Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, February 5, 2009
I don't want to ever be on his flights: After reading this article, it makes a person wonder what's necessary to stop a pilot from making a serious mistake.
I don't agree with lying as a form of justification, but I do think that these attendants did the only thing they knew to do to protect themselves and the people who were in the care of US Airways. Even though lying was the wrong approach, I feel that it served the purpose intended, saving some lives possibly.
The basic question here should be: Why were the pilots so passionate about taking off without de-icing the plane if there was the slightest chance that there was ice?
Why would they be concerned about taking 10 minutes more to de-ice? Do they not get paid to sit and de-ice? What is the motive behind what appears to be a poor decision on the part of the pilots not to de-ice?
What appears to have been an error in safety has created a hardship for three attendants who should never have been challenged in the first place, as it should be obvious from the time they spent in their jobs that they knew there was a problem with this plane.
As for the airline's not standing behind these attendants, I find it totally inappropriate and believe that the airline itself should be under investigation.
The real issue here: Why should it take a passenger's complaint, real or fictional, to stop what could've been a grave mistake for all?
I would also like to know where this pilot's flight plans take him, so I don't get on his flights and end up a casualty of what may be another poor judgment call in the future.
Bill Oliver, via the Internet
Pilot knew all about the dangers: No wonder the airline business is in trouble. Ice on wings is a serious problem and one this hotdog pilot knew full well could cause problems in the air, even a crash. That somebody wants to be Chuck Yeager and fly dangerously would be fine if the lives of other people weren't involved.
These flight attendants are heroes who are being ill-treated, like typical whistleblowers. You know, destroy the employee who talks out of school, even when safety is involved. US Airways should be giving these attendants bonuses.
Mary Ruiz, Phoenix
A scary story, indeed: Take a chance with your own life, but don't take a chance with the lives of a plane full of passengers and crew. This story scares me to death.
Tom Blanchard, Phoenix
Pilots are pressured to stay on schedule: I have to wonder if the economy, and the dire conditions airlines are in economically, had anything to do this. Pilots are lectured on staying on schedule and are pressured by passengers to do so. Nothing makes passengers madder than [late departures].
I was on a plane in Atlanta once during a terrible electric storm. We sat on the runway for an hour waiting to take off. Passengers almost went crazy, some lecturing flight attendants that they would never fly that airline again because of this "unnecessary" delay.
My girlfriend and I were in the minority, saying we wanted the plane to stay grounded — no matter how uncomfortable everyone was — until it was absolutely safe to fly (and it was hot in the plane, as it was the middle of summer in the South).
When the plane finally did take off, it was the roughest ride I've ever experienced. I wouldn't have wanted to find out what it would've been like if we'd gone up while lightning was cracking all around.
John Voss, Tucson
Captain also dropped the ball: Where was the captain in all this? Seems he, in addition to the first officer, dropped the ball completely. After a second opinion about flight safety, the captain refers to the original source for "verification"?
Outside of substance abuse, I cannot think of anything other than inexperience [that's worse than] oversized egos in the cockpit.
Kudos for the whistleblowers, whose actions led to a safe flight. US Airways is, as is typical, pretty stupid for not backing the flight attendants.
Union and airline should back the flight attendants: I've never heard such nonsense. I've been flying as a cabin crewmember for 19 years. The only time I had to write a formal letter about a pilot was after an emergency landing in which we expected to land without landing gear.
I won't get into details, but there were severe communication slips on the part of the captain. I was praised by my superiors, and that was that.
The situation these flight attendants now find themselves in is unimaginable. I believe their union, whose job it is to represent them, should be doing everything it can to raise money to fund their legal bills.
In an ideal world, of course, one would expect the employer to take care of everything. Unfortunately, airlines, like most corporations today, are in dire financial straits. I, for one, will visit their Web site and make a donation. Then I'm going to call everyone I know to do the same.
Something's wrong with this story: Doesn't it make you wonder why the union, FAA, and the company have not backed these flight attendants? I've been curious about this whole thing since it went public and have talked to pilots on my trips. (I work for the same airline as these three flight attendants).
The main consensus is that if this crew had pushed back from the gate needing to be de-iced, it would have gotten them fired because they fully intended to fly an aircraft that was unsafe. Even though this crew went back to the gate to de-ice (because the flight attendants said there was ice on the wing), the pilots would have still gotten fired, or at least [penalized], by the FAA for the "intent" of taking off without de-icing.
The pilots are still here, and according to the posting on another discussion board, the first officer has never missed a day of work since this incident. He wasn't fined [or penalized], and the FAA had absolutely nothing to substantiate the claim.
Something is very wrong with this whole story. As a flight attendant for 24 years, there are many inconsistencies. I also find it very irresponsible that the first officer's name was used. What was the point of that?
Why is Christopher Kinder still employed?: I have a problem with your statement regarding the Courtney Bisbee case: "Police work done by Detective Christopher Kinder." What work?
No arrest warrant, no search warrant, didn't visit the alleged crime scene, didn't collect [proper] evidence, didn't get verifying facts, couldn't or chose not to locate/interview [certain] witnesses.
Is this guy still employed? If so, who in the heck is his supervisor? If not, don't send him to my city.
Lee Little, via the Internet
Powers that be hate women: Once again, The Bird's peeled another layer off the rotten onion of Arizona's criminal injustice system. The plight of incarcerated women in Arizona and Maricopa County's [reminiscent of] the days of slavery.
A warning to members of the public so they can better understand what we all are facing — even to those passing through the state or tourists visiting here: You need to be aware of "black holes" in Arizona (just ask DMX or Charles Barkley about them). Read the remarkable book Jingle Jangle by Ray Hix, Ray Krone's cousin. Krone spent years on Arizona's death row for a crime he didn't commit. It's a penetrating indictment of an unfair justice system administered, in large measure, by a clique of individuals who play the justice game to win, not to discover the truth.
Courtney's plight is like Ray Krone's used to be. Said Rudy Gerber, retired justice of the Arizona Court of Appeals about Krone's case: "[It] reflects a state justice system that has lost sight of justice in favor of winning convictions at all costs, even at the cost of innocence. Krone's case is a call for reform from the bottom up, beginning with removing politics from prosecutorial decisions."
Our hearts go out to the children [of Bisbee and Ciria Lopez-Pacheco] for the nightmares they will have because their mothers were taken away in front of them.
Women, if you think it can't happen to you, think again. The powers that be are woman-haters.
Free Courtney Bisbee, Paradise Valley
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.