Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Pilot Fatigue - 7:30 report

Old 16th Dec 2009, 21:20
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone is zero
Posts: 731
Pilot Fatigue - 7:30 report

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

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

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

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

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

Thea Dikeos reports.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KERRY O'BRIEN: That report from Thea Dikeos.
source: ABC. video link
breakfastburrito is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2009, 21:55
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Paradise
Age: 61
Posts: 1,368
I was too tired to watch it..........

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

I am aware of operators who dismiss fatigue as a myth; wait until they see a smoking wreck in their colours.
chimbu warrior is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2009, 23:30
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone is zero
Posts: 731
Drug positives top the list for high flyers
November 27, 2009
RANDOM drug and alcohol tests on aviation personnel show positive results for banned drugs at 10 times the rate of alcohol.

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

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

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

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

ANDREW HEASLEY
Source: Drug positives top the list for high flyers

It is most interesting that when it comes to the question of drugs vs fatigue, CASA & the operators seem to be able to move very quickly in the case of drugs.
Yet, the apparent rate of AOD affected safety sensitive employees would appear to be an order of mangnitude less than those at high risk of fatigue.
It would appear that CASA is also asleep at the wheel.
breakfastburrito is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2009, 23:44
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 87
And how about the CAO 48 Exemption Trial...it has been ongoing for some 20 years now.....longest trial in aviation history eh??....CASA do your thing !!!
Minosavy Masta is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2009, 23:47
  #5 (permalink)  

Bottums Up
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: dunnunda
Age: 63
Posts: 3,441
Two slants on fatigue.

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

I recall a conversation with an esteemed PPRuNer, who at the time worked under a FRMS. If I recall correctly, in his company all duty scored points, and the score of points then required days off. I seem to recall him saying that with judicial rostering, one could be rostered to work 365 days per year.
Capt Claret is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 00:29
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arsetrailer
Posts: 267
Sounds familiar, the FRMS I worked on not only allowed 365 days a year but reduced your accrued fatigue score with consecutive early starts.
The reasoning was that your body clock was adjusting to the 0300 getups.
No wonder ops dept. love them.
Fred Gassit is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 01:30
  #7 (permalink)  
Whispering "T" Jet
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Melbourne.
Age: 64
Posts: 630
.............there needs to be a mechanism where pilots who do call in fatigued are not penalised.
With the abolition of that CAO 48 Exemption (a cosy little deal set up between the Regulator and Labour because Hawke mismanaged the Pilot's dispute) and a proper fatigue management program, there should never be a reason to "call in fatigued".
3 Holer is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 01:53
  #8 (permalink)  

Bottums Up
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: dunnunda
Age: 63
Posts: 3,441
Originally Posted by 3 Holer"
there should never be a reason to "call in fatigued".
G'day 3 Holer, I'd disagree with that statement to the extent that work is not the only thing that causes fatigue. Even with adequate rest rostered, one cannot mandate that the body will rest.

I assume that insomnia affects many people from time to time, it certainly does me, on the odd occasion. Ad to this the neighbours who don't check the rostered start time when they start the weekly jazz session next door. And there goes effective rest & sleep.
Capt Claret is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 02:14
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Melbourne
Age: 57
Posts: 952
A bit of thread drift

Drug positives top the list for high flyers
There were 17 positive results out of 4091 tests for drugs (representing 0.4 per cent of those tested) and seven positives for alcohol out of 14,273 tests (equating to 0.04 per cent of those tested).
Interesting stats.

But...

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

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

DIVOSH!

Last edited by Di_Vosh; 17th Dec 2009 at 02:20. Reason: clarity
Di_Vosh is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 05:57
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: YMML
Posts: 51
Wonder if Doctors, Nurses, Truckies, Bus Drivers etc etc could claim to achieve such impressive results if given a similar level of testing.
aiming point is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 06:57
  #11 (permalink)  
Sprucegoose
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Hughes Point, where life is great! Was also resident on page 13, but now I'm lost in Cyberspace....
Age: 56
Posts: 3,488
I have been doing considerable work in this area in the last 18 months and spoken to many people. Much of what is currently available commercially for use in aviation is based on the work of the University of South Australia sleep research centre, but there are many others doing similar research.

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

How we weed out the people who will rort the system (and there will be a small minority) I don't know!
Howard Hughes is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 10:22
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 41S174E
Age: 53
Posts: 2,767
At the heart of it all will be an onus on pilots to call in and not fly when fatigued and an onus on employers not to penalise pilots who do the right thing.
This would not work at most of the airlines I've been involved in. especially the smaller ones (less than 10 jets).

Often one rostering person under incredible pressure to make the roster work with the absolute minimum number of pilots. Maybe a minimum number of pilots per flying hour the company does should be part of it? a certain ratio?
framer is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 10:23
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: australia
Age: 70
Posts: 886
Sure Howard, and JetStar won't ever have more than half a dozen aircraft and they will never compete head to head with Qantas on trunk routes and as management, we're here to help, but you must realise, engagement is a two way street!
blow.n.gasket is online now  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 11:10
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,383
Wonder if Doctors, Nurses, Truckies, Bus Drivers etc etc could claim to achieve such impressive results if given a similar level of testing.
Aiming Point you actually make a very good point. My question is - Do these groups get tested? How often? And are the banned substances lists the same?

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

As for 730 Report on Fatigue well I missed he program as I was up at 230am.
Mr. Hat is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 19:23
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Roguesville, cloud cuckooland
Posts: 1,178
What I'd like to know is what % of that figure was pilots.

''Safety sensitive'' personnel include pilots, cabin crew, flight instructors, aircraft dispatchers, aircraft maintenance and repair personnel, aviation security personnel, including security screeners, air traffic controllers, baggage handlers, ground staff and all others with airside access
Capt Kremin is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 19:55
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: On the Beach
Posts: 75
guarantee if you tested 18000 odd cops in any state in Oz you'd get significantly higher positive results than this report. And they carry gun's! But you can't test them because their union won't allow it. Not in the interest of broader public safety apparently.
MonsterC01 is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 21:29
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: nocte volant
Posts: 1,102
Wonder if Doctors, Nurses, Truckies, Bus Drivers etc etc could claim to achieve such impressive results if given a similar level of testing.
Depending on the individual employer, many of these groups of workers are tested. I was regularly tested in the military (big drug/alcohol problems there) and when I was working for the government railway. The only place I have never been tested is the aviation workplace. I was never tested when I was working as a safety officer and I have not been tested while working as a pilot.

Police are also regularly tested, though many continue for years before they are caught.
Trojan1981 is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2009, 21:52
  #18 (permalink)  
Registered User **
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Sydney
Posts: 621
I'm not sure that it was a very clever move for a union rep to present a pilots job description to those outside aviation as
RICHARD WOODWARD, AUSTRALIAN & INTERNATIONAL PILOTS ASSN: Someone said to me once, "If you want to think about what we do, sit in front of a fish tank at 4 o'clock in the morning and stare at the fish for two hours and see how you feel."
RedTBar is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2009, 00:28
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 26
guarantee if you tested 18000 odd cops in any state in Oz you'd get significantly higher positive results than this report. And they carry gun's! But you can't test them because their union won't allow it. Not in the interest of broader public safety apparently.
I used to be a cop (in another life), and know of two colleagues in two separate incidents that fell asleep while patrolling (their partners were already asleep) and both crashed their cars. Lucky no one was seriously injured...
hoboe is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2009, 01:07
  #20 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: various places .....
Posts: 6,578
Post the question over on the Freight Forum and see what sort of response comes up.

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

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.