Rebel With A Just Cause
Organized by: Martin Ventress
I served honorably in the U.S. Air Force from Viet Nam until Operation Desert Storm. I was a Los Angeles City Firefighter until I sustained a career-ending injury. I was hired by Japan Airlines (JAL) in 1992 through Hawaii Aviation “Contract” Services, Inc (HACS).
While flying for JAL, I observed fellow veteran Jeff Bicknell, who had been flying extremely sick; so, I “warned” JAL of his failing health prior to flight(s). JAL continued to fly Bicknell, to the point of exhaustion. Finally, I was seated next to Bicknell during flight when he became “incapacitated at the flight controls” and collapsed.
JAL’s Flight Operation Manual instructs the flight crew return to the nearest suitable airport, which in this case was Honolulu International Airport. Instead, we were instructed to continue the 10-hour flight to Japan with an “incapacitated pilot”. Pursuant to JAL’s Operation Manual (“Incapacitated Pilot”) I submitted Safety Report(s) of the near-fatal accident. U.S. Doctors determined that Bicknell had been flying with Brain Cancer.
JAL retaliated against me for reporting the violations and ordered me to undergo “unwarranted and unprecedented” medical evaluations that included: psychiatric evaluations, psychological profiles, flight physicals and drug testing. I was not allowed to work, despite being declared “fit-for-flight-duty” eight (8) times by U.S. Doctors.
Bicknell Never Recovered From Brain Surgery and Died as a Result
JAL fired me in 2003 and I filed a civil lawsuit against JAL and HACS for Wrongful Termination under U.S. Whistleblower Laws. Since then, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii “Sealed” the most crucial evidence in the case… the “Contract”. The Contract proves JAL paid HACS handsomely for legal protection to avoid the penalties for its crimes; in addition, JAL found favor in a biased Hawaii court system that “dismissed” the lawsuit three (3) times, without allowing me to present NOT one shred of “documented evidence” to prove my allegations.
Protected by the Contract, JAL has fired more than 100 pilots at the snap-of-the-finger; however, only a few have filed civil lawsuits and are currently pending in the U.S. District Court in Hawaii.
Legal fees took a burden on me and my ability to take care of my family, so I represented myself Pro Se. Three (3) times I appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The 1st two appeals were “reversed and remanded” back to Hawaii; but, the third appeal is currently being petitioned in the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court does not allow self-representation.
I am only one man, but with your support, we can request our government to make a judgment based on the documented facts and not political persuasion.
The money will be used for professional legal representation in the Supreme Court. If we prevail, I intend to write a book at my own expense. If we don’t prevail and there is an excess of funds, I will write the book – based on the amount of remaining money.
The book will reveal JAL’s plethora of deceptive tactics that include: gross negligence of air safety and security that jeopardized lives of hundreds of passengers and crew members; conspiracy to cover-up death of Bicknell; breach of contract; fraud; coercion (pilots flying sick); gender and racial disparity; perjury; withholding evidence; withholding employment records; medical malpractice; witness tampering and the “JAL” way that terminated several other pilots – without recourse.
I dedicate my efforts in honor of Jeff Bicknell who died at 38 years old and left his wife (has no idea the “facts” of her late husband’s death) and 10-month old son (now 14-years old). JAL convinced her that I filed a lawsuit in order to “cash-in” on her late husband’s death.
Whereas it should not matter, Bicknell was Caucasian and a U.S. Marine and I am Black and a U.S. Airman. Jeff was my friend and I pray his death will not be in vain... semper fi!