1. The problem with most increases in efficiency is that it is quickly matched by your competitors too so what really happens is that the company profits don't change significantly. This has unfortunately been the trend over the past 20 years or so. There was a time when people were talking in terms of new technology delivering more leisure time for workers and a better working environment, but sadly despite huge increases in efficiency all that seems to have happened is that we're all working longer hours, under worse conditions and the only people who have shown big salary rises are the Captains of industry and Directors who vote in each others pay! For most worker bees (cabin crew, pilots, middle managers, check in staff etc) their pay has either stagnated or fallen in real terms. In the case of raising FTL's to 1000 hours per year across the board if BA implement it, so will Easyjet, Ryanair, Flybe etc etc and the net result will be more tired pilots and probably more accidents but no greater profits for BA or any other airline.
2. Secondly I would like to share my perspective having been both an airline manager and then changed career to become a pilot (though not for BA). I'm afraid that when working office hours I simply never ever felt tired (unless I had burnt the candle at both ends the night before!) and I was rarely ever in a situation where I was making very rapid decisions that required me to assimilate large amounts of information, process them and act in real time. Most complex decisions in the office were carefully considered with ample time for discussions with colleagues. Most decisions made in the office could be easily reversed too, not the case flying an airliner. I'm afraid I have more frequently felt tired at the controls since becoming a pilot and have relied on coffee etc to keep me sharp simply because constantly moving my sleep cycle around - getting up at 4am, then perhaps working the next day until 11pm etc means I rarely get a quality 8 hrs sleep.
Do we get rest-breaks like truck and train drivers? - No, today as an example I flew 4 sectors of around 1hr to 1hr 15 mins each so no sooner had you climbed up, done some fuel checks, got wx for destination, briefed the approach, set up for landing then you were back into the thick of an approach again. There was no 'quiet time' during the cruise on any of the sectors. All turnarounds were 30 mins which was barely enough time to set up for the next flight. Pee breaks had to be done after passenger boarding when all the other tasks had been completed and the crew food was as usual not nutritious or healthy. It was an 8 hour shift with no break, 4 flights, lousy food and after canvassing the crew - we had all got up at 4am having had between 5 and 6 hours sleep.
The notion that the regulations could be loosened further without compromising safety is frankly laughable. You wouldn't want a truck driver doing 8 hour shifts on 6 hours sleep without a rest stop so why expect it of airline pilots?
FERetd, without a management team, you wouldn't be taking to the sky. Bonuses are generally a performance sweetener to top up a generally low retention salary. Desk-pilot I applaud your calm mannered synopsis of the aviation industry and agree with all points raised. Unfortunately legacy carriers are at a huge disadvantage to their competitors, be it low cost carriers or young longhaul upstarts such as EK. As our cost base is so high and revenue per flight is roughly comparable, our only hope is driving through change in order to survive. The UK is not going to implement FTL increase so whilst our EU competitors will gain from this, it's imperative we find a way of matching their cost reduction. Believe me, there is a lot of slack in the system.
Watersidewonker Quote:- "FERetd, without a management team, you wouldn't be taking to the sky. Bonuses are generally a performance sweetener to top up a generally low retention salary."
This is seriously a case of "De j'a poo" - I have a feeling that I've heard that cr*p somewhere before.
I retired five years ago and "no longer take to the sky". But I have been around long enough to see how a rewarding career is turned into a job - even by a company that makes good profits. And in those times of good profits the management take their bonuses and hand out a token gesture to their staff (aircrew and office workers). I've heard all about "We have to work smarter - not harder" - yeah right!!
One point I can clarify is the EASA will under no circumstances compromise the safety aspect of flying, which will of course be of immense comfort for our customers
I think that is putting too much credibility on EASA to be honest.
How can they be proposing to increase the limits to 1,000 from 900 if they had much clue, for a start? Don't they know how knackering it is to work close to 900 hours under the Subpart Q already? Perhaps it's not so bad if they are long haul but for those that are most likely to work you right up to the limit, like the low cost carriers, 1,000 hours would result in alarming level of fatigue. 900 is bad enough already and so many fit and healthy 30 year olds are coming down with excessive level of fatigue.
And think about the training captains etc - how about if they work 1,000 hour a year with their increased workload? Horrifying, to put it simply.
What I'd like to do to people like you is put you in an Airbus, 10 mile finals on Lisbon runway 03, winds 330/33 G38, heavy rain, low level turbulence, winds shearing and all on day 5 of earlies having been up at 0350 every morning. If you had the balls, skill and experience to land it I'd like to ask you how you'd feel about doing it all again tomorrow just so some unprofessional, unskilled, unqualified, ill informed manager can get a bonus.
As for the people working in other parts of the business, I presume youre talking about the managers or sales and marketing team - they aren't highly responsible, skilled in a highly practical way and highly qualified like a pilot. If they're tired the loss is small.
they aren't highly responsible, skilled in a highly practical way and highly qualified like a pilot. If they're tired the loss is small.
You're the hypocrite.
BlackandBrown i do find your comments quite disturbing considering your training entails situations you come across from time to time. I feel if you are unable to deal with such situations perhaps a change of occupation should be considered. If correct rest is observed as regulated by the authorities then safety should never be compromised but when you bring in other factors such as bunching of work and commuting the fine line can lead to mistakes.
I don't quite follow your points at all. Blackandbrown makes an excellent summary of what this job involves (especially in a UK winter!) and yet you then seem to insist that he can't cope with it?
I'd point to the fact that I've just come back off a duty now, and I'm having another 6 day week with 2 days off before going back to work again (the girlfriend has already asked me if she'll ever see me again!) - I've spent 4 days of the week getting up stupidly early, with the earliest alarm clock at 2:30am and now I'm onto a late pattern, which means that I'm finishing at 11:00-11:30 at night. So, in the space of these few days, I've had to totally reverse my bodyclock while still working. Put that in with some of the long duty days that we do (some are up to 11 hours and 30 minutes already!) and it doesn't take a genius to work out that tiredness is going to accumulate at a really rapid rate. If I take how I am at the start of a week at the moment, compared to where I am at the end of the week - my flying at the end of the week is a lot less consistent, I make silly mistakes that are totally avoidable and invariably, it will be on the last day of the week when a situation arises that requires a thought process... like a go around due to the airport closing.
Now, if I'm that worn out in the first place, imagine that the duty I've just done had been increased by a factor of whatever percent EASA are advocating...
A simple question of maths means that what would normally be a situation that I could manage well enough, could very soon become a dangerous situation.
At the end of the day, safety can have no comprimise. And middle level management will only realise this when it's far too late. And I bet that all of the bonuses for "excellent performance" will dry up too - along with the whole operations of the airline.
I do my job with the aim of getting from A to B, taking a plane load of passengers, and doing it safely while always considering operational circumstances. Something that every pilot out there would agree with and something that is enscribed into every professional pilot from day 1 of training. These rules will destroy this element. You probably think we sit there fat, dumb and happy... Just consider this for two minutes: when the weather is bad (as in the video from Black and Brown), you've had a crap sleep, your girlfriend is threatening to leave you as you haven't seen them in god knows how long, and you're struggling to make ends meet this month as several large bills came along all at once, how do you think you'd feel?
Come and follow us in our jobs for a week. I dare you. And then we'll see who deserves the bonuses... and it isn't those who sit there and think up new ways to reap the crop of Human Resources.
It's just a matter of time until the UK has a Colgan style accident. I am sure managers like WW will have made sure their own arses are nice and covered though.
What this thread shows though is that no matter the colour of that tail fin, the management intent is the same. It just makes me realise that as a pilot work force we really need to be united to deal with this. Reading the balpa forum I think this is slowly beginning to happen. Lets hope it takes effect before another Colgan.
If correct rest is observed as regulated by the authorities then safety should never be compromised but when you bring in other factors such as bunching of work and commuting the fine line can lead to mistakes.
In other words: " We want to be able to roster you to EASA limits, (which of course must be safe) but that pesky thing called Bidline is getting in the way...................."
Moving on I'm glad you have concerns about crew members "bunching work" and I take it you've already expressed concerns up the management chain about the company's longstanding practice of constructing eastern seaboard "back to backs" for our cabin crew colleagues. For the benefit of the non BA readers that's a trip construction along the lines of LHR-JFK-LHR, night off in London, then LHR-BOS-LHR. That certainly looks like a "bunching of work" to me.
Why bother. WW is no more a manager that Ghengis Khan was a member of the peace corps.
All he's doing is regurgitating all of the lines that were used on the Cabin Crew forum to shoot down his ill thought out ramblings during the CC dispute which, of course, in WW world they won an outstanding victory. It just goes to show his percieved viewpoint.
Those who actually understand the EASA principles and are aware that they are 'broad brushing' thus encompassing better and worse conditions also understand that even EASA have admitted that they have no basis in scientific fact and need re-working. EASA was pushed to a deadline and, as with all ill informed, un-elected, eurocratic organisations, just pushed whatever they had on Powerpoint out of the door.
For those of us working in companies where safety is crucial and critical there are schemes in place to ensure compliance with scientifically proven fatigue management systems. WW wants to peddle these as being as useless as the BASSA 'gentlemens agreements' were during the CC dispute, the only fly in his imaginary managers ointment is that the scheme is written into the pilots ratified MOA and also monitored and approved by the CAA.
By pushing for scientific clarification of the EASA regulations, hopefully, we will be able to achieve a good standard to which we have been operating for years for the those of the European piloting community who have not benefitted from such protections.
Those of us who work the frontline, encountering adverse weather again and again around the globe after hours of flying covering a multitude of timezones and irregular sleep patterns know the inherent risks involved in our job and the associated responsibilities that go with it. Parasite managers who claim they 'know better' are generally the first ones out of the door when cost cutting is required. 400 managers out at BA? No-one, but no-one even noticed. Q.E.D.
Whilst it is a good discussion to have, don't feed the troll.
Well said wirbelsturm...although not BA, I'm a pilot and hold a management posting...the "simplistic rambles" from WW hold no realistic weight, relevant in terms of required economic change, maybe - legacy cost levels seem to be sustainable in Gulf states only...
Troll - almost certainly...
__________________ Regards JB007!
Flight Ops,Crewing and Dispatch Moderator