Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The 5 Million Dollar Christmas Party

If for one minute you think the FAA hasn't exacted a culture change in Air Traffic than you need to open your eyes. Reduction in pay equates to less dues, weakening NATCA's ability to function in these new and changing times.

Now for the waste, fraud, and abuse the Agency has yet again entered into without any fiscal responsibility.(Saint Louis Hate Fest ring any bells?) Let's add in the pay that all these Management types made while in Atlanta, add in the cost of paying CIC pay and overtime to cover for management, and the total is much higher than the 5 million dollar price tag.

The spike that FAA Management has driven between itself and the workforce is still there, it's just in a dormant state until the next National election cycle. Why in today's world of technology do you need to send every FAA management type to Atlanta? The answer is simple,"You Don't"!!!!!!!!!!! How about teleconference? Maybe have 2 LMR specialist in each service area and send them to one location to get training on the new contract.

What I really need explained is why management can attend FAAMA functions and be in a pay status? Why the PWC can do the same? These two organizations lobby Congress, they pay a membership fee to join and are voluntary. So why are they allowed to basically attend conventions in a pay status? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?????????? This is more in the subtle and not so subtle Union busting techniques the Agency has stooped to in the last four years.

If you think for one second the Agency is going to play nice, you are dumber than you look. It's is time to take the fight to the ring. We must prepare for the future or else every fight we have ever been through is in vain.

Look around in your facility, look at all the new young faces of Air Traffic. It's time to pass the torch to the next generation before it is too late.

FAA Management will never play fair. All the chips have always been stacked in their favor. So if you think the next generation doesn't need to be smarter and more prepared then we were,then my friends we are lost, an you are sadly mistaken.

Happy Holidays,

Angry Fokker

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Let's get back to what matters !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After over three years without an contract,a certain group of ultra cool, death defying, Federal employees have a contract. Whew who!!!!!!!!!!! But instead of Managers worrying about what really matters, they still want power and control over dress code and leaving the facility. (MORE TO FOLLOW)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tragedy on the Hudson

I thought long and hard before I decided to blog about this tragedy. To all that lost friends and family my heart goes out to you.

Visual Flight Rules. It's a simple premise, see and be seen. Look left, check left, then turn left. The bottom line is, a pilot under visual flight rules must stay vigilant even when receiving VFR flight following. Many factors add to the complacency that can occur in aviation. Excess traffic calls, false low altitude alerts on radar, conflict alerts on radar when traffic is not a factor, relying on technology instead of flying the aircraft or working Air traffic.

In the late eighties the B737 had a phenomenon called total rudder deflection. Between the speeds of 180-190 knots this deflection could not be corrected by aileron or rudder pedal. Many lives were lost because of humans relying on technology. Many pilots in twin training would have realized the quick fix was cut power to the engine that would counter the rudder yaw. Having their hands on the controls and feeling the aircraft, instead of on autopilot, may have changed this tragic series of events.

The bottom line is, there is no substitute for the human interaction in aviation. No amount of technology will make aviation safer without including human interaction in the mix. Not Nextgen, TCAS, RADAR, VFR flight following, Autopilot, Glass cockpit, GPS, etc., can take the place of see and be seen.

I blame the system for the inherent lack of respect for one simple trait,EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Ask the passengers on Sullies Aircraft what they think about experience!)

The FAA tried to be a regulatory Agency that would run like a business, with customers. Well, we have seen how well that has worked. A regulatory Agency must do just that, regulate. It cannot have customers.

Now it seems public opinion is looking for someone to blame for this tragedy.
Controllers are tasked with multiple responsibilities all the time. Controllers take pride in the fact they can multitask with the best of them. Millions of times in my career controllers have had to talk to aircraft, answer phones, coordinate with other facilities, and perform clerical duties, with no tragic outcome.It has come to be expected of us by our employer.

We have told the FAA it is unsafe to have one person on duty. Our cries fell on deaf ears. I urge you to contact your Congress person and tell them don't let the FAA compromise you and your families safety. There can be no price tag put on safety. Human life does not have a finite price. Who has the right to decide that 1.4 million is acceptable compensation for loss of life? No Agency, No Government, No individual, No CEO. There is no acceptable price for the loss of life in aviation.

Many tragedies are caused by a series or chain of events. One event or all but one event can occur without loss of life. But when the complete chain of events occurs then a tragic outcome is almost always likely.

We have had a mass exodus of experience in the Air Traffic world in the last three years. It will take the Agency at least 8-10 years to stop the bleeding from this loss of experience.The FAA has taken the stakeholders out of the decision making process for the future of Air Traffic.

So I urge every member of the aviation community to be extra vigilant over the next decade. We must accept nothing less than the safe, orderly flow of aviation in our great country. United in safety is the only way to create a safer environment. We cannot let corporate greed or the "good ole boy network" of acquisition and contracting to continue!!!!!!!!!!

If you think that technology can take the place of good operating procedures and experience, then my friends you are sadly mistaken.

Angry Fokker

Friday, August 14, 2009

VOTE RINALDI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I urge every member to get out and vote. We must have a greater voter turn out than 7,000. Vote for a fighter. Vote for Rinaldi! We have seen what a bridge builder gets us, absolutely nothing. Patty Cakes is a prime example. I really like Ruth, but I don't see her as a fighter. I see Ruth as a bridge builder. The agency will come out swinging, I guarantee you that. So we must have a fighter to fix this mess once and for all.

If you think that education alone makes a good leader, then my friends you are sadly mistaken.

Angry Fokker

Monday, August 3, 2009

Those who fail to remember their history are doomed to repeat it!!!!

28 years ago today 15,000 Brothers and Sisters went on strike against the United States Government. Allegedly they were breaking the law. These brave souls stood up against the most powerful Government in the world, to fight for what they believed was fair and just.

They paid the ultimate price. They were fired by the man they helped elect. Then they named an airport after this former actor/governor/president. What a slap in the face.

Anyone who was hired after 1981 has a job because of the sacrifices this brave group paid for organized Federal labor. What they accomplished was unprecedented and will never be repeated in the history of Federal labor.

These Brothers and Sisters were arrested, harassed by the FBI, threatened, and were summarily fired.

I don't think that this organization would ever have the esprit De core, intestinal fortitude, brother and sisterhood, or the balls to pull off this feat.

I honor every PATCO Brother and Sisters memory on this anniversary.

I have had the extreme pleasure and honor to stand beside BJ Florence (Billy Jack) Valerie and Bob Butterworth (The Sis and The Prez) Dominic Torchia (The Wiz).

To the real Brothers and Sisters, the Choir boys, and all the thousands that will remain nameless, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

These Brothers and Sisters, even in retirement continue to fight for NATCA. Whether it is attending a regional meeting, the convention, Boots on the ground, they continue to fight tirelessly for each and every one of us. Each and every one of us owes them a debt we can never repay.

I right this blog today in honor of these brave Brothers and Sisters with nothing but love and admiration.

If you don't think this brave group paved the way and sacrificed it all for what they believed in, then my friends, you are sadly mistaken.

Angry Fokker

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I called it June 6th 2009 !!!!!!!!

Well put a fork in ya "Patty Cakes", you are done! I hate to say I told you so, but I did on June 6th. So Pat don't let the door hit you where the good lord split ya, TTFN, See you next time, Parting is such sweet sorrow, Not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's time to move on. Let the new Eboard lead us out of the dark, dreary, damp never never, we have been forced into for the last three years. Good luck to both candidates. I will vote for Ruth. We need a change. It's CIC time. (Chicks in Charge) Let's see how different the outlook will be for the next generation. I hope it is so bright they have to wear shades. This is a great profession, we need members and leadership that foster that simple truth. Don't ever forget what we have been through. And please don't forget where we need to go from here.

If you think that half truths, secrecy, non-confrontational policies, censoring your membership are traits of a good leader, then my friends you are sadly mistaken.

Anyone but Pat in 2009

Angry Fokker

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What story will you tell? What song will you sing?

The Aboriginals believe the measure of a man is the adventures he lives and the story he is able to tell from those adventures. Man and nature are connected in every way imaginable. Every action can be sung or the story can be told to the next generation. This pure truth is, all history is either, written, drawn, signed, sung, or told in every society from the very beginning of mankind. Every society is doomed to suffer from it's simple lack of documented history. Every society, generation, or civilization must record it's history, this protects the next generation from the failures and misgivings of the last.

We (NATCA) have many Brothers, like "The Wiz" , "The Prez" "Billy Jack" just to name a few, that have been shut out from sharing our history with the next generation.They have not been able to sing their song or tell their story. They have earned the right to tell their stories a thousand times over.(None were picked for the Retired Natcavist program) A former supervisor, turned brother twice was. This is a huge slap in the face to these great brothers.

Those who fail to remember their history are doomed to repeat it. Even a simple society from one of the birthplaces of civilization knows this simple truth.

If you don't have the Balls to sing your song or tell your story, then my friends your adventures are wasted, your song is lost, and you are sadly mistaken.

Angry Fokker