Bad Vibes at American Eagle


Apparently a "terse" writer
Staff member
Unsigned letter making the rounds at American Eagle:

I am your First Officer. And you worst nightmare. You took my job. I was
captain on this airplane, I had a lot of time on it, too, and a lot of other
airplanes. I was a great captain with an excellent record, and I have
experience in conditions you can scarcely imagine. Your knowledge, training,
and experience are trivial compared to mine. But you decided to take my job and
career from me. You do know what they call people who take other people's jobs,
don't you? The word is scAAb, and you will be treated accordingly. As such, I
will do only what is necessary to keep myself from getting killed or violated
or fired, but beyond that you are on your own. I am not paid to do IOE, so I
won't give you any advice on anything. If I yell MY AIRPLANE real loud, let go,
because I am trying to save my life and because you have screwed up. I have no
respect for you and I have made it my purpose in life to get you fired. If you
break the rules or do something stupid, it will be reported at once. If you
break any FARs, I have the FAA on speed dial, and they will be informed
immediately. I might feign mild friendliness, but it is just an act: I am sure
that you have been instructed by management to report anyone who acts hostile
to you, but I will also be trying to set you up: If you say anything that is
sexist, racist, homophobic, politically incorrect, or offensive in any way,
shape or form to anyone on the planet, I will file a Rule 32 violation against
you. These black marks on your record will follow you everywhere you go in the
future. If you are fired from Eagle for these violations, you will not be
recalled to AA and there is nothing that APA can do about it, and you won't be
able to get a job towing banners. Just because you had the connections or
interview skills or demographics to get a job at AA, do NOT pretend for one
single moment that your skill as a pilot is superior to mine, or for that
matter even remotely comparable. You are a shaved tail amateur compared to the
flying I have done. You can expect me to constantly ridicule you abilities,
however, the criticism will be unconstructive and designed only to make you
feel rotten about yourself, which is something you desperately deserve. You
made a serious mistake in opting to come to Eagle. You aren't wanted here. You
will be hated and despised. You will have no friends among Eagle pilots, and we
will all endeavor to make your life as miserable as possible.It is only a
matter of time before you or one of your ilk turns one of our fine airplanes
into a lawn dart. On that tragic day, you can expect every single Eagle FO to
become a "Deep Throat" not just for the benefit of the FAA and NTSB, but also
for the press and public, creating a scandal that will destroy not just Eagle,
but also AMR as a whole. Your coming here has created one of the worst Crew
Resource Management problems in aviation history and it is all your fault.
Because you have ruined our careers, we have nothing to lose. Eagle has the
WORST contract in the business. Through experience, most of us have figured out
how to cope with its weak points, but we won't share any of this information
with you. Your life will be a living hell. Ours has been for a long time, and
your coming here has made it worse, and we will take it out on you.You are not
the first to flowback. Many of those who came before managed to get out of it
the only way they could: by activating their reserve commissions. They would
rather be shot at in Iraq then continue to work at Eagle: Think about that!
You were warned to stay away. You demonstrated incredibly poor judgement in
coming anyway. You are my enemy. You will be the scapegoat for all the bad
things that have happened at Eagle. It is unlikely you will last long here. We
are determined to get you off Eagle property either by getting you canned or
driving you to the point where you run screaming off the property. Welcome to
Captain X.
It could also work the other way too. Say the industry makes a complete turn, in 5-10 years when AA could be hiring, many Eagle captains could find themselves screwed.
Your coming here has created one of the worst Crew
Resource Management problems in aviation history and it is all your fault.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think the guys that follow this letter are the CRM problem. It's crap like this that makes me enjoy flying single-seat for the rest of my life. No self-loading baggage flightcrew members to have to deal with. It's this attitude and behavior that'll begin turning Eagle planes into lawn darts, not the pilot in the left seat.

This kind of behavior/action also places the union in a negative light, and, IMO, stiff-arms others from support of their cause. Like it or not, the flightdeck is a team effort in these planes, there's no I in team here, something this guy doesn't seem to understand, regardless of the political situation.

What's next? Busting kneecaps with baseball bats?

What's the current beef this time at AMR anyway, (other than the industry-wide layoffs)?

BTW, his direct-line to the FAA threat works both ways..........
I think the guy's lost sight of the fact that he's become his own worst enemy.

If you carry that much anger to work with you, you're going to hurt yourself one day. There are people that are so angry, that they're almost happy when someone else in the cockpit screws up but lose sight of the fact that they're on the same jet.
Those guys at eagle seem to be an angry bunch. Maybe they have their reasons, but thats just an observation.
Very stupid letter, but typical AMR "Boskone" trick. Let the employee groups fight and no one realizes management is screwing them.

I bet mgt wrote the letter LOL.
Wow, there are some serious issues going on at Eagle. With this stuff, and them trying to drop ALPA... wow, I dunno what to say.
Rumor has it that these two pilots had a personality conflict. I can't find the full report, but this is what the result was:

The crew of American Eagle Flight 3379 was completing the return leg of a scheduled out-and-back trip sequence between Raleigh Durham, North Carolina and Greensboro, North Carolina. The flight was cleared for runway 5 left ILS approach. The crew switched radio frequencies to Raleigh Durham tower, and the local air traffic controller cleared the flight to land at 1832:20 eastern standard time. The aircraft crashed approximately four miles southwest of the runway threshold in a wooded area. The pilot, co-pilot and thirteen passengers were fatally injured, while the other five passengers were seriously injured. A post crash fire was extinguished by the Morrisville Fire Department and other agencies in Wake County. The weather report from Raleigh Durham weather facility at the time of the accident reported the ceiling at 500 feet overcast, 2 miles visibility in light rain and fog, wind 010 degrees at 8 knots, temperature 38 degrees (F), dew point 36 degrees (F), and altimeter 30.31 inches.
Was this the J31? I think i remember that the capt had a sketchy background or had been out of aviation for a long time or something like that.
The only thing he had going against him was that he had failed a check ride at Comair. Everything else that has been said about him is hearsay.

If you have flown a J31 (and I've only done so 2x), so I am told, the NTS box has a bad habit of making it hard to tell which engine has failed. I understood that they did a shutdown but mistakenly shut down the wrong engine.
Hello Doug,

Wow...did I miss something? What's a "flowback"? I don't expect you to explain everything, but maybe you have a factual & informative link that will give background.


Here is a crude, but simple analogy. Take Professional baseball. The regionals, and in this case American Eagle would be AAA baseball, like the Greenville Braves. Lets say youve made your way through the braves "farm system" and flowed through to the "Majors" Atlanta Braves. Now if you get sent back to the Greenville Braves, that would be a flowback.

Im not sure in AA's case but in some case you have to have worked at the regional your flowing back to, otherwise your just furloughed.
Sorry to get all technical but....the Greenville Braves are AA for the Braves. The Richmond Braves are the Braves AAA affiliate.

Atlanta Braves:Delta
Richmond Braves:Comair (DCA)
Greenville Braves:Freight Dogs
Myrtle Beach Braves (High Single A):Banner Tow, Pipeline Pilots
Rome Braves (Low Single A):CFI
Danville Braves (Rookie League):The Rest of Us!

Ok carry on.............
OK, I see that the displaced Eagle captain has a beef with the flowback captain from the mainline. However, wouldn't a mainline pilot likely have more time than the displaced Eagle captain? In the letter he mentions how much more experience he has than the flowback captain, that doesn't make sense.
One thing that the "angry ex-captain" didn't consider is that the pilot from American may have been an American Eagle captain that flowed up to American Airlines as per the flow-thru agreement, thus enabling "angry ex-captain" to move from FO to Captain and then when things went sour at AA, subsequentially bumped "angry ex-captain" back down to FO.
It's not like it's the captain's fault for getting sent back to Eagle though, right?
If you want to read up on the Eagle flowback thing you can register and read the chat boards at , this chat board is mostly for Eagle pilots, past and present, but it will give you some background and LOTS of opinions about this topic. Basically the flowthrough was a letter (aka Letter 3) that was signed years ago (when I was still with Eagle) that allowed Eagle pilots to make a choice when they went to be a jet captain to be either a flowthrough (meaning they would get an AA senority number effective with the date they complete their jet captain checkride) or they could be an "Eagle Rights" captain, which means that if events ever happened where the flow'back' provision occured, that pilot as an Eagle rights guy could not be bumped out of his captain position. What the flowback provision allows for is for a furloughed AA pilot (from the bottom of AA's senority list) to go to Eagle as a jet captain. Not working their way up through the senority ranks to attain their captain seat. So, a 10-year+ Eagle captain who elected the flowthrough could be displaced out of his seat by a AA furloughee. The guys who have already flowed through will not be flowing back, their senoriy dates at AA are such that they are not currently in danger of being furloughed. This is a basic synopsis of the situation at Eagle, it is rather complicated and sparks a great deal of emotion from those directly involved. Please read the EagleLounge chat boards for the whole story.