View Full Version : pilots against hours increase

3rd Jan 2003, 20:09
Hi all!

I have been hearing a few things in reference to the new European Community ruling on Flight and Duty Time.

I am very interested in finding out what is the latest and
where we stand. Is anyone here up to speed?

Also the Italian pilots' unions have proposed a strike and
are selling it as Europe wide. Is it true? Are all other
European pilots going on strike on the 21st of January?

That's what the unions here are telling us, but I personally
do not believe strikes to be the best way to inform the
public of the risks connected with an increase in operational

What do you think??? Thanks for your input.

The Meerkat

3rd Jan 2003, 20:19
:) Well I am sure we are all interested...what have you heard..what are the propoesed numbers? If they can increase the hours we currently work under, then I think I will stop flying;)

3rd Jan 2003, 23:20
This has to be the biggest single issue facing European pilots at the moment. If you don't know about it, find out!

Your union would be a good place to start!

Haven't heard of any strikes in this neck of the woods yet, but it is definitely going to be a BIG deal soon!

Lord Lucan
4th Jan 2003, 09:17
I currently fly under the Dutch Flight and Duty regulations. While staying well inside the requirements it is not unusual for both myself and my FO to have difficulty staying awake at 0500.

Flight and duty regs plainly have nothing to do with having well rested crews - as they totally fail to achieve this.

I have always assumed that they are just another typical piece of aviation politics whereby legislation is enacted to appear to do something while similtaneously achieving little or nothing.

Airlines constant lobbying against more effective regulations simply confirms their true position on safety verses economics.

4th Jan 2003, 12:26
seemingly the CAA are in the process of changing CAP 371 FTL due the delays encountered within JAR FCL.
Has anyone got access to this document, what are the changes???:eek:

4th Jan 2003, 16:53
The CAA proposals for changes to CAP 371 are at UK CAA FODCOM (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/FOD200229.pdf)

The proposed changes close a few of the loopholes exploited in the past by less scrupulous crewing deptments!

As interesting as the actual changes, are some of the responses from our employers - showing their true colours perhaps?

(The link above is a 44 page pdf so might take a little while to download if you aint got broadband, sorry but it's not my website!)

5th Jan 2003, 08:24
Sleeping. thanks for the link to the CAA FODCOM. Having taken part in one of these studies some years ago I am delighted that the scientific findings are being used to implement better safety regulation. This is just the way it should happen. Detect, a problem, objectively investigate, report and then implement an appropriate change after consultation and discussion.

I fully expected the Operator I then worked for to pull every little trick to try and thwart the changes. Trying to discredit the work of Qinetiq really is laughable. The only way to argue against science is with better science. My view is that the changes will make for safer operation. It really isn't acceptable to have crews operating in an overtired or fatigued state; especially in the high density airspace we fly in.

Also, well done to those pilots who stuck their heads above the parapet to voice opinion. If only more would do likewise.

Which brings me to Ryanair. The changes don't apply to them. BALPA have published a nice piece on the issue of flying over 100 hours per month. Yet, we don't seem to get adverse comment from Ryanair pilots. The fixed roster is obviously a good idea. But, is there never a problem with tiredness and fatigue with pilots on five early starts and the pressure of flying over 100 hours a month?

Perhaps the IAA would also like to use the services of the Qinetiq team?

5th Jan 2003, 10:10
The fact is that nothing has been done on the issue for decades in Italy.Only now when Alitalia pilots see their flying done by Volare (code-sharing) the unions are waking up.Which pilot union could allow the pilots to legally work 17 hour duty periods without any regard to carcadian rhythm.Or three pilots could go on for 24 hours without dedicated rest space on plane.Volare also flies to UK.Can check: www.anva.net
The EU Commission has washed its hands
of the issue after sleeping on it for years and now we have the Simpson affair.
Pilots of all nations unite!
But we are our own worst enemies.

9th Jan 2003, 17:46
Geeny, our own colleagues here in Italy could never unite ( AEL-Volare)so what hope of world unity on this subject.
Lets face it. The despotic nature of the airline captain will always work against us. I apologise for such negativity but history bears witness!
Whilst gold continues to fascinate mankind, safety issues will always take second place to commerce!
A happy new year my friend.

10th Jan 2003, 10:45
Well,if Joe (or Giovanni) the Public doesn't care the bean counters should.Also the pilots in the countries with FTL less "liberal" (more fatigue safer) should,they are the next in line unless something is done to stop the rule by the corrupt EU bureaucrats (and others,like ENAC ones).Why it took the Italian pilot unions court action to make ENAC start the latest talks?
We can only hope ECA does something soon and force the ignorant EU money (we pay) waisters to move aside.Can check their web site: www.eca-cockpit.com

20th Jan 2003, 11:53
from BBC teletext:

a campain to prevent an increase in the flying hours of airline pilots is being launched across Europe on Tuesday.

UK pilots' union BALPA believes the European Parliament's Proposal is dangerous and unsafe.

In Italy, pilots are poised to strike on Tuesday in protest, and in Britain union members will be lobbying MP's.

The Civil Aviation Authority said it had concerns but backed the standardising pilots' flying hours across Europe.

anyone care to comment...... anyone know what is proposed?

20th Jan 2003, 13:11
It would be nice if there was something on the BALPA website.:rolleyes:

Big Tudor
20th Jan 2003, 13:19
Duty hours change to 60 hour per 7 consecutive days and 190 hours per 28 consecutive days.

No 28 day limit for block hours, annual = 900 hrs per calendar year.

Max FDP per day = 13 hours. This is reduced for flights encroaching the WOCL (Window of Circadian Low) 0200-0600 local. If you report for a flight during the WOCL then the FDP is reduced by 100% of its' encroachment. If you end during or after (having started before) the WOCL then FDP is reduced by 50% of its' encroachment.

Only comment re days off is min 36 hours off per week, to include 2 local nights. No more than 168 hours between 2 of these off periods.

All make sense? Good. Answers on a postcard to Brian Simpson MEP, rapporteur of the EU FDP Proposal.

20th Jan 2003, 13:23
what about the 1600 circadian low?

Notso Fantastic
20th Jan 2003, 13:33
That's only for English pilots awaiting tea! Only lasts as long as cucumber sandwiches to be eaten.

Moonraker One
20th Jan 2003, 14:17
If i work in an office the working time directive protects me such that i do not have to work more than 40 hours per week. In the transport industry i can be treated like a victorian chimney boy and be made to work 60 hours per week by my masters.
This is a national disgrace that a group of workers can be treated
in this way.

I notice that our MPs in Westminster have got rid of the late night sittings and other unsocial hours and given themselves a massive pay rise. They realise that unsocial hours are bad for their health and private life. It is a shame that they can't make the link with other workers who are put in an unhealthy position because they are unfairly forced to work long unsocial hours for 7 days in a row.

20th Jan 2003, 14:47
42 hour week £50k plus - Airport environment @ T3 site

Big Tudor
20th Jan 2003, 15:25
http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/sipade2?PUBREF=-//EP//NONSGML+REPORT+A5-2002-0263+0+DOC+WORD+V0//EN&L=EN&LEVEL=3&NAV=S&LSTDOC=Y (http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/sipade2?PUBREF=-//EP//NONSGML+REPORT+A5-2002-0263+0+DOC+WORD+V0//EN&L=EN&LEVEL=3&NAV=S&LSTDOC=Y)

A little light bedtime reading

edited to try and fix link ... now tested - seems to works fine ... McD

20th Jan 2003, 15:57
Sky 9 Balpa are extremely active in this area Mervyn Granshaw devotes vast amounts of his time and effort to European Flight time issues.As you clearly have an interest may I suggest you contact the Balpa technical Secretary at the LGW office and volounteer your services on the relevant technical study group.Then you can really be up to speed on the complexity and mind numbing politics of this issue.Balpa is short of member volounteers in virtually all the technical areas.Rewarding and interesting work but also frustrating at times.Become one of the movers and shakers!!:)

20th Jan 2003, 17:02

Big Tudor, I got a "Malicious Script Warning " from
Norton Anti Virus when I tried to open your link !

20th Jan 2003, 18:46
I don't doubt that Merv has worked hard however we do need to be kept up to date with what is being proposed.

20th Jan 2003, 18:54
Does anybody know why the EU think we are not working hard enough?

21st Jan 2003, 07:54

the 5 on 3 off works well. The main problem is the length of the duties, and if the other link on flight duty hours changes is turning up some worrying aspects. If there is no 28 day limit then we are all ******. As for BALPA, well i would love to read there article on flying more than 100 hours per month but I stopped my BALPA membership as they gave up on the Ryanair pilots at the first hurdle and have been slagging them of ever since.

As for the IAA well i wouldn't be suprised if they were behind the proposals for longer hours. It fits in with MOL's world plan.

corruption at the top stinks like a dead fish in your flightbag

Bob Brown
21st Jan 2003, 08:59

If i work in an office the working time directive protects me such that i do not have to work more than 40 hours per week

I think you will find that it is an average of 40 hours over a 17 week period.

Is the 900 hours limit total duty time or just the flying element?

If it is total duty time you could do all 900 hours in 17 weeks by doing 52 hours each week.

If it is just the flying element, on average, how many additional hours do you do each year (excluding travel to and from duty)?

21st Jan 2003, 09:18
At least the Parliament has made the effort to draw SOMETHING up.

Take a close look at the European Union document. The European Commission's opening section was 25 WORDS LONG. The Parliament's amendment to it runs to ELEVEN PAGES. It might not be what pilots want, but it looks like the Parliament is doing all the work that the Commission should have done.

21st Jan 2003, 10:27
You do have until 31 January 2003 to comment on the proposals so get on with it - you get your name on the first page of the next proposal.:)

21st Jan 2003, 10:38
While the important issue of pilots' hours is in focus, consider the UK maintenance engineer working on the aircraft who has no statutory limits placed on his working hours. Airworthiness Notice 47 is deliberately woolly.
Good luck, flyboys and flygirls!

21st Jan 2003, 10:55
The following parts of the report may be of interest :

Section E 1.2
1.2 The minimum rest which must be provided before undertaking a flight duty period starting away from base shall be at least as long as the preceding flight duty period or 10 hours whichever is the greater; when on minimum rest away from base, the operator must allow for an 8 hour sleep opportunity taking due account of travelling and other physiological needs;

and E1.3

1.3 Notwithstanding 1.2 and provided that an adequate level of safety is demonstrated, the responsible Civil Aviation Authority will grant reduced rest arrangements based on existing national legal provisions.

<why make the regulation anyway ... ? 1.3 overrides 1.2 >

and the last paragraph of the report ...

<pasted direct from the text. you should read the whole of the conclusions>
Your rapporteur finds it unbelievable that the Cockpit Trade Unions don't support his proposals because they will be flying too long and that IACA don't support them because they want pilots to fly longer hours. Such an unholy alliance is difficult to comprehend and illustrates vividly the difficult task that your rapporteur has been faced with.

It is unusual to find such language in an official EU document.

Bob Brown
21st Jan 2003, 10:56
maximum of 55 duty hours in 7 consecutive days

Easy life! Maybe not so easy for you commuter types, but for the long haul types amongst you this is what seems to be a typical week.

Day 1. Check in and prepare for the long flight ahead. Check the weather, routing etc then find your seat and punch in the AP details.
Following pushback, startup and move out to the runway. Line up and, if your feeling brave today, take off. Floowing the required checks etc, enable the AP and sit back with a coffee and the Times crossword.
Every now and then for the next 9 hours, check the instruments to make sure that everything is OK and read the rest of the paper.
Time to liven up, fly the approach manually, land, shutdown and following any paperwork 1/2 an hour later you are on your way to the hotel for a well earned rest.

Day 2. Rest
Day 3. Repeat Day 1 if unlucky or day 2 if lucky.
Day 4. Rest
Day 5. ..... Well you get the picture.

So in one week, they do maybe 36 duty hours, but only actually work about 10 hours, get lots of holidays in the sun with all the TD's and then complain that they don't get enough time off or money.

I agree that the short haul jockeys among you have a different story, but you have to get the seniority somewhere.

21st Jan 2003, 15:44
Bob Brown:-

You are either stirring it, or you know nothing about the subject.

If the case is the former, please don't. This is too important a matter for that, since the figures Brian Simpson used are merely a political solution and have no reference whatsoever to any scientific study into Human Factors and Physiology. Simpson has also several times rejected any BALPA, EAA, and IFALPA input, preferring to accept only the contributions of the airlines.

If the case is the latter, then please go away and leave the grown-ups in peace.

Remember - flight safety directly affects YOU.

I suspect that Simpson is either choosing to ignore or can't see the coming storm when one airline in one country sees their competitors in another country able to squeeze more work out of their pilots and demands a "level playing field".

What is it about politicians? Do they all check their brains at the door before walking into Westminster or Brussels or wherever?

Faire d'income
21st Jan 2003, 15:54
When deciding to support pilots all over Europe did Mr. Simpson ask meet with any of the pilots associations? Did he accept contributions from the ECA or IFALPA? Did he consult with the various bodies conducting research into pilot fatigue?

The pilots of Europe can do without this sort of support.:mad:

Wee Weasley Welshman
21st Jan 2003, 22:14
Can we at PPRuNe HQ ( deep in the bowels of an agreeable Southern French chateau ) organise a coherent campain against this madness?

Methinks it is time for the forum to step out of the shadows...


21st Jan 2003, 22:50
Glad to see so many replies. I had the feeling this was going to be a major subject.

Today I witnessed the strike of my colleagues in Italy, but believe we need more. Unity across the nations is our only hope. We shall try to steer the decision makers in the right direction.

Also honoured and humbled by the precence of our moderator, I will agree we need more visibility. I also believe we are overdue for action. Any ideas?

Let's do it, folks.

"United we stand, divided we fall..."

The Meerkat

22nd Jan 2003, 00:36
I think it is about time the CAA recinded its "jump seat Ban policy", just a one off mind you. Then let Mr Simpson put his money where his mouth is and invite, nae, (consign) him on to the jump seat of a regional /jet operator, for lets say 12 months.

This would allow Mr Simpson to experience first hand, the delights of short haul,
6 sector days with max duty hours, minimun turnaround times and minimum rest through out all weather conditions. Fog, CAT, High X wind limits, Turbulence and not to mention Slippery when wet, with all the delights of diverting coz you're down to min fuel in the hold due any of the aformentioned.

His duty day of course would be extended just like ours, due to excersizing our "Discrection" to keep the ball rolling and keeping the show on the road.

May I suggest for starters BHD-IOM-LCY-JER-LCY-IOM-BHD.
For the first 3 earlies, followed by 3 Lates of, 2xBHD-LWGs followed by the same early sequence but on lates to make up the proposed 7th day ?

We will of course allow him the proposed 36 hours off before repeating the whole thing again.

If he is sick on any of the flights then he gets a rap over the knuckles with the blunt end of the fire axe and then gets to clean it up.

If he falls asleep at any time (obviously due to fatigue) then he gets a rap round the knuckles with the sharp end of the fire axe.
(this will also demostrate to him that nail files and tweezers would have been pretty useless when we have Conan the Barbarian's favourite weapon of choice immediately to hand).

After the reallity sinks in I very much doubt that he would want to continue the rest of his "programme."
12 months ? now I not a betting man but....

Rant Over. WWW, you are absolutely right mate, something
needs to be done, sooner rather than later !

Not edited for spelling coz its far tooo early in the morning.............and you know 36 hours rest and things.;)

Faire d'income
22nd Jan 2003, 09:35
There is a difference between duty time and flight time. If you do 52 hours flight time a week for short haulers that is at least 104 hours duty time. That doesn't allow for sim, reserves, ground school, special courses, medicals, leave or a life in general.

Longhaul if you do 52 hour flightime a month you are still doing at least 62 hours duty time with the added thrill of the jet-lag. Anyone who says sitting in the cockpit for 10 hours isn't work has obviously never done it.

You either have no idea what you are talking about or are deliberately misleading those who don't. Are you a manager?

We can give you your own thread. Let's call it Brown stuff!

22nd Jan 2003, 10:18
bob brown

Typical short haul jockey week

day 1; 1 - 4 sectors - fly 7 - 8 hours - duty 10 - 12 hours
days 2,3,4 and 5 - see day 1

enjoy your days in the sun !

22nd Jan 2003, 15:04
Gentlemen,why have 10 days passed between my last post and the reply?I have been pressing the issue for years (one of the reasons I had to change my pprune name).Italian FTL are a disgrace and have been for decades.Prodi,de Palacio,Monti etc shame on you and well' remember the name Brian Simpson...

22nd Jan 2003, 15:23
Thought you might like his email address and website. Nothing about aviation unless it is under "Foot and mouth" :) :)

[email protected]


Celtic Emerald
23rd Jan 2003, 18:20
Saw this in the Oirish newspapers. Anyone including the public can voice their objection if they feel uncomforable of being flown by pilotswho may have been at the controls for 14 hours at a stretch several times a week, or without sufficient rest periods between flights

For Ireland contact

Mr Seamus Brennan TD (Minister of Transpost)
Department of Transport
44 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Email: [email protected]

Or Council of Transport Ministers, 175, rue de la Loi,
B-1040 Brussels.

Or contact your local European Parliament Member at:

European Parliament,
Rue Wiertz, B-1047

Good luck lads, the proposals seem inhuman to me. Obviously made by some idiot politicians.

Now get voting!!!


24th Jan 2003, 10:24
We should not be campaigning to stop an increase in hours, but a reduction. The various AA's are in the hands of the financial bosses of the airlines. They wear 2 hats and wish to preserve the financial strength of the companies in a supposed safe enviroment. Too often have I seen the AA's relax the rules to an airline pleading for survival. Note the recommendation to the FAA after Valujet. It was strongly recommended that the FAA could not police saftey and commercial vialbility. Conflict of interests. (not sure what happened).

In early 90's the EU workers charter was brought in. This covered all the goodies from volume of working space, to rest breaks and average duty times. I'm sure we all have heard of these cossetted conditions. 45 cubic metres, temp controlled, regular breaks from work station, max 40hrs average etc. etc. Kinnock, the then transport commissioner, gave public transport a dispensation for a few years to come up will a cunning plan to implement something similar in its unique enviroment.

In the meantime the industries were supposed to implement a compensation package to its workers!

What happened? NOWT. The national flag carriers and their associated unions already had a cushy number. It was those at level 2 & 3 who kept the old working practices.
After a few years in mid 90's Kinnock lost his rag (gently) and insisted something be done and for the industries to stop dragging their feet.
What happened? NOWT. What did the unions do? NOWT. Kinnock's gone and where are we now? On the slope to even worse affairs. So 10 years after all ground workers received a better deal the aircrew at the sharp end of safety are being squeezed even more. Heath & Safety? Not once your airborne!

What do the public know about it? NOWT.
Remember the crash of B737 at Coventry. CAA sighted fatigue and yet the crew (Algerian) were well within CAP371. What if that freighter had instead been a pax B747 at Birmigham???
The CAA have said that CAP 371 is not a safe guard to fatigue and that they expect companies to devise a rostering scheme to give a balance between good productivity and quality time off at home for crews. Have the FOI's policed this philosophy? NO.
Have the unions policed this policy? In the flag carriers, yes! National unions should be just that. Safety and quality of life should be national, not company dependant.
In most ops manuals there is a statement in the safety section that "management should be aware the effect its decisions might have on morale and the effect of that on Flight Safety." Fine words, but following some threads on Prune about various airlines, that seems to have been totally ignored.
The drop in quality of life of an airline pilot, relative to the common work force, and even the ground staff within the same airline, brings me to the opinion that flying airliners is no longer fun and I would not recommend anyone to do the job, unless they can guarantee a major employer at the start of training. The quality of life expectation is too much of a lottery. If you want fun in flying, get a proper job with enough money and time off to fly small a/c for fun.

Regarding errosion of T's & C's and the decline of status/quality of work enviroment, call it what you will, and the union's roll in allowing it to happen, plus the historical greed of crews; remember the B747-100 all those years ago, nearly 40?
The bubble on top was for the crew rest area. The crews let them take it for a 1st class cocktail lounge (for more wide-body money) and management have branded us prostitutes ever since.

Now see where that has got us! It will be a long climb back up but in some EU contries the FTL's are downright dangerous to health, crews and pax, and as we've read in the ej thread, even in UK you can forget about a family or social life. Who there has time for hobbies?

It is far more than just NOT INCREASING HOURS it is more about ACHIEVING A NORMAL HEALTHY LIFE. To do that I believe there needs to be a whole revamp of the way we work.

Management have pressurised the AA's to extend FTL's to match a/c performance. God help us when the A380, or 340-600 starts flying charters.

Remember the public reaction when the long distance coaches to Athens started falling off the roads? Horror.
Remember what happened whan MP's were caught up in the ATC delays to BRU? S**T hit the fan and ATC delays became a priority. God forbid that a pilot fatigue crash with some MP's should happen, but it would target their thinking.
Public opinion did wonders for the doctors. A fatigued surgeon might kill 1 person, a fatigued pilot.............
It is ackowledged that the human is the weakest link in the accident chain. It seems that the outsiders expect technology to solve the problem by replacing many human actions, but they've lost the plot in understanding that at the same time, in many ways, they've weaked further the weakest link. See the latest stat's for 2002, an increase.
Pilot error is often the easy excuse. It is often heavily contributed to by managment and rostering error. Little investigation is done into why some qualified and competant pilots acted in such a strange way. CFIT is a classic case.

Long duty times on a single day is not too bad, but repeated daily, and with changing sleep patterns??? Why should the general work force have had such an imrovement in their quality of life and the crews have gone downhill so much?

Back to point 1. it is about reversing matters not stopping them getting worse.

Rant over and sorry for the spelling.

And yes, it did get so bad I quit.

24th Jan 2003, 10:45
The answer has to come from the EU. There is no way that the national goverment or the CAA will go it alone on introducing better conditions. We get a lot of noise from BALPA but no achievements, what we need is a high profile campaign to highlite the problems. Air 2000 have got a revised scheduling agreement that devotes lots of space to defining days of etc, but can only fiddle at the margins trying to avoid roster disruption, it is full of holes that allows the company to do what it likes. It doesn't address the real problems of hours worked and subsequent fatigue. I fear that until we have a real upset due to fatigue the politicians will keep their heads in the sand.

24th Jan 2003, 13:55
Rat 5, well said. I couldn't agree more.

Our problem is that it's very difficult to get anyone to listen unless they've actually done the job. Even professional pilots in other types of flying don't appreciate just how absolutely f***ed is the average UK short haul pilot.

There's a huge gulf between the perception of our lifestyle and the reality. Somehow, this needs to be addressed. We need a concerted, ongoing media campaign to highilight the truth. Is the new BALPA leadership up for this?

It's the total lack of commensense in the FTL's that really gets to me. I'm angry now just thinking about it. A job with huge responsibility, demanding good motor skills as well as management ability, and we're expected to work longer and on crazy shift patterns than the average office worker? It's mind boggling.:rolleyes:

24th Jan 2003, 16:41
RAT 5 tells it like it is, unfortunatly!

25th Jan 2003, 10:00
Thanks guys:

A couple of folow ups:

I sent a letter of similar thoughts to Bill Archer when he was representing BALPA at the ECA FTL conferences a few years ago. As I had worked under UK, Dutch, Scandinavian and Italian FTL's, both short & long-haul, I felt I had some insight into different EU FTL's. No reply! and it seemed that ECA conference achieved very little, publically.

I read that the Italians might strike in protest at the JAA proposals. That's odd! I worked in Italy and that is one country that will benefit from new limits. That said, it would only be the non-Alitalia pilots. As said before, they had a cushy (i.e. correct) internal cap agreement. In the charters I worked 17 hours day/night duties with 2 pilots, no sector reduction and no time zone allowance. Thus we would fly a schedule of 16.40, 2 sectors across the Atlantic, 24 hours off, then 14.30, 2 sectors home. 1 day off and do it again. 2 pilots. Safe? you've gotta be kidding. heathly? see previious answer. It was not uncommon, in a period of 9 days, to have 3 periods of 24hours with no sleep. When I left, it took me 2 weeks to readjust to phyisical normality. i.e. eat, sleep and s**t at the right times and in the right order.

I agree that there needs to be standardisation. Under the UK FTL's the same duties would have been impossible, by a long chalk. If I remember correctly, the limit out-bound would be 10.30 and the limit return 09.30. Thus the italians had a 7.30 longer limit for that return flight. Wow!

Farnboro' also say avoid rest periods or 18-34 hours. The Italians know better. They have twice the flight time. Thus, in the Caribbean, after 12.30 stick time we had 25hours off. Seems like they had it all wrong in so many ways. AND, they were being sub-chartered into UK to fly trips for UK airlines with UK pax that would be not allowed by local crews. Where was the CAA in all this????

The JAA proposals are very similar to the Dutch, and greater than UK. (guess where the JAA HQ is?) I flew under those FTL's, to the limits. Knackering. KLM, of course, had other rules, and as no-one complained to the RLD, nothing changed. The VNV is the KLM union!!! It did nowt.

I flew under UK FTL's, to the limits on Atlantic and Africa routes. Knackering, as the rosterers worked you to the acclimatised limits on the Atlantic and then slipped in an African trip with no time change, rather than time off at home to recover. They used 3 days in Africa to recover, if you didn't get the s**ts. We were bouncing around the 100hours/28 all the time. IMHO going over it, but then the CAA & Balpa had a strange interpritation of 100hours in 28 days. Never figured it out how I could legally land in JFK with 106, 24 hours off, reduce back to 96, then land in Europe back on 104????? All on the 28th day. But they said it was so.

Finally, as we've all read the short-haulers working to the limits, as I have done, are knackered also. I can confirm that.

So, all in all, the majority of pilots are knackered. The pax were aghast when they asked how long we stayed in Cancun, after 17hours duty to get there, and we answered 24 hours. They thought we were staying the week with them. The same was true on the Banjul trips and many other routes. The pax conception of what we do is still based on the old glamorous BOAC (ah) days. The MP's proberbly use BA long-haul as their yard stick of pilot's lifes. Time they were woken up to reality.

In response to the suggestions of taking management on the jump seat;
In Holland I suggested to the finacial director, and the rosterer, that even with their radios, televisions, microwaves, canteens, large fresh toilets, big cuffy chairs, telephones, potted plants, space to walk about, meal & coffee breaks, they should work my roster for 4 days. Horrors of horrors, and they declined. They wanted a meeting on my day off, I declined, but suggested a meeting befoe my next flight. But, horrors, that was a Saturday, and they don't do weekends!

2nd and last rant over.

Good luck to the bretheren who've stuck it out. The people I feel sorry for are the wannabees lamenting in Flight letters that they can't get an interview. They don'y know what they are missing; someone should tell them. (Majors excluded)

25th Jan 2003, 21:42
Ladies and Gents

As a self confessed groundie, whos shift takes him from daylight to darkness every 16 days.
(... and with no stir factor intended)

How does BUPA stand?
Could someone plse confirm how the bill started? interested, thats all.

In over 15 years of short haul flying Ops, I have had very few cases of fatigue sickness. I have more fingers than cases. I do not doubt the work is hard, plse do not get me wrong. Every case of (claimed) fatigue has been notified PRE rest period.
In that time I have seen the traditional CAP371, JAR ops based FTLS and those turned upside-down for night freight.

Pure opinion, every time fatigue is an issue, but the complainant is prepared to drive 2Hrs home? What rules, what liability.
As for crew prepared to sit in a car park one hour away from base for 9 hours of standby, to be called out after eight, fly for 6, and drive 2 hrs home. Self induced fatigue.

Please do not get me wrong, 100% flight safety is mandatory. Help yourselves to help yourselves.



PS, Living 4 miles from my ground base, I take the bus, hassle factor high, put my life in the hands of the driner, but never put the key in the door and think i do not remember driving home. That did become the case!

26th Jan 2003, 05:51
RAT 5. I must congratulate you on your posts, they are truly inspiring and very much to the point of what it's all about that the flying public doesn't know and the airline management doesn't either care or want to know. It is truly a RAT's 5 race and it seems nobody gives a RAT's 5 'bottom'. In my company (M.E.) they now want to do fatique research, for what I wonder. To prove humans are made to sleep at night or. . . .how to convert pilots into autopilots and problem solved instantly. Still even outside the fact the EU FTL gives to many options, it still is far better then most FTL's are now and another thing, rostering and crew planning also play a huge roll in this. They can roster you to dead meat within limits (including all pax of course) just by giving multiple nightflights with some day trips in between, just lovely!
Or if given the chance they can give you sort of a 'life' (before early death). And then the constant & continuing wining of "we are very short of crew" really get's to me by now. (Was just now called out on stby for 2 night flights, I was probably challenging the gods too much on this topic) Anyway I've flown for over 20 years now and am trying to get out, starting a business and with succes I may say. I will probably have less income but I will have a LIFE, and see my daughter become a mom. Flying airplanes is great but the airlines now a days have squeezed all the fun out of it, because fun is not profitable and so doesn't please the share holders. Share holders, by the way, are now a days a company's most important asset, maybe most employees didn't know this yet.
Anyway, better go to bed now before my night fight or should I wait a bit and then. . . . . Recognize this dilemma?
Keep writing the good stuff RAT 5!

stormin norman
26th Jan 2003, 06:54
Dragonair manchester based flight engineers are expected to Fly Man- Ams- DXB, then stay on board to HKG. Can anyone beat that for a duty day ?

26th Jan 2003, 08:56
The fact that the EU are even proposing worse conditions shows how innefective we have been in getting the message across. BALPA have been a total waste of time and have now further demeaned themselves by leaping in with nonsence ststements. As has been previously mentioned, they crow about company agreements which in terms of fatigue relief are useless and which the companies are only to happy to accept. We need effective political lobbying.

26th Jan 2003, 09:55
RAT 5,
The italian unions have woken up only after Volare started flying Alitalia flights (code-sharing).Before they couldn't care less.As I warned before,all the EU (JAR) pilots should care because Volare flies to EU, UK included,have great plans for the future (low cost etc) and have the local union (ANVA) in their pocket.
We need a plan of action and we are late.

26th Jan 2003, 10:05
Are you going to tell us what YOU have done about it. You might start by letting us know whether you are a member of BALPA and moaning about YOUR Union or just taking the benefits and moaning from the outside.
I can tell you that Merv Granshaw has been working extremely hard to get something sorted. BALPA at the end of the day is not about 81 New Road but about every pilot in the UK and what he does and DOESN’T do to back it up.

26th Jan 2003, 10:42
boredcounter, you say:Pure opinion, every time fatigue is an issue, but the complainant is prepared to drive 2Hrs home?
well, what would you like he/she to do? Find public transport at all times of the day or night? Lets face it, impossible. Stay in the car and sleep? Then drive home in time to turn round and come back to the airport? Go sick every time?

What your implying just doesn't correspond to the real situation we face as pilots doing the job. After working your butt off for a company and maybe being away from home for a while, you want to get home to your own bed, end of story. That's why people drive home! And anyway, you can't help thinking angrily when your faced with this situation, "if the company thinks it's ok for me to go into discretion and be responsible for tens of millions of pounds worth of machinery and hundreds of lives in the air and on the ground, then I'm f****ng well ok to drive myself home!:mad: :mad: ". Like it or not, that's the mindset that crap rostering produces.

You also say:In over 15 years of short haul flying Ops, I have had very few cases of fatigue sickness. I have more fingers than cases. I do not doubt the work is hard, plse do not get me wrong. Every case of (claimed) fatigue has been notified PRE rest period.
People do not go sick "fatigued" because the usual reply from crewing is "are you refusing to fly?" Then "well, its legal." Next comes the phone call from a pilot manager asking you why you're fatigued when other pilots have flown exactly the same duty and they haven't reported "fatigued". A load of unneccessary hassle and bull**** I think you'd agree, especially when the reason you're phoning in "fatigued" is because your bloody knackered!! Add to this the fact that this is probably not a one off event, but a rostering pattern that repeats itself again and again, and you'll see why pilots just "go sick" instead of "fatigued".

Anyway, you prove my point about the companies attitude to the word "fatigue" in your own posting.Every case of (claimed) fatigue has been notified PRE rest period. Why do you use the word "claimed" in brackets? Seems to me your implication is that you don't actually believe these cases of fatigue. QED.:rolleyes:

Moonraker One
26th Jan 2003, 10:45
I am required to work 55 hours per week and up to 60 hours when unforeseen delays occur. Office workers only do that if they have signed away their legal protection. I can be rostered to work 7 days in a row.

26th Jan 2003, 12:05
Perhaps we should all now push for a 35/40 hour week !
Total duty time and not flight time. This would bring us in line with most of the other sectors of industry.

I'm sure there will be howls of protest from the various management departments but by the time the negoitiations were done and dusted, we will probably end up with a compromise of say, a 45 hour week; again total duty time only, with absolutly no extentions in anyway shape or form as they are already abusing that clause.

If the crewing departments call "unfair, we don't have enough crews" then either sack 'em and put some one in the crewing departments that can do the job without taking the easy option all the time; or hire more flight/cabin crews or both !

There are some very good crewing/schedulers out there(we have had a few in the past ) but unfortunately they are normally treated as badly as ourselves and of course end up moving on aswell.

Flight Safety is no accident and must be of paramount importance .
Fatigued crews are just a disaster waiting to happen.:( :(

Moonraker One
26th Jan 2003, 13:11
Well said, spot on, way to go.

26th Jan 2003, 18:31
The coals are on the fire, the pressure's rising, the train's a rollin' and I've just finished Sunday lunch. Good on ya', guys. Hck!

I had a friend in ATC at a major airport. Their T's & C's were Ok but not the best. The local regional ATC unit was short staffed. They paid more. There was a hidden agreement against poaching. What happened? There was a sick-out. My friend was visited by the company doctor who could find nothing wrong. My friend said he was fatigued and asked the doctor to sign a note saying he was fit to work. "No way", said the doctor and left him alone.

The ANO says that a crew member must not report for duty if they believe they are not fit to start AND COMPLETE the duty. It is their call. not crewing, nor the flight manager. Next time you are pressurised to report, ask for it in writing. I appreciate it is difficult for lower ranks, but I hope the unions and EU labour laws will give some protection.
It has long been said that pilots are their own worst enemies. What about a blockade of LHR and all major airports, a la French farmers. It's amazing how the crews came onto the streets when Laker and others went bust; surely this is more important? Where is the passion?
Stelios was at Brussels HQ with his orange brigade to combat anti-competition. Lots of TV and newspaper headlines. Branson had similiar tactics. That was so they could make more money on the backs of us. Where are we in the campaign for ourselves?

Sorry Guys, but while I'm on a roll; and truely, I'm off to bed in a Mo';

All this rubbish about 7&2, 5&3, 6&4 etc rosters. I, and my ex-colleagues still do, used to get out of bed at 04.00, come home at 02.00 and be away from home more often than be at home, work most weekends, and that was short-haul.
However, the C.P. said we didn't work shifts so didn't deserve compensation. The office staff only had 8 days off/28, only had 4 weeks holiday, so we got the same. Hm?!?

The "shift workers" in Ops, crewing and tech' did 2 days, 2 nights 4 off. That is the norm for shift workers in many industries. Now, with an efficient rostering scheme there is no question that crews could produce the required productivity on such a pattern. It would be wonderful, I'm sure. Hell, the Ryanair guys are full of joy at 5&3, so I assume this would be even better??

What about it, JAA?

26th Jan 2003, 20:06
I'm not moaning about your union Sky9 merely reflecting on their achievements. Simple fact is that regardless of how hard Merv works it's results that count and it's only politicians that will achieve anything. Does BALPA know who its general sec is by the way?

26th Jan 2003, 20:47
And...yet again European pilots maoning that the flight/duty times are excessive.

IF you want a 9-5 job, apply at your local bank. Bankers hours are for bankers...you want to be/remain a pilot? Start waking up to the facts that you ARE required to work un-socialable hours, 'tis part on the job, no other excuses acceptable.

Fly or quit, take your choice. Pilots today are a dime a dozen, experienced included.

Some never learn......:rolleyes:

26th Jan 2003, 22:26
let's just ignore 411A

27th Jan 2003, 00:23
Been tried before....never works.;)

27th Jan 2003, 09:07
OIC Seconded!

Sadly for the bean counters, and perhaps 411A, most of us think there is more to life than having an aluminium tube strapped to your backside for hours on end, eating stodge off your knees, and getting less exercise than the average inmate at an HM custodial institution.
Everything we do during working hours is contrary to good medical advice, even that connected to our own profession. I'm amazed that there has not been any talk of DVT amongst pilots.

And whilst were at it, my 12 year old car, that cost less than 1 tyre of a B757, has better seats than the average Boeing. They are rubbish. But that's another topic.

Meanwhile, if this matter of quality of life is not sorted out, paying into a pension is a waste of money. Why do you think so many of the pilot's pension funds are so rich? Either the premiums have been to high, or retirees have not been living long enough to withdraw their dues. But that is even another topic.

27th Jan 2003, 09:21
One of our Pilots was off for 6 months with a DVT, I'm surprised that there aren't more !:(

27th Jan 2003, 09:51
Probably treated the same as fatigue… put it down to sickness and look the other way.

As an aside, in the charter company I work for, an alarming number of my colleagues have succumbed to various forms of cancer. Sadly in the majority of cases it’s proven terminal. It’s starting to worry many of us so much; we now choose not to cruise above FL350

PS RAT 5 absolutely correct, consider it started.

27th Jan 2003, 11:14

There is a great risk this will diversify into a new topic; but, I had an American on the jump seat who went ashen we we levelled at 390. He spoke about above FL290. I know there was an in depth study conducted by the unions of Germany & Italy. On a LH B747 they carried an expert from the agency that monitors radiation in factories etc. It said that his meter went off the scale at cruise FL. This was in mid 90's. It also said that LH was ordering all new a/c to have lined cockpits, but it would be too heavy for the cabin. In otherwords they recognised a risk. Nothing entered the public domain. Under the carpet, I feel. Can't do anything about it, so don't tell anyone.

Since then I've read very little, except that which was issued by a later employeer saying there was no risk. HM?

Perhaps if we want to discuss this, a 'new topic' would be the correct place.

27th Jan 2003, 13:52
When you look at it in a basic manner airplanes now are so reliable that hardly anything goes wrong, unless you fly in a 3 rd
world country perhaps. That said most airlines count on their flight crew to perform well "if everything keeps working". So in order to keep the economics of the business first we have to take a calculated risk, while of course telling the public that safety is first. So as long as everything goes right, fatique is just a calculated risk that we have to accept to keep the beancounters and the share holders HAPPY. IF the **** hits the fan and things do go wrong we have PILOT ERROR to put the blame on the individuals . I sometimes have that nasty feeling in a take off when I'm really naggered, V1,.....rotate......etc, etc, thank god!!!

27th Jan 2003, 20:14
well, what would you like he/she to do? Find public transport at all times of the day or night? Lets face it, impossible. Stay in the car and sleep? Then drive home in time to turn round and come back to the airport? Go sick every time?

No not at all. Local digs would be a good idea though. If you want to live miles away, as do Ops, Crewing, Engineers etc get digs. For your own sake, it is cheaper. I have known chaps in the past commute from Cornwall to Birmingham with no problems. Drive up on day one, drive home on last day. I have also seen guys who live 2-3 Hrs away commute daily. Never an issue until their plans screwed up. Guess what, the fatigue card played.

People do not go sick "fatigued" because the usual reply from crewing is "are you refusing to fly?" Then "well, its legal." Next comes the phone call from a pilot manager asking you why you're fatigued when other pilots have flown exactly the same duty and they haven't reported "fatigued". A load of unneccessary hassle and bull**** I think you'd agree, especially when the reason you're phoning in "fatigued" is because your bloody knackered!! Add to this the fact that this is probably not a one off event, but a rostering pattern that repeats itself again and again, and you'll see why pilots just "go sick" instead of "fatigued".

As I have posted years ago on this subject, If (as the line manager of Crew Control) any of my chaps took that angle?

Every case of (claimed) fatigue has been notified PRE rest period.

You seem to have missed the word PRE.
The only cases of Fatigue Sickness have been phoned in, from the Crewroom, on completing a duty, PRIOR TO TAKING MIN REST.

I take it it is OK for you to take a Bird worked and signed by a grubbie 24 Hrs on shift? On his head be it perhaps?

On all occasions, I have seen fatigue claimed for personal reasons, it can normally be married up to refused requests, standby gambles etc.

If you cry wolf, eventual resut, no ****** will believe you!

Fly safe, it saves me work...................

27th Jan 2003, 20:29
G.P. 76

I fear there is much truth in your assessment. This is brought about by the CAA's wearing 2 hats. Safety and compliance costs money, as does training to above the minimum requirements. 95% or airlines handle this. It is the ones that can't, or won't, raise their standards above the legal minimum. They plead poverty and the same CAA has to adjudicate for the commercial viability. Conflict of interest.

As we've seen, the rise in CFIT is not being stemmed. A tired crew can prang a perfectly serviceable a/c. OUCH! BUT an alert well trained crew with initiative can bring home a semi-crippled a/c. Horray!

When there is a train or coach crash, and the number of victims equals a J31 pax load, all hell breaks lose. Money is no object and heaven and earth are moved to try and avoid it happening again. Quite right. Compare what happens after a CFIT and pilot error is the named cause. Investigation stops and the root causes are kept at a very superficial level, or so it seems publically.

A recommendation maybe issued regarding extra training and improving the awareness of crews pertinent to the scenario. This, in theory, might help, but seems rarely to be mandatory. Thus the number of pilots who will learn from the prang could be minimal.

But risk management has been at work!

I still reckon the most dangerous place at an airport is the first roundabout outside the staff carpark between 0800 & 0900. This is when the night shift crews, on day 6, or the long-haul (14hours duty also on day 6) crews are just on their way home. If they get past the roundabout, whew!, and onto the motorway, for their 1 hour drive home, there is a potential for disaster, IMHO, greater than a couple of pints too many. Including the cabin staff of companies that do not supply crew rest, that is a lot of leathal projectiles concentrated around the major airports, even more so in the cruddy weather. It's all part of the big picture.

Sounds scare mongering? I know of a few prangs, and very near ones, from sleepy crews. In one intelligent airline there were different rules for consecutive night duties if you were at home or in a crew hotel. More restricive if at home.
Like most things in this game; the good ideas are common sense.

28th Jan 2003, 21:49

it would be nice of you to take the trouble to put my words in quotes so that people can differentiate between your words and mine. Quite confusing otherwise, don't ya think?

You say:Every case of (claimed) fatigue has been notified PRE rest period. You're implying that because someone has had their rest and then gone fatigued, they must be lying. Well, from personal experience, I'd say this actually comes from most pilots' strong desire to keep the show on the road. You get home knackered, but think, ok, I'll have my rest, and then I'm sure I'll be fine to fly. However, after the rest period you find you're still in no fit state to fly, which is why you get the phone call before the duty starts, not at the end of previous.

You also seem to be implying that the whole fatigue problem stems from pilots living too far away from base. Nice if it was that simple.

Generally, I'm not sure what point your actually trying to make beyond that.......

Pilots are fatigued because companies are taking the ****, and no one seems to want to listen. End of story.

29th Jan 2003, 13:07

Well said, and hopefully to strengthen your point:

Over a 6 day block it is not uncommon

1. to start at 0615 (to preserve the previous day off?????),
2. followed by 0530
3. lie in and start at 11.00
4/5. followed by further lie in but start at 1800 - 0600
5/6. followed by the coup d'etat, the same night at 22.00 - 10.00

So, do I tell you I'm fatigued at 0700 on day 5 or wait until 2100 on day 5??
Often I've phoned crewing in the morning and said I'm likely to be fatigued. They want a definite answer there and then. Knowing there is only 1. SBY, or more likely none at all, as Max says. you try to keep the show on the road, thus the early warning, but it is rejected.

So now you have to sleep twice in 12 hours. Good game this; except that you can't sleep before the duty: kids, neighbours, dogs, all the normal things in life. So at 2100 you phone in unfit to complete a duty until 10.00 the next morning due lack of sleep. You've had the rest time, but it was useless.

Guess the answer; "there is no-one else". So, do you step into the breach or stand your ground as the ANO says you should. What of the F/O approaching command?

Which stupid idiot rostered it in the first place??? There's the problem, and until a/c eat concrete because of this crassness IT WILL NOT CHANGE!

And if bent metal is the consequence I can guarantee the pilot will be declared fit and legal.

1st Feb 2003, 20:53
Soz for the lack of quote marks. point taken, and I agree.

Now learn the difference between PRE and POST rest.
Now factor in the number of digits and years worked. Am I having a pop, no I think not, read my posts, and think again.

You all know about the little boy that cried wolf.

Fly safe with ya eyes open.

2nd Feb 2003, 08:37
Italian L'Espresso (a weekly) thinks that pilots should continue to work up to 17 hrs duty periods because "aircraft fly by themselves,anyway".And the goverment has promissed (again) the unions a reduction of the limits.This only after the countrywide strike called for by all the pilot unions but ANVA (Volare air,again).For the limits can check:www.anva.net under contract.If other EU pilots think they should not care,better ask Alitalia pilots.
The above limit is valid for two pilots with INS,three pilots can go on up to 24 hours no special rest area (or similar) required.All this without any regard to carcadian rithm nor to whether acclimatised or not.
411A,have you known this?

2nd Feb 2003, 12:14
you may not think you're having "a pop" as you put it but the tone and content of your posts contradicts this.

For example Now learn the difference between PRE and POST rest. Would you quit implying I need to "learn" things? Come down off your high horse and stop being so bloody patronising!

And whats all this "Fly safe, it saves me work..." and "Fly safe with ya eyes open" crap? Again, nauseating and supremely patronising twaddle. Don't presume to tell me how to fly, thank you very much. Have you any idea how irritating it is to professional pilots when people come out with meaningless drivel like that? It me be your attempt at humour, it may be said with the best intentions, but it just gets right up my nose. What the hell do you think I do when I go flying?

You all know about the little boy that cried wolf.
You seem to have a real thing about this.Go back and read my post and you'll find it all explained.

It may appear that I'm having a personal go at you, but I'm not. It simply concerns me that time and time again this extremely serious issue which is literally destroying many pilots' and their families lives, gets sidelined into some spurious argument such as I believe yours to be.

I'll say it again. The bottom line is that pilots are being made to work to totally exhausting limits week after week, month after month, resulting in serious safety, health and social issues, but no one is listening to their repeatedly voiced concerns, and management don't give a flying ****. Just wait for the hand wringing when it all goes wrong and people lose their lives. And you know who'll get the blame? - yes of course, the pilots.

Mr Angry from Purley
2nd Feb 2003, 14:18
Rat 5

There'sa big difference being as you say "fatigued" and "tired".
Fatigue is a build up of being tired in my book. If you shout fatigue then your Company should ground you saspo and together seek medical advice and the background of your problems (disrupted sleep, living miles away, roster pattern etc)
The type of schedule you quote is induced by rules and regs of CAP371. After 2 earlies you cannot do nights (2) so a late is put inbetween. You can then either continue on lates or switch to nights. If a late is followed by a day off do you moan?.
If you start after a day off on lates your quickly forced into nights so nights rest early is a definate possibility....

Most Crewing folk tend to suggest that the rules of CAP371 force this type of roster. How come Ryanair Pilots do 5 earlies on the bounce 1 week, then 5 lates the next and don't moan (much). Lack of rules i would suggest. Why can't you do 4 nights on the bounce, get in a nice pattern of rest etc.
Why do you think UK Airlines are not up in arms on the new EU rules??, more hours (neither here or there), the only thing they want is lack of early /late /night rules. Take away these, and with a sensible Scheduling agreement between Crew and Employee's
you'd be a lot happier.

And lastly don't call Crewing / Rostering folk idiots, take time to go and see the roster being constructed perhaps, make an input.
I don't call you a glorified bus driver - do i???


2nd Feb 2003, 20:59
I posted this on another thread - airlines and morale - but seems pretty relevant here. Forgive me if this is unwelcome (from a non-pilot). Perhaps some of you, assuming macaskill meets your approval, might contribute to his researches.


One area you might usefully investigate is legislation - i.e. pursue ministers, etc.

The Working Hours Directive leading to Regulations (1998, which became effective in December 1999), limits hours, specifies breaks, etc, BUT EXCLUDES (among other sectors) TRANSPORT - pilots (and train, bus, lorry drivers, etc) work in Transport!

There are obvious and stated reasons why Transport was excluded but perhaps you could raise questions about why the work/life balance of factory workers, et al, is protected whilst that of people, equally deserving anyway, whose personal actions/reactions do, everyday, directly, and at times tragically, affect the lives of the general public, was omitted. Strength of the Transport Industry lobby? Complexity? 24/7 operations? This is a political question, most easily solved by legislation rather than unions locally fighting T&C's. The more public outcry, to balance the powerful industry lobby, the better- so power to your pen, macaskill.

"I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently."
Ernest Hemingway "

WE (not a pilot!)

3rd Feb 2003, 07:36
Mr. A

Let's not get personal, but.......!

I have worked for various airlines where the attitude in rostering was this:

"You are entitled to 8 days off in 28, so that's all you're going to get. Now, how can we fill the other 20 days with duty."

This attitude leads to inefficient use of resources; i.e. rubbish rosters.

Why not roster the productivity, then when it's been worked the rest of the time is free. I know of pilots who have worked their limits in less than 28 days or 1 year, and then been rostered in the office because they can not have extra days off. Mad!!

The limits become the norms. Everything is to maximums and minimums. We work shifts to a random pattern. Why should we work 6 or 7 days censectutively just because it is the legal maximum. No other shift workers work 6 or 7 days; likely not even 5. The Ryanair roster is not good, it's just better than most. Do not use that as a yard stick. On the continent it is common to work 4 & 3, or 6 & 4, but within the 6 there will be 2 SBY's. Productivity is sufficient and there is chance of a social life.

To roster as per my example is stupid and unecessary. At the end of 6 days you are tired and the duty so quoted is the most tiring of the lot. Thus, at a time (landing)when you should be your most sharp, you are your most below par.

Why is it necessary to work blocks of 6 days/nights? It is not. Simple.

Big Tudor
3rd Feb 2003, 09:38
So Rat 5, how do you propose that night flights should be rostered, bearing in mind 3 consecutive (2 consecutive at some airlines) and 4 in 7? Based on some statements here it is impossible to acheive adequate rest prior to reporting for a night duty; kids, neighbours, dogs, et al.

3rd Feb 2003, 10:11

Night flights are part of the industry, agreed. However, it's the combinatiions that are the problem. After 2 night flights, or earlies for that matter, anything that causes sleep deprevation, there needs to be a recovery period of a normal sleep cycle. When there is a roster that includes continuous disruption to the sleep pattern it does not allow for the batteries to recharge. thus, during the last couple of days of a block of 6, you are below par. If blocks of 6 are really deemed necessary, and that's debateable, the last day should have the most sympathetic duty, not the worst. If not, then, at the end of the block, the days off are just for that recharge; not real quality time off at all.

For night flight blocks, they could be done in pairs, perhaps 2 nights, day off, 2 nights, 4 off. normal shift workers do 4 ON, 4 off. They claim it allows a pattern. I'm sure that is very individual. What is true, IMHO,is that a block of nights is easier in a good quiet hotel rather than at home.

I once did freight for a year. 5 consecutive nights, 2 days off, on & on. Not recommended for the over 30's. Pure young man's stuff.

I'm convinced that the annual productivity can be achieved in a better manner. In one airline, 18 years ago, there was a cap,of 700 hours. This was seasonal, so the summers were hard and the winters relaxed. The company made profit and generally the life style was acceptable. Later, after I'd left, this cap was removed and pilots could then do upto 900. That is nearly 3 months extra productivity. I don't believe the airline made more profit, but the crews' lives were wrecked. For what? More people pollution, and greater strain on the aviation system. certainly not more profit for the shareholders.

3rd Feb 2003, 13:57
Rat 5........you're totally correct about rostering patterns that defy all commonsense.

WangEye....your input is welcomed. It's a seriously interesting point you make. Probably in the long run this is the only way things will change.

At risk of repeating myself, It just boggles my mind that the airline industry has come to this. It should be so simple. We are at the sharp end. People die (including us) if we make a mistake. Shift workers usually do 4 on/4 off or similar. We work very disruptive shifts, likely to cause fatigue, including time zone changes. Why on earth then is there any question of us working 6 on/2 off? Complete madness.

Moonraker One
3rd Feb 2003, 17:20
The last few posts are excellent by people who clearly understand what the problems are in the the airline industry.

So many accidents are put down to crew error and lets do another CRM course. The real problem is that tired crew members make poor decisions under stress. That can be at any time of day if you have been issued with a roster that demands too much from the average human being.

Pilots and crew are not superman or wonderwoman.

It should not be normal to work 7 days in a row with a chaotic roster. The public deserve better. It is unacceptable to be DRUNK in charge of an aircraft but being overworked can have the same effect and is approved of by the law.

3rd Feb 2003, 18:35
There is one other point that has not been spelt out. All the disruption to sleep patterns is one thing; all the disruption to one's private life due to roster changes is another. The tiredness that the duty times cause is excentuated because there is so little quality time off with friends, family hobbies etc.
This erodes morale, as has been stated. However, when you have crews going to work in a pi@*ed off mood, and the source of that attitude is the employer who is identified by the uniform and the paint job on the a/c, I believe there is a safety aspect to that.

Much of CRM courses I've been on tell us to be careful about our inner attitude and any destabilising effects that close problems may have on our decision making when flying. Becareful, and if in doubt, perhaps take yourself off a flight. If the source of the anger is the very work enviroment itself (last minute roster change etc. etc), surely that is quite significant in the safety world??

In my last ops manuals there was the clause about management being aware how their actions might effect morale and the effect that would have on Flight Safety. Fine sentiments, but hollow words. If they paid any head to them there would be much better rostering policies. I'd take a stab at betting that the most common gripe amongst crews is not money, or duty hours; it's the roster patterns and the constant changes that really erk them.

Low morale is countered by professionalism. There has to be a breaking point when it doesn't work out. Add tiredness and low experience into the equation.........................

Mr Angry from Purley
3rd Feb 2003, 19:15
RAT 5 / Maximum

8 days in 28 days is based on Officebod working 9-5 Mon - Fri
with Sat / Sun off and 42.5 hrs a week, with Crews its 190 hours in 4 weeks so average of 47.5 hrs per week. The logic that SRG quote is if you work a busy 7 days, chances are the 14 day limit will catch you then the 4 week limit if your being worked really hard. (you also need to work to rolling totals,not fixed weeks)

So, we agree that you work 24/7 so cannot be compared to Office bods. However,I would argue that whilst you shouldn't be compared to Office Bods like us Rostering idiots,how about being compared similar "well paid" jobs such as Office Managers / Docters / Lawyers etc. Which of these work an average 47.5 week?. Not many, more like 70+ / 280 over 4 weeks etc.

That's why you have CAP371 as it gives you a certain level of protection,maybe not brilliant but i still believe CAP371 is out of date and is in urgent need of modernisation to take into account social views as well.

And Rat i know plenty of shift workers who do 7 nights,12 hrs (and have 6 days off) and quiet a few who do 2100-0530 Mon-Fri
off Sunday and start again (so just feel sorry for them)


4th Feb 2003, 00:31
Mr Angry from Purley
I'm sorry, but I'm not clear from your post exactly what your point is. Do you think pilots' hours and shift patterns lead to fatigue, and therefore are dangerous, or don't you?

You saySo, we agree that you work 24/7 so cannot be compared to Office bods. However,I would argue that whilst you shouldn't be compared to Office Bods like us Rostering idiots,how about being compared similar "well paid" jobs such as Office Managers / Docters / Lawyers etc. Which of these work an average 47.5 week?. Not many, more like 70+ / 280 over 4 weeks etc.
A few points in response to this:

1.) Why do we need to compare ourselves to other professions? It doesn't make our own case any more or less valid.

2.) If you do want to make comparisons, then compare like with like, which I don't think you're doing.

3.) Our job subjects us to usually four pressurisation cycles a day, and an office atmospheric pressure equivalent to 8000' altitude. These cycles and the depleted oxygen levels are known to produce fatigue in themselves.

4.) We are subject to high levels of noise in the cockpit, both from exterior and interior airflow, and ATC. Try doing a long day in a B737-400 with both recirc fans on - it's ****ing noisy. Again this can lead to fatigue.

5.) Low level, high frequency vibration - again, known to produce fatigue.

6.) Hundreds of lives are in our hands. This is a very unusual job in that we are expected not only to use our mental ability and experience, but do something that requires good motor skills as well - this is where fatigue can be a real killer. We can't have an off day.

7.) I've worked long hours in a few different jobs, and I know when I've felt most exhausted.

Anyway, as I said above, I think it's spurious to compare with other jobs otherwise we get into the Pythonesque "....luxury, we used to live in a cardboard box and lick road clean wit' tongue" school of debate.

Again, a bottom line for you in order to make my point nice and clear and simple.

We are subject to the normal hassles that most people experience at work. On top of this however, we are subject to environmental stresses and very disruptive shift work. We are expected to show sound judgement and a good level of hand/eye co-ordination without fail. Hundreds of lives are in our hands. Yet we are constantly battling fatigue. We are exhausted, and just don't get enough down time to recover. Any sane person would say this is a recipe for disaster. The End.

4th Feb 2003, 00:55
Hmmm, Maximum mentions "the end".
Well, yes indeed, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Pilots "overworked"?....phooey.
The duty time limits have been established so that pilots CAN get adequate rest between duty periods.
IF their private family arrangements (or other requirements) are such that they cannot obtain said adequate rest, then a change of occupation is in order. Airline companies do NOT arrange pilot schedules to suit the employees...'tis to suit the flight schedules.

There are PLENTY to take their place in todays marketplace.

Bankers hours are for bankers, like it or not....any many certainly will not.
Too bad.

4th Feb 2003, 07:34
411A, thank you for your expert opinion.

When have you flown to European limits?

I have read your replies for some time now and you appear to have been current on jet transports once in the dim and distant past. You don’t appear to be currently employed by a European airline or am I wrong?

While I’m sure that you believe everything you post, there is a body of evidence that has been gathered by a very reliable institution called NASA…you may have heard of them. They as an organisation have conducted an investigation into flight crew fatigue and a report can be seen
here. (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/legaff/mann8-3.html)

On balance I am inclined to give NASA’s conclusion more credence than yours.


4th Feb 2003, 10:15
411A, you're just a sad wan..r.

You don't even realise what you're saying. And that is making me even happier grounding my aircraft when time comes, at the most minute order from the Unions, simply because I won't let my family and my health down because of people like you. You'll be sorry when that happens because most pilots will realise they have nothing to lose.

You've never been in 737 for 6 days in a row, have you ? You've never gone to bed at midnight and woken up at 4 for take off at 5:30 for a four-legger, and on ?

You must be part of management and I'll be happy to participate in taking your stock down. You'll see, you'll be laughing.

411A : "Airline companies do NOT arrange pilot schedules to suit the employees...'tis to suit the flight schedules. "

It's not a matter of arranging pilot schedules to suit employees, it's a matter of hiring an extra little bit more pilots in order for pressure to release. That will only marginaly hurt profits, hence your stocks, but do you realise how badly hurt your stocks will be when newspapers will headline about thousands of passengers left on the ground ?

4th Feb 2003, 12:09
...oh my....good ol' 411A, always there to give us all a good laugh.

My, don't we all wish we could be as macho as that guy - you want me to work 12 hours without a break? Hell no, I'll work 24 hours without a break - and hey, while I'm at it I'll do it for half the money! And I tell you what, you wanna have sex with my wife and put my kids into slavery while your at it - go right ahead - 'cos you know, I'm a pilot, and hey, if you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen.:rolleyes:

And this from someone who's made 1900 posts since he registered in March 2000. So that's 1900 posts in about 1065 days to date that's nearly two posts a day, or 12.5 posts a week, or just over 54 posts a month for three years!! And that's assuming he never goes on vacation or spends time away from home. Somebody needs to get a life.

Anyway, 411A, its always puzzled me, as a pilot why would you not want to stand up for your colleagues and fight their corner hard for better terms and conditions? Why do you consistently denigrate your profession? Why do you imply that pilots aren't worth jack sh**, and therefore by association you're not worth jack sh** either? Why do you put us down and by implication put yourself down? What a strange way for anyone with any self-worth to behave. Totally bizarre.

Mr Angry from Purley
4th Feb 2003, 16:09
Maximum - Calm down chap your heading for one, or perhaps you should be called Angry from Purley....
I came in on this chat as thought there was a discussion going on about working 6/7 days on 2 days off and i was trying to explain the logic that your licencing authority come up with when trying to defend CAP371.
Do you think the current rules in CAP371 should be reduced and to what level?.
On your point 2 do you think against EU carriers you work harder or less, i would say on average less because all the EU Airlines are kicking off over EU FTL whereas UK Airlines are sitting with fingers crossed for its introduction???

:mad: :mad:

4th Feb 2003, 16:11
No bijave, have never done six sectors in a B737...but have done six sectors in a TriStar in one day, many times, with long duty days, for five-six days in a row.
Tiring...well yes can be but consider---
If you don't, someone else will, like it or not.
Those are the realities...and are likely to remain so for a very long time.

Also, for airlines, paying overtime is always better for the bottom line than hiring additional aircrew. And, work crews to the maximum duty time...you bet. 'Tis called cost effective. However, if rostering is done correctly, a happy medium CAN be found for all.

Look at it another way...the airline that employes you is still in business, and supplying you a paycheck.
The alternative is the unemployment line. Take your choice.
Have CV's on my desk now, from VERY experienced guys, ready to work.
Suspect YOUR airline has the same.
And the guys represented in those CV's are after YOUR job.

4th Feb 2003, 16:54
....just an observation, but isn't it interesting how those who like to "stir the pudding" have a subtle way of changing the argument with every post.

Anyway, Mr Angry from Purley many thanks for telling me to calm down. Not provocative or anything eh? You still haven't answered my question, so I'll ask it again - Do you think pilots' hours and shift patterns lead to fatigue, and therefore are dangerous, or don't you?

4th Feb 2003, 18:51
Personally speaking, I love my 8 on/6 off lifestyle. I never ever want to work under CAP 371 rules again.

5th Feb 2003, 09:26

There once used to be a surplus of pilots; true. There once used to be a rush for cabin staff jobs. Not anymore. The words out, and recruiting suitable cabin staff in some companies is proving difficult. The applicants are not there.
In time I would not be surprised if the same becomes true of pilots. What is true, that in a pilot shortage period, and the crews have a choice, they will opt for the best life style and not the highest paycheck.
In your answer you seem to think that rest/sleep is what you do in the time between work. What about all the other things in life??

Mr. A

I'm glad you are asking questions, but remember this. CAP 371 is a list of limits, not norms. They are they to help keep the show on the road when sh*+ happens. The CAA says that it expects the airlines to device a roster scheme that works inside 371 with buffers and ensures quality time off at home. They have also stated, as has Chirps, that CAP371 by itself will not protect against fatigue. That is a fact and was stated to BALPA in 1998. Sadly, they've never policed it. If they had done then you would not be making you comments about working patterns of 6/2 days/nights etc. because you would not have been allowed to do it on a regular basis.
It is still a fact that the EU commission excempted public transport from the Health and Safety act because it could not be implemented without major redesign of the equipment. However, compensation schemes were supposed to have been introduced until the whole mattwer of FTL's was revamped and standardised. That compensation scheme has not happened either, and the whole matter started 10 years ago.
There was an extremely rude comment made some years ago by the chairman of the Association of Eurpean Airlines. As a/c were flying longer he wanted FTL's to be stretched. Pilots opposed this and he accused them of hijacking the whole matter to squeeze more money out of the airlines. He believed pilots would prostitute themselves on this issue.
From the posts here I believe he is wrong. There is little point in earning all this extra cash with no time to spend it.

I had it agreed by the COO in one airline that the necessary productivity could be achieved with efficient rostering during 14-16 days per month. That is what South West do, they make a handsom profit with good salaries, and are regularly voted one of the best companies to work for. There is a model. The LCA's took the commercial part of it and ignored the rest
Shame! But it can be done if there is a will. What's more it will save the airlines money. Happy crews will not leave and so not incur extra training costs, and they will not go sick, so you need less SBY's, and they will go the extra mile, so no cancellations or sub-charters. It needs the financial directors to look beyond the end of their noses. Sadly, they will not until a/c start eating concrete.
One F.D. admitted that he was undercrewed (not enough SBY cover) because he expected crews to work on their day off out of loyalty. If he had to cancel or sub-charter, it was cheaper than employing more crews. Thus, not only were rosters to the limits, but time off was often changed at the last minute. He said that until captains started leaving he would not change his policy. Easy to say when there are no alternative jobs. But what an attitude!!!

5th Feb 2003, 09:40
411A:have not answered my question.
Maximum:implying the politicians (like Mr.Simpson) are not sane?

Gentlemen,enough said.Plan of action,any idea?

Moonraker One
5th Feb 2003, 09:48
FACT there is no logic in CAP 371. They took all the logic and reason out of the document when the GOVERNMENT approved UKCAA decided to ignore most of the scientific and medical evidence way back in 1990. Since then there has been further research which has been ignored. Why is it that a SHOP worker must have break and i can have none and no meal breaks?

As i said there is no reason or logic it is all about money and the airline management loby made up of those who can't fly aeroplane and those that can't cope with flying the line any more.

Mr Angry from Purley
5th Feb 2003, 19:50
You have to believe me i'm not trying to be provocative, just trying to have a sensible discussion /arguement, honest!

In answer to your question, yes of course they do, as much as i do when i go to work for 60+ hrs a week. As Rat 5 says CAP371 is the limits but i know of few crews (except low cost perhaps) that reach those limits week in week out, or maybe i'm out of touch these days. Its not so much the limits as the frigging around social factor which is the in word these days.

I am a firm believer in Airlines / Crews being able to organise their own FTL's, for their type of operations as per JW411. This view is shared by most Crews / FOI's / Medical folk. Mind you does JW411 prefer the 8/6 for social or safety reasons or both?

RAT 5 - I think i might have worked for the company in yr last para!

Was that too bad Maximum??

:mad: :mad:

6th Feb 2003, 01:00
Rat 5
<There once used to be a surplus of pilots; true>

Still is, and for a long while into the future.
Salaries/working conditions WILL be low(er) for a very long time, and there is really nothing you can do about it...simply a repeat of the past.
Five years from now...might be different, maybe.
Don't make the common mistake of lumping tech and cabin crew in the same pile....horses of a different stripe altogether.

Lord Lucan
6th Feb 2003, 07:05

You argument seems to be that:

"there are lots of pilots waiting to take your job"


"that's how it's always been"

Because of this, pilots lucky enough to be employed should put up with any treatment whatsoever that is handed out by their employer.

Is this a fair summary?

6th Feb 2003, 09:37
Mr Angry from Purley:

Both - nice stable sleep patterns and real quality time at home.

7th Feb 2003, 00:31
Lord Lucan,

Yep, about sums it up...like it or not.

Lord Lucan
8th Feb 2003, 06:42

So, does that mean that you believe pilots should never work to improve their conditions?

That they should just sit there, shut up and be grateful?

15th Feb 2003, 09:56
BALPA's information came through the post to me today, contact your MEP!!
Brian Simpson is mine and most other pilots based at Manchester and Liverpool.
His email address is [email protected]

6th Mar 2003, 13:52
In this thread, 'Big Tudor' provided this (http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/sipade2?PUBREF=-//EP//NONSGML+REPORT+A5-2002-0263+0+DOC+WORD+V0//EN&L=EN&LEVEL=3&NAV=S&LSTDOC=Y</a>) link to the EU FTL proposal paper.

Subsequent to that, the IPA have circulated in 'Sky Pointer', a set of tables showing the detail of the proposals in terms of sectors/FDP. There will shortly be a link to that on their web site.

Having had a look at the tables, I think it is VITAL that we re-open this topic. As soon as I can link to the table 'electronically' I'll put the link here. Unless anyone else has a link?

6th Mar 2003, 18:23
Inspite the nationwide strike in Italy (all pilots unions except Volare) and transport minister's promise to introduce lower limits from 1st March 03 it is the same music as before.If the brothers in EU don't care they soon will:Volare is starting a low cost EU operation soon.You have been warned (even before)!

E cam
6th Mar 2003, 18:35
If you write to Brian Simpson, you'll just be fobbed off with a standard letter, with a stamp of his signature at the bottom. I think a more effective tactic would be to state your case to your own MP and MEP. They will then have to write to Mr Simpson on your behalf.

sad spaniel
6th Mar 2003, 21:18
I agree with all Max and RAT 5 have said on the subject and they have a great deal more experience than I have. I have written to both my MP and MEP about this subject and BALPA's campaign "FULLY AWAKE" is a step in the right direction. However it is up to myself and my colleagues in the industry to fight this. It's our lives that will be directly affected and we are the ones who should be fighting it with BALPA's help. If we do not, and try to let BALPA 'go it alone' without our support then we will lose and then our last resort my be something along the lines WE mentioned. Namely to fight any attempts by our employers to change working hours by using the EU convention on Human Rights in the Law courts.

Pilot Pete
6th Mar 2003, 21:54
I emailed Brian Simpson and got the standard reply. I went to see him in his Warrington office last week. The man doesn't want to listen to anything that is put to him that questions his proposals, he talks over over you, tries to belittle any concerns by blaming both sides and claims that he has done the best he could under the circumstances. He even swears several times during the meeting, especially with regard to scientific evidence and BALPA (he's not the first to swear about them though!) This is what I posted on another thread after the meeting;

BALPA is trying it's best to raise it's concerns. I personally had an 'audience' with Brian Simpson MEP yesterday to discuss these matters and he 'was not for turning'. He disputes that his proposals are unsafe on the grounds that no scientist will state this fact and go public with it. The fact is that the most respected scientists in the field (ECASS, whom he dismisses) have deep concerns but are not prepared to enter into the political argument about it. This is fair enough as it is outside their modus operandi being completely impartial and reporting only what they conclude. They have put their concerns into print but Simpson dismisses this as, and I quote; " for every scientist that says the proposals are unsafe I have another disputing this." He believes that because BALPA commissioned QinetiQ to appraise his proposals they will come up with a result that fits BALPA's position as regards the proposals. He also states that the AEA (the airlines) commissioned experts come up with a view that fits their position. He is naive in this belief and unwilling, when challenged to give details of ANY scientific evidence that he took into account when formulating his proposals, other than stating that he has a pile 9" deep of scientific evidence on his desk that is contradictory and he has taken it into consideration. The fact is he is horse-trading politically to reach an 'harmonisation' position and is not looking at best practice when coming up with an FTL that primarily takes into account safety and then looks at the other issues.

The next stage is the Council of Ministers giving their opinion on these matters, as the vote in the European Parliament has already passed and they have not rejected the proposals. The Council of Ministers have the power to reject them, send them back for ammendment/ reassessment or to accept them. Simpson is of the belief that his proposals are the best thing since sliced bread because some ststes don't have any FTL currently and therefore these states have given him the nod. The fact is that these states have taken no studies of pilot fatigue into consideration whatsover and can hardly be considered if you are looking at best practice in harmonisation. I agreed with him that his proposals are a step forward for these states, but at what expense? The fact is that the nations who have lead the field in Europe with regard to best practice in FTL planning have all taken on board the fatigue studies of organisations such as QinetiQ in the UK and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. His proposals will set back the current 'best practice', which is not ideal (CAP371 in the UK) years. Pilots will be flying a/c with a performance detriment due to fatigue greater than someone who is just over the (fairly common European) drink drive limit. This is the danger.

Simpson says that member states can keep their FTL with his proposals forming an absolute maximum. He said, and I quote, if airlines exploit loopholes or less restrictive FTLs elsewhere in Europe "that's not my problem'. His brief is to formulate a framework for harmonisation, it appears at any cost.

The best way forward now is to canvass your local MP, make them aware of your safety concerns and push them to argue the case with the Transport Minister before he goes to Europe for the Council of Ministers vote in September (I believe). State what you want from that meeting which is that the proposals should be rejected on the grounds of safety and an indepedent scientific study should be commissioned to ascertain a primarily safe framework for harmonisation.


7th Mar 2003, 09:15
And the"Club Med" countries are continuing as before.EU,what a waste.Another layer of corrupt politicians to endure and suffer from.

19th Mar 2003, 14:32
Italian pilots to strike (again) over the FTL on 21 March for 8 hrs.

20th Mar 2003, 07:41
No,the strike is off.The saga continues..........

20th Mar 2003, 08:01
What staggers me is that, in a safety concious industry like ours, the very people who have the greatest impact on safety, and who have been identified as the most likely to cause an accident, (pilot error) are being subjected to working 'at the limit' on a regular basis.

While the rest of the EU work force has had a massive improvemnt in general working conditions, we are being pressurised into a degradation. It beggars belief.

What to do about it? How many of the fire-fighters wrote to their MP's?? Count them on one hand.

The bus drivers, lorry drivers. ATC controllers, doctors & nurses. teachers; all of these professions shouted loud over work and made it into print and the public domain. They scotched the myth of overpaid and underworked. Public opinion changed in their favour.

I still think the general public have the impression about our profession left over from the glamorous BOAC days. It was common to hear pax say that they thought we were getting off in TFS for a few days on the beach.
When they were told we flew 4-6 sectors a day for an LCA they were amazed. When they climb aboard at LGW afetr a 6 hour delay in the middle of the night, they do not realise that the crews have also been hanging around at home 'off duty' just waiting for the scramble call. They get on in blind faith.

When asked what they really thing about it all, they say that they assume we are protected by the CAA. Surely the licencing authority would not allow anything unsafe. The pblic are so used to 'sell by dates' and standards of this and that, that they assume an industry such as ours must be regulated upto the eyeballs in safety.

If you want a widget for the toilet door it has to be tested and approved to the nth order. 'Safety'!

For the human element? That's too expensive.

Considering that MP's have changed their working hours to be more family friendly and improve their quality of life, how can they not give the same consideration to our profession?

Ah! Politics.

20th Mar 2003, 08:25
I too have written to my MP & MEP, who passed my comments on to Jacqueline Foster MEP, the Conservative spokesman. She was quite indignant that I thought Simpson's proposals had ignored common sense from those with experience on these matters - she cited her own 26 years of "airline experience". Anybody know what this was? She also said she supported Simpson because it improved the lot of those who had little/no FTL protection. I replied that there was no point in lowering UK FTL standards below CAP371 - which I reckon gives us the bare minimum protection anyway - to make the worst feel better. I await her reply with interest.
Here's another thought that might be worth pursuing. Here in the UK there are signs appearing beside our roads saying "Tiredness kills, take a break". A recent fatal rail crash was caused by a car driver falling asleep and blocking the track, and police have said they regard driving when fatigued as a crime. Simpson's FTL proposals mean we can fly aircraft in a state that mean we should not be driving a car - and we would be unsafe to drive home after duty.

Big Tudor
20th Mar 2003, 08:50
Jacqueline Foster was cabin crew for BA between 1969 & 1999. She was also a founder member of CC89, the cabin crew union alternative to BASSA. So says her personal info on the Conservative Party web site.

22nd Mar 2003, 12:55
Regarding any softening of CAP 371; (I feel it should be tightened, but that's another story); the CAA have stated some years ago, and Chirps printed the statement also,

"that CAP 371 limits are not a complete protection against fatigue or undue tiredness."

Company rosters need to be constructed in a common sense way. However, it is simply the case that limits have, and will be, treated as the norm and the CAA have never policed their own philosophy and guidelines. Thus, any relaxation will be detrimental.
For the MEP's to say that the national authorities, or unions, can impose or negotiate stricter conditions than JAA is wildly naive and ludicrous.

For the number of peanuts they get paid I do not expect monkey statements. And for an ex BA stewardess to feel qualified to make comments on today's T&C's for the charter and low cost operators is arrogance that might be astonishing if it did not come from an ex member of the world's favorite feathered nest.

22nd Mar 2003, 16:39
Maybe J.Foster should fly as crew for Blue Panorama for a month or so.Could try Volare,too and then offer some "inside knowledge".Thank God in UK the judges are elected by judges and not by politicians.

23rd Mar 2003, 10:22
It has been reported that the opinions of the proposers for these JAA FTL's follow the lines that

"it will be an improvement for those crews who have none or very bad FTL's at present."

I fail to see how improving the lot of some requires a degradation of my present conditions. Surely, we should all aspire "to the best practices". Now there's a buzz word/phrase, as well as 'bench marking' that I remember well from previous employers where they were both conspicuous by their absence.

I doubt anyone has reduced famine in one country by going on a diet at home.

29th Mar 2003, 01:57
There is no point trying to negotiate with people like Simpson he is an "unconscious incompetent".FTL is not up for discussion,those of us who work close to them know how dangerous that would be.

Support BALPAs campaign but accept that ,ulitimately,we may just have to take industrial action.

29th Mar 2003, 02:53
If that's what it takes then count me in.

However it is no good every body saying that they will agree with industrial action, then on the day they suddenly remember their mortage's, CSA payments, kids school fees, their next Holiday somewhere exotic, possible promotion, up grade to a jet, etc, etc, etc .

I say except these new changes at your peril :mad:

If the HSE won't allow the lorry drivers, et al to work excessive hours then why should they allow it for us ?

All you newbys out there take note, coz if you aint got the balls to stand up now, then you will reap the consequences for the rest of your careers....................and it wont be in your life time's before there is a change for the best.

29th Mar 2003, 03:04
It is the loss of responsibility that I fear. If europe double the
30mph speed limit in built up areas, then who would be responsible for a fatal accident at 55mph?

Checked No Pressure
30th Mar 2003, 02:09
The solution is fairly simple but involves a little hard work. We have to threaten these MEPs where it hurts - their wallet and career.

Since they won't listen to reason, all the pilots that live in Mr Simpson's and Mrs Forster's European constituencies need to write to their local papers. We need to club together and buy advertising in these papers quoting what they say and making them look the fools they are. We need some candidates to stand in their constituencies with the sole purpose of unseating these 2 people. Affecting a politician's career is the best way of getting them to stand up and listen - look what happened to Chris Darke when you don't listen and someone stands with the sole purpose of removing you.

30th Mar 2003, 08:09
Don't your Regs say you must be fit for duty? If so, if you are tired get off. Fixes problems around here.

I guess the fear of the sack is the major impediment to the above but if your master has that attitude and you consider yourself a professional then do you really want to be there?

It's your licence, if you muck up and lose it see how long they'll want you around.

Unsafe is unsafe and we are our own worst enemies with this "press on itis" attitude. Draw the line and toe it.

30th Mar 2003, 17:38
Checked No Pressure -

A fine idea, but I'm afraid the matter is not so simple. MEPs are elected in large constituencies according to proportional representation. Those who are elected are not elected directly, but chosen from a list of their party's candidates according to the proportion of the popular vote in their consituency. These lists are drawn up by the party membership in an internal vote with the priority of candidates being determined by the number of votes each gained in the internal election. If the candidate gets to the top of the party list they are virtually guranteed election regardless of party, as happened to the UKIP MEPs in the south east of England.

The thing to do is look at Mr. Simpson's and Mrs. Forster's party lists. If they are close to the top then you have no chance of unseating them. Even if they are not, any campaign you might mount would have to gain significant popular support to alter the outcome of the vote significantly, and I regret to say that this is unlikely on an issue which is likely to be perceived by the public as a limited, technical one.

The best approach is to lobby through a group like BALPA who have some experience of this.

Checked No Pressure
30th Mar 2003, 18:22
Thanks Neo,

I am already lobbying both my MEPs and MP and have seen my local MP who has promised to ask a parliamentary question of the Transport Minister. As you'll know from your MEP, the matter is back with Members States Transport Ministers who have a veto.

It was one of the MEPs who suggested the tack of standing against the people concerned. You are right about the lists. However when one or another party realises it may lose some few thousand votes to a pressure group and with it 1 or 2 seats, it tends to force the offender to back down or drop them from the list. Political parties do not like supporting something which is easily shown to be unsafe or stupid.

BALPA is doing a good job but has a problem: All the MEPs and the MP who I have dealt with point out that BALPA is a union so they immediately dismiss it. It will have to be us, the workforce, who will have to fight this battle individually if we are to win. Since I have not seen it in my local paper or on the news certainly we are not making enough noise. Worse still some of my non BALPA colleagues have not even heard about the problem when I raise it with them!

So what I am saying is yes lets lobby through BALPA but lets also do some work ourselves - just as BALPA has asked in the Fit To Fly Handout.

11th Apr 2003, 02:58
A written parliamentary question from yesterday's Hansard:

Flight Time Limitations

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the British Airline Pilots Association about EU proposals to standardise flight time limitations throughout the EU; and if he will make a statement. [107221]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 8 April 2003]: There have been several meetings between BALPA and the Civil Aviation Authority at which the European Parliament's proposal has been discussed. The CAA has reviewed the European Parliament's proposed FTL requirements. They advise that, while the requirements are not totally acceptable, with suitable amendment they could form a baseline European FTL requirement which could be supplemented by additional requirements in each Member State. We recognise the need for FTL requirements to be harmonised at a European level and should the proposal come before the Council we will work constructively with other Member States to ensure that it is appropriately amended.


11th Apr 2003, 14:57
Apart from legislators, air offices and companies, there's another factor in FDR that might spoil your day. How about this:

Swiss generally speaking is Crossair expanded by the remnanats of Swissair. The Swissair pilots forced through an own contract, both pilot forces are at loggerheads (quite literally), but both also had more or less the same FDR. In a nutshell, that's a max duty day of 12 hrs for the obvious safety reasons. The introduction of theses limitations was preeceded in the past by major fights against the management. Now, the company is shedding jobs and one pilots union, Aeropers (EX-Swissair), offers to syphon off the whole charter business and the associated jobs from the other pilot group (EX-Crossair) by offering to fly longer hours than the others on two crew. And the management is really delighted. This treason brings playing out the pilots against each other to new dimensions.

12th Apr 2003, 19:46
Simpson seems too busy championing port workers than to take a look at the facts.Has anybody emailed the NASA article to him?

15th Apr 2003, 09:15
Pilots who are on regular rosters wouldn't want to max every 28 days whilst those on temp would fly as much as possible. Two different goals and therein lies the disunity. The danger is with the newer a/c like the A380. Planes can be made to fly farther and longer but the human body has not advanced much. Extra sets of crew can be put on board but I for one would not want to spend 14 hrs or more inside a tube, day in and day out.

There is no research done for this kind of extended time in the plane on a regular basis and based on my own experience in long haul, I know it will be very taxing. Personally, I wouldn't touch the blood money.

Swing Wing
20th May 2004, 23:01
The EU Council of Ministers is meeting on 10 June with the intention of adopting Sub Part Q (harmonizing EU FTL's). It looks as if they propose to adopt the legislation in full.

Despite the intense lobbying BALPA have undertaken, it may be worth another e-mail to your MP and MEP highlighting the fact that this legislation is dangerous and unresearched, by passing CAP 371 in the UK, which is the product of years of research into fatigue and accidents.

All EU pilots who operate under national FTL's need to voice concern to their respective representatives that this is unnacceptable and erodes all that we strive to achieve - safety.

Come on chaps - don't whisper - SHOUT!


21st May 2004, 22:11
Swing Wing

I wrote to my MP and all eight of my Eastern Region MEP's upon reading your post yesterday. I have received two replies today - a very unhelpful one from the UKIP slagging off Europe but saying nothing on this issue, and a positive one from the Lid Dem MEP ... to quote.....

" You raise a matter of real concern. I will take up the issue with the Transport Commissioner. Airline safety needs to be a major concern for all of us. "

My whisper, as you suggest, needs reinforcing by others so that it becomes a shout.

You can access email addresses for your Region's MEP's at

http://www.europarl.org.uk/uk_meps/MembersMain.htm (http://)


22nd May 2004, 08:47
of course you could do nothing and work 13 hour days or 6 sector 11 hour days. with company mandated extension or split on top so theoretically you could do 16 hours without having a sleeping oportunity and then only get 8 hours in a hotel asleep before doing it again.

read the whole scary document at

And write to your MP, MEP, and the PM and transport sec NOW!!!

Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR or e-mail to: [email protected]

22nd May 2004, 13:34
I have emailed my MP, Alistair Darling and the PM (via the No 10 web site).

It does say the PM receives over 1 million emails in a year so not sure how to get the message through in time.

Though about emailing LBC or Radio London to try and promote a broadcast debate about working hours in general and then trying to get through on a phone-in.

Any other ideas???

Swing Wing
22nd May 2004, 21:19
Good effort chaps

My view is that if Darling et al, plus your local MP/MEP get enough irritating letters concerning these changes, someone will ask the right questions to the right people.

There is a concerted effort within our Company to fire off messages to as many interested parties as possible. There is real concern that a serious erosion of flight safety is underway, perpetrated by political numb-nuts who just want any old pan-European legislation in place to justify their allowances!

This is a real threat being imposed by a body that knows very little about the way we operate, combined with the fatigue, the impact on health and family that long haul can dictate.

A concerted effort by enough Flight Crew will surely raise alarm bells - but we need to be quick.

Sick Squid
22nd May 2004, 21:45
Interesting take on the longhaul lifestyle. I've done transpacifics, with one day off becoming two due to the time change (and subsequent inversion of the body-clock leading to some interesting medical effects,) 5 transatlantics in a month over many months, transatlantic 3-day trips followed next day by Gulf 3- and 4-day trips, (playing that interesting game that almost none of the general public know about of "Where exactly is my body-clock now!!??!!) ..became friendly with company-prescribed Temazapam, and even turned down 5-days overtime twice in my career because I simply was too tired to do it, and needed the time at home more than the money.

..and just once in a while the schedule gave me a day off in Accra.. and even once a day off in Bermuda.. not a luxury, just the simple expedient of there not being a flight every single day, or else see the above paragraph for how the company would have played the schedule.

Funnily enough, Mr Brown's concept of longhaul above doesn't quite square with the reality, but then that's why we have the red type at the bottom of the page, to counter such uninformed trolls.

Now shorthaul; a week of earlies, no report later than 0530 is now a regularity. Equally tiring, but in a different way.. perhaps a more insidious way.. no more temazepam, but it is equally as difficult sometimes on the last sector, even in good, easy weather, to keep the attention level up... good job there's two there sometimes, to catch the little things you miss...

So, no need for violins, but for goodness sake lose the mythology.... the flying lifestyle does not exist as portrayed by some above as some idyllic paid holiday. Given the chance our companies would work us to Italian rules plus 50%, with company issued tents to camp under the wings of the aircraft, and would sell it to the public as a flight safety benefit that we never left the vicinity of the aircraft for the entire month we were with it, before our two days off. Reductio Ad Absurdum of course, but there's a reason why that is a valid argumentative tactic, and the AOC holders we work for consider it a starting point for negotiation.

22nd May 2004, 23:13
This thread is becoming quite long now - and quite rightly so, sleep is vitally important - whatever you do in life.

Probably,in reality, even more so in an aviation environment.... One thing is for sure, as long as we maintain our airlines vital 'operational' needs and produce a profit, then this issue will be quietly brushed under the carpet for along time to come.

I hate to say this , but the only thing that will cause our managers / beancounters to take this seriously will be an accident involving significant loss of life somewhere in Europe.:(
I hope i'm not right, but where have we seen this attitude before?

As long as they can get away with drumming into our heads the need to make a profit / endless security routines & requirements, this will be 'conveniently' forgotten about........:rolleyes:

In the current climate, most of the really important things about flying are being pushed aside..........

29th May 2004, 17:10
Back to the top to keep everyone thinking about hours and fatigue with the proposed changes in FTL's.

Below some of the latest from Balpa.

For those pilots/potential pilots within europe not in a union the text it is worth some thought as it will also affect your future lifestyle.

There is a very real danger that a European Council of Ministers meeting on 10th/11th June could adopt new FTLs. The proposed Sub Part Q would, for instance, introduce a basic FDP limit for 2 pilots of 13 hours with an extra hour on top with "operator's discretion", minimum rest periods calculated on previous FDP - NOT duty - and insufficient reduction in FDP for multi sector days.
Together with our colleagues in ECA we are pressing
* To ensure the Council of Ministers does not endorse the current proposals.
* To build political and public support for a European FTL scheme designed using scientific evidence.
In support of our case we are arguing that:
* Science is not being allowed to express a view.
* Professional pilots are concerned for the safety of the travelling public
* We want a European scheme based on science, not political compromise.
* The current proposals
o would increase the probability of accidents (see attached chart from a recent FAA report on probability of accident v flight time)
o lead to working arrangements that affect the body more than the drink/driving level
o are at odds with what the law is now saying
o are less humane than the directive for the transport of animals! (see Directive attached)
We have agreed within ECA a campaign that will operate in each country and at European level. It has 4 levels:
Level 1 - Political.
* Members are already writing to their MP and Alistair Darling - the UK Minister who would attend the Council meeting. Examples of 2 of these are attached. We would ask all CCs to encourage members to follow this lead. Templates are not being supplied - in your own words works best; in person is a killer!
* We have written to prospective MEPs (copy attached) seeking their support both now, and in case the matter is agreed by the Council and goes back to the European Parliament. MEPs might be susceptible to an approach now (see website)
* In addition to writing to our Minister later next week, we will be lobbying the Commission and submitting scientific evidence that challenges their draft regulation. We will be quoting Article 95(3) of the Treaty that says laws must be written using available science. We will follow this up in both Houses of our own Parliament and seeking a review.
Level 2 - Legal
* We are exploring whether there is now European case law on how standby is counted.
* As with the Police Sky Marshall debate, we are exploring the interaction of Professional ethics, the ANO and new FTL laws that might force a pilot to make a decision that could be less safe. We will be running a members poll on our website next week asking if members support this approach.
Level 3 - Industrial
* Following on from the previous point we will be writing to your CEO outlining our concerns and highlighting the potential for disruption.
You could help in the industrial context by writing and asking your CEO for a statement on where they stand on the use of science in designing sub-part Q.
Level 4 - Public attitudes
* We are using MORI this weekend to ask the public who they trust to write these regulations.
* We will be briefing the press regularly, both in the UK and in Europe.
* We are writing to all interested consumer groups.
* We may be running a major Lobby of the Council meeting in Luxembourg on 10th June, further details will be sent to those members who volunteered last year.
We will know by 4th June if our argument is getting home and whether the issue will appear on the council agenda in Luxembourg. But our experience since the issue first arose over a decade ago, and of the Fully Awake campaign which successfully ran in January, is that the argument is never really won; they will keep coming back. And BALPA will continue to resist anything that is not based on science.
Hope you are all able to help (get a thread going on your forum, it is a great source of ideas; and wit!) And if you want to make suggestions please don't hold back.

Jim McAuslan, General Secretary

For those who wll be future passengers do you really want the folks at the front driving you at the ground to be knackered:(

29th May 2004, 20:02
Having e-mailed my MEP MP and the PM and transprt sec.
I've had some very negative replies along the lines of
"you dont understand the political issues"
"at least this compromise is better than no regulation at all"
They try to state that the UK will retain its higher standard of FTL through CAP.
My experiance with the elements of JAR implemented so far, and personally in other industries affected by euroland, is that once there is a common EU policy the UK will be forced to rapidly come into line with it regardless of the wishes of the national regulator.
This issue is critical NOW.

Hassle your elected representatives. Its easy and its what they are getting paid £60K+ a year for.

12th Jun 2004, 12:27
The "Simpson proposal" comes as a blessing to italian pilots...
Or maybe not?

12th Jun 2004, 13:48
The EU meeting of the 10th deferred FTLs discussion till the 11th.

The meeting on the 11th, said it was to come before the EU council again for discussion at "...one of our next meetings..."

What a waste of time!

13th Jun 2004, 17:49
Wow, there are now 3 threads on page 1 along these lines. I'm not sure if the use of the 'fatigue' weapon is the most likely to succeed. It is too subjective, perhaps.
If the MP & MEP route is not proving successful, there might be another.
Recently, and I can't remember his name or the case in question, but the chairman of the famous 'Health & Safety at work Executive' was getting hot under the collar about the consequences of people being overworked and overstressed in certain industiries. I think teachers and health workers were among them. He was going into action! He even specualted on the cost to the country of the loss in productive days due to sickness. (I wonder what the total % sick leave is in the airline world; flight crews not office staff/)

Surely we can get more from the HSE than being made to look like 2 legged canaries every time we go to work.

Once again, though, I have no faith in BALPA, the ECA (if it still exists) or any other of the pilot associations. There were decrees made by the EU commission more than 10 years ago, that public transport had to introduce compensation measures for its employees until the could, very shortly, impliment improvements in working conditions similar to those enjoyed by ground personel in other industries. This edict has been totally ignored and the pilot bodies, and authorities, have done sweet fanny adam about it. Get a copy of that EU commission edict and shove it under the correct noses. They will soon be out of joint and maybe something will happen.
However, with all the blah blah that has been on here in the past 2 years, Times reporters and all, how come it still not yet in the public demain? Panorama would love it. When an a/c crashes Discovery channel does a great job of recreating it. It's pure entertainment, intreaguing and no doubt somewhere a little controversial. Often it shows someone somewhere, in authority, not having done their job quiet right. The last was the Alaska Airlines MD8X??? where maintenance procedures were at fault. There was a finger to point and a target.

Surely, a good investigative reporter could make a fine program into the flight crew lifestyle problem. If nothing else it would explode the myth of overpaid underworked prema donnas lying on sun kissed beaches interupting their leisure time with occaisional bouts of work; which is any case is hours of boredom started and finsihed with seconds of terror.
Isn't it?

13th Jun 2004, 21:30

You could, of course, take the horses a*** approach, and announce that if they do what we fear, we shall immediately seek a law increasing the allowable blood alcohol level for flight crew that affords a similar degree of safety.
This would only be logical since a degraded level of safety is clearly perfectly acceptable to them.

And I forgot to mention that even in this little third-world island ,we have an antique law (probably UK heritage from the 1930s) that prohibits truck drivers from more than 10 hours driving duty in any one day. I have a suspicion that the haulage industry in the EU is probably more restricted than the aviation industry. Anyone know the facts?

cargo boy
14th Jun 2004, 00:10
Some pics of the dedicated few who got off their backsides and demonstrated in Luxemburg. Shame on the 'silent [sic] majority' who whinge on here.



At least Balpa, together with the ECA have been trying to do something about it. The few dedicated members who actually attended managed to catch the medias attention. Apparently five member states asked for the issue to be deferred as there was not the necessary consensus. Not a victory but at least another chance to get the issue researched properly.

Click here (http://www.balpa.org/) for more information on the campaign being run by Balpa. I just wait for the usual Balpa detractors to try their usual poo pooing without any alternative suggestions.

15th Jun 2004, 17:25
Quite frankly I was all set to leave BALPA but this issue and their renewed approach to campaigning has made me reconsider. I think they are doing a good job on this one and need all of our support.

Tin hat on.:p

15th Jun 2004, 20:22
From the BA Intranet:

Pilots block plans for longer working hours

European airline pilots have snatched a victory in a campaign against moves to increase their working hours, reported The Guardian.

Transport ministers from the EU's 25-member states unexpectedly rejected plans to raise the maximum length of a shift in the cockpit from 12 to 14 hours and to cut rest times between flights.

Britain's transport secretary, Alistair Darling, favoured the change but was outflanked by five other countries, which successfully argued for a rethink at a meeting in Luxembourg.

Airlines were strongly in favour of the proposals, on the grounds they needed common regulations in order to compete fairly.

But pilots threatened to disrupt flights if airlines adopted the new regulations.

The UK pilots' union, Balpa, cited a study of 55 fatal accidents by the US federal aviation authority which concluded that crews were six times more likely to crash after 13 hours on the flightdeck.

More than 100 pilots from 20 countries demonstrated outside the ministers' meeting. The plans will be sent back to a committee for amendment.

The proposal was drawn up by the European parliament's transport committee, which was chaired by the British MEP Brian Simpson - who lost his seat in Thursday's election.

cargo boy
16th Jun 2004, 01:03
British MEP Brian Simpson - who lost his seat in Thursday's election.
Ah! Sweet justice. :ok: :} Just watch for Simpson getting on to the board of one of the Airline lobby groups in the near future. :*

Britain's transport secretary, Alistair Darling, favoured the change but was outflanked by five other countries, which successfully argued for a rethink at a meeting in Luxembourg.
The UK Secretary of State indicated that he was going to vote for the proposal as he had been assured by the CAA that it was safe and sound. BALPA returned with a counter to the effect that CAA had not consulted its expert body, the CAA OAC Fixed Wing Advisory Group (FWAG). So what value is the CAA's advice to the DfT?

We have self seeking politicians pandering to the airline lobby groups and wet ministers who take 'advice' from regulatory authorities who have been shown to completely disregard their own expert bodies as they are in effect funded by those same airlines who are lobbying for the new proposals.

When are the media going to get this one right and not just turn it into a pilots "campaign against moves to increase their working hours"?

16th Jun 2004, 08:48
Interesting to note in Flight's article on page 8 this week "EU pilots protest at duty hike; US crash probe cites fatigue" - note the following extract:-

Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, says if the new rules affect pilot rostering at all it will be to limit flexibility further "for the most cosseted groups of employees in the world."


16th Jun 2004, 09:18
MOL - say no more.

Great Circle
16th Jun 2004, 09:52
Too bad for Michael. He sees pilots as group of employees that he can't run into the ground from overwork because their work and duty hours are limited by law. Obviously it irritates him. What about some of their flights not serving water and coffee to the pilots? That is a basic physiological need and he is denying that! Let me understand the facts here: You are flying a new 80 Million USD aircraft for a jack :mad: who won't pay for your training or even a bottle of water for that matter and openly bad mouths his employees? That is a hell of a way to build loyalty, trust or at least a healthy working relationship with your employees!!!:yuk:
Time to tell him to "PISS OFF"!!!

16th Jun 2004, 10:18
However, unless he has gone further than I think, I don't think that he puts a gun to any pilot's head in order to make him/her fly for FR? Or am I wrong? If you don't like that guy that much, then don't work for him. Simple, no?

16th Jun 2004, 10:34
for the most cosseted groups of employees in the world."

shouldnt that read, ' directors of airlines'

17th Jun 2004, 14:44
I have it on very good authority that bottled water IS available to all pilots on all flights.

However, being Ryanair, yes you guessed it, they have to pay for it out of their own pockets.

Gawd help us what next.

19th Jun 2004, 12:54
Why has no strike ever happened at FR (yet) ? To me it's only a matter of time as so few people (some are though) are happy there.

And please, don't serve me with "if you don't like it, don't work for it". That is so hypocritical.

Why not decide on a strike this summer 2004 ? 3 to 4 days for a start, then assessment, and then another week, assessment, another week, assessment, etc...It's a short term expense but a VERY GOOD long term investment on health, money, private life and respect.

On a financial point of view, it would be a very smart expense as the ROI would be tenfold.

20th Jun 2004, 11:51
The problem is, all country's flag carriers want the facility to fly to the USA (or back) in the middle of the night. Obviously, all companies would welcome the opportunity to cut down on pilots by flying them for longer hours, but it is the USA case that is driving their arguments.

And since these talks started, the EU has been expanding to the east, which makes the desirable duty day even longer.

This is why the medical advice has been ignored. But perhaps Brian Simpson's fate will give his successor pause for thought. We certainly can't get expect any sympathy from Alistair Darling.

21st Jun 2004, 16:10
Regarding your posting about flight and duty time limitations, you may be interested to read my research paper into flight crew stress and fatigue.

If you send me an e-mail address, I'll forward the paper.

Dr Simon Bennett MRAeS
Director of Risk Studies
University of Leicester
[email protected]

22nd Jun 2004, 02:37
I asume O'Leary is why Ryanair is the last choice of Eurocarriers on aplication lists these days. His comment in Flight Inter confirms what everyone believed about him anyway.

Who the hell would want to work for a mob with an ignorant twit like that at the top? :hmm:

23rd Jun 2004, 13:30
Pilots interested in the current debate over flight and duty time limits may be interested in my research into pilot stress and fatigue. To obtain a copy of my 2003 academic paper, please e-mail me at [email protected]
I'll then forward a copy of the paper as an attachment.
Best wishes,
Dr Simon Bennett MRAeS
Director of Risk Studies
University of Leicester, England
0116 252 5700

23rd Jun 2004, 13:58
Bennett if you came over here to Nam mate youd have enough stress & fatigue material for an full international conferance and half a dozen bloodey theses. :bored: