APA News Digest

Sept. 9, 2023

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In This Edition ...

We Will Never Forget Those Lost on 9/11

CA Ed Sicher (center) was part of APA’s contingent at Ground Zero last year.

On Monday morning, Americans nationwide will pause to mark the 22nd anniversary of the day that our industry and our country were forever changed. On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked two of our planes and two of United’s and unthinkably turned them into weapons of mass destruction. Among the thousands of people killed that day were these pilots, flight attendants, and other airline employees:

American Airlines Flight 11
Pilots: Captain John Ogonowski and First Officer Thomas McGuinness
Flight attendants: Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean Roger, Dianne Snyder, and Madeline Sweeney

United Airlines Flight 175
Pilots: Captain Victor Saracini and First Officer Michael Horrocks
Flight attendants: Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Amy King, Kathryn LaBorie, Alfred Marchand, Jesus Sanchez, Michael Tarrou, and Alicia Titus
Customer service representative: Marianne MacFarlane

American Airlines Flight 77
Pilots: Captain Charles Burlingame and First Officer David Charlebois
Retired pilot: Captain Bud Flagg
Flight attendants: Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, and Renee May
Executive assistant: Mary Jane Booth

United Airlines Flight 93
Pilots: Captain Jason Dahl and First Officer LeRoy Homer
Flight attendants: Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, CeeCee Lyles, and Deborah Welsh

We know all the souls we lost that day will be on your mind on Monday, whether you are flying, on a layover, or reflecting at home with family and friends.

Here is how the anniversary will be marked in some of our domicile cities.

  • BOS: A ceremony is scheduled for 0840 on the tarmac near gates B9 and B11. Registration through BOS Flight Service Ops is required. The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund will also host public ceremonies at the Massachusetts State House and the Boston Public Garden beginning at 0830.
  • DFW: APA Vice President CA Chris Torres will speak during the ceremony at the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine, which will be open to the public and will begin at 0730.
  • LGA: APA President CA Ed Sicher, LGA Domicile Chair CA Lawrence Cutler, and LGA Domicile Vice Chair CA Jim Scanlan will be among the few mourners at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, where access to Ground Zero is always limited on the anniversary.
  • PHL: The Garden of Reflection 9/11 Memorial in Yardley will host a public ceremony at 0830.
  • PHX: Victims’ names will be read at the Tempe Healing Field in Tempe Beach Park beginning at 0545.

President Advocates for Safety Standards

On Friday, The Hill – an influential media outlet in Washington, D.C. – published a column by APA President CA Ed Sicher regarding the dangerous measures being debated in regards to the FAA reauthorization bill. Some members of Congress want to lower the number of flight hours required to obtain a Restricted Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Other legislators want to raise the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots.

Here is an excerpt from CA Sicher’s column:

“We cannot forget that on Feb. 12, 2009, Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people. In the ensuing reports, investigators blamed the tragedy, in part, on inadequate training standards for the cockpit crew. As a result, Congress directed regulators to raise the training requirements to 1,500 hours.

“America has not had another multi-passenger airline accident since.

“Let me speak on behalf of pilots: There is no defensible reason whatsoever to endanger that stellar safety record. No matter what challenges may face America’s airways, the answer is not to lower the bar of real-life flight training for airline pilots transporting our loved ones. Nor is the answer to lower the bar on pilot fitness — certainly not without research to back it up.”

Click here to read the entire column.

APA Board of Directors to Meet Next Week

The APA Board of Directors will convene a special meeting at 0900 Central on Tuesday at union headquarters in Fort Worth. The meeting is scheduled to continue through Thursday. You may review the agenda here.

National Town Hall Meeting Set for Sept. 20

Your National Officers will host a National Town Hall Meeting via Zoom at 1600 Central on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Click here to register for the Sept. 20 meeting.

Email townhall@alliedpilots.org to submit your questions in advance – the deadline for submitting questions is 2359 Central on Sept. 19. Pre-submitted questions will be addressed during the call, with live questions taken as time permits. For those unable to participate live, we plan to upload a recording of the town hall to AlliedPilots.org/Videos after the meeting.

These meetings are intended to provide updates to the membership from the National Officers, Board of Directors, and national committees, and there will also be opportunities to answer your questions. While registration is not required, doing so in advance will provide you with a link to the meeting and call-in numbers, as well as a reminder one hour prior to the meeting. (A Zoom account is required to register.) For those who do not wish to create a Zoom account, we will provide a direct link and call-in numbers via the AlliedPilots.org member home page on the day of the meeting. You will be able to view audio/video through a chosen device, or you can attend as audio only via a phone call. We also plan to call all members shortly before the meeting begins as a reminder to participate.

For those who are not familiar with Zoom, our IT Department has created a Zoom quick reference guide.

Join Us for YOUnion 101 on Sept. 20

This is a repeated message from the APA Compass Project Committee.

APA Vice President CA Chris Torres and the Compass Project’s Member Engagement Team will host a “YOUnion 101” meeting via Zoom at 1100 Central on Wednesday, Sept. 20. This meeting focuses on all aspects of APA membership. While it is geared toward our newer pilots, all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The APA Compass Project is an industry-leading pilot mentoring and support program. Compass offers one-on-one support from experienced line-pilot sponsors for new hires, new captains, return-to-work pilots, as well as tutorial videos, and an extensive database of stage-based documents covering a helpful topics that are of importance to all pilots. Click here for more information and click here to register. After registration you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Join Our *NEW* Contract Compliance Training

This is a updated message from the APA Contract Compliance Committee.

Everything you wanted to know about the 2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement but were too afraid to ask!

Join us at 0900 Central on Sept. 13 for a full day of training on the new CBA.

Please take a few moments before the training to familiarize yourself with the Electronic Document Index. You must be logged in to AlliedPilots.org for the links to be accessible. This Index connects you to a vast array of APA documents that we will reference. It is equally useful in the daily operation as a line pilot, so we recommend you retain the Index for future reference. During the training, it may be helpful to have two screens; one to run Zoom and one to reference these documents.

A Zoom account (it’s free!) is required to attend the training course. For those who are not familiar with Zoom, APA IT has created a Zoom Quick Reference Guide. (We plan to offer in-person training sessions soon.)

Click here to register for the Sept. 13 training course.

Help us help you! The Contract Compliance Committee’s goal is for you – the membership – to be informed, educated, and knowledgeable. Every single pilot should strive to be a contract expert or, at the very least, strive for continued learning and engagement. Knowledge is power, and it will assist you in employing and being a watchdog of your negotiated work rules.

Save the date: Our next training session is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Hard-Block Hotels

This is a new message from the APA Hotel Committee.

In several markets, American Airlines hard-blocks rooms above what they have allocated to PBS-built sequences. Hard-blocking is the practice of reserving a block of extra rooms at a hotel that the company may or may not use in order to guarantee rooms are available when they inevitably do need additional rooms. Which cities AA choses to contract hard-block rooms in, the number of rooms AA hard-blocks, and whether this is done year-round or seasonally can vary. The company uses historical data to predict where and when there is a need for these rooms (typically at hubs). These rooms are typically assigned to 31XXX trips, and these hotels are sometimes labeled as “IROPS only,” which simply means AA isn’t allocating rooms at this hotel to PBS sequences. If you are on a 31XXX sequence and are assigned one of these “IROPS only” hotels, there is no reason for alarm. This is a normal process that AA uses to prevent the thrash of looking for last-minute rooms.

Typically, we have less feedback/data on these hard-block hotels since the volume of rooms used is lower than most of our hotels. Please submit a Hotel Survey though the APA Mobile app so we can track issues and trends and identify a strong hotel that should be considered for regularly scheduled layovers as well.

For more information, see the QRH – Quick Reference Hotels document, which should answer 99 percent of all hotel and transportation questions while providing helpful solutions. Suggestion: Download this QRH document to your AA iPad for easy access in the future.

NJASAP Pilots Need Our Support

This is a new message from the APA Strike and Tactical Operations Planning Committee.

The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots plans to conduct informational picketing outside the New York Stock Exchange between 1330 and 1730 Eastern on Sept. 14. If you can stand with your fellow pilots that day, click here to RSVP.

Our Recommended Reading List

This is a new message from the APA Aeromedical Committee.

In an effort to improve our members’ health, we have created a recommended reading list. Each month, we will highlight a book that has helped in the prevention of, treatment of, or recovery from an injury or illness, or has elevated a member’s education. Feel free to send your book recommendations to aeromed-committee@alliedpilots.org.

Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health

After suffering for years with unexplainable health issues, Dr. Ben Lynch discovered the root cause – “dirty” genes. Genes can be “born dirty” or merely “act dirty” in response to your environment, diet, or lifestyle; this can cause lifelong, life-threatening problems. The author shows readers to identify and optimize both types of dirty genes by cleaning them up with targeted and personalized plans, including healthy eating, good sleep, stress relief, environmental detox, and other holistic and natural means.

Disclaimer: This recommendation is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services. Always consult with your medical provider when making health care decisions.

Pigs of the Week

APA commends American Airlines’ hardworking aircraft maintenance technicians for their outstanding work. We believe they are the best in the business. When repetitive problems do arise, they’re often due to managerial decisions that fail to properly prioritize tasks and to management’s decision to outsource a significant portion of the airline’s maintenance to offshore, third-party repair stations.

  • In the last three weeks, the landing gear control interface unit on A321 aircraft 185 has been written up six times and has been out of service five times. It was most recently signed off on Sept. 4 after a functional check flight.
  • Since Aug. 16, the flight data recorder on B737 aircraft 3KS has been written up seven times and has been out of service five times. It was most recently signed off on Sept. 5.
  • In the last month, the left engine thrust reverser on A320 aircraft 601 has been written up six times, been on MEL four times, and been out of service five times. At the time of this writing, the thrust reverser was on MEL and the aircraft was restricted to Class 1 or 2 maintenance stations.

APA Welcomes New Pilots

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

The APA Membership Committee welcomed the following pilots during a casual dinner on Sept. 5: Akiyos Abebe, Thamer Alsagheer, Tomohiro Arai, Sando Arapovic, Adam Betley, Colin Brown, Rodolfo Costa, Paul Dabrowski, Brandon Diaz, Kacper Dubaj, Thomas Durrett, Demetria Elosiebo, Benjamin Feuerbach, Brian Harris, Robert Hougher, Timothy Jeffers, Shir Karmon, Jordan Klunk, George Kontogiannis, Robert Landes, Elridge LeBlanc, James Mann, Konstantinos Margaronis, Coby McEntire, Daniel McGonagle, Ralph Mears II, Matthew Moran, Daniel Nodorft, Brian Nowogrodski, Paul Parsoneault, Matthew Pool, Bruno Resende Laranjeira Fernandes, Christopher Rossiter, Frank Rouse, Ryan Siebert, Jacob Sills, Enderson Rafael Teixeira dos Santos, Mark Tripiano, Dwayne Tulloch, Wolfgang Erik Weise, Tyler Wells, Troy Wikle, Tyler Wisbar, and Mark Wrench.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

On Sept. 6, the APA Membership Committee hosted a casual dinner for the following pilots who were in Fort Worth for American Airlines’ Professionalism, Leadership, and Mentoring class: Bruce Anzalone II, Anthony Baiardo, Clifton Bonner, Fernando Brawn, Adam Cleveland, Thomas Culbreath, Alexander Czernecki III, Adam Elwell, Scott Erickson, Matthew Grieco, Jason Henderson, James Kareis II, Charles Kilchrist, David Kohls, Michael Lind, Mac McGilvray, John McGrath, Frederick Moore, Brandon Murphy, Ryan O’Neill, David Orwig, Rodrigo Ribeiro, James Richardson, David Roberts, John Vincent, and Nathan Wantland.

CLT Vehicle Burglaries Highlighted by Media

Click the image to watch the report.

CLT Domicile Chair CA Shane Vaughn spoke to WCNC-TV this week about the recurring vehicle burglaries at Charlotte Douglas International Airport: “Right now, it’s just vehicle break-ins, but what happens if somebody is approaching the vehicle at night and there’s an active robbery and somebody gets shot or, heaven forbid, sexually assaulted or kidnapped?”

Domicile Events

Get more details about these upcoming events at AlliedPilots.org/Calendar:

  • BOS: Implementation and Governance Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 12; Concourse Conversations on Sept. 21
  • CLT: Retirement Dinner on Sept. 17; Runway 5K on Oct. 21
  • DCA: Flying Circus Aerodrome on Sept. 17; Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 28
  • LAX: Reno Air Races on Sept. 13-17; Fleet Week lunch aboard the San Francisco Belle Sun on Oct. 8; San Diego Yacht Club party on Nov. 2; Dave & Buster’s event at LAS on Dec. 5
  • LGA: Implementation and Governance Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 12
  • PHL: Implementation and Governance Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 12; Family Awareness event for PIT commuters on Oct. 5; Domicile Meeting on Oct. 10

Domicile Elections

Election Round ballots listing the following candidates were mailed on Sept. 7, and they will be tallied on Sept. 28.

PHL Chair
FO Michael Drost
CA Francis Heid

PHL Vice Chair
FO Jordan Glasner
CA Brian Sweep

PHX Chair
CA Herschel Beard IV
CA Michael Saracino

PHX Vice Chair
FO Jeremy Ryder
FO Jim Varden

Candidates’ resumes were mailed to PHL and PHX pilots on Aug. 9, when they were also posted on the APA Elections webpage.

If you have any questions, call 817-302-2175.

Week in Review

The following messages were sent since last week’s News Digest was published.

Are You Willing to Serve?

Each of these national committees or subcommittees has the indicated number of vacancies:

  • Aeromedical Committee (1)
    • Critical Incident Response Program (1)
    • Disabled Pilot Awareness Subcommittee (3)
    • Human Intervention Motivation Study Subcommittee (3)
    • Pilot Occupational Health Subcommittee (2)
    • Project Wingman Subcommittee (3)
  • Captain’s Authority Committee (2)
  • Communications Committee (0)
    • National Communications Network (6)
  • Compass Project (5)
  • Grey Eagles Liaison Committee (1)
  • Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee (2)
  • Retirement & Benefits Committee (2)
  • Scheduling Committee (6)
  • Training Committee (3)
    • Checkmate (1 on 777 and 1 on 320)

If you would like to serve on one or more of these committees, visit the Member Engagement Portal.

Professional Standards FAQs

Why isn’t management part of the Professional Standards Committee?
This is a peer-to-peer program. Correcting behavior through peer engagement and awareness offers a potentially permanent solution. Management fully supports the work of the Professional Standards committee by providing vast resources and thoughtful input toward improving the process.

To read all of the FAQs, click here.

Professional Standards’ 24/7 hotline: 817-402-2181

Honoring and Supporting Veterans

100 Vets Who Give A Damn DFW is a group of like-minded veterans who want to make an impact on military charities. Technically, the group does not exist; it has no directors, officers, or treasurers. Its core group of organizers are simply volunteers generously donating their time to try and make a difference.

Three organizations are randomly chosen from a list of member-nominated charities. Representatives for those organizations are asked to make five-minute presentations about why they deserve the group’s support. After the presentations, the charity that receives the most votes from the vets in the room will be the suggested recipient. Each veteran then writes a check to the suggested charity and/or the ones that moved them the most.

The next meeting at the C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth is scheduled for Sept. 21, when the vets will hear from Brother’s Keeper, Hero Lab, and Project Sanctuary. Click here for more information.

If You’re 50, Join The Grey Eagles

Are you a pilot for American Airlines, at least age 50, active or retired? Please join The Grey Eagles for food, fun, and fellowship. We offer cruises, conventions, monthly luncheons, retirement dinners, professional mentoring, and assistance to surviving spouses – all for a one-time lifetime fee.

Pilot Job Fairs and Future Pilot Seminars

Future & Active Pilot Advisors’ next Pilot Job Fair and Future Pilot Seminar are scheduled for Sept. 30 at TPA followed by Oct. 14 at DFW. Click here for more information.

Industry News

For more about what’s happening in the industry, be sure to visit the Industry News page on AlliedPilots.org.

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