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USAir Fires Pilot For Not Removing Hat

flashpoint

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USAir Fires Pilot For Not Removing Hat
The Associated Press
Published: Jan 30, 2002



PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Air Line Pilots Association is appealing the dismissal of a US Airways pilot who says he was fired for refusing to take off his hat at an airport security checkpoint. Capt. Ed Graf was arrested in October and charged with disorderly conduct following the incident at the checkpoint at Philadelphia International Airport. Authorities said he was combative and refused to follow an officer's order.

Graf, 51, said he was fired two weeks later, and his appeal to the airline for reinstatement was rejected Jan. 18, according to the union.

Airline spokesman David Castelveter declined to discuss the case or those of two other US Airways pilots who were disciplined for arguing with or making insensitive comments to security screeners at the airport. One of the other pilots made a comment about a gun, forcing the evacuation of a terminal; the other suggested that as a pilot, he could bring down a plane without a weapon, authorities have said.

The union blamed irregular security practices and overreaction by police and screeners at the airport, one of the airline's hubs.

"This is not about the person causing any kind of safety problem," union representative Roy Freundlich said.

AP-ES-01-30-02 1330EST
 
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ksu_aviator

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It is about the person causing a safety problem. I gaurantee the hat set off the metal detector and the hand wond so the security personell asked him to remove his hat. There is nothing new in that...hell I always took my hat off to go through security. Even at football and basketball games they ask you to remove your hat when entering and they did that before 9/11. This guy deserved the disorderly conduct charge and the dismisal. I think ALPA is on the wrong side of this issue. But also if US Air is going to let this guy go they should have let the other two go with him.
 

ShawnC

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flashpoint said:
USAir Fires Pilot For Not Removing Hat
The Associated Press
Published: Jan 30, 2002



PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Air Line Pilots Association is appealing the dismissal of a US Airways pilot who says he was fired for refusing to take off his hat at an airport security checkpoint. Capt. Ed Graf was arrested in October and charged with disorderly conduct following the incident at the checkpoint at Philadelphia International Airport. Authorities said he was combative and refused to follow an officer's order.

Graf, 51, said he was fired two weeks later, and his appeal to the airline for reinstatement was rejected Jan. 18, according to the union.

Airline spokesman David Castelveter declined to discuss the case or those of two other US Airways pilots who were disciplined for arguing with or making insensitive comments to security screeners at the airport. One of the other pilots made a comment about a gun, forcing the evacuation of a terminal; the other suggested that as a pilot, he could bring down a plane without a weapon, authorities have said.

The union blamed irregular security practices and overreaction by police and screeners at the airport, one of the airline's hubs.

"This is not about the person causing any kind of safety problem," union representative Roy Freundlich said.

AP-ES-01-30-02 1330EST


I don't think that this is about the hat, I think that the pilot is mad about all these off the wall security procedures. They trust him with the lives of the hundred of more people that are on his aircraft (not sure what he flys), but they want to strip him down and treat him like hes a danger to the people.

I think one of the guy is making it clear by saying that he could bring an airplane down without a weapon. And he is quite right about that, his bare hands can do more damage than any gun could do.

I think that any pilot that is on duty (there are ways to check this), should not have to go though all this in depth security, whats the point, are they trying to protect the passengers from their pilot.
 

Ty Webb

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Amen-

To me, the simple solution to this is new pilot certificates, with a picture and a magnetic strip on the back. If they can put a credit-card reader on a gas pump, I think that the cost is low enough to equip the security post with one.

If your card swipes through as pilot currently employed by an airline, you pass through, no hassle.

Lost, stolen or revoked ID's are invalidated immediately, and anyone possessing one of those subject to further verification.

Check us all, check us once, issue a card, and then leave us the hell alone.
 

generaltso

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Yeah but how do the security people know that this guy is actually a pilot? I mean some of the september 11th terrorist had pilot uniforms on. If pilots got special treatment going through security, then wouldn't it make it easier for another september 11th to happen?
 

Eagleflip

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Try Again!

...I mean some of the september 11th terrorist had pilot uniforms on.


NO, NO, NO.... This myth has perpetuated long enough. All of the terrorists who flew on 9-11 had regular tickets. They sat in the cabin before making their move. NONE of them wore uniforms.

However, I second the idea of a nationally accredited, verifiable Pilot/Crewmember ID. That would alleviate many of our concerns over the security issue and perhaps reduce the hassle encountered at the checkpoints.

The national jumpeat conference taking place early this month may help.
 

ScRaMJeT

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Hey KSU_Aviator a Quick comment

Kansas State University_Aviator,

Maybe you should get some real flying experience before you comment about such a matter. I think people who actually fly at an airline, and go through security gates are in a better position to comment, then you who sit and DREAM of flying for an airline. Go ahead concentrate on finishing college... and when you quit going through high school and college basketball game security checkpoints and start going through airport checkpoints then just maybe you will have a little insight on what we have to go through day in and day out, and why he did what he did.

Good Day

ScRaMJet
 

Jeff G

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General, this stuff has been covered before. And it's just an urban myth that some of the hijackers had on pilot uniforms, or were sitting on the jumpseat. So there wouldn't be "another" September 11, since the first one didn't have that kind of security breach. In fact, it seems that none of the terrorists breached security at all since the weapons they used were all legal at the time.

Only current pilots could gain access through a competent screening system, not just a guy in a uniform. And the idea is to have some sort of biometric data implanted in the card and in the security database so simply stealing a card won't work. It would be simple enough to accomplish. In fact, I'm a little surprised it hasn't taken hold already. Maybe the public just likes to see Capt. Skygod taking his shoes off like the common folk.
 

FlyDeltasJets

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Too bad they didn't ask him to remove his turban. Then, instead of losing his job, he could sue UsAirways! He could cry on Katie Couric's shoulder on TV about how violated he felt, he would be a media hero for helping to end discrimination. But alas, he did not wear a turban, only a major airline's captain hat. Poor bastard, they should throw the book at him! After all, airline captains are far more likely to blow up airplanes than Muslims, just look how many times they...uh..just look at...uh...well, the fact remains that we would much rather insult an airline captain than a Muslim. We wouldn't want to be insensitive, would we?


Just as an aside, I have carried my hat through security hundreds of times, and it has yet to set off the detector. This includes when I wore a UsAirways hat while at one of their commuters. If his hat set off the alarm, he should remove it. I highly doubt it did. I think it was another screener looking to hassel a pilot. Happens all the time. Although with the attitudes some of the pilots have getting screened, sometimes I can't blame the screeners for having a little fun!

The sad fact is, this country has gone crazy. The pc police, who used to be just amusing, have become dangerous. They have convinced the public, and the policy makers, that it is more desireable to have airplanes blow up than it is to offend some people. I have just finished reading the latest FAA directive on security screeners. It is a joke. The screener was entirely within his rights to ask the captain to remove his hat, even if he didn't beep. But if someone wearing a turban does not beep, the screeners are prohibited from searching his turban. As one reporter put it, and I am paraphrasing, "If I were a muslim fundamentalist looking to blow up a plane, I would dress like a muslim looking to blow up a plane! It is the only way to ensure that I wouldn't get searched!" Little old ladies? Search em! Airline pilots? Strip search! Muslims? Let em through, we wouldn't want to offend anyone, would we?

Remind me again what the people look like who have been hijacking and blowing up our airplanes for decades, and have vowed to do it again?

Pure silliness. And very dangerous.
 

sat74

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ksu_aviator,

Your comments only add to the infuriation that WE professional pilots around the world have to deal with on a DAILY basis. If we implemented the current security screeing procedures at your school or workplace, how long will it be before you come complaining?

When you witness the logic-defying thought processes of the incompetent security personell, you will be shocked. Just the other day, I walked off my aircraft to deadhead home with 3 other crews, all in uniform, on OUR airline. When we approached the gate (next to the one we walked off of), we all got searched again, took off our shoes, belts, emptied our luggage and toiletry kits, etc.....all in plain view of the rest of the passengers boarding the aircraft. This complete useless waste of time led to a 30 minute delay of this flight.

I can completely understand the frustration of my fellow brothers and sisters that have to deal with this horrendous violation of rights, embarassment, and harrasment. The fact that US Air fired this pilot is totally extreme and unjustified. Our companies and management need to step up to the plate and DEMAND that our crews be respected and not treated the way we are now. The above example of the state of our security screening is perfect reason why we need a universal access system that allows crews access to our workplace without this form of torture.

For the sake of the US Air pilot who was fired, I hope he files a lawsuit in federal court for harassment and wrongful termination. In addition, I trust that ALPA will do everything in their power to restore his position and dignity.

When will the rest of this industry RESTORE THE RESPECT and PROFESSION?
 

flashpoint

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OK, here's my 2c....

And I call it 2c because I doubt any of what I am about to propose will occur.

If every pilot out there simply refused, the problems would be fixed.


- Refuse to sign a dispatch release until ALL bags are physically searched.
The problem of bombs in unscreened bags is FIXED.

- Refuse to take off your shoes insecurity.
The problem of not having an ID system would be FIXED.

- Refused to be demeaned (at all) in security.
The problem of not having an ID system would be FIXED.

-Refused to accept fuel from a fueler, bags from a loader, food from a commo guy...
The problem of unscreened airport workers would be FIXED.

-Refused to fly an Airbus A300
The problem of their vertical fins coming off would be FIXED.

And the list goes on and on....


Maybe if we had one real union with REAL cahonies, using the VERY REAL tactics above, encompassing every single airline pilot out there. Doing it right. The first time. Then, maybe then.....



See?

It's just 2c. :eek:
 
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FlyDeltasJets

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Great post.

I often wondered why Duane bothered testifying to congress regarding cameras in the cockpit. What he should have said is, "We ain't flyin' em." What would they do, fire every ALPA member? Never going to happen. Would bankrupt every airline overnight.

I am sure there are political factors that I haven't considered (there always are!) but it sure would be nice to be part of a union with some testicles!

In the meantime, I'm going to start wearing a turban to work. (I wonder if I can attach my "widget" emblem to it?)
 

Floyd94

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Eagle,
Not to get off the subject, but its good to see fellow Wolfpackers in the aviation industry. Most of my friends that I graduated with are all engineers and live stable lives. I am currently on furlough and looking for other jobs. My wife probably wishes she had married one of those other guys instead...Anyway, flysafe.
 

dispatchguy

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ksu_aviator said:
This guy deserved the disorderly conduct charge and the dismisal.

I hate to say it, but I have to agree. The hat thing is nothing new. I went thru UAL Ground Security Coordinator training in the Fall of 1997 at WHQ - and it was an eye-opener. I think all pilots should be able to go thru GSC training, at least all new captains should in their first captain upgrade.

The hat rule came from a hijacking in Europe, guy beeps thru, hat on, removes his belt, goes thru and beeps again, screener gives up and lets him thru.

He had the european version of a saturday night special under his hat - which was never removed by the screener. He ended up hijacking an airliner in Eastern Europe - it's been a while and I've forgotten all the details, but it was a messy hijacking, lots of loss of life.
 

flashpoint

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Again

-If every Airline Pilot out there refused to sign a dispatch release until there were firm, concrete plans for an ID system in place.

With airlines facing immediate bankruptcy .....FIXED .....And probably in about 4 days. Com'mon, this country sent men to moon.... In 1969. No one else has done it since, and it's been close to 30 years.
 
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ksu_aviator

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Listen...to all you people who can't seem to control your anger...read before you speak. Remember "Its better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

I.E. ScRaMJeT and sat74

My point wasn't that I had to remove my hat at ball games (even though I did), but rather I had to remove my AIRLINE ISSUED cap at security points every time. Those emblems we wore on the front of our MESABA caps set off the metal detectors. I didn't like it very much but I did it every day at my JOB with an AIRLINE because I had to.

And by the way ScRaMJeT I graduated from KSU which happens to be the #1 public college in America. So unless you graduated from Stanford, Harvard, Princeton or Yale, I know for a fact that I have a far better education than you and I have flown for an airline and just because I'm on furlough does not mean that I don't know how frustrating it is. I am very qualified to make my comments on this board and unless you can prove other wise without resorting to derisive remarks, I suggest you go on about your life. I hardly doubt you can even though it would prove me wrong.

Sat74....I can bet with a reasonable assurance that I am a much more PROFESSIONAL PILOT then you. I have never made any unprovoked attacks on any person posting on this web site in the manner that you did. You have shown to me and all that read this post that you are an angry, egomaniacal, simpleton. Your inflammatory remarks show little interest in thought and reflect the intellect of a brainwashed colt member that believes the pilot is always right and the rest of the world should bow down before him. Next time you decide to "open your mouth" maybe you should consider the possibility that you may be wrong.

For the rest of the posters on this web page, I'm sorry. I'm just tired of seeing people like these two "pilots" posting redirect with out thought. I’m also tired of their “I’m better than you attitude,” so I felt it was necessary to bring them down a notch. While that is no excuse for what I wrote, maybe my words will hope some to realize how ignorant and immature they are.
 

LearLove

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KSU_av what ajoke

"And by the way ScRaMJeT I graduated from KSU which happens to be the #1 public college in America. So unless you graduated from Stanford, Harvard, Princeton or Yale, I know for a fact that I have a far better education than you "

Big F'in deal, you went to college. I (and many others) did too. (4.5 years with a summer term to boot, I wanted to get my parents' and the govts. moneys worth)


seriously dude, get a life.
 
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OtterFO

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This is off the subject of this thread.

KSU,

I am under the impression that ScRaMJeT and sat74 are expressing their displeasure and frustration with your continued sweeping all black and white statements. Most of these statements are made with little knowlage of the facts.

I'm glad you are proud of your school. But book learning can only go so far in aviation and life. Your statements and profile indicate a lack of depth and expierance in aviation outside of a structured college enviroment.

Here are some examples:

A 441 with a Dr and his wife on board went down yesterday here in Kansas. I don't know all the details, but I can say there was very likely severe icing.

What do you base your opinion about severe icing on? You state you dont know all the details.

Anyone else hear about this? A Cessna landed on a highway in Florida (I'm not sure what city) with minimal damage to the left wing and no injuries. Does anyone know why it went down? I'm guessing it was an engine failure and the wing damage was caused on the ground, but the leading edge of the wing was the only thing damaged so I'm wondering if it wasn't a bird strike. From the aerial pictures it looked like a 152...but it may have been a 172.

Again, you have very few if any details becides the fact the airplane landed on a highway. But you are making guesses about wing damage on the ground, bird strike. but the fact is, you just don't know.

Not to shoot fish in a barrell but this is just too much fun...bush pilots are good at doing stupid stuff and getting away with it...but airlines won't hire anyone with the attitude you have about being a bush pilot. Bush pilots have the reputation of not following procedures, ignoring regulations and living short lives. I you don't change that attitude that you are better than all the other pilots out there (even though you only have a few hours) you will definately live a short life.

Have you ever been a bush pilot? Do you know the defination of a bush community. I am currently a bush pilot, and personally know 1/2 a dozen ex-bush pilots who where hired at airlines. Are you making these comments from personal expierance or from hearsay? What do you consider stupid things? In my aviation career I have flown for a couple of companies whos operations dictated a 250' AGL pattern. Today I loaded 1150# of freight into a C-207 and took off into pitch black night over dark featureless terrain. It was VMC, no ceiling, official vis was greater than 10 mi, but I was on instruments the whole flight, including flying the VFR pattern at the villages I went into. Do you consider this to be stupid?
 
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avbug

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I'll back up the comments on flying the back country. Just becaus someone hasn't performed a particular kind of flying, doesn't make it wrong, just not properly understood. I don't believe for a minute that "bush" pilots have a reputation for poor judgement. They/we don't.

This whole discussion reminds me of the scene at the beginning of Men In Black, where the redneck with the shotgun goes to the edge of the crater where the flying saucer just landed. A voice from inside the crater tells him to "put down your weapon."

In the true american way, he responds that the critter can have his gun when he pries his cold, dead fingers from it.

The critter replies, "That is acceptable!"

Some folks just want to be right at any cost. Remove the hat. It's just not a big deal.
 
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