Wings Magazine

AC pilot objects to “explicit” material in cockpit

Sept. 25, 2014, Montreal - CBC News has obtained an internal Air Canada bulletin warning flight crews they could be fired or face criminal charges for placing “inappropriate material” in the flight deck, also called the cockpit.  

September 25, 2014  By CBC News

It was sent last year, four months after a similar reminder to
stop hiding “suggestive images in Company aircraft” appears to have been


“I am disappointed to have to raise this issue once again but
unfortunately we have some people that have yet to understand the
message,” writes Rod Graham, Air Canada’s chief pilot and director of
fleet operations and training.


The warnings come six years after a female pilot says she
started finding pornography displayed, glued and tucked in a variety of
areas in the cockpit on Air Canada’s Embraer fleet of planes.


Air Canada investigated her complaint and found “evidence of
racial or ethnic prejudice as well as sexual materials in the work
place,” according to documents obtained by CBC News through an Access to
Information request.

The pilot provided Transport Canada inspectors with photos and
video of the sexually explicit, and at times violent, images she says
she found.


“Someone has drawn a knife in the back of the girl on the right hand side,” she writes in one email.

“The fact that porn IS still present and… very much on the minds of the individuals that fly the EMJ [Embraer planes], should ring alarm bells for your department as much as it does for me,” she writes in an email dated Aug. 3, 2013.

The head of the association that represents civil service pilots says offensive material has no place in the flight deck.


“You have to pay attention to what you're doing in an aircraft
at all times. And reading inappropriate material is a complete
distraction, and things can go wrong,” says Daniel Slunder, president of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association.


Transport Canada told CBC News that its investigation found that Air Canada did not violate aviation safety, and that Transport Canada is not responsible for “regulating reading material in the flight deck.”


However, notes in a Transport Canada log dated
Aug. 19, 2013 show an inspector with the regulatory agency tried to get
Air Canada to take the problem more seriously.

“Pilots are stuffing paper material inside compartments where
electrical wiring is and that this is a hazard not to mention that this
is a form of workplace violence,” writes Mary Pollock, an aviation
health and safety occupational officer.


CBC News asked Air Canada if it had identified who was placing
inappropriate material in the flight deck, but did not receive a
response to this particular question.


“The material in question consisted almost entirely of
inappropriate business cards and was confined mainly to one aircraft
type and route, our Embraer E-90s operating to Las Vegas,” writes


Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick in an email to CBC News.


The airline says it wasted no time when it learned of the problem, taking corrective action through pilot training.


However, Air Canada did say that more explicit material was found as recently as February of this year.


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