View Full Version : Ryanair denies pilots 'exhausted'

20th Jun 2002, 11:27

Ryanair denies pilots 'exhausted'

Ryanair pilots can cancel flights to maintain safety

Ryanair has denied allegations that pilots are facing so much pressure they are disobeying instructions from air traffic controllers.
Chief executive Michael O'Leary told the BBC his pilots were not overworked and said safety was their top priority.

His comments followed fresh accusations in Wednesday's Times newspaper that a Ryanair pilot was sacked for allegedly refusing to take off when exhausted.

O'Leary said the only priority for his pilots was safety

Earlier, a whistle-blower's safety report published on the internet had claimed pilots were cutting corners in order to save time and avoid delaying flights.

Mr O'Leary, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said: "For every pilot flying commercial aircraft in Europe today, the only pressure they are under is to prioritise safety.

"No exclusion, no deviations are made from that policy.

"A pilot is free to fly an aircraft late, cancel a flight or divert a flight at any stage, if there is any doubt in his mind he will compromise safety.

"And we would fully support, as would any other airlines, at any stage."

Ryanair pilots probably have the best roster arrangements of any group in Europe

Michael O'Leary
Ryanair chief executive

He refused to comment on the case of John Charles reported in The Times, which claimed the Ryanair captain was pursuing unfair dismissal after being too tired to take off.

But Mr O'Leary did deny Mr Charles had piloted five flights a day for five consecutive days.

He said: "Ryanair pilots probably have the best roster arrangements of any group in Europe."

The maximum they work is four flights a day for five consecutive days, he added.

'Ignoring flight paths'

The whistleblower's report which emerged on Tuesday accused pilots of trying to save time by approaching airports too fast.

An unnamed air traffic controller filed a safety report saying pilots were cutting corners because they were working under "extreme pressure on the flight deck to achieve programmed sector times".

The complaint was made to the UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme, known as Chirp.

Pilots were also said to be ignoring longer flight paths which bypass residential areas and instead flying directly over villages and towns, increasing noise pollution.

As well as Ryanair, other budget airlines Go and Buzz angrily denied the allegations and said safety was a priority.

20th Jun 2002, 14:23
He said: "Ryanair pilots probably have the best roster arrangements of any group in Europe."
ehmm, from whose perspective? :D

Son Of Piltdown
20th Jun 2002, 14:26
Hey, M O'L,

Ever heard of Gerald Ratner?

D McQuire
20th Jun 2002, 16:09
If that is what the BBC reported, then it is an utter distortion of the Times report the BBC quoted:

"He refused to comment on the case of John Charles reported in The Times, which claimed the Ryanair captain was pursuing unfair dismissal after being too tired to take off."

To read what was actually written, read article in The Times of June 19th entitled "Ryanair accused of putting pressure on pilots".

The BBC report contains not only the wrong name but also contains no reference to the alleged infringement which caused the dismissal. Bloody disgraceful journalism - as usual. Can these people even read?

Rumours - more like Chinese whispers!

20th Jun 2002, 16:27
Would presume that the Ryanair crew operate to IAA rules, which i'm sure the IAA has decided are ok from a safety standpoint, and when the crew applied for employment, they asked for work....so what's the problem?

Could it be that other carriers, whom are not making record profits, are very envious of Ryanair management, and thier record profits?

Perish the thought.:rolleyes:

Young Paul
20th Jun 2002, 18:50
Well, now. I had an interview with Ryanair for work at STN, and I have to say that as far as I was concerned, the roster pattern would have been great. No nightstops; a very high ratio of flying to duty; distinct earlies and lates; no nightflights. The biggest problem from a rostering POV was people hitting 100 hour/28 day totals and having to have extra days off. I was invited to talk to the pilots to hear their comments. I would be happy to do about 900 hours a year on that basis. Unfortunately, I was not prepared to move to the job at that stage.

I have other reservations about Ryanair, but rostering wasn't one.

20th Jun 2002, 20:54
MOL opens his mouth and spits more lies out. Pity for the reputation of other low cost airlines branded in the same league as Ryanair.

20th Jun 2002, 21:33
Wait until you are, 'a bit older and experienced paul', . . young paul and then let's talk again. It is too easy to judge, I can imagine that doing 4 sectors a day for 5 days in busy airports during day, evening, weather, delay, tech, etc etc can cause fatique. Call me a sissy, I don't care. And 411A, grow up, get out of your ground/desk job, learn to fly and then comment on the real world!! The time of the true pioneers in aviation is behind us, the beancounters have taken over. Money is now the ONLY object.

20th Jun 2002, 23:54
Yep, Gulfpilot76...get used to it, or get out of the way. The younger guys will just have to work a little harder so the shareholders can have their slice.;)
Do you really think they care?

Robert Vesco
21st Jun 2002, 07:51
Would presume that the Ryanair crew operate to IAA rules, which i'm sure the IAA has decided are ok from a safety standpoint

From: Arizona USA

Amazing how you are able to judge this all the way from AZ... :rolleyes:

21st Jun 2002, 20:25
The only time I have experienced "extreme pressure on the flight deck" is in my pants when the hostesses come in to give me coffee.

What a bunch of crap!

Sounds to me like the sourpusses of PPRUNE have started venting their ignorance in response to the millions we´re making.

Keep at it Ryanair and don´t change a thing!

Captain Stable
21st Jun 2002, 21:36
Perhaps you ought, in that case, to avoid diuretic drinks. It sounds like they don't do you much good... Often, btw, an early sign of prostate cancer. I hear that there are quite a few doctors who could help with a diagnosis - BOHICA... ;)

21st Jun 2002, 23:09
I don't know about diuretics-but I can recommend a laxitif for 411A.He really is full of it....

Roger de Roughly
22nd Jun 2002, 09:08
What companies say publicly and what actually happens behind the scenes are frequently two different things.

Regulations doubtlessly state that it is a pilot's duty not to fly if he feels incapable of operating safely through fatigue/illness etc and every manager will publicly laud this to the heavens and categorically say that his airline puts safety above all else including profit and would never pressure a pilot to do otherwise.

We all know the reality of the above statement so I will not spell it out. I have no personal knowledge of FR so I will not debate their internal methodology, but until a pilot can go to his manager and say "I cannot fly today, I have just done 4 long, 4 sector days and I am fatigued" without fear of retribution in some way we are, as an industry, heading for a fatigue induced accidend of some sort or another. Until the bean counters allow Flight Ops Managers to emply sufficient crews to realistically cover their flying requirements as well as allow for sickness, last minute charters and various other human elements the situation will not improve.

And let's stop bashing 411A just because he POSTS something here, it's beginning to get like "Guvnor Bashing". He is right in his last post here, whether we like it or not. The shareholders do NOT care how hard the staff have to work as long as they get their dividends. Most of them probably do not understand aviation at all and arejust in it because it gives them a good return.


22nd Jun 2002, 10:32
And who do you think the major share holders are? Could it be the pension funds. Doubtless when drawing your pension your views will change. We have been promised 'fatigue related' catastrophies for some time now! crying wolf perhaps.

Captain Correlli
22nd Jun 2002, 14:12
Hey, if you want to talk about fatigue, then consider us at BA CitiExpress. Four sector days???? I'd love it, we are often on five or six, day in and day out, with nightstops and minimum rest thrown in! I know this isn't the thread story, so apologies for changing it a bit. And yes, I know we could vote with our feet - believe me a lot of us are doing just that. We actually had a situation at one stage where a doctor contacted both CAA and Company to complain he didn't approve the fact that so many pilots were seeing him about stress and fatigue. The rosters did change for a short while after that.

Things getting better - well, we're recruiting. Nope, not pilots, just more rostering staff to assist in spreading the butter more thinly! (And we need them. We recently had a trainee, not signed off for FLC, pitch up to go flying with an ordinary Line Captain.:rolleyes:

22nd Jun 2002, 21:10

I think most of us in all airlines work pretty hard at times regardless of airlines, though the kind of roster instability I hear about with some must understandably make the situation worse.

Prehaps we should be careful about spikey comments to those whom we percive have a better time of it. The grass may be greener but belive me the grass we are grazing on is thining out quick. And that is bad for all because that means if the top slide you end up with the nettles and the thistles.

What we need is for all pilots of all levels to have good, fair and sensible levels of pay and terms and conditions. We should be co-ordinating our efforts to achieve a net result for our community rather than wasting our energy fighting each other for a mouthful of weed.