Friday, September 28, 2012

Did the Captain Fly 9 Years Past Retirement Age?

Thomas Good's Facebook photo
Did airline captain Thomas Good fly right by the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots? The Federal Aviation Administration would like to know. To some of his fellow aviators at American Eagle's Executive Air Good is already a legend. 

A spokesman for the FAA says it is investigating whether Good, until recently a captain with the regional carrier Executive Air, falsified his age on official documents.

Good failed to respond to messages sent to him through Facebook. Pilots who claim to have flown with him say the pilot, who is believed to be 69, was nabbed when authorities noticed a discrepancy on his documents that called his age into question. The mandatory retirement age for airline pilots is 65 after being raised from 60 to conform with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization

If Capt. Good's former co-workers are correct, the regional pilot would have been 4 years past the mandatory retirement age when it was raised in 2007.

The Air Line Pilots Association which represents the American Airlines regional pilots and the Allied Pilots Association representing American Airlines, were outspoken opponents of giving older flyers another 5 years in the cockpit. Both labor organizations were concerned that raising the retirement age would slow  promotions. 

In a online chat forum for American Eagle pilots, several posters raised that point, noting that Good had prevented the promotion of pilots beneath him. Pilot pay as well as schedule and route choices are based on seniority. Others said that Good had become "famous" with his "colorful story" and that his antics were a "breath of fresh air."

A spokeswoman for American Airlines said "Thomas Good is no longer employed by Executive Airlines" and declined further comment saying it was a personnel matter.

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