|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : atl|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : new|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Widebody, Low Wing, 3 Turbojet Eng|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 12000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||oversight : supervisor|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
We all know you shouldn't fly with a physical deficiency. It is in everyone's best interest if you adhere to that rule--or is it? There is at least 1 major air carrier that has created a set of rules for their pilots that puts a great deal of pressure on their pilots to fly when not physically 'whole.' the question becomes not 'am I in good physical condition?', but 'can I make it through the day?' how can this be? Well, the company is not subject to any penalty if a pilot flies when physically deficient, only the pilot is penalized. Well, my company has a policy that can lead to substantial loss of pay and possibly termination if one calls in sick too often or otherwise has an 'occurrence.' generally 6 occurrences in 18 months will be cause for termination. Loss of pay will start with the fourth occurrence. I believe I have a very good record with my company, yet in the last 4 months I have: 1) received an occurrence for refusing to fly all night after being up all day (on my day off), 2) received an occurrence for having a medical problem that required immediate attention which caused me to be unable to fly an assigned trip, and 3) received an occurrence for calling in sick with a cold. Now my next occurrence will cost me pay, and 3 more in 14 months will be cause for termination. Tell me how do I not get sick? As I got older I've noticed I am subject to more ailments. The average person gets 2 colds a year--so I'm average. Just what am I supposed to do? Uphold the law and lose my job? Or, bend the law, take a chance and fly even thought it may be improper? As it stands now, the pressure on the pilot to fly is enormous. The feedback I've had on this issue is 'if I can walk, I can fly--I'm not going to lose my job.' perhaps if the penalty for scheduling a sick pilot to fly were as punitive to the company (in relative terms) as to the pilot, this abuse would end and we would have a safer and healthier cockpit.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: COMPANY POLICY REFERENCE EXCESSIVE SICK LEAVE.
Narrative: WE ALL KNOW YOU SHOULDN'T FLY WITH A PHYSICAL DEFICIENCY. IT IS IN EVERYONE'S BEST INTEREST IF YOU ADHERE TO THAT RULE--OR IS IT? THERE IS AT LEAST 1 MAJOR ACR THAT HAS CREATED A SET OF RULES FOR THEIR PLTS THAT PUTS A GREAT DEAL OF PRESSURE ON THEIR PLTS TO FLY WHEN NOT PHYSICALLY 'WHOLE.' THE QUESTION BECOMES NOT 'AM I IN GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION?', BUT 'CAN I MAKE IT THROUGH THE DAY?' HOW CAN THIS BE? WELL, THE COMPANY IS NOT SUBJECT TO ANY PENALTY IF A PLT FLIES WHEN PHYSICALLY DEFICIENT, ONLY THE PLT IS PENALIZED. WELL, MY COMPANY HAS A POLICY THAT CAN LEAD TO SUBSTANTIAL LOSS OF PAY AND POSSIBLY TERMINATION IF ONE CALLS IN SICK TOO OFTEN OR OTHERWISE HAS AN 'OCCURRENCE.' GENERALLY 6 OCCURRENCES IN 18 MONTHS WILL BE CAUSE FOR TERMINATION. LOSS OF PAY WILL START WITH THE FOURTH OCCURRENCE. I BELIEVE I HAVE A VERY GOOD RECORD WITH MY COMPANY, YET IN THE LAST 4 MONTHS I HAVE: 1) RECEIVED AN OCCURRENCE FOR REFUSING TO FLY ALL NIGHT AFTER BEING UP ALL DAY (ON MY DAY OFF), 2) RECEIVED AN OCCURRENCE FOR HAVING A MEDICAL PROB THAT REQUIRED IMMEDIATE ATTN WHICH CAUSED ME TO BE UNABLE TO FLY AN ASSIGNED TRIP, AND 3) RECEIVED AN OCCURRENCE FOR CALLING IN SICK WITH A COLD. NOW MY NEXT OCCURRENCE WILL COST ME PAY, AND 3 MORE IN 14 MONTHS WILL BE CAUSE FOR TERMINATION. TELL ME HOW DO I NOT GET SICK? AS I GOT OLDER I'VE NOTICED I AM SUBJECT TO MORE AILMENTS. THE AVERAGE PERSON GETS 2 COLDS A YEAR--SO I'M AVERAGE. JUST WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? UPHOLD THE LAW AND LOSE MY JOB? OR, BEND THE LAW, TAKE A CHANCE AND FLY EVEN THOUGHT IT MAY BE IMPROPER? AS IT STANDS NOW, THE PRESSURE ON THE PLT TO FLY IS ENORMOUS. THE FEEDBACK I'VE HAD ON THIS ISSUE IS 'IF I CAN WALK, I CAN FLY--I'M NOT GOING TO LOSE MY JOB.' PERHAPS IF THE PENALTY FOR SCHEDULING A SICK PLT TO FLY WERE AS PUNITIVE TO THE COMPANY (IN RELATIVE TERMS) AS TO THE PLT, THIS ABUSE WOULD END AND WE WOULD HAVE A SAFER AND HEALTHIER COCKPIT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.