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Fri, Mar 14, 2003

JAL Gets Sued

Copilot So Sick He Passed Out -- More Than Once, They Say

JAL Flight Engineer Martin Ventriss, in court testimony against JAL, said that copilot Jeff Bicknell was sick in the cockpit. The landing he made on a Bangkok-Osaka flight, June 17, 2001 was so hard, Ventriss said, that overhead bins popped open, and PAX were screaming. Three days later, Ventriss continued, Bicknell fell asleep three times in the right seat, on the first leg of a Honolulu-Hiroshima-Osaka run. (He completed the flight and landed at Osaka.)

Some corroborating testimony was supplied by co-worker (Captain) Jack Crawford. JAL and JALways, the two operators of the flights in question, say the charges are absolutely without merit.

The two plaintiffs said that Mr. Bicknell had to be "carried out of the cockpit" on at least two occasions on one flight.

It is also coming out in court that the unfortunate Mr Bicknell was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor on June 22, 2001. He is, today, totally incapacitated, according to one report.

Ventriss and Crawford, in their suit against JAL, JALways, and Hawaii Aviation Contract Services (their employer), said they were harrassed on the job, and ultimately fired over voicing their safety concerns. They're looking for around $7 million.

FMI: www.jal.com

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