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Pilots ‘worked to death’: Flydubai whistleblower says fatigue-related crash predicted

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Pilots ‘worked to death’: Flydubai whistleblower says fatigue-related crash predicted

Old 23rd Mar 2016, 19:40
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Pilots ‘worked to death’: Flydubai whistleblower says fatigue-related crash predicted

https://www.rt.com/news/336514-flydu...fatigue-crash/
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 19:45
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Hi everyone. My name is Paula Slier, I am the RT (Russia Today) reporter involved in the story on pilot fatigue. We are really concerned about the welfare of pilots and we want to help expose airline companies that exploit their pilots by making them fly unreasonable and fatigue-inducing schedules.We will treat any information given to us with the utmost confidentiality and those former Fly Dubai pilots who are talking with us are happy with the way we are managing our investigation. Anyone with information please contact me at [email protected]
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 19:48
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Ah you beat me to it. I had not had my posts put up yet. But good enough to draw attention. Maybe RT can call the AOA or any of us.
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 19:52
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Attention CAD, this is on you now!
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 00:25
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How many times have poor rosters resulted in divorce, especially on the Airbus.

Qantas pilot's light plane suicide crash - 9news.com.au
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 04:30
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Thank you Paula. Read the post "The Rostering Ruse" to get an idea how bad it is. A call to the Civil Aviation Department would be a first step as our cries are going unheard.
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 05:09
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https://www.rt.com/news/336903-flydu...atigue-report/
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 05:13
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How 'bout the attendance management program where the company decides whether our fatigue reports are valid?
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 05:31
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Hi Paula,
I have posted this in another thread, but I think it fits here better

Airlines constantly disregard fatigue, because it does not fit their businessplan.
I filed an Air Safety Reports over fatigued and they always brushed it off that it is legal and people with many PHDs designed the optimum rest periods.
But the european laws came into effect without any experts on the panel, as BAA union has proven in the past. It is the same body of government, that believes that ilegal immigration is good for us too . I feel sorry for the families of victims of bombing in Brussels. But we are always told we cannot fear, otherwise they win and nothing has anything to do with anything.
The corporate world has the patent for what is right.
The airlines always tell me that I do not understand te difference between being tired and fatigue. And that fatigue is serious and chronic. And that I have to be checked out by a doctor, if a legal schedule would produce a fatigue in me.
But I have a simple personal definition of fatigue. I am one of the lucky guys, who can sleep pretty well. When I wake up, I am usually fresh. But when I am experimented on me by the "legal schedules", I am waking up after 8 hours sleep and I am very tired. If I get by some chance of luck 3 days in a row, the problem dissapears. I am also pretty good with numbers. But when I am fatigued, I need a calculator for everything....
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 05:37
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Paula - as you probably gather by now, this is an industry wide problem, and the ultimate blame lies at the feet of the legislators who approve insane roster practices. Profit is the ultimate driver after that. Whatever is 'legal', no matter how fatiguing, becomes the standard. What used to be ultimate LIMITS set by aviation authorities have now been transformed into TARGETS. In other words, pilots are regularly worked to the extreme limits of the law and that is the mission of almost all rostering departments.
The only constraint on such practices is a good pilots union who can enforce some sanity. The Cathay pilots here have such a Union. Yet they feel over worked too. Pity those who work in a totally Union free airline, where anything goes.
As long as it's 'legal' of course!
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 05:44
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Angel

PBY, exactly right!
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 17:45
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Hi Frank

I didn't post in other forums because I'm new to PPRuNe and learning to navigate my way around. Have posted now.

A few of you have mailed me - thank you.

This is the latest story we have done on the issue.
https://www.rt.com/news/336903-flydu...atigue-report/
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 05:33
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Hi Paula,

Accountants now run airlines, including FOP departments. They see LIMITATIONS as goalposts to MAX PRODUCTIVITY.
They hit those goalposts frequently then lobby the authority (HKCAD here) for extensions to those limits.
Prime example is the extension from CAD371 edition 1 to edition 2 allowing WOCL (window of circadian low) night flights to be extended from their previous limit of 8 hours to a new limit of 9 hours, plus allowing 3 crew Europe ops from the previous requirement of 4 crew. This was all done by CAD after requests made by CX and KA.

Excerpt from our HK CAD 371 (edition 2) document:

"3.6 Factors to be considered when constructing crew rosters should include:

3.6.1 The undesirability of alternating day/night duties.

3.6.2 Avoiding scheduling rest periods of between 18 and 30 hours, except when rest is physiologically based.

3.6.3 The effect of consecutive flights through, or ending within, the window of circadian low.

3.6.4 The effect of consecutive transmeridian flights ensuring that sufficient rest, and where applicable sufficient physiological rest, is provided.

3.6.5 The notification of crews well in advance of days off. "

Accountants now running FOP departments IGNORE the INTENT of the above governing paragraph in the FTL's (CAD371 excerpt edn 2) because they state it says "SHOULD avoid", not "SHALL avoid". They say rostering in contravention of the above is OK because "it's legal", they completely IGNORE the purpose and intent of the above, which is clearly to avoid fatigue in air crews.

As evidence, check any one of CX Middle East or India flights where EVERY SINGLE flight pairing to those cities (Airbus regional fleet now) is rostered in direct contravention of the above paragraph. Back to back WOCL sectors separated by rest within 18-30 hour period. The only exception is where the flight pairing to some cities is not daily, so crew by default gain an extra night's rest.
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 08:22
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'Should' is a vague instruction and open to abuse. CAD371 is based on the old UK CAP371 which is now defunct under EASA FTLs which have been in force since January. EASA FTLs do correct some of the discrepancies in CAP371 and tighten up some of the items open up for interpretation, but allow for longer working hours. Be careful what you wish for!
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 09:24
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https://www.rt.com/news/337128-emira...tigue-scandal/
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 11:39
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Hi Paula, thanks for your message.

I have to tell you that in my previous job I was a union representative, and my work was focused on dealing with media.

After some years there are quite a few things I have learned, and sorry to say, but I believe people has to know.

For journalists, their trending hashtag is like a trip for us: it brings money to the bag for some days, but as it runs old, the only thing in the horizon to keep the bike running is a different trip, a different article, a different hashtag, a different story. And you and I know that it is not you who decides what's trendy or not every morning.

More...it would not be the first time, nor it would be the last, that an amazing tale to be spread is just cut in half forever after some airline (or company related to any other industry) marketing manager calls to offer a nice advertising contract...exchanged by silence. You and me know this is true.

That day, two things will take place: first, the half told story remains dead until another tragedy resurrects it (because it is trendy again) and maybe, maybe...some guys that approached the story teller with hope are left out with nothing but the threat of their initials found out. About the last, don't get bothered, there's a lot of honest professionals everywhere and I bet you are one of them, but again, you and I know this has happened...

More...this is a sensible and specialized business at the same time, and I've long and strongly struggled with journalists to get them to tell about aviation related matters in a way that public understands but does not fall apart when it comes to being strict about what things really mean and stand for. You can do a lot of good with your articles, but the bottom line is thin, and can do a lot of bad to us who make a living out of this, spike fears among our clients and not serve the purpose you are seeking with good intention. Because, listen, there's a big bunch of fine stuff that could outcome your job, but most of the time in this issues the result ends up summarized in the eye catching material.

In my ideal world, long experience backgrounded, only professionals should write about some matters, and never be taken hostages for it, never fear that the truth has a price that is paid in the unemployment queue.

But we don't live in that world, so my advice to you and all is: be careful what you write, be careful what you say.

Thanks.
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 16:02
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Although no one yet knows for sure if fatigue did indeed play a part in the Flydubai crash, there would seem to be evidence of extremely poor workload management at least. Surely now is exactly the right time for that letter from the trainers to AT to see the light of day again, if for no other reason to highlight yet again that at least pilots are trying to draw management's and the authorities' eyes to the fact that such abuse is indeed common place in this now sad industry.
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 10:12
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Should' is a vague instruction and open to abuse. CAD371 is based on the old UK CAP371 which is now defunct under EASA FTLs which have been in force since January. EASA FTLs do correct some of the discrepancies in CAP371 and tighten up some of the items open up for interpretation, but allow for longer working hours. Be careful what you wish for!
Hi Dan
Been working for couple of months under EASA and from the AOC side of the fence much better. The no limits on early/lates/night in a mature AOC protected by Union agreement and FRMS can mean better rosters. No factored sectors which was a CAP371 strange one left from days of Flight Engineers. Yes you can do a lot more hours early doors but that has been the norm for years in Europe.
Another Bus driver
Excerpt from our HK CAD 371 (edition 2) document:

"3.6 Factors to be considered when constructing crew rosters should include:

3.6.1 The undesirability of alternating day/night duties.

3.6.2 Avoiding scheduling rest periods of between 18 and 30 hours, except when rest is physiologically based.

3.6.3 The effect of consecutive flights through, or ending within, the window of circadian low.

3.6.4 The effect of consecutive transmeridian flights ensuring that sufficient rest, and where applicable sufficient physiological rest, is provided.

3.6.5 The notification of crews well in advance of days off. "

Accountants now running FOP departments IGNORE the INTENT of the above governing paragraph in the FTL's (CAD371 excerpt edn 2) because they state it says "SHOULD avoid", not "SHALL avoid". They say rostering in contravention of the above is OK because "it's legal", they completely IGNORE the purpose and intent of the above, which is clearly to avoid fatigue in air crews.

As evidence, check any one of CX Middle East or India flights where EVERY SINGLE flight pairing to those cities (Airbus regional fleet now) is rostered in direct contravention of the above paragraph. Back to back WOCL sectors separated by rest within 18-30 hour period. The only exception is where the flight pairing to some cities is not daily, so crew by default gain an extra night's rest.
The 18-30hr rest reg was introduced by the UK CAA for day / night rotations to Florida.
It therefore depends in what context the operation is; for example night/day rotations with 18-30hrs rest are scientifically proven to be a good pairing (depending on which route etc)
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 10:14
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Link to associated information

Hi Paula,

Please find the link below from many of our training dept to CX management.

http://m.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/1860328/read-full-letter-exhausted-cathay-pacific-pilots

It was a genuine attempt to stay away from anything industrial. As you may be aware, CX pilots are at odds with management now over Rostering Practices (these were unilaterally dissolved by the company last year despite them being part of the company written COS).

Now, self certified sick leave has been reduced from 7 days to 3 days whilst at the same time, full introduction of an attendance monitoring program with more items included that are contrary to our COS.

Seems many in the industry are participating in 'the race to the bottom'.

Regards
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 15:12
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I want to thank everyone for getting in touch. I know it’s not easy. Thank you for taking us into your trust and know that your confidentiality will be protected. This is a huge story for RT and we will run with it for as long as possible. But personally I want to promise you that I will stay on it – even when it is no longer breaking news I will still continue to investigate. Anything that anyone thinks of that is a new angle or new development, please let me know as this helps push the story back into the public eye. Best of luck to you all and please stay safe. My deepest respect, Paula Slier [email protected]
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