FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
First Officer Tom Hoban
ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION ADDRESSES ABC NEWS STORY ON EMERGENCY LANDING: “SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT”
Fort Worth, Texas (Oct. 4, 2012)—The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, issued the following statement in response to an ABC News story on Wednesday, Oct. 3 regarding the emergency landing of American Airlines Flight 1862 on Tuesday, Oct. 2. In the story, a passenger was interviewed who questioned the validity of the emergency landing.
“After landing gear retraction, a warning light indicated an unsafe condition with the right main gear. Based on the aircraft’s aerodynamic performance and associated noise level, the captain suspected that the right main gear had not fully retracted,” said APA President Captain Keith Wilson. “In accordance with the in-flight emergency checklist, the cockpit crew extended the landing gear. The crew then retracted the gear again, and the same unsafe condition was indicated with the right main gear.
“In the interests of safety, the crew declared an emergency with air traffic control and coordinated a return to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Consistent with emergency procedures, the captain briefed the three flight attendants via the aircraft interphone,” Wilson said. “Unless the captain instructs the flight attendants not to give the passengers a ‘brace’ command during an emergency, it is at the flight attendants’ discretion whether to do so. In this instance, the captain left that decision to the flight attendants, who proceeded to issue the command as an extra measure of safety. The ‘brace’ position is widely acknowledged to be an effective life-saving measure. The flight then landed safely without incident.
“We commend the cockpit and cabin crew for handling this safety-sensitive situation in a professional manner. While not routine, incidents like this do occur. When they do, our pilots—by virtue of our training and experience—deal with them in a calm, methodical manner.
“While we recognize that everyone is entitled to their opinion, we hope that all of American Airlines’ passengers understand that for our pilots, safety is paramount and will not be compromised,” he said.
That is the full text of APA’s statement.
Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association—the largest independent pilot union in the United States—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, including 649 pilots not yet offered recall from furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the nation’s largest international passenger carrier and fifth-largest cargo carrier.