I stumbled across this story while browsing, about 3 US Airways flight attendants being sued by their First Officer for defamation. The reason? He feels that by reporting him for being reluctant to de-ice the plane that the FAs have defamed his professional character.
I feel that there is more to this story than is being reported. However, a couple of points can be taken from the story.
* No matter if the FAs were correct or not in asking for de-icing, they WERE DEFINITELY CORRECT in reporting their concerns to the flight crew
* Any pilot worth his/her salt will investigate a concern raised by any member of the crew
* In my opinion, the FO possibly didn't explain WHY he felt that de-icing was not necessary- I feel this is why the FAs were so insistent that something be done. (Also the FAs would have been well aware that the Canadian regs state that NO frost or ice may be present for takeoff- hence their insistence on repeating their concerns to the flight crew.)
* If the FO had not sued the flight attendants, no one would know about it! The FAA had ruled inconclusive on the case, therefore why should he think there would be any damage to his reputation? No accusations of wrongdoing were made by the FAA.
* I am very lucky in that in my years of flying I have NEVER been turned away with ANY concern by ANY member of a cockpit crew. I hope I never will, either.
As with anything reported in the media, take it with a grain of salt, as I'm sure there is more to it, but the reminder is the same. If FAs feel concern for the safety of the flight, SPEAK UP!!! And Flight Crew- if you feel the concern is invalid, don't just say, 'Oh it will be fine' - tell the FAs WHY it will be 'fine'.
Then maybe we can avoid this type of situation altogether.