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Commuting Qantas 787 and other types

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Commuting Qantas 787 and other types

Old 7th May 2017, 00:09
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Commuting Qantas 787 and other types

When the new FRMS gets implemented I had heard that pilots will need to be in port of departure a minimum 24 hours prior. This is based on ICAO or FAA recommended procedures. Airlines will adopt this policy for liability reasons.
Hence no commuting on staff travel on day of operation for any LH fleets, A380,747,787,A330.

When does the new FRMS come into effect? Not the end of the world but you'll need to plan to be in port the night before departure always now If your planning on using staff travel.
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Old 7th May 2017, 00:23
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CASA will just defer the FRMS rules again in October because the RAA will say they haven't had enough time to implement it, it will cost them too much money, a friend just came in from out of town, a terrible earthquake hit....(insert excuse here).
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Old 7th May 2017, 00:30
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To me that question falls into the category of 'don't ask the question if you're not going to like the answer'.

I don't know whether the FRMS will make a 24 hour rule or not. It would seem a little pointless to me given the distances that some people drive to the airport prior to sign on or what they choose to do before work. So unless the FRMS wanted to make rules on renovating your house prior to sign on, or big gym workouts prior to sign on, or how much the young kids slept the night before sign on, etc, it seems silly to be prescriptive in the one area of 'commuting' to work.

So I hope common sense prevails for this one.
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Old 7th May 2017, 00:32
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Heard this a while back, regarding the commuting rules. If it is implemented by CASA it will hurt The VA guys and girls as well pretty badly. I wonder how VA will handle the domicile travel arrangements they have with the wide body crew???? But as Lookleft says, it will probably be indefinitely postponed.
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Old 7th May 2017, 01:16
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The problem is that the 787 IS coming, and IS going to be doing up to ULH, and an FRMS is going to be required because it can't just be grandfathered into existing rules given the possible flight times on a routine basis.

This was recently put out by AIPA
B787 Perth to London Operations
With B787 crew rest arrangements in place, we also reached agreement on the PER-LHR sector.

EBA9 clause RM20.3 covers operations to a maximum of 16:30 hours flight time or an 18:00 hour duty period. As the PER-LHR sector is planned at 17:20 and 18:50 respectively, this requires a specific agreement.

Such agreements are made on a city pair basis so it also covers LHR-PER, even though it has a planned flight time of less than 16:30 hours. This follows the same process that led to agreements in the past for DFW operations on the B744 and A380.

The agreement provides for:
PER-LHR max flight time 18:20 hours
LHR-PER max flight time 17:40 hours

Avoiding an FRMS is going be a tricky job given the proposed maximum flight time. Will CASA simply promulgate a city pair specific FRMS, but say to everyone else "business as usual" non-FRMS arrangement? That's going to be a very difficult fence to sit on for CASA. How will it explain it?

I see it as a binary choice. You justify an FRMS as "evidence based" rules system, yet that shouldn't apply to the rest of your Flight & Duty rules where it may actually cost money.
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Old 7th May 2017, 01:18
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As Keg touched on, unless rules are put in place around want you can't do before a duty (which would be impossible to do) then the whole issue about commuting and it's affect on fatigue is a dead argument.

Let's say we have a pilot is based in Sydney and lives on the Gold Coast and only a 10min easy drive to the airport. Allowing for their drive to the airport, check in time and flight time to Sydney their commute time would be around 2 hours. 1 hour of this commute time would be spent relaxing/sleeping on the flight down.
Now what if we have another pilot also based in Sydney and they live in Newcastle (or the southern highlands). Their drive to work on the best of days will be 2-3 hours, plus they have to put up with parking issues at the Blue Emu.
The pilot who has to drive 2-3 hours doesn't get the chance to relax/sleep like the pilot living on the Gold Coast does.
So which one is going to feel less tired (fatigued) at the start of their duty and after at the end of their duty?
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Old 7th May 2017, 01:23
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Originally Posted by BPA View Post
So which one is going to feel less tired (fatigued) at the start of their duty and after at the end of their duty?
The one without screaming kids
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Old 7th May 2017, 02:22
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FRMS is the real unknown, an increase in hours per year is coming I'm sure. Longer term I think the pilot group in Qantas will see an increase in health issues due to sector lengths and total hours flown.
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Old 7th May 2017, 03:00
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I had heard that pilots will need to be in port of departure a minimum 24 hours prior
Port of Departure or Time zone........?

FRMS is based on Time Zones, so I would suspect the latter. So a very big difference. Commuting from anywhere within the East Coast Time Zone to BNE/SYD/MEL should be unchanged, and I would add the SA/NT Time Zone into that as well. East Coast to Perth however I suspect will provide problems.

It sounds like some moron in his haste to escape the Middle East has landed a job in CASA and is trying advance himself by promoting the rules used in the M.E. The only problem is, those rules have no grounding in safety, and are completely illogical - they are there purely to keep a pilot spending his money in country, and not elsewhere.
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Old 7th May 2017, 03:03
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Many overseas airlines already have commuting 'guidelines' in place based on travel time to commence a duty, whether that travel is in your car, in a middle economy seat in the back row, or 1A. In most cases these guidelines are non-specific in terms of proposed duties and include minimum pre-duty rest periods (a lot less than 24 hours) in suitable accommodation - that is, not a crew room couch or a terminal seat.

As is currently the case, any decision on a person's individual fatigue can only be made by that person. This will not change even if guidelines, rules or CAO's do stipulate requirements. The only difference will be that a person - pilot in this case - will have to justify a breach of the guidelines/rules/CAO's in the event of an incident or any event which impacts on the regulatory or commercial viability of the operation.
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Old 7th May 2017, 03:28
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Also, don't forget that...

... at any point during an ULH flight, two of the four flight crew;
- still have to go on the first break,
- still have to plan to be fresh for the landing,
- must be alert enough to soundly manage enroute contingencies,
- still have to plan ahead for eating/hydrating throughout the journey, and
- all must deal with the vagaries of different abilities to 'sleep' in a M0.86 tube in the sky!

Keg is correct. In my experience it will not make sense to mandate any such 'narrow' pre-flight criteria. Pilots know their own limits & responsibility for 'rest preparedness' to fly. They also know the CAOs.

I hope it's left at that unless EVIDENCE proves that systemic abuse of those responsibilities is occurring.👌
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Old 7th May 2017, 07:48
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Originally Posted by boeinginthewest View Post
M0.86????? OMG as if... who pays your fuel bills!!!
Cruise in the 787 is typically between .845 to .86 depending upon weight/altitude and cost index. The avg fuel burn is about 2.3-2.4/eng/hr at moderate weights. Lighter weight (160 tonnes) at .855, at FL400, it is about 2.0.
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Old 7th May 2017, 07:52
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The other aspect that makes a farce of the whole thing is that FRMS largely is used in LH/ULR operations with augmented crews. In those operations it is necessary for one or two crew members to go on a rest break about 30min after pushback.

If all crew are properly rested when they arrive for duty, how are they expected to get some sleep in the first half of the flight. It's all just bureaucratic bullshit to tinplate some shiny bum.

As far as poking shit at the ME rules, at least they have two proper crews (Capt/FO) and they have a published rest plan so that the "B" crew can arrive at work reasonably rooted and go straight to sleep for the first half of the flight. Unlike the bullshit used in Australia at both QF and VA where there is a pseudo heavy crew with one Capt, one FO and two SO's. Virtually guaranteeing one of the operating crew will be totally [email protected] for the approach and landing.

There is nothing about the Australian model that stands up to proper scrutiny, from the ridiculous "commuting" rules to the actual crewing of the flights. All just there so some manager can blame a pilot for the next screw up.
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Old 7th May 2017, 07:54
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I can understand if an FRMS prescribed what types of 'duties' can be undertaken prior to an ULH flight. I can understand the requirement for 24 hours off between duties. IE pax to SYD for EPs in Sydney on Tuesday, do them Wednesday, pax back to PER that Wednesday evening and then sign on for LHR on Thursday evening. That looks a little nuts to me and a restriction makes sense for that sort of case.

How I choose get to work though is realistically none of the FRMS' business unless it's going to put that sort of restriction on all crew- and I just can't see that happening. I recall one of our very, very fit 767 F/Os often running to work from the Northern beaches even for an 0500 sign on. He's a sharp operator and I never found him even a little tired for the tour of duty- though it was unusual to get him to come out to dinner beyond about 2000- but I wonder how the FRMS would view his 0200 wake up and 25km run for that?
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Old 7th May 2017, 08:44
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All very good points.

ICAO recommend analysis of culmulative fatigue after flying multiple bid periods of ULH patterns. They also only consider a crew of 2 CPTs and 2 FOs.
QF flying ULH make it hard to do what EK does as mentioned above, as QF only have 1 CPT and 1 FO.
Someone else also made the valid point that getting a break is great so long as you can sleep!

Very few Airlines exclusively fly nothing but 18.5 hour Flight times or nearly 20 hour Duties. Remember Singapore Airlines had to do an awful lot of fatigue based data collection on their flights and it had SIX flight crew.

Regardless of night credits, will there be any scientific or data gathering on the effects of that extra 35 hours or more of Ultra Long Haul flying every bid period for years on end?
I don't know of any 787 operators that Only fly ULH exclusively. It's more an issue for PER base as it's flying the longest. MEL, BNE would be similar to other types currently flying.

I know you may do 24 days work per BP however your still in a tube for a very long time, mostly at night, crossing a LOT of time zones in one go.

Commercially and industrially I can see it's fantastic.
Can't see any Proper scientific analysis, evidenced based data or FRMS principles either. QF crew rest sounds different from SIA requirements.

Below from a flightglobal paper "Pushing the limits"

"Based on the CASC conclusions, SIA recommends its flightcrew have either one or two substantial rest breaks on their ULR sectors, with one allowing for a sleep of about 4h in specially designed crew accommodation.The accommodation includes a comfortable chair, entertainment system and proper bunk.
SIA, meanwhile, is continuing a detailed study of crew fatigue and alertness on its ULR flights in conjunction with the European Committee for Aircrew Scheduling and Safety and New Zealand’s Massey University. The latter was previously involved in a Boeing study into fatigue on 777 ferry flights with SIA pilots.
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Old 7th May 2017, 08:49
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So often pilots are their own worst enemy. The Company has years of experience watching what commuters do. Not what commuters say they do. They KNOW a very likely scenario is going to be a guy based in Sydney, who lives an hour from the airport, leaving home around 1200 for the 1500 flt, arriving in Perth about 1800 for a 2100 departure to lhr. Of course that guy is buggered so 'I'll have the first break if that's OK, mate.' Except the other guy did the same...
PS. I haven't looked at the flight times to verify those times, I just made them up, but the scenario remains the same.
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Old 7th May 2017, 09:09
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Tinee....

Why is that guy 'buggered'? He may have napped quite well on the flight across to Perth.

What about the Perth-resident pilot who was working on renovations since 6am after a night of disturbed sleep due to a young family. He tried a late afternoon nap before sign-on but the kids got home from school & he got no more rest so he quickly mowed the lawn before heading to the airport after dinner. Any risks there?

And can you attribute any safety 'events' to the pilots you've inferred are being irresponsible?

Pilots I work with take their responsibilities & obligations seriously. Unless there is evidence that the status quo really causes problems I think that 'well enough' should be left alone.😉
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Old 7th May 2017, 09:55
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Originally Posted by Jetsbest View Post
Why is that guy 'buggered'? He may have napped quite well on the flight across to Perth.

😉
Wouldn't he 'nap' even better in the crew rest on the ULH flight? Stop whinging about not getting paid night credits then. Modern aircraft are much easier to fly nowadays, if you're not happy leave, there is a long line of keen pilots waiting to take your job for less. I heard China pays very well.
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Old 7th May 2017, 10:03
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WTF? Not even close to the point Jetsbest was making.
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Old 7th May 2017, 10:19
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Maybe the 'unobtanium' has driven you insane? Or unable to follow a discussion?

Anyway, I agree with your point Jets. But the difference is that the (hypothetical) Sydney guy spent five hours in an aluminium/plastic tube and the company can track it. Guys b*tch constantly about crew rest, hotels, etc and then do stuff like that. Not everyone by any stretch, but a lot do. Ask any manager about the stuff commuters get into trouble for. Regularly.
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