29 Jun 2004

Hawaii pilot ejects passenger in pension plan anger

10:35 am on 29 June 2004

A Hawaiian Airlines pilot asked a bankruptcy trustee to get off a plane preparing for takeoff, because he was unhappy about his policies.

The pilot said he was angry about Josh Gotbaum's policies and could not safely fly the Boeing 767-300 with the trustee aboard.

Mr Gotbaum agreed to leave rather than delay the takeoff.

Hawaiian spokesman Keoni Wagner, said the pilot told him he wasn't happy to have him on the flight from Honolulu to San Francisco.

The pilot, Captain Craig Kobayashi, said so many airline employees are emotional about Gotbaum after all of the things he has done, such as freezing the pilots' pension plan.

Hawaiian, which filed for bankruptcy in March 2003, is overdue in making US$4.5 million worth of payments to the pilots' pension plan.

Gotbaum has proposed several options for handling the plan, including terminating it.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said airline captains have the right to ask anyone to leave their planes.