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Pilot Fatigue - 7:30 report

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

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

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

Aviation safety in Australia is a different ball game with the arrival of new small commercial training operations tailored to the immigration market. Even if the training is supurlative, there is still an entire generation of pilots who have less bargaining power/ability to refuse their Visa sponsor/employer. These pilots, the industry and the community deserve better regulatory safety oversight and enforcement.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 09:01
  #22 (permalink)  

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There are a helluva lot more pilots flying tired, than there are flying stoned or drunk.

Fatigue Management System??? You'd be VERY surprised what FAID allows a pilot to do at a CASA acceptable risk score.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 21:45
  #23 (permalink)  
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FAID is mumbo-jumbo touchy-feely hocus-pocus. As is any system that pretends to put control of fatigue into the hands of the pilot, while still permitting companies to pay extra flying bonuses in various forms. And all the time the pilot is still under the management microscope in a world no longer offering any industrial protection.
We had the answer 40 years ago in CAO 48. It may not have been based on any so-called 'science' but it was a fairly conservative set of rules that worked if strictly applied. Exemptions and exceptions issued to appease operators are what has buggered CAO 48.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 22:04
  #24 (permalink)  
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Can you perform at the back of the clock?

I have worked with many folks who simply could not cut it at 0230 local...who now are international airline pilots...makes you wonder how they get on... With limited days per month and crew rest, I wonder how the longhaul crews can end up in this situation to begin with. There are some who just cant work as a pilot (or anything else) in the middle of the night, and no rest program will help them!!!
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Old 19th Dec 2009, 19:56
  #25 (permalink)  
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Hate to tell you this, but doctors and nurses also do some horrific duty days, often lasting 18 hours or more. If my life depends on their skill and expertise, I'd really prefer that whoever was working on me was well rested.

Unfortunately recent governments (of all colours) have really pushed the "productivity" and "world's best practice" (even if the benchmark comes from the third world) line. This has become the catalyst for employers to create rosters which virtually guarantee that many employees are permanently fatigued. Combine that with the "casualisation" of many positions (i.e. work when it is available, or starve), and many industries now operate in a high risk zone.
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Old 19th Dec 2009, 21:03
  #26 (permalink)  
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'I would be struggling to find an accident caused by fatigue" quote from CASA, maybe he should do a CRM course, I seem to recall quite a few prominent examples used in CRM training where dog tired crews have flown perfectly good aircraft into the ground where fatigue was the contributory factor and a couple of times where I nearly did the same.

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

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

So in my humble opinion until we get an employment based solution, minimum hours, family-work balance your never going to get a safety based system. So its back to basics, CAO 48 was a great substitute for the lack of a proper workplace award and agreement but it is well past its use by date. Why would you entrust a solution to the cretins in CASA who do not believe fatigue is an issue and can kill you. And we all know how you achieve a solid work place based solution don't we?
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Old 19th Dec 2009, 22:38
  #27 (permalink)  
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Fatigue related accidents

Whilst it is difficult to pin down an accident that was soley due to fatigue, fatigue can seriously affects decision making, situational awareness and the ability to manage threats and errors - among other things. Aircraft generally crash because of poor decision making and/or loss of situational awareness by flight crew. BTW it's not hard to find bad events where fatigue was a major contributing factor. Remember Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Flying Tigers B747F, Korean Airlines B747 at Guam, Three Mile Island accident and the list goes on and on and on. Even the DC-10 crash landing at Sioux City can be traced back to maintenance errors done at 03:00. As for FAID I think you will find, from a scientific point of view, it is becoming discredited in the aviation domain. It's fine for truck and train drivers but not for pilots/cabin crew.
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Old 20th Dec 2009, 01:10
  #28 (permalink)  
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Gotta love the way CASA try to dodge the fatigue issue with the Emirates incident.

Just like Copenhagen, it'll cost to much money make any meaningful commitment to minimising fatigue in the workplace.
Old 20th Dec 2009, 01:52
  #29 (permalink)  
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I work for a company that uses FAID as part of it's FRMS. Basically they have a set of rostering protocols that are loosely based on their old exemption to CAO48 and then the FAID score runs along side it as a backup. I will start by saying that despite the flaws in the system itself, i think my company does a fair job in administering it and I've never personally had a negative experience from a fatigue report.

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

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

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

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

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

Ultimately a pilot will have to be the one who has the last say, because no matter how conservative the FRMS they work to, there will be times when they don't get adequate rest due to non-work factor such as crying babies and noisy neighbours, but I think that the FRMS is being used to relax duty restrictions while placing more of the burden on the pilot to self assess. This is a backward safety step.
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Old 20th Dec 2009, 05:17
  #30 (permalink)  
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CAO 48 any day.

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

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

When you have already flown 100plus Flight hours in the last 28 days, and you are fatigued, much better calling in Sick because as far as the company is concerned, you are compliant on their FRMS/FAID and rostering protocols.
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Old 20th Dec 2009, 07:17
  #31 (permalink)  
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Give me CAO 48 any day. The exemption can be debilitating and calling 5AM a normal time to start work is just wrong as are many aspects of the exemption. Following a fatigue management system will be worse. It will be even less restrictive than the current exemption in place. Telling a pilot that he can call in fatigued at any time without consequence is just plain fallacy.

I also don't believe for a minute that both pilots were asleep on a flight deck whilst a jumpseater from Adelaide Uni was watching.
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Old 20th Dec 2009, 07:25
  #32 (permalink)  
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When you have already flown 100plus Flight hours in the last 28 days, and you are fatigued, much better calling in Sick because as far as the company is concerned, you are compliant on their FRMS/FAID and rostering protocols.
But then you use a sick day and if you're in the company I work for you have to pay $70 to go to the doctor for a sick certificate. Why not just use the fatigue system as it's supposed to be used?
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Old 20th Dec 2009, 07:42
  #33 (permalink)  
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Or why not do a fatigue test when you turn up for work as part of your sign on?
It would also pick up reductions in reaction time/speed of deceision making due to drugs, alcahol, stroke, stress, ....sore big toe, whatever. Each pilot does the 90 second test on the computer, it's compared to his/her history of testing and a 20% reduction from the norm shows as a fail.
Why not?
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 03:33
  #34 (permalink)  
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Cjam, probably because you would have to reduce the fleet by half. Most pilots try to have some rest before signing on, but screaming toddlers, teenage kids who can only speak at the highest decibels possible, and all types of tin lids in between usually share the same house as you in my experience, to say nothing of the family dog, who has only one ambition in life that is to finally get the postman, and breaks out in mad barking patterns when ever the poor bloke is sighted. My trick was to leave early, and try to have a quick shuteye in the car, somewhere quiet, and that usually worked. But one thing became apparent when I retired, that the realisation that you were chronically tired, but did not know it, simply used to it.
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 04:32
  #35 (permalink)  
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there are a couple of issues that need clearing up. AOD got the nod and the rush of effort because the Government put some big dollars up and directed the regulator to have it in place pronto (even then the regulator missed the timeline!!!). there has been no similar largesse from the Government for fatigue. following the Morris Report other forms of transport (rail, road ) introduced fatigue policies (have a look at the road transport fatigue rules on line) as did a number of the big players in the resource industry. FIAD was a part of FMS and quickly recognised as not being the correct tool - too give Interdyne their due they have updated and the newer versions are much more robust and less likely to have you flying when you are knackered. but remember it is just a tool the key to any FRMS (the RM is 'risk management) is the underlying process and performance of the operator and the pilots. a working system will produce roster that do provide adequate time for sleep and a mechanism that will allow the pilot to easily self assess.
however like any system it (FRMS) will only work if used correctly.
finally for those who would stay with CAO 48 - good luck that is why you look old and knackered. by any reasonable current measure the 'allowances' in CAO 48 do not provide any protection against fatigue, and I doubt in this day that they would provide a real defence if tested in court.
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 06:10
  #36 (permalink)  
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Nice descrption of suberbia there TG but it is not really a good answer to cjam's question.
I like the idea, it is not a new one and much research has been done to develop a quick and easy test (not for aviation but general industry).
Your argument suggests that many pilots are flying fatigued often and if there was a test to determine when, then the industry would fall over (halve the fleet size etc).
Basically you're saying "carry on with the farce, we've been flying tired for decades, why stop now?"
If the test did do as you say and create havoc, thats fine, the fleet size certainly wouldn't be halved, management and regulators would simply have to increase the pilot numbers until people were passing the test. That would be good for safety, good for the pilots, good for the paying public....good for the mailman because you could be home to control your name it, it would be good. And what is the cost? Instead of halving the fleet I suggest that instead of posting 800 million dollar profit two years ago qf would have posted a 750 million dollar profit. Instead of a 400 million dollar profit, Air NZ would have posted a 350 million daollar profit etc etc (still enough to carry them through the hard years like this one) . Is that price worth making the industry massively safer while returning some lifestyle to the job? I reckon.
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 07:50
  #37 (permalink)  
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I recently went back to CAO 48 operations after several years working under the 'standard industry exemption' and have to say I find it a much better deal. Just the difference with the 0600 sign-on and 2200 sign-off and the 90 duty hour limit in the fortnight standing alone makes life a whole lot more pleasant. Old I may look (because that I am), but definitely no longer knackered.
With regard to some form of performance test on a computer at sign-on: as a natural 'lark' I would fare OK at 0600, even after only my usual 6 or 7 hours sleep. Trying the same test 12 hours later would produce (in my case) a worse result, even if I hadn't been at work. At 2300 I would probably fail it every time . The 'owls' would work better the other way, probably peaking around 2100 if that was their sign-on, and falling into a huge heap at 0500 even after a weekend off. So I don't know what testing would prove other than we are all different.
It is obviously impractical for a rostering system to cater to the specific needs of larks and owls; hence something close to or even more strict than CAO 48 seems the only way we can keep fatigue under control. Of course if pilots choose to burn the candle at both ends in their free time, no system is safe.
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 09:37
  #38 (permalink)  
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Having worked under many different flight and duty limitations around the world I found CAO 48 the least fatiguing of them all.Of course any exemption to CAO 48 is going to be more fatiguing,that's why it's an exemption!! You work harder !!
CASA is approving all these fatigue management systems because the end game is to remove CAO 48 completely so they will not be culpable if an accident can be proven on fatigue.
Remember the CAO's are based on the CAR's which are an act of parliament and therefore a legal requirement under the laws of the land.If you break the CAO's you are breaking the law.And so are the companies who try to made you fly illegally.That is another big advantage of CAO 48.
What is the legal status of fatigue management systems? Who is responsible if "a system" is found to be fatiguing and the cause of an accident?
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 13:00
  #39 (permalink)  
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For all that CASA are trying to remove themselves from the fatigue issue, they must still approve the company's FRMS and so I don't see how it is any different from an exemption when it comes to liability. Even if they had a situation where the companies were free to come up with whatever FRMS they liked, CASA would still be the regulating authority who promoted a system where the companies were able to produce inferior FRMSs.
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 13:24
  #40 (permalink)  
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Wouldn't it be good if in this world we cut could cut out the bullshit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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