Welcome To OPERATION ORANGE

 Welcome to OPERATION ORANGE

 Mission Statement: Protecting the Flying Public; Restoring the Profession

The purpose of OPERATION ORANGE is to change the laws governing the piloting profession for part 121 operations, so as to continue to attract the best candidates to keep the air transportation system safe. The pilot aptitude component of the air transportation infrastructure has been looted and destroyed by a generation of airline managers. This asset has been destroyed through the political process and will be rebuilt by the same means. The problem is political; the solution is political.

This action is outside the Railway Labor Act’s jurisdiction. This action is under the protection of the FIRST AMENDMENT to the United States Constitution.

There is nothing our pilot associations can do to further defend a profession that has been destroyed. As long as they are content to continue using failed, traditional tactics, they will continue yielding failure. The law has us with no place to turn. This is the future, and it is accelerating. The results of collective bargaining are a result of the laws governing them. The laws are a result of the present thinking. The thinking needs to change. Nobody will change their thinking until the pilots do so. Once the pilots demonstrate the resolve to withdraw their labor, en masse, lawmakers, regulators, and managers will be forced to change their thinking.

OPERATION ORANGE seeks to use an industry-wide “suspension of service” to bring the issue to the forefront of those who have the power to change the laws. This “suspension of service” must be industry-wide. We have produced a legislative draft, containing our solution.

No part 121 pilot group is immune. Southwest’s CEO has put them on notice that their leadership in compensation and quality of life is in its final phase. Delta, United, and US Airways will certainly come under pressure as their contracts either become amendable or are close to conclusion after integration issues are solved. American’s troubles cover the spectrum and are a glimpse of what awaits the other pilot groups. UPS and FedEx just saw their management groups exempt them from regulations designed to reduce fatigue. Pilot pushing in cargo is now enshrined into law, and more is coming.

We are all in this together. It’s time to act together. Look what 30 years of “beggaring thy neighbor” has given us. Be ready to volunteer your time. Be ready to set the brake and stay at home until things get fixed. It is time to fight back, legally, peacefully, and effectively.

Please take the time to read the information provided at OPERATIONORANGE.org. You can download most of the documents in one zip file:

www.operationorange.org/masterdocs.zip

THIS IS OUR TIME

For a PDF of this posting, click HERE.

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OPERATION ORANGE – Where Did We Go?

 

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The Committee has decided to take the OPERATION ORANGE website down to caretaker status.  We will reengage when the environment becomes more favorable for pilots acting outside their normal proscriptions to protect their interests under law.

If anyone needs to contact The Committee for matters of a sensitive and confidential nature, please use the procedures from our tutorial on “Passing Sensitive Information to OPERATION ORANGE,” found on the sidebar.  For routine and non-sensitive inquiries, please use information found here.

Please be patient.  Our response time may take several weeks and we do not respond to all inquiries.

 

The Committee

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Why APA Should Petition For a Writ of Certiorari With the Supreme Court

Roe vs. Wade
Jacksonville Bulk Terminals vs. Longshoremen
Allied Pilots Association vs. AMR Corporation

Why APA Should Petition For a Writ of Certiorari With the Supreme Court

“Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

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(For a PDF of this article, CLICK HERE)

Q: What does the abrogation of a Railway Labor Act union contract under §1113 have in common with the most divisive issue of our time and a Cold War era political protest?

A: The matter of §1113 rejection is “capable of repetition, yet evading review,” just as in the other two cases, and is an exception to the Constitution, Article III “cases and controversies” limitation to judicial review.

On December 7, 2012, the Allied Pilots Association (hereafter APA) ratified a “consensual agreement” coerced in the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York. Because a “consensual agreement” brought an end to the dispute created by the abrogation of its 80 year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by the officers of AMR Corporation, the legal team for the APA has stated they will drop their legal pursuit of the protection of their CBA under the Railway Labor Act (hereafter RLA) and 11 USC §1113. It was their argument that (a) their contract had expired and thus §1113 had no contract to reject, and (b) the RLA mandates that both sides, not just the APA, must abide by the prevailing “status quo” at the time the dispute was formed (2007).

The dropping of the legal appeals is due to the legal doctrine of the United States that states the judiciary is not allowed to hear cases that are theoretical in nature, but must be either a “case or controversy,” which is to say an adversarial dispute for which there has been no resolution between the parties. Since APA has “consented” to the terms handed to them by the corporation via the District Court, no controversy exists. The case is moot and the courts are closed to the matter.

Or are they?

The Supreme Court has taken unto itself the ability to hear certain cases with particular qualities in the interest of justice. Continue reading

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Decoding the “Acute Shortage of Pilots”

Decoding the “Acute Shortage of Pilots”

The Wall Street Journal printed an article describing an impending “acute shortage of pilots.”  It featured quotes from many industry insiders giving the impression that this “crisis” caught the entire industry by surprise and that government needs to take an active role in fixing the problem.  As is the case with many well-meaning missives, sometimes there is another way of viewing the situation.  We will present that view, and it is not what the common observer would expect.

This article has generated considerable buzz in the professional piloting ranks and the short-sighted among us are already counting their chickens from a basket of hard boiled eggs.  This is not an article explaining how pilots are about to embark on a period of prolonged upward bargaining, but how the A4A (Airlines For America) and government are about to undercut the pilots for the last time.

We have been saying since we went public in 2010 that we are locked into battle with airline executives and they are pushing to have complete and irreversible victory by the end of the decade.  They want to implement their “lift-brokering” model, where pilots have no leverage and are consigned to being whip-sawed by management for their entire careers.  We stand by that statement.

Deception is a major part of any successful battle.  If you can get your enemy to commit to an action that you have already anticipated, you command the upper hand.  Getting him to do so by thinking that he has the upper hand is the way to play this to perfection.  Anyone that has been to SERE School in the US military knows that you never Continue reading

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United Pilot Explains How His Life Has Changed

United Captain Rick Cauich explains how his life has been altered by the post-911 airline bankruptcy gambit.

Please support legislative change to prevent another round of forced concessions and further outsourcing of valuable pilot resources to foreign airlines.  All unions must work together to support legislative change.

OPERATION ORANGE is the tool for the future of pilot labor relations.  Call your union leaders today and ask them to support real change.

Without legislative change, the gains the 2012 pilot contracts represent will vanish at the first sign of trouble, but the concessions will persist.

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Who Is Afraid Of The Big, Bad TRO?

Who Is Afraid Of The Big, Bad TRO?

“A man must work in order to live. If he can express no control over his conditions of employment, he is subject to involuntary servitude.”

(Senate Report 163,72d Congress, 1st Session, p. 9,
regarding Norris-LaGuardia Act).

(For a PDF of this entry, CLICK HERE)

Special thanks to Mr. Grey

FOR WIDEST POSSIBLE DISTRIBUTION

The last time AAL pilots negotiated a contract without the threat of, or actual government interference was 1991.  They jumped on the grenade, in 2003, to save the longer term earnings of all employees and the investors, because AMR executives threatened bankruptcy.  Back in 2003, it was the pilots that gave the most.  The managers got rich in the next decade, the flight attendants and unskilled ramp workers stayed at the top of the industry pay scales, American Eagle pilots, along with Jet Blue, Alaska and the pilots of several international “code-share” partners enjoyed a bonanza of new flying, and the mechanics kept their jobs within the United States.  The shareholders had a nice ride off the 2003 lows in the stock price, and the investors kept getting paid in full and on time.  It was the sacrifices of the pilots that made this possible.  When you divide $800 million to $1 billion per year over 10,000 pilots, that’s a significant amount of sacrifice when taken a decade at a time.

As it is often said, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

The pilots always knew that AMR Corporation was intentionally stalling behind the RLA to keep from having to make the pilots whole from their decade of sacrifice, as the law allows.  AMR admitted to it on the witness stand in federal bankruptcy court, and the law provided no consequence.  Did any of this matter to the Honorable Sean Lane?  Continue reading

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Guest Editorial From an American Airlines Pilot

 

Open Letter to the Unsecured Creditors of AMR Corporation

 

You trusted them.  You invested your money.  You expected a return ON your capital.

They lied to you.  They lost your money.  You now want a return OF your capital.

Welcome to the party.  They have been lying to us and picking our pockets for decades.  There is nothing you can tell us about AMR’s corporate managers that we don’t already know, because we have been in a de facto marriage with these people for decades; it is now time for a divorce.

As you know, we (AA’s pilots) did not sign off on the time-honored tradition of letting investors claw back their money out of our dignity and future earnings.  Thirteen and one half percent of an unknown quantity, with the possibility of the malignancy responsible for the bankruptcy still at the helm, along with unreasonable concessions in all areas (quality of life, job security, etc.) was not enough to get us to look past where we are.  We decided, by a wide margin and against the pressure-cooker tactics by our own union, to go against all conventional wisdom and fight.  Our fight is against Continue reading

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Is American Airlines the Waterloo for Airline Management?

Is American Airlines the Waterloo for Airline Management?

“Vae victis.” (Woe to the vanquished.)
-Motto of the US 9th Infantry Regiment.

(For a PDF of this posting, CLICK HERE)

In a stunning turn of events, the US bankruptcy court denied AMR management’s 1113c motion to reject the collective bargaining agreement for the pilots of American Airlines. While celebration may be warranted, the wording of the court’s ruling indicates this is likely to be a very short-lived victory. Judge Sean Lane said AMR management overreached in terms of scope and reductions in force that were neither necessary to the reorganization of the airline nor keeping with the competitive landscape of its network peers. AMR issued a statement that they will resubmit their petition before the week ends.

What happens at that point is anyone’s guess.

American Airlines pilots have chosen their path and they have chosen to use traditional labor leverage rather than financial leverage to secure their future. It is little wonder since the rancid laws of the US bankruptcy code, and the applicable case law make any kind of consensual agreement almost impossible to stomach. The way bankruptcy is practiced in the air transportation industry relies upon the idea that labor is responsible for the mess, no matter the circumstances. That can be the only reasonable philosophical underpinning of how the Federal Bankruptcy Court Continue reading

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Right Now…Pilots Are Under Attack

This video was sent to us. How much longer will we tolerate the war on airline pilots?

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Who Wants To Play To Win?

Who Wants To Play To Win?

“Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.”
(I will either find a way, or make one.)

-Hannibal (addressing his generals that insisted the Alps were impassable.)

(For a PDF of this posting, CLICK HERE.)

FACT: The National Mediation Board’s mission statement is to minimize work stoppages.[1] This mandate has been twisted into “preventing” work stoppages in large, network carriers.

United Airlines pilots have been strung along for 4 years. They have asked for release from mediation.

Denied.[2]

American Airlines pilots have been strung along for 5 years. They have asked the court to decide who has authority over their contract – the NMB or Federal Bankruptcy Court. If the NMB, the contract cannot be abrogated; if the court, the union would be free to strike upon abrogation.

Denied both counts. They are under the NMB for purposes of enjoining self-help, and under the court for purposes of abrogation. No matter where they turn, they lose.

Delta Air Lines pilots gave up scope in a rushed negotiation, partially out of fear they would be subject to the same fate as their peers at United and American have experienced with the one-sided nature of the RLA. The principle fear grenade lobbed into the midst of the Delta pilots was Continue reading

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Better Them Than Me

Better Them Than Me

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-Martin Luther King

(For a PDF of this posting, CLICK HERE)

When management and government came after the American Airlines pilots, and they cried out for their brothers to help them, I was silent. I wanted to get senior and fly their Latin American routes. Too bad, so sad. Better them than me.

Management became more emboldened and pilots grew more fearful.

When management and government came after the United Airlines pilots, and they cried out for their brothers to help them, I was silent. I wanted to get senior and fly their Pacific routes. Too bad, so sad. Better them than me.

Management became more emboldened and pilots grew more fearful.

When management and government came after the US Airways pilots, and they cried out for their brothers Continue reading

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A Declaration Of War

A Declaration Of War

Embraer Goes For The Kill

(To read the original Aviation Daily article, CLICK HERE)
(To read this posting in PDF, CLICK HERE)

Do you wonder why Delta, American, and United have suddenly, and seemingly in unison, moved aggressively against the scope clauses of its mainline pilot union contracts? Why has Delta hastily offered up money for its pilots, when the RLA allows them to drag this out for a decade? Why has American declared bankruptcy, with bank accounts that measure in the billions, yet demands no pay cut for its pilots? Why has Jeffery suddenly declared that he wants to get his pilot contract finished, but no progress is being made?

Nothing of this sort happens by accident or coincidence. There is something behind the effort, and Robert Wall of Aviation Daily tells us exactly what that is.

Embraer Expects Flood Of Large Regional Jet Orders From U.S. Carriers”

That headline is impossible with the current scope clauses at the major network carriers in North America. This is what is behind the recent, coordinated grab for the scope of flying done by mainline US pilots and is nothing short of a declaration of war on the pilot profession.

We interrupt our three part series on “Shiny Objects Syndrome” and provide this commentary to be used as a companion piece Continue reading

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Shiny Objects Syndrome – Part I: The Delta Tentative Agreement

The Devil Went Down To Georgia

(Airline Pilot Version)

(For a PDF of this parody, Click HERE)
(For a PDF of this posting, Click HERE)
THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA, HE WAS LOOKING FOR SOME SCOPE TO STEAL.
HE KNEW ALPA’S IN A BIND, WITH D-P-A JUST BEHIND, AND THEY’D BE WILLIN’ TO MAKE A DEAL.
WHEN HE CAME ACROSS PLANES CAUSING SOUTHWEST SOME PAINS, HE HAD AN EVIL THOUGHT
AND THE DEVIL CALLED UP ALPA SAID, “BOYS, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT:”
“I GUESS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW IT, BUT I’VE GOT SOME SHINY PLANES TO CREW.”
“AND THERE‘S A WAY TO GET MORE PAY, BUT JUST A PROVISO OR TWO.”
“NOW YOU DRIVE A HARD BARGAIN, BOYS, BUT GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE;”
“YOU NEED A WIN, ‘CUZ THE MARGIN‘S THIN, AND D-P-A‘S GUNNING FOR YOU.”
THE CHAIR SAID, “MY NAME’S TIMMY AND IT MIGHT NOT BE OK,”
“BUT I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAL, OR I’M GUNNA REGRET THE VOTE FOR D-P-A.”
TIMMY CRANK UP THE SPIN MACHINE, YOU GOT TO SELL THIS HARD.
‘COS GREED’S BROKE LOOSE IN GEORGIA Continue reading
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D-Day Approaches: “We know why you wildcat strike.”

 

D-Day Approaches:  “We know why you wildcat strike.”

Why is OPERATION ORANGE going through the effort to change the laws? Is it nothing more than a petulant grab for what we legitimately lost at the bargaining table, or is there something more to it? Is it all about our paychecks and time off, or do others benefit from what we are doing?

This is why, and it is going to be the way pilot labor relations will be in the future, unless Congress changes the law.

Turbulence Ahead for American’s Passengers

 May 4, 2012
By an American Airlines pilot [1]
Published by OPERATION ORANGE with permission.

Tom Horton is trying to make history.

The newly minted CEO of American Airlines wants to throw out the labor agreements of its pilots, flight attendants and ground workers and force them to work under new rules imposed by his management team. The employees would be forced to take less pay, work longer hours and would lose their pensions. They would pay three times as much for their medical insurance, and would be severely penalized for calling in sick. Mr. Horton also wants to lay off 14,200 experienced workers, and replace them with cheap contract labor both in and out of the US. He also wants to Continue reading

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Dealing With The Virtual Airline

Commercial aviation industry analyst, Michael Boyd, penned a fantastic article in his April 30th edition of the “Monday Hot Flash.” He arrived at the same conclusions we did in our February 2012 entry on the OPERATION ORANGE website entitled, “Our Future: If We Choose To Allow It.”

The government and industry are racing toward this “brand virtualization” concept, and the pilot associations are entranced by the metamorphosis. We hope to change the trajectory of this feature of pilot recruitment for purposes of protecting the traveling public against dangerous trends in outsourcing and the annoying deterioration of passenger service. Boyd correctly calls-out the revolving door of low-skilled and low-paid employees, which logically result in low levels of passenger service and operational safety. It seems that the airline support personnel will have to choose between a career in aviation, or one preparing fast food, washing windows, collecting tolls, or grooming pets.

If we don’t act in our own best interests, piloting will succumb to the same fate. This is the model airline management has for pilots, and they have paid off the government to those ends.

We invite you to read Boyd’s article and also encourage you to read his other works. His analysis is far superior to the self-serving bilge offered by Wall Street and other incarnations of the “conventional wisdom.”

(To read Boyd’s article on Boyd Group International’s website, click HERE)

(To read Boyd’s article in PDF, click HERE)

Dealing With The Virtual Airline

By: Michael Boyd, Monday, April 30, 2012
© Boyd Group International, republished by OPERATION ORANGE with permission.  All rights reserved by Boyd Group International, www.aviationplanning.com

It happened in the petroleum industry. It’s happening in the airline business. Or, more accurately, it’s already happened in the airline business. Brand virtualization.

Today, you go to the gas station and pump a brand of gas in to the tank of your SUV. But where that unleaded came from, how it was produced, who produced it, who moved it and who put it into the filling station storage tank, are all different companies, and they can change month to month, and even gas station to gas station across town. The only thing that’s the same is that the sign at the station says “Conoco” or “Shell.”

Twenty years ago, oil companies were involved from the wellhead to the gas pump. Today, it’s different vendors and suppliers for every part of the logistics stream. It’s all been farmed out to independent surrogates.

Tumble to this: that’s exactly what’s happened in the US airline industry over the last 15 years. Today, it’s not only possible, but probable Continue reading

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Welcome Pilots. Here Is What To Do For The SOS.

 (To read this entire post in a PDF format, click HERE)

Mission Statement:  To protect the flying public and restore the pilot profession by changing the current laws and industry practices which are in opposition to those ends.  This will be done via peaceful protest of the RLA and other laws and practices harmful to the flying public and pilot profession.  This protest is protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 
 
Phase I:  Develop scope of operation (complete)
Phase II:  Recruit a critical mass of pilots across the industry who have the resolve to withhold their services as peaceful protest under the First Amendment for the purposes of redress of grievances of the past three decades of managerial and government abuse of the flying public and professional pilots.  (in progress)
Phase III:  Active lobbying of government under the First Amendment. (in progress)
Phase IV:  Implement an industry wide shut down as peaceful protest if Phase III does not bear fruit.
Phase V:  Negotiate new contracts under the new laws.
Phase VI:  Remain vigilant for any threat to the flying public or pilot profession and take appropriate steps not to repeat the mistakes of the past three decades.
 
PILOT “TO DO” LIST FOR PHASE II

This is an outline of what is needed for sympathetic pilots to do during the educational phase of OPERATION ORANGE. If you wish to participate, please follow a few simple instructions Continue reading

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Air Canada Pilots Are Seeing ORANGE

 Air Canada Pilots are Seeing ORANGE

OPERATION ORANGE has touched nerves outside the confines of the United States. In fact, it is safe to say that wherever there is collusion between government and airline executives, for purposes of gutting pilot livelihoods and looting the wealth of the air transportation infrastructure, OPERATION ORANGE finds fertile ground to plant seeds for a glorious harvest.

All pilots in the US should pay attention to what is happening north of our border, because our brethren in Canada are experiencing what we are experiencing. In fact, the details of our struggle and theirs, are too similar to disregard as anything but coordination.

We made note of how QANTAS, the Australian national airline, is being systematically looted in the same manner airlines in the US have been destroyed. In the case of QANTAS, the matter has been brought to the floor of their parliament, by Senator Xenophon. We published his remarks a few weeks ago.

OPERATION ORANGE has been in contact with pilots at Air Canada and they are in the crucible of war, when it comes to their attempts to gain appropriate working conditions for their labors. It is what American Airlines pilots are now facing, and what United Continue reading

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New Video To Send To Every Pilot

Send this video to every pilot you know. Post this on your FACEBOOK page.

More videos will follow in the next few weeks.

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The Failure of the Railway Labor Act

The Failure of the Railway Labor Act

(To read this posting in PDF, click HERE)

120 years ago, the rail industry was linking American cities and promoting American commerce. This vital national resource was necessary for the growing, post-war nation to become the economic titan of the 20th Century.

Things were not smooth on the railway labor front. Burdened with high fixed costs, rail management frequently changed the pay and working conditions of its employees, prompting wildcat strikes. Armed troops were often summoned to quell labor unrest and put down violence.

It didn’t take much in the way of prescience to understand this feature of labor relations was at odds with the growing industrial needs of a rising nation, so Congress passed a series of laws aimed at streamlining labor unrest. Most were considered failures until Continue reading

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Basic Strategy

 

BASIC STRATEGY:  THE WAY WE SEE IT

(To read this post in its entirety (PDF), CLICK HERE)

There are essentially four types of pilots as it relates to implementing a nation-wide “sit down” protest of the current regulatory paradigm.

TYPE 1– Pilots who want to do an SOS right nowand are not squeamish in the slightest bit about doing it. These pilots are the most important part of this effort, because they are the sharp tip of the spear. They are the ones with the energy needed to get the word out to their peers and they are the ones who see the vision for the future of our profession. They know that nothing comes without standing up for yourself. They know that managing is the process of “what is,” and that leadership is the substance of “what can be.” They are the leaders.

The challenge is to convince them that there are a few bricks that have to be set prior to the SOS and that their enthusiasm needs to be channeled into setting those bricks.

TYPE 2– Pilots who want to do an SOS, but Continue reading

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The “One Level Of Safety” Charade: It Isn’t Just Pilots

The “One Level Of Safety” Charade: It Isn’t Just Pilots

 With all the clamor over the issue of pilot fatigue, resulting from the Colgan 3407 crash, the FAA and industry were able to divert attention away from the consequences of hiring the cheapest pilots they could find. PBS FRONTLINE produced a wholly accurate depiction of the consequences and conditions of the emerging “lift-contracting” model being pushed by the major airlines. In “Flying Cheap,” PBS FRONTLINE and Miles O’Brien uncover the dark truth: there is not a uniform level of safety in the piloting profession, despite the industry and FAA telling us there is.

The facts don’t lie – that’s what executives are for.

“One level of safety” exists only in the rhetoric, and everyone in the FAA, airline management, and skilled airline employee ranks knows it.

The statistical anomaly in the US airline safety record of the past 15 years, along with declining ticket prices (subsidized by forced pilot concessions), has mollified the traveling public. This has prevented the FAA, Congress, and airline executives from being forced to answer uncomfortable questions about the structure of the United States air transportation system. Colgan Air 3407 and US Airways 1549, less than a month apart, provided a glorious opportunity to finally address the underlying rot within the system, but those sounding the alarm Continue reading

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Revenue Shifting: The Airline Version of the “Shell Game.”

 

Revenue Shifting: The Airline Version of the “Shell Game.”

Does anyone find it curious that whenever an airline finds itself in contract negotiations with its airline pilot union, the airline’s revenues drop, while at the same time, and in the same economy, the revenues for airlines with pilots under contract are rising?

In the old, pre-deregulation era, airlines were allowed to assist one another to help offset the power of pilot unions. Whenever an airline was struck, the other airlines would help out with revenues, to keep bondholders at bay, knowing that the favor would be returned when their pilots struck. That was made illegal as part of airline deregulation of the 1970s.

It is for this reason that Lorenzo never had joint meetings with his bondholders and his employee unions. He had to disguise where the money was to extract concessions. It is exceedingly difficult to tell one group of people that you have no money while at the same time telling another group of people Continue reading

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Senator Xenophon’s Speech to Parliament

Senator Xenophon’s Speech on 23rd Aug 2011 to Parliament

 

[Australian Senator Nick Xenophon had some interesting things to say to the Australian Parliament concerning the events at Qantas, the Australian national airline. The effort by airline management to trash their own airlines for the purpose of destroying the viability of labor, is a global phenomenon. Pilots from around the world should unite in efforts to oppose them. Outsourcing safety is not an issue exclusive to the United States and Canada.

His highlighting of some of the malfeasance practiced in his country should be familiar to those of us in the US, Canada, and Europe. All emphasis is that of “The Committee.”]

I rise to speak tonight on an issue that is close to the hearts of many Australians, and that is the future of our national carrier, Qantas. At 90, Qantas is the world’s oldest continuously running airline. It is an iconic Australian company. Its story is woven into the story of Australia and Australians have long taken pride in the service and safety standards provided by our national carrier. Who didn’t feel a little proud when Dustin Hoffman uttered the immortal line in Rain Man, ‘Qantas never crashed’?

Qantas is being deliberately trashed by management in the pursuit of short-term profits and at the expense of its workers and passengers

While it is true that Qantas never crashes, the sad reality is that, for a long time, Qantas management has been pushing the line that Qantas international is losing money and that Jetstar is profitable. Tonight, it is imperative to expose those claims for the misinformation they are. Continue reading

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Our Future….If We Choose To Allow It

 

Lift Contracting: The Future Of Commercial Aviation…Should We Choose To Allow It

(For a PDF of this posting, click HERE.)

What is the “end game” with all these bankruptcies, outsourcing, and new features of the FARs? Is it all just a bewildering coincidence, or is there something behind these efforts?

Airline management and the government realize that they have limited options for pilots unifying behind withholding their services (strikes). Without pilots, the aircraft do not move and enormous sums of money can be lost. But more important than money, it is CONTROL that the airlines covet above all other things. The best thing they can do in the present day is hide behind the tortured interpretations of the RLA and simply “wait-out” any pilot resolve to improve their situation. They also have limited use of the bankruptcy code to force concessions that pilots would never willingly give up at the bargaining table, however, this tactic has practical limits as to its frequency of use. It also comes at a price to management.

It isn’t that they are concerned about the viability of their corporations; they want control. Profits are secondary to control, just as safety is secondary to profits.

It is maddening to an airline manager that a lowly pilot can use his authority as pilot-in-command to trump the wishes of management. It is further troublesome that pilots may eventually find Continue reading

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OPEN LETTER TO THE PILOTS OF AMERICAN AIRLINES

OPEN LETTER TO THE PILOTS OF AMERICAN AIRLINES

For a PDF of this letter, click HERE.

This goes to show that no matter how much you care, or how much you sacrifice, you cannot stop your executives from filing for bankruptcy, and there is no depth executives will not stoop to in order to get what they want from you. Some things are out of your hands, and pilots do not like to be told they cannot control things. Perhaps it is time for pilots to concern themselves with the their own welfare that of their fellow pilots and get this profession back on its feet.

You are asked to believe that this represents the final chapter in that long mess you found yourself in 2002, just as in 2003, you were told that it was the last chapter. A little “pulling together” would result in a “win together.”

They will hold Chapter 7 over you as they held Chapter 11 over you back in 2003. Play ball or they liquidate. That is what you will be told. You will play along because, as pilots, you cannot allow yourself to be the cause of failure. It goes against your DNA. They know this; it is why you were hired in the first place. Just one more sacrifice, and Continue reading

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Are You Smarter Than The NTSB?

The NTSB published its report on the Continental Connection / Colgan Air 3407 crash.  This event, and the NTSB report that followed, has served as the pretext for the overhaul of the flight time and duty time limitations by the FAA.

The question that we are asking is, “Did the FAA/NTSB address the correct problem, or are they deflecting blame away from the real issue?”

We have developed a 50 question quiz that explores this issue.  All the facts come directly from the NTSB report.  The “conventional wisdom” does not match the facts.

Please read the report and take the quiz.  Each question is answered with a discussion full discussion of the issue.

You may find the NTSB report HERE.

You may find the quiz and discussion HERE.

 Fly safe.

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A Chill Wind Blows In Dallas

 

…and we are not talking about American Airlines.

(For a PDF version of this post, click HERE)

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, recently penned a letter to his “warriors” at the “maverick” Southwest Airlines. It started out as a review of the dysfunction and resultant bankruptcy at his cross-town rival, American Airlines. The letter degenerated into a sales pitch on how Southwest employees, particularly pilots, need to trim costs and bump up productivity, lest they meet the same fate as employees at American Airlines.

This is clearly a shot across the bow of the pilots of Southwest Airlines, however due to the tradition of trustworthy management, many employees may not see this for what it is. A Southwest Airlines pilot has never had to watch his back, but that appears to be changing.

We have reposted many of the paragraphs in Kelly’s letter and have commented on what he wrote. We believe Kelly’s letter is a very ominous sign for pilots everywhere, especially at Southwest. It shores up our belief that the American Airlines bankruptcy isn’t the last chapter in the ATA’s war on employees Continue reading

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Injunction Junction, What‘s Your Function?

 

Injunction Junction, What‘s Your Function?

A review of the US Airways Injunction

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

     -various attributions.

For a PDF of this posting, click HERE.

The latest casualty of airline pilot unions running into traps set by the management-government axis is USAPA.  We can’t fault pilots for trying to remedy their seemingly hopeless situation by whatever means appear to be available to them; we only question their tactics.  Their hearts are in the right place, but their minds have not caught up to 21st Century labor relations.

OPERATION ORANGE is trying to fix that.

As we all know by now, a federal judge has agreed with just about every complaint lodged by US Airways management against the union representing the “East” pilots in its operations.  This should come as a shock to absolutely nobody who has been paying attention since Continue reading

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Secure Communications During The End Game

 

 

Secure Communications During the End Game

How can one small committee communicate securely, across an unsecured medium, monitored by a hostile adversary with almost unlimited resources,  with as many pilots who care to engage?  How can the thousands of pilots know that the message communicated on an unsecured network has not been forged?

It would be easy enough for the airlines, or their enforcers in various government agencies, to simply trespass (hack) the internet domain playing host to the communications of OPERATION ORANGE, and disrupt the entire effort.  They could entice sympathetic media to broadcast contrary messages, claiming they were authentic, and send OPERATION ORANGE into chaos.  It certainly would take little effort to hire people, claiming to be members of The Committee, in order to confuse everyone and disrupt the operation.

To keep everything moving in our favor, we need to overcome a few obstacles, and the bulk of these obstacles can be overcome by using public key cryptography…

(To read this post in its entirety, click HERE)

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First Amendment -vs- RLA: What governs?

 

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

-United States Constitution, First Amendment, 1791.

This is the supreme law of the land and it is well into its third century of governing political discourse, rallies, and lobbying throughout the United States. Contrary to the understanding of most in the air transportation industry, there is no exception for airline pilots. If you take the time to read the First Amendment closely, you will not find any reference to how airline pilots must have their political activities muzzled at the behest of a law passed 85 years ago.

In fact, there are no provisions to muzzle the political speech, press, assembly, or petitioning of the government of anyone involved in high profile occupations

The Railway Labor Act is not our UCMJ. It never has been, nor will it ever be; we believe it is time we quit acting as if it were. We are citizens with full enjoyment of the First Amendment, just as any civil rights Continue reading

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