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oicur12.again
25th Dec 2015, 20:09
I am interested to know how many countries mandate the donning of oxygen masks by pilots left alone in the flight deck while in cruise.

the FAA is the only aithority I have seen that require this practice, interested to know what happens in Europe?

Specifically talking about quick donning masks as installed in the Airbus for example.

phantom menace
25th Dec 2015, 20:58
Not just the FAA, but is regulatory practice in most ICAO states. If one pilot is outside the FD above FL350 the other should be on oxygen.

despegue
25th Dec 2015, 21:04
Not in EASA land.

Never even heard of it to be honest.

Offchocks
25th Dec 2015, 21:06
Not in Australia.

ShotOne
25th Dec 2015, 22:01
Really, phantom? Where?

Spooky 2
25th Dec 2015, 22:14
I believe the FAA rule is +FL350. Use to be FL250

FlyingStone
25th Dec 2015, 22:16
As if "two persons in cockpit at all times" rule is not enough, you want us to be putting oxygen masks on as well?

How many cases have included rapid decompression with only one pilot in the cockpit?

Spooky 2
25th Dec 2015, 22:21
How many cases have included rapid decompression with only one pilot in the cockpit?

How many do you need? With all of the dumb causes for accidents over the last ten+ years this sounds pretty reasonable. TOUC above FL300 is pretty small as I recall.

Skornogr4phy
25th Dec 2015, 23:24
Not in the UK. I can't imagine the germs that must collect in those things. I assumed they don't get cleaned between every crew.

Offchocks
26th Dec 2015, 00:04
TOUC above FL300 is pretty small as I recall

TOUC for the average adult:
FL300 - 1 minute
FL350 - 45 seconds
FL400 - 15 seconds

Allowing 5 seconds for the startle effect and a further 5 seconds to don the oxygen mask, I think there is plenty of time when using quick donning masks.

aterpster
26th Dec 2015, 02:07
Skor:

Not in the UK. I can't imagine the germs that must collect in those things. I assumed they don't get cleaned between every crew.
At my employer (U.S.) we had a supply of wet alcohol wipes on the flight deck that had been approved by the company medical department. We carefully cleaned the mask when we originated or replaced another crew, and then tested it both for O2 flow and the mic.

Made sense to me.

I jump seated on a couple other major U.S. carriers who did not do such a test.

CanadianAirbusPilot
26th Dec 2015, 03:05
Never heard of that in Canada.

oicur12.again
26th Dec 2015, 03:13
My new job is my 6th airline, all in different countries but my first in the US. Its been an eye opener how the FAA mandate certain things compared to others. Not as progressive as i expected.

Its the first time i have seen the use of oxy masks in flight (except for oz in the old days) and it appears to me that the masks are getting beaten up by constant use. Last week a crew had the hose come off the mask during removal and flailed all over the cockpit.

Capt Claret
26th Dec 2015, 03:20
Excerpt from the relevant Australian Order, CAO 20.4.

8.4 Unless paragraph 8.5 applies, where a pressurised aircraft to which this subsection applies is operated above Flight Level 250, then at least 1 pilot seated at the controls of the aircraft must use supplemental oxygen at all times during which the aircraft is operated above Flight Level 250.

8.5 Paragraph 8.4 does not apply if an aircraft is equipped with a quick- donning type oxygen mask for the pilot or, if more than 1 pilot is required for the flight, each pilot. However, whenever the aircraft is operating above flight level 450, the pilot, or one of the pilots, seated at the controls of the aircraft must wear an oxygen mask that is properly fitted and supplying oxygen

stilton
26th Dec 2015, 03:29
If they get worn out by 'constant use' so be it, replace them.


They can save your life, I always give mine a thorough cleaning
on every preflight and use it when required.


Completely unsanitary and plain stupid not to do this, the last thing you
need is a mouth full of dust, crap and germs when you really need it.

Una Due Tfc
26th Dec 2015, 03:29
The only airline I know for certain that does it is Omni (euro controller here), and that's only because the guy apologised to me for possible poor transmission quality (there was zero difference in his case).He obviously didn't realise I talk to Aeroflot and Turkish on a daily basis.

Apart from the above omni though I must say it's been very hard to understand what you folks are actually saying when you're on the oxy. Definitely worth bearing in mind if you're ever on it.

safelife
26th Dec 2015, 04:37
Was mandatory in my place till JAR came out. Since then, and with EASA, nope.

c100driver
26th Dec 2015, 06:35
Compulsory to use O2 with only one pilot on flight deck in New Zealand above 35,000. Also if flying above 41,000 one pilot must be on O2.

ACMS
26th Dec 2015, 08:37
Not required in HK.

A Squared
26th Dec 2015, 09:51
I believe the FAA rule is +FL350. Use to be FL250


It's still FL250 under part 121

121.333 (c)(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(2) of this section, if for any reason at any time it is necessary for one pilot to leave his station at the controls of the airplane when operating at flight altitudes above flight level 250, the remaining pilot at the controls shall put on and use his oxygen mask until the other pilot has returned to his duty station.

RAT 5
26th Dec 2015, 12:23
However, whenever the aircraft is operating above flight level 450, the pilot, or one of the pilots, seated at the controls of the aircraft must wear an oxygen mask that is properly fitted and supplying oxygen

That would have meant that an N-reg Concorde PIC would have been on O2 for most of the flight.

FlyingStone
26th Dec 2015, 13:53
How many do you need? With all of the dumb causes for accidents over the last ten+ years this sounds pretty reasonable. TOUC above FL300 is pretty small as I recall.

Risk assessment in aviation always includes probability and severity. While the severity of rapid decompression is very high, probability of happening it exactly when one pilot is out of the cockpit is very high.

There has to be some common sense in aviation.

wanabee777
26th Dec 2015, 14:14
That would have meant that an N-reg Concorde PIC would have been on O2 for most of the flight.

By all rights, if a rapid decompression occurred at altitudes above 50,000 ft, one would need a pressure suit to survive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_suit

galaxy flyer
26th Dec 2015, 16:55
However, whenever the aircraft is operating above flight level 450, the pilot, or one of the pilots, seated at the controls of the aircraft must wear an oxygen mask that is properly fitted and supplying oxygen

That would have meant that an N-reg Concorde PIC w

The rule in FAA-land is F410 which does affect bizjet operators. We're trying to change it, but it doesn't effect the airlines, so the FAA isn't interested.

GF

JammedStab
26th Dec 2015, 17:38
Not just the FAA, but is regulatory practice in most ICAO states. If one pilot is outside the FD above FL350 the other should be on oxygen.

So to confirm then....it is NOT regulatory practice in most ICAO states.

Spooky 2
26th Dec 2015, 18:34
"Last week a crew had the hose come off the mask during removal and flailed all over the cockpit."

Sounds like a good reason to check functionality of the system out before you go flying. Pretty much SOP in the FAA Part 121 world. The full face masks as used by a number of airlines, are a little more difficult.

oicur12.again
27th Dec 2015, 03:12
"Sounds like a good reason to check functionality of the system out before you go flying"

Interesting take on it.

I suspect the damage is being done by the constant removal and replacement of the masks. Chicken or egg?

Fly3
27th Dec 2015, 04:50
oicur12.again

I think you may have a good point there. A certain Asian airline requires the masks to be tested and re-stowed before every flight by the flight crew. There have been countless occasions where the re-stowing was incorrectly carried out rendering the quick don function to be lost!

Skornogr4phy
27th Dec 2015, 10:16
In my company we check the operation (flow and oxy rate etc) while still in its cubby, but don't physically remove it.

A Squared
27th Dec 2015, 11:08
I pull mine out, clean it with a sanitizing swab, and put it on, check o2 flow and communications, then give it another wipe with the sanitizing swab and stow it. That way I know that if I need it, it's ready to go, o2 is there, the microphone is correctly connected and the hose is not in a snarl. I don't know how many times I've pulled it out and the mic is not connected correctly. In our airplanes the mic plugs into a small panel which is hard to see and hard to reach, consequently the mask mic plug often gets mistakenly plugged into the hand mic jack. Finding a ball of snarled hose is not uncommon. I once found the mask half full of frozen coffee.

I'm not going to say that these things happen all the time, but they're common enough that there's at least some chance that my quick donning mask isn't going to be quite so "quick donning" if I need it to be. So I preflight it.

RAT 5
27th Dec 2015, 11:43
The rule in FAA-land is F410 which does affect bizjet operators. We're trying to change it, but it doesn't effect the airlines, so the FAA isn't interested.

Oh yeh? Most private biz-jets most likely do what they like: or file FL410 as max.

To those who say the quite regularly deploy the O2 max and re-stow it; I salute you. It has never been a teaching point in nay of my TR courses. I learnt how to do it using initiative & an engineer. IMHO a quick poll of those who know how to re-stow an O2 mask would show a very small %. Surely, if there is a need to use and re-stow then crews should be instructed how to do so.

Denti
27th Dec 2015, 11:57
On the types i'm rated both flow and microphone can be tested while the mask is still stowed. And yes, we have to do that before the first of our flights of the day of course. But regularly taking the mask out and use it is not part of the normal test, and since we do not have to use it during normal operations re-stowing isn't trained, let the engineers handle that, it is part of their job. It is the same in the simulator. Use it, roughly place it close to its stow position and let the simulator engineers stow it after the session. My company pays for that after all.

FlyingStone
27th Dec 2015, 13:44
I think you may have a good point there. A certain Asian airline requires the masks to be tested and re-stowed before every flight by the flight crew. There have been countless occasions where the re-stowing was incorrectly carried out rendering the quick don function to be lost!

So, because of incorrect re-stowing, the solution is to re-stow it every day?

I agree with Denti, let the engineers handle the re-stowing of the oxygen mask. As a pilot, your main duty is to stop the oxygen flow (usually by closing the left door and pressing the test/reset button) when you don't need the mask anymore and verifying it has indeed stopped.

FDMII
27th Dec 2015, 15:29
CanadianAirbusPilot;
http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/572330-use-oxygen-when-one-pilot-break.html#post9220664
"Never heard of that in Canada"One carrier in Canada used to require it when one pilot left the FD. That same carrier now requires both pilots to wear O2 masks when above FL410 and the masks are the quick-donning type.

A Squared
28th Dec 2015, 10:38
To those who say the quite regularly deploy the O2 max and re-stow it; I salute you. It has never been a teaching point in nay of my TR courses. I learnt how to do it using initiative & an engineer. IMHO a quick poll of those who know how to re-stow an O2 mask would show a very small %. Surely, if there is a need to use and re-stow then crews should be instructed how to do so.

I suppose that I should clarify that I'm dealing with a little different setup than the Boeing and Airbus masks. The masks, together with the coiled hose is hung from the cockpit sidewall from a quick release loop, so everything is exposed and subject to getting knocked around by flight bags or the odd foot. And being out in the open the mask is subject to catching debris, such as the aforementioned spilled coffee. re-stowing the deal isn't really a maintenance procedure, more a matter of hanging the hose so the loops aren't twisted, and won't turn into a bird's nest if the mask is grabbed in a hurry. Although, apparently, some of my co-workers can;t figure that out out, or can't be bothered.

galaxy flyer
28th Dec 2015, 15:30
RAT 5

Most private biz-jets most likely do what they like: or file FL410 as max

The problem is "doing what they like" cause normalization of deviation in ignoring the rule. Some stay at F410, some use oxygen above F410, some, no doubt ignore the rule as being out of date. The stats of high altitude loss of pressurization support changing the rule or deleting it entirely. The oxygen masks in a side wall cubby (Scott EROS) weren't designed for constant use and constantly being undone and restowed, hence the test function which doesn't require removing the mask.

GF

Spooky 2
28th Dec 2015, 16:07
Here are some additional references.


Operators Press For Relief From Oxygen Mask Rule | NBAA2014 content from Aviation Week (http://aviationweek.com/nbaa2014/operators-press-relief-oxygen-mask-rule)

Ozlander1
28th Dec 2015, 21:18
Let's just hope none of you jokers ever have to use your mask because you won't even know if it's there or where it is.

WrldWide
28th Dec 2015, 22:11
So in response to the OP, we have USA and NZ only. Anywhere else?

Una Due Tfc
29th Dec 2015, 02:50
Forgive my ignorance here as a controller, but a G5 driver told me a couple of years ago that if they depressurise and don't respond within a set time limit up in the FL400s the aircraft will deviate and descend off track automatically? And bang out an emergency ADS report for non radar environments advising of same? Is this, like ADS/CPDLC, fairly standard equipment on the latest biz jets?

galaxy flyer
29th Dec 2015, 05:18
Most of the newer bizjets do have "emergency descent mode" as an autopilot function. Cabin > 13,500-ish, plane >F250, autopilot coupled, and the A/P does a ninety degree turn off course, throttles idle and speed goes to Mmo/Vmo and levels off at F150-ish. Details depend on manufacturer. On Global Express, EDM can also be manually selected by the crew.

GF

stilton
29th Dec 2015, 20:57
What happens when this automated descent mode is activated when you're over the Himalaya's ?

galaxy flyer
29th Dec 2015, 22:21
Life isn't fair, I guess. There is an assumption that the pilots will respond, disconnect the autopilot and level off at a safe altitude. What are the odds of both pilots being disabled, the plane depressurizing over the highest terrain? Pretty remote and 15,000 covers a remarkable area of the globe--I'd guess 98%. The idea is to get the plane moving down in a controlled fashion.

GF

stilton
30th Dec 2015, 07:45
Life isn't fair but Murphy's law rules I guarantee you :ok:

DEEC
30th Dec 2015, 08:09
Murph's Law says "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". I do not see how that covers the Himalayas jumping from the Indian subcontinent to another part of the world and in front of your airplane when it enters EDM. For my liking, that is a little bit far-fetched – but thanks for the guarantee.

No Fly Zone
30th Dec 2015, 14:11
I have to believe that this is good policy: At or above FL250, a temporary 'solo pilot' must use supplemental O2, (my words, not theirs).
Think it through... If already on O2 for a couple of minutes, it saves a lot of time - when - if something happens. How long are those 'Pee Breaks?' Other then the direct business and a polite word to a FA or two, can it take more than five minutes? Most QD masks are not uncomfortable and certainly not for five minutes or so. For Gawd's sake, just do it and be safe. The odds are always in your favor, but do it anyway. If/when, it is one less detail to deal with... Five minutes won't kill you, with or without a FA as a cockpit monitor. Use the O2!!!

Amadis of Gaul
30th Dec 2015, 15:00
What happens when this automated descent mode is activated when you're over the Himalaya's ?

You kiss you bum goodbye, I guess.

flydive1
30th Dec 2015, 15:14
You kiss you bum goodbye, I guess.

Same result as not having Emergency Descent, I guess

Amadis of Gaul
30th Dec 2015, 15:46
Same result as not having Emergency Descent, I guess

Indeed. As we say in Southeastern Oregon, you're copulated either way.

flydive1
30th Dec 2015, 15:51
Still, I'd rather have it than not. More chances to survive

galaxy flyer
30th Dec 2015, 16:14
Couple of points,

First, It's there to protect the case of pilot incapacitation, better than flying off as a zombie.

Second, it is easily overridden by the pilot. Disconnect the A/P and it's done.

Third, it does NOT deploy speedbrakes, so the descent will not be really rapid giving more time for pilot intervention. I'd guess none of the planes so equipped would descend from F450 Ag much greater than 1500 fpm clean.

Last, to the best of my knowledge, it's hasn't yet been used for real.

GF

Mansfield
15th Jan 2016, 20:48
For a good example of how this may actually work, read the NTSB report on American Trans Air 406, May 12, 1996.

The mask needs to work for two cases: depressurization and smoke in the cockpit. Several years ago, my MD-80 started filling up with smoke from the AC system at FL 370. That is not the time to find out that the mask is not properly adjusted, the hose is tangled, or the mask mike doesn't work.

I preflight the mask every time I get into a new airplane. It is the old quick-donning mask, so the headbands need adjusting, etc. I routinely (probably 3 times a year) find a mask with an inoperative mask mike.

I can't speak to the full face masks, but the Eros mask we had on the 757/767 was easily preflighted in the box. However, we are required to use it above 250, and I used to find them occasionally tangled or packed in a way that would be a problem if you needed the thing quickly. I found that they were very easy to replace once you practiced it...which, if you use it regularly, you can do.

One of the advantages of using them regularly is that you will be that much more comfortable with donning, setting up comm, and flying that way, so that the day you really, really need to do that you won't be swimming in glue.

That said, I also distinctly remember coming back up from my crew break approaching Land's End to find the O2 pressure on the status page reading zero. It only took me a couple of nanoseconds to realize that the reason for that was that I had left the emergency lever on when I preflighted it back at JFK, and we probably hadn't had any O2 since we were about number 4 for takeoff. That could be avoided by not preflighting the mask, of course, but you could also preflight it carefully and correctly. Fortunately, I am not a skydiver.

I also discovered, fortunately in the sim, that the smoke goggles provided by a particular company did not fit over my drugstore readers. Another useful check to make once in a while.

Bottom line is you're gonna get one shot at getting it right on the day you need it. Whether you are required to use it above 250, 350 or not at all, always preflighting it and periodically using it can't do anything but make your day go better when that moment springs...

CaptainMongo
31st Jan 2016, 06:04
Mansfield,

Great points, my thoughts exactly as I read this thread. I ensure my co-pilots wear the mask when I leave the cockpit - how? I always let them use the Lav first. They then see that I have put my mask on before they leave and know I expect them to do the same (they find the antiseptic swabs nearby when they come back)

I can't say how many FO's: fumbled putting the mask on, fumbled setting up the audio controls for intra cockpit communication and fumbled ATC transmissions. Twice in the last 20 years, last time about 2 years ago I had to put the mask on for real - cabin pressure loss and smoke. It wasn't easy-peasy but it wasn't the horrendous distraction it could have been.

Captains lead by example, Captains mentor by example. That young fellow or young lady in your right seat is going to fly you around some day as the Captain.