United pilots always step up
when it comes to defending our profession. Right now we have
more volunteers than any other ALPA carrier attending the ALPA Day
of Action Fly In to join the fight against Norwegian Air with
labor and industry groups in Washington D.C., on Nov 19.
Last summer, we led the way with over 2,700 United
pilots contacting Congress through the Deny NAI Link. So far,
only 1,600 have participated in what may be the final Deny NAI
campaign. The best way to help our advocates in Washington next
week is for everyone to click on ALPA’s new Deny
NAI#4 link. These messages have been updated with specific
language regarding House and Senate actions to help compel DOT
Secretary Foxx to say “No” when it comes to the Flag of
If you plan to attend ALPA’s Day
of Action Fly In, you need to RSVP to
Andrew.Rademaker@alpa.org as soon as possible. Meetings with
Congress are already being scheduled. The day begins with a
joint event at the Capitol Visitors Center at 10:30. That
afternoon we will visit members of Congress along with other
labor and industry advocates.
For questions or
more information, contact Doug Mattson, MEC Legislative
Committee member at Doug.Mattson@alpa.org.
CCS My Calendar and My Schedule Functionality
Starting Dec 3, in accordance with
UPA Section 21-T, CCS will provide
you with access to other pilots’ “My
Calendar” and “My Schedule”
information, similar to the L-UAL
Unimatic CALREC system. This phase
does not yet include the ability to
see other pilots’ F2 History (audit
trail). This functionality will
follow in subsequent phases of IT
Participation based on “Opt In” or
Pilots may elect to “Opt In” or “Opt
Out” of this program.
Opt In: If a pilot Opts In, he will
be able to view the schedule
information for other pilots who
have Opted In, and his calendar and
schedule information will be open
for viewing by other pilots.
Opt Out: If a pilot Opts Out, he
will not be able to view the
schedule information for pilots who
have Opted In, and his calendar and
schedule information will be blocked
from viewing by other pilots.
Initially, all pilots have been
loaded as “Opt In”. Prior to
activating the viewing functionality
for December, pilots wishing to “Opt
Out” may do so via CCS (see
instructions below). The election
to Opt Out must be made prior to the
start of a Bid Period and will roll
over each month until changed by the
and My Schedule access is
useful to determine Trip Trade
legality and track crew desk
actions, especially for Reserve
assignments. This functionality was
used in the old Unimatic system to
help pilots monitor the crew desk
for legalities and contract
“Opting In” or “Opting Out”:
Opting In: All pilots will be
initially enrolled as “Opt In”.
Opting Out: Beginning Nov 13 and
running until midnight Nov 29 (the
last day of the bid period) pilots
who wish to Opt Out for December and
beyond can access CCS>Other>My
Preferences to make that
election (see screen shot below).
The election to Opt Out must be made
prior to each bid period and if this
election is not made, the pilot will
default to Opt In for December.
Subsequent changes are only
effective for the next bid month and
beyond, and will not affect the
current bid month.
On and after Dec 3, pilots who have
Opted In can view the calendars or
schedules of other pilots who have
Opted In by entering the file number
at the top of the My Calendar or My
· Nov 12: All pilots will
be defaulted to “Opt In” for Dec,
but no one will have access to view
other pilots’ calendars for Nov. The
ability to “Opt Out” can be found
via CCS>Other>My Preferences.
· Nov 29: Last day to “Opt
Out” for the Dec bid period.
· Dec 3: Functionality to
view other pilot’s calendars and
schedules is enabled (for pilots who
have Opted In)
· Opting In or Out: Once a
bid period begins, the election is
locked for that bid period.
· Subsequent Bid Periods: Once a
bid period begins, pilots can “Opt
Out” for the next bid period at any
time, and can change their election
for the next bid period any time
during the current bid period.
Pilots may be “Opted In” to the
current bid period but “Opt Out” for
the next bid period, however the
“Opt Out” will not be effective
until the first day of the next bid
Clarification to 'Common Payroll Problems' Did
The attached updated version of the
“Did You Know: Common Payroll
Problems” includes a clarification
to the section on AV Days regarding
pay once the AV days are removed.
The clarification spells out that
only certain trips have LPV
protected (e.g.: trips dropped due
to Senior Manning with conflict,
trips dropped due to a scheduler
error) but all trips removed for a
legality have PTC protected.
When AV days are added to a pilot's
schedule after the loss of flying,
the pilot has to be available for
replacement flying up until 1500 the
day prior to the first available AV
day on the pilot’s schedule, in
accordance with Section
20-F-1-a-(1). After 1500, the day
prior to the first AV day, you are
free from any responsibility to the
Company and the AV days are
considered days off. If you wish to
pick up another trip on top of the
AV days listed on your schedule, you
must call Crew Scheduling and
request that they remove the
remaining AV days from your
schedule. Your LPV
original dropped trip had LPV
protection, such as SRM with
conflict or scheduler error)
and PTC (for
all cases) will include both
the original dropped AV trip and the
newly picked-up trip.
Please see this link for the current
Archive on the MEC website.
Union Coalition Meets in United MEC Conference
United MEC Chairman Capt. Jay
Heppner (third from left) leads a
discussion among members of the
United Union Coalition Thursday in
the MEC Conference Center in
Rosemont, Ill. The Coalition
discussed key issues that impact all
United labor groups, and ways that
the group can work together to find
solutions to common challenges that
all employees face. Payroll
continues to be the number one issue
involving all employees, and the
Coalition discussed solutions ahead
of the PeopleSoft conversion for all
employees in January. The United
Union Coalition is composed of the
Air Line Pilots Association, the
Association of Flight Attendants
(United, Continental, and Air
Micronesia), the International
Association of Machinists &
Aerospace Workers, and the
Professional Airline Flight Control
Election For MEC Officer, Committee Positions Scheduled for
The United MEC has scheduled a
Special Meeting December 9 and 10 at
the United MEC Conference Center,
9550 W. Higgins Road, Suite 1000,
Rosemont, Ill. During that meeting,
there will be elections for two UAL
MEC Officer positions:
--UAL MEC Secretary term effective
immediately after the election.
--UAL MEC Treasurer effective
January 2, 2015.
There will also be an election for
the following committee position:
--Training Committee Vice Chairman,
IAH Training Center effective
immediately after the election.
If you are interested in being
nominated for one of these
positions, please contact your Local
Descriptions and duties of the above
positions are available in the
UAL MEC Policy Manual.
Pilots in good
standing are welcome to attend all
open sessions of this meeting. An
advance agenda will be available in
the days ahead. Please be advised
that some portions may be held in
United Pilots Join FedEx Informational
Picketing in DEN, IND and NYC
United Pilots joined MEC
Chairman Capt. Jay
Heppner (third from
left) in Denver on
Wednesday during the
Pictured (l-r) F/O Todd
McClusky, F/O R.J. Wolf,
Capt. Heppner, F/O
Jolanda Witvliet, F/O
F/O Steve Knopf and
Capt. Kevin Girard.
Strategic Planning and
Chairman Capt. Pieter
Velzeboer (left photo)
and ALPA National SPSC
Chairman Capt. Brian
Florence (UAL) joined
the picket in New York
City. United pilots also
joined fellow ALPA
pilots at the
event in Indianapolis.
As FedEx pilots continue their
campaign to obtain a contract,
more than 200 pilots --
including many from United --
gathered for informational
picketing on Wednesday in
Denver, Indianapolis and New
York City. Along with the FedEx
pilots, fellow ALPA pilots from
ASA, Delta, Envoy, ExpressJet,
Endeavor, Air Wisconsin, PSA and
United participated. The FedEx
pilots and FedEx reached a
contract agreement in 2011,
which was accompanied by a
unique commitment to engage in
interim discussions prior to the
resumption of formal bargaining
in January 2013. This commitment
was intended to foster a more
efficient process and create a
timely conclusion to formal
negotiations once they
commenced. FedEx management has
failed to meet that commitment.
On October 31st, FedEx
management requested the
assistance of the National
Mediation Board in the pilots’
ongoing contract negotiations.
“This is hardly a surprise. The
parties did a good job working
through a lot of the agreement,
but regarding some core issues
FedEx pursued radical shifts in
major sections of the agreement.
We proposed changes within the
existing framework of the
agreement—changes that we know
are fair and fully earned by the
pilots. FDX management has led
us to this point,” said MEC
Chairman Captain Scott Stratton.
“The FedEx pilots are confident
that with the assistance of the
National Mediation Board, they
will achieve a fair and
reasonable contract that
recognizes their contributions
to the success of FedEx. And we
agree with FDX management that
there would be a more productive
use of our time other than
picketing our disgust with the
lethargic pace of bargaining.
That is why we have spent close
to 4 years giving FDX every
opportunity to conclude
bargaining. I would refer that
thought back to them. Wouldn’t
there be a more productive use
of your time than dragging out
negotiations with 4100 pilots as
opposed to with our 250,000
fellow FDX employees worldwide?”
The turnout at these events
continues to demonstrate the
FedEx pilots’ steadfast resolve
to see this through to an end.
“It’s time for management to
recognize our contribution to
the success of FedEx and
conclude negotiations,” added
Today I’m discussing the declaration of emergency for pilots who find themselves in a non-normal situation while in the cockpit.
We have a problem here at United. When we find ourselves in a situation that has become non-normal, we generally do the right thing to address the situation at hand, right up to the part where we should (but do not) declare an emergency. That can be a big mistake.
Except under extremely rare, dire circumstances, saying, “Emergency” on the radio does not mean you are about to die, crash or experience some other similar catastrophic event. Most of the time it simply means that you are dealing with a situation on your aircraft that requires you to accomplish the operation in a non-normal way or that requires you to exercise your Emergency Captain’s Authority. You are REQUIRED to declare an emergency when you exercise your Emergency Authority, and that’s a relatively easy decision; we are pretty good at that (not perfect even there, though), but we have a real gap in our performance at the other times we need to declare an emergency.
Our downfall generally lies in the other areas that aren’t so obvious. There are many fairly obvious “must declare” situations, but far more perhaps less obvious “should declare” situations. We need to focus on what happened, what happened that we couldn’t see, smell, or hear, and what may happen as a result. Think conservatively here; if you consider declaring an emergency, declare it!
Each fleet has its own idiosyncrasies and we need to be aware of those; we all know what they are for our fleet. And remember, one size doesn’t fit all. For instance, losing a generator on a 747-400 with one generator already inop and losing one on a 737 under the same circumstance will likely end with a different result. In the former, depending on what else has happened, you may or may not declare an emergency. On the latter, you really need to.
Management may not always agree on what warrants declaring an emergency, and that’s okay. To some managers, this business is a bit more black and white than what we really know it is. Also, you may declare an emergency over something today that you didn’t yesterday based on millions of different variables on a particular flight. But we all must understand the essential nature of a general “declare an emergency for these things” list of our own, with the flexibility to modify that list at any time.
So far we’ve discussed this from the sheer professional perspective. Let’s now discuss the ramifications of this from the Regulator’s perspective. (The following is an extremely basic illustration, only used to demonstrate the issue.)
You are 200 miles from your destination, cleared direct to the FAF. It’s very late at night, and there is little traffic in the air or at the aerodrome, and the Flight Attendants call and say you have a 65-year old male in the back suffering a Myocardial Infarction (heart attack). The onboard Doc says "Land now," and Medlink says they agree.
Your plan is solid; you’re going to deliver the sick passenger quickly and safely. You have no terrain issues, no aircraft issues, nothing that would keep you from hauling the mail. ATC already gave you “speed at your discretion,” so you push it up, fly 320 knots until 5,000’, slow, configure, and fly a flawless, stable approach, followed by a fast taxi directly to the gate where the passenger is taken off the aircraft by the team of waiting paramedics (thanks to your coordination with Dispatch). Your fellow pilots slap you on the back and tell you that you did a great job.
And then the certified letter shows up in the mail.
You have intentionally disregarded the FARs by flying faster than 250 knots below 10,000 feet. A hard-over FAA Inspector could theoretically argue that it was “reckless.” That word is a show-stopper, a license-loser, and a quality of life-destroyer. But hey, it was late, there was no traffic, you did nothing wrong, right? No, you violated the FARs without declaring an emergency. (No nit-picking! As I warned you, this is just a basic illustration to emphasize the point.)
The FAA considers you a perfect pilot at all times and holds you to that standard. That is, unless you declare an emergency. If you declare an emergency, the FAA only expects you to be reasonable, and even that definition is fluid, giving you a plethora of options to choose from and act upon. Providing you avoid the ground and don’t cause undue damage to the jet or any person or property, you can pretty much do whatever you feel is necessary to expeditiously take care of your situation. You’ll have to spend a minute or two on an IOR and maybe half an hour on an FSAP report, but that’s small potatoes compared to a lot of time with the legal staff.
Regarding communication when confronting an emergency, the FAA’s Aeronautical Information Manual refers to distress conditions and urgency conditions. The AIM urges pilots to take action and seek aid when confronted with an urgency condition, to avoid progression to a distress condition. The AIM says this about urgency conditions: “An aircraft is in at least an urgency condition the moment the pilot becomes doubtful about position, fuel endurance, weather, or any other condition that could adversely affect flight safety.” Furthermore, FAR 121.557(c) requires: Whenever a pilot in command or dispatcher exercises emergency authority, he shall keep the appropriate ATC facility and dispatch centers fully informed of the progress of the flight.
So let’s go back to the beginning of this message. We United pilots do not declare an emergency as often as we should. It may help (and certainly won’t hurt) if we all take a moment and reassess what it is that we would consider declaring an emergency for. Keep in mind that there are some things that REQUIRE you to declare an emergency that aren’t “in your face” issues (such as landing overweight); those are sneaky. What’s even tougher is when it would behoove the prudent pilot to have the emergency vehicles out and about just in case the next system fails at the most inopportune time, not just because it already has. We need to consider “the next failure” of the system, not just what has already happened.
Again, the bottom line is to declare an emergency when it is appropriate. It’s free, it’s expected, and in many cases, it’s required. There are no “cool points” lost for declaring an emergency, and in that rare case that worse comes to worst at the most inopportune time, you are the professional who walks away knowing that you had the trucks ready, and you kept your charges (and your license) as safe as you possibly could. There is no downside for a pilot to declare an emergency if there is something forcing you into a non-normal situation.
The following is from the System Schedule Committee's PBS and Operational Subcommittees
The SSC has been closely monitoring the addition to the Federal Register regarding Age 60 pilots from the initial ICAO language through Thursday’s implementation to ensure the company’s compliance. With respect to the December 2014 PBS awards, they will be processed without any restrictions to age 60. As of 12:00CT Thursday, the trip trade system will also allow trades without the prior related restrictions.
The SSC will continue to monitor the company’s scheduling practices with respect to this change.
New Online Listing Tool for JetBlue Jumpseat
JetBlue has introduced an online listing tool for their jumpseat. JetBlue's Jumpseat Committee has informed United that pilots will still be able to list via phone (888-538-2997); however, sometime in the future they will go to an exclusively online listing procedure similar to how American Airlines currently operates.
Pilots intending to jumpseat on JetBlue should use the following link and procedures. Copy the link into your browser, bookmark the site and make a note of the listing procedures. Pilots should make note that the user name UAstaff is case sensitive.
Go to = https://www.myidtravel.com/myidlisting/
Enter User Name = UAstaff
Enter Password = 016
Once on the site, select the commuter travel option from the menu at the top of the page. The most common mistakes pilots make when using the site is not selecting “United” as their employing airline on the first page of the site, neglecting to place the u in their employee number and not using the correct format when entering dates. L-CAL pilots should continue to use their L-CAL employee number until further advised. When on the APIS page, you can skip the top section and just enter your date of birth. This procedure is detailed on www.jumpseatinfo.com by selecting "JetBlue" from the Airline Resources tab. Important note: Crewmembers must LOGOUT and close the browser after creating a listing.
Frontier Online Listing Tool Has New Look
The online listing system used by Frontier now has a new look. When attempting to list online for the Frontier jumpseat, use the link, ifc.id90.com. Pilots need to create a username and password. Once this is accomplished and you are logged in to the site and on the Flight Tools page, select “listing tool.” Select your flight and under reason for travel, select pilot commuting. Continue to fill out the requested information to obtain your confirmation number. Pilots can also list by calling 800-432-1359, and requesting the agent to list them as a S4OA CASS participant for the jumpseat.
Contractual Rights Regarding Weight Restrictions on United Flights
The Jumpseat Committee has recently received reports of United pilots being denied the jumpseat on weight restricted United flights. In all these reports, either the agent or load planner told the jumpseater and the Captain that the jumpseater would not be allowed on the flight due to a weight restriction. The Captains, not knowing their contract, agreed with the agents or load planner and denied the jumpseat.
Section 21 of our UPA provides that United pilots not be denied the jumpseat on weight restricted flights. This is a great example of why it is important to preflight your jumpseat and “Make the Walk” to the podium to ensure our pilots contractual right to a weight restricted jumpseat.
If, when jumpseating, an agent informs you that the flight is weight restricted, ask to speak with the Captain. If the agent denies you this right, immediately contact the FODM and have the issue addressed so that you do not get left behind. This is another example of why it is important for the agent to print the flight deck jumpseat authorization form at the time of the request. With this form in hand, United pilots are to be granted access to the aircraft to speak with the Captain of the flight.
Please continue to file JSAP reports when you encounter any jumpseat issues on United or offline carriers. The JSAP link can be found on the Jumpseat Committee page of the MEC website.
The UAL-MEC Uniform Committee webpage on the MEC website (www.ualmec.org) has been updated to reflect optional vendors for navy wool coats, navy sweaters and additional pilot shirt vendors. Click Here to access the webpage.
Council 178 (IAHTC)
Thursday, Nov. 20
United Master Executive
Council of the Air Line Pilots Association
9550 W. Higgins Road,
Rosemont, Illinois 60018
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Central