Pilot Didn't Like The Way The Trustee Was Taking Care Of
Perhaps he was just mad as hell and didn't want to take it
anymore. Whatever the reason, a Hawaiian Airlines pilot Thursday
threw a trustee in the carrier's bankruptcy off his 767-300.
"The pilot told him he wasn't happy to have him on the flight,"
said Hawaiian spokesman Keoni Wagner. "Rather than delay the flight
by discussing it at that point, he decided to take another
Josh Gotbaum is not on the list of pilots' 10 most popular
people. He's in charge of overseeing Hawaiian Airlines' $4.5
million bankruptcy. The airline is overdue in paying $4.5 million
into the pilots' pension fund and Gotbaum has proposed eliminating
the fund altogether as one way for the carrier to dig out from
under all its bills.
That doesn't sit well with pilots like Craig Kobyashi.
When Gotbaum got on board Flight 12 from Honolulu to San
Francisco Thursday, Kobyashi said he found out just as the trustee
was getting settled in first class. The Honolulu Advertiser reports
Kobyashi asked a flight attendant to bring Gotbaum to the cockpit.
That's when he asked Gotbaum to leave. When Gotbaum asked if he
could explain his actions, Kobyashi said he told the bankruptcy
official, "That's fair." Kobyashi said he listen as Gotbaum told
him "about the good things he's trying to do and that his word is
good.... I told him, 'Actions speak louder than words. For now, I
need to ask you to remove yourself from the flight,' which he
Jim Giddings, the head of the
Hawaiian Airlines' pilots union, told the Advertiser, "All of our
pilots are very professional, and they maintain a very high level
of professional standards regardless of the circumstances. ... This
is an isolated incident ... and we look forward to working through
the bankruptcy issues going forward with Gotbaum for the benefit of
The FAA was a bit more firm in standing behind Kobyashi's
decision to throw Gotbaum off the plane.
"That's standard aviation protocol," FAA spokesman Donn Walker
said. "A captain is in charge of his or her ship. It doesn't mean
that the airline won't get mad at them for doing it. But it's the
captain's place to decide who does or does not fly on his or her
"So many employees are so emotional about him after all of the
things Gotbaum has done, such as freezing our pension plan," he
told local reporters in Honolulu (HI). "This was strictly a matter
of safety. It's not a vendetta. It's not anything else. I didn't
feel that I could function properly."