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Tue, Aug 20, 2013

Ryanair Fires Whistleblower Pilot

Senior Captain Had Questioned Airline's Safety On Television

Ryanair has fired one of its most senior pilots after he questioned the airline's safety procedures in an interview on British television. The airline said it was also taking legal action against the pilot.

In a statement, Ryanair said 59-year-old John Goss had been fired following what they described as "defamatory contributions" to a documentary broadcast on Britain's Channel 4. The program focused on Ryanair's safety culture. In a statement, the airline said it was pursuing legal action against Goss as well as Channel 4.

In the program, several pilots spoke anonymously about the airline, according to a report appearing in the New York Times. Goss chose to go public, and said the airline pressured its pilots to limit reserve fuel carried on its airplanes to reduce operating costs.

EASA requires airlines to load five percent more fuel than would be required to reach the flight's intended destination, and then include a 30 minute reserve, though the final amount loaded is at the pilot's discretion. Goss said Ryanair had criticized him in an official letter for carrying too much fuel.

Evert van Zwol, the chair of the Ryanair Pilot Group ... an association that is seeking to win union representation for Ryanair's pilots ... said in a statement that “It is simply extraordinary that the immediate reaction of Ryanair to safety issues brought to their attention is to deny the existence of any problems and to effectively shoot the messenger. Dismissing John further calls into question the trustworthiness and truthfulness of Ryanair management when it comes to the traditional industry norm of free discussion of safety issues in the public domain.

"Their chosen approach is apparently to suppress discussion, on grounds that have never been clarified," van Zwol said in the statement posted on the group’s website.

van Zwol noted in the news release presenting the statement that Goss had at one time been a Flight Safety Officer for the airline.

FMI: https://www.ryanairpilotgroup.com

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