, the CVR has already been monitored and used against some pilots at SkyWest. I guess the "open door" communication that SkyWest management always braggs about includes the CVR. If I was a SkyWest pilot I would be VERY, VERY careful.
 

CX880

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To my knowledge, the CVR has already been monitored and used against some pilots at SkyWest. I guess the "open door" communication that SkyWest management always braggs about includes the CVR. If I was a SkyWest pilot I would be VERY, VERY careful.
I don't know about CVRs but we had a very late Skywest JS on board that was going to miss his show time once and he called crew scheduling and told them he had a foot injury. I thought that was kind of odd since that place is supposed to be all rosy and great with no union.
 

IBNAV8R

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"Jetblue, VA ansd Skywest benefit from ALPA.......again..."

So, with respect to the CVR, camera, privacy issues of late, how exactly have JB, VA and Skw benefited from ALPA? Has ALPA somehow gotten this legislation overturned?

On the contrary, what about all the incidents that have called pilot professionalism into question? What do ALL of these incidents have in common?

Yup, they were ALL committed by ALPA pilots. So thanks to ALPA, for starting this whole S**t storm in the first place. I really see the "benefit" to professionalism now.

Btw, I've supported ALPA every time there's been a drive. With BS sentiments like this, I am having second thoughts. Do I really want someone thinking like this to represent me?
 

sweptback

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Btw, I've supported ALPA every time there's been a drive. With BS sentiments like this, I am having second thoughts. Do I really want someone thinking like this to represent me?
I'm sorry, but that's about the dumbest statement I've read. You chose who represents you... if you're worried about electing a dumbass then do it yourself.
 

JoeMerchant

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I'm sorry, but that's about the dumbest statement I've read. You chose who represents you... if you're worried about electing a dumbass then do it yourself.
Why is that a dumb statement? People like Rez turn people away from ALPA and they don't even realize it....The ALPA cheerleaders do more harm than good...I would venture to guess the ALPA cheerleaders are the one's who caused the last drive to fail at Skywest...

People get tired of the constant attacks by ALPA cheerleaders while ALPA doesn't exactly have a great record.....
 

Erlanger

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Why is that a dumb statement? People like Rez turn people away from ALPA and they don't even realize it....The ALPA cheerleaders do more harm than good...I would venture to guess the ALPA cheerleaders are the one's who caused the last drive to fail at Skywest...

People get tired of the constant attacks by ALPA cheerleaders while ALPA doesn't exactly have a great record.....
What caused the ALPA drive to fail miserably last time at Skywest was the ALPA extremist we have spewing their nonsense and trying to buy your a "yes" vote with lunch and most importantly insulting every pilot who doesn't agree with them.
 

sweptback

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Why is that a dumb statement? People like Rez turn people away from ALPA and they don't even realize it....The ALPA cheerleaders do more harm than good...I would venture to guess the ALPA cheerleaders are the one's who caused the last drive to fail at Skywest...

People get tired of the constant attacks by ALPA cheerleaders while ALPA doesn't exactly have a great record.....
I don't think I'd make a decision about anything based on opinions of people I don't even know on a web board. But that's just me.
 

IBNAV8R

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Well said Joe. Another case in point: Had a crewmember sitting on the fence. Took him down to get some info (and a free sandwich). One the the OC guys shoved a card in his face and told him since he'd taken a sandwich he HAD to send in the card.

Guess what, he wasn't on the fence after that.
 
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