View Full Version : FTL + the italian "smart" way: a safety threat?
21st Oct 2009, 10:17
At present time Italian FTL (which they claim to be the easa ones) have no duty time limits for a 24 hours period, but just a (ridiculous) 60 hours in 7 consecutive days limit, therefore most Italian charter airlines routinely roster their crews to fly a long haul flight and then immediately position back to Italy, resulting sometimes in duty times exceeding 26 hours (e.g. rome-milan-cuba dead head to Italy and may be even a couple of hours of dead heading by car on top of this).
After such a duty the minimum rest is 26 hours and then you can be assigned a similar duty again. According to the (sad) experience of many crews 48 hours of rest wouldn’t be enough to recover from such a duty, let’s figure how physically fit can a pilot be after just 26 hours of rest.
Add to this the RUMOUR that many crews can only avail of the cockpit jumpseat as their rest facility, as some airline often sell out to passengers the seats which should be reserved for this purpose, the routine use of the “unforeseen circumstances” extension and the possibility to reduce the rest period to only 10 hours when outstation, and you get a clear picture of how fit are some pilots flying widebodies across the Atlantic nowadays.
Long time ago has disappeared any hope that Italian unions or aviation authority could care and take some action about this very serious safety threat, but what about the aviation authorities and the unions of nearby countries and countries to which these airlines fly to? (And the countries over flown?)
Isn’t this a competition threat for other airlines flying similar routes with higher costs due to wiser and safer use of crews? Don’t they care?
Isn’t this a threat to the working conditions of all pilots flying similar routes? Don’t they care?
Do you know of any other airline in the civilized world using such kind of roster practices?
Has there ever been a limit on 'duty' in 24 hours anywhere in Europe?
21st Oct 2009, 11:28
I seem to remember 24 hrs inthe early 60s,Bua3pilots,
Switzerland 24 hrs 2 pilots?
21st Oct 2009, 12:16
My recent duty was.
Pax Jordan to IST LIS SMA 6 hours sleep followed by SMA PAP (5 hours loading) CSS dh SMA Jordan total duty 36 hours.
I have been in bed 18 hours first day back, and 12 hours second day back.
I have used crew rest seats in Italy too, with one company they were Y seats infront of a bulkhead that would not recline and 29" pitch.
Or Cabin crew jump seat at L1.
21st Oct 2009, 14:31
Try getting an Italian to be a witness for anything. Basically, if you open your mouth you're out. Same goes for complaining at work or 'causing a fuss'.
21st Oct 2009, 17:35
North East Ouest South......there in lie many a story about FTL'S!
21st Oct 2009, 17:38
There is nothing smart about this. Why would they burn off the crew duty time on dead heading back, presumably they need to get the planes back too, eventually. Who are flying the return flight, and where did they come from? Are they dead heading crew over too?
And if they actually do this there would be no reason to do it with minimum rest in-between, as you spend 52 hours on two trips leaving 8 hours for the 7 day period.
giro macchina, how we call this, is usualy paid very well. Some years ago the flight hours back were paid as flight hours on duty, in addition to that any hour above 19h duty was paid as well. A simple 36h duty to japan with a positioning back could bring you around 1000€, sleeping 10h in business class, maybe thats the reason why this company went bust.:}
21st Oct 2009, 22:17
Blue Paranoia always were and always will be a bunch of cowboys, I see nothing changed. Hope Neos are not doing the same, hate to see those lovely ladies look washed out at breakfast or by the pool :=
The maximum duty hours for flight crew, excepting helicopters, shall not exceed:
55 hours in any 7 consecutive days, but may be increased to 60 hours, when a
rostered duty covering a series of duty periods, once commenced, is subject to
This is from CAP 371 (UK CAA)
It seems more or less the same as the Italian regulation.....
22nd Oct 2009, 14:03
This is from CAP 371 (UK CAA)
It seems more or less the same as the Italian regulation.....
Except that CAP371 limits an individual flying duty period to between 13 and 9 hours depending on report time, no of sectors etc. which does not seem to be the same in Italy.
We are talking about duty period, which is different from flight duty period(FDP).
In Italy the maximum basic daily FDP is 13 hrs and it must be reduced by 30 minutes for each sector from the third sector onwards with a maximum total reduction of two hrs. When the FDP starts in the WOCL there are other reductions...
22nd Oct 2009, 15:24
So at first glance it does appear to be the same FTL as EASA's, so any airlinei n Europe using these FTL can do the same practise. The required rest-period after such duty will have to be the same as the amount spend on duty.
Not just in Italy.:hmm:
According to the Italian regulation:
the minimum rest which must be provided before undertaking a Flight duty period starting at home base shall be at least as long as the preceding DUTY PERIOD or 12 hrs whichever is the greater.
According to CAP 371:
17.2 The minimum rest period which must be provided before undertaking a flying duty period shall be:
a) at least as long as the preceding duty period, or
b) 12 hours
It seems the same.......
Mr Angry from Purley
22nd Oct 2009, 16:52
There is no DUTY time limit in CAP371 either. What constant is saying is that after a long ETOPS flight the crews deadhead back to Italy presumably to save Hotac etc. It's been here before it's more of a duty of care situation than a legality issue as you could do Heathrow - Luton FDP then pax to Australia and back as long as it didnt hit the 55hrs in a week etc.
I can't see such Airlines adopting any Fatigue Risk stratergy either :\
23rd Oct 2009, 08:35
Thanks to Posts #14 & #15, it appears that Post #6 is just the usual un-informed opinion (and slightly insulting, can we say ?) on Italy/Italians , and should not belong to a Professional Forum
23rd Oct 2009, 13:47
If you worked in the company I suspect is concerned here, you would know that the sentiments expressed in Post 6 are valid.
Do you want me to list publically the violations I saw perpetrated by local pilots to keep their managers off their backs ? violations which any sane contractor told them to stuff where the sun don't shine.
Get real, or at least get informed.
23rd Oct 2009, 13:54
Anybody in this forum can list violations perpetrated by any other company, you can list whatever you want, as, as you perfectly know, nobody knows who you rellay are. Many Pruners in the past have "whistle- blowed", on the violations they knew, this does not means that there is no applicable and enforced regulation in Italy concerning FTL.
23rd Oct 2009, 13:57
In my experience of working in Italy, the only thing ENAC enforced or gave some oversight to was their own coffee breaks.
May have changed in the last 9yrs of course, but, somehow I doubt it.
Perhaps someone actually working (and not in management) for the company concerned can tell us, safe behind the cloak of anonymity is best in Berloland No ? then we will know.
23rd Oct 2009, 14:49
Capplaystation, anonimity is used /abused everywhere, Sarkoland included, but unfortunately you are born with excessive dose of sciovinism in your blood , and as consequence you are prevented to understand that not all ‘rumors ’ are reality, excluding obviously your direct experience, which however , looking at your nice jokes on coffee-breaks, was surely not in the management position . Let us see if somebody else, with you same lion’s courage , will list other violations, in Italy, France , or whenever you like.
Over and out.
23rd Oct 2009, 15:17
Chill down, Daniel_11000!
Here's a funny move, made by an Italian, to help you relax.
The film is dedicated to those who believe that Italians behave the same as all other Europeans.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/yz13bxwuTN4&hl=nl&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/yz13bxwuTN4&hl=nl&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
23rd Oct 2009, 15:41
Thank you, Sabenaboy.
Very famous , old cartoon, made by a very famous italian cartoonist.
I appreciate your help to chill down, but the fact remain : as we says in Italy " all the world is like your village" , which plainly translates as "what happens here happens everywhere", with some peculiarities, I am sure . Seems however that sometime people from other countries have a too much high consideration of themself, and this behaviour has been highlighted in this post, where apparently a lack of information on Italian regulation led to generalize the airline business in this Country
23rd Oct 2009, 16:06
I personally know quite a few ex-sabenapilots who flew for Italian charter companies after the Sabena bankruptcy.
I have indeed heard about monstrous duty period being scheduled in some of these Italian charter companies. Even if some of these ridiculous schedules (as in post 1) are legal in Italy and the rest of Europe, I've never heard about them being actually applied any where else then in Italy.
So, unless you're a manager at one of these companies, there's no reason for you to feel offended by the remarks that have been made in this thread.
I like Italy very much, but Italy is not perfect. Accept it!
I'm Belgian. Belgium is certainly not perfect either. But our chocolates, beer and BELGIAN fries are!
The thread began with this sentence:
"At present time Italian FTL (which they claim to be the easa ones) have no duty time limits for a 24 hours period, but just a (ridiculous) 60 hours in 7 consecutive days limit...."
as I already posted the FTL regulation is almost the same all around EASA countries(hoping for improvements), but I am not so sure like sabenaboy that italians charter companies are the worst regarding the rosters.
Tell me why so many european pilots worked and are still working(with permanent contracts) with these so "bad" companies....
23rd Oct 2009, 16:58
Where we work, at any given moment, may not be where we choose to work, but rather where we happened to find work.
That is the difference. It is not because we are grateful to be in employment that we have to sing the praises of companies who are only capable of applying the letter of the law but not the spirit of it, in whichever country they may be/or operate in.
BTW Daniel, I am not from the land of Sarko, and most definitely not anti-Italian, I loved the time I spent in MXP in my rented house in Stresa overlooking Lago Maggiore, but that doesn't make me blind to the way I saw things running amok, seemingly unsupervised, or only very superficially, by ENAC.
The worst excesses were usually perpetrated by permanent employees willing to do ANYTHING, legal or otherwise, that us contractors had already refused.
Not mud slinging, but that was, and probably still is, a factual description of the way things were/are done in some Italian companies.
23rd Oct 2009, 17:02
Tell me why so many european pilots worked and are still working(with permanent contracts) with these so "bad" companies and why they are not working for Thomas Cook or others.....
Well, there are 2 big reasons why Belgian pilots could (still) be working in Italy.
1. They make (a lot) more money in Italy then in Belgian
2. There's not enough pilot jobs in Belgium
If there's one thing I dislike more then people making cliché remarks about other countries or nationalities, it must be people that think their country is perfect simply because it is their OWN country.
So, stand at...eez, please.
..so in the name of the money you can accept everythink, I don't think is only for these two reasons(may be for someone) that they want to fly in Italy.
If you read carefully what I written, I never said Italians are the best companies (there are a lot of problems like everywhere), but , I just said We are not cowboys and that the Italian regulation regarding FTL isn't different from others...
23rd Oct 2009, 17:20
Right or wrong, my country...
27th Oct 2009, 11:55
Sabenaboy:in my opinion, you completely missed the points I was referring to in my posts, and in my answer to captplaystation. I have nothing against opinions expressed in this thread, what is very un-professional (i.e. very un-pprune) is the ways in which they are expressed, and their generalisations . This thread started with an honest description of alleged violations, and some less informed, but still polite, opinions about possible lack of rules on FTL in Italy.
However, at one point, somebody jumped in the discussion with statements like “…try getting an Italian to be a witness for anything. “ or “the only thing ENAC enforced or gave some oversight to was their own coffee breaks”
As you can understand is this type of insult which is very unpleasant (to say the least), and an answer, my answer , was needed ; I hope that you now realize that I am not offended by ‘remarks’ or by ’opinions’ , but only by silly , free insults .
As you can see on the various post in this thread , both myself and I am sure mr Eez (I do not know if he is Italian), we are not thinking that Italy is perfect ; in fact, we Italians are considered , and consider ourselves ( contrary to, let’s say , French people) very little proud of our nation, and we are very prone to auto-punishment . As well, I (we) accept that Italy is not perfect, but in none of my ( or Eez posts) can be found any statement which can be interpreted in any other way, so I do really not understand your last comment (“ Right or wrong, my Country”)
Please be assured, that myself, as yourself , I dislike very much people that think that their country is perfect simply because it is their own country, or that just prioritize Countries when they refer to other ‘civilized world’ ,as if they are part of a blessed country.
I hope that this off-topic post can be a useful suggestion to not-so–polite ppruners (I am not referring to you, Sabenaboy) on how to make interesting and competent posts.
27th Oct 2009, 17:32
Daniel, don't let those who know little about FTLs get to you:ok: Keep working for realistic/scientific FTLs:ok:
Can we therefore summarise for the OP to avoid all this c**p?
There is no duty time limit in a 24 hour period in EUOPS (other than a max of 24 hrs duty:rolleyes:)
"Do you know of any other airline in the civilized world using such kind of roster practices?" - Yes.quite a few.
27th Oct 2009, 22:03
I flew for airlines in both "civilized and less civilized countries", including Italy for quite a while.
What I have witnessed in Italy, from an aviation standpoint, I would describe as "definitely not very civilized".
FTL's and scheduling practices are very often borderline and exceptions become the norm not to mention management's pressures and the authority's blind eyes.
I can't say I have seen such things say in Germany or the UK....I surely have elsewhere more east or south however....
And by the way, I'm Italian!
28th Oct 2009, 12:09
Talking FTL's heres a blast from the past.
Any mention of crew changes? I dont think so and I heard the double crew were on duty for 34+ hours. Maybe they got extra flight pay from the "slush fund". Needless to say this violation was overlooked.
Dont tell the Beancounters else we'll all be flying with a president on board. :ugh:
ref: TAIPEI, Taiwan VV Former President Lee Teng-hui may be under suspicion that he, like Chen Shui-bian, might have laundered a slush fund, according to sources close to the Special Counsel under direct control of Procurator-General Chen Tsung-ming.
29th Oct 2009, 13:16
Some Italian charter/schedule operators have the mentality of children and as such ENAC(Italian CAA) should be acting as the parents. The children will do whatever they have to, to get the upper hand. It is the duty of the parents to keep a controlling eye on them, and keep them within the rules and regulations. But, what happens if those regulations are flawed, flaunted or just ignored!
Of course, we all understand the disadvantage of a level playing field.
FTL's in Italy were appalling with respect to potential crew fatigue and abuse, by certain operators. Recent changes have addressed many anomalies.
Of course, some operators did not roster to such extremes, however, you had no protection if they decided to..(other than job on the line)...and some are far more guilty than others!
As far as in-flight relief for 3 crew duty extension..I can tell you having worked in Italy for 8 years, I could never understand where ENAC drew the line on that one. You operated...and that was that! Again, this issue is now clarified, but it is up to ENAC to enforce the new rules.
For the record, I spent 8 happy years flying from Italy, to some of the most beautiful locations in the World, with some of the most fabulous crews, and just maybe,..... that balanced the equation for me!
:ok:To all crews in BPA and my ex AEI colleagues...great guys and gals and happy years spent!