Seattle, United States:
Members of the Airplane Manufacturing Pilots Association (AMPA) have
unanimously voted ‘No Confidence’ in their management at The Boeing
Company’s Training & Flight Services.
A bargaining unit of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees
in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, AMPA includes the pilots who
deliver Boeing airplanes to customers, including the 787. They also
train the pilots of customer airlines.
"AMPA pilots took the vote after management abandoned a 50-year practice
of only using qualified Boeing pilots and, without telling customers,
now plans to use minimally qualified temporary pilots dressed in Boeing
uniforms," said Ray Goforth, executive director of SPEEA. "The
unprecedented vote came after more than three years of raising concerns
and being ignored by Boeing," he added.
None of the temporary pilots have flown the 787 and many have not
piloted a commercial aircraft in two years, according to SPEEA.
According to the union, the temporary pilots have no more preparation on
the 787 than the simulator training received by customer flight crews
they are being dispatched to train.
“787 customers expect experienced flight and training instructors,” said
Goforth. “This is flight training roulette for customers who do not know
if their pilots will be trained by a genuine Boeing pilot or a temporary
contractor dressed in a Boeing uniform. Worse, these temp pilots don’t
have any more experience in the 787 simulator than the customers’ own
flight crews. When a customer orders a billion dollars worth of
airplanes, they don’t expect Boeing to give them a temp flight
instructor who has never actually flown a 787.”
AMPA pilots said the temporary contract pilots receive none of the
additional training and flight time Boeing pilots receive. Boeing
Training and Flight Services hired the temporary pilots through
Cambridge Communications Limited (CCL), a foreign supplier of contract
pilots based on the Isle of Man. While Boeing pilots receive ongoing
training and are required to meet stringent flying time requirements in
the air and in simulators for each aircraft, Cambridge pilots are not.
“Even after quietly informing the company about the unprecedented Aug. 1
‘no confidence’ vote, Boeing management insists upon moving forward with
the scheme,” said Goforth.
AMPA pilots said Boeing is now telling customers they will not receive
the Boeing pilot support requested and need to introduce their 787s into
service. In casting the no confidence vote, the pilots’ ballot said: “Therefore,
we vote that we have NO CONFIDENCE in the T&FS management to meet
customer needs in a manner befitting the proud traditions of The Boeing
A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical
Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 26,560 aerospace professionals at
Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems in Kansas, and Triumph Composite Systems,
Inc., in Spokane, Washington.
Bill Dugovich, SPEEA communications director, 206-674-7368 or 206-683-9857
Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director, 206-433-0991
(U.S. Country Code: 001)