Final update on that United flight UA842 diversion

It’s all a pretty sorry tale and I’m not really planning to say anything more about it after this unless it’s plain wrong. According to various United sources the captain was on his first trip back after extended sick leave.

About 45min into the flight he asks for a document called the crew declaration. There’s a delay because the in-flight service is underway and for various reasons relating to security procedures the female purser eventually ends up pushing it under the door.

Fast forward a bit and the captain apparently ends up yelling at her and still later the cabin crew is suddenly told that the aircraft is about to land at Miami. Nobody really seems to know what is going on and eventually they end up at the gate at Miami with, so I’m told, police, TSA and fire department in attendance.

One way or another the purser ends up on the ground and the aircraft departs for Chicago where it is met by appropriate UAL officials. Captain still off flight duty.

I don’t think this has much to do with CRM, though obviously there are some HR and procedural questions that UAL and the FAA will be talking about. But in my view it’s just life.

That’s it.

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5 Responses to Final update on that United flight UA842 diversion

  1. Yann July 20, 2009 at 6:19 am #

    Interesting… story…

    However I can’t figure the links between the facts that the captain was back after a long sick leave, the requested crew declaration was lately pushed under the door, and the captain’s decision to divert the flight to Miami!

    The only possible link for me was that the captain was back after a long psychiatric sick leave.


  2. no-doz July 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Not sure how this qualifies as ‘just life’. Sounds highly unusual and deeply screwed up to me. Pressure on Kieran?

  3. In the know August 1, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

    This guy is a “known” at United. He is getting a 30 day vacation – paid. I should try this technique.

  4. flyboy October 26, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    The Captain actually had her pulled off for being a terrorist. He wanted her to hand him the Customs paperwork and she slid it under the door to avoid another confrontation with him. The captain failed to realise that the people paying your salary come first when its not a life/death issue and he can wait. I guess he does not realize (most pilots don’t) that he is the the “God” he thinks he is

  5. Kieran Daly April 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    If there’s pressure on me it’s only the self-inflicted kind. Of course it’s highly unusual and deeply screwed up. I’m just distinguishing between the type of, happily rare, incident where the captain is in full control of his faculties but is an asshole, and this much rarer one where I suspect some human sympathy may be due to a guy who’s clearly been in some kind of difficulty already.

    It may turn out that I’m being excessively sympathetic, but I’d rather err that way than the other.

    And for Yann, I’m just relating the facts as I understand them. Make of them what you will.

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