Teamsters Local 1224 president and Atlas Air Captain Daniel C. Wells has released a statement on the loss of the three pilots on board Atlas Air Flight 3591 which crashed on 23 February – killing three on-board.
The Boeing 767 Freighter aircraft was operating on behalf of Amazon from Miami to Houston when it nose-dived into shallow water in Texas, about 40 miles southeast of George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
He said: “Our union family is devastated and mourns the loss of our colleagues and crew members, Capt. Ricky Blakely and First Officer Conrad Jules Aska, and a fellow aviator from Mesa Airlines, pilot Sean Archuleta.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of the three crew members involved. At this time we’re focused on doing everything we can to support them and to provide counselling to any pilots and their family members who are feeling the pain of this tremendous loss.”
President Wells, executive council chairman Robert Kirchner and other officials, safety experts and volunteers from the union have been on the ground working with the NTSB, FAA, and local law enforcement supporting them in their investigation.
The union mobilised its peer-to-peer Critical Incident Response Program (CIRP) immediately following the accident to support the pilots’ families and the broader union family with counseling and a 24-hour hotline. Pilots have also established GoFundMe pages for the families impacted by this tragedy.