07/01/2011

Sir,

I read the story of Capt Poch with much interest, and I’m therefore extremely happy of the fortunate ending which occured so recently.
It’s for me a very interesting confirmation, of what I have noticed for many years, the way a civilian airlines works… A First Officer, with a little administrative position in the company, with no background in anything except intercepting ILS and a little bit of CRM (you know, the famous stuff which allows you to be “assertive” and disobeying) suddenly feels himself in a mission from God ! and starting from there, nothing will count any longer, would it be truth, decency and honesty…
Capt Poch resents having been ‘backstabbed”…. well, 10 years in the airlines has taught me that it is the normal way of operating all over the world in those places! Rather than settling a matter with a colleague, and resorting to reporting to higher levels only as last resort, stay silent, gather evidence and discard anything else which is not going your way, build your case, and REPORT, REPORT…. Cabin crew especially are instructed, since their initial training, to report pilots at the first occasion. And never under-estimate the resentment of a young civilian pilot with its weak background, against a former Naval Aviator, fighter pilot and now Senior Captain in his company. For all civilian pilots, only will exist “military pilots” with simplified characteristics and associated weaknesses – they will be unable to figure there might be a difference between fighter, transport, maritime or helicopter pilots…. and apparently, civilian judges cannot either !
Just add a little bit of european pseudo-humanism against exotic stories of wars and revolutions – events too big for them in any case – and everything will be in place for the story we know…
All the above is probably a little bit exaggerated, but you will agree there is unfortuntely some truth in it.
Having flown Mirage, Jaguar, Super-Etendard and others for more than twenty years with squadron command positions, and now Boeing 777 in a big middle-eastern company, I had got some sympathy for the story of Capt Poch and yes, some of my colleagues in France at that time were so happy to condemn him, just by reading a couple of words about his story… and they were already hoping that ex-military pilots from Israel, South Africa or God knows which country in the future, might be put under jsutice for things they supposedly did during their years of service. Maybe within ten years somebody will imagine objections about the missions I flew in Africa, Iraq or Balkans, and then he will play reporting me inside the company… so as you can see the case of Capt Poch might be of greater importance than accepted at first glance.

I will conclude by wishing to you a a complete termination of all those problems, and for Capt Poch a peaceful retirement with his family in the Valencia area…

Many regards

Jacques GOJON