View Full Version : Tired budget jet pilots 'endanger passengers' - The Times

Wee Weasley Welshman
20th Dec 2003, 23:35
Seems the public will get the impression we are all going to work to sleep off the night before at this rate!

MORE than a million people flying on Christmas holidays with budget airlines may be putting their lives in the hands of an exhausted pilot. A study into the stress and fatigue suffered by budget airline pilots found...


20th Dec 2003, 23:55
Let's hope that a very reasonable and fair report from this authoratitive journal prevents incidents from turning into an accident.

21st Dec 2003, 00:06
unless there is an 'incident' nothing will change...isnt it about time balpa/caa etc got together and sorted out this potentially huge problem,before its too late?

21st Dec 2003, 04:49
"An easyJet spokesman said that its pilots earned £50,000 to £100,000. “We don’t pretend to get it right all the time. If we treated people badly, they would go and work for someone else.”

Well there's a manager with a good grasp of the issue, I don't think! A mind incapable of distinguishing S-A-F-E-T-Y from industrial relations has no place in an airline IMHO.

21st Dec 2003, 05:17
This is not the first academic report to conclude that there are safety concerns in the way some airlines are run these days. Take a look at this report that was commissioned for the JAA and published in August 2001:


This paragraph in the executive summary will strike a chord with airline pilots:

'Unsympathetic rostering increases fatigue, upsets sleep patterns, reduces morale and has a detrimental effect on the personal life of crew. In some cases this is combined with a reduced ratio of crew per aircraft, leading to a loss of flexibility and pressure to fly despite personal welfare.'

The point is that the CAA know about these problems and do not act. Who controls CAP 371? Commercial airline management or the regulator?

Better to put a lower limit on the maximum number of flying hours now than suffer the consequences of a fatigue related accident.

With these types of reports in the public domain it might be very difficult for the existing hierarchy at the CAA to remain in place in that terrible event.

21st Dec 2003, 18:16
I´ve worked for a large low-cost carrier and have felt the fatigue following a constant change in sleep patterns caused by numerous changes to the published roster.

At one point I asked crewing if it was possible that I could be taken off two of the next days four sectors, since I had been doing four days in a row with maximum duty time and I was feeling very tired - and they told me that it was my own problem since I shouldn´t feel tired because the rostering (including the changes) were legal and within limits.

This is just one example of a tendency that I felt while working for that company, to look strictly at the rules and not "the spirit" of the law.

Spending a huge amount of money on training in the sim simply can´t replace a decent rostering practice, because allthough proffesionalism among the pilots will always be important, so is the fact that they are well rested before every flight - something that can be quite difficult to achieve working under that kind of rostering.

21st Dec 2003, 18:22
Easyjet spokesman comments sum up easyjet management.
We cant sort it so Piss off!:cool:
Stelios come back and sort it
and send kiwi fruit packing.

5 years of easyspin doctors NO result.
New entrants BE AWARE!
By the way if the comments in the article are T Ns you should be FIRED.{you are a disgrace}.
Please come out of disneyland for 3 night athens in a row.
Youd last one at the most:ok:

Easyjets fundamental problem is this.
Commercial think lets expand get into germany etc.
Operationally we havent got the pilots to do it.
Thats ok we will screw the crews like always.{meaning poor rostering and crewing}.
Pilots leave causing more training of pilots .{more expense}.
Notice a pattern here.
The above is easyjet to anyone thinking of joining.
Do easyjet actually want pilots to stay ?
Easyjet is merely a training ground for other airlines.
Its not a long term career move by any stretch of the imagination.

Save you a fortune with training costs.
Unless of course someones running a back handed deal with CTC.

Kalium Chloride
21st Dec 2003, 19:21
If this had been the result of a journalistic investigation rather than a university study, I suspect that people here would be lining up to mock any suggestion of a fatigue problem and deriding the reporter to boot.

aardvark keeper
21st Dec 2003, 22:35
I find it absoulutely disgusting that the aim of crewing at the mo is to "utilise the crew to use the 100" other than have safety at the top of the list, & quality of life - to stop people jumping ship and more costs incured by the company in the long run.

Hopefully something will be done before an accident

Colonel Klink
21st Dec 2003, 22:37
There is no doubt whatsoever that this report is substantially correct. The majority of pilots at easyJet feel tremendous fatigue as a result of the 6/3 rostering which often turns into 7/2.
We, the Comapny Council have been tasked with getting this changed into some sort of bearable lifestyle and we are progressing slowly but steadily, against some resistance from the company who promised 5/3 but then could not deliver thanks to the CAA not bending over for them as they confidently predicted. The company, as it has been so often pointed out in this forum, will not do anything unless they have to, so there will be the inevitable flexing of muscle but we will get our way or pilots will leave in droves.
It is a pity that the majority of these people who are obstacles, are themselves postholders who bear some corporate responsibilty towards their workers. God forbid, when a pilot falls asleep as I'm told is happening often lately, should the outcome ever be a disaster, these people will bear the full brunt of any consequences as they have been told about the problem but refuse to act!

22nd Dec 2003, 00:09
Point 1: pilots are leaving this company in large numbers, even willing to take risks with new start ups just to get out.

Point 2: the rosters at said company are still deteriorating, and BALPA are now fighting hard just to maintain the status quo rather than gaining improvements.

Point 3: there seems to be a conflict of interest in the CAA between regulation and safety oversight and its financial relationship with "customer" airlines.

22nd Dec 2003, 00:19
Sadly the CAA will only sit up when a serious incident or accident occurs.{god forbid}.
The Caa should be putting different rules in place specifically for LOW COST carriers.:cool:


Tristar Freak
22nd Dec 2003, 00:37
The lo-co's that are currently pushing crews to the CAP 371 limit (sometimes beyond) *and* demanding that new start first officers pay for type ratings and/or ask for line training payments on the first 10/50/100 sectors must be adding extra stress onto those pilots.

The CAA seems to be a lapdog to "commercial" pressures and react accordingly. Pilots don't do themselves any favours either. Willing to stamp on peoples heads to get a job and then a lack of solidarity when industrial action could save terms, conditions or even have safety implications. I would hate to mention a date in Southern Hemisphere history that occured a year before 1990.

Anyone remember the name Stuart Clapson? At the time his treatment by his employer was fairly well documented on PPRuNe, there was much gnashing of teeth and beating of chests, but did anything change because of it? Apparently not. A manager at BA summed the situation up fairly succinctly at the time, "give it 6 months and they [the pilots] will have forgotten about it."

From what I have seen and experienced, BALPA hav much more interest in BA's pension scheme than anyone or anything else. Until rostering up to and beyond CAP 371 limits affect BA pilots little will happen. Even if it does affect them I do wonder if the British Airways Line Pilot Association would do anything significant.

What do I know though? I am just an informed idiot.

22nd Dec 2003, 00:51
Having reviewed the Times article again, I'd like to point out that:

1) Pilots at easyJet do not earn 50-100k, more like 30-75 (except managers or trainers).

2) That this has no relevance to fatigue, but the management quote shows how they think that payment of crew means ownership of crew, and that it justifies a callous disregard for the health or the safety of crews, and hence pasengers.

3) That it is not an issue sometimes dismissed by management. This has been the top priority for the crews and councils alike for the last 4 years. During that time it has only got worse. There is a systematic approach of squeezing the maximum legal duty out of every crew member, regardless of the safety consequences.

4) Pilots falling asleep at the controls is not as uncommon as one would think here, but it is not reported, as the pilots in question fear dubious disciplinaries and nothing would be changed anyway.

22nd Dec 2003, 03:13
Sad to see Airline management free to fly backward to the 50s, before adapted working rules were negociated or edicted by responsible administrations.

Had the occasion to fly when the ENTIRE crew was asleep upon this period.......and I was one of them!

It seems nowadays Government and Administrations don't worry anymore about public safety, they are only interested in economy, profits, stock exchange rates......

22nd Dec 2003, 04:26
Worth a read (with a pinch of salt). The UK lo co airlines are going down the same road;

Flying Blind Flying Safe (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0380975327/ref=sr_aps_books_1_2/026-4295953-3065263)

The FAA Vs ValuJet

White Horse
22nd Dec 2003, 16:49
The simple fact is that RW is a bully and the rest of management appear weak/frightened of him. As with all bullies, they will not back down until somebody with a bigger stick comes along .. that would have been the BALPA council if more people had joined balpa even if it was only for 6-12 months.That time has passed and is possibly lost for ever.

Another point I'd like to mention, MOL and RW are driven by keeping costs down. MOL seems to get this right. On the other hand easy management appear to think " look after the pennies and the £s will look after themselves" . Infact in easys case it's a case of "penny wise,pound foolish" ......

The "De-icing fiasco "of 3 winters ago was suppossed to save the company approx £200- £230,000 in one winter season ...infact it cost the company approx £2.8 million in 3 days of shambles, returning fares to pax delayed more than 4 hours, sub charters, hotel bills ,coaches,taxis , meals for delayed pax etc.

The rostering fiasco of march -july 2002 was blamed on a new computer rostering programme, a programme that B.A. uses I believe. HOWEVER it was NOT the rostering programme BUT the " CREW PAIRING" (that was suppossed to save the company £200,000 per month in reduced hotel bills and over night allowances ) that must have cost the company £10s of millions.

Crew pairing involved a system whereby if I was flying 4 sectors (the norm), I could expect to fly with 4 different flt deck members, up to 12 different cabin crew members, probably have one a/c change and all thrown in with 20/25 minute turn rounds. It doesn't take rocket science to see that one a/c delayed by 1hour due tech or ATC on the first wave becomes 3 a/c on the second wave and becomes 9 a/c on the third wave ie mid morning . Result : the VERY expensive shambles of summer 2002.

Titan had an a/c and crew fly one complete line of flying throughout that summer( we were told so that it would give us better quaility of life... as if RW really cares).Rumour has it that Monarch made £10s of millions in that season from easyJet. How much did easy spend on other individual charters? No doubt this has all been put down as unforseen /extra ordinary operational expenses

No wonder this is the worst company that I ever worked for...........sorry, I don't see it changing, thats why I left......for a much better lifestyle.

Merry Christmas to all my Ex -colleagues in easyJet ....IF YOU HAVE TIME TO ENJOY IT.

John Farley
22nd Dec 2003, 17:08
White Horse

I only know one bloke who works for easyjet, but he seems very happy.

Your post may be a bit out of date?

Happy Christmas

22nd Dec 2003, 17:11
White horse is correct and almost up to date.
Rostering and crewing are well below standard.
Is your mate RW?

22nd Dec 2003, 17:23
Would someone be kind enough to publish an old or disguised roster for EZ?

Lots of the points made about random early's/lates disrupted sleep patterns sound familiar to me working for a large full service airline at londons 2nd airport.

Had the article in question included this airline, I'm fairly sure it would have made the national TV news.


22nd Dec 2003, 18:23
In aviation things should be simple. Let's try this.

Pilots work shifts; often random in nature and from the posts so far, ever changing. This is disruptive to life style and sleep patterns and therefore tiring. Duties can be upto 190hrs in 4 weeks, averaging 47.30 hrs per week. It is not uncommon to work over 50 hrs and 6 days in any week, all in a chaotic rhythm. There is no balance between work and social life; so the batteries drain away.

Is this really necessary?

Ops personel and engineers work steady regular shift patterns of 4 ON 4 Off. This is 48hrs work in 8 days, not 7, and allows a reasonably stable sleep pattern. 2 days, 2 nights etc.

The averaging flying day of 4 sectors = +/- 6 hours. With 900 hrs per year you can fly 150 days. After 28 days leave, 8 public holidays, 4 days sim & 5 days refresher ground school there remains 320 days in the year. This is 40 periods of 8 days. In each 8 day period you can fly 4. This = 160 days, but the mathematics above gives a limit of 150. The actual flying day of 4 sectors is likely to be nearer 6.30hrs than 6.00, so this would give 138 days each year and allow 22 days of SBY, i.e. nearly 2 per month. In any case, how many people really fly 900?

Anyway, the point is that 2 earlies, 2 lates 4 days off would give a vast improvement in life style. The late finish and early start would not be constrained by the 'day off' definition as the middle 2 days would be unaffected.

Productivity would be higher, health better, morale stronger and the companies would reap the financial rewards of crews joining and not leaving.

Now that seems to be a REAL WIN WIN scenario. So why is it not happening. Don't start with CAP 371 and keep looking at the 7 days & 14 days cycle. Use those limits as guide lines and think outside the traditional box. 7/2, 6/3, 5/4 or whatever. The object of the exercise is productivity. It would give a financial director, olf conventional thinking, appoplexy to think the pilots were only flying 140 days. That is not the point. The point is they are producing the required amount of work in a safe and sustainable manner. (How many days per year do long-haul pilots fly?)

There are many airlines who roster the minimum days off and then fill in the gaps with duties. The efficiency of those duties is irrelevant to rostering. If the crews have been on duty or 20 days/28 they must be productive. Absolute cods wollup.

Try challenging the Flight Ops inspector to work 1 weeks roster. All the theoretical reports in the world can not improve 'hands on' experience.

I once challenged my financial director to work my roster, but in his office with all the trimmings etc. It would have meant changing patterns at 12 hours notice, lates/earlies and weekends etc. He declined and so never did understand how we were tired when, in his words, only working 75% of the limits.

Reading all the posts on this matter, over the past few years, leads me to one conclusion. If you can not guarantee your employer, i.e. one of the well organised airlines, then if you want to fly for fun don't be an airline pilot. Use your talents to get a proper job, with the time and money to be able to fly when YOU want. I would be very hesitant to reccommend a youngster taking up the profession in todays climate. And that is very SAD!

Think about it, 4 ON 4 OFF. There is no reason why not.

22nd Dec 2003, 22:05
That would probably be supported unanimously by the crews, and as you say, may prove beneficial to the company too.

The 3 top people in EZY's BALPA council went to huge effort a couple of years ago writing a master roster that not only gave crews more days off and better stability, but also reduced the crew/aircraft ratio by 1, with a projected saving to the company over the next decade of hundreds of millions(as I was told by one of these individuals).

When presented to RW it was instantly dismissed out of hand , apparently with the added remark "There will be no agreement with the pilots as long as I'm CEO".

The point is that there is a high level of malice aimed at crews, engineers and ground staff from the very top, this is encouraged in the middle levels, and is deemed worthy of extra costs to the company.

22nd Dec 2003, 22:42
whippersnapper, it's exactly the same at baby.

Hope the next airline I work for isn't a 4 letter word

Harry again
23rd Dec 2003, 02:34
Dr Simon Bennett (Scarman Centre, University of Leicester) flies on the jumpseat with only one low cost airline, and it's easyJet. Previously he flew with Go under a similar arangement. He wrote a very worthwhile treatise 'Human Error - by design?' (ISBN 1 899287 72 8). The serial resigner-security expert at easy is quite pally with him.

The bully mentioned is not the only one - bya long way.

The CAA DID put rules in place for low cost carriers - that's CAP371, which 'traditional' operators don't operate to, as they usually have more restrictive rostering and crewing agreements. In long haul there are other factors at play which mean it's not such a big deal. Only the low cost sector work right up to the limits of CAP 371 in the large airline environment.

Problem is, CAP371 was written in the days of Tridents and Doves, and no-one ever thought that someone would be stupid enough to fly six sectors a day in a jet.

easy 'managers' are seeking an alleviation from their present FTL scheme (itself based on CAP371) to enable crews to work MORE and LONGER early duties. One argument believed to be cited is the commercial disadvantage that the company finds itself at when in competeition with Ryanair, who are able to roster longer duties (as they are regulated in Eire). Ryaniar pilots, however, have less disrupted lives, more days off, and don't do any deep night flying (believed by some experts to be the most fatiguing of all - easy pilots falling asleep on the famous and feared 'night Athens').

The posts above about certain senior figures are true - but don't get the impression that thsoe lower down the food chain are good guys. There's a really bad atmosphere about this company.

I suppose one might note that pilots might nmot leave now, as there are few worthwhile jobs to go to. This, of course, may change.

Klink, there's no point talking to them. We're all dwn in the dirt, the only way up is out.

Really, the TV people and others need t puick up on this story. Any interested TV people PM me and I'll talk.

23rd Dec 2003, 04:02
White Horse
The "De-icing fiasco "of 3 winters ago was suppossed to save the company approx £200- £230,000 in one winter season ...infact it cost the company approx £2.8 million in 3 days of shambles, returning fares to pax delayed more than 4 hours, sub charters, hotel bills ,coaches,taxis , meals for delayed pax etc.

Can you tell us what that was about? I'm not familiar with the story but I'm interested.

aardvark keeper
23rd Dec 2003, 04:22
Not to go off on a tangent, especially on recruitment, but a very well know airline has been heard to employ :


FATPL 200 hours

lower wages

Why, because they can do what they want with these guys, move them here & there, a#se them about and the guys ( & girls ) are prepared to accept the it, all for that 1st job.

Me thinks they could be setting a trend here and inadvertently counteracting this issue

23rd Dec 2003, 09:14
Negotiations between Balpa reps and easy management about improvements in FTL and roster schemes are at a sensitive stage but without breaching confidentiality the situation appears to be as such:

Balpa and the reps are keen to make easyJet a career airline like southwest: this is obviously in the interests of management. Money alone will not make this happen when the pilots have no lifestyle worth having to spend it on. No LCA pilot will fall asleep in the air on a four sector day, even on day six, because he/she is so far up the arousal curve. Judgement, priorities, temper and blood pressure are surely victims, though. All this is comprehensively backed up by medical studies and flidras spikes. Where the fatigue kicks in is on the car journey home, and in the home at the expense of family and relationship harmony.

The sector cannot afford an accident, and although many mainline operators would live to see it fall on its face, think about the job market as the excess pilots supplied 2 years ago are drying up.

The cost of safety is a pound or two on a flight ticket, or more importantly, a few hundred quid off the bonuses of the guys who make these decisions?

Airbus Girl
23rd Dec 2003, 14:24
And its not just the low cost airlines....I work for a well known UK "holiday" airline and we've been working 7 on, 2 off all summer (and last winter, and the previous summer), and still are... despite having a Scheduling Agreement that only permits this in "exceptional circumstances". We've had a summer where there has generally been no one on standby, or maybe 1 in 3 duties covered. Many pilots have worked days off. Crew are leaving and not being replaced. Yet management say we have enough crew.

There has been an increase in certain "bad flying" events, mainly minor things which have been picked up by flight data monitoring, yet the company immediately blames us, without looking at the causes - why would this suddenly happen? Why is it happening mainly at UK airports? Probably because the pilots have been up all night, working long hours, on stupid rosters, and are expected to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 8am, whilst landing back from a long night flight. Its not surprising that the standard of flying temporarily deteriorates.

The limit on duty hours per week is meant to be 55, but we all know that there are ways round it for unscrupulous airlines. There are always loopholes to be exploited - I've managed 63 hours in a seven day period, but apparently, because our company week starts on a Monday and my duties started on a Friday, it doesn't count - obviously you only get tired if you work over 55 hours starting from a Monday.

The CAA rules were meant to be maximum limits and used to be used as such. Now they are used as standard rostering practice, trying to squeeze as much as possible out of the pilots, with a disregard for safety. But, as usual, until there is an accident nothing will change. Why do we always have to wait for the accident to happen before anything is done? Why not have prevention as priority? What are the CAA doing?

23rd Dec 2003, 16:14
Nobody I know in ryanair has heard of this professor travelling on a Ryanair jumpseat - certainly his report does not gel with the roster in Ryanair.

Whatever else about MOL and his henchmen (pen stealing, corporal punishment, - see the Telegraph)- most guys in ryanair would agree that the roster is pretty good and the FTL system is surprisingly restrictive where it needs to be.

The roster is more or less fixed at 5 earlies 3 off, 5 lates 3 off.The Ryanair FTLs prevents more than six days work in a row anyway- (CAP 371 allows seven if my memory is right). Earlies are a pain but I would prefer a block of earlies to the sort of mixture that CAP371 seems to lead to. The big thing for me is that you get home every night.

I'm curious as to how CAP371 works in Buzz - is it the same as EZ ?. Any of the Buzz people care to comment?


23rd Dec 2003, 17:15
The topic is highly interesting. More days off would mean more staff needed, which results in higher costs.

But on the other hand everyone (probably even us) is looking for the cheapest fare. In giving the low-cost airlines that success, aren`t the passengers to blame?

It`s always the same, legal limits are far too soft, so don`t trust every airline who says, they are still legal - that`s the indication they`re on the verge of...

23rd Dec 2003, 17:32
These sort of posts have been going in for years now but I genuinely beleive that Easy are heading for a nasty accident in the near future.I think RW will have a lot to answer for but the real criminals in this are the CAA who are seriously concerned about things at Easy but have not done anything to protect the crews and the public from this clearly unacceptable situation.

23rd Dec 2003, 17:37
I work for a "no frills" airline and for the first time ever I had to pull over on the drive TO work at 0500 hours to have a 15 minute sleep as I could not keep my eyes open. Fortunately I only had a 4 sector day to cope with

Moonraker One
23rd Dec 2003, 18:06
There is a lot of fuss about booze at the moment.

The real killer in our industy is and always has been a few moments of inattention caused by fatigue.

It used to happen in Victorian factories and it still happens every day on the motorway.

Every so often fatigue is a major cause of an accident at work.

Those of us at the sharp end of aviation know this is true. Read the accident reports closely you will see it for yourself.

But it all comes down to cost so why spend more on extra crew over 10 years when it is the insurance company that will pay for any loss?

23rd Dec 2003, 18:19
The CAA published this yesterday (22nd Dec) detailing the changes they want to make to CAP371.


aardvark keeper
23rd Dec 2003, 19:35
I suppose it's a bit like road safety & traffic lights.

A bad junction will only get reviewed & traffic lights installed, only when a certain number of people have being killed!

23rd Dec 2003, 21:21
Looking at todays incident .
Isnt it time easyjet management STARTED taking its pilots seriously.
One big incident {A CRASH} we are all down the dole office.
Think about it.
That includes the accountants who havent a clue what is involved.:cool:


Stelios you really need to sort your management out.
May I remind you this is supposed to be an airline.
Not a second hand KEBAB TAKEWAY.

Lets have someone from management to respond please!
Come on we are all listening!
Finally ,if you really want to save money cut the management in half.
Most of them are looking at toysrus or where to buy cheap boats or porsches.
Or they are in the orange cafe sucking up to each other.

Stelios just go in unannounced and youll see what im on about.:ok:

Moonraker One
23rd Dec 2003, 21:31
Not a good week for the Orange outfit.

It is either bad luck or bad management.

In my day the Station Commander would have been changed by now. There Airships would have not tolerated failure of this nature.

It would be a shame if people have to die before a change of direction can be made.

Our guns don't seem to be firing straight maybe it is the cold weather.

24th Dec 2003, 00:49

Sorry, I know your intentions are noble and you're a good bloke, but you're wrong this time.

First of all, EZY's rosters will not get better because the network is fraying due to a massive crew shortage and RW's (and associated sycophants') continued malice.

Secondly, pilots are falling asleep, and have been for some time. I know this because I was affected and saw numerous Captains nod off in flight too, especially on the night sectors. The rostering is not just unpleasant, but down-right dangerous. I quit before I became a greasy smudge on a runway somewhere.

24th Dec 2003, 00:53
Can someone mail me a login and a password so I can read the article. Or perhaps just paste it into the email?

24th Dec 2003, 01:16
It's happened before, in a few airlines, where the Chief Pilot or the M.D was given the boot in a show of power from the crews. It sounds like you've lost one through natural wastage, and it seems like the other should soon follow.

Forget the bar-room banter on Prune. DO something. It's your life and career not theirs. After 30 years of hearing these serioius debates, and nothing happening, I too quit. It's a sad British characteristic of vocational professions; allowing yourself to be shafted. It would not happen on the Continent. In this case there is a real life threatening issue, both to passengers and crews, work and social.

Whatever happened to the EU directive, over 10 years ago, that Airlines had to develop a compensation package for not being able to give their crews the same improvemnts in working conditions as all other ground based EU workers? Absolutely nothing. Where were the unions? Absolutely nowhere. Where are the crews? Up to their necks in the manure, and mostly head first. Where were the CAA's? Where is the EU commission who made that demand? STill there, or at least Neil Kinnock is. He's not that hard to find. Bombard him and go public. See what happened to the doctors & nurses. Don't let money cloud the issue. For random shift work the basic slary is not too much. Make the calculation for weekends, nights etc and the basic hourly rate is no great shakes.

At last the is a strong concensous among pilots; amazing. Also amazing is here is an argument that is not about money. Management have the attitude that crews will prostitute thmeselves. They have done so before, but this seems to be one shafting too far.

In the last 12 months, on Prune, this must be the tenth such thread. If you ain't gonna do something this time, you never will.

All success. Leave the profession in a better condition than you joined it. It is for the next generation of Biggles. In its present state who would want to join?

Somewhere, there is an airline management school, that has stood all good management techniques on their head, has rebelled against all good practices of personnel motivation and is still trolling around in the Dark Ages. It has spawned most of todays airline managers. If anyone knows where it is please send out Rentokil.

In all the airlines I've worked in none of the top boys had ever set foot in a man management college, yet they sent us on CRM every year. Never saw any of them there. Even that might have been an improvement. Most Boy Scout leaders know more about motivation than these guys.

Rant over. GOOD LUCK.

24th Dec 2003, 01:26
I have just done 3 days of LVPs in and out of certain airports in Europe/UK. This kind of operation tends to take all my energy and all I do is fall over when I get home.

I want to know whether CAP 371 has been written with just how many hours one should be able to cope with?

The point is the KIND OF HOURS one does are not the same, therefore the energy expended differs from say a nice sunny carefree day, to a day full of LVPs and delays. This should be addressed immediately as an accident could be imminent. The days we do should be graded in order of TIREDNESS FACTOR according to weather and other important factors.

24th Dec 2003, 01:41
Reading the above.
Looks like you are losing pilots fast.
Better get your figure out and sort it,or its third class to kiwi land out of tilbury with a smelly bunch of asylum seekers.
Serious heavy weight shareholders will not tolerate it and nor should the CAA for that matter.
Remember what happened to uncle ayling of ayling airlines!

Merry Christmas:cool:

24th Dec 2003, 02:55
The Sixth Sense.

Excellent thread with some good posts.
One thing's for sure: the major threat facing airlines like easyjet at the moment is a serious fatigue related event. If current rostering practices remain unchanged then it's certainly a case of when, not if.
Just make sure it's not you.
When you pitch up for a duty, no matter how knackered you feel, you are basically saying that you are fit to fly. If you subsequently become involved in an incident/accident and are lucky enough to survive, then explaining that you were fatigued ain't going to cut much ice.
As responsible flight crew working for an irresponsible airline that regards absolute limits on flying as commercial targets, we need to engender a very strong sense of self preservation. If the airline does not act to help protect us against fatigue, then we must do it ourselves until the management clearly understands our position.
I know what it feels like to suffer from fatigue whilst flying. It's not big and it's not clever. And it's not safe.
Why should flying whilst punch-drunk be any more acceptable than flying whilst under the influence of alcohol? The effects are very similar.
I've worked six consecutive days only on one occasion. I'll never do it again. Five long days on the trot is manageable, six is madness.
So next time you're rostered for six on the trot, here's what you do:
The evening before your sixth rostered days flying, you phone up crewing and politely advise them that you are unable to accept the duty on the following day. They will explain that the duty does not violate your flight-time limitations and is therefore legal. They will ask you why you are refusing to accept the duty. You tell them that you will be taking a days rest because you are fatigued. That will be the end of the conversation.
If you are afraid of a phone call summoning you to a 'well-being' chat with one of the hierarchical beings, then you are afraid of the wrong things.
Act responsibly. Develop your sixth sense. Do not fly when you are fatigued.

24th Dec 2003, 03:44
On the other hand, I work 8 on/6 off and I love it.

24th Dec 2003, 04:10
"On the other hand, I work 8 on/6 off and I love it."


24th Dec 2003, 05:02
Becareful bandying the word 'fatigued' about. It will come back to haunt you. I've heard of management claiming that you can not manage your sleep correctly. and therefore it is your fault and must sort it out.
12 hours duty, 12 off does not leave much time for the other things that life demands. Trying to squeeze it all in will cause you to be under par. Is it your fault. No? We are not Albertrosses.
Management seem to have lost the plot in the balance between work and play. It is a special British infliction, at worse, & sadly aviation in most places. Trouble is the a/c fly too far. Boeing caused the initial problem, crews forsook the rest area, the financial directors twisted the arms of the CAA's. They relented and relaxed FTL's. There in lies the nub. The CAA's have dual roles, commercial and safety. The airlines preach safety is paramount, so do the CAA's, but they both act in the opposite sense. Commercialism. Bring back elitism, I say. Only first class fly. so less passengers who pay more, etc. etc. (retract toungue from cheek.
Anyway study the NSTB report after Valujet. They said the FAA should split its role and not be in charge of commerce & safety. Conflict of interest. It's true, I've been the brunt of it. Ludicrous rosters to keep the airline alive. It went bust anyway.
Meanwhile back to fatigue; don't use that word, just say unfit. It is your judgement. It could be anything. Trying to sleep at 21.00 before a 3rd early in summer evenings is impossible. If you don't sleep you are unfit to work for 10 hours. Simple.
I remember many time asking to see the secretary for salaries, or this & that, to be told they were at the doctors, or dentist or off sick. Try that as a crew member and wait for the phone to ring. If you want to visit the doctor, take a day off. 'Xcuse me I'd like to be rostered a day sick next week to visit my doctor. At the end of the year your sickness record is checked. Too much; yeah, well I was knackered so much, immune system was low etc etc. The pilot shortage is coming. Hang fast, but don't abuse the 'F' word. Just be smart.

At the end of the day make the CAA do its job. If the FOI refuses to listen then go higher. You'll get there. It's a long climb, but never give up.

It's better to have tried and failed than never tried at all. But I believe with good leadership and the correct stratergy you can succeed, because the cause is just and right.

S#@t. that sounds too much GWB. Sorry.

24th Dec 2003, 06:25
RAT 5,

Thanks for your comments. But you've completely missed the point.
Fatigue and tiredness due to lack of sleep are two different conditions.
You can be tired because you had to get up early to operate a flight but that just means you are suffering from a sleep deficit. Fatigue is a condition brought upon by repeated and prolonged activity. Sleep deficit can be a contributory factor. The effects are similar alcohol intoxication and whilst suffering from it you should not be operating any type of machinery.
If you want to get your facts right then do what I have done and spend some time talking to Dr. Simon Bennett, the source of the article in Times. It is generally accepted that he knows what he is talking about.
PM me and I'll give you his email and phone number.
If you are unable to accept a flight duty because you are feeling the effects of fatigue, then that is the reason you should give. Anything else is bullsh*t.

24th Dec 2003, 07:00
This document arrives at the conclusion that, adjusted for risk exposure, Capts on duty for longer periods are involved in an increasingly disportionate number of accidents.


If you paste the little table into excel and then plot the graph, the rate of increase above 8 hours on duty is startling.

24th Dec 2003, 08:23
Is Easyjet that bad to work for?

I am looking at joining but am now feeling very unhappy about the move having read these posts?

Swept wing
24th Dec 2003, 15:20
Most line pilots feel tired from working 6 days on, 3 days off with quite often 4 sectors a day. I doubt that there are many pilots who see easyJet as their long term career I haven't met any of them yet. Aside from management pilots obviously!:(

24th Dec 2003, 15:51
Today's younger generation of pilots will not survive 30 years in this crazy mad, rat race of airline flying, unless they/we all go part/half time.
This means the airlines will need TWICE as many of us.
Soon all airlines will be FORCED to introduce part time (Europe).

24th Dec 2003, 16:13
Captain Pugwash:

I see that you are a new boy. I do work 8 on/6 off and I am most certainly not a prat. Neither are the couple of hundred pilots around me who do the same. I certainly do not ever want to go back to the many years that I had to work within the constraints of CAP 371.

Under that system I was never ever rested unless I was on holiday. Getting 2 or 3 days off is simply not enough to recharge the batteries My 8 on/6 off pattern works out more like 7½ on/6½ off. This means that I get the better part of a week at home and after that amount of domestic bliss, I am more than ready and willing to going back to work.

Please don't go around calling people prats when you don't know what you are talking about. No doubt you will learn as you mature.

24th Dec 2003, 16:15
In the hard commercial world of Low Cost, there is, in my experience a lot of trust placed in - and a lot of reliance placed upon - the Captain. By that I mean even more than in a national carrier.

It is actually rewarding to keep the ship on time and sort out problems which, on a national carrier, would be dealt with by some department or other. This used to be appreciated by the management in the early days.

It seems that things have deteriorated to the point where there is not only no appreciation - but an expectance that crews will stretch to the utmost. This is not helped by Captains who submit to a regime where fatigue becomes the norm.

Captains, you have to show the way. If you are not fit to fly, you must call in unfit. If you see another crew member flying when unfit, you should send him home. If all Captains act in this way, then very quickly the message will get through - probably quicker than any lambasting of management in these columns could achieve.

24th Dec 2003, 19:12
The EZY culture is to put all resposibility and blame on the Captain. They operate with no support from the management, indeed, they are frequently bullied and threatened into situations by that management.

The same applies to FOs, but the leverage is greater as promotion is based largely upon how far you bend over, and nothing at all to do with capability - just ask any of the Dutch FOs for a start, they've been royally shafted for years, along with a large number of Brit FOs with any modicum of strength of character (especially at LTN). While most of those promoted are good operators, there are several who stand out as particularly inept with strong character flaws, but have cosseted their way in. Many very capable individuals have, however, been black listed if they show a level of knowledge/capability/intelligence/integrity higher than that of their manager.

This threatening culture makes it very difficult for individuals to report fatigue when the managers don't care. This was made clear with a very cynical internal crew fatigue survey done earlier in the year. It only asked how many hours sleep were achieved before report; not how much sleep was attempted but not achieved due to body clock shifts etc. The desired end result was clear from the questions - pilots not controlling their sleep patterns correctly. A complete farce.

Max Angle
24th Dec 2003, 19:26
It's not just the "low cost" carriers that are at it, all companies are trying to squeeze more from less and less. Long days, min. rests, multiple early mornings and roster changes are a fact of life at a great many full service airlines as well.

Quite topical that this article should have been produced at the same time as the drinking incident in the US. Whilst in now way condoning what happened there it is pretty obvious to most of us that fatigue in aircrew is a far bigger safety problem overall in the industry than booze.

24th Dec 2003, 19:28
Some very noble sentiments have been posted here, boiling down to saying we should have the courage to say no to flying when we consider ourselves fatigued.

I agree with those sentiments - unfortunately they do not reflect the world in which we operate. The reality is that in any airline there are a few pilots willing to put their heads above the parapet but the majority prefer to do as they are told, albeit whinging in the crewroom, on the flightdeck and on the internet. Management knows this all too well so the "troublemakers" are swiftly identified and made to leave by one means or another. Ours is a small profession in which news travels fast, so a pilot who has left an airline under such circumstances will have the greatest difficulty finding another job. This serves as a salutary warning to the rest of the pilot force.

The solution should be sensible limitations imposed by the national and international authorities. Sadly, crews are always outgunned by vested interests when represented at the meetings where such things are discussed. I've lost count of the meetings which I have attended where BALPA or whoever have been politely listened to and then marginalised by the big battalions of the operators who invariably get their way by dint of having more votes. UK CAA is aware of the problem but its hands are tied by the requirement to be "responsive to industry".

In my view, the problem will only be solved when we achieve critical mass - in other words, many more pilots being ready to say no to dangerous rostering. Whether this can be achieved, I just don't know, as it requires a sea-change of attitude amongst the pilot community as a whole. It takes a certain courage to put your job on the line when there is the mortgage etc to be paid.


24th Dec 2003, 19:54
How is it that BALPA have achieved **** all for EZ people on the roster front when the defenceless innocents in the other big loco seem to be reasonably happy with their rosters.

Could it be that BALPA head office is simply another aviation outfit populated with self serving wannabes and bean counters leaving the frontline troops to struggle on bravely (or not as the case may be). This is after all ,the standard airline model.!

aardvark keeper
24th Dec 2003, 21:45
Sadly, it's all down to £££££££££££££££££££££'s

If everyone sends their views to BALPA, who represent us all, then they cannot deny any lack knowledge or a concern within the industry.

24th Dec 2003, 22:16

I fear your observations may be correct. The BALPA CC worked extremely hard in EZY, but were left swinging by the BALPA oficers. The official ballot count for industrial action was 65% against, but I never met a single pilot who voted against, which makes me suspect the vote outcome, to put it mildly.

We had 2 CC chiefs who signed deals away with the mgmt without even discussing the issues with the rest of the CC, never mind the members, while the rest of the CC is in a constant state of flux due to resignations. Sadly, BALPA, the only massed opposition to bad management, is castrated by it's own managers disinterest in doing any real work. All that they seem interested in is recruitment drives, NEC meetings, elections and claiming credit for other peoples efforts.

Since they provide little assistance to the CCs, these in-company reps simply do not have the time, resources or expertise to counter the management, resulting in a continuing erosion of T&C. BALPA looses all credibility and members resign (though they don't seem to realise this), leaving the only option of quitting the company. The balance is lost and market forces are the only tool we have left.

Colonel Klink
25th Dec 2003, 07:01
Whippersnapper, that may have been the case last year, but it most certainly is not this year. The CC are working very hard, and pushing Balpa to work hard for us. The 5/3 issue is most important to us, lifestyle issues are the key to retaining pilots, and recruiting pilots so with another 115 A319's yet to arrive, this gives us tremendous leverage.We have presented the results of the recent survey to management, there is a meeting lined up for the 5th, and a lot more going on besides that.
I think 2004 will be a very good year for our pilots, but it is up to us to make it so,



Ignition Override
25th Dec 2003, 12:41
Although I have no knowledge of duty period and rest rules "over there", is it possible that conditions are similar to what thousands of crews have often experienced in the US (even more so at the non-union carriers) since deregulation's effects became widespread around 1983? The few pilots I've met who were with charter freight carriers (flying Lears on duty for 2) hours without rest, DC-8s both Part 121 and 91: allowed on a 'double' max duty period [no limits on Part 91]......never mind VFR at 500' to avoid SAMS between Ethiopia and South Yemen) such as Evergreen, Connie Kallita etc have true stories which laymen would find totally unbelieveable.

The public here might have the perception that the FAA's "legalities" were all created out of a concern for safety, whereas the FAA's previous dual mandates of safety and regulation were in total conflict with each other. Crews on multiple days and nights of (standby) reserve were finally allowed to have a period of 8 hours rest in each 24, because of the accident at Little Rock-because of the embarrasing fact that passengers died. If cargo had been onboard this major airline MD-83 instead of people, there would have been no repercussions in the US Congress. The FAA might have felt guilty like a criminal caught in the act, but ONLY because their callous indifference to safety-in the name of legalities which were finally both discovered and described by our brilliant mainstream media-was exposed to the harsh light of "day". :ouch:

25th Dec 2003, 17:54
Anyone checked on italian/Volare FTLs?????

25th Dec 2003, 23:15

they'd better check the checkers at this stage, don't you think?

26th Dec 2003, 00:41

Are you talking about the same company that I work for?

The CC are not in a constant state of flux due to resignations.

There has ben ONE this year.......advertised well in advance of the event. The only other changes this year were due to scheduled elections - it happens every year!

The vote outcome was 100% accurate. If you are a member you may go to New Road and check.

Sadly, BALPA, the only massed opposition to bad management, is castrated by it's own managers disinterest in doing any real work

Give us the proof of that statement and we will act on it - immediately.

All that they seem interested in is recruitment drives, NEC meetings, elections and claiming credit for other peoples efforts.

Again, show me the proof, and I'll deal with it. Before you do put finger to keyboard, make sure you have read all the newsletters and reports.

Of course, if you're not a member, you probably aren't interested anyway, so you'll continue to put out ill-informed missives.

Please contact the CC, by any means you like, and tell us how we should tackle all the things you have so obviously failed to tackle but no doubt have all the anwsers to.

Tell us why a large percentage of the pilots are wrong, and you are right.

26th Dec 2003, 01:32
Can we get away from the Easy / Balpa bashing and back on to the real FATIGUE problem being induced within the crews of most carriers, with poor rostering practices and lack of policing with teeth by the relevent authorties across the EU.

It is cumulative and at some point soon the chain will break with a Fatigue enduced accident. If you are a manager reading this check your terms under JAR for liability as you are now accountable for the coal face workers errors.

If your a journo start researching real hours and patterns, try doing a normal, not life critical, run in your office for a month with a couple of co-workers of early/late/night random hours with min rest, even getting back to your own bed every night. Report back on that to the public. That way changes may be put in place in all work areas when political points are seen to be scored.

I still do the job because I love flying one of the best buzzes around.


26th Dec 2003, 05:32

"It is cumulative and at some point soon the chain will break with a Fatigue enduced accident. If you are a manager reading this check your terms under JAR for liability as you are now accountable for the coal face workers errors."

Well said.

one four sick
26th Dec 2003, 17:28
hapzim -

"It is cumulative and at some point soon the chain will break with a Fatigue enduced accident. If you are a manager reading this check your terms under JAR for liability as you are now accountable for the coal face workers errors."

Could you or anyone explain a little about this?

Max Autobrake
26th Dec 2003, 18:48
Colonel Klink you say "We are pushing Balpa to work hard for us". Why do they need to be pushed?

Colonel Klink
27th Dec 2003, 14:48
This is a forum about fatigue, not the merits of Balpa so I will keep this short. Balpa have only finite rescources, but one day easyJet will be the biggest airline in the country. It already is the biggest profitable airline in the country, but it is young and there is much to do. Apart from the rostering issues, there are crew food issues, the 2004 pay deal, recruiting/membership and quite a lot else going on, some of which you may not know about. It is a push to get all these done at once, and I am a very impatient person! Our Principal negotiator also handles BA who also have a pay deal going on early next year. My fight is to get one PN just for easyJet, but that has not happenend yet. Most PN's handle up to three airlines, but we are rescource hungry and lifestyle at easyJet is a major and urgent issue which must be resolved soon or there may not be quite the expansion easyJet has planned!.

27th Dec 2003, 16:46
Fatigue has been a contributing factor to many accidents in my opinion but of course it is not always stated as such in accident reports. I suspect the reason is crews have been operating within the rules but as we all know airlines see the rules as a target not a limit. No AIB investigator is going to put the accident down to fatigue unless the rules have been broken and there is clear proof the pilot was suffering from fatigue. If the airline was operating within the rules then of course any good lawyer would have a field day with any report that claimed fatigue was a contributing factor to any accident.

We have seen in the press recently several cases of pilots being arrested for drinking and flying, the effects of alchohol are simular to tirdness or fatigue. Yet I do not see the police or authorities doing anything about operators who put crew in this position. How many of us, if honest, have found ourselves very tired at the controls even though we have been rested and worked within the rules. The rules do not work!

Attacking an individual company is only part of the answer, we need to get the rules changed so that everyone operates on a level playing field. The harsh reality of life is companies are motivated by comercial pressures and will only do what they are forced to do by the law or industrial action.

What we need is the press for once to report on this in detail. Singaling out individual companies is not the answer the whole industry needs sorting out.

27th Dec 2003, 17:00

I agree with you.

The problem is the "Pilot tired at the controls" is a headline that will never sell newspapers. "Pilot crashes due to faigue" WOULD sell newspapers if it were ever proven.

The problem is, that as soon as that becacame a 'potential' headline, the airline propoganda machine would start a rigorous defence and blame everything else in sight. An airline's bottom line defence will always be 'no rest/duty' rule were broken so we're fireproof!

As many have said before, it's those rest/duty' rules that are at fault and must be changed BEFORE the headline becomes a reality.

The rule makers at the CAA/FAA/JAA are spineless. Always have been. Those guys are no longer in full time flying and therefore the rules they endorse do not affect them personally.

Until that situation changes, the rules won't either!

27th Dec 2003, 17:07
I work for a low cost airline, and last summer I was in a constant state of tiredness. I did OVER a hundred hours in August (there being 31 days and the limit being 100 in 28). However I nearly had a level bust one day because I was fatigued and I vowed never to go to work if I felt like that again, and I won't.

Lets face it, as someone said, the CAA BY LAW, require YOU to be fit to fly at the beginning and during your FTP. It is YOUR responsibilty, NOT crewings (unfortunately). If you have an accident / incident do you really think its any good turning round and saying 'sorry I was fatigued or tired'. The company (and CAA) will say you should have gotton off or not gone to work, and they would be right.

I spoke to the CAA a while ago as I was breaking my rolling 14 day duty limit, but my fixed week limit was legal. Whilst it is still legal, my body does not have a 'reset' button that I press on a Saturday night. It is a good barometer as to whether you are likely to be fatigued or not. The CAA are very concerned about it and are aware that certain airlines are taking liberties with the rules. CAP 371 is NOT a target! He said that if I was concerned I must not fly and he was very sympathetic.

I did phone in fatigued last summer, but the company was too scared to put it down as such and put me sick. The CAA are watching, and the companies do not want there pilots going fatigued or into discretion. This is why you are safe is you call in fatigued. The company know that legally they do not have a leg to stand on, especially if you have plenty of evidence of bad rostering, and fatigue inducing incidents.

Someone made an interesting point about the TYPE of duty being important. I have often found that when I have been most tired has not necessarily been when my monthly hours are highest. Other factors are more important, such as the amount of stress per day and disrupted sleep patterns (earlies to lates).

All I'll say is that the CAA will do nothing until a crash happens. However, there seems to be some twisted belief at the moment that we need a crash to 'sort it all out'. Don't think like that. It's YOUR responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen to you. DON'T fly fatigued or tired to an extent where you start making mistakes. If you don't feel comfortable calling in fatigued, just call in sick.

The other problem I find is that we do not make good decisions when we are fatigued (both on and off the flight deck). We often feel gulity about calling in sick or fatigued as another tired collegue will be called from satndby. However, if everyone who is fatigued doesn't fly, flights will be cancelled and the airlines will then be forced to do something. We often handle crewing badly when we are tired, and I think they can take advantage of that. Be firm, be positive in the knowledge that you are right and even if the duty is legal, it is NOT legal for you to report for work if you are unfit to fly.

I think this has to be the way that we can do something, as a collective, unofficially, and without BALPA. If flights are cancelled because they cannot crew them then they will have to employ more pilots and give us more time off. I am not advocating going sick if you are not, but I do think that too many pilots are flying when they know they are not fit too, out of some false pride 'I never go sick' etc. No, you didn't when you worked for a decent airline with decent crewing practices, union agreements etc. Now you don't, you're not a robot, so accept it.

I also don't think that pilots falling asleep is the great danger (unless both do)! It is not necessarily a bad thing so long as one stays awake and you get the cabin crew to ding you in say 15 minutes. The real danger is say a CFIT accident on the approach to somewhere on your 6th day, when you have other problems going on etc. If an emergency happens and both pilots are fatigued they may not deal with it correctly, and that combined with other unfortunate events is what will cause an accident.

Lets make sure this doesn't happen, please.

27th Dec 2003, 17:28
In reply to one four sick and anyone who has not read the ANO for a while

Fatigue of crew - operator's responsibilities
72 - (1) The operator of an aircraft to which this article applies shall not cause or permit that aircraft to make a flight unless:

(a) he has established a scheme for the regulation of flight times for every person flying in that aircraft as a member of its crew;

(b) the scheme is approved by the CAA subject to such conditions as it thinks fit;

(c) either:

(i) the scheme is incorporated in the operations manual required by article 31 of this Order; or

(ii) in any case where an operations manual is not required by that article, the scheme is incorporated in a document, a copy of which has been made available to every person flying in that aircraft as a member of its crew; and

(d) he has taken all such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that the provisions of the scheme will be complied with in relation to every person flying in that aircraft as a member of its crew.

(2) The operator of an aircraft to which this article applies shall not cause or permit any person to fly therein as a member of its crew if he knows or has reason to believe that the person is suffering from, or, having regard to the circumstances of the flight to be undertaken, is likely to suffer from, such fatigue while he is so flying as may endanger the safety of the aircraft or of its occupants.

(3) The operator of an aircraft to which this article applies shall not cause or permit any person to fly therein as a member of its flight crew unless the operator has in his possession an accurate and up-to-date record in respect of that person and in respect of the 28 days immediately preceding the flight showing:

(a) all his flight times; and

(b) brief particulars of the nature of the functions performed by him in the course of his flight times.

(4) The record referred to in paragraph (3) shall, subject to article 80, be preserved by the operator of the aircraft until a date 12 months after the flight referred to in that paragraph.

Fatigue of crew - responsibilities of crew
73 - (1) A person shall not act as a member of the crew of an aircraft to which this article applies if he knows or suspects that he is suffering from, or, having regard to the circumstances of the flight to be undertaken, is likely to suffer from, such fatigue as may endanger the safety of the aircraft or of its occupants.

(2) A person shall not act as a member of the flight crew of an aircraft to which this article applies unless he has ensured that the operator of the aircraft is aware of his flight times during the period of 28 days preceding the flight.

A useful link is http://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2000/20001562.htm#22

the full ANO

And under JAR management are accountable through to the MD

Hope this helps

Moonraker One
27th Dec 2003, 18:41
Propellerhead and Spy

Excellent posts you both tell it like it is.

The truth will always be denied by the CAA and the management.

27th Dec 2003, 21:12
It's quite right; the only way a Financial Director will take notice is when a/c eat concrete.

This might be another way to help. The CAA, via the medical department, has a fatigue model. You feed your roster into it and it calculates a fatigue factor. (I found this out when working to Italian FTL's. It went off the scale, but the CAA, had no jurisdiction even though I was operating on a UK licence with UK medical and Italian validation.)
It would be very interesting, if, after every period you felt knackered, every such pilot bombarded the CAA medical group with their roster and perceived effect, and asked for a fatigue factor report. I'm sure that after a period of sustained enquiry the medical group would be forced/obliged to pass this matter onto SRG and action would have to be taken.

It is amazing that swift, and draconian, action is taken in when technical/maintenance matters are circumvented or abused, but not personnel ones. Yet, it is a CAA trumpeted fact that the greatest cause of accidents is human failing, not incorrect paperwork. They seem to think that greater training is the answer. Rubbish. I still say a fit alert crew can save a broken a/c, but a tired unalert crew can prang a perfectly servicable one. And think of the engineers doing critical maintenance in the early morning hours. A forgotten bolt etc. They have the same problems.

A few years ago I hit an unexpected brick wall with the CAA. CAP 371, to my interpretation, says max 100hrs in 28 days. I was regularly rostered to takeoff on day 28 at 97 hours and land over the pond, still on calendar day 28 at 105. Have 24 hours off, and with the rolling 28 days calculation, reduce once more to less than 100, but land back in Europe on a new 28th day above 100. I even phoned BALPA and they said it was not ideal but the CAA allowed it. I was gob smacked but powerless. To my mind 100 in 28 is what is says. Even the CAA was allowing 2 + 2 = 5. Amazinbgly BALPA chose not to fight the case but aquiessed.
However, I did find sympathy from the medical guys over the truely farcical/dangerous/unhealthy/mind-boggling Italian rosters. (What was also distrubing is that an Italian a/c could be chartered in by a UK airline to fly UK passengers under conditions that the UK CAA had deemed unsafe. The art of turning a blind eye taken to new highs. But that's another story

So, why not approach this via the medical group, rather than flight ops. Afterall, fatigue is a medical area.

The more public this can become the better. What is clear is that the quiet professional diplomatic route has achieved square root of fanny adams for 25 years.

Good Luck.

28th Dec 2003, 07:00

Good post but the fatigue problem continues. In certain airlines the managed sickness systems that they have put in place ensure that individuals will not report sick - otherwise they are put on a watch list which can affect everything from their promotion to their continued employment.

Crews fly sick and fatigued to ensure that they do not trigger a call to the office to explain why they did not report for duty. At one interview for instance the individual was informed that if he had a problem with fatigue he probably was not the sort of person the company wished to employ, and they would lose confidence in his ability to fly as a pilot. He went back to work.

Management keep their heads in the sand on the issue in the hope that the smoking hole will not be on their watch, and rely on the subtle support of the investigators who would have great difficulty distinguishing fatigue from incompetence. You cannot measure 20 milligrams of fatigue.

Yes, it is illegal to fly when you are fatigued but until we can measure it management with their commercial pressures will ensure that we shall fly when unfit

28th Dec 2003, 18:57
Is there any way of posting this thread to the other forums ie Australia(virgin blue) and Hong Kong(dragonair). As has been said, the UK is not the only sufferer of this kind of abuse!!

28th Dec 2003, 20:57
It's quite right; the only way a Financial Director will take notice is when a/c eat concrete. Do you mean the Finance whizzkid who came to an orange crew CRM discussion this year and said words to the effect: "There's absolutely no problem with fatigue, you're more likely to die when a baggage handler or ATC person makes a mistake...."

Mr Angry from Purley
29th Dec 2003, 02:17
The move to a rolling week rather than fixed week for duty hours should see a reduction in working hours for the average LCC Pilot. The fixed week was always seen as a benefit in kind to the previous rogue's (Charter carriers) with the default being the 14 day restriction would stop someone working that hard in 2 weeks. The charter carriers at the time threw in the "level playing field" card with their European Counter parts.
You Pilots should note that the biggest complainant to the rolling limits was BA, mainly because their computerised records system could not cope with it. Is this why then the CAA have put a 2006 compliance date on the Fodcom 28/2003, should be earlier than that because most systems take 30 seconds to alter. That said i understand EZY may have already altered to "rolling".
One of the things i find strangest about this topic is why do EZY Pilots moan more than RYR Pilots, you would think it would be the other way around?. Is there an agenda to this, or is it just pure FTL , and if so is CAP371 the offender?:\ :\

29th Dec 2003, 03:04
Mr A of P,

Maybe it's because the more hours that RyanAir pilots work the more they get paid - remembering that their basic pay is sh!te, but this handsomely made up for in flight pay - so perhaps very much filthy lucre and all that.

Either that or perhaps it's because they are too knackered to be bothered to make a post on PPRuNe ?

29th Dec 2003, 03:25
Mr Angry from Purley

One (of the many) reasons the FR FTL policy won't fit into the EZ model, is that EZY aircraft operate virtually round the clock, FR do not.

They are 2 completely different SCHEDULING policies, that means the FR ROSTERING policy just won't work at EZY without significant alteration.

Believe me we've looked at it!!!!!!!!

Bringing about fatigue reducing rostering remains the highest priority for the Balpa reps at EZ. We even get sh1t for that from some!

We have to try simply because no-one else is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moonraker One
29th Dec 2003, 03:58
So your so sad Mr A from P that you think airline pilots should work a 60 hour week with little time off to recover from 11 hour working days.

On their days off they can catch up with the ops manual amendments and revise for their recurrent checks I suppose.

Nobody should be required to work 7 days in a row for 60 hours in a working week. It is unsafe and unfair to the travelling public.

29th Dec 2003, 18:54
Back on page 1 Tristar Freak makes a good point about the 'British Airways Line Pilot Association' being more concerned with their members retirement planning & alimony payments management than the real issues.. like LCC's pushing crews to the limit and leaching aspiring pilots of yet another 15-25K for the B737 rating.

A look at the majority of Balpa 'Tech Log's supports this assumption fairly me thinks.

When will anything be done about the way this industry is headed?

30th Dec 2003, 01:08

It's happening now, by the likes of you and me and everyone else who's contributed to this discussion.

We're starting the change.

Just refuse to accept a flight duty if you are suffering from fatigue.

Simple as that.

aardvark keeper
30th Dec 2003, 16:46
This is why BALPA should be looking this & representing ALL.

Guys are afraid of putting their hand up because of the fear of standing out from the crowd & looking bad in the eyes of the company who invite you for a one way conversation.

Every one must stand together on this issue, and the safest way to do it is on mass

31st Dec 2003, 12:12
Not the case at NJE........Sincerely........off-shore contract is the carrot, tax-free salary, aswell as the attraction to live anywhere in Europe, command within a year, with not a leg to stand on if you make a stand on certain issues.........especially when it comes to FTL.......No Balpa=no security.

31st Dec 2003, 16:08
Hey guys, PLEASE ease up on the constant knocking of the BALPA/BA scene.
I was working for a respected independent in the late 80s which was taken over by BA. We quickly found out that the grass is very green in BA in most aspects of the job....safety, salary, working conditions etc. While working for BA I began to realise the importance of the close liaison of BALPA and BA to the benefit of the ENTIRE UK pilot force. Somebody has to set the standards and, believe me, without BA, things would be very much worse. The voice of 3,300 pilots is strong and necessary.
I am very lucky to be sitting at home on a BA pension...an example to the rest of the industry.

As an aside, I recently had a conversation with a senior CAA doctor. He made the comment that ''in most cases, I can tell the difference between a BA pilot and those from the low-cost operators, purely by physical medical eveidence''. They are aware of the fatigue problem and it is being closely monitored

have another coffee
31st Dec 2003, 20:01
"They are aware of the fatigue problem and it is being closely monitored".
I wish they quit monitoring and started doing something. Be it either BALPA, management, CAA or others.
Back to bed....:zzz:

31st Dec 2003, 23:45
I hope that something will be done, but the debate must extend beyond simply the fatigue question. If you keep it limited to that, we already know what the airline management's stratergy is; to maximise the work rate of pilots: i.e. employ as few pilots (crews) as possible and fly the a/c as much a possible. If you attack the fatigue question to find out the fatigue threshold, then that will be grasped as acceptable and used to its full.
However, and this is a British desease IMHO, there is more to life than work. I find it inconsitent (being polite) that the goverment of any party trumpets the value of family satbility and then will not acknowledge that to achieve it there has to be a limit on work hours and a true balance in work and social life. The UK strongly opposed the limit on weekly working hours in the EU. Seems 48 was not considerd enough, (especially for crews). The government said this was too little. When do they think parents can exercise guidance over their off- spring? Further, to have a healthy work force, there has to real quality time off, not just recovery time. I found I was working harder on my days off, with domestic chores, than when at work staying in hotels. Too much had mounted up while away.There was little time for real relaxation and recuperation.

Rather than isolate the argument to fatigue prevention, I believe the debate has to include total quality of life. A report published in UK claimed that acohol related matters cost the economy 10 billion pa. Another says that lower back problems cost X,000.000 days off work = squillions. Somewhere there is a professor who could tell us what all the run-about kids, general hooliganism, divorce, associated stresses etc cost the economy. I think avaiation people fall into all those categories, but unlike ground based industries with employee care programs (not nanny state, just good personnel managment and morale/motivation/loyalty packages) airlines in general seem to offer very little.
"If it don't contribute to the direct operation of the a/c we ain't going to do it or spend it. "

That was the enlightened attitude of one past M.D.

Why is it that aviation is operatiing on a different wavelength to all other industries? The Dark Ages are alive and well.

1st Jan 2004, 02:37
I have been following the discussion on easyJ with great interest. It seems to me that all of you who are complaining that you have to"work" too hard, knew the conditions at easyJ very well when you signed your contract. So complaining afterwards that you have to work too hard seems a bit childish and unfair.( compareble to those persons who buy cheap land near an airport and afterwards try to close down the airport because airplanes are too noisy).
Maybe you should spend a bit more time thinking of those who have to work 6 days a week 14hrs a day for 1/5th of the money you make and who do not complain.
So ladies and gentlemen, if you are unhappy with easyJ, leave the company and try to find out if it is any better elswhere (maybe you should try the coal mines), I bet you a lot of girls and guys will be happy to take your place.

To all of you a happy newyear and keep :) :) :) :) :)

Moonraker One
1st Jan 2004, 03:03

Just like Sabena all the coal mines have closed down in the UK.

The Mines were considered bad for the workers health.

So the government got rid of the troublesome mines.

By the way the conditions of employment have changed that is why some people are upset.

Mr Angry from Purley
1st Jan 2004, 17:18
So your saying if you got paid more then the fatigue /rostering problem would go away, defeats point of the issue somewhat...


I agree but surely you have to move forward, ie 5 earlies 3 off, 5 lates 3 off, and sort the rest out. What i'm trying to say is that CAP371 contributes to poor rostering @ EZY and EI rules give good rosters and nil complaint at RYR (or refer to 5by5 comment?)


I don't think my post was pilot bashing so why is it sad?. I've supported you lot for bout 25 years now, probably work twice as hard (but i can't throw the safety card in which i accept without complaint) and rostered thousands of Pilots "most" of whom were happy. If you do a 60 hr week (which if your working 7 x 11 hour days doesn't add up) then on rolling limits it will catch up with you. I've seen it as i've experimented between fixed weeks and rolling at a previous life. As to the question if you should be working a 60 hr 7 day week, oh god i'm going all Pilot friendly again probably not in a LCC carrier but its difficult to say not having worked for an LCC. Back to my original argument, CAP371 was out of date when Charter carriers were pushing it to its limit, but they got away with it because it was seasonal work 6 months of it then about the third week of Nov crews started to moan they not flying!. With LCC its year round slog. Yuk.

Rat 5 i agree


Harry again
1st Jan 2004, 17:20

This is the airline that advertised for pilots who were fed up of night flying... and then started some of the most tiring night duties I've seen... and lured people in with promises of 'unrivalled career opportunities' (see top of page!!), but repeatedly refuses career progression if anyone expresses an opinion, that says that it has a 'unique open culture' and yet hardly ever ansers queries from crews put to managers... that enticed people to come and fly new aircraft, and yet has done nothing about the appalling state of some of the old -300s...

So, you're off the mark with your comments. Don't foregt that this lot have been ruining the industry for all of us, so much so that there arent any jobs eleswhere to go to. So Back off.

1st Jan 2004, 18:42
Actually I think Highwaves has a point

'It seems to me that all of you who are complaining that you have to"work" too hard, knew the conditions at easyJ very well when y
ou signed your contract. So complaining afterwards that you have to work too hard seems a bit childish and unfair.( compareble to those persons who buy cheap land near an airport and afterwards try to close down the airport because airplanes are too noisy).'

Unfortunately this is not really what this thread is about. It's not to do with the people who have accepted these jobs, rather that people are flying under these conditions which may possibly be unsafe.

Sure 'if you can't handle the heat, get out', but these places would only be filled with other people who would also suffer from fatigue.

The fact is that it is not an ideal situation and no matter what anyone says, fatigue greatly increases the chance of an accident.

It really is up to the workforce to band together and try and sort this one out.

1st Jan 2004, 18:50
I agree with much that has been said here and so wont repeat it. However, I note with interest `Openfly`s comment re. BALPA and the rest of the pilot workforce.
I happen to know that fairly recently BALPA negotiated with BA that if a pilot was off sick over days off he/she must have that time off after reporting fit for duty. The argument being that being `fit for duty` doesn`t necessarily mean `rested`. The company agreed. this could be lauded as a sensible safety approach to rest.
If BALPA thinks its so important for BA pilots why isnt it made a standard requirement in every BALPA airline?

Re. EZY change from 6/3 to 5/3, dont be under any illusion! The only way the company can possibly consider it is if they can get as much work out of you in 5 days as they do in 6!!! The fact is you will be so knackered after those 5 days you will need the 3 off just to be able to do the next 5 on!

Few Cloudy
1st Jan 2004, 19:51
No Ax,

Having done some intensive block flying, I can assure you that 5/3 is preferable to 6/3 even if you work more during your days on.

I did it for a year for EZY/EZS when the GVA outfit didn't have enough pilots. I got 100hrs per month (legal under Swiss law) and blocks of days off.

It isn't for everyone (I was living away from my main home) but it worked fine for me.

I think the lesson is that different pilots have different requirements. Some like weekends off. Some like early shifts. Some like intensive blocks - then a good block of free days. Some would even welcome a block of the dreaded night ATH - rather than one here and there - at least you can plan your sleep pattern.

This can be dealt with on a fairly straightforward bidding system and actually gives the company what it wants too - a pool of willing pilots when it needs them.

The problem is convincing people that it will work - pilots as well as overstressed management.

1st Jan 2004, 20:09
Mr AofP - That's not what I was saying - albeit that it might be something of a causal effect wherein people in glass houses quickly learn not to throw stones, i.e. the RYR pilots do very nicely out of working hard(er) in that the more they work the more they get paid, i.e. as the bulk of what they earn is tied to duty/flight pay ( not ‘salary’ ) – and whether that is a good of bad thing is open to conjecture.

That said, and just so that we're sure where I stand, for a long time I have suggested that the airline industry is going the way of the shipping industry, i.e. becoming employment fit only for the desperate, supported by wishy-washy unions with no teeth, suffering from ever increasing rules & bureaucracy, with ever worsening terms & conditions, coupled with reducing salaries and benefits.

Indeed I somewhat despair for those who aspire to become airline pilots, and can only relate it to them climbing a mountain wherein, once started, the climb to the top becomes their very raison d'être, but once they reach the top it's actually a bit of a disappointment - and, ironically, that disappointment is one of our own making induced by our very lassitude at taking militant action to make redress and / or lack of solidarity.

I think it would be true to say that thing’s ain’t gonna get better - not unless the regulatory authorities step-in on out behalf and / or that we, as a group, become a lot more interested in stopping the decline....... it could be a long wait !

1st Jan 2004, 21:20
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned CHIRP. (or did I miss it?).

A non-collusive flood, or even a good trickle, of reports to them with brief graphic descriptions of, for example:
Post-fatigue adrenalin rushes,
and in particular any report any instance of crewing/commercial pressure on you to operate when you have declared yourself unfit to do so.
- will certainly generate pressure in the right quarters from a highly respected source and respect your anonymity within the company, be that EZY or elsewhere.

In my direct experience the director (still PT?) will respond and take action in the interests of both the travelling public and all professional aviators.

1st Jan 2004, 22:20
Not much point in Chirp if it won't name and shame the airline at fault whilst protecting the crew's annonymity.

Highwaves and Sooty:

Are you so foolish as to believe the crews signed their contracts in full knowledge of what was to come? The point is that easyJet managers lie through their teeth and that each 6 months everything changes significantly for the worse. Nobody at EZY minds working hard, but the schedule of that work MUST be such that it does not induce fatigue.

Whilst the rosters fall within the bounds of 371's numerical values (FDP, Min Rest etc), it completely ignores the paragraph stating that work preiods must not be scheduled in a way aggravating to fatigue. This means that EZY are in contravention of 371 and their AOC. Should not SRG and BALPA be suing for wreckless endangerment of life and breach of the ANO?

1st Jan 2004, 22:46
Harry again,

'unique open culture'

I have to agree. It makes me sick every time I see that advert on PPRUNE. The Flight Safety Manager and BL have struggled to keep FLIRAS confidential. In fact I've never seen a company which such a worrying blame culture.

1st Jan 2004, 23:34
Italy:2 pilots max: 17hrs duty,13hrs block!
No regard to carcadian rhitm (start of duty) nor to the total no of sectors.The only "day OFF" in any seven is really only 24 hrs and not 00 to 24 LT.
Volare flies to U.K. too.

EU Commision,EU Parliament,ECA,etc.,etc.,.....EU(JAA) Pilots SHAME ON YOU!!!!!(to include myself)


P.S.: 3 pilots max: 24hrs duty,Want more???

2nd Jan 2004, 00:30
CHIRP should be considered because the reports will get forwarded to the CAASRG and will be difficult to ignore (CAA will want to cover thier backsides).

2nd Jan 2004, 02:38
The Chirp route has been thrown up as a backdoor into the CAA & SRG. Read my previous post about sending your rosters and perceived effect to the CAA medical dept. and ask them to feed them into their 'fatigue' model.
That is a front door route into the SRG.

2nd Jan 2004, 03:01
Italy:2 pilots max: 17hrs duty,13hrs block!
No regard to carcadian rhitm (start of duty) nor to the total no of sectors.The only "day OFF" in any seven is really only 24 hrs and not 00 to 24 LT.
Volare flies to U.K. too.

EU Commision,EU Parliament,ECA,etc.,etc.,.....EU(JAA) Pilots SHAME ON YOU!!!!!(to include myself)


P.S.: 3 pilots max: 24hrs duty,Want more???

The only way things are going to change is if aircraft start falling out of the sky with monotonous regularity for causes traced explicitly back to crew fatigue.

It ain't happening though, is it.
To management that simply translates into proof that they're justified in piling it on. You ain't seen nuthin' yet baby.

2nd Jan 2004, 03:15
Further, you're getting side-tracked on the 6/3 5/3 comparison again.That and working harder on duty days to have more time off.

Again refer to a previous post about the mathematics of annual duty days. Briefly put, assuming 4 sector days and 6 -6.30hrs flying per day, you can only fly 135- 150 days per year. If you want a pattern, that productivity can be achieved in 4 ON 4 OFF.
With efficient rostering it is not necessary to strap an a/c to your backside for more days. What is tiring is going to work to prduce very little. I don't know if it is still the case, but it was not uncommon to report at 05.00, fly 2 sectors for 2.30 hrs and go home having produced 4.30 hours of work. A complete waste of time. Either that or position in taxis or on own a/c to operate 1 or 2 sectors. Spend upto 12 hours on duty to produce 3 - 4 hours flying. Again, a waste of time. Where RYR get it right is maximum flying when on duty. The average day is 9 hours during which they fly (usually) 4 sectors and produce 6 hours in the air. A duty day is not often wasted. It's not a case of fly more and earn more, therefore everybody is happy to work harder; you can not produce more than 900 pa so you know what you income might be. MOL does not like pilots doing less than mid- 800's, so you know what your likely minimum income will be. I hear that many EJ pilots produce mid-700's and are still kanckered. That is a real LOSE LOSE. Company is losing money and crews are losing life.
A max 10 hour day with 14 - 16 days per month will produce the required amount of stick time. If there is an attitude within an airline that crews must be on duty for the max days, and near max hours each day, then there is going to be real problem People don't survive that for very long. That will again cost the company money in repalcements. If my calculations are accepted as correct. i.e. max 150 days flying per year to produce the flying hours, why does ej have a rostering ideal of 235 flying duty days per year per pilot? What do they do with the extra 85 days and yet still only achieve +/- 800 hours per pilot? If each RYR pilot produces 1 month's flying productivity more than ej that tells you something about their relative cost base, and they do it in less duty days per year, as well.
It could still be improved with 4 ON 4 OFF. Don't necessarily aspire to achieve 5/3 just because RYR pilots say it is better than 6/2 or 6/3. It's just the best of a bad lot. It too can be improved.

And in Italy, been there, done that. Doing it on longhaul is the road to an early grave. Hell on earth or rather 35,000'. How they have managed to keep such sweat shop conditions in the EU and 21st century only they can tell you. But please don't the crews in Italy try to distract the argument by pointing out how lucky the UK crews are relative to themselves. That will never be a argument for any topic.

2nd Jan 2004, 06:36
Unfortunately EZY want their planes in the air 27 hours a day, and the crewing system caters for that business model, not max crew utilisation.

So yes, i have worked like all my colleagues, starting each six-day period, without exception, at or before 6.00am and always finishing around midnight on the 6th day, as per EZY crewing policy, usually clocking up 20-24 sectors in each period in a variety of weather conditions and delay patterns, as we all do. Amazingly, I have only accumulated 600-odd hours in a year.

It's worth mentioning that duties are not fairly distributed among crew members either; you usually find that if you did 28 sectors in 6 days, one of your colleagues had 6 days stby without being called......

2nd Jan 2004, 18:04
There is nothing to stop me from setting up shop in Italy and operate intra U.K.,is there? A flag of convenience principle alive & well in EU.


P.S.:Forgot to mention EASA before.

There is nothing to stop me from setting up shop in Italy and operate intra U.K.,is there? The flag of convenience principle alive & well in EU.


P.S.:Forgot to mention EASA before.

2nd Jan 2004, 18:26
RAT 5, as an outside observer it seems to me, you have made a really valid point.
From what I can gather from EZY its not so much the roster and work pattern as the way in which it is managed. In other words, what ever `system` they dream of next there will be disruption and fatigue.I heard a rumour that there has already been mention of the 5/3 needing the ocassional overrun into 6 in the same way as the 3/6 does to 7!!!??
Perhaps someone closer to the action could comment?

Moonraker One
2nd Jan 2004, 18:39
So from reading this thread the UK CAA SRG will know there is a problem with fatigue in the UK airline industry. So they can all become proactive and do something about it.

The problem is there, you know where to find it. You all need to stop looking the other way.

Please don't tell me to Cat Nap as it is very difficult on a double domestic.

As with all companies the Ts and Cs have changed since we joined.

Mr A from P you don't think a pilot is going to be tired after a 60 hour week. This pilot is and you can not get enough rest to get over it during a normal roster. The only time I feel refreshed is after the first week of annual leave.

miss d point
2nd Jan 2004, 20:52
:zzz: :zzz: :zzz:

perhaps we should undergo random sleep/rest testing at security !!!

:zzz: :zzz: :zzz:

aardvark keeper
3rd Jan 2004, 02:42
This thread shouldn't be about singleing out a particular airline, it's about not allowing a trend to form within the industry, a standard being formed that is unsafe all for the sake of the bean counters saving money.

The sad thing is as this thread disappears down the page, so does the cause. If crew, & i mean all from ground, cabin, flight etc are having to work to limits that the SRG should be concerned about then forget the company bashing.

That will sort itself out later, meanwhile, CHIRP, email, letter, fax, medical division, Balpa - anything! Stick together guys & girls

one four sick
3rd Jan 2004, 17:58

aardvark keeper
3rd Jan 2004, 18:24
Me 2

[email protected]


3rd Jan 2004, 20:40
Aardvark Keeper & 1 - 4 sick.

Perhaps it is better to find the direct link into the Medical Department at CAA. The boss used to be David Evans. Relying on your AME to forward it might not be successful. However, copying your AME seems a good idea.

I agree, it is not the fault of a single airline; it is a disease within the industry, and needs to be tackled on a national if not EU or even worldwide level. A company defense is always that if a competitor does so must they to stay in the race for bums on seats. I was subjected to that, and the rogue/badly managed airlines still went bust. But start slowly to crack open the door.
Regarding flags of convenience and the use of other EU a/c within UK; I was told that the CAA will consider it correct for any wet leases to operate to the host airlines FTL's. However, once again, there is very little policing of this. I understand BALPA have a committee for this, but its prime task is safeguarding UK jobs rather than doing the CAA's job for it. The CAA are very good at ramp inspections of the a/c paperwork and crew licences, but not at FTL's being used on foreign a/c wet leased by local operators. It would seem they might be in violation of their AOC; certainly their moral obligation to the pax if they subject them to lower standards than they thought they had paid for at the time of booking.

What has been troublesome, and worrying, for 15 years, and you can find letters in THE LOG in the mid- 80's from such outifts as Air 2000 and other charter companies to confirm this, is that the CAA have been told repeatedly that airlines have not rostered to 'The Spirit' of CAP 371. That is the self professed philosphy of the CAA, but even with all the evidence under their noses for years they have stedfastly refused to do anything about it. It was only when 'discretion' was being abused did they intervene.
There were also some excellent letters from pilots' families outlining the stresses caused at home by the averaging rostering policies. Salutray reading.

There is an article in THE LOG in 1998 from Trevor Philips, the rostering guru at BALPA, which quite clearly lays out the CAA guideleines and attitudes.. It also states that the CAA have put in writing it's philosophy of rostering quality time off at home, and daily duties should be within the spirit of the rules. If this is so, then they should be confronted and obliged to police their own policies. The limits are for when the inevitable S@*t happens, and to keep the schedule going. It is not only the UK CAA, but other national authorities, that when confronted with the commercial survival (in the company's words) and the enforcement of their own rules or FTL's, have also sided with the airlines and turned a blind eye allowing the legal limits to be the norms and 'The Spirit' to be ignored. How do they earn respect and demonstrate integrity like that? Look at the reaction of the public towards the regulatory authority of the rail network when they found out how it have been carrying out (or not) its duty. Sadly it took some nasty smashes to open that can or worrms.

(The FAA, post Valujet, divided itself)

Over the past 12 months this must be the 4th or 5th thread on this subject. Often they have started with an outside enquiry. There was one from The Times, now there is one from a university investigation, and there have been other triggers. If nothing happens in the near future, with all this common opinion inside and outside, then it never will. Is this not what a national union is for. This is not to invite a BALPA bashing, because the same is true of VNV and the union in Italy. I suspect the same in all countries; they all take your money and look after only the flag carrier. If you feel the authorities need to be confronted with their obligations, then so do the unions.

Without union backing it would take a large and strong minded core of brave and committed captains to budge the immoveable rock that is management attitude.

one four sick
3rd Jan 2004, 21:35
OK then RAT 5 and EVERYONE,

Why don't we ALL send a letter of concern to the Medical Division.
The letter could be formulated here on these very pages by whomever wants to add points to it. This would take say a few days.
Once it is complete, we each send it to the right email address, signed individually as we send it, so it's not a PETITION, but a copy of the same letter.
We will each submit our own contact details for them to reply to and if there were hundreds of these going in, the battle would have started.

I will start to write a few lines and post it here, if anyone wants to add to it, then go right ahead.

one four sick

Dear Medical Division,

The recent thread on PPRUNE ¡§Tired budget jet pilots 'endanger passengers' - The Times¡¨ concerning an article by The Times Newspaper and the subsequent replies from a lot of airline pilots has prompted the creation of this letter.

1. It¡¦s task is to try to tackle the unhappiness and above all real worry that I have about the rostering habits of my and other Low Cost Operators, to the degree that I and others on this website believe that it may take an accident to occur before the CAA and it¡¦s Medical Division are kickstarted into intervening and forcing a change to the current inadequate and downright dangerous regulations on Flight Time Limitations.
2. These outdated regulations are currently allowing airlines to roster people in such a manner that most pilots simply do not get enough time off to rest or to rejuvenate after a number (6) of long days/early starts, technical delays, challenging weather conditions, sometimes 4 times on the same day. Not to mention almost constantly finishing on a late duty 22:30 and starting on an early 06:00 after 2 short days off. These have a CUMULATIVE effect that is clearly not being addressed by the rostering machinery.
3. These facts should be of concern to the Medical and CAA-SRG authorities. They must be addressed to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Yours sincerely,

Dear Medical Division,

The recent thread on PPRUNE "Tired budget jet pilots 'endanger passengers' - The Times” concerning an article by The Times Newspaper and the subsequent replies from a lot of airline pilots has prompted the creation of this letter.

1. It's task is to try to tackle the unhappiness and above all real worry that I have about the rostering habits of my and other Low Cost Operators, to the degree that I and others on this website believe that it may take an accident to occur before the CAA and it’s Medical Division are kickstarted into intervening and forcing a change to the current inadequate and downright dangerous regulations on Flight Time Limitations.

2. These outdated regulations are currently allowing airlines to roster people in such a manner that most pilots simply do not get enough time off to rest or to rejuvenate after a number (6) of long days/early starts, technical delays, challenging weather conditions, sometimes 4 times on the same day. Not to mention almost constantly finishing on a late duty 22:30 and starting on an early 06:00 after 2 short days off. These have a CUMULATIVE effect that is clearly not being addressed by the rostering machinery.

3. These facts should be of concern to the Medical and CAA-SRG authorities. They must be addressed to the satisfaction of all concerned.


Yours sincerely,

Wee Weasley Welshman
3rd Jan 2004, 22:24
You can all fax your MPs your letters - online and for free - in the blink of an eye at:




3rd Jan 2004, 23:09
Dear Medical Division,

The recent thread on PPRUNE "Tired budget jet pilots 'endanger passengers' - The Times” concerning an article by The Times Newspaper and the subsequent replies from a lot of airline pilots has prompted the creation of this letter.

1. It's task is to try to tackle the unhappiness and above all real worry that I have about the rostering habits of my and other Low Cost Operators, to the degree that I and others on this website believe that it may take an accident to occur before the CAA and it’s Medical Division are kickstarted into intervening and forcing a change to the current inadequate and downright dangerous regulations on Flight Time Limitations.

2. These outdated regulations are currently allowing airlines to roster people in such a manner that most pilots simply do not get enough time off to rest or to rejuvenate after a number (6) of long days/early starts, technical delays, challenging weather conditions, sometimes 4 times on the same day. Not to mention almost constantly finishing on a late duty 22:30 and starting on an early 06:00 after 2 short days off. These have a CUMULATIVE effect that is clearly not being addressed by the rostering machinery.

3. These facts should be of concern to the Medical and CAA-SRG authorities. They must be addressed to the satisfaction of all concerned.

4. The way we are rostered we need to counterbalance the long days of sitting still with excersise. This is nearly impossible on a run of earlies as one gets home at around 5pm, and gets ready for bed by 9pm for the next long day. The issue of regular meals is also a point to mention. As we don't get crew meals anymore we live on sandwiches and other pre prepared quick meals. Can a new breed of first officers really last for 35 years under these conditions, the question needs asking.


Yours sincerely,

3rd Jan 2004, 23:19
WWW, that site says it has technical difficulties,, this one (http://www.parliament.uk/directories/directories.cfm) will give names of MPs, emails & faxes.

Mentaleena, have to correct one point at your item 4 - there are crew meals provided on orange aircraft. Now whether or not there's time to eat them (or if the ovens are knackered!), or if the tin-tray "gourmet" items can be called real meals, those are different arguments! ;)

one four sick
3rd Jan 2004, 23:39
Sorry about the previous jumbled post on page 8.
I tried to EDIT, but it wouldn't allow me access, thankfully Mentaleena has added a point to it and it's now looking just right.
Nice to have a thread on which we mostly agree for a change.

RAT 5 thanks for your message, I have replied, hope you've got it mate.

3rd Jan 2004, 23:45

Thank you, I know that the oranges are being fed, but WE'RE not and the point had to be made.

4th Jan 2004, 00:44
Apologies, Mentaleena, but your profile was too subtle!! :p

aardvark keeper
4th Jan 2004, 03:05
Remember guys, don' t get too personal with companies or local gripes. This is meant to apply to all companies.

Just because they may not have adopted a LCC policy, dosen't mean they don't plan to and this may just stop them going any further.

4th Jan 2004, 18:31
One other point - Has anyone else found unrealistic block times are being rostered for flights? A few of our sectors have a block time of say 2 hours, with a still air flight time of 1:50. I don't know what the guidelines are, but it takes 5 mins to push back and start, not even allowing for taxy. Any kind of holding point delay or headwind and you are going to be late. Obviously this is important as CAP 371 FDPs are applicable to ROSTERED flight times.

I don't necessarily believe this is the reason for the times being chosen, it may be due to slot times etc. but it does often mean we are being rostered closer to the FDP on occasions than it might appear, and increases the chance of going into discretion.

It often seems to be tightest when you have an aircraft swap etc. as well. On this subject, I guess unrealistic turn around times fall into this category as well.

6th Jan 2004, 23:20
Regarding the issue of whether fatigue has been proven to cause a fatal airliner accident in the UK we should remind ourselves of the 1996 AAIB report into the 1994 B737 crash at Coventry.


The report stated that 'The performance of the flight crew was impaired by the affects of tiredness, having completed over 10 hours of flight duty through the night including five flight sectors which included a total of six approaches to land'.

Note that the word 'fatigue' was not used. The crew were merely 'tired'.

Presumably had they been fatigued their performance would have been impaired even further?

10th Jan 2004, 01:24
The CAA is very concerned about LCCs and their way of playing with CAP 371.
If you are under fatigue or you think that you are working to the FDT limitations you should contact the CAA flight operation policy. You can write to or call Derek Brown in aviation House or, for the Easyjet Pilots, contact the EasyJet's flight Ops inspector also in CAA Flight Ops department.
They deal with all information very Anonymously and they need to hear from you.
We need to look after our health for our own safety before it is too late.


10th Jan 2004, 04:45
yeh yeh yeh.......

yeh yeh yeh....

yeh yeh yeh....

So lets continue to ignore the research and get some pilots to put themselves on the line.

In the nicest possible way of course!

Tell the CAA to do their own research.


10th Jan 2004, 11:18
Just in case you wondered who you were working your butts off for the twitching Kiwi sold 500 000 shares yesterday pocketing a cool 750 000 quid and he still has 1.75 million shares left .Dont you just love his orangeness.

Anthony Carn
10th Jan 2004, 13:19
Ah yes ! Phone the CAA. Fantastic. :rolleyes:

I did that a few times for a while.

I lost the will to live a few times, too. :mad:

Maybe what's needed is a CAP based upon medical/psychological/phisiological/just-plain-logical knowledge, as opposed to a CAP based upon decades old guesswork modified out of recognition by commercial pressures and implemented by YOP teenagers.

But then, common sense never was their strong point.

10th Jan 2004, 16:53
Bear in mind that if you choose to contact the CAA on any such matter they will not deal with an anonymous request.

You have to put your name on it. They may then treat it as confidental but, in the first instance, they require your name and company details.

Moonraker One
10th Jan 2004, 16:55
The CAA are generally in the management's pocket.

If you phone them you become the whistle blower and we all have seen examples of what happens to them.

The whistle blower is suddenly the problem and is seen as a discontented employee and he is dismissed by spin.

The CAA will tell you to get organised through Balpa to limit duty times and get a rostering agreement.

As I said earlier in my remarks the CAA needs to be proactive the problems are out there but just like everthing in life you have to look for it. The problem of fatigue is out there and the revised CAP 371 or that clown from Brussels Bart Simpson are not going to fix it.

10th Jan 2004, 17:30
Keep this going - it is an essential and urgent issue.

Contacting all the suggested people via a pre-written email / fax is not a lot to do and will have great effect. Point them here, refer them to the two reports near the start of this thread, encourage others, non-pilots like myself, to do the same (to MP's, newspapers, airlines, Consumer Association, etc.).

All power to your elbows.

WE (non-pilot with family involvement).

10th Jan 2004, 18:12
As I suggested previously, a collective letter from all of us, formulated on these very pages, sent to the CAA and/or their Medical Department would start the long battle to victory!

No need for Balpa as we all have a valid voice and they can not afford to ignore us. If the noise is loud enough, they will HAVE TO respond.

So, since I have started the letter a few pages ago, feel free to add to it and at the end we'll send it in triplicate.

10th Jan 2004, 20:18
How about adding these two to your lists:

[email protected]

[email protected]


11th Jan 2004, 17:31
Looks like I'll have to act single handedly after all, since most Tired LOCO Pilots have either gone to bed on this subject or just plane scared to write anything.
Don't we look mighty pathetic?

aardvark keeper
11th Jan 2004, 22:25
Well i've not heard anything back from the caa srg as yet , although I have an automated acknowledgement reply.

With ref to haolding hands up, the purpose of the whole industry expressing a concern is so that nobody can be singled out.

We shouldn't be scared of our names getting out anyway, as it really is a safety issue that we are all concerned about.

Come on guys, any one else sent anything??

Mr Angry from Purley
12th Jan 2004, 04:38
Whippersnapper - CAP371 is the problem, its about 30 years out of date and does cause poor rostering patterns let alone what hapens day to day.

Moonraker 1. Tired after a 60 hour week, sure you are, as i have been when i did a 60 hour week (in 5 days normally). If i do a 60 hour week over 7 days then guess what - i then work 12 days on the bounce.. If i stay at work from 0800- 2200 then guess what it just means i get less kip before i come in again at 0800. As i said i dont have the safety card to throw in and i have no issue with that.

Rolling days are a start towards a better(lower) limit and that's all i said, dont start kicking off at me for nothing.

I dont accept your point that the CAA are in Managements Pocket either (judging by the summons i had once to the Belgrano).
The only suggestion i would give to the CAA is to look at the roster patterns not the fact the Pilot flew 101 hrs in a month.

Bugle- Out of order to go the CAA unless you've not written to the Company first, have you?? and what was the reply.

Rat 5 - it was an excellant article and also suggested that any "surplus" crews be kept to maintain roster stability if i remember correctly. Its also a waste of time limiting LCC yearly flying hours as you say.The only way is to bring down the days worked and or reduce weekly duty hours.

Or get a variation!


Jaun Huw Nose
12th Jan 2004, 06:11
I've Emailed my local MP twice on this subject but had no reply.(Barbra Follet), CHIRPS has however produced a good response,so if you get bad rosering etc let them have full details!

15th Jan 2004, 04:02
Got a proper, personal reply from my MP thanking me and saying he will be back to me shortly after making enquiries - I had made reference to the Times article, this Pprune thread, etc.

How many of you have tried / got a response? (If you want a copy of my message then email me).

No response, of course, from Prescott or Darling - yet!

Keep it up.


16th Jan 2004, 04:38
Well! - an apology is owed to Alisair Darling - I received this reply today:


Thank you for your e-mail dated 10 January 2004 addressed to Alistair Darling on the subject of flight crew stress and fatigue. I have passed a copy of your e-mail to the Flight Operations Department of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for their information.

The paper by Dr Simon Bennett that you refer to and comments he has made to this Department incorporate his view that further research is needed into flight crew stress and fatigue. This is in line with current CAA thinking. In 2001 the CAA commissioned QinetiQ (formally DERA) Centre for Human Sciences to conduct research into aircrew alertness during short-haul operations, including the impact of early starts. QinetiQ is recognised as being one of the world leaders in the subject of sleep and fatigue research, and is a founder member of the European Committee for Aircrew Scheduling and Safety (ECASS), which operates under the auspices of the European Transport Safety Council. The QinetiQ report into this research was published in February 2002 (QINETIQ/CHS/PPD/CRO10406/1.0).

Further research into consecutive early starts, conducted by a low cost carrier, is currently planned to take place later this year.

I trust that this reassures you that the CAA is continuing with its research programme into aircrew fatigue issues.

Yours sincerely,


Not sure how the cynics amongst you will interpret this nor what any outcome will be - or how long away. Probably need to keep a degree of pressure on in order to assist focus, as it were, - so letters to your MP, etc. - but it does look as if something is happening.

No doubt observations from professional individuals will assist the research being undertaken - perhaps someone in the know can supply the appropriate address.

Hope this helps,

WE (not a pilot).

16th Jan 2004, 14:18
That is a good effort on your behalf WangEye. Thank you.

The reply is a standard civil service response.

Part of the problem is that the CAA's method of addressing fatigue is too slow to keep pace with industry developments. The QinetiQ report was published in Feb 2002 and relates to research carried out in (I think) Autumn 2000. We are now into 2004. Any research carried out later this year will consequently by published a long time hence.

At the present time fatiguing rosters exist and no action has been taken.

A quicker way of addressing the problem is needed. For this you need to go straight to the people concerned (the pilots) and ask them how they feel about their perceptions of their work.

The report says:

' "Perceptions are truth because people believe
them." If one accepts the view that perception is reality there are clear implications here for LCC managements regarding communication and consultation with employees.
Crews who perceive themselves to be exploited or manipulated will react in the same way as crews who are in fact exploited or manipulated. '

I would suggest that a quicker solution would be a Government enquiry which cuts the CAA out of the loop.

The hidden message of the reply you received is that it will be dealt with at a very low level and no action will be taken.

By the way, the QinietiQ report is in the public domain and you are entitled to ask for a copy.

16th Jan 2004, 15:21

Thanks for thanks - and I believe your analysis is right.

More reponses needed to Richard Evans' letter which I will then include in my reply to his letter and to my MP.


17th Jan 2004, 18:19
The CAA has just published a new edition of CAP 371.

Click here. (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=115636)

one four sick
17th Jan 2004, 22:42

"Further research into consecutive early starts, conducted by a low cost carrier, is currently planned to take place later this year.

I trust that this reassures you that the CAA is continuing with its research programme into aircrew fatigue issues."

one four sick:

Make sure they do it correctly as the outdated regulations are currently allowing airlines to roster people in such a manner that most pilots simply do not get enough time off to rest or to rejuvenate after a number (6) of long days/early starts, technical delays, challenging weather conditions, sometimes 4 times on the same day. Not to mention almost constantly finishing on a late duty 22:30 and starting on an early 06:00 after 2 short days off. These have a CUMULATIVE effect that is clearly not being addressed by the rostering machinery.

19th Jan 2004, 03:06
New Cap 371 seems to have overtaken this thread - see Flying Lawyers thread close by - interesting that the DfT did not seem to be aware of this.

Spartacan and Moonraker have a valid point in that thread (new rules need not be introduced until April 2006 - pilots will remain fatigued).

Any further observations (see my previous posting)?


Harry again
19th Jan 2004, 05:38
Let's be careful about this new 'research'...

One 'low cost' airline is assisting a member of its staff in his university studies by allowing him to gather some information. Effectively the airline is sponsoring the research.

This research itself is dubious, in light of previous work by DERA and others. We need to stop trying to re-invent the wheel by waiting for more 'research' and instead take action to prevent the likely serious consequences of pilots falling asleep or being awake but too tired to think and operate correctly.

I believe we need to get together and make a big fuss over this, in public. Ben Webster has shown us there is interest, let's help him and his colleagues elsewhere to see through the mist...

won too goh
20th Jan 2004, 16:04
I work for a large low cost carrier my roster is very stable,5days on follwed by 3 off usually at least one standby per week and seldom called out at short notice No night flights
I was a hellaof alot more fatigued when on the charter side of the industry a few years ago and doing transition fromdays to nights every week

26th Jan 2004, 21:45
About time this was back to the top. Of for another rest now:suspect:

30th Jan 2004, 23:57
For those who highlighted the 'fatigue' aspect of flying nowadays, here's another parameter to consider. It is especially relevant since the 'locked cockpit door policy has been introduced.

Remember all the furore about DVT and cattle-class syndrom etc. AH, that was only for passengers; sorry! But, I have regularly logged 4 sectors with 8.30 hours in the seat, including the preflight and post flight time. With speedy turn-rounds this meant a max of 5 minutes movement in 8.30 hours work; and this locked in a box about the size of a lorry cab with low humidity and low oxygen levels. Let nobody tell me this is a healthy profession. What about relaxing the duty times, or maxinum number of consecutive days to compensate for these incarcerating conditions. Remember that the public transport sector has, for the last 10 years, still not inroduced compensation for not meeting the EU directive on working conditions. Crews can still work 55 hour weeks of random shifts. Recently, the conditions have become even worse. My sympathies to the long-haul crews, especially B757 (8hours) who no longer can stretch in the galley and have a smallish cockpit. What's it like on the larger a/c, and where are the crew bunks for those so lucky? Our friends in Italy must have felt a real degradation in working conditions since the locked door policy. It is just possible to stand up in a B767 cockpit, but little else. The bad back brigade will soon be endowed with many pilots, me thinks.
Imagine it, in the 21st century, a work enviroment that imprisons someone for such long periods and prohibits or severly limits any form of movement . It's a joke and totally unacceptable. Can anyone tell us what is are the equivalent conditions for a train driver? Lorry drivers and coach drivers have similar constraints. What are their rules. I feel our profession is being abused to the extreme.

Harry again
31st Jan 2004, 05:24
RAT 5,

You're spot on of course. But so long as the public (and too often, management) perception is that we're a bunch of overpaid drunkards who are responsible for the majority of aircraft accidents ('But isn't pilot error usually the cause?'), you're stuck with it.

In the short term, if you fancy a leg stretch, then put the Seat Belts sign on, secure the cabin, get at least three cabin crew into the forward galley area, and go for a brief walk/stretch in the galley. You're the Commander - do what's right for you, and the passengers. (That is, assuming you have convinced yourself that your FO is not an AQ 'sleeper'!).

In the longer term, get out of aviation. This profession is going to the dogs, and with increasing speed.

31st Jan 2004, 22:21
Hello Harry.........again.

I am ahead of you, for a few years, and have quit. Luckily I have a few irons in fires that allow me to work when I wish. A mixture of training roles that include some flying when I want and some sim' when I want. You cannot beat being your own rosterer. I know I am very lucky to be in this position. I was just putting some points on the table, for those in the early part of their career, to consider when starting (hopefully) their campaign for general improvements. Sadly the unions have been toothless and gutless in this regard. It is the same in all EU countries. The national union is only concered about the flag carrier and has let the general conditions go to the dogs. IMHO the ECA has achieved tghe square-root of FA. Seems it was just another 'jolly' for delegates. I am not aware of anything tangible that has happened to improve matters. The great debate on EU FTL's has been going ON & ON & ON ...............
I do believe that things will only improve when the debate reaches the public's notice. The shock/surprise when they discovered the truth about conditions in industries such as health, railways, HGV & coach drivers, education etc. shows what can be achieved when politicians have their hand forced by public opinion.
There have been many threads during the past year with contributions by journalists and researchers, but nothing seems to have happened to start a puiblic debate.
Where is PANORAMA when you need them?

Good luck to all, but if you give up the debate then don't winge in the bar afterwards.
Amazingly, this matter seems to be one of the few things where 10 pilots most likely will give you 10 x the same opinion, and not 15 different ones. It crosses company boundaries and even national borders. This is far more important than e.g. crew food etc. It is amazing how the more trivial (but still important) matters rise to the top of the priority list, and the real vital stuff gets buried and forgotten. There seems to be a feeling that things will not change, pilots can not change them , so give up and shut up. A very sad reflection on a group of highly motivated, well educated, itelligent individuals who are the victims of their own vocational emotions. Management realised this years ago and have abused it ever since, and the line pilots let them. Accepted the few crumbs that were thrown their way, and carried on with their paid hobby. No union has created a common bond on which to form a united front. Every company is left to its own devices. Their is no national stratergy for the profession.
What always staggered me was the attitude of the biggest wingers who rose through the ranks to management and then did nothing to change things; indeed often made them worse. Shame on them.

I've said my peace on this. It has been interesting to read the comments of others. There appears to be will, from some, to instigate a campaign. You have all the data and ideas, so

Strength to your arm! May the force be with you.

1st Feb 2004, 18:17
Rat 5, et al,

Rat 5, you're right about instigating a campaign.

For my little bit, I now have the promised proper reply from my MP - he commissioned some research in response to my enquiry of three weeks ago and has not been able to trace any Parliamentary inquiries into this issue. I will report more fully when I have his permission to quote him verbatim but for the meantime can report that he has taken the matter up with his Front Bench (opposition) colleagues and with the Select Committee on Transport. More later.

I think this is good - I know him to be a responsive and honest MP.

Keep it going.

WE (not a pilot)

Captain Stable
3rd Feb 2004, 02:50
Simplified a little:-

I don't know about train drivers' hours, but in the EC truck drivers can drive for 4.5 hours before they have to have a 45-minute break. The 45-minute break can be taken during the 4.5-hour period in two or three smaller breaks of no less than 15 minutes.

No other work to be done during the break. Driving off-road (e.g. around a building site) doesn't count towards the driving time.

Normal maximum daily driving time is 9 hours, increasable to 10 hours on a maximum of two days a week.

No weekly limit, but must get at least 45 consecutive hours' rest after the 6th. day of working.

4th Feb 2004, 19:00
I invite all of you to consult the results of the AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau) from Switzerland. It concerns the Crash of the Crossair Avro 146-RJ100 in Zurick on the 24-11-2001.
Link: www.bfu.admin.ch/common/pdf/u1793_e

You will find of interest that a factor contributing to the accident was attributed to FATIGUE.

You will find on page 120, #3.1.2 the Captain Duty time the day of the accident and the previous day.
The cause related to Fatigue is on page 124 and state clearly that Fatigue was a factor affecting the Captains judgement.

What I find interesting is that Fatigue is admited to be a factor in an Accident. That case demonstrates clearly that fatigue is recognised by authorities as a factor in accident.
I wish Low-Cost Operators and CAA could reconsider their attitude towards Crew fatigue in view of this report. Tks

4th Feb 2004, 20:02
See also the UK AAIB report on the N. African B737-200 freighter crash in Conventry a few years ago. Fatigue was also citied, but it was lost in the annals of time. If it had been a UK pax B757 in the middle of a local housing estate the reaction might have been very different.

Ask anyone at the CAA, JAA or your own avaiation minister, to be chained to their desk for 8 hours, except for w.c. breaks, eat their own food off their laps, reduce the humidity & oxygen to low levels, and ask how they feel.

Do this on a random day/night pattern for a couple of days, and ask how they feel.

Then do it for 6 days, and then ask how they feel.

It would certainly open some eyes. In fact I can guarantee that the very thought will prove too much and the offer will be refused. I believe that until this practical demonstration of the working conditions is performed, or at least offered, the authorities will stretch the medical opinion to the limits under the pressure of the bean counters. All the talk about fatigue, quality of life etc will only be dismissed as an emotional outburst.

There was an airline, which with a very forward thinking attitude, sent new rosterers on a block of crew duty. I heard it really opened some eyes and changed a lot of opinions about crews conditions.

Oh that there were more like that.

aardvark keeper
4th Feb 2004, 22:51
bean counters work 9 till 5. They'll never know unless they try being on the shop floor!

5th Feb 2004, 02:37
Rat 5 entirely agree with your posting,as someone recently left the LCO sector.

Always tired,6/7 on,4 sector days,min rest.F/O s younger than me complaining of fatigue constantly.

Time the authority did something about it before its too late.

5th Feb 2004, 06:10
Does anyone know of an accident that has been explicitly attributed to fatigue (rather than just given a 'contributory cause' mention)?

Probably not. Pilots don't get tired like ordinary mortals. :*
Besides...the 'F' word is taboo.

Dontcha just love it when this whol;e issue is raised in the press? The media immediately jump on the 'pilots only work 900 hours per year' crap. But how do you explain that to an ignorant public who believe whatever they want to. If someone has a soundbite explanation I'd really love to hear it.


7th Feb 2004, 18:27
Just to help you feel better guys, in Italy, it's the same f... situation.
The problem to me is that nothing will change. Even worse, eastern countries pilots are arriving (no more boundaries in may) and expected by the "managers" in order to cut even more the costs... Which means same working patterns but for less $$$. Thinking selfish, I am already happy I could work in a major in good conditions for 15 years and today with "only" +/- 10 years left before saying bye bye to this once wonderful job... :ok:

Moonraker One
7th Feb 2004, 19:39
The Little Rock DC 9 FAA report

The BA 1-11 UK CAA Engineers repair window at night early hours of morning

Wasn't the Guam B747 CFT at 2 or 3 in the morning!

RJ 146 Zurich see above ref

I think it is present in most accidents


7th Feb 2004, 21:42
Was there not an article in Flight Int'l, a few years ago, which cited an American report which had reviewed accidents during the previous 20 years. They looked at all the major western accident data that simply accused the crew of error.
I remember the conclusion was that a high % of these accidents could have had tiredness as a contributory factor. Did the FAA not then look into US FTL's?
Anyway, I recall that this new finding threatened to open up the whole FTL issue. Guess what; it all went very quiet and disappeared. And where were the unions? No doubt troughing it at some freebie (our subscriptions) delegates' conference.

Meanwhile, I reiterate, and this should be pushed under the nose of the politicians, that 12 years ago the EU, in the form of Niel Kinnock, stated that the implimentation of the workers charter could be postponed for a FEW years by the public transport industry. In the meantime, while drawing up proposals for changes to refelect the improvement in ground bsed working conditions, these industries should intorduce compensation packages for their travelling employees.
As I understand it this was an EU commission directive. It has NEVER even come close to being implemented, and to my knowledge has never been revoked. It should be easy for any national union to find out about this. That is what they are there and paid for; to avoid exploitation. I tried to invoke a response from the relevant union, a few years ago. Total silence.

8th Feb 2004, 00:22
The problem with EJ is, crews work long hours, 4 sector days, some of the bases, BFS etc do 6 sector days all week. Low morale also makes people more drained.

Most EJ pilots would agree that low morale in the work place at the moment is very draining in it's self.

Berenger Saunier
8th Feb 2004, 18:32
Shiva H. Chrishnu, what a bunch of whinging twirps! If you've not got the constitution to work for a company in business to turn a profit, LEAVE! The way you lot carry on you'd think airline flying was a sweat shop. The REAL problem here is that some pilots genuinely enjoy whining like stuck pigs; egomaniacal primadonas that we sometimes are. Bottom line is quite simple, chaps.

If you don't like the terms and conditions of your employment, RESIGN. There's any number of hard working, satisfied professionals ready and willing to take your place.
I am already happy I could work in a major in good conditions for 15 years
kanik2000: that'll be Sabena you're refering to, I suppose, the world famous basket case and sheltered workshop for otherwise unemployable Belgian militants which managed to turn a profit twice in its over 70 year history?

Get over it, girls. The reason we have jobs at all is because we're in the Airline BUSINESS! The objective of businesses, I thought, was to actually make money?

8th Feb 2004, 20:41
For 'Berenger Saunier ' read 'Greener Urines'.

To quote: "The reason we have jobs at all is because we're in the Airline BUSINESS! The objective of businesses, I thought, was to actually make money?"

Actually, the role of the pilot exercising the priveleges of his licence for an airline is to conduct safe and timely air transport operations.

Necessarily, if the pilot is worked to the point of being fatigued then that role is compromised. Individuals will obviously speak their minds on such issues.

Some years ago, we went through this issue with Junior Doctors. Eventually the Government saw sense and things improved. One only hopes this will happen for pilots too.

9th Feb 2004, 01:07
Is Berenger on the level, or just winding us up? Is it just coincidence his initials are BS?

If not, he's either a manager or very "orange", and is one of the group that have allowed our profession to slide so much. I agree with what BS says about moving on - it seems the only way to send the message, but where to?

In the mean time BS, show some self respect and stand up against idiot managers, rather than begging for more rubbish.

Few Cloudy
9th Feb 2004, 05:29
Languedoc? Sounds more like Papa Doc! Anyway nice try - a little too obvious though - next time try it with a more sincere tone and you may take in more people...

9th Feb 2004, 07:00
I thought this was a serious issue being discussed seriously, with(to quote one of your contibutors) an almost unique amount of common agreement. It seems to be slipping lately into the usual banter - a shame as I directed my MP towards this thread and he has undertaken to pursue the issue in Parliament - and is probably having this thread monitored by one his researchers.

WWW, one for sick, Mentaleena, Rat 5, Spatacan, and others have made serious and sensible contributions, perhaps someone with scientific/human performance knowledge might also contribute.

And this is a genuinely serious issue, one of safety. In the railway and the road industries there appear to be tighter limits on short and medium term work periods. If present rules for aviation are not working then they need to be either changed quickly or some means found of allowing pilots suffering fatigue (for whatever reason) to actually exercise their responsibilities without affecting their careers. (This reminds me of two macho teachers that used to boast how far and fast they could drive a school minibus on long continental trips - new rules put an end to their risk taking - luckily before disaster struck). The fact is, there will always be some who really can take the heat but, i) they sometimes push their luck, and ii) all the others are then compared with them. Human factors clearly have to factor in human variations - whilst ruling out obvious incapability.

The recent points re: business don't wash either - businesses are regulated - cheap, unsafe cars cannot be offered for sale, child labour has been banned, health and safety rules imposed, dangerous toys kept out, food safety carefully monitored - aviation safety is no different - it has to be afforded. And surely, safety is the stuff of your professionalism, what most of your skill is about. What is up for discussion is how fatigued are pilots and what can be done to ameliorate the risks such fatigue causes. There is another, parallel issue, again of concern and again being addressed in other industries, of quality of life, but I can't help thinking that solve one and you will solve the other.

If you all write to your MP as I did, then at least you have registered your concern. I know some have, and been ignored, but I cannot believe every MP will be so dismissive and 50 or 60 MP's making enquiries will soon get things moving - so long as the case is seriously put and professionally presented.

Sorry to give such a school teacherly lecture - it's my profession!! - but I thought things were moving well initially and was happy to do my bit (I have family connections in aviation).

WE (not a pilot).

10th Feb 2004, 06:13
BS....says it all.

If you were anything to do with commercial aviation and knew what you were talking about you simply would not post such dangerous nonsense. You are either a frustrated, (and rightly so it would appear from your post), wannabe or a complete nutter.

Go and play with your scalextric kit and leave aviation to people who care about the real issues, which is SAFETY above ANYTHING else (dont say "profit" - profit is only possible in the long term if safety is the absolute bottom line of EVERY enterprise).

My view is that you are either sad, mad or both, but I do know that you have no place amongst professional pilots.

aardvark keeper
10th Feb 2004, 21:50
I'm with the rest, BS - absolute crap!

Berenger Saunier
11th Feb 2004, 02:07
WangEye, if you're not a pilot, with all due respect you're arguing from a point of ignorance, no matter how noble your motivations.
and is one of the group that have allowed our profession to slide so much.
You reveal your colours, Whippersnapper. Slide? You'd like to go back to the days of bloated, loss making leviathans with one sector days followed by a night in a five star? Come on now.

AOC holders submit a flight and duty time limitations schedule as Chapter 7 of their OPS Manual. All are reviewed and then either approved or not by their respective regulatory authorities who's responsibility it is to ensure "safety above all else", loaded1. Sounds to me like you're in the wrong profession, and yes once again,if you don't like the terms and conditions of your employment, THEN RESIGN and let others less inclined toward bitching have a go. :p

Fifty Above
11th Feb 2004, 17:04
BS seems that pilots are taking your advise - there have been over 20 pilot resignations at easyJet in the past couple of weeks.

EasyJet is the only airline which currently rosters 6.5 day weeks every week!

11th Feb 2004, 18:51

You miss the point. This is not an epidemic of whinging. It is a campaign, amongst the most committed professionals in the business, to protect and promote that very business. Don't go on about high salaries, and cosy nests etc. There has never been a large airline that has gone bust due to pilots holding it to ransom. It has always been crass management of many different hue and reasonings. Sobelair being the most recent shining example. Pilots are the largest group in any airline that have the strongest wish for its survival, and will dig deep and suffer much to try and achieve that. It has been demonstarted numerous times. However, that sacrifice has been abused for too long. Now, there are enough pilots questioning this and reacting against it. That is right & healthy.
Read the characteristics and personal makeup that is specified in pilot application forms; study the physcometric tests that we have to pass to enter the profession; listen to the questions asked at interview about your managemenmt skills and attitudes. Then ask yourself if the person who fits that bill is also the same type of weak minded whimp who should roll over ask for more of the same when treated with the disrespect that is awash in the industry at present. The person who would do that would be not the strong minded clear thinking member of a crew that I would want in control when the aerodymanic Sh@t hits the fan, or even the guiding hand to solve the everyday problems that occur on the ground in the remote parts of the network.
I have worked in a couple of companies where the crews were weak, and went the extra mile everyday, "to help the company", were paid 70% of the local competitors, rolled up there sleeves whenever asked, worked on days off for nothing extra, because the boss would not employ SBY crews etc etc. It went bust 3 times, as did another.
It is the managers, who have short term greed in their eyes for the share holders or themselves, who tip airlines over the cliff, not the crews. There are very few managers who stay with the same airline for 30 years, but there are many crews. So where does loyalty really lie, Eh? It is the senior managers who line their pockets with golden takeoffs & landings, waste fortunes in one corner while trying to save pennies in another. So much could be done to improve things for free. Where there is a will there is a way. Big problem is there is NO will. When airlines go bust the guilty managers usually move on to new lucrative pastures leaving the specialist crews to forage in the scrapyard of aviation for a few years.
Many crews have seen it all before over a lifetime of experience. Many managers are not so rich in aviation heritage and refuse to listen. The best new officers in the miltary followed the knarled wisened Sgt. Major's advice and said "Carry ON". Sadly today, the prevalent attitude is start with a clean sheet of paper and reinvent the wheel. There are too many square wheels out there.
This is not a comment on LCA business models, but on man management techniques and leadership.

It need not be this way!

11th Feb 2004, 22:01

I'm sorry, but what do you mean I'm showing my true colours? I'm not making any pretences here.

Your latest arguement seems to be the standard management/crewing response "it's legal". Standing in the middle of the road during rush hour wearing a blindfold is legal, but that doesn't make it safe, sensible or reasonable. CAP 371 is years out of date, and the loopholes are being abused by operators left right and centre.

You seem keen to preserve a macho image of being superhuman, capable of any demands made upon you. Ask yourself whether you intend to complete a full career with the patterns and conditions you're in now (assuming you are just a regular full time line pilot).

As for suggesting I resign; you're well behind the curve on that - I left the orange sweat shop last year. And before you suggest that makes me ill-informed, I still have enough contacts to know exactly what is happening on the linethere, and I know it's only getting worse. I took a large reduction in pay that I could ill-afford to get away from the dangerously fatiguing rostering that was taking place. Throughout my entire employment at the company I never asked for or craved more money, only sensible and decent conditions (principally rosters). Most others were the same. It is not an issue of pay but of conditions. You seem to be suckked in by the management smokescreen of making everything about money. More pay does not make a safer pilot, or in this instance a much happier one. Safe scheduling and decent conditions would.

12th Feb 2004, 01:24
Berenger Saunier,

As RAT 5 has above pointed out the crux of this subject so coherently, what part of it don't you understand or disagree with?
Keep it short though as this thread is certainly NOT about you, or your ALTERNATIVE thinking.
This thread is about the degeneration of our working conditions, about the stealthy erosion of safety, about a generation of professionals in their prime not being able to see their working lives to a conclusion, as a result of working conditions befitting a bunch of market traders.
There are people from my airline joining easyJet, but the reality is we are interviewing just as many orange refugees, a circle of madness, one may conclude.
Get real, wind your neck in, or indeed join 411A in Arizona!

12th Feb 2004, 02:04
Have to agree with Mentaleena on this subject.As an ex orangeman ,I found the rostering totally impossible to live with.Its not the money,but a safe,decent rostering program is all that is required by most guys to stop them walking.

However,management insist on max productivity,and whilst safety is preached,this is compromised by potentially unsafe rostering.,3earlies,followed by 3/4 lates.,body clock(or circadian rhythm if you prefer) is totally awash.

Recent events in BRU airspace highlight this problem?

12th Feb 2004, 07:36
Well BS....your latest post does nothing to change my mind: you are a dangerous nutter who has no place in aviation.

You evidently don't know what you are talking about either. CAP 371 allows several systemmic abuses, tacitly admitted to by the CAA who have issued new "guidance" to operators on the matter. Shamefully, this is not to be binding for quite some time. The so-called "Simpson proposals" in regard to European FTL's were quite worse- a totally retrograde step.

If you think an single pilot on his own can survive by individually refusing to operate a service due to fatigue or the nature of the roster itself you have clearly not served any time in a contemporary airline, or if you have you are a management stooge, from Orange Land, by the sound of it.

What individual pilots can do, however, is join BALPA's campaign for FTL's based on objective science and campaign to eliminate anomalies like a certain lo-cost operator who appears to be UK-based yet keeps his aircraft on the Irish register to take account of their non-scientifically derived allowance for, amongst other things, multiple early starts. They can also join grassroots campaigns such as that forming here on this bulletin board in this thread by writing to their MP to seek to further a demonstrably just cause.

As BALPA says in its campaign, we will fly what the science says, not what greedy opportunists seek at the ultimate expense of the safety of the fare paying public.

Lastly, old chap or chappess, a spot of "netiquette":-
there's no need to SHOUT by using capitals or bold type. We can all hear you quite well enough as it is.

12th Feb 2004, 19:00
There was a program a few evenings ago on 5 LIVE radio. It was the "drive'program at 17.00. There was a representative from GMB union. The topic of discussion was "the worst shift patterns". One caller, a nurse, was knackered doing 3 days, 3 off, 3 nights, 3 off. A 35 hour week. Her complaint was not enough time to recover during the days off after the night shifts. Wow. It sounded a doddle to what we do. From all the callers, no matter what kind of shift pattern they had, all complained about fitting a normal family/social life into their pattern, and recovering to normal energy levels after disruptive nights. And that from people who had a regular pattern, known in advance!
The GMB man said that there was more "working directive legislation"soon to be introduced, which would address some basic matters. Certainly a max 48 hour week was one. I wonder how many of the travelling public realise pilots can be rostered upto 55 hours, in a random and changing work pattern, and possible extension to 60 hours as necessary? In one past company, over 50 hours was regular, but the CP would not acknowledge pilots worked any kind of shifts. Therefore there was no special consideration necessary regarding roster patterns????
190hrs in 4 weeks is nearly 1 weeks extra work per month over a ground based 9-5ér. What's acceptable about that?
CAP 371 is being targeted as out of date. Perhaps true. One set of rules does not cover the myriad of operations. However, what has always been there for many years, but never respected by management nor policed by the CAA, is the edict that companies should "roster to the SPIRIT"of 371." If that violation of ethics was shoved under the correct noses and included in this campaign, along with the total disregard of other EU directives on compensation for public transport workers, it might open a crack in the politicians' blinkers.
What is also a remarkable distortion of the truth, is management who insist they do not own you 24hrs /day. Yet, they will change morning duties into evening duties, nights at home into night stop overs, late starts into early starts, and not accept any excuse for refusal. Free time becomes duty time, evenings free become early to bed; and all if they give you 12 hours notice. If that is not 24 hour beck & call, then what is? And often only 2 days to recover.

There is much that needs changing and it is not simply the max duty times. The whole pattern within which duty is pefomed needs a massive overhaul.

Berenger Saunier
12th Feb 2004, 20:11
you are a dangerous nutter who has no place in aviation.
Sticks and stones, loaded1.

The really funny thing about you and your shamelessly unveiled recruiting drive for the discredited and ineffective British Airways Line Pilots Association (BALPA), loaded1, is that after all that has hapened to our industry in recent years, you and those like you still cling limpet-like to your tired old leftist mantra that fell with the Berlin Wall. Pilots good: management bad, evil, out to shaft us at every turn, etc........yawn. What gets me, though, is that despite the overwhelming evidence of the destructive and, lets face it, down right moronic activity of pilots unions in the past hundred years, you spout their righteousness with a truly missionary zeal! Well done, loaded1!

Your comments about the Orange People and their unfortunate rostering habbits are well noted, but then I choose not to work for them, as is your perfect right too.....assuming you have time between episodes of lunatic bluster to actually fly an aircraft.....

and campaign to eliminate anomalies like a certain lo-cost operator who appears to be UK-based yet keeps his aircraft on the Irish register to take account of their non-scientifically derived allowance for, amongst other things, multiple early starts.
This is my favourite bit. I happen to work for this "certain lo-cost (sic) operator" and can assure you that 5 earlies in a row followed by three sacrosanct days off then 5 lates, is a thousand times less harrowing than the nonsense the Orange People are forced to dish out in response to CAP371. While my employer has a substantial presence at EGSS, loaded1, we are not based there, we're based all over Europe in 8 locations, for the moment. Can't imagine what "among other things" refers to...but then something tells me that your next shrill little shriek will let me know.

One parting thought, loaded 1, and thanks for the censure following my use of boldface type and capitals, by the way....but they're used advisedly. If you don't like the terms and conditions of your employment, loaded1, RESIGN. I'm sure a man of your obvious character will have chief pilots lining up to fight over you.

12th Feb 2004, 20:43
Wasn't I married to you once?

one four sick
12th Feb 2004, 21:19
BS or is it BO?

Your love of Ryanair is noted.
However is it not time to start "negotiating" your next 5 year agreement with MOL? I for one will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of this battle as he will give every drop of his blood in order to extract all of YOURS.
Will we see you here next year, ranting and raving about "leave if you don't like it"? Or will you be keeping quiet as your own T&Cs erode as they bound to, or perhaps you are expecting improvements? Your loyalty means NOTHING to Ryanair, or to us on this forum.

12th Feb 2004, 23:59

Well, that explains it! The crews at EZY and Bmi are desperate to get agreements similar to RYA's, but their respective managements won't do it (for no reasons other than beligerence or arrogance). You are already working on a much better schedule than most of us, so stop saying that our lot is fine an that we're all just whining. Try working for EZY and see what bad rostering is about before you write again.

13th Feb 2004, 04:50
You're still a nutter, Mr B*** S***!

No, I'm not on BALPA recruiting drive so no thin veneer needed. I hold no BALPA appointment, although I am a member. I just happen to think that they are spot-on with this one, which it is surely my right to express as an opinion.

As to Ryan Air: why does MR O'L hate everyone so much? Thread creep here, but the endless aggro is damaging his own business now. Frankly one has to admire aspects of what he has done to air travel, but why is it all accompanied by the avalanche of bovver boy rhetoric? As others suggest, your loyalty really is commendable, but I doubt it'll get you far in dealing with the MOL.

Best of luck to you - I'm glad to hear someone contented with their lot but I think you need to be more aware of the conditions facing others around you in the industry.

I make no apology for reiterating that I see no need to SHOUT!!

Berenger Saunier
13th Feb 2004, 18:26
As to Ryan Air: why does MR O'L hate everyone so much?
While I would never presume to speak for the boss, loaded1, the only thing I think MOL truly hates is voluntary stupidity. The sort of thinking that presumes to ignore substance over style. His personal demeanour provokes diferent things in different people. Personally, I admire him greatly. Who beter than a visionary bean-counter with both balls and determination in equal measure to run our sort of business? Overall, though, his "bovver boy rhetoric", as you call it, is just coloured bubbles. Even Stellios knew that brand driven businessman need to keep their names in the paper....duh! What matters is rigourous control of costs, and fair and reasonable terms and conditions for pilots. We have both.

You force me to repeat myself. I choose NOT to work for the Orange People. That choice is yours to make too. In my case the decision was taken in part because I object to their rostering principles, but mainly because I think their business model is profoundly flawed; and that the Airbus purchase anyway (but especially coming so soon after GO) will prove to be their undoing. In fact, loaded1, I was approached recently by an agency who offered £8500 per month on a six month command contract at Orangeland, so I suppose what I read here about departures enmasse might be true. Needless to say, I turned it down.

Just a thought, though, rather than heap scorn on RW Inc. for Orange rostering, why not turn your attention to the SRG in the CAA? It is they who reviewed and approved EZJ's F&DT limitation schedule, they who published CAP371, and they who are responsible for the oversight and fatigue management/welfare of all G registered pilots. Uncle Ray can only play cards with the one's he's dealt, after all.

Good luck to you too, loaded1.

Mr Angry from Purley
18th Feb 2004, 03:59
The problem remains that CAP371 is out of date and needs modernisation. At the best of times it forces poor rostering such as earlies to lates as there is little choice.
If it is becoming such a problem then perhaps the max working days should be bought down to 5 days, or a reduction in 7 / 14 28 day (rolling) duty hours.
Mind you if Pilots want to come down to 9-5er hours i wonder if you'll agree to a big pay cut to pay for all the new Pilots required???. Seems a fair trade to me..... :\

18th Feb 2004, 04:56
Becareful with the 9 - 5 comparison. Try this:

Take your roster and calculate the times you work during Monday Friday 9 - 5. Then factor in the % overtime you would have recived during all the usually considered anti-social hours; weekends, night shifts public holidays etc.
Then look at your gross pay and calculate what the basic slaary is.

It will give you aperplexy and you'll wonder how you could have been ripped off for so long.

I believe during the nusres dispute ( which one) of many moons ago, when B. Cal still were going strong; the then chairman was asked to say what factor he included in crews salary for all the anti social hours and jet lag etc. I think he said 10 - 15%. In fact no-one had every thought about it. and such a lowly figure caused much humour. Still, nothing changed, did it?

21st Feb 2004, 23:31
In my opinion CAP371 is the problem. It is so outdated and antediluvian that it does not allow pilots to work patterns that suit them. Nor does it allow the management to get effective use of the pilots within its constraints without pi**ing off the pilots in turn and so ruining their lifestyles.

Ryanair pilots have a much better lifestyle than EZY for they do not have to work within CAP371. My lifestyle has improved beyond recognition since I moved across La Manche five years ago (I do not fly for Ryanair).

I never, ever want to work for a CAP371 company again thank you very much for I was permanently knackered in those days.

I don't even believe that a revamp of CAP371 will solve the problem. Someone has to realise finally that Queen Victoria is dead and that Douglas Bader has gone off to the happy hangar in the sky complete with his undoubted encyclopaedic knowledge of the problems of airline flying of which he had so much experience.

22nd Feb 2004, 05:19
Another 'becareful'.

The other side of La Manche does not mean utopia; ask the Italians.
I agree that 371 needs totally revamping. It is not that it is out dated; it is that it tries to be all things to all operations. It can not be. The CAA cover their backsides with 'the spirit' of 371 and then don't police it.
However, and here comes the JAA FTL question again, the issue needs to be addressed over the whole industry; and that is worldwide!!!!!!! Pasengers are the customers of the international industry, and crews the slaves of it.

Becareful with the argument that RYR has a better lifestyle than ej. Being the 'best of a bad lot' does not make you good. That attitude is exactly what managemt uses to presuade the crews that they are top of the tree. Only be better that the No.2 and crews will not migrate. A nose in front is enough. It is still not be as good as it should be. i.e No.2 is running the show not No. 1. EJ claimed it wanted to be the 'benchmark company'. RW claimed that the combination of GO & EJ would lead to a market leader which would be the combination of the best of both.

Hands up those who agree that has happened?

There is much work to be done!

22nd Feb 2004, 16:31
Italy is only one country on the other side of La Manche. I do not work in Italy nor do I have any desire to. My present work pattern is as close as I am ever going to get to Utopia. It may well not suit others but the 200-odd pilots around me seem happy with their lot.

Are you seriously suggesting that we try to get a worldwide FTL system agreed? If so then I wish you luck. I have serious doubts that even getting a common European scheme up and running within the next 50 years will be too much to achieve unless it is couched in such broad terms that it will be worthless.

22nd Feb 2004, 18:05

Much was tounge in cheek, and perhaps to provoke a response, but it is somewhat odd that, a/c manufacture is licenced to agreed worldwide standards by the 2 main bodies, (sometimes slightly diferently, but they are trying to come together on common ground,) both are constricted by the same safety requirements in design, but the weakest link in thier operation is of random quality. I know FCL's can be more common, but there is more to it than that......

Medical standards try to be provided to international standards. Hotels have a common standard worldwide. You're right, having watched the fiasco of drawing up a European FTL scheme over the past 12 years fail completely, the idea of a worldwide standard will only come about with 1 worldwide airline, perhaps; and there's a nightmare.

As you have declared, and I assume you work for a profitable airline, it is possible to be cost effectively productive and have a life. It is more than a shame that others can not follow suit. I suspect you might work for a red & gold outfit not a million miles from the heart of the EU. If so, would you agree that the positive atmosphere within is driven from the top, and therein lies a model others could adopt?

I wish you all the very best, and like you I quit the 371 enviroment many moons ago. The culture that work is the beall & endall of life's raison d'etre, is a UK failling. There appears so little time to create a healthy balance in one's life.

22nd Feb 2004, 18:20
JW411, I would be very grateful to know where you are in Europe? Do you fly for a major? Regional?

Rat 5, same question to you too if I may?

Email through pprune much appreciated if you'd rather not post.

22nd Feb 2004, 19:19
loaded 1:

Sorry old son but, as you well know, pprune is an anonymous website and I prefer to keep it that way.

2nd Mar 2004, 07:31
in the light of Constant Speed DU's recent thread 'Ezy...pastures greener' and at risk of antagonising BS again, perhaps it's time to send this....

.....back to the top....

...and to implore those so discontnet with the rostering at easy to write to their MP's as I did.

My MP has sent me the reply he received from Gwyneth Gunwoody MP, Chairman of the Select Committee on Transport which states that pilot fatigue is not presently a subject being investigated by the Select Committee but it is possible that it could be by a future inquiry. She has copied our correspondence to the Clerks to the Committee with a view to seeking my submission should it become the subject of any future inquiry.

My view is that with sufficient pressure now from pilot constituents to their MP's it is more likely to become a subject. Worth a simple letter or email?

WE (not a pilot).

2nd Mar 2004, 23:46
European Commission tightens up common safety rules for commercial aircraft (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=121162)

29th May 2004, 17:17
Back to the top to keep everyone thinking about hours and fatigue with the proposed changes in FTL's.

Below some of the latest from Balpa.

For those pilots/potential pilots within europe not in a union the text it is worth some thought as it will also affect your future lifestyle.

There is a very real danger that a European Council of Ministers meeting on 10th/11th June could adopt new FTLs. The proposed Sub Part Q would, for instance, introduce a basic FDP limit for 2 pilots of 13 hours with an extra hour on top with "operator's discretion", minimum rest periods calculated on previous FDP - NOT duty - and insufficient reduction in FDP for multi sector days.
Together with our colleagues in ECA we are pressing
* To ensure the Council of Ministers does not endorse the current proposals.
* To build political and public support for a European FTL scheme designed using scientific evidence.
In support of our case we are arguing that:
* Science is not being allowed to express a view.
* Professional pilots are concerned for the safety of the travelling public
* We want a European scheme based on science, not political compromise.
* The current proposals
o would increase the probability of accidents (see attached chart from a recent FAA report on probability of accident v flight time)
o lead to working arrangements that affect the body more than the drink/driving level
o are at odds with what the law is now saying
o are less humane than the directive for the transport of animals! (see Directive attached)
We have agreed within ECA a campaign that will operate in each country and at European level. It has 4 levels:
Level 1 - Political.
* Members are already writing to their MP and Alistair Darling - the UK Minister who would attend the Council meeting. Examples of 2 of these are attached. We would ask all CCs to encourage members to follow this lead. Templates are not being supplied - in your own words works best; in person is a killer!
* We have written to prospective MEPs (copy attached) seeking their support both now, and in case the matter is agreed by the Council and goes back to the European Parliament. MEPs might be susceptible to an approach now (see website)
* In addition to writing to our Minister later next week, we will be lobbying the Commission and submitting scientific evidence that challenges their draft regulation. We will be quoting Article 95(3) of the Treaty that says laws must be written using available science. We will follow this up in both Houses of our own Parliament and seeking a review.
Level 2 - Legal
* We are exploring whether there is now European case law on how standby is counted.
* As with the Police Sky Marshall debate, we are exploring the interaction of Professional ethics, the ANO and new FTL laws that might force a pilot to make a decision that could be less safe. We will be running a members poll on our website next week asking if members support this approach.
Level 3 - Industrial
* Following on from the previous point we will be writing to your CEO outlining our concerns and highlighting the potential for disruption.
You could help in the industrial context by writing and asking your CEO for a statement on where they stand on the use of science in designing sub-part Q.
Level 4 - Public attitudes
* We are using MORI this weekend to ask the public who they trust to write these regulations.
* We will be briefing the press regularly, both in the UK and in Europe.
* We are writing to all interested consumer groups.
* We may be running a major Lobby of the Council meeting in Luxembourg on 10th June, further details will be sent to those members who volunteered last year.
We will know by 4th June if our argument is getting home and whether the issue will appear on the council agenda in Luxembourg. But our experience since the issue first arose over a decade ago, and of the Fully Awake campaign which successfully ran in January, is that the argument is never really won; they will keep coming back. And BALPA will continue to resist anything that is not based on science.
Hope you are all able to help (get a thread going on your forum, it is a great source of ideas; and wit!) And if you want to make suggestions please don't hold back.

Jim McAuslan, General Secretary

For those who wll be future passengers do you really want the folks at the front driving you at the ground to be knackered:(

29th May 2004, 22:22
If you're too tired to fly, then call in sick..
I won't get airbourne if I'm knackered, I owe it to the rest of the crew, PAX and anyone happening to live on the mountain I might otherwise crash into.

29th May 2004, 22:36
I take it you don´t work for Tesco then Fokker1000 ? If you call in "fatigued " you will be challenged with "well, it is within CAP 371...if you can´t fly your contracted hours, perhaps you should try working for someone else?"

30th May 2004, 00:06
I'm not being flippant, infact I couldn't be more serious.
The reason you give for being unfit to fly is up to you, but if you're knackered then your knackered.
I just hope for my sake [and all others] your not behind me on the motorway on the way home after a long flying day that you started already feeling jaded...
That's got to be the most dangerous time of all?

12th Jun 2004, 12:24
Tired of writing???

12th Jun 2004, 13:10
Fokker 1000 , but you wouldn´t be sick, you would be fatigued . As I understand it , you are defrauding the company if you call in sick when you are not. However, as you point out, you may call in fatigued , but it is a very serious thing to do. In Big, I understand people have been called into the office, rosters, lifestyles and commuting distances examined with a fine toothcomb. Essentially, when the Ops staff say "should I stick you down as sick rather than Fatigued", it is easier to say Yes" . However, it doesn´t confront the issue. It is same as reporting to work when you are tired. Let´s face it, who isn´t tired when they go to work, whether at 0600 or 2100. We are not machines that can be turned on and off when required.

12th Jun 2004, 17:00
Am I missing something, or do the CAP371 regs ignore the issue of overnight operations with hefty time-zone shifts....combined.?

I am alluding to the notorious 'bullet' patterns, where a crew can operate, say, from London to Mexico City, get 4-5 hours sleep, and return the following local evening, landing back in, say, Manchester with no further sleep. Just a hefty dose of radiation, plus a drastic confusion in the brain and body due to night and day hours being extended and then shortened in quick order.

5 such patterns in 4 weeks has been my lot, with a 6th. planned in week 5. Somewhat whacked, I must admit, given that other flying duties have also been required.(Earlies and the like)

16th Jul 2004, 18:35
Nice piece in the IPA Mag. 'Skypointer' about the CAA, QinetiQ and aircrew fatigue.

Worth a read to learn more of the background on research etc.

The author, in his conclusion writes:

"Whatever one hears in scuttlebutt about the workload in EZY, there is no doubt they are well to they fore in their fatigue prevention planning and are in active co-operation with the Airbus Industrie in the predictive modelling of SAFE and FAID."

Anyone care to comment?

16th Jul 2004, 19:15
I have not read the article in Skypointer, but would hope that the Easy BALPA Council would get a mention!
In the last few years we have gone from the shambles of Carmen and totally chaotic random monthly rosters published at random days of the month to the present fixed roster pattern with days off known a year in advance.
We have also seen the company forced to publish rosters on a set day each month and disruption payments made to pilots when the company have failed to do this or when roster stability has dropped below set levels.
The latest progression is the trial of 5 and 2, 5 and 4, another step in the right direction.
To achieve the above takes good will from both sides but any pilot who thinks this would have happened without BALPA and particularly the Rostering Sub Committee is not giving credit where it's due.

17th Jul 2004, 05:56
I agree, Airbrake.

Scientific research into roster fatigue is all very well. However, it is the guys flying the line who actually know how to solve the problems.

Good dialogue between Management and Union is the best solution for a safer and better lifestyle.

In an ideal world you might put an experienced pilot in the crewing department. He / she would easily spot the 'roster from hell'.

I coubt the CAA would ever endorse such a politically contentious idea though.

17th Jul 2004, 20:03
unfortunately, when people talk about saftey, the buck stops with the pilot community, managers gives it lip service against profit, crewing do as they are told, they are only doing their jobs to the rules they have been given, it is only the pilots that ultimately need to stick together since we are the only ones directly responsible for the 200 or so 'bums' we carry.

satis 5
18th Jul 2004, 14:36
i would like to think that your ground engineers,
are also responsible for the 200 bums on seats, plus yours.

Constant Speed DU
18th Jul 2004, 18:47
I think that the low cost airlines are exploiting CAP 371. I worked for a large low cost airline for two years too long! I flew with pilots that were definately suffering from fatigue and on three accounts in one year, when I was pilot non flying, Mr. Pilot flying was sleeping.
Things quite clearly have to change. The rules were written a long time ago and do not cater for low cost airlines.
With low cost airlines, discretion should not be allowed as it is quite clearly used too much. The airline that I was working for used to roster us up to 10 mins of going into discretion with very short turn arounds. I remember in one month, there were 496 reports of discretion in one month!!!
I decided to leave the airline after falling asleep at the wheel and bumping another car on my way home after my sixth day working. On the preceeding days I had three early reports 4.40,4.20 4.45 and three lates 5.10,5.10, all 4 sector days. It takes the biscuit and there are better jobs around!!
I also decided to write to my MP. I asked him how come a long distance lorry driver can only drive for 4 hours and then must legally have 40 mins off. When an airline pilot, moving in excess of 600 per day was allowed to fly for the total flight duty period dependant upon report time and have no break but 20 min turn around times. He referred my letter to the DT who could not reply!! That says it all.
Sorry to go on but airlines are making the skies dangerous. :yuk:

18th Jul 2004, 19:03
This problem will continue sadly until there is a major accident that is put down to fatigue! With the way Easy and Ryanair work their crews it sadly can only be a matter of time! Hope to god I am wrong!:sad:

Astronomy Dominie
19th Jul 2004, 08:34

The conclusion in the IPA article is, in my honest opinion, utter rubbish, and brings the IPA into disrepute for publishing it...

Doug the Head
19th Jul 2004, 08:44
Posted by Constant Speed DU:I also decided to write to my MP. I asked him how come a long distance lorry driver can only drive for 4 hours and then must legally have 40 mins off. When an airline pilot, moving in excess of 600 per day was allowed to fly for the total flight duty period dependant upon report time and have no break but 20 min turn around times. Excellent point!

20th Jul 2004, 07:59
Right let me get this straight.

Pilots with certain companies are being worked to the limit of CAP381.

Some, many, most(?) are complaining of fatigue.

Pilots have the responsibility to declare themsleves fit to fly.


If you are "professional", what the dickens are you guys doing flying when fatigued? You are irresponsible and bringing our industry into disrepute.

But then of course you are working for a bunch of bullies and the only professionals they employ are lawyers and accountants. Pilots are the blue collar workers and there are two seats for them at the front of each aircraft that need filling.

If you are fatigued, how about an anonymous report to the Health and Safety department at your company? What about talking to Balpa? What about Chirp? Why not get another job? Ultimately declare yourself unfit to fly - if they sack you, sue them. There are many courses of action and if this problem is as wide spread as is made out, then if everyone complained, companies would have to listen.

One thing is for certain, if you have an incident and it was decided that you should have declared yourself unfit to fly, then the poo is going to slide your way. And I wonder how much help Balpa would be?

25th Oct 2004, 12:01
Have just come accross this article from the Times last year. Anyone know if anything was done about it by the so-called "Authority"?

What excessive duty hours are some of these guys on if they "endanger passengers"? I thought we all worked to roughly the same rules, or are EZY on a different CAP 371?

The link is www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,175-937868,00.html[/url][/URL]