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breakfastburrito
16th Dec 2009, 21:20
Transcript
KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: The Federal Government has set out its vision for the aviation industry over the next 20 years in a white paper dealing with issues from in-flight security to the seemingly endless quest for a second Sydney airport.

But there's another big issue looming for the aviation industry: pilot fatigue, which has been linked to a series of accidents around the world over the past decade.

The International Council of Aviation will put in place new rules next year to manage pilot fatigue in one of the biggest shake-ups in 50 years of commercial aviation.

In 2001, Australia was ahead of the game, introducing a five-year study into the issue. It recommended a whole new approach to the management of pilot fatigue.

But many of those who took part are now musing as to why Australia is still waiting to see what the rest of the world will do.

Thea Dikeos reports.

RICHARD WOODWARD, AUSTRALIAN & INTERNATIONAL PILOTS ASSN: Someone said to me once, "If you want to think about what we do, sit in front of a fish tank at 4 o'clock in the morning and stare at the fish for two hours and see how you feel."

THEA DIKEOS, REPORTER: It was the close call that shocked the Flying Kangaroo's renowned safety record. In 1999, a Qantas 747 overshot the runway at Bangkok, injuring 38 of the 400 passengers on board.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigated the incident and revealed the pilot had been awake for 21 hours and the first officer 19 hours. But the incident report found there was insufficient evidence to conclude fatigue was the cause.

JOHN GISSING, SAFETY MANAGER, QANTAS: We took action after those findings. Fatigue risk is one of the mentions in that report. In the mix of our safety improvement strategy was clearly something that we were very keen to learn more about.

THEA DIKEOS: 10 years on, pilot fatigue is at the forefront of the international air safety agenda. Next year, the global body responsible for air safety standards, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, will announce one of the most significant shake-ups in 50 years of commercial aviation.

It's expected to issue guidelines requiring member countries to incorporate scientific analysis to assess pilot fatigue. Australian airlines will also need to comply.

RICHARD WOODWARD: They'll be the biggest single change in flight time limitations and the risk management of those since the 1950s.

THEA DIKEOS: Last year, the UN body detailed 26 accidents around the world since 1971 in which fatigue was a factor. Here in Australia, the Transport Safety Bureau has investigated six air safety breaches which have been identified as fatigue related in the past 10 years.

JOHN MCCORMICK, CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY AUTHORITY: If I was to turn around and say can point to an accident where it 100 per cent was the cause of fatigue, I think I would struggle to find one. Would I turn around and find that fatigue has been a factor in many incidents that have happened, yes, it has been. So fatigue is on our list. It is a high priority.

RICHARD WOODWARD: The standard answer you get in every accident is 60 per cent or 70 per cent of the accident's caused by the pilots. Well, pilots are human beings; human beings make mistakes, and human beings make lots of mistakes when they're tired.

THEA DIKEOS: With more than 20 years military and commercial flying experience, Qantas pilot Richard Woodward is providing input for the proposed new international standards. On the ground, he likes to race vintage Monaros.

RICHARD WOODWARD: I've been flying long haul aeroplanes for 24 years or so and, yes, there's times when you feel terrible when you're sitting in an aeroplane, you're just so tired that you feel physically ill.

THEA DIKEOS: Almost 10 years ago, pilot fatigue was on the radar of the Australian aviation industry. It was the subject of a landmark multi-million dollar study funded by Qantas and supported by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Australia's International Pilots' Union and the University of South Australia.

RICHARD WOODWARD: At the time it was world's best practice research.

THEA DIKEOS: More than 260 volunteer pilots took part in the study.

DREW DAWSON, SLEEP RESEARCH, UNI. OF SA: We wanted to know how much sleep people were getting as pilots out on the line and we also wanted to know what was the effect of sleep loss on cockpit performance.

MATTHEW THOMAS, SLEEP RESEARCH, UNI. OF SA: I have been have on a flight deck where both pilots have been asleep.

THEA DIKEOS: It was this experience years earlier on another research project which prompted Matt Thomas' interest in pilot fatigue.

Can you understand from a person who flies who's in the passenger seat that that might be a bit alarming?

MATTHEW THOMAS: Absolutely. Fatigue is a very real issue in aviation, without a doubt.

THEA DIKEOS: Over 50 years, a complex formula has been used to determine how long pilots can work and how much rest they should have. The Qantas study found that didn't tell the whole story.

DREW DAWSON: We collected data that said even though pilots are compliant with the rules, there are a small number of occasions when they aren't actually getting sufficient sleep to be safe.

MATTHEW THOMAS: The roster simply does not predict at all well a crew's performance. We saw that in the simulator very clearly.

THEA DIKEOS: Disturbingly, the researchers found pilots who had less than five hours' sleep were twice as likely to make safety errors.

MATTHEW THOMAS: Incorrect calculations is a classic example, well known to cause accidents internationally, errors in decision-making.

THEA DIKEOS: Are there many pilots in Australia flying under those circumstances?

MATTHEW THOMAS: The broader studies which show us that it's a small percentage, but every day there would be some. It's in the magnitude of five to 10 per cent who are operating at the five to six hour sleep in the prior 24 hours. So maybe one in 10, maybe one in 20 pilots.

THEA DIKEOS: This year, Virgin Blue introduced a new fatigue risk management system. Pilots are now trained to assess their own fatigue.

ANDREW DAVID, VIRGIN BLUE: How many hours have you been awake before you start this tour of duty, verses how many hours you've slept in the last 24 and 48 hours. So a simple report card and a mechanism to be able to report fatigue.

THEA DIKEOS: Richard Woodward and the South Australian researchers say they're disappointed that Qantas and CASA didn't move quickly to address all the recommendations in the South Australian report.

RICHARD WOODWARD: We fully expected the airline to move ahead and implement that. We also expected the regulatory authority to move ahead and change the rule-making process. They did start to do that and I participated in that as well and we drafted a set of rules, but then the program basically ceased until we see what happens at ICAO.

THEA DIKEOS: Qantas rejects the criticism and says it's implemented 15 of the 30 recommendations from the report and says it's well placed when the new regulations come in 2010.

JOHN GISSING: We'll be well ahead in terms of the full implementation of our further improvements that we're planning at the moment.

THEA DIKEOS: CASA says it's already approved 70 fatigue risk management plans for various airlines, but prefers to wait for the global regulator to define the standard.

JOHN MCCORMICK: We don't want to make industry or individuals be placed in a situation where this year, say, we mandate something and then find next year the international standard is something different.

DREW DAWSON: I think we know enough about what's likely to come out of the draft regulations and proposed rule-making initiatives to say we could have a pretty fair guess on how to move forward.

THEA DIKEOS: Professor Drew Dawson says it's time for the aviation industry to act.

DREW DAWSON: I think the important issue is to acknowledge the level of risk that fatigue poses and to take an appropriate level of response to it. That is, you don't wanna shut down the industry, but where there is risk, and we know that there are on occasions a low number of events that carry a high level of risk with them, that we should be able to intervene and manage those in a highly targeted way.

KERRY O'BRIEN: That report from Thea Dikeos.



source: ABC. (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2009/s2773888.htm) video link (http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200912/r487807_2516710.asx)

chimbu warrior
16th Dec 2009, 21:55
I was too tired to watch it..........

Seriously though, there needs to be a mechanism where pilots who do call in fatigued are not penalised. Operators need to understand that fatigue is not sickness, and so should not use up sick leave. I think 99% of pilots are responsible and mature enough not to abuse this.

I am aware of operators who dismiss fatigue as a myth; wait until they see a smoking wreck in their colours.

breakfastburrito
16th Dec 2009, 23:30
Drug positives top the list for high flyers
November 27, 2009
RANDOM drug and alcohol tests on aviation personnel show positive results for banned drugs at 10 times the rate of alcohol.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority and its agents have conducted more than 18,000 random tests across Australia in the past six months on personnel deemed to hold ''safety sensitive'' jobs.

There were 17 positive results out of 4091 tests for drugs (representing 0.4 per cent of those tested) and seven positives for alcohol out of 14,273 tests (equating to 0.04 per cent of those tested).

''Safety sensitive'' personnel include pilots, cabin crew, flight instructors, aircraft dispatchers, aircraft maintenance and repair personnel, aviation security personnel, including security screeners, air traffic controllers, baggage handlers, ground staff and all others with airside access.

A positive result for alcohol is registered if people have concentrations over 0.02 per cent, while banned drugs include amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, codeine, methamphetamines and morphine (at various concentrations, depending on the drug). Up to 120,000 aviation personnel can be subject to the random tests, which are carried out around the clock by CASA.

ANDREW HEASLEY


Source: Drug positives top the list for high flyers (http://www.theage.com.au/national/drug-positives-top-the-list-for-high-flyers-20091126-juot.html)

It is most interesting that when it comes to the question of drugs vs fatigue, CASA & the operators seem to be able to move very quickly in the case of drugs.
Yet, the apparent rate of AOD affected safety sensitive employees would appear to be an order of mangnitude less than those at high risk of fatigue.
It would appear that CASA is also asleep at the wheel.

Minosavy Masta
16th Dec 2009, 23:44
And how about the CAO 48 Exemption Trial...it has been ongoing for some 20 years now.....longest trial in aviation history eh??;)....CASA do your thing !!!

Capt Claret
16th Dec 2009, 23:47
Two slants on fatigue.

Earlier this year I phoned my ops dept at 0200 ish and advised I was not fit to fly. No questions asked, told to call when I woke to arrange transport home. Well handled.

I recall a conversation with an esteemed PPRuNer, who at the time worked under a FRMS. If I recall correctly, in his company all duty scored points, and the score of points then required days off. I seem to recall him saying that with judicial rostering, one could be rostered to work 365 days per year.
:eek:

Fred Gassit
17th Dec 2009, 00:29
Sounds familiar, the FRMS I worked on not only allowed 365 days a year but reduced your accrued fatigue score with consecutive early starts.
The reasoning was that your body clock was adjusting to the 0300 getups.
No wonder ops dept. love them.

3 Holer
17th Dec 2009, 01:30
.............there needs to be a mechanism where pilots who do call in fatigued are not penalised.

With the abolition of that CAO 48 Exemption (a cosy little deal set up between the Regulator and Labour because Hawke mismanaged the Pilot's dispute) and a proper fatigue management program, there should never be a reason to "call in fatigued".

Capt Claret
17th Dec 2009, 01:53
there should never be a reason to "call in fatigued".

G'day 3 Holer, I'd disagree with that statement to the extent that work is not the only thing that causes fatigue. Even with adequate rest rostered, one cannot mandate that the body will rest.

I assume that insomnia affects many people from time to time, it certainly does me, on the odd occasion. Ad to this the neighbours who don't check the rostered start time when they start the weekly jazz session next door. And there goes effective rest & sleep.

Di_Vosh
17th Dec 2009, 02:14
Drug positives top the list for high flyers

There were 17 positive results out of 4091 tests for drugs (representing 0.4 per cent of those tested) and seven positives for alcohol out of 14,273 tests (equating to 0.04 per cent of those tested).

Interesting stats.

But...

What were the drug "positives"? Were they just someone who'd had a panadeine, or eaten a poppyseed bun, or were they "illicit" drugs like dope, speed, eccies, etc?

And of the 17 positive results, were any found to be false positives?

DIVOSH!

aiming point
17th Dec 2009, 05:57
Wonder if Doctors, Nurses, Truckies, Bus Drivers etc etc could claim to achieve such impressive results if given a similar level of testing.

Howard Hughes
17th Dec 2009, 06:57
I have been doing considerable work in this area in the last 18 months and spoken to many people. Much of what is currently available commercially for use in aviation is based on the work of the University of South Australia sleep research centre, but there are many others doing similar research.

I anticipate that what is currently accepted as 'fatigue risk management', will look completely different in two years time. There will be no scores or mathematical equations, just common sense rules that allow pilots to gain adequate rest between shifts. At the heart of it all will be an onus on pilots to call in and not fly when fatigued and an onus on employers not to penalise pilots who do the right thing.

How we weed out the people who will rort the system (and there will be a small minority) I don't know!;)

framer
17th Dec 2009, 10:22
At the heart of it all will be an onus on pilots to call in and not fly when fatigued and an onus on employers not to penalise pilots who do the right thing.

This would not work at most of the airlines I've been involved in. especially the smaller ones (less than 10 jets).

Often one rostering person under incredible pressure to make the roster work with the absolute minimum number of pilots. Maybe a minimum number of pilots per flying hour the company does should be part of it? a certain ratio?

blow.n.gasket
17th Dec 2009, 10:23
Sure Howard, and JetStar won't ever have more than half a dozen aircraft and they will never compete head to head with Qantas on trunk routes and as management, we're here to help, but you must realise, engagement is a two way street!:}

Mr. Hat
17th Dec 2009, 11:10
Wonder if Doctors, Nurses, Truckies, Bus Drivers etc etc could claim to achieve such impressive results if given a similar level of testing.

Aiming Point you actually make a very good point. My question is - Do these groups get tested? How often? And are the banned substances lists the same?

I'm seeing real issues regarding safety on a daily basis ignored by the regualtor and populist rubbish sprouted out in the main strem media. I think when I have a spare minute I'm going to start befriending my local member and discussing the level of ineptitude and what I see as plain corruption by the regulator.

As for 730 Report on Fatigue well I missed he program as I was up at 230am.

Capt Kremin
17th Dec 2009, 19:23
What I'd like to know is what % of that figure was pilots.


''Safety sensitive'' personnel include pilots, cabin crew, flight instructors, aircraft dispatchers, aircraft maintenance and repair personnel, aviation security personnel, including security screeners, air traffic controllers, baggage handlers, ground staff and all others with airside access

MonsterC01
17th Dec 2009, 19:55
guarantee if you tested 18000 odd cops in any state in Oz you'd get significantly higher positive results than this report. And they carry gun's! But you can't test them because their union won't allow it. Not in the interest of broader public safety apparently.

Trojan1981
17th Dec 2009, 21:29
Wonder if Doctors, Nurses, Truckies, Bus Drivers etc etc could claim to achieve such impressive results if given a similar level of testing.

Depending on the individual employer, many of these groups of workers are tested. I was regularly tested in the military (big drug/alcohol problems there) and when I was working for the government railway. The only place I have never been tested is the aviation workplace. I was never tested when I was working as a safety officer and I have not been tested while working as a pilot.

Police are also regularly tested, though many continue for years before they are caught.

RedTBar
17th Dec 2009, 21:52
I'm not sure that it was a very clever move for a union rep to present a pilots job description to those outside aviation as RICHARD WOODWARD, AUSTRALIAN & INTERNATIONAL PILOTS ASSN: Someone said to me once, "If you want to think about what we do, sit in front of a fish tank at 4 o'clock in the morning and stare at the fish for two hours and see how you feel."

hoboe
18th Dec 2009, 00:28
guarantee if you tested 18000 odd cops in any state in Oz you'd get significantly higher positive results than this report. And they carry gun's! But you can't test them because their union won't allow it. Not in the interest of broader public safety apparently.

I used to be a cop (in another life), and know of two colleagues in two separate incidents that fell asleep while patrolling (their partners were already asleep) and both crashed their cars. Lucky no one was seriously injured...

john_tullamarine
18th Dec 2009, 01:07
Post the question over on the Freight Forum and see what sort of response comes up.

We used to be very concerned with getting home in one piece especially after a multi day freighter trip .. with the usual no sleep in noisy pubs etc.

MsBuster
18th Dec 2009, 07:30
Doctors and nurses dont get tested, because they have good united association/union who have fought against it for years. And I guess the govt didnt want the health system to come to a grinding halt - they key to the drug cabinet is the one perk of the job.:p

That aside - I posted here about Expemtion to 48 - and CASA's failure to disclose the all the airlines that have them and their contents for 'commercial in confidence' reasons - for a few favoured airlines. A Safety Regulator should not be complicit in concealing the standard flying conditions. Any man on the street, or prospecive 457 visa pilot, or the International regulator would be under the impression that the 'regulations' are applicable in more than 5% of cases.

And how many rampside checks on fatigue, esp in GA do CASA conduct ? What are the results of these ? What evidence does CASA have that FMS's are being adhered to?

Aviation safety in Australia is a different ball game with the arrival of new small commercial training operations tailored to the immigration market. Even if the training is supurlative, there is still an entire generation of pilots who have less bargaining power/ability to refuse their Visa sponsor/employer. These pilots, the industry and the community deserve better regulatory safety oversight and enforcement.

Jet_A_Knight
18th Dec 2009, 09:01
There are a helluva lot more pilots flying tired, than there are flying stoned or drunk.

Fatigue Management System??? You'd be VERY surprised what FAID allows a pilot to do at a CASA acceptable risk score.

Mach E Avelli
18th Dec 2009, 21:45
FAID is mumbo-jumbo touchy-feely hocus-pocus. As is any system that pretends to put control of fatigue into the hands of the pilot, while still permitting companies to pay extra flying bonuses in various forms. And all the time the pilot is still under the management microscope in a world no longer offering any industrial protection.
We had the answer 40 years ago in CAO 48. It may not have been based on any so-called 'science' but it was a fairly conservative set of rules that worked if strictly applied. Exemptions and exceptions issued to appease operators are what has buggered CAO 48.

pa60ops
18th Dec 2009, 22:04
I have worked with many folks who simply could not cut it at 0230 local...who now are international airline pilots...makes you wonder how they get on... With limited days per month and crew rest, I wonder how the longhaul crews can end up in this situation to begin with. There are some who just cant work as a pilot (or anything else) in the middle of the night, and no rest program will help them!!! :bored:

chimbu warrior
19th Dec 2009, 19:56
Hate to tell you this, but doctors and nurses also do some horrific duty days, often lasting 18 hours or more. If my life depends on their skill and expertise, I'd really prefer that whoever was working on me was well rested.

Unfortunately recent governments (of all colours) have really pushed the "productivity" and "world's best practice" (even if the benchmark comes from the third world) line. This has become the catalyst for employers to create rosters which virtually guarantee that many employees are permanently fatigued. Combine that with the "casualisation" of many positions (i.e. work when it is available, or starve), and many industries now operate in a high risk zone.

grip-pipe
19th Dec 2009, 21:03
:mad:'I would be struggling to find an accident caused by fatigue" quote from CASA, maybe he should do a CRM course, I seem to recall quite a few prominent examples used in CRM training where dog tired crews have flown perfectly good aircraft into the ground where fatigue was the contributory factor and a couple of times where I nearly did the same.

Any fatigue system has to be tailored to the operation and the operator and there is no one size fits all. We could all recount numerous examples where for what ever reason, you have been unable to rest properly, eat properly and where the demands of the job and your private life have kept you at it well past the point you should have stopped.

The problem is it is a vexed issue involving your employment conditions and your employment contract but it can and is a safety issue, so if you cobble together a safety based system your in immediate conflict with the employment system. Pity the poor engineering and ground folk who have no rules to protect them from being worked ridiculous hours in ridiculous conditions.

So in my humble opinion until we get an employment based solution, minimum hours, family-work balance your never going to get a safety based system. So its back to basics, CAO 48 was a great substitute for the lack of a proper workplace award and agreement but it is well past its use by date. Why would you entrust a solution to the cretins in CASA who do not believe fatigue is an issue and can kill you. And we all know how you achieve a solid work place based solution don't we?

fermion
19th Dec 2009, 22:38
Whilst it is difficult to pin down an accident that was soley due to fatigue, fatigue can seriously affects decision making, situational awareness and the ability to manage threats and errors - among other things. Aircraft generally crash because of poor decision making and/or loss of situational awareness by flight crew. BTW it's not hard to find bad events where fatigue was a major contributing factor. Remember Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Flying Tigers B747F, Korean Airlines B747 at Guam, Three Mile Island accident and the list goes on and on and on. Even the DC-10 crash landing at Sioux City can be traced back to maintenance errors done at 03:00. As for FAID I think you will find, from a scientific point of view, it is becoming discredited in the aviation domain. It's fine for truck and train drivers but not for pilots/cabin crew.:suspect:

makespeed250kt
20th Dec 2009, 01:10
Gotta love the way CASA try to dodge the fatigue issue with the Emirates incident.

Just like Copenhagen, it'll cost to much money make any meaningful commitment to minimising fatigue in the workplace.

AerocatS2A
20th Dec 2009, 01:52
I work for a company that uses FAID as part of it's FRMS. Basically they have a set of rostering protocols that are loosely based on their old exemption to CAO48 and then the FAID score runs along side it as a backup. I will start by saying that despite the flaws in the system itself, i think my company does a fair job in administering it and I've never personally had a negative experience from a fatigue report.

I think FAID is a useful tool but it should not be used on its own. For one, FAID only looks seven days back. The theory is that fatigue due to lack of sleep is only cumulative over a short period of time, but we all know the reality is that working hard over a long period of time leads to long term fatigue. I believe this is because long work hours leads to an increased need for rest and therefore an increased chance that you won't get the required rest in the time available. FAID does not account for this at all. So if you used FAID and nothing else then you could roster someone 365 days/year.

FAID is also based SOLELY on the amount of time you have available for sleep as determined by your duty periods. For example if you sign off at 4pm on day one and sign back on at 8am on day 2 it will consider you to have had the opportunity for a full night's sleep. What it does not do is consider your working environment and how fatiguing the actual work is.

I believe CASA dropped the ball on this to some extent, they don't want FRMSs to include any limits on flying hours, they want it to all be based on how much duty you're doing. This completely ignores the effect that flying has on fatigue. The whole thing is designed around how much sleep you are getting and ignoring the fatiguing effects of your actual work. Now I sleep a hell of a lot better after a hard day of work, so the work itself obviously has a significant effect on the body and its need for rest.

Another place where the system is screwed is that it ultimately relies on pilots to call in fatigued if they are not fit to work. That sounds great in theory but it's not good in practice and should be avoided, that is, the rostering system should be conservative enough that it is very very rare for a pilot to have to report fatigued.

We know that fatigue affects decision making, and you're relying on the fatigued person to be the one who makes the decision, not good. It relies on the pilot to not be influenced by any external factors. There are lots of things they might stop a pilot from calling fatigue when they should. Such as being on the last day of an away trip and wanting to get home, or being new to a company and not wanting to rock the boat (perceived pressure), or just believing that, despite assurances to the contrary, there are negative consequences to calling in fatigued.

Ultimately a pilot will have to be the one who has the last say, because no matter how conservative the FRMS they work to, there will be times when they don't get adequate rest due to non-work factor such as crying babies and noisy neighbours, but I think that the FRMS is being used to relax duty restrictions while placing more of the burden on the pilot to self assess. This is a backward safety step.

early2
20th Dec 2009, 05:17
Having worked under a FRMS with no Flight time limits and Fatigue Audit InterDyne software showing the "sleep opportunity", I can say with much first hand experience that it has no reflection of the actual sleep patterns or quality of sleep accumulated.

Takes no account of time zones, or the fact I am living out of a Suitcase away from home and normal sleep.

When you have already flown 100plus Flight hours in the last 28 days, and you are fatigued, much better calling in Sick because as far as the company is concerned, you are compliant on their FRMS/FAID and rostering protocols.

Kelly Slater
20th Dec 2009, 07:17
Give me CAO 48 any day. The exemption can be debilitating and calling 5AM a normal time to start work is just wrong as are many aspects of the exemption. Following a fatigue management system will be worse. It will be even less restrictive than the current exemption in place. Telling a pilot that he can call in fatigued at any time without consequence is just plain fallacy.

I also don't believe for a minute that both pilots were asleep on a flight deck whilst a jumpseater from Adelaide Uni was watching.

AerocatS2A
20th Dec 2009, 07:25
When you have already flown 100plus Flight hours in the last 28 days, and you are fatigued, much better calling in Sick because as far as the company is concerned, you are compliant on their FRMS/FAID and rostering protocols.
But then you use a sick day and if you're in the company I work for you have to pay $70 to go to the doctor for a sick certificate. Why not just use the fatigue system as it's supposed to be used?

cjam
20th Dec 2009, 07:42
Or why not do a fatigue test when you turn up for work as part of your sign on?
It would also pick up reductions in reaction time/speed of deceision making due to drugs, alcahol, stroke, stress, ....sore big toe, whatever. Each pilot does the 90 second test on the computer, it's compared to his/her history of testing and a 20% reduction from the norm shows as a fail.
Why not?

teresa green
22nd Dec 2009, 03:33
Cjam, probably because you would have to reduce the fleet by half. Most pilots try to have some rest before signing on, but screaming toddlers, teenage kids who can only speak at the highest decibels possible, and all types of tin lids in between usually share the same house as you in my experience, to say nothing of the family dog, who has only one ambition in life that is to finally get the postman, and breaks out in mad barking patterns when ever the poor bloke is sighted. My trick was to leave early, and try to have a quick shuteye in the car, somewhere quiet, and that usually worked. But one thing became apparent when I retired, that the realisation that you were chronically tired, but did not know it, simply used to it.

tubby one
22nd Dec 2009, 04:32
there are a couple of issues that need clearing up. AOD got the nod and the rush of effort because the Government put some big dollars up and directed the regulator to have it in place pronto (even then the regulator missed the timeline!!!). there has been no similar largesse from the Government for fatigue. following the Morris Report other forms of transport (rail, road ) introduced fatigue policies (have a look at the road transport fatigue rules on line) as did a number of the big players in the resource industry. FIAD was a part of FMS and quickly recognised as not being the correct tool - too give Interdyne their due they have updated and the newer versions are much more robust and less likely to have you flying when you are knackered. but remember it is just a tool the key to any FRMS (the RM is 'risk management) is the underlying process and performance of the operator and the pilots. a working system will produce roster that do provide adequate time for sleep and a mechanism that will allow the pilot to easily self assess.
however like any system it (FRMS) will only work if used correctly.
finally for those who would stay with CAO 48 - good luck that is why you look old and knackered. by any reasonable current measure the 'allowances' in CAO 48 do not provide any protection against fatigue, and I doubt in this day that they would provide a real defence if tested in court.:ooh:

framer
22nd Dec 2009, 06:10
Nice descrption of suberbia there TG but it is not really a good answer to cjam's question.
I like the idea, it is not a new one and much research has been done to develop a quick and easy test (not for aviation but general industry).
Your argument suggests that many pilots are flying fatigued often and if there was a test to determine when, then the industry would fall over (halve the fleet size etc).
Basically you're saying "carry on with the farce, we've been flying tired for decades, why stop now?"
If the test did do as you say and create havoc, thats fine, the fleet size certainly wouldn't be halved, management and regulators would simply have to increase the pilot numbers until people were passing the test. That would be good for safety, good for the pilots, good for the paying public....good for the mailman because you could be home to control your dog....you name it, it would be good. And what is the cost? Instead of halving the fleet I suggest that instead of posting 800 million dollar profit two years ago qf would have posted a 750 million dollar profit. Instead of a 400 million dollar profit, Air NZ would have posted a 350 million daollar profit etc etc (still enough to carry them through the hard years like this one) . Is that price worth making the industry massively safer while returning some lifestyle to the job? I reckon.

Mach E Avelli
22nd Dec 2009, 07:50
I recently went back to CAO 48 operations after several years working under the 'standard industry exemption' and have to say I find it a much better deal. Just the difference with the 0600 sign-on and 2200 sign-off and the 90 duty hour limit in the fortnight standing alone makes life a whole lot more pleasant. Old I may look (because that I am), but definitely no longer knackered.
With regard to some form of performance test on a computer at sign-on: as a natural 'lark' I would fare OK at 0600, even after only my usual 6 or 7 hours sleep. Trying the same test 12 hours later would produce (in my case) a worse result, even if I hadn't been at work. At 2300 I would probably fail it every time . The 'owls' would work better the other way, probably peaking around 2100 if that was their sign-on, and falling into a huge heap at 0500 even after a weekend off. So I don't know what testing would prove other than we are all different.
It is obviously impractical for a rostering system to cater to the specific needs of larks and owls; hence something close to or even more strict than CAO 48 seems the only way we can keep fatigue under control. Of course if pilots choose to burn the candle at both ends in their free time, no system is safe.

mates rates
22nd Dec 2009, 09:37
Having worked under many different flight and duty limitations around the world I found CAO 48 the least fatiguing of them all.Of course any exemption to CAO 48 is going to be more fatiguing,that's why it's an exemption!! You work harder !!
CASA is approving all these fatigue management systems because the end game is to remove CAO 48 completely so they will not be culpable if an accident can be proven on fatigue.
Remember the CAO's are based on the CAR's which are an act of parliament and therefore a legal requirement under the laws of the land.If you break the CAO's you are breaking the law.And so are the companies who try to made you fly illegally.That is another big advantage of CAO 48.
What is the legal status of fatigue management systems? Who is responsible if "a system" is found to be fatiguing and the cause of an accident?

AerocatS2A
22nd Dec 2009, 13:00
For all that CASA are trying to remove themselves from the fatigue issue, they must still approve the company's FRMS and so I don't see how it is any different from an exemption when it comes to liability. Even if they had a situation where the companies were free to come up with whatever FRMS they liked, CASA would still be the regulating authority who promoted a system where the companies were able to produce inferior FRMSs.

Mr. Hat
22nd Dec 2009, 13:24
Wouldn't it be good if in this world we cut could cut out the bullshit.

Doctors performing critical tasks havin not slept for 24-48-72 hours. Pilots crashing or nearly crashing because they are dog-tired and in some instances too fearful to call in sick for lack of sleep issues. And a regulator that sticks to populist stuff like drug testing.

The drug tests revealed that an incredibly low number of people in a safety sensitive roles returned a positive. Noone wants to break the back of an industry but what I'd like to see is going to a doctor or getting on a plane where people have access to their brains as a result of adequate rest.

What about all the other "pretend its not there" issues:

Sham Security Screening
MEL parts "not available" policy
Standard weights (not too many standard people around these days....)
Toxic cost cutting Management structures

Framer you are making far too much sense - stop that immeadiately!

CASA, if company A is charging 15 dollars for a ticket in 2010 do think there might be some areas where things might be running a little close to the edge. Hint try rostering practices (lies bullying ect) .

I'm all for a hard days work but exemption minimum rest and back of the clock carry on day in day out. No thanks. Happening right in front of CASA's eyes and they do nothing.

Suppose as with everything we'll just have to wait for one to go bang into the side of a hill to get some rest and reform.

framer
22nd Dec 2009, 18:21
With regard to some form of performance test on a computer at sign-on: as a natural 'lark' I would fare OK at 0600, even after only my usual 6 or 7 hours sleep. Trying the same test 12 hours later would produce (in my case) a worse result, even if I hadn't been at work. At 2300 I would probably fail it every time . The 'owls' would work better the other way, probably peaking around 2100 if that was their sign-on, and falling into a huge heap at 0500 even after a weekend off. So I don't know what testing would prove other than we are all different.

I think the system would be individualised (is that a word?) Anyway, there wouldn't be a base-line score that you had to achieve, the software would be looking for a departure from the norm of a certain magnitude for you as an individual, at that time of day etc etc. The longer the system ran the better the data on you. The first three months an individual was on it might be just a data gathering exercise but it doesn't matter, the airline would adjust it's rostering practices to achieve a minimum number of fails anyway so the 'new-hires' would probably not be fatigued anyway.
It could have the added bonus of giving you an annual rate of decline in your abilities as well which may give early warning of a health problem if the graph takes a sudden dip. Your thoughts MAE?


CASA, if company A is charging 15 dollars for a ticket in 2010 do think there might be some areas where things might be running a little close to the edge.
True, and the longer established companies are forced to cut costs (read safety) to compete. There is a line that we shouldn't cross but who knows where it is?

aveng
23rd Dec 2009, 00:20
First of all I sincerely agree with limiting duty due to fatigue. Even flight attendants who might spill coffee on someone due to fatigue.
But did you know that the person who just rebuilt your engine (ie. LAME) has no duty time limits!!!
Perhaps thinking about this on takeoff may wake you up.

Mach E Avelli
23rd Dec 2009, 01:46
Aveng makes a very good point. Many years ago I had to do a test flight on an F27 that had just undergone an engine change. The engineer who did it, worked alone for 23 hours straight to get the job done. The short test was OK; max power good on takeoff, quick circuit during which feather, unfeather, relight all OK against the stopwatch and back on the deck.
Then we loaded up and departed. About 5000 ft in the climb the oil temperature went to the redline, so of course back we came. The overworked engineer had left a blank on the oil cooler. Of course they wanted to pull his ticket, sack him etc (overseas location where workers have no rights). However, between us we got reason to prevail and the poor guy got off with a reprimand. Which was still bloody unfair.

Re the testing idea. If it could be individualised AND also data was adjusted according to sign-on time, probably it could detect a decline in one's performance over time. If that helped identify and treat either health or fatigue, then great. But, what if: "Sorry old buddy, the computer indicates you are no longer fit for our particular gruelling operation because you are failing to meet your own peak standard of xx years ago. You are just not as sharp as you were when you joined us. It must be burn-out. Too bad, so sad. We have found a young stud with 1200 hours who can ace the programme, so we are going to increase the flight and duty limits. Because he is so young, we should get 5 years out of him before we burn him out too". Meantime, he has your seat."

framer
23rd Dec 2009, 06:11
But, what if: "Sorry old buddy, the computer indicates you are no longer fit for our particular gruelling operation because you are failing to meet your own peak standard of xx years ago. You are just not as sharp as you were when you joined us. It must be burn-out. Too bad, so sad.
There will be lots of "what ifs" with anything new. Always is. I'm sure we could attack each one as it arises and come up with a good system. Here is one idea to combat that problem, there are probably hundreds more....make the fatigue test through an independant company, that company owns the rights to the software and the only thing they are interested in is plotting your individualised data and calling any sharp divergences (like 20% from one 5am sign on to the next), everyones data is confidential and the airline only has its usual checking and training data to hold over you, as is the case now. With the way things are now and with internet 2 already up and running in some universities, the company could be on the moon and it wouldn't matter. If there were 4 or 5 companies offering the service, say one in the states, one in Aus, one in Germany, one in England etc etc , your airline could choose a provider and off you go.
There are solutions to these problems that get thrown up. I strongly believe that this would drop incidents and accident rates noticably. A decline similar to the introduction of EGPWS. I say this because fatigue plays a role in small incidents that never get reported as well as the Colgens and the Melb Emirates , eg, how many alt busts, tcas TA's, config warnings on the roll, forgotten PA's, hot approaches etc etc etc wouldn't happen if the crew were feeling well rested and full of energy? My guess is lots, but we won't know until we have a test for fatigue.
Cheers, Framer

framer
23rd Dec 2009, 07:18
ATC and Engineers should have duty limitations in my view. I have done a 24hr shift to get a plane out of the hangar myself, I did my normal duty and then was asked to carry on so that the a/c could depart on an international flight at 0600hrs. we got it done but looking back (15 years) it was asking for trouble. In saying that, I have done 19 hour duties as a pilot in B737 with no rest facilities available whatsoever. In my opinion that was a greater threat to safety. Maybe this fatigue test can apply across the industry???

airtags
23rd Dec 2009, 07:57
The whole fatigue (a new 'f' word) as stated rests amid a number of dubious and less than articulate regulatory issues.
Essentially, Australia is one of the few IATA aligned regimes not to have mandated FRMS. CASA's position of 'leaving it to the EBA's' is not satisfactory. Further, by implication, the lodgement and review of the FRMS "plans" as part of the Operator's certification is largely unaudited and typically deemed undiscoverable or exempt when made the subject of FOI's.
Risk minimisation has become risk rationalisation. The regulatory regime has through the delegation instrument the green field for cost reform.
Reality is however we feed this culture and choose to fly Nadi returns or back for east coast sectors after a BOC trans continental, back up when we are really tired after reduced min rest, or there are even those who elect to run over or fudge duty limits by small margins simply because they want to get home to our families.
The Cabin Crew in the 20:16 NPRM dealing with crew ratios did manage by stealth to get defacto FRMS scruitny in the day of Ops/whole of duty safety case that the AOC holder is required to lodge. Sadly, DJ, QF, JQ and just about everyone else diligently lodged renewals for their current exemptions giving them to around 2012 in breathing space. In the future these defacto reforms may be the only recourse if something horrid was to happen. Only with transparent contestable process can the preserved veil of commercial in confidence can be drawn back.
FRMS is fundamental - it should not be 'held back' as is the CASA agenda. It is every pilot ATC's Eng's & and CC's responsibility to keep pushing and lobbying. Start with the Minister and work your way down the long list.

AT

tio540
23rd Dec 2009, 22:24
I have several issues operating under the FAID system.

It was based on road transport and rail systems, where the driver could stop the truck when he/she felt fatigued.

1. It does not consider the type of duty undertaken. ie C172 circuits in daylight or multiple night ILS approaches to the minima. They both accumulate the same fatigue points.

2. It assumes that the crew are able to diagnose their own fatigue.

3. The FAID system states that above, from memory 60 points, there should be no use of heavy machinery.

It is a published fact, and the Sleep Research Centre acknowledge this, that humans cannot accurately diagnose their own fatigue level.

The flaw in the FAID system is aircrew operate heavy machinery at the 80 points level, diagnosing their own fatigue level, and due to the nature of the industry, are unable to stop midflight like trucking counterparts.

I am however in favour of a better system than CAO 48.

My two bobs worth.

mates rates
24th Dec 2009, 01:52
We can talk all day about different system,different types of flying,different times of flying.The really is from what I have seen over 40 years anything over about 650 hours has the potential to be fatiguing.This applied to CAO 48 rules will keep you from becoming fatigued.Of course the companies want more productivity.But you just use your sick leave provisions to protect yourself from fatigue!!

framer
24th Dec 2009, 02:48
But you just use your sick leave provisions to protect yourself from fatigue!!
That doesn't work for everyone. Many pilots (myself included) are loath to call in sick unless they are actually sick. I'm not sure why, I think it has something to do with the individuals upbringing/family background etc.I'm not saying its a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a thing. There is no doubt in my mind that using sick leave to avoid fatigue is not an acceptable method for preventing fatigue related incidents in the industry.
The funny thing about this is that if fatigue were measurable, airlines would very quickly develop rostering systems and techniques that brought their crews right to the limit of starting to become fatigued without becoming fatigued.
There have been "fatigue tests" developed with all sorts of different techniques like measuring eye movement etc.
If such a test were mandated by law then the airlines would come up with the rostering systems for us quick smart. The problem of tired pilots, drunk pilots, hung-over pilots, pilots stressed about their wife leaving them or just with low blood sugar levels........all solved overnight. Safer industry, more efficient industry, more cost effective industry, better lifestyle for crews...... we've led the other industries with engineering and CRM etc, lets do it with fatigue issues.
Framer

tio540
24th Dec 2009, 07:58
But you just use your sick leave provisions to protect yourself from fatigue!!


That is a very simplistic and narrow view. How do you go sick 30 mins before landing, at 4.00 am, when you have an ILS to fly?

My information is that in the not to distant future there will be a blood test to check fatigue levels in deceased pilots and motorists. If that is what it takes then so be it.

breakfastburrito
24th Dec 2009, 08:19
My information is that in the not to distant future there will be a blood test to check fatigue levels in deceased pilots and motorists.

Assuming this is viable, like all the other testing, it merely confirms that you are fatigue status at the moment of test, not in X hours time.

Any testing regime would require a predictive function to include the entire anticipated TOD, otherwise it would simply be used as a punitive tool post incident.

Really any testing should be done both prior to and at the completion of the TOD, and the data fed back to the rostering system. Can I see this happening?

tio540
24th Dec 2009, 08:57
My information is that in the not to distant future there will be a blood test to check fatigue levels in deceased pilots and motorists.


I did say deceased.

breakfastburrito
24th Dec 2009, 10:14
tio540, my bad. I was referring to generically to any fatigue testing method, including blood.
I also made the assumption that if it it works dead, it probably does alive...

Ozguy7
29th Dec 2009, 17:12
I work in the Ops department of a long haul operator.

The company regularly rosters crews on, flying the maximum duty limit, regardless of other factors. Their attitude is "it's legal so it must be ok".

They fail to take into account lifestyle factors, previous duties etc.

Just because the rules say you can fly an 18hr duty, doesn't mean it's practical or safe !! :ugh:

Reeltime
30th Dec 2009, 21:19
Of course all this mumbo jumbo, which has gone on for the last 10 or 15 years, could have been avoided if CASA hadn't sold out to the 2 domestic airlines post '89.

After the dispute the airline bosses wanted pilots to work longer hours, so CASA said YES, and in comes the CAO 48 exemption.

CAO 48 is not perfect, no system is, but it worked...and continues to work.

Just because some bonus hungry airline executive wants something, does not mean it's safe. Think about it Mr CASA, and get on with correcting your previous mistake!

redleader78
1st Jan 2010, 05:15
to answere the question that somebody had about other areas I know a bit about the ambulance service. Fatigue is something that the ambulance service has been trying to address for quite a few years.

It is quite common for ambulance officers to have period where they are rostered on for 5 days work for somewhere in the vicinity of 40 plus something hours depending on workload then having a period of on call in between shifts. That can run for 7 days and can have large amounts of disturbances. I know of a situation of a 4 day period a pair of ambulance officers over a were awake for in the vicinity of 70 + hours This was due to long distance transfers for patients that had to go due to weather issues were not able to get an air assest in. Plus the "staff"/only resource in the area so when they got back they had large amounts of casualty work as well that interupted their sleep pattern. These officers didn't want to go off on fatigue as they lived in the community and knew that they were the only ones in the community that could provide a level of medical support. No dr in town over this period hence all the long distance transports. It is now a system where they manage there fatigue in 2 stages. Stage 1 they are only able to respond to "Hot responses" they are able to recline and have a sleep at there own address.
stage 2. They are not to be contacted for any reason for a minimum period of 10 hours and until the staff member makes contact back to the operation centre that they are fit and able to respond.
it has taken a lot to get to this stage. I know as somebody in operations that it really makes my job a lot easier if staff are able to manage their own fatigue and report it. It also makes the questions from the coroner a lot easier to answer on why a delay in response was made to a case. I know there was a lot of "apprehension" about big brother and people monitoring people when they called fatigued. They thought that it would go against them in promotion or whatever, so people wouldn't report it. Plus sometimes people wouldn't report it cause they missed a call out which can be worth big money especially on a sunday. (On a sunday a call out is worth about 14 standard hours pay) Where there has had to be a bit of a stick approach to that sort of thing taking the call out and then failing to report for their duty shift. On the whole there is no little black mark against you, it from an operations perspective find it so much easier to deal with when people report their fatigue levels and we welcome it with open arms. It has just taken from the operation centre and from human resource perspective the risks of not taking a stance on fatigue will expose you too more liabilities than the percieved "incovenience" of somebody going off on fatigue.

I think it is about applying common sense. I know some people do it but it isn't exactly wise to be commuting from perth to sydney before the commencement of your shift. It may be out of line for me to say this but it seems pilots are sometimes their own worst enemies. All fighting for their own little chance at a shiney jet, or whatever. So as mentioned in other it causes a degradation in terms. I think so many pilots only think of them selves so push the rules so hard to gain whatever advantage they can. So employeer have to play hard ball. I for one have better conditions than my fellow co workers because I don't go out of my way to rock the boat, I talk with my employeer about there expectations and I highlight my expectations. We often come out with mutually benefecial results. If the employer is a jerk, simple answer don't work for them. It might be hard as we all like to have a wage to live and do things but how much of the stuff we spend our money on is superferlous to our needs or spent out of debit. WE BECAME ENSLAVED not as we really should be are is a respected servant. So i am one for is report your fatigue, talk to your employer, let them know what you are capable of doing, and come up with a solution.

Minosavy Masta
1st Jan 2010, 20:47
I remember a time ..many years ago when a Check Captain would ask and expect to receive a correct answer to questions relating to Duty and Flight time limitations,In fact it was mandatory to have working knowledge of these and the knowledge was tested during Line Checks.
It seems to me in this day and age that NOBODY!! really has a firm Idea of duty and Flight time limits....certainly not to the extent that these can be discussed without reference to a FAM or CAO document.
The Old ANO 48 as it was then....had one thing going for it ....that current regulation seems to have lost along the way.....and that is adherance to the KISS principle in its drafting.;)

Kelly Slater
2nd Jan 2010, 00:00
This is a post that I made some years ago. It didn't receive much of a response.

"COA 48 Exemptions & other CASA sanctioned quality of life destroyers

I always thought that the CAO 48 exemption was a lead up to a revised Order but 15 years or so on, nothing much has changed. 0500 sign on is not and never will be the start of a normal day. Fortunately, I have never come across any company that combines it with a 30 minute sign on, another of CASA's foibles. With boarding 15 minutes before departure, a 30 minute sign on would leave the pilots at security screening whilst the passengers are doing battle with the overhead lockers."

I was trying to be subtle. By 0500 not being a normal start to the day, I meant that if a person signed on at 5AM, allowances should be made to that and future duties with the understanding that the person probably didn't get all the sleep that he or she would have liked the night before. You shouldn't be allowed to sign on at 5AM five days in a row. My comment about 30 minute sign ons was supposed to point out that people with 30 minute sign ons still arrive at work an hour early. The post heading still stands. The CAO48 exemption reduced my quality of life. Any further changes to Flight and Duty times will undoubtedly reduce my lifestyle further. As to the safety of the flight, if I am less rested, then the safety of the flight is reduced but the company will only ever roster to the limits imposed by the regulator. Companies are in the business of making money. They need overseers to stop them from exploiting pilots. Regulators and unions are the overseers.