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Pressured to fly un-airworthy aircraft?

Old 09-08-2008, 10:01 PM
  #1  
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Default Pressured to fly un-airworthy aircraft?

I'd like to share a story of the general culture at my employer and see if any of the other CFIs on here have experienced the same thing.

I work at a place where the attitude of the mx guys is pretty much "don't bother us unless the plane won't start and/or some piece is falling off". I've been strongly "encouraged" by mx not to write up things such as burned out lights, seats that come off tracks, questionable tires/brakes, etc... presumably because they didn't feel like going out to do the work.

My employer doesn't take well to CFI screw-ups, seems to be quite trigger happy with firing people, and has been known to hang the CFI out to dry when FAA questions come up. Because of the above, I've stopped playing the "oh... it must have broken during the flight" game.

If my student or I find anything wrong on the pre-flight, it gets written up and fixed, or we cancel the flight and go another day. I have no interest in putting my ticket on the line to avoid taking a delay or cancellation. Typically, mx will come out, complain the entire time about how we shouldn't have written X up, and then fix it.

Does anyone else have similar experiences doing CFI work? Or is this limited to my employer?
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:07 PM
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Yup, and when it started happening I quit.

Don't sacrifice your ratings and more importantly, your life because some idiot is willing to cut corners and comprimise safety.

As far as your mechanics, remind them politely that you are job security. If you weren't there finding broken stuff, and breaking stuff, they would be on the street
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:54 AM
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Sounds a lot like a certain flight school on the "Treasure Coast" of Florida. Famous. Often called "scary###" because of this famous mx reputation. Most of the CFIs there have squak fatigue and many don't bother writing things up because of mx team whining (or the fact that they just don't fix it anyway).
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:24 AM
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Been there. Boss gave me the "the other guys are flying it" after another CFI took an airplane up that WAS NOT airworthy per the FARS (TOMATOFLAMES, ARROW, Etc).
I quit.
Thankfully the school closed shortly after that so no one got hurt.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:57 PM
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I have had the same issues. I Left and told my friends who instructed to leave as well. Some people are so desperate for hours they will fly unairworthy planes. The flight school that I worked at had a MEL and they took it to the extreme!!!

I ask the question. What are you going to do with all those hours if you are dead?
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:05 PM
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wow, that is scary. Makes me appreciate my maintenance guys that much more. My maintenance guys and I gripe at our CFI's for not writing stuff up. I'm glad to hear that you're not putting up with their crap though. Kudos for standing up for yourself.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:28 PM
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This debate is as old as aviation. Management wants the plane in the air. You would like to go home at night. Never the twain shall meet.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Interesting to see that this goes on at quite a few places. The one and only reason that I'm still working here is that it's only the mx guys who give us a hard time. While management may not be too happy about cancellations, I've never been pressured by my boss to fly a plane that had something wrong with it.

There's an interesting article about this topic in this month's (Oct 2008) AOPA Flight Training magazine on p.41 called "Everyone's been doing that".
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:44 PM
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My favorite line ive heard to say when mx gives you crap is "You are nothing but overhead, I am the revenue, SO FIX IT!"
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:49 PM
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An old wise person once told me to never fly for free and never fly broken planes....

I quit my job in Texas and moved to Montana(closer to home) I found a great flight school: Our oldest plane is a 2006 model. When they hit 950hours TT we sell them and get a new one from the factory.

It is possible to find a good school, with nice airplanes, good students(that speak english) with an awsome MX program, and an awsome boss.

You don't have to put up with the "shady" stuff if you dont want to
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