Safety and newbies

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quasistationary
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Safety and newbies

Post by quasistationary »

Scenario:

Your boss of an aviation company doesn't use words to pressure you to do something unsafe.

They display neglect and disrespect for safety themselves, as well as showing an aggressive nature when you aren't adhering to the way they do things, because thats the way they used to do it back in the day, and can't make any money leaving payload behind. You question something but get talked down to.

You're a 500 hour pilot that has invested about 2 years in said company. If you quit you have to move to another town far away.

Is the decision to continue working there totally on your own shoulders? Is it your decision to most likely doing something unsafe if you stay? Are you brainwashed to stay because you will have lost time in your life and you have to start from the bottom again?

Oh look, something happened, TC is here, but lets just correct what they found and not be proactive. Some change has happened, thats good right? Oh wait, there are still problems. But I saw improvement and they might change in the future.
It's like an abusive relationship. Things that are not normal, turn to being normal over time and sometimes you don't know what the right thing is, especially when someone else may have much more experience before you.

What if you aren't informed enough to make your own decisions and get sucked into a company culture? I don't know any better about the 'real' world of aviation. I just read all those books in school about what should be done but now I'm in the real world of aviation.

I'm glad I made the choice to move on, but it may have been later than I should have.

What do people think about company pressure and how to deal with it? How do we teach the 250hr pilots the right thing? I know many are shown the right road, or route. I just wish many more had that opportunity.

QS
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by Rookie50 »

"How do we teach the 250hr pilots the right thing?"

Give them MR AVIATION videos; and have at er'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaZC-kl_at0
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FL7377
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by FL7377 »

Company pressure exists on all levels. Wether it be a 250 hr pilot flying their 206 with a 80 lb box thats "60 lbs" on paper, a 703 chief pilot signing the PPC of a pilot they don't really feel comfortable with flying on-line, or a AC Embraer pilot being drafted for a flight block against their wishes.

The real world of commercial flying is very different than the neat and clean world that the CAR's and texts books make it seem like. If your company has been doing a certain practice for years, and the practice has survived a TC audit in the past, is it really that unsafe... Flying today has never been safer, however its good to remember that in the 1970's planes weren't dropping out of the sky like fly's. If your boss is stuck 40 years in the past, that's bad, but I wouldn't panic just yet.

Care to give an example of what you feel is unsafe? (try to be as anonymous as possible)
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Heliian
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by Heliian »

FL7377 wrote:If your company has been doing a certain practice for years, and the practice has survived a TC audit in the past, is it really that unsafe... Flying today has never been safer, however its good to remember that in the 1970's planes weren't dropping out of the sky like fly's. If your boss is stuck 40 years in the past, that's bad, but I wouldn't panic just yet.
Um, I would say you are wrong. Just because someone gets away with it doesn't make it safe. In the 70's and 80's aircraft were falling out of the sky at an alarming rate due to all types of pressures and risk taking both piloting and maintaining. Most people think flying is more dangerous now because of global connectivity and the fact that there are way more movements now.

The PIC makes the decision, it will not change if you don't make it. If you get fired for trying to be safe and fly within the limitations of your aircraft and the regulations then you need to take civil action and show these 2 bit hack aviation "companies" that their b.s. will not be tolerated.
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CpnCrunch
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by CpnCrunch »

Well the recent Buffalo accident report makes interesting reading and could serve as a real-life example. Doing the W&B enroute and then pencil whipping the numbers seems kind of ridiculous. Did anyone there even attempt to change this?
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by Redneck_pilot86 »

A lot of perceived pressures, whether they exist or not, are something that comes with experience. A 500 hour pilot might not be comfortable flying around in 5SM in the mountains, where a 5000 hour pilot might be. The 500 hour pilot might not be comfortable taking the gross weight 206 into a 1500 foot strip, where the 5000 hour pilot is. The 500 hour pilot might not be confortable telling the boss to pound sand, whereas the 5000 hour pilot can if need be.

What I'm saying is, based on your vague original post, that maybe the pressures you are seeing are not as bad as you think, and only seem daunting because they are beyond your current experience level. Never be afraid to say no, and don't feel like you have to do everything the more experienced guys can/do. If you say no, your boss can get someone with more experience to do the trip, or rectify the problem that you are concerned with (wait for weather, reduce the load, etc). If you say yes, because the old guys can do it, and then go out there and bend an airframe, it is on you. The boss man will point to section 3 of your COM that states pilots are responsible for their own dispatch, and throw you under the bus. Business carries on as usual, except for you. The decision, and responsibilities are solely your problem. Do what you feel is right, and if it costs you the job it wasn't worth having.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by FL7377 »

Heliian wrote: If you get fired for trying to be safe and fly within the limitations of your aircraft and the regulations then you need to take civil action and show these 2 bit hack aviation "companies" that their b.s. will not be tolerated.
There you go, if you get canned sue your employer!
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quasistationary
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by quasistationary »

Left said company I didn't feel safe working for anymore, more than 2 years ago. I saw the pressure I would have had as captain if I had stayed and it wasn't worth it. Flew an airplane he didn't fly for a while and we were able to control safety a bit more. If I was flying in his airplane he questioned what was done.

5000+ plus hours now.


Me: Unable to fly today because the weather is bad there. Can't go below sector altitude on the LOW chart IFR.
Boss: Hey you, I thought you were smarter than that. Why don't you make a GPS approach into that strip so you can get into it in bad weather.
Me: Well the GPS isn't certified, the company isn't approved for enroute or approach GPS, and the strip and approach aren't included in the GPS. It's not safe to do that. We go to sector altitude and get in fine.
Boss and me: Argument ensues and ends on how I am not a safe pilot, and I have to be monitored and may be fired because he thinks I'm unsafe.
Stood up for myself and got beat down like the dog he thinks I am.

Me: I left some cargo behind because it's DGs and only can go onto a cargo flight.
Boss: What? So you don't want to take it? Are you going to report me if I put it onboard?
Me: didn't say anything after
Didn't take the freight.

Also, the 'cant leave any freight behind' factor was present daily.

Required 3 days off in a row for CARs rest.
Tells everyone while you are off that we are lazy pilots, and we don't want to work, and we are disappointing the customer.
One crew is trained, that is your problem to train more people.

You try to trust someone with what they are doing and the longer you work there the more you see is wrong so you leave and boss gets upset because you ripped him off by leaving. Says how much he has done for you and gave you a start. Gave you opportunities etc.

As a side note, what is better? Possibly going public about a company and risking many peoples jobs and having safer skies, or just leaving the job and letting someone else deal with it?
Does going public about a company even have any effect? I know as per discussions that a TSB report will have a lot of discussion within the pilot community, but what about the general public?


QS
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by all_ramped_up »

Redneck_pilot86 wrote:What I'm saying is, based on your vague original post, that maybe the pressures you are seeing are not as bad as you think, and only seem daunting because they are beyond your current experience level. Never be afraid to say no, and don't feel like you have to do everything the more experienced guys can/do. If you say no, your boss can get someone with more experience to do the trip, or rectify the problem that you are concerned with (wait for weather, reduce the load, etc). If you say yes, because the old guys can do it, and then go out there and bend an airframe, it is on you. The boss man will point to section 3 of your COM that states pilots are responsible for their own dispatch, and throw you under the bus. Business carries on as usual, except for you. The decision, and responsibilities are solely your problem. Do what you feel is right, and if it costs you the job it wasn't worth having.
Having been in Dispatch where I've had an incompatible crew for a required mission, we brought in a Captain with the experience to get the job done. Where there is a will, there is a way. I'm not a Chief Pilot or anything, but I would not hold a thing against an F/O or even a Captain refusing a Dispatch over a safety concern. In the end it is cheaper to bring in a replacement crew member than replace an airframe, crew, pax, cargo... should something go awry.

Personally, in the operation I was with we were conscious of the ability of our Crews and assigned duties accordingly. I would rather have a crew member come to me in Ops and say they're not comfortable with the Mission so I can replace them accordingly than put them in a position where they may not be operating at their best.
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CpnCrunch
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by CpnCrunch »

quasistationary wrote:
As a side note, what is better? Possibly going public about a company and risking many peoples jobs and having safer skies, or just leaving the job and letting someone else deal with it?
Does going public about a company even have any effect? I know as per discussions that a TSB report will have a lot of discussion within the pilot community, but what about the general public?

QS
My instinct would be to discuss first with your captain, then the chief pilot, ops manager, SMS manager, etc. It's those people's responsibility to make sure the operation is running safely.

However, if it's the owner of the company that is forcing unsafe practices, then the above isn't likely to help (but you should probably at least try). In that case the best thing to do might be to either report the issues to TC, and/or try and get a recording of him tell you to make that homebrew GPS approach. Then quit and get a proper job.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by cdnpilot77 »

Sounds like a YWG Navajo/king Air operator
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FL7377
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by FL7377 »

quasistationary wrote:Left said company I didn't feel safe working for anymore, more than 2 years ago. I saw the pressure I would have had as captain if I had stayed and it wasn't worth it. Flew an airplane he didn't fly for a while and we were able to control safety a bit more. If I was flying in his airplane he questioned what was done.

5000+ plus hours now.


Me: Unable to fly today because the weather is bad there. Can't go below sector altitude on the LOW chart IFR.
Boss: Hey you, I thought you were smarter than that. Why don't you make a GPS approach into that strip so you can get into it in bad weather.
Me: Well the GPS isn't certified, the company isn't approved for enroute or approach GPS, and the strip and approach aren't included in the GPS. It's not safe to do that. We go to sector altitude and get in fine.
Boss and me: Argument ensues and ends on how I am not a safe pilot, and I have to be monitored and may be fired because he thinks I'm unsafe.
Stood up for myself and got beat down like the dog he thinks I am.

Me: I left some cargo behind because it's DGs and only can go onto a cargo flight.
Boss: What? So you don't want to take it? Are you going to report me if I put it onboard?
Me: didn't say anything after
Didn't take the freight.

Also, the 'cant leave any freight behind' factor was present daily.

Required 3 days off in a row for CARs rest.
Tells everyone while you are off that we are lazy pilots, and we don't want to work, and we are disappointing the customer.
One crew is trained, that is your problem to train more people.

You try to trust someone with what they are doing and the longer you work there the more you see is wrong so you leave and boss gets upset because you ripped him off by leaving. Says how much he has done for you and gave you a start. Gave you opportunities etc.

As a side note, what is better? Possibly going public about a company and risking many peoples jobs and having safer skies, or just leaving the job and letting someone else deal with it?
Does going public about a company even have any effect? I know as per discussions that a TSB report will have a lot of discussion within the pilot community, but what about the general public?


QS

Wow!

I was thinking your boss fudged a few numbers here and there, but holy smokes! Let me try to break it down;

- Bad WX, tell your boss all you can do is fly over at sector, you might miss and end up in Red Lake. If he pushes you to go and tells you all kinds of GPS illegal bs, fly over, miss. and give him a call in Red Lake and say, "I told you the wx was below sector".

- Improper DG's, if the DG is stored in a safe manner and its a DG that is allowed to be shipped by air, I'd personally take it, write an SMS, it'll be the company that takes the heat not you. If its something that can't be flown (ie, propane), or just packaged poorly, (ie, dry ice in a plastic bag), then for heavens sake don't take it, you did the right thing.

- Leaving freight behind, if you fly a 4 tonne navajo and you fudge under 50 lbs - who cares. If the company is pressuring you to "fudge" hundreds of pounds, then put your foot down.

- If you need a day off for CAR's limits, inform dispatch, inform the company and don't answer your phone. If the boss gives you sh*t after your day off, politely nod and say "yes", and repeat if necessary.

- I don't consider avcanada.ca "going public", avcanada is more like an online hangar. But heres a few links to a few places who'd love to hear your story;

http://www.winnipegsun.com
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba

Hope that helps!
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Last edited by FL7377 on Mon May 04, 2015 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
trey kule
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by trey kule »

There are two sides to every story. While its all good fun to roast an operator, we have only had one side's perspective on this. ....

I have seen newbies start with a company and absolutely refuse to fly because the wind was to strong...10 kts..straight down the runway. And finally after a lot of head scratching found out they were simply afraid of getting lost. Not saying that is similar to this situation, but in fairness one should be skeptical when only hearing one side of the story......
...unless, of course, your careeer goal is TC enforcement

No question there are some operators that will do things the way they always have until their luck runs out.
But there are also a whole bunch of
newbies who cant fly their way out of a cardboard box and get very creative in finding ways to avoid things rather than have their ego face off with reality.

There is no substitute for experience. None. But attitudes do not seem to be changeable.
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Last edited by trey kule on Mon May 04, 2015 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by Chuck Ellsworth »

In that case the best thing to do might be to either report the issues to TC, and/or try and get a recording of him tell you to make that homebrew GPS approach.
:smt043 :smt043 :smt043 :smt043 :smt043 :smt043 :smt043 :smt043 :smt043
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The most difficult thing about flying is knowing when to say no.

After over a half a century of flying I can not remember even one trip that I refused to do that resulted in someone getting killed because of my decision not to fly.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by Meatservo »

trey kule wrote: But there are also a whole bunch of college trained newbies who cant fly their way out of a cardboard box and get very creative in finding ways to avoid things rather than have their ego face off with reality.
I've never found that the fact that a person didn't go to college was an accurate predictor of his superiority in the air. I've never found that the fact that a person did go to college was an accurate predictor of his superiority in the air. In fact, I fail to see what post-secondary credentials have to do with this discussion.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by trey kule »

Well, in consideration of your sensitivity, and rather than get into great discussion discussion, I have edited my original post.....

But just to be clear, there was no prediction involved as you suggested. It was a personal observation and it was in reference to attitude of those that are really really book smart but cant fly.... Personal observation is not a prediction, nor was or is it used as such. You simply cant learn if you think you know it all already. And at 250 hours, how many do you think know it all?

In any event, carry on.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by Meatservo »

Sorry. I'm a nit-picker. I agree, you can read all you want about something in a book and that won't prepare you to actually do it. I learned that the hard way with porn.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by wondering? »

This was a question I asked myself often in my first job. They way I learned about flying during my training was in sharp contrast with how things were run at my new company. I struggled with knowing whether the flying I was asked to do was unsafe or whether it was simply uncomfortable because it was more difficult because of bad weather, heavy loads, etc. There were certainly times when I knew what I was being asked was unsafe ie over-loading, icing. But a lot of my trepidation was mostly due to a lack of training and a gung-ho mentality. I saw other pilots doing it, so if I didn't, what did that say about me? But as I became more comfortable and learned a couple lessons, I realized that the mentality of the company was mostly due to an old school mentality from the top. The pilots who "trained" me, were "trained" by the previous pilots. And because most of the pilots got their start at this company, it was their first experience of "real-world aviation" so it was all they knew. It was a process that kept repeating itself.

What I learned in my first year was that a lot of what I deemed unsafe at first, was my lack of experience. But by exerting pressure to get things done through a company mentality rather than spending time trying to explain or train me, the line between unsafe and safe was a very blurry one. Combine that with my personality and not being comfortable with confrontation, the probability of getting into an unsafe situation were likely. For a lot of people, saying NO in your first job might be easy, but I am guessing that for the majority of 250 hour pilots, saying NO is much more difficult than accepting that you have to get 'er done. Maybe I am wrong on that, but I doubt it.

What you read in your training manuals and what you encounter in your first job will most likely be extremely different. Once money is involved and you are in charge of supporting a business, especially a small one, the pressure is likely to be more.

I still find it difficult to say no, and still feel the same pressure. But I have a more clear understanding of the line between safe and unsafe. There are still areas where I disagree with other pilots around me but at least they know my position so there aren't any surprises anymore. I know that I never really had it that bad, but I can see how it would be very tough with a boss who called you out in front of people or blamed you for losing money. I can see how young new pilots can get themselves in dangerous positions trying to get the job done.
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by Meatservo »

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!!
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Re: Safety and newbies

Post by pelmet »

trey kule wrote:I have seen newbies start with a company and absolutely refuse to fly because the wind was to strong...10 kts..straight down the runway. And finally after a lot of head scratching found out they were simply afraid of getting lost.
Somebody refused to fly using the excuse that the wind was 10 knots down the runway was too strong? Seems difficult to believe.

What kind of aircraft and what runway.
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