APA News Digest

March 22, 2024

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In This Edition ...

Thank You for Sharing Your Views

BOS Chair CA Paul McFarland and BOS Vice Chair CA Gemma Meehan were among the APA leaders listening to line pilots this week.

At the direction of the Board of Directors, the APA Strategic Planning and Communications committees have put together a plan to enhance transparency and be more responsive to the issues and concerns affecting our membership. APA is committed to delivering on its plan to make your union more transparent and responsive and to continue providing our members with the level of representation and services you deserve.

As part of this effort, Concourse Conversations were scheduled at airports nationwide this week. Domicile Officers, members of our National Communications Network, and other APA volunteers listened to line pilots’ concerns about scheduling, contractual issues, and other aspects of their jobs. Thank you to everyone who took time to share their views this week. Similar events will be scheduled soon.

CA Adrian Radosav, FO Mike Hughes, and CA Andrea Hoover participated in Concourse Conversations at ORD.

“Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe”

During an interview with NewsNation this week, APA spokesman CA Dennis Tajer emphasized the need for all airlines to take a close look at their safety cultures and maintenance practices: “We have watched airlines reduce checks and defer maintenance procedures that are all legal to do. But we have a saying in my cockpit – in all cockpits – just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe or smart.”

Be Wary of Switching to a Short-Layover Property

This is a new message from the APA Hotel Committee.

According to the 2023 CBA, pilots shall be placed in short-layover properties for any layovers with ODLs of less than 13 hours, while pilots on layovers over 17 hours should be placed in long-layover properties. The Company has some flexibility for those layovers between 13 and 17 hours, depending on the market, but 15 hours should be used as the cutoff between long and short layovers.

Sometimes crews are scheduled for a long layover and, due to delays, their layover time is reduced to below 13 hours. While it is acceptable to call and ask the Company to move you to a short property, APA does not always recommend doing so. We recommend you use caution when making the request, and first consider the drive time to the long-layover hotel. If it is not excessive, you are probably better off staying with your assigned hotel. Having the Hotel/Limo Desk change your hotel can take time, and sometimes you can be delayed getting into a new hotel in excess of the drive time saved. Additionally, most short-layover hotels do not have dedicated crew transportation, while most long-layover properties use third-party transportation, which tends to be timelier and more reliable. Additionally, you may be opening yourself up to a non-contracted hotel if our contracted short-layover hotels do not have availability. We often see pilots have the Hotel/Limo Desk change their hotel over a potential transit savings of 15 to 30 minutes, and it costs them more in the end because there is a much higher likelihood of issues with booking last-minute hotel rooms than with a normally allocated hotel.

Your Hotel Committee provides this update to help you make the best choice for you and your crew the next time your layover is shortened!

For more information, check out the recently updated QRH – Quick Reference Hotels document. This resource answers 99 percent of all hotel, transportation, and layover questions while providing helpful solutions. Suggestion: Download this QRH document to your AA iPad for easy access in the future.

A Big Week in the Benton House

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

This was a very busy week at the Benton House on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., with 32 members of the House of Representatives attending five events. That equates to 7.4 percent of the entire House of Representatives.

The focus this week in Congress has been on passing legislation to avoid a shutdown. None of this week’s legislation includes the FAA Reauthorization Bill; the FAA’s current funding was extended through May 10. The general sentiment among legislators is there has been progress in the “conference” process and another extension for FAA will likely not be necessary.

Medical Certificate Backlog on Congress’ Radar

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

Many pilots employed by U.S. airlines are ready to return to active duty from long-term disability, but their recertifications are being held up by the FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine. We applaud Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan, Rep. Jake Ellzey of Texas, and Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, who issued a joint letter to FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker this week that includes several recommendations for modernizing the Office of Aerospace Medicine. Among their recommendations:

  • Establish fair and reasonable time limits on certification decisions of ALL classes of medical applications.
  • Adhere to a single set of published, transparent standards for the purpose of medical application decisions.
  • Establish a transparent and timely process for appeal of medical certificate denials.

With assistance from the APA Aeromedical Committee and the APA Medical Certificate Working Group Ad Hoc Committee, your Government Affairs Committee will continue to highlight this important issue during our meetings with members of Congress and other policy makers in Washington.

New Resources Can Help You Navigate LTD

This is a new message from the APA Disabled Pilots Awareness Subcommittee.

We have made several changes to the Navigating LTD page on AlliedPilots.org, which you can locate by selecting “DPASC/Navigating LTD” on the Quick Links menu. Those changes include the introduction of a Long-Term Sick/Long-Term Disability Flowchart and a video called “LTD: A Pilot User Guide.” These new resources reflect the relevant provisions of the 2023 CBA.

Check out what DPASC has made available BEFORE you need it! If you have questions, contact us at 848-APA-CREW, Option 5.

APA’s Newest Professional Standards Volunteers

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

Click the image for a closer look.

We trained our newest cadre of Professional Standards volunteers this week at union headquarters in Fort Worth, with committee Chair CA Pat McGinn, Deputy Chair CA Linda Wackerman, and committee members FO Zack Harris, FO Evan MacPhee, and FO Leslie Sanders conducting the training.

The Professional Standards Committee would like to welcome the following volunteers and express its appreciation for their willingness to serve: DFW CA Clint Early, DFW CA Stoddard Finnie, CLT FO Chris Gatz, BOS CA David Hicks, CLT CA Jeff Higgins, DFW CA Mike Masters, PHL FO Jeremiah McBride, DCA CA Eric Overturf, CLT FO Jenna Pitcher, ORD FO Kristina Schmidt, LAX FO Drew Uhler, and BOS FO Ed Vanidestine. This week’s training also included Sky West FO Madeline Chuss, daughter of ORD CA Ed Chuss. The two are collaborating on a project with NASA and the FAA on how Professional Standards can serve as a conduit for addressing generational issues.

The committee also held a one-day training session this week for volunteers from other APA committees, along with members of APFA, IAM, and SWAPA.

If you ever find yourself in conflict with another pilot or another union-represented employee, and you don’t feel comfortable resolving the issue yourself, make Professional Standards your first call: 817-402-2181.

APA Hosts Industry-Wide Fatigue Working Group

This is a new message from the APA Flight Time/Duty Time Committee.

Last year, the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) – a joint venture between the FAA, industry, and labor – convened a Pilot Fatigue Working Group to study lessons learned and current challenges for managing and mitigating fatigue in the U.S. airline industry. APA Flight Time/Duty Time Committee Chair CA David Currier is a sitting member of this working group and hosted its most recent meeting at APA headquarters on March 20 and 21. On hand were representatives from the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), the NASA Ames Research Center, and fatigue risk management professionals and labor representatives from Delta, United, Southwest, JetBlue, Kalitta, Republic, USAJet, Atlas, UPS, and FedEx.

The group has met on multiple occasions and is making good progress toward presenting the deliverables of the charter to CAST later this year. APA, through CA Currier’s participation, is one of the key contributors to this critical effort to refine best practices in the ever-evolving field of fatigue. We will provide further updates regarding the group’s progress as we are able.

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. 27, A319 aircraft 029 has been written up 10 times for alternate brakes and has been out of service seven times. At the time of this writing, it was undergoing a maintenance check and was restricted to Class 1 and 2 maintenance stations.
  • Between Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, B737 aircraft 3RF was written up and out of service three times for speed trim fail. It began a main base visit at a maintenance, repair, and overhaul station on Feb. 6, and it returned to service on March 6. A functional check flight was not accomplished. Since March 6, it has been written up another five times and been out of service four times. It was most recently signed off on March 21.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

On March 20, 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: Javier Almanza Munoz, Michal Baranowski, Gregory Barrier, Larry Boodoosingh, Bryan Buckingham, Derek Chambers, Regis Collomp, Abdeljalil Douiki, Daniel Duerden, Bradley Eilertsen, Damien Gangadeen, Lloyd Hedges, Lauren Hensel, Mark Hollingsed, Michael Lovern, Sebastian McNally, Dennis Meyer, Michael Millard, David Miller, Joseph Monaco, Stephen Peckyno, Julian Ponce, Joseph Riley, Austin Robinson, Joan Saravia Ruiz, Floyd Shoemaker III, Morris Taylor, and Steven Zalewski.

Congratulations to Newly Upgraded Captains

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

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

BOS 737: Robert Thompson

CLT 777: David Piotrowski

CLT 737: Braden McCormack

CLT 320: Jeremy Swicegood and Connor Walker

DFW 777: Dennis Meyer, Joe Riley, and Thomas Wilson

DFW 737: Nick Allen, Aaron Bandy, Joshua Daneault, Daniel Duerden, Daniel Housley, and Dustin Wilmoth

DFW 320: Mark Hollingsed

LAX 777: David Bakony

LAX 737: Gregory Barrier, Howard Bohl, Christina Carroll, Derek Chambers, David Egner, Thomas Hanrahan, Lauren Hensel, Matthew Honek, Adam Milnes, Joe Monaco, Jeffrey Rubens, Holden Saunders, and Vladimir Yesayan

LGA 777: John Novak

LGA 737: Nathan Alcantara, David Athay, Bryan Buckingham, Natalie Butler, Collin Clark, Regis Collomp, Abdeljalil Douiki, Nathanael England, Nicolo Fatai, Damien Gangadeen, Paulo Goncalves, Cristian Guardado, Juan Guardado Reyes, Matthew Hauke, Jaison Joy, Landon LaBruto, Scott Lebovitz, Justin McKay, Mark Nolin, Jon Norman, Edwin Otero, Hector Palos Jasso, Stephen Peckyno, Shanita Polk, Justin Price, Christopher Prout, Joshua Rainwater, Marco Rincon, Floyd Shoemaker, Morris Taylor, Juan Vallejo, and Eric Weber

MIA 777: Robert LeBlanc

MIA 737: Stephen Adams, Javier Almanza Munoz, Akil Andrade, Larry Boodoosingh, Jaime Esteban, Rohaan Khullar, Michael Lovern, Caleb McCullough, Michael McElveen, Sebastian McNally, Michael Millard, Mario Patterson, Nicholas Petro, Ken Quinlan, Paulo Ramos da Silva Filho, Joan Saravia Ruiz, Don Smith, Joshua Smith, Cameron Springstun, Stephen Stark, and Adrian Tutein

MIA 320: Spencer Day

ORD 787: Keith McRonald, Michael Milazzo, and Ronald White

ORD 737: Walter Adams, Thomas Anderson, Michael Carroll, Conn McCarthy, Nicholas Moritz, Richard Pond Jr., Jason Schwecke, Philip Sevenz, and Collis Wagner

PHL 787: Bradley Eilertsen, Neal Geeting, Daniel Hable, Julian Ponce, Eric Robbins, and Jamie Weidner

PHL 320: Johannes Bruce, Richard Healey, Maggie Linn, Austin Robinson, and David Smith

PHX 320: Stephanie Ericksen, Cornell Eyde, Edward Goodman, and Stephen Riggs

Domicile Elections

Electronic balloting for the DCA and DFW domicile elections opened at 0000 Central on March 13. Pilots from those bases can vote for the following candidates through 1200 Central on April 2:

DCA Chair
FO Brandon Lightly
CA Chris Wachter

DCA Vice Chair
CA Timothy Doreen Jr.
FO Thomas Lawler

DFW Chair
CA Steven Pacheco
CA Jon Sherrell
CA Brian Smith

DFW Vice Chair
CA Drew Coleman
FO Julio Gomez
FO Jason Gustin

For more details, visit the APA Elections webpage or review APA Secretary-Treasurer FO Pat Clark’s March 4 message: DCA and DFW Elections Electronic Balloting Update.

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 lunch at MYF on April 9; Family Awareness lunch in Thousand Oaks on April 10; 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

Week in Review

Here are several recent messages you may have missed.

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 the other person know it’s me who made the call?
Our cornerstones are: confidentiality, neutrality and transparency. We make every effort to protect the identity of the reporting party and, in most cases, anonymity is preserved. In a direct conflict between two parties there is little need for remaining anonymous. In a case involving observed behavior, maintaining anonymity is easier.

To read all of the FAQs, click here.

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

Retirement Seminar Scheduled for April 3

American Airlines and APA will host a retirement information session from 1000 to 1200 Central on April 3 via Microsoft Teams. Future retirees are encouraged to attend. To ensure you get the most out of this seminar, click here to submit your questions in advance.

How to log into the Microsoft Teams meeting:

  1. Click here from any device with Wi-Fi or cellular service.
  2. Enter the meeting ID: 283 423 147 987
  3. Enter the meeting passcode: hnkJKH
  4. Click “Join a meeting.”

Please note the speakers will be sharing their screens, so the recommendation is to use a device where you can view the presentations.

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 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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