Yesterday I wrote about a Saturday afternoon United Express flight which was delayed 5 hours because the pilot and co-pilot got into a fight. I didn’t know what the fight was over, but police were called and eventually passengers were flown to Houston by another crew.
Several readers chimed in with their assumptions about what the dispute had to be about.
Jennifer: “Since a new aircraft was swapped in, don’t you think the dispute was probably about the airworthiness of the “old” aircraft and whether they should proceed with some known problem?”
Allen: “Perhaps they were fighting about a safety related item, and nothing personal.”
Ricardo Machado: “I personally think a disagreement is healthy. They are there to discuss about better routes or best attitudes towards difficult situations.”
Bill: “I’m sure this would never happen on an airline where the pilots were well paid.”
Gene B: “Why don’t you wait and get all the facts before spouting off about things you so obviously don’t understand! It could have been that one pilot noticed something unsafe about the other and refused to fly! Pilots like that are heroes for standing up for the safety of the passengers. Stories like yours are ignorant.”
Patrick Mollette: “This was not just some stupid argument or pissing contest. You claim to be an expert yet your article is poorly written, and you do not even know much about the incident. …it was 99.9% a mechanical problem. One of the pilots more likely than not wanted to push the envelope and take the more dangerous route where the other stood up and said no.”
A blog reader who was a passenger on the flight emails to share some insight:
Pilot was coming in 10 knots faster then he should have been [on arrival into Lubbock], co-pilot then radioed tower and told them, which started argument in cockpit as they landed.
Co-pilot and pilot [disembarked], we all boarded and were seated. The fight attendant proceeded with her preparation, she then announced that due to a disagreement between pilot and copilot she felt it was unsafe to fly with them, she felt our captain was unstable as did our copilot and for our protection we needed to disembark.
As I was going up the jet way [to get off the plane] our captain comes running down the jet way yelling “who told us to get off.” I was out of jet way but I could her him yelling at our flight attendant, we all waited by ticket agent stand as the last customer came out the door was closed, and 5 minutes later police arrived.
Flight attendant and co-pilot were afraid captain would do something that would put us in danger and they took a stand. We all thanked our flight attendant and the co-pilot for looking out for us.