APA News Digest

Sept. 15, 2023

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In This Edition ...

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.

Too Many Close Calls – “Stop This Bad Momentum”

APA Communications Committee Chair CA Dennis Tajer talked to Fox News this week about the recent string of close calls that have been highlighted by other media outlets, including The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News. CA Tajer told Fox that the air travel system in the U.S. is under “immense pressure,” adding that individuals who are “less seasoned” and “less experienced” are entering the industry.

CA Tajer also said airline management teams are trying to “fly as many airplanes, as much as possible.” Meanwhile, the FAA is understaffed, particularly when it comes to air traffic controllers. “It’s got all the ingredients for these incidents,” he said. “We have just got to ensure that we stop this bad momentum.”

Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks Marked Across System

APA leaders and members observed the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in multiple cities on Monday. Clockwise, from top: APA President CA Ed Sicher, LGA Domicile Chair CA Lawrence Cutler, and LGA Domicile Vice Chair CA Jim Scanlan were among the pilots who visited Ground Zero in New York, along with leaders from the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. APA Vice President CA Chris Torres spoke during the ceremony at the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine, Texas. And Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations President CA Larry Rooney marked the anniversary at the Garden of Reflection 9/11 Memorial in Yardley, Pa., along with Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, a constant proponent of secondary barriers on commercial aircraft.

APA Communications Committee Chair CA Dennis Tajer touted the need for secondary barriers in an article published this week by the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. In a worst-case scenario, he said, such barriers “buy us the most critical tool we have when someone wants to take over the airplane – and that is time. Time to resecure the door. Time to fight off the attack. Because the name of the game when it comes to the flight deck is to protect it at all costs so that someone doesn’t get up there and use the aircraft as a weapon.”

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.

Resources Related to New CBA

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

A variety of resources are available to help you during the implementation of our new CBA. The recommended first source of information should be the Implementation Timeline (LOA 23-004) and the most current version of Contract 2023. The majority of questions regarding implementation can be found in the LOA, and it is also conveniently broken down in the Negotiating Committee’s Aug. 27 update.

If you need further clarification, the Contract Administrators are ready to assist the membership. Contract Administrators are available from 0700 to 1900 Central, seven days a week, via 800-323-1470, Option 3. Questions can also be submitted to the Contract Administrators via the Contract Questions form. Numerous Compass Project user guides are available, and many have already been updated to reflect new CBA provisions.

The six pilot volunteers of the Contract Compliance Committee are available to resolve issues and irregularities that occur because of newly implemented items, or other areas that require deeper contractual attention. Questions regarding pay, coding, and implementation should be directed toward Contract Administration as much as possible. The after-hours hotline (from 1900 to 0700 Central) should be reserved for issues that require immediate intervention with a Crew Scheduling or Tracking senior on duty.

We thank you for your efforts in educating yourself on the new CBA! Thank you to the 400-plus pilots who joined our training event on Sept. 13 and for being engaged by submitting more than 300 questions. Please plan to join us at 0900 Central on Oct. 25 for our next training session.

10-Hour Layovers

This is the latest in a series of Q&As from the APA Contract Compliance Committee.

Q: My sequence was originally scheduled for 11 hours of rest. We arrived late to our overnight, and we have now been scheduled for 10 hours. I thought the 2023 CBA required no less than an 11-hour layover?
A: The 2023 CBA requires that all regularly scheduled layovers – those originally published in the monthly PBS bid package – be constructed with at least 11 hours of rest. In the operation, computer-generated sequences (31XXX) can be created with the minimum FAR 117 requirement of 10 hours of rest. Additionally, operational issues may also result in an originally constructed, longer layover being reduced to the 10-hour minimum.

CBA Section 15.C.5.a.(9): All regularly scheduled layovers (off-duty periods) must be no less than eleven (11) hours plus the applicable reporting and debriefing period in 15.C.5.d. and e. below.

Fresh Polish on Historic Benton House

This is a new message from the APA Government Affairs Committee.

The Benton House serves as APA’s base of operations in Washington, D.C., for union leadership and the Government Affairs Committee. The Capitol Hill Historical Society has designated the 137-year-old house a historic building, so rather than replacing the original front doors – which were in disrepair – APA had them restored. They were reinstalled on Thursday.

Good Mental Health Helps Win the Game

This is a new message from Project Wingman.

Click the image to watch a short video on Kicking the Stigma.

Did you know that peer support programs like Project Wingman are not unique to the airline industry? They are also found in locker rooms across the NFL.

Realizing that football players may be “tough on the outside” but in need of emotional support on the inside, the Indianapolis Colts were the first team to launch a peer support program. Their mental health awareness campaign, Kicking the Stigma, began two years ago. Like Project Wingman, this program has been successful in supporting players and their family members during times of emotional stress. In this short video, Peyton Manning shared his thoughts about the importance of preserving good mental health through peer support. “Talking about mental health is not a sign of weakness but really a sign of strength. It’s OK to admit that times are tough and everything is not OK.”

Like NFL players, pilots are no exception to the stressors that life can present over the course of an airline career. If you are feeling an emotional load and need to talk about it, don’t hesitate to call a fellow pilot at Project Wingman.

Our hotline is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: 848-APA-CREW or 817-823-7965.

Concourse Conversations at LAX

This is a new message from the National Communications Network.

The National Communications Network will host Concourse Conversations at LAX between 0830 and 1500 on Sept. 21. Look for us in Terminal 4, midway down the terminal around Sammy’s Pizza.

These events provide an opportunity for members at large to deliver feedback directly to union volunteers. We will be collecting feedback to send to the Board of Directors and National Officers. Every pilot who stops by will receive a Starbucks gift card.

American Airlines Voluntary Term Life Insurance Coverage: Special Election Window

This is a new message from the APA Retirement and Benefits Committee.

This week, the company announced a special election window for participants in its Voluntary Term Life Insurance plan. The special election window opens at 1200 Central on Oct. 1 and ends at 2359 Central on Oct. 10. During that time, you will be able to update your coverage amount. If you chose to decrease or terminate your coverage, you will receive a pro rata refund commensurate with your new election retroactive to Aug. 21, 2023. If you take no action, your coverage will continue as is, and you will only be able to make changes during a Qualified Life Event or Annual Enrollment for the following plan year.

In its announcement, the company noted that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement automatically enrolls all pilots in Basic Life Insurance in the amount of $750,000, which may prompt some Voluntary Term Life plan participants to reduce or eliminate that coverage.

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 left air-conditioning pack on B737 aircraft 3LA has been written up seven times and has been out of service five times. It was most recently signed off on Sept. 14.
  • Since June 27, the right engine thrust reverser on B737 aircraft 3PG has been written up 10 times, been on MEL six times, and been out of service four times. At the time of this writing, it remained on MEL.
  • Since June, A319 aircraft 825 has been written up for air bleed Class II messages 22 times, been on MEL seven times, and been out of service six times. At the time of this writing, it remained on MEL.

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. 12: Jeremy Albright, Jared Allman, Tyler Bator, Donald Burand II, Gregory Burkett, Ryan Cheney, Joseph Cherry, Brandon Currier, Marie Davis, Antonio Del Pozo, Scot DeStefans, Phillip Draper, Michael Driscoll, Santiago Escobar, Guilherme Fagundes, Evan Fax, Vincent Gallo, Kevin Garcia, James Gidusko, Waylon Greer, Zachary Hamby, Daniel Hill, Marius Hoffman, Chad James, Gregory Kearney, Jesse Landry, Derek Lemke, Samantha Lindenberger, Andrew Loder, Todd Long, Joseph Lopez, Edey Luis, Harrison Martin, Sean McClune, Dennis McNeeley Jr., Fikreslasie Megersa, Zachary Mitchell, Brian Neal, Keith Novatnak Jr., Michael Nowakowski, Andres Oliveros, Jersson Parra Alvarez, Ezequiel Paz, Bryan Peterson, Alexander Pinkstaff, Michael Prokup, Skylar Rawson, Jonathan Reed, Andrew Robinson, Patrick Smith, Mason Tatum, Melia Tipper, William Wilcox, David Yocum, Shawn Zhang, and Alena Zikova.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

On Sept. 13, 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: Michael Amos, Timothy Chervenka, Kirk Fugate, Blake Gavin, James Hartman, Florian Heithier, Ryan Hollman, Heath Hyde, James Karafa, Felix Maldonado, Ricardo Mata, Stephan Ramos, Terry Rhew, Steven Richardson, Kevin Romero, Luis Siero, Stacy Smith, Tanner Summers, Benjamin Wilson II, Jason Wroten, and Corey Young.

Congratulations to Newly Upgraded Captains

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

We would like to recognize and congratulate these pilots who upgraded to captain last month. They are listed by their post-upgrade base and equipment.

CLT 737: Brandon Murphy

CLT 320: Anthony Baiardo, Jonathan Butkovic, Timothy Chervenka, Jason Henderson, Heath Hyde, David Kohls, Matthew McCune, Jeffrey Smith, Tanner Summers, and Jonathan Winstead

DCA 320: Florian Heithier

DFW 737: John Colquitt II, Michael Kirkpatrick, Bradley Locey, and Keith Malkani

DFW 320: Scott Erickson, Timothy Lynch, Jonathan Marquart, Eric Mitchell, Kevin Romero, Andrew Rozell, Joseph Settles, David Valenziano, John Vincent, Benjamin Wilson II, and Dennis Woodlief

LAX 320: Clifton Bonner and Austin Norton

LGA 737: Eric Butler, Bret Kozura, Clifford Lanyi, David Loveday, Joel Marquez, Lucas Myers, Randall Parsons, Terry Rhew, Steven Richardson, and Andrew Salmon

MIA 737: Fernando Brawn, John Currie, Francois Danieau, Rex Hopkins, Felix Maldonado, Scott McCoy, Sean Murphy, David Ritz, Harry Sahoy, Derek Williams, and Juan Zelaya

MIA 320: Joseph Bennington, Bryan Bryson, Edel Cruz, Alexander King, Justin Rubino, Gary Smith, and Kyle Thompson

ORD 787: Timothy Bowden and James Karafa

ORD 737: Jorge De La Vega, Adam Elwell, Christopher Hawley, Charalambos Rommo, and Corey Young

PHL 320: Joseph Benscoter, Reuben Chapman VII, Jeffrey Frankenfield, Ryan Hollman, Brian Jackson, Maurice MacEwen, John Miller, Stephan Ramos, Dudley Vaughn, and Daniel Williams III

PHX 320: Nathan Bandy and Kenneth Pierce

Retirees in July and August

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

We would like to recognize and congratulate these pilots who retired in July and August.

BOS: CA Steven Johnson

CLT: CA Robert Byrd, CA Kenneth Byrns, FO Bill Cheng, CA Garry Chesnutt, CA Ted Cromie, CA Creighton Currin, CA Clifford Frost, FO Steven Kiefer, CA Herbert McKinley, CA Alex Mello, CA Steven Novak, CA Michael O'Connell, CA Deane Pennington, CA John Rodgers, CA Tom Ronai, CA Richard Shoaf, CA Robert Simmons, CA Ian Turner, CA Daniel Warren, and CA Douglas White

DCA: CA Frank Corley, CA Michael Mudd, and CA William Reddel

DFW: CA Douglas Brutlag, CA Timothy Burke, CA Mark Burnett, CA Scott Christensen, CA Charles Clary, CA Charles Crews, CA Matthew Daugherty, FO Marc Drewis, CA Joe Dulaney, CA Steven Farrah, FO John Floyd, CA Timothy Gilbert, CA Gregory Hargis, FO Joseph Hasbrouck, CA John Hope, CA Tim Hulme, CA Richard Jacobson, CA George Katsahnias, CA Steven Kauneckas, FO Stephen Kelley, CA Eric Kothny, CA Richard Kynaston, CA Mark Leaman, CA John MacHolz, CA Richard Mays, CA Mark McCord, CA Robert McGhee, CA David McKinney, CA Joe Newnham, CA Charles Patterson, FO Edgardo Ramos, CA Donald Seavey, CA David Simmons, CA Clay Strieter, CA Mark Tomasik, FO Timothy Verboski, CA Mark Warnick, CA Samuel Whiting, and CA Rick Womick

LAX: CA Ali Al-Katat, CA Brien Bluhm, CA Glenn Blumenstein, FO James Danhakl, CA George Farmer, FO James Fosness, CA Joel Foster, FO Walter Galland, CA Fred Hazlett, FO Jerry Honeycutt, CA Raymond Hower, CA Leonard Jankowski, CA Gary Keene, CA Christopher Naumchik, CA Eric Watt, CA Keith Wolzinger, and FO Gregory Zimmerman

LGA: CA David Butler, FO Dean Hall, CA Larry Harmacinski, CA Joseph Pizzi, CA Gregory Symonds, FO Terry Weisenfeld, and CA David Wigley

MIA: CA William Bevins, FO Douglas Cligrow, CA John Dantzler, CA Brian Fields, FO Gregg Goodpaster, CA Richard Gosselin, CA Frank Kovacs, CA David Lindley, CA Robert Marcellari, CA Matthew Mitchell, CA Isidore Savona, CA Paul Taylor, CA Dale Teetor, FO Jay Thorsland, and CA Dean Watson

ORD: FO Gary Blied, CA Timothy Delaney, CA Douglas Fiorino, CA Mark Michel, CA Richard Mueller, FO Phillip Reifsteck, CA Samuel Rhodes, CA James Schroeder, CA Ken Schroepfer, CA Matthew Teare, and CA Stephen Zoerlein

PHL: CA Erik Bell, CA Richard Bradley, FO Robert Brown, CA Steve Dannahower, CA Michael Getter, CA John Hyde, CA Charles Klein, CA Richard Koziel, CA Jeffrey Langer, CA Ron Masone, CA Paul Nix, CA John Sabel, and FO Deborah Utz

PHX: CA Richard Kuspis, CA William Patzer, and FO Kevin Volpato

Gone West

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of these pilots, whose deaths we learned of last month: Linwood “Art” Arthur, 87, on May 9; Clyde Herzog, 76, on June 22; Howard Henson, 86, on June 25; Jim Kiesel, 76, on July 4; Steve Winter, 84, on July 15; John Eaton, 79, on July 24; Jim Owen, 86, on July 24; Michael Hennessy, 67, on July 26; Dick Kelso, 92, on July 29; George Brunstad, 88, on July 31; Edward Simmons, 56, on Aug. 13; George Waddington, 90, on Aug. 13; Howard Taylor, 65, on Aug. 26; and Mike Polen, 81, on Aug. 10.

Domicile Events

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

  • CLT: Retirement Party on Sept. 17; Second Harvest service project on Oct. 2; Domicile Meeting on Oct. 13; Runway 5K on Oct. 21
  • DCA: Flying Circus Aerodrome on Sept. 17; Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 28
  • DFW: Domicile Meeting on Oct. 3; Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 17; Contract Compliance training on Oct. 25; Family Awareness event at Chicken N Pickle on Oct. 25; Retirement Party on Nov. 11
  • LAX: Concourse Conversations on Sept. 21; 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
  • ORD: Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 17
  • PHL: Family Awareness event for PIT commuters on Oct. 5; Domicile Meeting on Oct. 10
  • PHX: Domicile Meeting on Sept. 21; End of Summer BBQ on Sept. 27; IMAX training via Zoom on Oct. 24

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 (1)
  • 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

Is Professional Standards suitable for conduct issues or performance issues?
It may be suited for both. The program is designed to promote and maintain professionalism. It is well suited for any case, conduct, or performance when professionalism may be an issue.

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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