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SPEEA Comments on Boeing Eliminating customer Flight Training Airplane pilots, sending jobs to overseas contract house

  SPEEA Comments on Boeing Eliminating customer Flight Training Airplane
  pilots, sending jobs to overseas contract house

Business Wire

SEATTLE -- September 21, 2020

The following is a statement from SPEEA:

On Friday September 18, The Boeing Company delivered layoff notices to its
remaining seven Flight Training Airplane (FTA) pilots and will instead send
the critical work of providing on-site training to airline customers to an
overseas contract house. The 60-day notices of layoff eliminate all direct
Boeing FTA pilots by the end of November – a critical moment in Boeing’s plan
to return the 737MAX to service and start delivering the roughly 400 airplanes
now parked around the West Coast.

The move comes just days after the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure released its report on the “Design, Development and
Certification of the Boeing 737MAX.” Based on a year-long investigation, the
report, along with citing a “culture of concealment” in Boeing management,
calls on the company to provide additional training specific to the 737MAX
upgrades to every airline pilot flying the plane after it returns to service.

Instead of using its own highly experienced pilots, Boeing is expanding its
use of contract pilots from Cambridge Communications Limited (CCL), a contract
house incorporated in the Isle of Mann. According to union officials, CCL’s
ownership structure is a company within a nest of shell companies. Once hired
and working for Boeing, the contract pilots are provided Boeing uniforms and
business cards making them indistinguishable from Boeing’s own flight training
pilots when they work with airlines and regulatory agencies. Boeing currently
uses some contract pilots but has genuine Boeing pilots to ensure quality
control over the contractors. Eliminating the Boeing training pilots ends the
decades long Boeing practice of using its own specialists to ensure airline
customers operate Boeing aircraft safely.

During a meeting with union leaders last week, Boeing representatives said CCL
contract pilots will do nearly all simulator and in-flight training involved
in the 737MAX return to service.

“I was gobsmacked to hear company officials admit that Boeing will exercise
zero quality control over these contractor pilots despite costuming them in
Boeing uniforms,” said SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth. “The entire fate
of The Boeing Company depends upon a smooth re-entry into service of the
737MAX. I cannot believe Boeing chose this moment to fire their highly
experienced training pilots and outsource their work to contractors they don’t
even control.”

Regardless of the extensive workload ahead to prepare 737MAX pilots, Boeing
told union officials there is no work for the seven FTA pilots – all of whom
are protected military veterans with a combined total of more than 225 years
of experience flying a wide range of commercial and military aircraft. Unlike
most pilots who are type rated to fly a single aircraft model, the Boeing FTA
pilots are all rated to fly multiple different aircraft models and qualified
to instruct other pilots how to fly those aircraft models. The union noted FTA
pilots have regular interaction with Boeing’s other pilot groups, including
its Flight Test Pilots, Technical Pilots and Safety Pilots. Additionally,
Boeing FTA pilots interact and are respected by the engineers and technical
workers who design and are involved in the certification and service of Boeing

“The loss of this critical coordinating function between the Boeing employees
who design and manufacture aircraft and the customer air crews who fly them is
incalculable” Goforth said. “The face of The Boeing Company to customers and
regulators will now be foreign contractors masquerading as genuine Boeing

A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical
Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents more than 17,600 aerospace engineers,
technical workers, professionals and pilots at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and
Triumph Composite Systems in Washington, Kansas, Oregon, Utah, and California.

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Bill Dugovich, SPEEA communications director, (206) 683-9857
Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director, (253) 315-1364

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