“I can say one thing about the “Optional” safety devices (AOA Indicator). As far as I know, this option is NO COST to the airline.
“It is selected or rejected when the airline chooses the display format. It depends on the management of the airline.
“I’ve heard the issue of AOA indicators discussed for DECADES by pilots… The opinion breaks down into two side, depending on if the pilot was trained in the military. Here is what I see:
“As a general rule, pilots who received their training in the military are trained to use AOA indicators, and view them as essential flight instruments.
“Pilots NOT trained by the military view the AOA indicator as a “fancy gadget for fighter jocks” and a “waste of space” on their instrument panels.
“As I’ve said. the AOA option isn’t a matter of cost, it’s attitude and FUNDAMENTAL training. Pilots who receive training outside the military are frequently trained by other pilots without military training. As a result, the attitude that I just described is passed down to the next generation of pilots.
“Another issue is a serious lack of communication between pilots and maintenance people. On Boeing planes, pilots are expected to use a “Fault Reporting Manual” to provide a fault code when they write up a problem. This is one of the subject that I teach during the introduction portion of the course. EVERY class the students break out laughing when I ask if their pilots follow this manual!
“Additionally, many pilots will write up a squawk as “System Inop”, giving no details as to when the system malfunctioned or what indications showed. This leads to a “guessing game” when trying to determine what went wrong and other factors that may have influenced the operation.
“I’ve got tons of stories from my experience that I tell in class to explain why it’s important to know how the pilot is SUPPOSED to use the equipment and why it’s important to know what was happening when the fault occurred.
“On another note, during a recent assignment I spoke with a Field Service Rep. He said that management does NOT want to hear any reports mentioning customers complaining. Only positive reports are to be sent back.
“It isn’t limited to our field service. Boeing has an internal system to discuss a wide variety of issues in discussion groups. I recently responded to several complaints in a group discussing travel policy and our travel auditors, mentioning several of my experiences with them and how much time was wasted. I was called into my manager’s office and told that If I leave a negative comment on the system I will receive 3 days off without pay. This has become a common threat in my department.
“Training recently transferred from Customer Service at Boeing Commercial Airplane Group to a new division called Boeing Global Services. They want us to be profit center, however, they avoid “direct training sales” and barely have the manpower for proforma sales with new deliveries. They are now forcing instructors to teach subjects that we do not have experience on, and are providing MINIMAL time to learn.
“In fact, coming from McDonnell Douglas, where direct training sales were a large part of my workload. When I ask why we aren’t selling our training, I am told that “we don’t want to do direct sales.” Instead new vice president told us that he wants us to come up with a way to CHARGE customers for any questions that they ask us outside of class.
“This is NOT customer service.
“As I’ve mentioned in a previous message, there is a mass exodus of instructors, three more instructors left in the past month, and several more have given notice. All of them say bad management is behind their decision to leave.
“As I said, you talk to ANY instructor, they will all say that they had the best job in the company… Now, EVERY one of them is waiting to bail out.
“Even while the dust is settling, management proudly announced that we’ve instituted the cut down (was 12 day, now 8 day) differences training for maintenance on the MAX. The new course is almost all “MicroSim” (a crappy so-called “simulator” that Boeing wants to sell to the customers). There is almost no stand-up instruction.
“They are doing this despite the fact that almost every end of course critique says the 12n day course was too short and/or lacking details.
“They are doing this despite the fact that almost EVERY instructor thinks it is inadequate. We were basically told “You will teach it, and you will like it and keep your mouths shut.
“I wish I could go public with this, but I don’t need the disaster it will create in my life. I guarantee that Boeing would get rid of me immediately and attempt to destroy my reputation.
“As I said, you talk to ANY instructor, they will all say that they had the best job in the company… Now, EVERY one of them is waiting to bail out.”