Issuu on Google+

FEB/MAR 2010 President’s Report The VIPA primary elections were conducted in January and I am pleased to announce that the Committee of Management has been officially formed. The Committee of Management is made up of colleagues who are all committed to developing and expanding VIPA’s presence and providing members with a high standard of representation. Negotiations are currently underway with AIPA to facilitate VIPA’s admission to AusALPA. It is anticipated that AusALPA will become the overall representative body for professional pilots in Australia and will operate on the well established and proven model used by professional pilots in the USA (USALPA) and in Britain (BALPA). The ‘umbrella’ organization facilitates a wide range of industrial and legal services as well as administrative functions to all members, with each airline association having its own Company Council (or similar) with Industrial Officers supporting these councils. The AFAP is currently a member of AusALPA, and is allegedly vigorously opposing VIPA’s inclusion. AIPA, however, is very supportive of VIPA and shares the view that AusALPA can not claim to be a truly representative body for airline pilots in Australia if a registered pilot association with substantial membership is excluded. Members will have seen the article published by the President of AIPA, Capt. Barry Jackson, following the FWA hearing at which the AFAP opposed AIPA and gave evidence in support of the management of Jetstar. AIPA has effectively severed ties with the AFAP as a result of this ‘incident’ and is actively working with VIPA to bring about an alliance that supports the development of AusALPA. VIPA supports the concept of AusALPA for a variety of reasons. As professional pilots we share common values and objectives and have a vested interest in a range of issues which affect our profession - salary levels, safety and security standards, legislative issues etc. Pilots acting in unison (a rare practice amongst Australian pilots in recent years) under a single, powerful and well organized industrial body is arguably the only way to counter the constant erosion of the airline pilot’s professional standing, improve the terms and conditions under which we work, and to have input in the increasingly complex operational environment imposed by the Regulators and the Operators. It is no secret that, despite being commercially competitive, the management of all the airlines communicate and cooperate in a range of matters including their respective employee’s terms and conditions. AusALPA could facilitate a means of addressing attempts to erode conditions and whittle away at professional standards. AusALPA will have resources beyond anything currently available to individual organiszations.

I have alluded in a previous issue to the apathy that permeates our ranks. Indifferent pilots play into the hands of those that seek to ‘dumb down’ and reduce the standing of our profession. If this downward spiral is to be arrested we MUST retake ownership of our profession and arrest the decline. Consider the earnings of airline pilots 25 years ago. A B727 Captain was earning in the vicinity of around $130,000 pa flying domestic routes. He was entitled to benefits and conditions, recognition and respect, generous staff travel, proper crew meals and more. Consider what that would equate to in today’s dollar. Now consider the reduced salary levels paid to pilots today and project that figure forward twenty years factoring in the downward trend along with inflation and think where you will be financially when your time comes to retire. Other professions - doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, surveyors etc. do not tolerate erosion of terms and conditions and are prepared to fight to retain their standards. Why aren’t pilots prepared or able to defend their standing? Food for thought. Whilst the above example is somewhat simplistic and we do operate in a different environment than 20 years ago I am sure there are few amongst us who, given that many have expended around $100,000 to gain entry-level qualifications, would concede that they are willing to receive diminishing returns. The enthusiasm many show for flying is capitaliszed on by those presiding over corporate aspirations and the need to satisfy shareholders who probably couldn’t care less about you, the professional pilot. Today’s airline pilot is a stakeholder in his or her future. At the same time there is a responsibility to the employer companies in which we are also stakeholders. I believe we must work to develop synergies that not only address our collective professional aspirations but also that of the employer. This is not an impossible task and I believe it can be attained with dialogue, understanding and determination. Colleagues, I ask that you reflect on these issues and make a contribution toward stopping the downward spiral and take ownership of your future. VIPA and AusALPA will work toward these objectives. However neither can function without your active support. John Lyons President

INSIDE Elections .............................................2 Technical .............................................2 V Australia...........................................3 Member Benefits ................................3 How to Join .........................................4

Photo Contributions

Get your photo published in the next VIPA News… Submit any relevant snaps taken of the Group’s aircraft, or a view out the office window. Photos will be published with due credit. Please no crew meals. Submissions to: newsletter@vipa.asn.au

VIPA Contact Details Address: PO Box 368, Tullamarine Business Centre, Tullamarine VIC 3043 Phone: 1800 116 460 Email: executive@vipa.asn.au Web: www.vipa.asn.au Copyright 2009-2010 VIPA

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get… a crew meal doubly so. (With thanks to Capt Gump)


VIPA NEWS Technical Aircraft Tyres

Aircraft tyres play a significant role in aircraft controllability on the ground and the ability of the aircraft to stop during a landing or a rejected takeoff. Modern aircraft tyres are highly-engineered aircraft components which typically consist of approximately 50% rubber, 45% fabric (modern tyres use nylon), and 5% steel. Aircraft tyres are designed to carry heavy loads at high speeds and are engineered to be as light as possible. During an external inspection the pilot should study the aircraft tyres for general condition, signs of under inflation and wear.

FEB/MAR 2010

Committee of Management Election VIPA members voted last year to elect the first Committee of Management. Elections were held by the Australian Electoral Commission and we are pleased to announce that your Committee is:

Remember, VIPA is here for you. If you have any questions or concerns address them to the CoM through: secretary@vipa.asn.au

Capt John Lyons, President Capt Karl Davis, Vice President FO Andrew Hunt, Secretary FO Michel Durand, Treasurer Capt Guy Bator Capt Chris Bradbury Capt Tony Dodd Capt Craig Martin

Tyre Inflation

A tyre that is under inflated may wear unevenly, risk larger heat buildup and may run the risk of rolling off the rim and deflating during a high speed turn off the runway or on taxiways. Under inflated tyres may also lead to eventual tyre failure due to pile and tread separation. Shoulder wear on the tyre is one indicator of under inflation and should be reported to an engineer. Friction coefficients between the tyre, runway and taxiway surfaces will also alter if the tyre is under or over inflated. Excessive tyre pressure will increase wear on the crown of the tread and may lead to tyre damage. Aircraft tyre manufacturers recommend that tyre inflation should be checked every 24 hours and a tyre pressure loss in excess of 5 percent over a 24 hour period may require maintenance action. Aircraft that are subjected to a 48 hour daily inspection requirement have a greater risk of operating with under inflated tyres.

Fuse Plugs

Aircraft wheel assemblies have thermalrelief plugs (fuse plugs) strategically located around the wheel rim. The fuse plug chamber passes through the wheel rim into the tyre chamber area. When the tyre reaches a predetermined temperature, the “eutectic fuse material” which resembles solder, melts and allows air to escape from the tyre chamber into the atmosphere. Fuse plug design and location is primarily used to protect a tyre from excessive brake heat. Due to the poor thermal conductivity of tyre rubber, fuse plugs cannot protect tyre failures from rapid internal heat buildup associated with taxiing on an under inflated tyre. While tyre inflation is a maintenance action, pilots can reduce heat buildup in tyres by reducing taxiing speeds and minimizing taxi braking. If the speed builds up during taxiing, apply brake pressure to bring the aircraft to a slow speed, then release the brakes fully until next required. It is important not to ‘drag’ or ‘ride’ the brakes during taxiing.

Tyre Damage and Wear

During an external inspection pilots should carefully inspect the tyres for wear and damage. A large amount of tyre damage occurs on the apron area and taxiways due to foreign object damage (FOD). Typically FOD will cause cuts and chunks of rubber (tread chunking) to be removed. Taxiing too fast, turning too tight or operating on rough runways will increase the chance of tread chunking. Sharp instruments should not be pushed into deep cuts to assess the depth of the cut. Aircraft tyres are inflated to a high pressure and puncturing the tyre would pose a serious risk to life. Tyre damage of this nature should be reported to an engineer. Runways at major Australian airports have grooves cut across the runways. Chevron cutting of a tyre occurs during wheel spin-up when landing on these runways. Normally this does not present a problem unless the cutting occurs below the tread footprint, a certain amount of tyre fabric is exposed, or the chevron cuts across the entire tread pattern. A wheel that is locked or almost locked when landing on a dry runway will cause a flat scuffed surface on the tyre. A tyre may be operated with a flat spot providing the wear is within limits and it does not cause an out-of-balance shimmy of the wheel. Hydroplanning flat spots look different to dry flat spots and typically

appear as a patch of melted rubber. A bulge in the tyre tread or wall is extremely dangerous and the tyre should be changed. This condition is caused by the separation of the tyre components and is typically the result of the tyre overheating.

The Effect of Tyre Wear on Braking Effectiveness

Extensive testing by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of aircraft tyres concluded that there was a gradual degradation in wet runway braking effectiveness for tyres that were worn to an 80% condition. For tyres worn beyond 80%, braking effectiveness dropped markedly at which point safety could be compromised. When operating in very wet conditions tyre manufactures recommend that tyres are replaced once tread groove depths reach a specified limit. Pilots should exercise extreme caution when operating aircraft with bald tyres in very wet conditions. Pilots should also be mindful that airline companies may allow tyres to wear to the bottom of the tread groove or to the first signs of tyre fabric before the tyre is removed and sent for scrapping or retreading. Phillip Cooper Flight Safety, Technical and Regulatory Sub-Committee


VIPA NEWS

FEB/MAR 2010

VA sub-committee

The VA sub-committee (VASC) has been active in several areas. The committee has been pursuing issues relating to our current contract on a group and individual basis and in conjunction with the AFAP’s representatives has begun to outline talks on the composition of a future Enterprise Agreement. In the months preceding Christmas, formal correspondence detailing the membership’s concerns on contractual issues was initiated with the head of the People Team, Mr Richard Tanner. Members of the VASC then met with Mr Tanner and the Manager Line Operations, Captain Paul Doherty. The discussion of these issues proceeded in a cordial, yet robust manner in which both sides opened by stating their overwhelming intent to work together to achieve the best outcomes for both the Company, and V Australia Flight Crew. No formal reply has yet been received from Mr Tanner on the issues that were raised. In the view of VASC this further emphasises the point that whilst a ‘direct relationship’ is a noble idea, it has limited practical application in the pursuit of industry standard working conditions and contractual disputes. Mr Tanner made it very clear that he is under no obligation to discuss anyone’s contract with VIPA representatives. Presently all crew are employed on individual contracts, so we can only discuss contracts on an individual basis. Therefore should a member feel the need to have VIPA representation when dealing with the company, they will need to request assistance on an individual basis. This situation will continue until such time as an EBA is negotiated. The further highlights the need to have an EBA sooner rather than later.

The VASC has been holding discussions with the AFAP representatives on the composition of an Enterprise Agreement that would combine the interests of the members of both groups. It is proposed that a combined agreement and negotiation be held with the company to present a united group and simplify the negotiation process. As of this time, discussions with the AFAP have been excellent and it appears that we have likeminded people in both organisations intent on achieving the best for the pilot group, and there does not appear to be any roadblocks to presenting a united front to the company. At the time of writing, I have just received the new promotion and

transfer policy. Unfortunately the company did not see fit to involve us in the development of this policy, so this is the first I have seen of it in its entirety. One pleasing note is that it appears to favour V Australia pilots with regard to qualifications required for upgrade, however it is disappointing to see that the policy would appear to make it next to impossible for CRFOs to upgrade on the B777 due to the command endorsement requirement. I have spoken with management regarding this point and they have confirmed that it was a deliberate inclusion to force CRFOs onto another jet type within the VB group to gain experience. I was further disappointed to note that there is little information provided regarding the potential for our CRFOs to transfer to another type in the company. On face value, it would seem that the company is creating a very hard to manage system, which is reliant on individuals to select who goes where and when. There is no doubt that this will be one of the major issues for both us, VB and probably PB in any future EBA negotiations. There has been a pleasing response to the offer of membership of VIPA to V Australia Flight Crew, and our numbers are steadily increasing. At the latest Committee of Management (CoM) meeting, and subsequent to representations by the VASC, the CoM approved extension of the current offer of discounted membership to 30 Jun 2010. As a reminder VIPA are offering discounted membership to CRFOs till 30 June 2010. It is emphasised that membership brings with it full legal protection in Australia and overseas and participation in any Enterprise Agreement negotiated for VIPA members, outside this relationship individuals would negotiate their work conditions with the People Team. We further encourage you to put the case of Association membership to your peers. Casual discussions whilst down route have suggested that there is an alarming amount of our pilots who do not understand the importance of having legal cover when overseas. There appears to be a level of complacency amongst many pilots who are under the impression that the company will come to their rescue should they run into trouble overseas, or in Australia. The recent situation involving Qantas Group employees in Vietnam serves to highlight just how quickly things can go wrong, and how beneficial it would be to have some independent help in any such situation.

PHOTOs by MEHDI NAzARINIA


VIPA NEWS

FEB/MAR 2010

Member Referral Discount A growing membership base will allow VIPA to reduce fees, increase benefits and provide increased influence when negotiating on your behalf. Towards that end, the Committee of Management is pleased to offer a referral discount on membership fees to existing members who recruit new members to VIPA. The discount is progressive, calculated on the number of members recruited within one membership year: 1 member: 2 members: 3 members: 4 members:

10% discount 15% discount 20% discount 25% discount

The discount is capped at 25% for four members, and will be applied to the referring members fees in the next year. Please ensure the new member records your name in the referring member field of the application form. It is a condition of the discount that the new member becomes financial before the discount can be applied. Contact the Treasurer for further information. Remember – The more members we have, the greater our ability to effect change for the benefit of all Virgin pilots.

VIPA Membership Application Form For a free copy of the rules of VIPA, email the Secretary at: secretary@vipa.asn.au Full Name: Postal Address: ....................................................................................................................................................... Home Phone: .......................................................................................................................................................... Mobile Phone: ......................................................................................................................................................... Date of Birth: ........................................................................................................................................................... Email Address: ........................................................................................................................................................ Employer: ................................................................................................................................................................ Base: ....................................................... Rank: ........................................................

Fleet: ................................................................................................. Licence: CPL / ATPL

Referring Member: ................................... Employment Status:

p Full Time

p RO/RO

Invoicing Option:

p Annual

p Quarterly

Other: ...............................................................

I apply for membership of VIPA. • • • • • •

I am employed as a pilot, on airline services within or extending beyond Australia, by Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd, or its related entities, its successors or assigns. I agree to abide by the rules of VIPA (the Rules) as amended from time to time. I understand that I remain a member of VIPA until I revoke my membership in writing in accordance with the Rules and with the Fair Work Act2009 I agree to pay annual subscription fees in accordance with the Rules and that the annual subscription fee of VIPA is 0.8% (plus 10% GST) of my annual gross salary as amended from time to time. I have read the information supplied relating to financial obligations of membership and the circumstance and manner in which I may resign my membership. I understand that my initial invoice will include a $15.00 admission fee.

Signed: .......................................................................................... Dated: ....................................................................................... Send this completed membership form to the Secretary, VIPA at secretary@vipa.asn.au or by post to: The Secretary, VIPA, PO Box 368, TULLAMARINE BUSINESS PARK, TULLAMARINE, VIC 3043 Payment Options The following options are currently available: Direct Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Cheque Office use only Date of receiving application: Date of Executive Committee Meeting accepting the application:


VIPA News Feb/Mar 2010