APA News Digest

March 1, 2024

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In This Edition ...

“I Don’t Discuss That at Work”

This is a new message from the APA Professional Standards Committee.

Would you accept a fellow pilot trying to convince you to change political parties or religions in flight? Or course not. Currently, a segment of our pilot group believes that changing union representation will benefit us. There is a place for that discussion and debate. It is not in the flight deck.

When you operate an airliner, your sole responsibility is to ensure the safe movement of that aircraft. It is unprofessional, unwise, and unsafe to lead your fellow pilot into discussing issues that could generate conflict.

If your fellow pilot is addressing something that you find inappropriate for in-flight discussion, you have an obligation to respectfully end that discussion. There is no excuse for allowing even well-intended discussion to put the crew in the yellow. “I don’t discuss that at work.” It’s that simple.

If you are flying with a pilot who is using questionable judgment in the topics they bring up, please contact Professional Standards at 817-402-2181 for confidential, non-punitive assistance.

FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days to Fix Quality-Control Issues

This is a new message from the APA Communications Committee.

The FAA announced on Wednesday that Boeing has 90 days to come up with a plan to fix its quality-control issues. Two days earlier, the agency published a report from a panel of outside experts that found a “disconnect’ with respect to safety between Boeing’s management and the rest of the organization. One of the experts on that panel was APA Government Affairs Committee Chair CA Harvey Meek, who represented the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations.

This week, APA spokesman CA Dennis Tajer told National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” that he can fly the 737 MAX safely, but he’s lost patience with Boeing.

“Right now, we don’t trust ’em. It’s led us to ask, ‘What else ya got?’ Because every time something pops up, we learn that it has tangled roots deep down into the dysfunction of Boeing,” CA Tajer said.

That NPR report and an article published by The Air Current both include CA Tajer’s picture of the Post-it Note he places on the 737 MAX instrument panel as a reminder to turn off its anti-ice system.

“Easy to get distracted with other duties and miss turning it off,” he told The Air Current. “That’s why I use a decades-old technique.”

New Tools Designed to Make Scheduling Easier

This is a new joint message from the Information Technology Steering Committee and the Operational Analysis Committee.

APA has made scheduling improvements a priority, and we are working hard on establishing applications and alerts that will enable members to schedule more effectively, despite the reluctance of management to institute these changes contractually.

Our committees continue to improve the APA Sentinel app, providing a robust platform for contract monitoring and enforcement. The team is planning to release the following features soon:

  • Reassignment pay associated with March sequences (100% premium in subsequent days reassigned).
  • Pay posted engine will alert you for pay events that have not posted or are not the correct values on your HI1.
  • Reserve pay forecasting.
  • LC to SC conversion.
  • Reserve flown into a DFP.
  • Sequence protection.

The ITSC continues to rapidly deploy and improve the APA suite of pilot-facing tools to fill the feature gap that exists in today’s IT offerings from AA. Expect additional standalone communication soon from the ITSC.

In the meantime, check out OAC Chair FO John Wickham’s updates on The Line this week regarding the Commute Info and My Open Time tools. You can read them in the “Forum Technical Support and Announcements” section of The Help Desk. He also posted these updates in The AArena group on Facebook.

New Papyrus Tool Helps Manage APA Documents

The APA Compass Project Committee sent the following message to all menbers via the APA Pilot app on Tuesday.

Introducing Papyrus, our new go-to tool for storing and managing APA documents.

The name Papyrus is steeped in meaning:

  • Papyrus was the writing material used in ancient Egypt, representing the dawn of recorded information and “symbolizing the enduring power of knowledge.” Our Papyrus tool does the same thing digitally, keeping our files accessible and organized.
  • Papyrus was a versatile material, and our Papyrus tool offers similar versatility, supporting various file formats for our diverse needs and search capabilities.
  • Papyrus symbolizes wisdom and communication. Papyrus allows APA members to store, search, and sync seamlessly, even while in flight with no Wi-Fi.

Currently, only the Compass Documents folder is accessible due to the beta phase of Papyrus. Stay tuned for future updates regarding the storage of information for other committees.

Non-Contracted Hotels

This is a new message from the APA Hotel Committee.

When there is no APA Hotel Webpage for your assigned hotel, it is a good indicator that you are staying at a non-contracted hotel. We create a webpage for a new hotel once AA has signed a contract with the hotel and an official CCI announcement has been made. If there is no webpage, then APA and AA, most likely, have not vetted this hotel. We see this often in our pop-up and overflow markets, in IROPs situations, and with off-schedule flights, as our contracted hotels may not have availability to accommodate additional rooms. We also see this during relocations, which can happen for a myriad of reasons.

Can the company put you at a non-contracted hotel in these situations? Yes. Should you be concerned if you are at a non-contracted hotel? Not necessarily. Often these hotels are very good, but sometimes they are not. One of the concerns the Hotel Committee has with non-contracted hotels (and the source of many Hotel Debriefs on these properties) is that the hotel may not understand crew. When AA signs a contract with a hotel, the market specialist coaches the hotel on how to handle crew. Additionally, this occurs when we conduct a site review. There are many nuances for hotels to plan for when accommodating crew, like room placement and abnormal check-in/checkout times.

When you check in to a non-contracted hotel, we recommend you take more caution. Is there a quieter side of the hotel you can request? Request a non-adjoining room if this is important to you. Do they have a late checkout annotated properly if your show time is after the hotel’s normal checkout? Please also understand that there will most likely not be a negotiated discount.

Just like a layover at a contracted hotel, you can contact the Hotel/Limo Desk and/or the Duty Pilot to be relocated if you have issues. If you are unable to solve a problem, sometimes a quick call from the Hotel/Limo Desk to the hotel can help. Please debrief issues at non-contracted hotels so we can have AA look into the root cause of the issue or poor selection of the hotel. Sometimes we ask the company to move these hotels to a “do not use” list after receiving your debriefs.

Resolving Issues with A12 and A1 Travel

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

Attention, TDY and other A12 listing pilots: Your APA Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee is aware of issues with confirming A12 travel for TDY pilots and anyone self-listing via CCI, Sabre, or AAPilots. Several affected pilots reported they were not assigned seats even though the required “E” inventory showed available. AA Flight has identified the reason these bookings were not confirmed. We have been advised the issue has been resolved, so pilots making A12 bookings should be confirmed if “E” inventory is showing available. If you have made A12 bookings and did not receive a confirmed seat AND “E” inventory shows at least one seat available, please cancel your listing and relist. Please refer to the Compass Project’s Deadheading guide for steps to verify flight inventory availability.

A1: For pilots with allocated sequences with DH in the March 2024 contractual month – AA has advised there is an error in some listings that restricts pilots from importing their DH flight PNR. AA has identified the issue and will be applying a fix to affected sequences today.

“Everyone Struggles With Mental Health”

This is a new message from Project Wingman.

When it comes to mental fitness, even Sylvester Stallone has something to say:

If you or someone you know needs help in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach a fellow pilot at Project Wingman by dialing 848-APA-CREW, option 1.

Next Contract Training Set for March 6-7

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 March 7 in PHL 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. It will be preceded by a four-hour IMAX session on March 6 with no Zoom component.

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.

Make Plans to Join Us at Sun ’n Fun

This is an updated message from the APA Family Awareness Committee.

CA Tim Dick, FO Natalie Anagnostou, FO Tim Jackson, CA Jerry Gemma, and FO Melissa Monahan

The Sun ’n Fun Aerospace Expo, the biggest and best airshow in the southeastern United States, is coming up in April. We plan to serve two lunches and two dinners in our air-conditioned flightline chalet with private restrooms. Please bring your family!

NEW: The code for discounted tickets is APA995.

Besides the food and fellowship, there will be significant information passed along. You can expect to break bread with APA’s elected officials as well as volunteers from national committees.

As you make plans to join us in Lakeland, Fla., please RSVP for each meal separately so we can be sure to order enough food.

Swamp Cabbage Fly-In: APA President CA Ed Sicher and MIA Domicile Chair CA Thomas Copeland were among the pilots who gathered in LaBelle, Fla., last Saturday for the inaugural Swamp Cabbage Fly-In. CA JD DeBoskey and his newly hired son, FO Drew DeBoskey, provided rides in their T-34, while CA Brian Vitale took people up in his helicopter.

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.

  • Since Jan. 17, the alternate brakes on A319 aircraft 029 have been written up nine times and been out of service five times. It was most recently signed off on Feb. 28.
  • Since Feb. 6, B737 aircraft 3NG as been written up 12 times for cabin pressurization, has been on MEL three times, and has been out of service four times. It was most recently signed off on March 1 and is restricted to Class 1 and 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 Feb. 27: Eric Alden, Justin Barnes, Jeremy Campbell, Matthew Catchings, John Chesnut, James Cox, Marcelo Da Costa, William Dove Jr., Benjamin Elkins, Daniel Farmer, Tyson Frost, Michael Gansmann, Michael Gemma, Brian Gerstel, James Halliwell, Eric Hernandez, Brian Hollenbeck, Jozsef Jonas, Brock Jones, Donald Kelly Jr., Ravi Khullar, Joshua Kirkland, Timothy Larson, Michael Linger, Matthew MacKenzie, Sean Meagher, Jon-Michael Miller, William Morris, Christian Olsen, David Orrego, Adam Pastor, George Quevedo Santamaria, Nathan Samson, Brandon Schultz, Nerieda Scott, Brian Sharpe, Cesar Soto, Curtis Spaugh, Derek St. John, Joseph Sterbenz, John Taher-Mugavin, Andrew Velkoff, Joseph Walker, and Robert Williams.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

On Feb. 28, 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: Garrett Aubry, Robert Baker, Fernando Bonet, Michele Cortese, Spencer Day, Nathanael England, Edward Goodman, Daniel Hable, Mohamed Helal, Benjamin Huffines, Mark Jespersen, Eric Johnson, Franchesca Kiel, Matthew Kiss, Thomas Kudlek, Scott Lebovitz, Jacobie Sanders, Robert Santos, Tyler Schmidt, Jean Solano Badilla, Tony Sparacino Jr., Collis Wagner, Thomas Waidlich, and Jonathan Walthers.

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 in February: Dorwin Blair, 88, on Jan. 3; Kip Gordon, 73, on Jan. 5; Byron Cohron, 91, on Jan. 18; Ed Bassett, 81, on Jan. 19; Jim Davis, 90, on Jan. 19; Dave Bradt, 83, on Jan. 24; Vic Foli, 93, on Jan. 24; Carl Saunders, 90, on Jan. 24; Larry “Woody” Woodcock, 83, on Jan. 25; Steve Houtari, 74, on Feb. 2; and Andy Rolfsen, 90, on Feb. 12.

Domicile Events

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

  • DCA: Retirement Party on June 29
  • DFW: Pilots For Kids Golf Tournament on May 20; Texas Rangers game on Aug. 6
  • LAX: Family Awareness event at Camas Airport on April 23; Family Awareness event at Boeing Museum of Flight on April 24; Family Awareness event at Rowland Freedom Center on April 25; Retirement Party on April 27
  • LGA: New York Mets game on Sept. 2
  • MIA: MSY Crawfish Boil on April 6
  • ORD: Retirement Party on May 4
  • PHL: Domicile Meeting on March 6; IMAX Training on March 6; Contract Compliance Training on March 7

Are You Willing to Serve?

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

  • Aeromedical Committee (2)
    • Disabled Pilot Awareness Subcommittee (3)
    • Human Intervention Motivation Study Subcommittee (1)
    • Pilot Occupational Health Subcommittee (2)
    • Project Wingman Subcommittee (3)
  • Captain’s Authority Committee (2)
  • Communications Committee (0)
    • National Communications Network (7)
  • Flight Time/Duty Time Committee (1)
  • Grey Eagles Liaison Committee (1)
  • Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee (1)
  • Scheduling Committee (5)
  • Training Committee (4)
    • Checkmate (1 on 777)

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

Professional Standards FAQs

Will Professional Standards handle issues with Crew Scheduling/Crew Tracking?
Absolutely! As you should be well aware, every call to Crew Scheduling/Crew Tracking (CS/CT) is recorded from the time you are connected until you hang up – even when you are on hold. While cases with CS/CT are rare, they do occur. There is a protocol for handling issues that arise with our colleagues in CS/CT: Conversations are reviewed jointly by Professional Standards and the CS/CT manager for resolution.

To read all of the FAQs, click here.

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

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 March 15 at SAN followed by April 26 at ATL. 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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