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Post stand down safety

Old 24th Oct 2020, 06:11
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Post stand down safety

Anyone else wondering how safe aviation really is at the moment? Long periods of stand down followed by stand up, stand down stand up, stand down running into a pretty significant weather season with La NiŮa predicted?

I canít help but think about all those low hour cadets who are coming off stand down.... Pretty perishable skills those IF skills...
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 06:24
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Depends on carrier. I don't see how being a cadet or not will factor into it, they are trained and checked at the same standard as any other pilot.

Substantial sim currency would've been established prior to return to line. Training Captains really busy ensuring all crew being stood up are safe to return to line. For the most part domestic crews will get an opportunity to fly at least once within 7/8 months. A good idea to concentrate on things like safe operation, SOPs, keeping the operation as calm and basic as possible, carrying plenty of fuel, not worrying too much about OTP, giving ourselves wide safety margins etc

I've heard airlines are planning on roughly 50% of domestic capacity by Christmas, which should be enough to maintain a good level of currency among all pilots. IMO it'll be pilots flying widebody and long haul operations who get very few sectors to begin with who'll have a much harder time returning to work, especially those who will be off work for a period of years rather than months.
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 09:19
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Originally Posted by SDN Superstar View Post
Anyone else wondering how safe aviation really is at the moment? Long periods of stand down followed by stand up, stand down stand up, stand down running into a pretty significant weather season with La NiŮa predicted?

I canít help but think about all those low hour cadets who are coming off stand down.... Pretty perishable skills those IF skills...
Bloody good question. Donít forget the fact that our airlines will be trying to get people back in the air as cheaply as possible. Add to that a severely distracted workforce who have, or will be set upon by management trying to drive down pay and conditions on the back of this.

Aviation has enjoyed a race to the bottom for the last decade or two, I feel this is where the luck starts running out for the travelling public.
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 09:45
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Originally Posted by dr dre View Post

Substantial sim currency would've been established prior to return to line. Training Captains really busy ensuring all crew being stood up are safe to return to line. For the most part domestic crews will get an opportunity to fly at least once within 7/8 months.
Im not sure what you consider Ďsubstantial sim currencyí, but I am positive that all the airlines will be applying the minimum currency required by the regulations. And I would think that a domestic pilot who has flown once in 7/8 months is going to be seriously rusty.

And for what itís worth....I am a domestic airline pilot. I am current and can get into an aircraft tomorrow. I have flown once since March. I was fortunate that the day I did go flying, the weather was CAVOK up and down the east coast. I would be very aware of my own limitations going into weather conditions that were forecast up and down the east coast this weekend.

Letís not kid ourselves - the airlines will do the absolute minimum to get (and keep) their crews current. My airline wonít even spend money on hotel accommodation to send some crews to where the flying is in the name
of currency
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 10:08
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Originally Posted by Colonel_Klink View Post

Letís not kid ourselves - the airlines will do the absolute minimum to get (and keep) their crews current.
One example is a full multi hour recency sim (not merely 3 T/Os and landings) for a period of up to 3 months off, then another if up to 6 months off, and any missed recurrent sims. And then the necessary line training until back to line standard. Pilots Iíve spoken through whoíve gone through the return to work program have given feedback that the training gave them confidence in their capabilities that they thought was necessary to return to work.
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 10:22
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...and for crew who wonít be required 2 years?

Are they going to have to learn to fly again?
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 21:28
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An example which I observed myself not too long ago was someone who hadn't flown at all for well over a year. He was prescribed 8 hours in the sim (one session of training, another one OPC) and 20 sectors of line training. And it got him back to speed without any issues. In the ACMI and charter segment, you can routinely see people with interruptions of 6-9 months over the winter, it doesn't surprise anyone. In that situation, it's usually 8 hours in the sim and 10 legs with a trainer before being released to the line. Obviously, any of those numbers is subject to review and extension if anything in the individual's performance suggests a need for more training.

It's sure as day that you will be rusty after more than 2-3 months out of flying. Hence the 90-day rule. But it's not the end of the world and you won't have to learn the ropes from zero, as some may fear. Don't underestimate the importance of self-study while not flying. Review your manuals, maybe print out a cockpit poster and do some "armchair flying" every now and again. When the time comes, you'll be back to speed in less than a month.
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Old 25th Oct 2020, 01:35
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I was on the ground for 6 months and returned to regular flying last month. I completed 4 hours sim, 4 sectors training and a check flight. I felt this was more than enough as it all came back pretty quick. Just take responsibility for youselves, don't rush, take lot's of fuel when you can and go slow.
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Old 25th Oct 2020, 03:19
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The flying skills are not the problem when it comes to post covid safety. As has been mentioned the sim training and line sectors take care of brushing away the cobwebs. The bigger issue is the mental health of the returning pilots. Most are going to be under some financial or personal stress. For the Virgin pilots its the stress of the VA and their on-going future. For QF and JQ its still an uncertain future as even amongst the NB pilots there will be the uncertainty of fleet numbers as JQ has already stated that 20% of the NB roster is international flying. QF has stated that Christmas will only see a return to 50% of their pre-covid schedule.

Look at the PIA crash, they were pre=occupied with issues outside of the cockpit. A few years back there was the crew of an American (not the airline) domestic crew who overflew their destination by 150 miles because they were discussing post-merger seniority lists. The airlines and CASA are not capable of dealing with this level of disruption on the pilot body and my prediction is that there will be an increase in incidents such as runway incursion and excursion, altitude busts and fuel incidents. Lots of pressure from the company and from the home front which is not a good combination. That pressure will be present for the majority of pilots, Captains and F/Os.
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Old 25th Oct 2020, 03:48
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As above, Go Slow. Double and triple check. The guy or girl is next to you can verify also. Donít be afraid to ask regardless of which seat you sit in, or how new or old you are. Talk behavioural in briefings, this worked well with one specifically for myself who was a tad nervous, and expecting the unexpected. He was more relaxed when I told him what I was probably going to witness, the behavioural challenges ahead, the pressure to outperform on his part was eliminated.

Having returned recently and having had a break in the past before, I sort of knew the behaviour that I was going to be faced with sitting next to me, and it was purely those rushing. I slowed it down significantly at times and they saw the light. We might have been late on a few occasions but I was satisfied with the end result. Iím not expecting my company to go me over being late, however some other countries might not be so lenient.

I also make a habit of not going to work every shift to talk about remuneration and management. Some get so lost in these discussions that they have some controller taking to them and they are so far zoned out they donít even hear it. Iíve seen this multiple times when sitting in the jump.

Keep a close eye on some of our neighbours up north, specially locoís based in the likes of Indonesia, Vietnam, Phillipines, Thailand.

Last edited by PoppaJo; 25th Oct 2020 at 04:04.
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Old 26th Oct 2020, 07:05
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Maybe this isn't the right time for QLK to have suspended all NTS/HF currency training (for covid safety reasons), particularly when all other ground school courses are still going ahead (in spite of covid)...?
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