I,ve been reading on some other posts about the new trial 5 on (earlies), 2 off, 5 on (normal/ lates), 4 off rosters at Ezy. When do they plan do introduce this trial, how long will they trial it for, will it apply to all bases and both fleets and finally how has it been recieved by the pilot body in general?
The trial will start in September at LTN & EDI and will run for 6 months. The detail is still being finalised but in includes an FTL alleviation from the CAA to allow 5 earlies under set circumstances. The BALPA rostering sub committee at Easy have worked long and hard with this and as always the devil will be in the detail, and water tight wording of the actual agreement. The last Rostering Protocol was useless because of loop holes and wriggle room that rostering and crewing had when it suited them. The trial has got to be good news after 6 and 3 but will only be accepted after BALPA members have been balloted on it.
Don't jump too fast. Ask the guys at RYR and many will tell you, even senior management pilots when candid, that they are whacked during day 5 ON.
The problem with blocks of 5 earlies or lates is that you lose a good portion of a normal sleep every working day. Over 3 possibly 4 days the accumulation is not too bad; over 5 it hits you. The 3 days off are for recovering and catching up on chores. After a month many admit to being knackered.
Tread carefully. If many at RYR are trying to change their system, why be in a rush to adopt something that others are wanting to ditch? Just because their bad system is better than your nasty one means you might escape the fire but you are still in the frying pan.
I am stunned that the CAA has seen fit to offer an alleviation to a company who exploit CAP 371 to its limits already. I for one will be slaughtered after 5 earlies. This is yet another dangerous erosion of flight safety.
Personally I find the first day of earlies usually the most dangerous/fatigueing as you change from off days (sleeping in late) to getting up at 0500 or earlier. That first day I usually feel absolutely knackered as I´m an evening person and I like to stay up late during my off days.
However, the human body (and brain) adapts quickly and as the row of earlies progresses, I find it easier and easier to fall asleep in the evening and thus getting my required 8 hours of beauty sleep.
I think the CAP 371 ´self induced jet lag´ rules (max 3 earlies) are absolutely ridiculous as your body clock is completely thrown off ballance every 3 days! Think about it: you start early (trying to go to bed and getting up early) then after 3 days change to lates (sleeping in, but also working until past midnight) and consequently having 3 (more like 2!) days off. Your body clock is like a dog chasing it´s own tail! It can never catch up and is experiencing ´jet lag´ from flying in Europe with max (!) 2 hours time difference!
Absolutely insane! No other EU country has (as far as I know) simular rules and it´s about time the UK steps into the 21st century!
Some years ago I took part in an evaluation of pilots fatigue on short haul by DERA - now Qinetiq.
It seemed well understood, at the time, that towards the end of the third early duty performance was dropping off.
Now, a very complicated topic. My guess is that it would only be possible to improve upon that situation if there were a set of very robust controls governing the pilots roster. In my experience of airline flying these are very difficult to achieve. The problem being that the commercial culture of an airline is to exploit any situation for financial gain and operate to the limit of any controls.
Another issue is that everyone is different and our circumstances change. E.g. I used to hate early starts with a vengeance. However, now that I have a young family early starts are the norm!
Yes, it might be that 5 early starts is less fatiguing than 3 early starts followed by a switch to lates. The issue, however, is not about comparing the level of fatigue between different patterns. It is about avoiding any kind of fatigue whatsoever.
A more rational approach would be to isolate the early roster entirely. I.e. 2 days off, 3 earlies, then days off. The public would be well protected in this case.
Now, given the aggressive commercial airline ethos a political view might be that, to safeguard cheap flights, the public are happy with the overall level of risk in aviation. Major hull losses are (not yet anyway) a local European issue.
So, the CAA can take a few liberties with pilot fatigue here and there and nobody will shout too loudly.
The fact is that 'cheapie' airline pilots are being worked too hard, and the operating environment allows deeply fatigued pilots to operate 'safely' much longer than they should.
Don't forget that we (professional pilots) should all have rights to live normal family lives, to pursue our interests, and to exist without constantly taking measures to tackle rosters which are leaving us tired out day after day.
I simply cannot believe that it should be right regularly to work a series of ten hour days starting early in the morning, then soon after, work long duties starting in the afternoon. Common sense, logic, and many scientists agree on this.
However, the 'share value comes first, against all odds' ethic is positively bubbling over from these operations. Management who show no interest in fatigue because the worst that the press has found out about is the night Athens crew falling asleep for a long period, may find an unpleasant wake-up call awaits.
For pilots, there is no long-term career with these, essentially cowboy, operations. That the Authority is in league with them shows how deep this cancer has spread.
Some people prefer earlies and some prefer lates. Personally I could quite happily cope with 5 lates over 5 earlies. I fail to see why personal preferences can not be taken into account on this issue. I should think the proposed system will allow the company to start the first early well before 0600L following days off and finish on a late at midnight using 'exemptions'. If this is the case then it isn't really 4 off at all. I hope to be proven wrong!
L.C. To answer you: Yes, 6 days on is worse than 5, and so 5 should be an improvement. But why accept a change that will make only a small improvement when with deeper thought a more significant improvement can be made? Acceptance of the minor improvement will mean you'll stuck with it for a long time.
D the H.
CAP 371 does not have self-induced jet lag. As A.D surmises it is the action of rosterers in using the rules without 'the spirit' that induces the problems. CAP 371 does not tell you to induce time changes, but it allows it to be done. Why do crews transfer from earlies to lates in the same period? Because it can be done, but only if common sense is ignored. A. D. is correct in the question: why should flight crew (including C/A's here) not be able to expect a reasonable life? Remember, and this is a re-hash from previous threads; Kinnock, when EU transport commisioner said that until public transport companies could implement fully the workers' directive on duty conditions, they should introduce compensation measures. It was recognisd that these workers operated well outside the norm and suffered very anti-social working times. However, NOTHING has ever been done. For my 1% I would have been beating a path to the union door. It should not be a bloody battle to achieve implementation of an EU directive, after all.
AND, why is the H & S executive not being involved? As with good CRM use all available resources. Unions and CAA's have achieved a reduction in working conditions, not an improvement. Many say this is with a degredation in safety and certainly in social/health areas. So, why not alert the agency that is set up to comabt such matters? Previous routes have hit the dead end. The bean counters hold sway over CAA's, (look at history before gasping in disbelief). Now is a time to try the back door route. The H & S executive is paid for by tax-payers' money, so try and get some return from your payments. You'll never know until you ask the question.
hi there I don't think fatigue and maximum hours apply only to lo-cost airlines and their pilots. i work for a regional airline in uk. it is a very regular occurence that we do 6 days on,finishing late ,2 off,starting on an early. the other favourite is six earlies, i,m sorry that's not allowed, yes it is,because on night stops,earlies start 06:00 local so if you get to your hotel 16:00z and then have to report 04:00z which say in germany,is 06:00 local. this is legally not an early even tough you have to be at reception at 03:30z because the hotel is miles from the airport . on top of all that,in a hotel you can reduce rest from min of 12:00 hours to 11:00 hours,my question is why???????
yes we have balpa ,but that makes no difference at all. i personally think all those FTL's are a load of ********.surly they must have been written by some accountant many moons ago. it's about time they are brought up to date into 21st century.
That mp who wants us to do more hours can go and**** right off only my opinion.
Why not start a petition from this forom to gather as many names as possible to send to government, Balpa, employers to change the current FTL system into a more scientific system for our countries pilots?
How can we set this up as this is an issue i think everyone has an interest in.
i agree this business of a late not being a late when it is after a nightstop is a nonsense. I asked the question in our company about the logic and i am told that the thinking is that you may have less 'time off' because there is little for you to do appart from rest...ie no breakfast to prepare, kids to put to bed etc and your taxi arrives for you and takes you to work without any stress of driving yourself.
Clearly we sleep less well in a hotel. What annoys me the most is after working a late and a nightstop you have to have 11 hours rest before positioning home. I would sooner get out of there early and get home for proper rest.