The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, issued the following response regarding recent media reports that pilots were disrupting flight schedules with trivial maintenance requests.
“American Airlines pilots are trained professionals who are responsible for flying their passengers safely around the world every day. The list of unresolved maintenance issues grows every day on each of the aging aircraft we operate, and we can’t ignore serious maintenance issues that could easily turn into safety risks. Our pilots will not compromise safety, ever,” said APA President Keith Wilson.
“American Airlines chose to reject our contract and the operational procedures and protections that go with it. Understandably, our pilots are taking a prudent and cautious approach in their operational decision-making process,” Wilson added.
Here’s a sampling of the substantive maintenance-related issues our pilots have documented in the past several days:
- A left engine generator failed in flight
- An aircraft sustained a lightning strike
- The ground proximity warning system failed in flight
- A partial flight control failure
- Weather radar test inoperative
- A fuel leak on right wing main tank
- The left landing light was damaged
- A wind shear warning failure
- A brake anti-skid failure
- The engine start valve failed to close
“During the past year, American Airlines has sustained record FAA fines totaling $162 million for improper aircraft maintenance procedures, a strong indication that management’s maintenance practices have raised concerns with regulators,” Wilson noted. “In addition, companies that own and lease American Airlines aircraft have formally complained to the bankruptcy court that AA management has neglected to perform routine maintenance on their aircraft.
“The maintenance situation is not going to get any better any time soon, since management announced plans to outsource many maintenance operations,” Wilson said. “When maintenance operations are shipped overseas, quality control and FAA oversight only become more difficult.”