APA News Digest

Dec. 15, 2023

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In This Edition ...

From Hiring to Retiring, the Membership Committee Looks Out for Pilots

This is the latest in a series of articles highlighting the work done by APA’ national committees. Read the rest on our Armed With the Facts webpage.

When we’re new hires, we submit applications to join the Allied Pilots Association. Our membership with the union protects us. It gives us access to APA’s aeromedical resources as well as the union’s incredible benefits plans. Our membership also gives us a voice in Washington, D.C. And while it may be as easy as submitting a quick application for us, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of that application. That’s where the Membership Committee comes in.

“It’s a lot of busy work,” Deputy Chair CA James Marberry says. “It’s not necessarily the glamorous work, but it’s a necessary part of structuring a union.”

Membership Committee Chair CA Steve Pacheco (shown at left, hard at work) says the committee’s primary focus is taking care of new hires.

“We monitor their progression from being a non-member, to being an apprentice member, to then a full member,” he says. “We’re working with new hires until they get their Compass mentors.”

The process to becoming an APA member starts at the new hires’ Meet and Greet, which was recently moved up to day one of InDoc so pilots – and their families – know from the start that APA is available to support them.

“We come over and introduce ourselves, and then invite them to a dinner at APA to help inform and guide them through the ins and outs of not only employment at American, but what the union has to offer,” CA Pacheco says. “We try to emphasize the importance of professionalism and being proud of our profession.”

The Membership Committee hosted nearly 40 such dinners for new hires in 2023. The committee hosts similar dinners for captains who are in Fort Worth for American Airlines’ Professionalism, Leadership, and Mentoring class.

“We also support new captains,” CA Pacheco says. “We strive to answer any questions they may have and provide support in any way we can.” 

This is just one of the dozens of new-hire classes the Membership Committee hosted this year.

Supporting pilots and their families is a huge undertaking for the Membership Committee, especially if a pilot is returning from long-term disability or facing furlough. CA Marberry got involved with the committee just before the COVID-induced furloughs of 2020.

“We wanted to take care of our pilots,” he says. “We put together a video to help our pilots prepare for furlough, get their financials in order, and any other ways we can help.”

For CA Marberry, this is a personal cause, because he was furloughed in 2002.

“At that point, it was just, ‘Turn your stuff in. We’re sorry.’ But now we’re helping give you information and support. We want our members to know that we’re still here for you, you’re still a member, and you still have APA resources, which is part of why we did Zoom calls,” he says. “There was a lot of really good information, but really, the biggest part was that the people that attended the Zoom calls knew that they weren’t on an island by themselves.”

The Membership Committee’s efforts extend to retiring pilots, who are offered a personalized poster featuring their aircraft of choice.

“In essence, Membership is a start-to-finish committee dedicated to supporting pilots for the entirety of their careers,” CA Pacheco says. “I want members to know that whenever they have an issue, there’s someone they can call at APA to get an answer. You can start with us, and we’ll help you figure it out. We are available to help answer questions regarding anything from IT support to directing members to appropriate departments for assistance with whatever information they may need.”

CA Marberry echoes that sentiment: “We answer a lot of membership questions. We’re proud to support the pilot group. We get to help our pilots. I love doing that. It makes me feel really good.”

APA Contingent Meets with ITF in London

Last May, the APA Board of Directors approved motions that made APA a dues-paying member of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). Before the Board’s votes, APA President CA Ed Sicher and APA International Alliance Committee Chair CA Kelly Ison made the case for membership in both federations by pointing out that many threats to our profession – including single-pilot operations and flags of convenience – are being pushed by airlines and regulators based in other countries. CA Sicher and CA Ison recently met with ITF leadership at their office in London, along with CA Eric McEldowney of the APA Strategic Planning Committee member and CA Shawn Gray of the APA Government Affairs Committee. APA’s membership in the ITF and IFALPA attest to your union’s commitment to ensuring your voice is heard globally on critical issues affecting all of our careers.

Clarification on CBA 19.C.1 – For Flight Deck Jumpseaters Only

This is a new message from the APA Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee.

As a reminder, the new 19.C.1 language for accommodating jumpseaters on weight-restricted flights applies only to flight deck jumpseaters. Any cabin jumpseaters may be seated only within existing weight limitations.

Checklist for captains with a weight-restricted TPS:

  1. Upon initial check-in, advise Gate Agent to ensure all jumpseat-eligible pilots are listed and checked in for the flight.
  2. Advise Dispatch, “I am able to accommodate flight deck occupant(s).”
  3. Advise Gate Agent, either in person or using jetbridge phone, how many jumpseaters may be accommodated as soon as possible during the boarding process, and to board them at 15 minutes prior to departure.
  4. As with all flights, whenever possible at D-20, “Take the Walk” to ensure any jumpseaters will be accommodated.

Priority for jumpseat occupants will be per FOM table 3s.5, and D2WP and D2WA will be accommodated before FDJ AA D1/D2 and OAL CASS-approved D6, who will be accommodated in priority list order.

Gate Agents have been advised of the implementation of the new provision via WebRef Advisory (APS23024). Please reference this, if needed, and advise your Chief Pilot or IOC Duty Pilot if questions arise.

Your Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee continues its efforts to ensure that all policies within Section 19 of the CBA are implemented and enforced.

Supplemental FOQA Airport FAM – Eagle, Colorado (EGE)

This is a new message from the APA Safety Committee.

The AA/APA FOQA Team is happy to announce the supplemental familiarization resources for Eagle, Colorado (EGE) have been published for your viewing in Comply365.

While APA’s position remains that technology is not an equal substitute for actually flying an airplane under the supervision of an experienced and qualified Check Pilot, using every tool we can to improve safety is a persistent goal. By combining animated FOQA data with GoPro footage captured from the flight deck, our pilots can receive an enhanced perspective of the unique threats flying into and out of challenging airports like EGE.

For any technical assistance or any questions/concerns regarding these resources, please email the FOQA Team. Feedback is encouraged as the team strives to create the best possible user experience for our pilots.

Making the Most of a Holiday Sequence

This is a new message from the APA Hotel Committee.

Flying over the holidays can be a disappointment; however, crews often find a way to make the most of their time away from home by planning a meal together or bringing family members or a guest along for their trip.

Although food options can be limited, hotels typically have a list of options and hours for a holiday meal. Sometimes the hotel will offer a complimentary meal for crews. If we are made aware of this for a particular property, we will post a temporary notification on the Hotel Webpages. We also recommended reaching out to hotels ahead of time for market-specific information. Contact information can easily be found on our Hotel Webpages.

If you are planning to bring family or guests with you on your layover, there are a couple of things to consider. American Airlines contracts for a hotel room for only one guest. Crews are sometimes charged extra if they bring a guest to Europe or an all-inclusive hotel. If you bring someone, you are responsible for any applicable cost incurred for your guest. We recommend that you call ahead and inquire what obstacles and costs are associated with bringing a guest. Additionally, transportation is only contracted for the crew. Typically, this is for insurance reasons. If there is no room in the vehicle for an additional rider or the transportation company provides pushback, please be prepared to secure alternate transportation.

Often, information about bringing an additional guest is available on the APA Hotel Webpage for each property. If it is not, please submit feedback so we can populate the information for future crews.

Your Hotel Committee wishes you a happy holiday season, and to those of you flying over the holidays, thank you.

For more information on the Hotel Webpages, see page 10 of 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.

Get Educated About Our New Contract

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

The Contract Compliance Committee wants to do everything we can to ensure that all APA members are well acquainted with the 2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Join us on Jan. 11 in LAX for a full day of training on the new CBA. This training will be conducted in hybrid fashion, with members welcome to participate in person or virtually via Zoom.

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.

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.

Pig 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.

  • Since Sept. 2, B737 aircraft 3HW has been out of service five times because the lavatories will not flush. It was most recently signed off on Dec. 15 and is restricted to Class 1 or 2 maintenance stations.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

On Dec. 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: Kristin Bodie, Mark Bono, Brian Butcher, Andy Chen, James Hankinson, Forrest Heintz, Skyler Hester, Andrew Hrynkiw, Matthew Inkel, Leonid Kozlovsky, Ryan Krietsch, Patrick Lyttle, Jose Masiclat, Andrew McGee Jr., Giuseppe Panedda, Daniel Petersen, Dwight Robertson, Frederic Rose, Scott Shepard, Phillip Sheridan, Tami Smith, William Talbot, Vincent Travis, Luis Urbina Anaya, Mark Wagner, and Christopher Wyatt.

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: Bob Lundy, 88, on Nov. 25, 2020; Arnie Detmer, 85, on Sept. 20; Ed MacTaggart, 87, on Sept. 21; Pat Ohnmeis, 84, on Oct. 4; Don Amato, 89, on Oct. 8; Ray Seidel, 85, on Oct. 11; Mike Diamond, 63, on Oct. 12; Dave Mengis, 70, on Oct. 14; Hank Dillenbeck, 94, on Oct. 18; Jay Archer, 87, on Oct. 20; Gordon Sieler, 89, on Oct. 22; Don Wells, 84, on Oct. 28; Ron Forte, 81, on Oct. 28; Raynard Makin, 74, on Nov. 2; Marty Morrissey, 72, on Nov. 3; Bill Williams, 89, on Nov. 6; Pat Breen, 83, on Nov. 11; Harvey Tidball, 72, on Nov. 11; D.C. Morris, 90, on Nov. 12; Joe Coulp, 65, on Nov. 16; Mike Oakes, 62, on Nov. 17; and Steve Behringer, 73, on Nov. 18.

Domicile Events

Click the image for a closer look.

There were a whole lot of ugly Christmas sweaters in the ENW hangar of CA Steve Jones and CA Gail Jones on Thursday, when they hosted the ORD Holiday Party.

Visit AlliedPilots.org/Calendar to RSVP for any of these upcoming domicile events:

  • BOS: Holiday Party on Dec. 16
  • DCA: Washington Capitals game on Jan. 16
  • DFW: Holiday Party on Dec. 16
  • LGA: Winter Warmer on Jan. 26

Domicile Elections

The following CLT pilots have been placed into consideration for nomination as Interim Domicile Chair and have indicated a willingness to serve, if elected:

CLT Domicile Chair
FO Russ Blackwell
FO Ryan Cianciolo
CA Casey Granger
FO Erik Knauff
CA Dan Scola

The candidates’ resumes were mailed to all CLT pilots on Dec. 5. Nomination Round ballots were mailed on Dec. 6, and they will be tallied on Dec. 28. The three candidates with the most votes will advance to the Election Round.

Pilots’ names can be submitted for the regularly scheduled DCA and DFW Domicile Elections until 0001 Central on Dec. 26. Submissions can be made on the APA Elections webpage.

If you have any questions, contact the APA Elections Department via 817-302-2175 or elections@alliedpilots.org.

Week in Review

The following messages were sent since the previous News Digest was published on Dec. 8.

Are You Willing to Serve?

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

  • Aeromedical Committee (1)
    • Disabled Pilot Awareness Subcommittee (3)
    • Human Intervention Motivation Study Subcommittee (2)
    • Pilot Occupational Health Subcommittee (1)
    • Project Wingman Subcommittee (3)
  • Captain’s Authority Committee (2)
  • Communications Committee (0)
    • National Communications Network (7)
  • Grey Eagles Liaison Committee (1)
  • Hotel Committee (3)
  • Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee (1)
  • Retirement & Benefits Committee (2)
  • Scheduling Committee (5)
  • 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

What types of issues will Professional Standards accept?
Almost any issue that would benefit from the peer-to-peer method of resolution is acceptable, such as individual conflicts, ineffective operating methods/techniques, problems of a professional or ethical nature, conduct that could lead to discipline, and recognizing exceptional performance.

To read all of the FAQs, click here.

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

Sharing the Holiday Spirit with Christmas Epaulets

Aero Crew News recently published an article by CA Tim Knutson about how his family got involved in the annual Christmas epaulets effort. This popular, long-running program benefits the families of our nation’s fallen heroes and young people seeking ways to further their education.

CA John Knutson – U.S. Army veteran and a pilot for North Central, Republic, and Northwest Airlines – lost his battle with cancer in 1997 at age 56. To honor his memory, John’s widow, Mary, decided to start making Christmas epaulets. Mary originally directed all proceeds to the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Scholarship Foundation, since John was a 1959 graduate of Chetek High School. In an acknowledgement of John’s love of country, the proceeds have been shared between the Gary Sinise Foundation/Snowball Express and the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Scholarship Foundation in recent years.

You may buy your epaulets here for $20 plus $5.50 for shipping and handling. They’re also available at Crew Outfitters stores at DFW and IAH. If you have any questions, please contact CA Tim Knutson via info@christmasepaulets.com.

Thank you for supporting this worthy cause.

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 Jan. 12 at MCO. 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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