A seasoned pilot with over 25 years of flying experience has alleged she was fired by a New Jersey private aviation company after reporting safety concerns to the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Allegations put forward in court documents state that Pamela Mincey worked for Short Hills Aviation for approximately a year prior to her unlawful termination on September 1, 2022.
Short Hills Aviation is a private plane charter company based in New Jersey.
“The termination of her employment was in retaliation for her multiple reports to company management and federal authorities of unsafe practices while carrying members of the public in its jet charter service,” claimed the lawsuit, which was seen by New Jersey’s NJ.com
Mincey has worked as a commercial pilot for over two decades and has served as a First Officer for Atlas Air where she flew a Boeing B747 aircraft.
During her time with Short Hills Aviation, Mincey was assigned to fly second-in-command with a captain who told her not to touch the aircraft controls, which, according to court documents, is a violation of federal regulations, as pilots in a two-member crew must be independently qualified to fly the aircraft.
Mincey reported her concerns to a chief pilot, but no changes were made.
In January 2022, Mincey wrote an email to the chief pilot voicing her concerns about Short Hills Aviation’s safety culture with suggestions for improvement.
One of the concerns Mincey pointed out was about a captain she flew with to Mexico who missed an approach to the airport and flew off a prescribed route, allegedly jeopardizing the safety of the flight.
The documents allege that from January to March 2022, Mincey was paired with a captain who refused to use a company-issued iPad Mini designated as the primary onboard navigation system.
On one occasion, the captain’s refusal to use the device caused the crew to “lose situational awareness,” and in incident reports that he made to the company, the FAA and NASA, the captain falsely blamed Mincey.
The FAA conducted an interview with Mincey, where she said she set the record straight by reporting the captain’s erroneous statements.
The lawsuit said that shortly after the FAA interview, Short Hills Aviation terminated Mincey’s position.