Seeking experts for news article

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Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:35 am

I'm a freelancer on assignment for a major Canadian newspaper, and I'm looking to speak with anyone who has expert knowledge of the maintenance of commercial Canadian aircraft.

Current and former engineers, mechanics, and pilots would all be valuable contributors and help bring clarity to my (and the reader's) understanding of the maintenance landscape. I'd prefer to speak with people on the record, but if you have sensitive information and wish to shield yourself, we can discuss options like going on background.

Background: My story emerged from the news that Air Canada will appeal the decision of the Quebec Superior Court requiring it to procure its maintenance needs within Canada to the Supreme Court per the ACPPA legislation. It got me wondering where AC has taken its maintenance, and where the other major Canadian airlines have their needs met.

At this time I have a pretty good sense of where most Canadian airlines are having their maintenance performed. I'm looking to speak with experts who can confirm the locations of commercial aircraft maintenance, as well as illuminate a few key points with respect to what they feel is the quality of maintenance performed in Canada vs. offshore, the future of the industry, and so on. Anecdotes are helpful; I've heard that Canadian mechanics have discovered issues on aircraft that were serviced by facilities outside the country.

Ultimately I want to paint an accurate picture of where things stand with Canadian commercial aircraft maintenance today. Please contact me directly so that I can offer you my contact information.

Jon
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cgzro
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cgzro » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:46 am

To those of you that have not dealt with the media before let me suggest you approach with extreme caution.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by pelmet » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:00 am

Gee, I wonder if he is trying to create a story to make news.

Why don't you call Air Canada and ask them if they are satisfied with their maintenance.

But seeing as you want an anecdote and I assume one of significance, how about this. Once upon a time there was a major airline in Canada using Canadian maintenance that ended up running out of gas over the Atlantic and being very fortunate to not have to ditch the aircraft in the ocean because of the pure luck of being closer than normal to an island. Their Canadian maintenance was faulty.

I know you won't mention this in your article and it is not necessarily appropriate for your article, but if it had been foreign maintenance, it would definitely be in your article.

My point is that while I am sure that the overall maintenance situation is good in Canada, I suspect that the people giving you information have a specific agenda. I have no doubt that Canadian mechanics have discovered issues on aircraft that were serviced by facilities outside the country. But Canadian mechanics have also discovered issues on aircraft that were serviced by facilities inside the country.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cgzro » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:10 am

Yup.. +1
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:24 pm

I'm interested in all faulty aircraft maintenance wherever it occurs.

I have heard that offshore maintenance facilities can be somewhat less reliable on average because such facilities are likelier to employ fewer TC-/EASA-/FAA-certified mechanics, fewer mechanics able to read manufacturer manuals, and likely to be inspected less often; it's something that I continue to investigate. But I'm absolutely also interested in hearing informed, contrary opinions.

Anyone who wants to set the record straight on this can contact me directly about going on the record or providing information on background.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cdnpilot77 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:01 pm

To me this sounds like a set up of fear mongering, which incidentally, is quite harmful to our industry. I think you will find that other than a very few interested parties who stand to benefit from forced Canadian maintenance, most will rightfully keep their mouths shut to the media.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by pelmet » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:14 pm

But expect a PM if you comment on this thread.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:21 pm

I'll take responsibility for appearing to come across with something of an agenda with the wording of my first post. As I have clarified, I'm interested in all faulty aircraft maintenance, wherever it occurs. And I want to report the informed opinions of anyone connected to this world who has a take on maintenance issues, whether they pertain to quality assurance, the future of the industry in Canada and domestic jobs, etc.

I think all of you are right to be wary of fear-mongering and the agendas of anyone who wants to protect the domestic maintenance industry. Surely there are also parties that have other agendas and interests they wish to promote, such as taking advantage of cheaper labour in foreign markets. My goal is to try to report from all perspectives and get closer to what's actually happening.

So then, if anyone is willing and interested to speak up on record, or even provide info on background, I invite you to contact me directly.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:39 pm

pelmet wrote:But expect a PM if you comment on this thread.
I may attempt one message to people who post on this thread with strong opinions, but I will not send more than one if the person chooses not to respond or declines to comment.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cncpc » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:42 pm

pelmet wrote: But seeing as you want an anecdote and I assume one of significance, how about this. Once upon a time there was a major airline in Canada using Canadian maintenance that ended up running out of gas over the Atlantic and being very fortunate to not have to ditch the aircraft in the ocean because of the pure luck of being closer than normal to an island. Their Canadian maintenance was faulty.
It was a lot more than pure luck.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by altiplano » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:43 pm

Sounds like you're looking to rehash this article with a Canadian angle...

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/11/ ... bing-truth

Maybe another article about big bad Air Canada that brings all the kooks out?

If you want an article with a fresh take, why don't you write about the ACPPA and how it has hamstrung a private corporation, shareholders, and employees through legislated inefficiencies - putting it at a huge competitive disadvantage against other domestic and foreign airlines.

Why don't you write about the landscape in Canada that really hurts Canadian consumers and companies. Layer upon layer of taxes and fees imposed by government, not seen similarly elsewhere in the world. Fuel excise taxes imposed by a provincial government on a federally regulated industry. Poorly planned transit (UPE) that nobody takes because it's so expensive. And don't forget, YYZ, the highest fees of any airport in the world... and they still turn off the escalators to save electricity off peak... Hardly world class...

There's the story...
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cncpc » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:47 pm

I have been an investigative journalist in print media and have appeared as a commentator on CBC radio and TV. Remember this "The journalist IS NOT your friend".

That's not to say don't contribute, but always remember the journalist is not your friend. Make sure you fully understand the premise of the article, and the context that your comment, if you make one, will be in. Avoid extreme positions, and make absolutely sure that what you say is rooted in fact and in our "profession", professionalism.

In this case, avoid being used to make a point that you never knew you were making.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cncpc » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:50 pm

altiplano wrote: If you want an article with a fresh take, why don't you write about the ACPPA and how it has hamstrung a private corporation, shareholders, and employees through legislated inefficiencies - putting it at a huge competitive disadvantage against other domestic and foreign airlines.

Why don't you write about the landscape in Canada that really hurts Canadian consumers and companies. Layer upon layer of taxes and fees imposed by government, not seen similarly elsewhere in the world. Fuel excise taxes imposed by a provincial government on a federally regulated industry. Poorly planned transit (UPE) that nobody takes because it's so expensive. And don't forget, YYZ, the highest fees of any airport in the world... and they still turn off the escalators to save electricity off peak... Hardly world class...

There's the story...
Yep.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:44 pm

To be clear, I said the appearance of an agenda. I don’t have an agenda, and I take it as my responsibility to clarify this and extend the invitation to comment to anyone connected to the industry with informed opinions who wants to go on record and speak about these topics.

That said, I believe it’s a subject of fair inquiry to wonder whether some offshore maintenance facilities offer a different quality of service than the average domestic facility, particularly in light of recent reporting such as in the VF article mentioned by another poster (which cites real issues such as the difference in number of certified mechanics, language barriers, frequency of inspections), and when I have through my initial research spoken with people who have worked in this industry for a long time and have told me that they believe that there are quality differences.

I specifically invited anecdotes about faulty offshore maintenance in my original post because other sources have told me there are stories out there; for example they told me that mechanics have found landing gear not held together properly, doors not put back together properly, and that this tends to happen more commonly (although still very infrequently) at offshore maintenance facilities. If these stories are true, the public deserves to hear about them, and it’s my responsibility to uncover and report them.

My sources were reporting what other people have told them, which is exactly why I wanted to make an effort to confirm such reports with any concrete examples from people who actually do the repairs on aircraft in Canada by coming on here. Part of my responsibility is to test what I’ve already heard from others in forums like this one. If I had an agenda, I wouldn’t even have started this thread, and simply reported the views of the people I’ve already heard from.

If you’re of the opinion that there are no quality differences between the average domestic and the average offshore facility, or that there are no issues of concern in regards to inspections of offshore facilities, or believe that the issue of a perceived difference in quality is just part of a fear mongering strategy to protect the Canadian maintenance industry - and you’re also someone who through your experience can make an informed comment on these issues - then it would be great if you’d tell me why you believe this and go on the record so that I can report it.

As I have said multiple times now, I invite all informed opinions. As of now, though, I’ve read many strongly opinionated comments but nothing to suggest anyone wants to actually express their opinions publicly. That’s fine, but I can’t report your angle if I can’t find anyone to express it.

And I’ll ignore any troll-ish language, as it says more about you than anything else.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:51 pm

cncpc wrote:
altiplano wrote: If you want an article with a fresh take, why don't you write about the ACPPA and how it has hamstrung a private corporation, shareholders, and employees through legislated inefficiencies - putting it at a huge competitive disadvantage against other domestic and foreign airlines.

Why don't you write about the landscape in Canada that really hurts Canadian consumers and companies. Layer upon layer of taxes and fees imposed by government, not seen similarly elsewhere in the world. Fuel excise taxes imposed by a provincial government on a federally regulated industry. Poorly planned transit (UPE) that nobody takes because it's so expensive. And don't forget, YYZ, the highest fees of any airport in the world... and they still turn off the escalators to save electricity off peak... Hardly world class...

There's the story...
Yep.
The news of Air Canada's filing at the Supreme Court is what generated my interest in airline maintenance in the first place, so ACPPA will form a part of it. I think you have an interesting take that is worth looking at for my story, and it would be great if yourself or someone else here would represent that opinion on the record, though if not I can seek experts who are willing to express their views of ACPPA elsewhere. This story is about aircraft maintenance, so I probably will not be touching on other issues you've mentioned such as UP Express or the Ontario jet fuel tax, which have been reported on before.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cgzro » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:10 pm

The flip side of all the fear mongoring to generate advertising revenu is a general distrust of the profession. You reap what you sow im afraid.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by BMLtech » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:24 pm

post deleted
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esp803

Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by esp803 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:00 pm

I've worked places with great maintenance, and shitty maintenance in both Canada and abroad. This doesn't seem like a good example of journalistic objectivity to me. I'm not saying you have an "agenda", but it sure seems like you have your opinion on the subject prior to doing all the research, which in my opinion is a poor way of doing it.

E
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by photofly » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:03 pm

Can we get shit-stirring bottom feeding journos who don't give a shit about people they write about banned from this site? Where is there a moderator when you need one?
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:08 pm

cgzro wrote:The flip side of all the fear mongoring to generate advertising revenu is a general distrust of the profession. You reap what you sow im afraid.
I appreciate your concerns about news media bias. I can't speak on behalf of the rest of the industry, but I'll say that as a freelancer who makes his living entirely off of other pursuits and writes very seldom, I have virtually nothing to gain financially from this piece; it's just a subject of genuine interest to me.

And if one aspect of the story here is that issues of quality difference between domestic and offshore facilities are overblown, that's still interesting to me and I think can really help to inform the piece.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:12 pm

esp803 wrote:I've worked places with great maintenance, and shitty maintenance in both Canada and abroad. This doesn't seem like a good example of journalistic objectivity to me. I'm not saying you have an "agenda", but it sure seems like you have your opinion on the subject prior to doing all the research, which in my opinion is a poor way of doing it.

E
I have the opinions of other sources outside this forum who think there are sometimes issues with offshore maintenance, which is why I'm here doing more research. I'm glad you can appreciate that I don't have an agenda, because I'm still seeking out the perspectives of people who have direct experience in the industry.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:16 pm

photofly wrote:Can we get shit-stirring bottom feeding journos who don't give a shit about people they write about banned from this site? Where is there a moderator when you need one?
I'm not sure what you mean when you say "don't give a *hit about people they write about." Can you clarify? All I can guess is that you think that if a current employee speaks to me and their name ends up in a newspaper, it could jeopardize their job. But as I've said multiple times on this thread, in sensitive situations I am willing to hear people's story on background (i.e. without attribution by name). It's absolutely not my goal or even in my interest to see that someone loses their job for reporting anything.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by cgzro » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:55 pm

I suggest that you publish your credentials and examples of your unbiast work.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by altiplano » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:56 pm

I have the opinions of other sources outside this forum who think there are sometimes issues with offshore maintenance
I think what you said was you heard from someone who heard from someone about something... Hardly sounds like you have a source, you only have an idea based on hearsay.
I'll say that as a freelancer who makes his living entirely off of other pursuits and writes very seldom, I have virtually nothing to gain financially from this piece; it's just a subject of genuine interest to me.
Maybe you could post links to some of your work or give an idea if who you publish with... Might give people a bit of an idea who they're dealing with in terms of credibility.
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Re: Seeking experts for news article

Post by seeking_answers » Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:21 pm

altiplano wrote:
I have the opinions of other sources outside this forum who think there are sometimes issues with offshore maintenance
I think what you said was you heard from someone who heard from someone about something... Hardly sounds like you have a source, you only have an idea based on hearsay.
I'll say that as a freelancer who makes his living entirely off of other pursuits and writes very seldom, I have virtually nothing to gain financially from this piece; it's just a subject of genuine interest to me.
Maybe you could post links to some of your work or give an idea if who you publish with... Might give people a bit of an idea who they're dealing with in terms of credibility.
In regards to my sources, without naming them, I can say that while they're not mechanics themselves they are in positions where they work directly with mechanics who have found issues on aircraft serviced at offshore facilities. There was nothing to me that suggested they lack credibility. But again, one of the reasons I posted on here in the first place is to ascertain whether other people who work in the industry can speak to similar occurrences in order to bolster my sources.

Regarding my previous work, you can find articles at these links:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/tor ... /?page=all
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/tor ... le1860985/

As you can tell from the publication dates, writing is not something I do often, but only on occasion when I'm interested in the subject matter. Keep in mind that although both of those articles were published in the same paper, it should not therefore be assumed that this story will necessarily also be published in that paper. I do no work on behalf of any newspaper or news organization and as of right now I have not sold a story to anyone.
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