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American Airlines crew subpoenaed after refusing to cooperate with NTSB investigation

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  • American Airlines crew subpoenaed after refusing to cooperate with NTSB investigation

    Following a boondoggle in which they became lost and drove their 777 across JFK active runway 4L, causing a Delta 739 to reject above 100kts (grounding the aircraft for 15 hours), the crew has refused to participate in an audio recorded interview. The NTSB is now forced to take legal steps to proceed with the investigation.

    And, remarkably, it appears that the APA is standing behind them. Let's get one thing straight: if you give a tick about safety, if that is your culture, you cooperate with the NTSB. Fully cooperate.

    Maybe that needs to be written into the ATPL.

    http://avherald.com/h?article=503c9620&opt=0


  • #2
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    Following a boondoggle in which they became lost and drove their 777 across JFK active runway 4L, causing a Delta 739 to reject above 100kts (grounding the aircraft for 15 hours), the crew has refused to participate in an audio recorded interview. The NTSB is now forced to take legal steps to proceed with the investigation.

    And, remarkably, it appears that the APA is standing behind them. Let's get one thing straight: if you give a tick about safety, if that is your culture, you cooperate with the NTSB. Fully cooperate.

    Maybe that needs to be written into the ATPL.

    http://avherald.com/h?article=503c9620&opt=0
    The UNION will be heavily involved here. They are just following company and union protocol.

    Comment


    • #3
      Shame on them. "Interview is ok, but don't record me". What is the argument for that? It can't be "privacy concerns" (inexcusable excuse they used to oppose CVRs and not use to oppose CVR but with V now meaning video) when they are being officially interviewed by the NTSB.

      --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
      --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

        The UNION will be heavily involved here. They are just following company and union protocol.
        What is such protocol? Not participate in interviews? Participate under the condition of not being recorded? What is the justification?

        Whatever happened with the protocol of "We are fully cooperating with the investigation"?

        PILOTS almost died that day.

        --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
        --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

        Comment


        • #5
          cant remember where i read it but one source claims the NTSB usually does not record these types of interviews, which allegedly (and sensibly) helps the crews to be more open. i dont know if that is true, but if it is, i have to wonder why they want to record this interview. in the end, if action is gonna be taken against the crew, it's gonna be taken regardless of whether this initial interview is recorded or not.

          if i were the union rep here, i probably would've advised them to give the interview even if it was gonna be recorded. no sense in pissing them off, as they just did...

          Comment


          • #6
            The company provided them with time to do this interview, so I don’t see how it can be against company protocol. Seems like a union power move, or maybe the union is just providing the crew with representation as a matter of course. But neither the union nor the crew should be taking an adversarial stance against the NTSB.

            Comment


            • #7
              SOP. Don't talk to anyone other than the Chief pilots and the union representatives period! After they have cleared it, then the interviews begin with representation present.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post
                After they have cleared it...
                Cleared what?! Your crew boondoggled a taxi instruction, crossed an active runway without clearance and caused a near miss and a high-speed rejection. And the NTSB needs to gather the facts on that boondoggle. And yes, a recorded interview is SOP. Why, other than attempting to cover up the facts, would they need to 'clear' that?

                I think the grifter influence of our ousted former president is starting to affect aviation safety.

                Comment


                • #9
                  here ya go!

                  “In fact, the Board’s own published investigation manuals reflect its long-held position that the non-consensual recording of witness interviews is not permitted.”

                  https://aviationsourcenews.com/incid...tsb-interview/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TeeVee View Post
                    here ya go!

                    “In fact, the Board’s own published investigation manuals reflect its long-held position that the non-consensual recording of witness interviews is not permitted.”

                    https://aviationsourcenews.com/incid...tsb-interview/
                    "Historically"... "Long held beliefs"... "Witnesses"...

                    Because recordings may cause the "witnesses" to be "less candid" than they might have been in the 1950's?

                    Or because the recordings may make their "candor" harder to pull off and more revealing to investigators?

                    I think they need to stop squirming and just answer the questions. They aren't being prosecuted. Pilot error in itself is not a crime.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      classic evan moving the ball and the target of his anger. dude, if you have an issue here with someone, it should be the NTSB. they are the ones responsible for promulgating rules and procedures. they are the ones that have conducted interviews for decades in the same manner etc etc.

                      this is the way you always act when faced with fact and law that you personally dislike, like the mask rule, or the US "cleared to land" rule/practice. it seems that no matter what the topic, it's evan's way or its just plain wrong and stupid.

                      you should likely be ranting about how the flight was allowed to continue after this near calamity, knowing that the CVR would be overwritten. i might agree with you on that one, if they delayed it only long enough to download the CVR. any longer would simply be screwing the 100's of pax onboard and cost the airline a huge chunk of change

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger. I was just a fly boy. Had nothing to do with management. In fact, I did everything possible to stay away from that side of aviation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TeeVee View Post

                          this is the way you always act when faced with fact and law that you personally dislike, like the mask rule, or the US "cleared to land" rule/practice. it seems that no matter what the topic, it's evan's way or its just plain wrong and stupid.
                          Amen.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just reminds me of a little speech I used to give my crews during recurrent. "FAR 91.5 says you can break any regulation, speed, altitude, clearances, anything, you just have to report it". I told them just get the airplane safely on the ground, fill out a report and I will stand behind you with the owner and the FAA.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kent olsen View Post
                              "FAR 91.5 says you can break any regulation, speed, altitude, clearances, anything, you just have to report it"
                              Kent, that is not entirely true. That is, at minimum, incomplete.

                              91.3 (not 91.5, but I'll take that as a typo) says:


                              91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

                              (a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

                              (b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

                              (c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.
                              The pilot is command is not just free to break anything at will. It needs a safety justification.
                              Otherwise, the PIC is BOUND by laws, regulations, procedures and policies and they MUST NOT deviate from them.

                              I told them just get the airplane safely on the ground, fill out a report and I will stand behind you with the owner and the FAA.
                              Would you stand behind them, for example, if they were doing tricks with the systems in ways not authorized by procedure to extend 2 degrees of flaps in cruise without activating the slats? Something that they had never been trained to do, that was not in any manual, and they they did motivated by a rumor that doing so saves fuel? And then lose control, then manage to recover barely above the ground after a fiery dive, being able to land safely but writing-off the plane?

                              Fill the report and you'll be fine?

                              Take the incident of this thread as an example. The pilots (all 3 of them) missed the cleared taxi route and crossed a runway they were not cleared to cross. There was NO admissible deviation there. It was either a honest mistake or a mistake caused an inadmissible violation of procedures like sterile cockpit.

                              We will never know because, very conveniently, they didn't preserve the CVR.

                              And they were almost required to do so. So not preserving the CVR was not illegal, but it was, in my opinion, at the very least a display of very poor judgement, if not an intentional act aimed at destroying evidence.

                              91.609 Flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.

                              (g) In the event of an accident or occurrence requiring immediate notification to the National Transportation Safety Board under 49 CFR part 830 of its regulations that results in the termination of the flight, any operator who has installed approved flight recorders and approved cockpit voice recorders shall keep the recorded information for at least 60 days


                              830.5 Immediate notification.

                              The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) office, when:

                              (12) Any event in which an operator, when operating an airplane as an air carrier at a public-use airport on land:
                              (ii) Experiences a runway incursion that requires the operator or the crew of another aircraft or vehicle to take immediate corrective action to avoid a collision.
                              The underlined part is the reason why they were almost required but not actually required to preserve the CVR.
                              However, not being required to do something doesn't mean that you can't and shouldn't do it anyway because it is the right thing to do. Like clearly was the case here. I cannot imagine that what to do with the CVR is something that didn't cross the mind of the pilots and their management after the incident.

                              If there was an intentional violation here (which is quite possible), I really hope that one of the 3 pilots does the right thing and speaks up. Seeing how all 3 are resisting to testify for excuses, my expectations don't meet my hopes.

                              --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                              --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

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