Two Air India pilots and a pair of flight attendants have been suspended from duty pending an investigation into an April 13 incident in which both pilots left the flight deck of the Airbus A321 at the same time for 40 minutes of rest in the cabin. The pilots left two flight attendants in the cockpit to monitor the aircraft. The pilots returned to the cockpit only after one of the flight attendants mistakenly turned off the autopilot.
This year’s keynote speaker at the 3rd annual Tampa Bay Aviation Association (TBAA) Safety Standdown is US Airways flight attendant Doreen Welsh, one of the cabin crew aboard Flight 1549 when it ditched in the frigid waters of the Hudson River in January 2009. Other presentations at the April 17 event will cover human factors and loss of control, as well as an introduction to the Tampa International Airport aircraft firefighting and rescue team. The event begins at 7:45 a.m.
Flight crew unions have opposed last week’s policy change by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) that will allow some knives in U.S. airliner cabins. Under its revised prohibited items list effective April 25, TSA will begin allowing knives with blades up to 2.36 inches in length and 0.5 inches in width to be carried aboard, as well as some wooden and metal clubs, all of which have been prohibited since the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
For flight department managers, the work necessary to locate the best qualified temporary pilots, flight attendants or maintenance technicians has become easier over the past decade, thanks in part to the communications technology of the Internet. However, for the handful of staffing companies that actually serve as the go-between for employers and employees, the job has become considerably tougher as those companies assume much more of the risk than before.
In 1982, HBAcorp psychologist Dr. Beau Altman, along with Chrysler Pentastar captains Tony Adamski and Grady Lefler, flight attendant Judi Ketchum and military survival trainer Morgan Smith conceived the first cabin safety training program exclusively for business and corporate aviation. In 1998 Dr. Altman sold the company to Dr. Doug Mykol, who renamed AirCare Solutions Training as Facts, a name that has become almost synonymous with cabin safety training.
SkyAngels, a flight attendant staffing provider, was born when Steffany Kisling began her career as a corporate flight attendant. She soon realized that while a trained flight attendant was needed and required, the client expectations were for something more. “I recognized that the job is not about the flight attendant, but the client,” she explained. “The longer I flew, the more I began to realize that the services I was providing, from child care to hotel reservations to serving as a fourth at bridge, were appreciated. And more and more clients were asking for me by name.
As a non-pilot I have rarely found myself in the cockpit of a jet airplane in flight. In fact, I have been afforded this distinct privilege exactly twice in two distinctly different aircraft.
The Allied Pilots Association (APA) has responded to an October 2 ABC News story in which a passenger questioned an American Airlines captain’s decision to return to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) after declaring an emergency. The passenger suggested that the emergency might simply be another labor jab at American management rather than a true emergency.
A story in this week’s Loveland, Colo. Reporter Herald says that Allegiant Airlines’ suspension of service from Loveland in August was due to airline CEO Maurice Gallagher’s concern about safety based on too much local air traffic and the airport’s lack of a control tower. Local city officials, as well as representatives of the Transport Workers Union representing Allegiant flight attendants want to know why, if flight safety is the reason for the pullout, the airline plans to continue operating service to Las Vegas through the end of October.
American Eagle flight attendants voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement with the bankrupt airline last month. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) said the deal contains “substantial improvements” over management’s original bankruptcy term sheet as well as its so-called Last Best Final Offer. Eighty-seven percent of the AFA members who cast ballots voted in favor of the agreement.