06
Sep
2010

airplane autopilot Upgrades and Downgrades: Labor Day edition
It’s Labor Day in the U.S. of A., so enjoy these nuggets, in celebration of employment:

Downgraded: Ryanair pilots and flight attendants
Downgraded: Traditional media’s fact-checking

Ryanair never shies away from publicity, even if it means floating a dumb idea that will never happen but will make it look wacky (and cheap). So it’s really no surprise that the airline’s camera-chasing CEO Michael O’Leary has declared that airlines should ditch the second pilot in the cockpit (“Why does every plane have two pilots? Really, you only need one pilot. [...] Let’s take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it.”) Instead, he proposes training a flight attendant to serve as co-pilot (“If the pilot has an emergency, he rings the bell, he calls her in. She could take over.”)

Ryanair pilots and flight attendants alike must be thrilled that their boss is rhetorically throwing them under the bus. But it’ll never happen. As Steven Frischling has pointed out, “The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA), a multi-national organization that oversees the common safety and regulatory standards for more than 40 nations in Europe, says that Ryanair cannot operate in this manner as per JAR-OPS Subpart N, 1.940(A)(1) & 1.940(A)(2) (Page 1-N-1 of the JAA Joint Aviation Requirements JAR-OPS 1, Commercial Air Transportation Aeroplanes).”

Nicely sleuthed, Steve! And thumbs down for the traditional media that served as stenographers for the “Duke of Discomfort,” rather than checking to see if any of these off-the-wall ideas were ever possible.

Upgraded: Pilots… elsewhere
Those Ryanair pilots who are offended by the comments of their CEO might consider applying for jobs in the Middle East and Asia. There are even bidding wars for pilots who can fly the international widebody planes at the heart of the expansion.

Upgraded: Job prospects for folk heroes
Steven Slater, the now-famous JetBlue flight attendant who was pushed too far by a rude passenger, hurled invectives over the PA system, and finally grabbed two beers and escaped via the emergency slide, resigned from the airline just one week ago. (CNN reports the “separation”, but his publicist (!) says he wasn’t fired, but resigned.) I’m amazed he wasn’t “separated” from the company earlier. So… Anyone want to predict his next job? (Something tells me the fact that he has a publicist tells me he’s not looking to land in the transportation or service sector…)

pixel Upgrades and Downgrades: Labor Day edition
Categorized in: Ryanair

2 Responses to “Upgrades and Downgrades: Labor Day edition”

  1. Steven Frischling Says:

    Thanks for the mention regarding O’Leary’s off the wall idea on eliminating a co-pilot. I was really surprised that in all the media reports I read regarding O’Leary’s idea for Ryanair not one sought out the regulations that would prevent this from ever being enacted.

    Maybe an aircraft in the future would be rated for a single person in the cockpit, but its doubtful for an aircraft carrying 189 passengers for a variety of reasons.

    Happy Flying!

    -Steven Frischling

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