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American Air pilots say late-night flight training violates contract




The union for American Airlines Group Inc pilots said the carrier will violate its contract by scheduling “graveyard shift” flight simulator training sessions as it works to ready 440 pilots being added this year.
American detailed plans for the sessions, which would begin after midnight, in a message to pilots, saying the temporary measure starting in January will allow it to step up training for newly hired aviators and those doing “qualification training” to move to a new aircraft type. It plans to use the so-called E sessions only at its hub in Charlotte, North Carolina, and at the American Airlines Flight Academy at Greater Southwest International Airport in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Our new hires are on probation, so they are taking advantage of that unrepresented class of pilot, and that’s a horridly challenging time to try to train, even for our pilots going through qualification training,” Dennis Tajer, an Allied Pilots Association spokesman, said.
The E sessions will account for about 5% of overall pilot simulator training, American said in the note from Lori Cline, managing director of flight training and standards. The carrier has used such sessions before, and the plan falls within contract provisions allowing them, American said. It plans to use the E sessions only until new simulators are installed and brought online.
The union told members in a message that it doesn’t believe such training complies with its contract, but in any case it “is not a good idea.” A supplement to the pilots’ agreement specifies simulator training can’t be scheduled between 12:45 am and 5:30 am except for a specific type, and then is only allowed when no other four-hour period outside of those hours is available, the union said.
American also is using simulators owned by CAE and Avenger Flight Group in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and at
Boeing Co and Airbus SE facilities in Miami, according to the message.

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