Release #05.NWA3
October 17, 2005 

Pilots Union at Northwest Airlines Elects Officers

MEMPHIS --- Representatives of the Northwest Airlines pilots union reelected Capt. Mark McClain to serve his fourth two-year term as chairman of the NWA unit of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) during the union's regular quarterly meeting Friday in Memphis, Tenn. The union's governing body, the Master Executive Council (MEC), also elected First Officer Bill Bartels to serve as Vice Chairman and Second Officer Bob Elflein to serve as Secretary Treasurer. The new terms begin Jan. 8, 2006.

"I am honored to continue serving the Northwest pilot group during this very difficult environment," Capt. McClain said. "Our leadership team is ready and prepared to protect the interests of all Northwest pilots."

Before his initial election in December 1999, McClain served on the union's negotiating committee for three-and-a-half years. He was hired at Republic Airlines in 1985, one year before that airline's merger with Northwest. McClain is a 757 Captain based in Detroit and has served in a variety of ALPA positions in his tenure with Republic and Northwest.

Bartels, an A330 First Officer based in Detroit, was hired by Northwest Airlines in August 1995. While flying the line, he has been a dedicated ALPA volunteer. He has served as the Detroit Local Council 20 Vice Chairman and First Officer Representative since 2002. His other ALPA volunteer work includes serving as the MEC Financial Review Committee Chairman, and as a member on the Blue Book Merger Committee and Strike Preparations Committee. Prior to NWA, Bartels worked for five other airlines including Japan Air Lines, Pan American World Airways and Evergreen Int'l Airlines, as well as working for various air taxi operators. 

Elflein, a DC-10 Second Officer based in Minneapolis, was hired by Northwest Airlines in January 1997. Since 2002, he has served as the Detroit Local Council 20 Secretary-Treasurer. Other ALPA volunteer work includes serving as the assistant coordinator for the ALPA Safety Operations Center and as a Detroit strike center volunteer in 1998. Elflein retired from the Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel with over 20 years of active service during peacetime and combat, flying primarily F/A-18, F-4 and A-4 aircraft ashore and at sea. Additionally, he has an extensive (military and corporate) executive management and operational background in domestic and foreign military sales.

The NWA chapter of ALPA represents 5,700 NWA pilots. Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 64,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association
ALPA CONTACT: Will Holman (612) 840-7749