View Full Version : How safe is 120 flying hours a month each month?

Tee Emm
21st Jul 2007, 12:14
Interesting conversation with two pilots regarding conditions of service in their overseas airline. One airline (Solomon Islands) schedules their pilots (Twin Otter) for 120 flying hours per month with full approval of their CAA as long as 900 hours a year not exceeded. Thus crews fly 100-120 hours a month until 900 hours then rest of the year free.

The other operator in India with 737NG pilots, also regularly fly 125 hours a month. The fatigue factor must be significant with direct impact on flight safety.

Metro man
21st Jul 2007, 15:45
Depends on the type of flying being done. A 9am start with a 3.5 hour leg out, an hours break for lunch and then return, done 5 days per week will give 150 hours per month and relatively little fatigue.

You could also have a 50 hour month and be highly fatigued if you threw in early starts, several short sectors per day and a poor mix of early/late duties.

Twin Otter operations tend to involve frequent short sectors so yes 120 hours of this can be very tiring.

21st Jul 2007, 16:53
How safe is 120 flying hours a month each month?


21st Jul 2007, 17:41
65 a month should be good? maybe up to 75?

Flyin Low
21st Jul 2007, 18:12
Once did over 150hrs in one month, in that month in one day I did over 13hrs, commonly used to break 100/month, All single pilot IFR :} Mind you I did used to get paid by the flight hour :O :ok: As for how safe that was.... no idea, but not very I guess... did get me ahead though.

21st Jul 2007, 22:09
Or the other end of the spectrum - 170 hours for the year!!! Gotta love the military - pause - not!!!:ugh:

22nd Jul 2007, 00:42
Well just goes to show how much u know then doesnt it!!!!!!

Metro man
22nd Jul 2007, 01:33
Two crew, autopilot, good weather, own bed at night, "office hours", long sectors, quiet airspace, servicable aircraft, scheduled flying. I can take quite a lot of this without being tired.

Single pilot IFR in bad weather, short sectors, congested airspace, aircraft snags, back of the clock operations, minimum rest periods, frequent changes between earlies and lates, changing accommodation, uncertain roster.

I've had both and I certainly know which was more tiring ;)

22nd Jul 2007, 03:47
Who do you think takes that into account other than a pilot??

If u get all that u said metro, ur having a bloody good day and working for a good company!!! Good luck to u

In a real airline, two crew, high cap RPT, we experience more of the latter everyday. Throw in a bit of wx and shazzam !!!!!!!!!!


Capt Wally
22nd Jul 2007, 04:50
..........that's why now the airlines required hrs are so low.................like "Metroman" said Two crew, autopilot, good weather, own bed at night, "office hours", long sectors, quiet airspace, servicable aircraft, scheduled flying. I can take quite a lot of this without being tired.

...........................on the other hand other operators like the RFDS for Eg. require hrs well beyond the airlines..................simply 'cause it ain't a 9to5 office job ! At the end of the day if a 120 hrs is too much then go 'rest' elsewhere !

Capt Wally :-)

22nd Jul 2007, 05:45
/quote "Or the other end of the spectrum - 170 hours for the year!!! Gotta love the military - pause - not!!!"

Exactly why I am getting out before my ROSO kicks in..

22nd Jul 2007, 06:45
120 hours in a Otter is dangerous. No aircon, No autopilot, it will be short sectors in the solomons, short grass runways, crap wet season weather, lotsa noise, vibration etc etc

However as said before if it was in a jet 9 - 5 with 2x 3 hour sectors weekends off it'd be a piece of cake.

22nd Jul 2007, 07:01
It all depends doesn't it?

I know from experience that 170-200 hours a year in fast jets involves more preparation, briefs, take-offs, airborne decisions, approaches, circuits, landings, debriefs (and probably even flights!) than 800-900 hours in a 747-400. I also know which job demands more precision, has the greater adrenaline and fitness required, and tests/extends one's skills more. Now I'm not saying either is easy, and each has its own challenges which still demand professionalism but hours aren't just hours, even if airline recruiters think that way.

Still, if someone doesn't want even a little bit of maximum performance flying in their logbook, then it's not for them anyway. They'll never know or understand what they've missed. ;)

Tee Emm
22nd Jul 2007, 07:28
Wx is more unpredicatble these days

Ah! The old global warming - or is it the El Nino - or maybe all the space debris blocking out the sun causing global freezing. And all this money the Howard government is spending on ATIS, AWIS, AWC and RFC's, DWSO's, MWO's, MO's, AMU's with METAR, SPECI, TTF and TAF - not to mention wind shear warning service, CA/GRS and UNICOM, and don't forget Approved Observers, active weather reports, SIGMETS and the BoM's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre -not to mention AIRMET and AERIS, VOLMET , WATIR (look that up in AIP),

With all that met info at hand, unpredictable weather should never catch you out..

22nd Jul 2007, 23:47
I travel regulary to the Solomons because of interests there. It may help the argument if it is realised that the Twin Otter operation is using two pilots, they only fly in daylight although there is a bit of weather occasionally, especially in the afternoons a-la PNG. None of the pilots I've spoken to mentioned flying 120 hours in a month however 100 hours isn't uncommon. There is one pilot currently on a break for having reached 900 hours, but I'm told he took 10 months to reach that figure.

23rd Jul 2007, 15:16

Deep burn... fortunately it didn't happen that way..

120 hours a month in a Twotter, surely that would be painful?

Sonny Hammond
23rd Jul 2007, 17:31
Simple answer to this.

your sitting comfortably in 3B. You look up the ailse towards the COCKpit.

You see;

a) Two happy energetic, well rested pilots eager to go flying.

b) Two flogged out, grumpy and tired pilots fighting over who is getting first sleep.

Need i say more?

25th Jul 2007, 16:12
120 hrs flying the twotter in beautiful solis might seem easy n fun.......:8 but seeing all the stressful factors surrounding it, u might want to reduce that....just to say everything is not as straight forward:O

25th Jul 2007, 16:30
good one sonny!!!:) guess thats why they need to get curtains to stop :peeping toms:!!!!! :ok: