View Full Version : Changes to CAP371

28th Jun 2001, 23:09
You may or may not be interested, that there is several proposed amendments to CAP 371.

Having a chat with our CAA audit team, they advised that the following proposals have been made.

1. Rolling duty hour limits, i.e. 55 hours in 7 consecutive days etc rather than 55 hours in 1 week. Ditto with days off, minimum of 7 days off in 28 consecutive days.

2. When away from base a duty starting between 0600-0659 local time, is classed as an early.

3. When operating out of Europe, i.e. +1 hour difference, the first duty starting out of Europe, the fdp limits, etc are based on the UK local time, not local time at place of departure. For example a 0700 Local start in Europe will need to be classed as a 0600 local start. The audit guys were not 100% sure on this rule.

I was led to believe a consultation paper would be issued to the industry in the near future. The guys stated the main reason for the proposed changes was due to several CHIRP reports on fatigue and the scientists at Farnborough, NASA etc have recommended the above changes.

28th Jun 2001, 23:45
1. About bl00dy time!! The dreaded CAA "week" has been the cause of many distorted rosters!
2. Sensible.
3. Don't see how (or why) - assuming that the new duty is after night-stopping with full rest?
(Edited for typo)

[This message has been edited by DouglasDigby (edited 28 June 2001).]

29th Jun 2001, 12:00
best news i have heard all day. The dreaded early from Europe using the acclimtised within 2 hour adds to fatigue no end.

Maybe the sleep survey worked!!!!

Happy flying

Wig Wag
29th Jun 2001, 12:15
There are few things that make jump for joy in the airline industry but this is one of them. I hope the proposals go ahead soon. I DARE any airline executive to object to these necessary amendments on grounds of cost. 'But its not fair: we'll have to recruit more pilots'.

The next big accident might be fatigue related. A first stage in the error chain might be prevented my this amendment.

It is heartening to know that CHIRP may produce tangible benefits to the passengers. Also that the regulatory authorities take note of the research produced by the team at DERA.

Safety first, profit second.

[This message has been edited by Wig Wag (edited 29 June 2001).]

29th Jun 2001, 12:45
If this is a response to CHIRPs on fatigue, why the REDUCTION in Days Off? Can't see how that will reduce fatigue problems. Or is it simply that my copy of CAP371 is out of date?

[This message has been edited by tilii (edited 29 June 2001).]

29th Jun 2001, 14:10
From http://www.srg.caa.co.uk/pub/pub_home.asp
current CAP 371 is May 1990, 3rd edition

29th Jun 2001, 15:12
I may be confused here but the only change I can see is from minimum of 7 off in 4 consec weeks to 7 off in 28 days?

Big Tudor
29th Jun 2001, 16:14
Ref item 2, this only applies if the normal journey time from the accommodation to the airport is less than 15 minutes. How many people actually live within 15 mins of the reporting point at base, especially at LGW / LHR / MAN. Travel from car park to reporting point exceeds 15 mins most days.
Item 3 will work both ways. If you check in overseas at 0630 local then yr FDP wil lbe based on 0530 local, i.e. 2 hours less. However, if you check in overseas at 2230 local then yr FDP will be based on 2130 local, i.e. 1 hour more.
Duty and day off totals on a rolling period basis is fair enough. The roster week dates from the days when flying was done Mon-Fri with weekends off. It is going to make an impact on some of the charter cariers though

29th Jun 2001, 16:19

There is NO reduction in days off, the proposed change is to remove the 'weekly' limits and introduce rolling limits, such as is already done with flying hours.

It may be that your Company FTL scheme sets higher limits than those in CAP371.


Yes you are right, what I am talking about is a PROPOSED amendment to CAP371, which will take it to the fourth edition. The CAA also plan to incorporate NTAOCHs 6/94 and 3/96 into CAP371. The CAA apparently have to consult the industry before making any major amendments.

29th Jun 2001, 17:57

Thank you. You are quite right, ours is a company limit.

29th Jun 2001, 18:17
Is there any change to the five earlies rule unless regularly flown?
This is abused a lot at our establishment.

What we do in life echoes down the ages........just like my landings !

FO Nigetrussoxide
29th Jun 2001, 18:31
I'm absolutely astonished ;that the CAA would even consider a change that would benefit us!
If this is the case then the whole Chirp "feedback " system needs a pat on the back. I (and many of my colleagues) felt it was a hopeless cause.
Lets hope the airline (company) lobby doesn't ruin this proposal.
It always annoys me that airlines spend such massive sums (both time and money) on flipping CRM training when the REAL likely cause of accidents/incidents (I'm talking UK operated aircraft here)is fatigue.

29th Jun 2001, 20:53
The only change to come out recently FODCOM 9/2001 issued 20june01 relates to 'cabin attendant' being called 'cabin crew'. Now there's a major change.

Within the same communication is the suggestion of amending CAP360 to detail the training requirements for flight operations officers and dispatchers employed by the operator.

Captain Capstan
30th Jun 2001, 01:58
For years the BALPA flight time limitations committee have been tying to get the "roster week" replaced by a rolling seven days. The CAA have been unwilling to make a move as the JAR FTLs were due to arrive shortly. Perhaps this is an admission that any sane JAA version of an FTL scheme is just pie in the sky. The various drafts that I have seen are a recipe for fatigue driven disaster.

30th Jun 2001, 03:02
CAP371 The avoidence of fatigue in Aircrew
If only (a small proportion?) of crews used it to plan their rest...................
Lost track of the number of aircrew on a Sat night that phone up at 0200, 5 hrs before report, on the third of 5 earlies.....
'any canges, on the early XXX in the morning!!!!!!!

Yep it is your own time, and yep you might have slept all afternoon and just got up, coz that's your sleep pattern on earlies, but It's gotta cut both ways.

A lot of crews do not use the rest available at the moment, will aircrew fatigue be reduced????????

Speak the truth,accept the truth.....and only use one handle

30th Jun 2001, 03:44
Bored Counter,

Just a couple of quick question,

Do you work a mix of day and night Shifts ?

Do you have problems sleeping and waking when your roster says you should?

I do.

Edited due to fatigue induced errors!

[This message has been edited by Dagger-D (edited 29 June 2001).]

30th Jun 2001, 17:56
Dagger D
Oooops, hope you don't think I was having a go, I wasn't honest.
Yes is the answer to Days/Nights, and no, I have never been able to sleep on demand.
Just cannot see how the changes will reduce fatigue.
It may increase the number of crews smaller carriers require, in particular doing away with local time FDP starting from the continent. Good news for any unemployed Aircrew, and not against it in anyway, but the fares will have to go up....
In moving the early start time away from base to be in line with base, may just be counter productive. Smaller, tighter crewed outfits, may be forced into rostering E/L blocks of duties, inducing sleep probs.

Just input, nothing more, Fatigue must be taken seriusly, I include it in the only target we must achieve 100% on....SAFTEY

It could just be penalising responsible carriers.

Fly safe


Speak the truth,accept the truth.....and only use one handle

You splitter
30th Jun 2001, 21:54
Personally I think the rolling week has been long overdue. The 'local time' of start will work both ways depending on the start of FDP.

However I have to agree with Boredcounter. At the end of the day it dosn't much matter what the rules say, if the rest earned is not used properly.


30th Jun 2001, 23:54
"Rest" periods are a useless concept. What is needed is an acceptance of the way the human body works, and tailoring the way a roster is laid out so that people are not asked to try to sleep in the middle of their body clock's day, or ask them to perform to the best of their ability when their system is convinced that it's 04:00.

Aircrew will always be awake a few hours before due to report for an early if their roster does not allow them to adjust their systems appropriately. If they are unable to sleep when they need to, to throw accusations of irresponsibility at them of misuse of a rest period is to blind oneself to the responsibility that the roster organiser has.

1st Jul 2001, 00:16
Must say I find myself, somewhat surprisingly, with Hugmonster on this issue. I would also add that the suggestion, apparently originating at NASA and referred to in another thread, that flight crew should take short naps is in my mind equally laughable. It is difficult to sleep in flight as a passenger. I am quite certain that I would never be able to nap while at the controls.

You splitter
1st Jul 2001, 00:39

I agree with you totally on the issue of good rostering practices.
I remeber vividly a few years ago, getting a call at 1700 asking me to work nightshift that night. I had no plans and agreed.
(The extra money is always welcome) By 0400 the next morning I could hardly spell my name correctly. If i had adjusted myself like normal there would not have been the problems.

That still does not detract from the point I made, with the greatest of respect, that this should be a two way process of responsible rostering, coupled with responsible administration of that roster by both the company and the individual.

Secret Squirrel
1st Jul 2001, 03:50
I feel for the charter boys 'n' girls, I really do. I'm a scheduled short haul whack and I sometimes get a string of earlies which are not classed as earlies by one minute!

Unfortunately our company has always worked to cap 371 (and sometimes tried to pull the wool over our eyes and bent the rules!) A lot of the time you question their rosterring and they are correct but in my view cap 371 was not intended to be worked to ALL the time to within a minute.

For a while we were doing a Zurich which departed at 08:25L. Now we usually report 90minutes before a duty but for this particular duty (which incidentally may have been the start of a tour) they made us report at 07:00L just so that it wouldn't be classed as an early. Of course, the FOD and chief pilots never got rosterred these so it was about six months before anyone important got to hear about it.

Unfortunately for us, this will come too late as we are now going on some BA Carmen system which is more limiting than cap 371. Still, may the trend continue for the benefit of the downtrodden everywhere.

Very funny, Scotty. Now beam up my clothes!

1st Jul 2001, 04:48
Any suggestions?

1st Jul 2001, 05:10
Yes. Scrap CAP371 and replace it with something rather more meaningful, after discussion with aeromedical experts, physiologists and pilots.

When CAP371 was introduced the world of aviation was a very different place from today. Needs have moved on. It's well past time that the rules moved with them.

Introduce rather more stringent and realistic audits of flight duty records, and train the airlines to realise that the rules are guidelines - they are not targets.

1st Jul 2001, 05:37
Guess you are right there, things have moved on in 50 years or so.
Should Cabin Crew not be consulted?

To the crux of the matter. If CAP371 be revamped as you describe, will each individual's body clock tow the line.

Not looking to start a slaggin match, but like me, with no legal hours limits, you are shift workers, makin the best of a bad lot.

Fly safe


Speak the truth,accept the truth.....and only use one handle

1st Jul 2001, 14:00

CAP371 IS the work of scientists, pilots (BALPA), etc. The problem is the scientists cannot agree on what CAUSES fatigue or how the body's sleep function works, hence you get different FTL rules around the world.

In an ideal world, every airline around the world would work to the same FTL rules and have the same crew ratio per aircraft.

As for audits, I can vouch we have realistc audits not only by the CAA but our own internal quality department.

As for realistic rostering, the CAA stressed this in NTAOCH 6/94. A lot of CAA audits around 1993 and 1994 looked at the rostering practises of airlines.

What it comes down to, is that all rostering and crewing staff, should have formal training in Human Factors, especially on the subject of circadian rhythms.

1st Jul 2001, 21:00

Again, find myself agreeing with you 100%. You show quite remarkable insight at times and have been elevated in my estimation manyfold.


Don't entirely agree with your last post above in that it is my long held belief that CAP371 had its origins in the Bader report of many long moons ago. I think it is true that there has been subsequent input by 'scientists' (for want of a more apt description) but it seems to me that all such input has merely served to water down rules that were far more consistent with 'the reduction of fatigue in aircrew', and therefore more in keeping with airline safety, than is the present form of CAP371.

IMHO there is nothing particularly complex about establishing what causes pilot fatigue;in most cases it is little more than overwork. As to "sleep functions", I honestly believe that fatigue/sleep problems are more a result of unintellegent rostering practices than anything else. For example, fatigue does not appear to be problematic in crews who regularly fly night duties (freight carriers for example) yet will inevitably appear in schedule/charter crews who find themselves rostered for earlies/lates in combination during short roster cycles.

The solution seems to be the application of logic and intelligence rather than simply 'science'. I think this is in line with Hugmonster's comment above.

Good topic.

1st Jul 2001, 23:12
tilii, thanks for the compliment.

Part of the problem as I see it is that, in the absence of anything more meaningful and helpful than CAP371 and, consequently, most airlines' FTL schemes, the airlines use the figures they have as targets. It is considered that if it's legal, it's safe.

As almost all of us know, this is not necessarily the case. There is, of course, the catch-all section that tells aircrew that "if they know, or suspect that they may be, suffering from fatigue" they should not fly. In many cases this is an invitation to get yourself blacklisted by the less scrupulous companies.

Fatigue is also something that, post-incident, someone is unlikely to own up to, because of the above catch-all phrase. Who wants to put their own neck in the noose by admitting they flew when fatigued?

When all the discussion was going on about the Channel 4 programme on crews allegedly breaking drinking regulations, little was said about fatigue. I suspect that it is a far bigger problem than alcohol. The problem is that it's easy for airlines to crack down on drink. If they were to crack down on fatigue, they would see their aircrews' productivity drop. The effects of alcohol on the system are easy to detect and define. The effects and extent of fatigue are much less easy to enumerate.

Yet while incidents don't get put down to pilot fatigue, they will continue to point to an apparently accident-free record, claiming that (No Accident)=(Safe Airline).

But a safe airline is one that takes a proactive approach to all aspects of Flight Safety, and constantly is looking for ways to improve safety margins. An unsafe airline is one that is happy to rest on its past performance.

2nd Jul 2001, 01:28
Bored Counter

you are absolutely right we (crews and you) are shiftworkers trying to make the best of it. I would dare to suggest though that if you get it wrong through fatigue the worst end result could be a very expensive financial cock-up whilst the same scenario for a crew could result in same financial chaos and then some. And before I am accused of pilot thinking I immediately acknowledge that the same applies to engineeers, ATC and others DIRECTLY associated with the safe operation of an aeroplane.
I genuinely mean no disrespect to your position but it IS different. Incidentally I was an still am licensed maintenance engineer (now a pilot). I still recall many "ghosters" to finish a check (usually for 3rd party aircraft). Fatigued? After 24 hours plus... you bet and I'll wager it still goes on today.

2nd Jul 2001, 03:24
Tunturi / Hug
Bored is beered at the mo, Safe coz he is on leave, Later, I'll give you airline and duty that'll make your hair curl, balls shrink, and make you prick up your ears when ya flying. Oh yes it is EEC & gospel.

2nd Jul 2001, 14:11

As you say, and I agree, all, if not most, UK airlines have adopted CAP371 as the rostering target, rather than the rostering maximum, for aircrew duty. However, it is surely true that the CAA as well as pilots should be making this point rather firmly. I cannot speak for the CAA, but it seems to me that the only UK pilot union, BALPA, has had a duty to act and has so far failed to do so.

It has been rather interesting to read on another thread on this subject that, as soon as the FAA declared its intention to crack down on similar issues in the States, the employers collectively began screaming like the proverbial ‘stuck pig’. I await the outcome of this situation with considerable interest.

Most of us are very familiar with the provisions of CAP371 but many are not familiar with the precise nature of the ‘catch-all’ you describe. It is found within the Air Navigation (No.2) Order 1995, and contravention of these Orders is an offence. It might be useful to here describe the relevant parts of the Order, the nature of the offence committed, and the applicable penalty where in breach.

The responsibilities under this ANO are as follows:

Fatigue of crew — operator’s responsibilities:
Article 63. — ( 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.

Fatigue of crew — responsibilities of crew:
Article 64. — (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.

Thus the responsibilities for the pilot and the employer are essentially the same. The offence is described in a schedule of penalties. Part B of the schedule reads as follows:

Breach of Article 63 (2) “Operator’s obligation not to allow flight by crew in dangerous state of fatigue”; and
Breach of Article 64 (1) “Crew’s obligation not to fly in dangerous state of fatigue”.

It is interesting that I cannot find a specific definition within the Order as to what is said to constitute a “dangerous state of fatigue” and this is not only problematic for us as pilots but would present something of a hurdle to a prosecutor proceeding under this legislation.

At Article 111 of the Order, the penalty applicable is described as follows:

Article 111. — (6) If any person contravenes any provision specified in Part B of the said Schedule [the schedule of penalties] he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction in Great Britain to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or in Northern Ireland to a fine not exceeding £2000 and on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

It might be helpful to add that ‘summary conviction’ occurs when the accused pleads guilty from the outset, whereas ‘conviction on indictment’ is where found guilty after plea of not guilty. It might also be said that, given the serious potential in a pilot flying in said “dangerous state of fatigue”, the penalties to be imposed here are quite laughably inadequate. Of course they might be added to with charges of, for example, manslaughter but, in the absence of a fatal accident, an employer is not likely to be terribly concerned with pleading guilty and copping a fine in the order of £2000.

Why have I gone to the trouble above, I hear you say? Well, it is clear that, from a legal view, any assertion by a pilot as to his/her unfitness to fly because of fatigue SHOULD be quite a serious matter for the airline employer in that, if the pilot is then coerced into flying, the operator becomes involved in the commission of the offence. If the pilot is silent, the operator pleads no knowledge as to the presence of fatigue and the pilot stands alone with sole responsibility for his/her actions. But where the pilot speaks up (preferably in writing, I suggest), the employer becomes aware of the fatigue and then shares, repeat ‘shares’, the responsibility should the pilot then fly in that state.

As you quite rightly say, pilots speaking out may well fall from favour, be fired, even blacklisted. But each of these alternatives is, in my mind, infinitely more desirable than one’s own death and/or the manslaughter of many others. Therefore, it does seem that it will be better to speak up and say one is fatigued than to be silent on the issue.

In the absence of action to address this issue by the CAA and the pilot union, it seems that pilots believing themselves fatigued through imposition of CAP371 maximums as daily routine scheduling must speak up and point to their fatigue. Failure to do so means that they are likely to become victims of legislation that largely makes them, and them alone, liable for their continued duty while their (unscrupulous) employers laugh all the way to the bank.

[This message has been edited by tilii (edited 02 July 2001).]

Son Of Piltdown
2nd Jul 2001, 14:56

An definitive piece.

Thank you.

beaver eager
2nd Jul 2001, 16:11
I think the biggest problem in the existing guidelines is that only 'earlies' are defined.

It is legal under the current definition to effectively do seven early starts in a row.

An example of a recent roster of mine...

Day one: Airport Sby. Rpt 06.00z (07.00L UK - NOT an 'early' by one minute).

Day two: 3 Sectors. Rpt 06.25z (07.25L UK - NOT an 'early' by 26 minutes).

Day three: 3 Sectors. Rpt 04.00z (06.00L Mainland Europe (AMS) - An 'early' under CAP371).

Day four: 3 Sectors. Rpt 04:30z (05.30L UK - Another 'early' under CAP371).

Day five: 3 Sectors. Rpt 04:30z (05.30L UK - Another 'early' under CAP371).

Day six: Airport Sby. Rpt 06.00z (07.00L UK - NOT an 'early' by one minute).

Day seven: 2 Sectors. Rpt 06.25z (07.25L UK - NOT an 'early' by 26 minutes).

Now I'm not in any way complaining about the amount of work here... Rough with the smooth and all that (I don't complain when I occasionally get 3 in a row off, 4 on then another 3 off - mind you it is rare).

The problem for me is that all seven involve me getting out of bed at or before the crack of sparrows. And yet four of the above duties are NOT 'earlies' - two by one minute and two by 26 minutes. This is actually not even rostering up to the CAP371 limits as one of these four could have been earlier as you're actually allowed to do four 'earlies' in seven days subject to a maximum of three in a row.

Surely what was intended by those who first worked on CAP371 was to allow one to 'recover' on days that are not defined as 'earlies'?

Such recovery, involves (at the very least, IMHO) being allowed to have a lie in.

And that's where the current regulations fall down. What would be more useful in avoiding the fatigue caused by early starts would be to make sure that once your quota of 'earlies' are used up in a given period, that any remaining duties should actually be 'LATES' and defined as such (i.e. not starting BEFORE 11.00L or similar) rather than simply not being 'earlies' (i.e. must start later than 07.00L).

I consider that the seven days work I was rostered above is simply a reprehensible and immoral abuse of the 'spirit' of CAP371. Unfortunately the spirit of what was intended does not feature in most companies' views on the subject of FTLs. Until changes are made to CAP 371 itself we will always hear those over-used words from crewing/rostering departments... "well, it's legal - so you'll have to do it".

What I have difficulty understanding is that if more than four 'earlies' in a seven day period could have had me so dangerously fatigued that it has to be leglislated against... how does the extra 54 minutes in bed that the above roster gives me (against all seven being made 'earlies') relieve this potential fatigue?

Are there any scientists out there who can explain it?

Climbing at an R.A.T.E. of 1.53 vertical seconds per foot of thrust!

2nd Jul 2001, 20:02
Proposed EU FTL by ECA has 17 time bands and differences of little as 8 minutes between reporting at for example 1759 and 1801!!.
Cant see how that can be safety driven, more like an industrial agenda which will put airlines out of business. UK Airlines have taken advantage of the ridiculous fixed week duty hour limits in a vain attempt to get on a level playing field with their airline counterparts who for example in Spain can do 15 hour days at least at any time of the day and Germans who can do 24 hour standbys and get called out at the 23rd hour to do a 12HR FDP.
UK Airlines had the whammy when CAP371 cam in years ago so any change wont hurt that much. The EU Union proposal will....

2nd Jul 2001, 20:31
The vexed question of "earlies" and doing more than 3 consecutively is covered by a NTAOCH 6/94 where the use of the word "regular" as in regular early morning duties was defined as meaning "3 weeks" or more. Incidentally the 15 minutes travel mentioned later, is defined as commencing when you walk out of the hotel main door and ending when you walk through the door of the place you normally report at.

3rd Jul 2001, 04:06
Cop this for a duty week, yes it is pre-JAR,
F reg carrier Stellair, F27 flying for UK carrier.
Posn A/C NTE-LYX to arrive 0600
0700 start
2130 Finish (14 sectors!!!!) and they wanted to ferry JER-NTE-JER for a nosewheel change, Skipper almost made love to me when I arranged for the job to be done in JER!!!!
0700 start
3hrs off

I honestley felt compelled to challenge the crew regarding this ONE CREW OPERATION, but was told by the Captain 'We work 7 on 7 off and the days off are worth it............'

The above is honest, (in the 90's) legal, and FATIGUE. Hope you guys were not flying near these clowns...

On another note Tun, I do see your point, and respect it regarding the difference Groundie/Aircrew. More so with Eng than Office based. (Q am I right to think Engineers now have a legal obligation to ensure they are 'fit' to carry out the task?)
However, work is only a small part of it.
We all have to get there and back. Yes an equaliser, enter Reps, Bankers etc. I could just as easily kill a bus queue as you on the way home. Limits on Admin hours are 40 or so years behind yours, and don't apply to me. (Just a bone to chew, nothing more). Please remember in 16 days, my life goes full cycle, Days and Nights so I do understand fatigue.

Beaver Eager.
As you kindly quote your roster, can I please use poetic lisence on it.
(to prove my concerns for one of the initial posts advised changes to CAP371). also a Q, does your airline roster 7 on as a rule? , mine does not as counter-productive when a crew have to posn back day 8 when it hits the fan.
Roster is legal, but presume, flights not E by Cap371 definition, are so because they are away from base. Under proposed change, roster now illegal. So I the uncaring rosterer now roster EEELLLL min rest EEELLLL.
See the GENUINE concern?
I was going to propose to you till you raised C4 and fatige.....They did not film the 8.5 hours sleep the crews concerned obviouly got. Yes people, I include myself, use alcohol to aid sleep, but different rules apply. (the whole C4 debate would have been answered if the crew were 'spot checked' by nice Mr Bill on the way home, but thankfully they weren't.

Fly safe, and remember, most mens wives can sleep on demand, do they hold the answer?


Speak the truth,accept the truth.....and only use one handle

3rd Jul 2001, 13:39
Boredcounter and Beaver Eager

Not wishing to be too pedantic here, but you both seem to be labouring under a commonly held misapprehension as to the 'legality' of the rostering you each describe.

If you read my post above (not a lot to ask, I would have thought), you will see there that Hugmonster's 'catch-all' is in the ANOs and adequately covers both the scenarios you describe. The point is that irrespective of the roster's conformity with either CAP371 or the company's FTL Scheme, in circumstances where it is either known or foreseeable that a crew will be operating in a dangerous state of fatigue, the crew AND the airline are in breach of the ANO and liable to fines, imprisonment or both. The scenarios described are unarguably such circumstances and only a fool would argue otherwise.

Boredcounter, you say you considered challenging the crew. Why did you not? Why did you accept their explanation as to 7on/7off being to their liking? Surely, personal preference is not the issue here. The real issue is fatigue and the dangers present when a crew is flying an aircraft while suffering from fatigue are self-evident, are they not?

Let me put it this way: would you like to have been a passenger on these flights or be living with your wife and family under the flight paths of the aircraft concerned on each of the days in question? I most certainly would not.

[This message has been edited by tilii (edited 03 July 2001).]

3rd Jul 2001, 20:45
Well put, tilii.

At present, CAP371 is the law, supported by the ANO.

The argument here is not whether this or that rostering pattern is legal or not if one ignores the fatigue catch-all paragraphs, but whether it is safe. If it is not safe, then the law needs to be changed.

And whether or not changed, the law needs some form of enforcement that actually works, so that crews do NOT fly when fatigued, and are not rostered for fatiguing duties because the airlines need to get their money's worth out of their staff. My contention is that the current system of enforcement does not work.

4th Jul 2001, 03:26

Not so sure about wheher CAP371 is, in fact, the 'law' as such.

I downloaded the following passage from a DETR website the other day. It is supposedly the DETR response to an ICAO report criticising the UK system. I quote:

"1. The Civil Aviation Act 1982 has been framed in such a way as to distance the safety regulation of civil aviation from day to day political control but to set it within a framework of public accountability. It would not be consistent with this framework for Parliament to delegate legislative powers to the Civil Aviation Authority. Although the CAA cannot make "operating regulations" as defined in the report, the UK system does allow the Authority to impose and enforce operational conditions which implement ICAO SARPs.

2. Parliament recognises the need for the CAA to act independently and has given it the power to issue, vary and revoke licences, certificates and other authorisation subject to such conditions as the CAA thinks fit. The CAA's policy on its discretionary powers and the conditions under which it will grant a licence etc are published in documents called Civil Aviation Publications. Such conditions are used to implement SARPs and are enforceable. The CAA's power to impose such conditions therefore give the CAA the same powers envisaged for operational regulations in paragraph 2.1.2 of ICAO Doc 8335. The report does not give any example of a situation, nor is the UK aware of any, where the Authority has not been able to implement and enforce a SARP under this system."

Now, I am not quite sure what a SARP is (perhaps you can enlighten me?) but it appears from this official response to ICAO that CAP371 (and all other CAPs in fact) are not "law" as such but are nothing more than CAA 'policy statements' as to 'operating conditions' it imposes on licence holders. Naturally, the CAA can 'enforce' these conditions but, as stated above, it seems it can only do so through punitive action with respect to AOCs, pilot licences etc. There is not, it seems, an offence committed by breaching the CAP371 provisions.

Perhaps, after all, the 'catch-all' you have described is the only effective legislation on this issue and CAP371 has no teeth whatsoever? Of course, it remains incumbent upon operators under the provisions of the Air Navigation (No.2) Order 1995 to produce an FTL Scheme for inclusion in the Operations Manual and one is left to speculate what powers might be employed to enforce compliance with the provisions of a company's own FTL scheme.

The mind boggles sometimes, does it not? Any lawyers care to comment on this subject?

[This message has been edited by tilii (edited 03 July 2001).]

4th Jul 2001, 19:16
Boredcounter, I have no argument whatsoever with your last post and fully associate with your final comment: Fly safe, and remember, most mens wives can sleep on demand, do they hold the answer.
My ex wife always said my inability to sleep was the result of a guilty conscience....as she is my ex wife perhaps she had a point.....? http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/redface.gif

4th Jul 2001, 21:57
Ah well, it looks like this topic is headed the way of so many others of real interest to the professional aviator. Time to switch to old wive's tales and the sleep patterns of spouses, or ex-spouses as the case may be. Far more important than fatigue and its impact on flight safety, of course ... and oooh sooo INTERESTING! :) :) :)

5th Jul 2001, 03:59
Very informative post, I must admit, the ANO is the most unfriendly document I have ever tried to read. (Close second is the Working Time Regulations 1998).
Q How am I (as the Operations Controller, for a 12 jet Airline, based 3 miles from the Airport, responsible for Crew Control) suposed to know if you are Knackered?

To put some cards on the table, I work for a carrier that is JAR, the FTLS is CAP371 driven, but the 'Crew Control Procedures Manual, is the most restrictive. We fly Scheds from 0600-2200ish (with W/end charters) so perhaps I miss the point

With regard to my Stellair post, the answer is yes, I lived very cose to the arport, just down the road from the Nuke Power station, but just like the residents near LHR&LGW at the time had to have faith in Official Supervision.

See it like this, cos it is not a pop in any way, If CAP371, or the ANO does not protect you, your Airline is not entering into the 'Spirit' Enter BALPA, and when that fails, the CAA for a ruling............

As for Old Wive's Tails, Tun got it, or not, depending on the wife's mooooooooood.

I stand by the saying, FLY SAFE.

Speak the truth,accept the truth.....and only use one handle

5th Jul 2001, 11:30

You cannot be expected to know if a crew member is knackered or not. This is where the system falls down.

Said crew member will 'probably' keep quiet, as per tilli's and hugmonster's posts and of course the airline is 'ignorant' to the fact that some of their crew's could well be fatigued for whatever reason.

It is a very sad state of affairs in the 21st Century if a crew member feels they will be 'sh@fted' if they inform the Company that they are fatigued. Before I get shot, yes I know there are unscrupulous operators out there!

5th Jul 2001, 13:34
Tilli, don't be such a sensitive soul. It was not my intention to divert the theme of this very important topic. I actually believe boredcounter made a very valid point re:wives abilities to sleep at any time..I just added a little (ok very little) bit of humour on the end.
For the record I am a very poor sleeper and very often tired but probably not fatigued.
Re: yor point about defining dangerously fatigued, surely this is covered in the preceding paragraphs you quote from the ANO...i.e. "is likely to suffer from, such fatigue as may endanger the safety of the aircraft or of its occupants."
Interesting article today in AIRWAVES (BALPA) regarding a former Ryanair F/O who filed an ASR stating he was unfit to fly..Ryanair's answer: immediate disciplinary meeting on "gross misconduct" and refused F/O right to BALPA rep accompanying him to meeting. F/O left Ryanair before any meeting took place, due to delaying tactics from company. Could have been due to the fact that BALPA threatened court action until Ryanair agreed to legal right of F/O to be accompanied by rep.
THe fact is that we all have a duty to not fly when we believe we are unfit but it can still be very difficult to do so in some companies.

5th Jul 2001, 14:12

I am with you on this one, and I am genuinely delighted to see that an Ops Controller demonstrates interest, even concern, sufficient to put the question you have posed. Without wishing to be too inflammatory, most ops personnel of my experience appear to be utterly disinterested and quite ignorant with respect to any issue beyond carrying out their employer’s instruction to fly the crews to the absolute maximums as promulgated either in the company FTL Scheme or CAP371 (and beyond those maximums in the case of the unscrupulous, even rostering on the assumption that commanders WILL exercise discretion to achieve the task). So, congratulations to you. I would happily work with you at any time.

Now, to your question. It is undoubtedly true that most legislation is ‘unfriendly’ and often difficult to interpret. Let’s face it, one of the primary roles of our judges is to interpret legislation and this does suggest that even those with years of legal experience may find the task a little daunting at times.

However, Articles 63 and 64 of the Air Navigation (No.2) Order 1995 are in plain and simple language and therefore relatively easy to understand. Likewise, the provisions of CAP371, though sometimes a little complex, are not unduly daunting. In your stated occupation, I feel confident that none of these documents presents a problem for you. And your post with regard to Stellair does suggest that you are quite able to recognise an ‘unsafe’ rostering issue.

I think the answer to your question is simply that you should not be expected to know if a pilot is fatigued unless it is apparent from the scheduling (as in your Stellair example above). The rules themselves should, in the normal course of events, ENSURE that aircrews are well rested and at their best at all times. I repeat, ‘in the normal course of events’, for it is unarguable that there will be times when extrinsic factors beyond the knowledge of an employer or the operations controllers may come into play. In these circumstances, only the pilot him/herself will be aware of his/her fitness to fly (hence the reason for the existence of Article 64 of the ANO). But once the pilot reports fatigue, then Article 63 (2) comes into play and the ‘operator’ then “knows” or has reason to believe that a crew member is suffering from fatigue and must not be permitted to fly.

Sadly, it is my experience that, when a crewmember reports fatigue, the reaction from crewing, ops, the employer, et al is openly hostile, disbelieving, and sometimes punitive. There are occasions where this response may be justified, and I am the first to acknowledge that it is incumbent upon aircrew to ensure that their rest periods are, within the bounds of reason, used for rest rather than … er, shall we say ‘horseplay’. But it is a statement of simple fact to say that the present aviation environment is such that crews are often genuinely fatigued due entirely to their work schedules and they are reluctant to report it for fear of reprisal. This is a recipe for disaster. And, without wishing to be a harbinger of doom, I am of the view that we may already have seen the beginnings of such problems in recent incidents/accidents and we are very likely to see worse in the future unless some positive action is taken to prevent it.

The answer, I think, lies not so much in changing the rules (though they may certainly be improved) as in their proper use and enforcement. The rules are already in place, and, if properly utilised, they would do a fine job in relieving the problem of aircrew fatigue. What is happening is that, in seeking to maximise profits (and this is the primary ‘raison d’etre’ of any company worth being called that) operators are BEING PERMITTED to use MAXIMUM LIMITS as ROSTERING TARGETS (as Hugmonster has quite rightly said above). Note that it is that they are “being permitted” to do this. So the path to solution of this problem lies along two distinctly different routes, but either would achieve the same goal of prevention of fatigue in aircrews. Either we introduce a new rule (preferably via legislation) that makes it an offence to routinely roster crews to the maximum limits as defined within FTL Schemes and/or CAP371, or we REQUIRE and EMPOWER the CAA to enforce the existing rules in the ‘spirit’ (and I like your use of that term) in which they were first laid down.

It is very interesting to see precisely this scenario being acted out in the US as we speak. The FAA has at last taken the initiative and declared its intention to properly interpret and enforce existing rules there. The airlines are up in arms and threatening bloody murder. It is perhaps ironic that US airlines fail to recognise that, even if they succeed, they may in the end face charges of manslaughter and/or murder in the courts following fatigue-related accidents.

I would like to believe that we in the UK are better able to sort out this problem in a non-confrontational manner (though I do have my doubts). And if we do, then only fatigue related to extrinsic matters will remain to face you with the dilemma you posed above. And the answer to your question then will be that, when a pilot tells you that he/she has been up all night nursing a screaming baby, has not slept, and is therefore so fatigued that he/she may, if acting as a crew member, endanger the aircraft or its occupants, you will KNOW that he/she is “knackered” and, hopefully, will be able to do your duty and remove that pilot from the roster for an appropriate rest period. Simple, eh?

[This message has been edited by tilii (edited 05 July 2001).]

5th Jul 2001, 14:38

With respect, it was not so much a matter of my sensitivity as my perception that, while boredcounter had been funny, you had become somewhat sexist in your remarks. Perhaps your ex-wife DID have a point, dear chap, and no offence intended. :)

As to your suggestion with regard to defining ‘dangerously fatigued’, while this is undoubtedly what the drafters of the rule in question presumed, how does one objectively arrive at the point of recognising “such fatigue as may endanger the safety, [etcetera]” ? The point I would make here is that a person suffering from “such fatigue” is scientifically known to be in a state of poor cognitive powers. Mental faculties are depressed when fatigued (as opposed to merely tired). How does such a person reliably recognise this state in him/herself and stand down from duty, or even report it?

I long ago left BALPA for what I believed were very good reasons, so I have not read the article in question. If it is as you describe in your précis, then it supports what Hugmonster and I have been saying about pilots being reluctant to do their duty under the ANOs for fear of retribution. Ryanair ought to be utterly ashamed of itself, and the sooner it ceases to exist as an employer of human beings then so much the better for the aviation community and the fare-paying public at large. I would stand solidly by the side of the F/O in question. The question is, did BALPA?

6th Jul 2001, 12:35
I do hope this post is not going to die a natural death merely because of my last post above. If it is I am quite prepared to remove it ... provided someone tells me why I should. ????

Pat Pong
6th Jul 2001, 13:55
tilii reproduced in full for your perusal -
A threat of legal action by BALPA on behalf of First Officer J**** W****** has forced Ryanair to agree that BALPA members do have a right to be accompanied by a BALPA representative at disciplinary meetings.
J**** W****** had filed a safety report stating he was unfit to take out an aircraft. Without investigating the safety report, Ryanair moved immediately to a disciplinary meeting on gross misconduct charges.
They refused to allow J**** his statutory right, under the Employment Relations Act 1999, to be accompanied by a BALPA representative whether or not BALPA is recognised.
The company first agreed he could be accompanied by Principal Negotiator Roger Kline, then postponed the hearing until after J**** left Ryanair for another company so no hearing took place at all. J**** said " I am delighted at BALPA's support and Ryanair's retreat".

I believe that the "Whitehatters" are not permitted to position with Ryanair (on duty).

You may wish to consider rejoining BALPA !!

[This message has been edited by PPRuNe Towers (edited 07 July 2001).]

6th Jul 2001, 17:23
Pat Pong

Thanks for that very enlightening post. However, ignoring for a moment the thoroughly reprehensible conduct of the airline, one or two issues arise therefrom as follows:

1. I am left to ponder as to the length of time between the occurrence of JW’s ASR submission and the eventual resolution by default (there was NOT, it seems a resolution as such, merely a departure of the employee). You report that “Ryanair moved IMMEDIATELY [own emphasis] to a disciplinary meeting”, following which certain posturing led eventually to J****’s departure from Ryanair to another employer. Given that most pilots are on contracts requiring 3 months notice or more, it would seem that the posturing between the airline and BALPA may have gone on for sufficient time for the hapless pilot to be either stood down from duty or forced to work out the notice period while worrying as to the eventual outcome for that very long period of time;

2. While I acknowledge that J**** is reported to have been ‘delighted’ with BALPA’s support, I wonder what kind of support there really was in assisting in retention of the position with Ryanair. That J***** chose to leave Ryanair may not have been the preferred choice and may have been driven by despair as to a perceived satisfactory resolution to the problem. That a pilot should feel driven to leave employment in these circumstances is, to me, a somewhat bizarre solution to the quite outrageous facts in this case;

3. Though J***** may now feel that he/she is better off with the new employer, the fact remains that Ryanair has not been ‘brought to book’ for its conduct in the matter and may well feel free to repeat the exercise with some other hapless employee, necessitating repetition of precisely the same posturing and blowing of smoke. Would it not have been far better to see the pilot remain employed and Ryanair ‘educated’ as to the error of its ways?

As to my rejoining BALPA, I would be delighted to do so the very moment I see that it truly represents the best interests of its pilot membership. But it had better make rapid changes for I will soon retire, and nothing in this case leads me to alter my present stance on BALPA.

[This message has been edited by tilii (edited 06 July 2001).]

[ 07 July 2001: Message edited by: Sick Squid ]

Hew Jampton
7th Jul 2001, 00:40
Late comment on:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2"> For a while we were doing a Zurich which departed at 08:25L. Now we usually report 90minutes before a duty but for this particular duty (which incidentally may have been the start of a tour) they made us report at 07:00L just so that it wouldn't be classed as an early </font>

Assuming UK CAA applies, if your Ops Manual specifies a 90 minute report time, then it is a breach of the AOC to reduce this without a CAA exemption/alleviation or a Dispatch Crew (only if your Ops Manual permits a Dispatch Crew).

To answer another query on this thread, SARPs are ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. Unless the State of Registration has formally filed a Difference with ICAO, a Standard must be obeyed. A Recommended Practice is not compulsory.

8th Jul 2001, 00:10
Thanks mate, we are always on the lookout for crew, pehaps you will get the chance to work with me one day.......It should not seem odd that I am an Ops guy who cares about fatigue, It 'should' be the norm. The fault must lie with the carriers attitude in the cases where fatigue is met with open hostility. And that is always going to be the biggest stumbling block. We all know that for every Airline with an Agreement for Service with its crews, There is another, that doesn't, that'll take you to 900 hrs dead. Now I have put my cards on the table earlier, and you can guess we don't push our crews to the max, but we do roster 5 earlies, and use n/stop clause to roster more than three, but in a responsible manner.
I think, in 8 years we have had 2 cases of fatigue, both advised prior to the proceeding rest period. Fatigue should never be an issue responsible aircrew need fear. Sure expect a meeting with your Fleet Capt, If something like that didn't happen chaos would reign. As times change, ANY SHIFT WORKER, finds it harder to sleep, what with all the Car / House alarms and longer 'living hours' around now.
That said, how many Agreements for service allow, those who want the o/time, to work to the limits of the Company FTLS / CAP371. Could negotiations around your AFS be a good starting point for those of you lucky enough to have one. (I see the AFS as being the norm soon at all responsible carriers, hence the Q. it is not to be misconstrued as petty jealousy.)



8th Jul 2001, 13:29

Sadly, my friend, I am very close to retirement. Thus it seems unlikely that we shall ever work together. That does not change the fact that I admire your expressed views as an Ops Controller. I feel certain that the pilots whose everyday lives are influenced by your department are equally pleased with you. But please do keep a sharp eye out for fatigue in them. It is an ever present problem in the hectic lives of the modern airline pilot.

Hope to meet you one day. Maybe you should organise a bash where you work and I will come along. ;)

Self Loading Freight
8th Jul 2001, 13:42
If there is a problem with fatigued crews feeling unable to report the fact due to company pressure, and if it doesn't get fixed, then I can predict exactly what'll happen. Nothing for a while, then there'll be a fatal accident, then there'll be a lot of fuss and funerals, some bright spark will come up with a physiological test for fatigue, another sliver of professional respect will be sliced off the job but it *will* be safer -- at a cost.

Or am I missing something here?


9th Jul 2001, 04:06
No, we are right on top of the issue.
Flying is still safer than crossing the street.........Fact.
The Lad/Lasses at the sharp end still get it right, very nearly all of the time, and in the times that something screws their plans, Front and Backend crew will see you OK.

Cos they are PRO'S

No doubt about it................

tilli, email me please, gotta personal Q, now you give you status away..........

FLY S A F E all of ya, (SLF you will)


11th Jul 2001, 02:54

You fly safe mate.......


[ 17 July 2001: Message edited by: boredcounter ]

fred flinstone
6th Feb 2002, 04:12
Bored - youve got some stamina to wade through this amount of bullsh**