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New US Rest and Duty Regulations

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New US Rest and Duty Regulations

Old 7th Jan 2014, 21:46
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How does the new FAA regs compare yo the new EASA FTL regs ?
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Old 8th Jan 2014, 02:18
  #22 (permalink)  
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When I was an F/O, the worst day I ever had was with a Captain with whom I'd never flown.

We departed a mid-US airport for the west coast approx 1700.

Enroute to the first stop, the Capt began to descend from cruise altitude without clearance, in order to make a published crossing restriction on the arrival. When I asked what he was doing, he insisted that we had to descend in order to make the restriction.

I repeated that we hadn't yet been cleared and suggested that he slow in order to make the restriction, once cleared. He snapped at me that he didn't need any flying lessons. A commuting Captain in the jumpseat had really big eyes.

Second leg (mine) was nominal.

Third leg, the Captain blew a level-off altitude while hand flying a circling departure from a major city, even after I reminded him about the restriction. I pushed forward on the yoke and leveled a hundred or so high, since he was looking at his side console, reading the departure plate. He never even saw the inbound heavy restricted 1,000 above pass directly over us.

During the subsequent night VOR approach to a mountainous destination, he got far behind in the descent while making a lengthy PA to the PAX.

The approach controller asked if we were going to make the field. I asked the captain if he had the field in sight and he said, "Where?" I pointed directly over the nose. We made the field, but just barely.

Once in the hotel room, I considered waking up a chief pilot, but decided to wait and see how he was the next morning.

The next two days of the 3-day trip were absolutely normal - like flying with a totally different captain. I asked him where he lived and he named a west coast city. He then related how on the first day of the trip he had commuted in on an early morning flight and usually got a hotel room for a nap, but had run into some buddies and had spent the day in ops instead. I calculated that by the time of the last landing he had been awake some 21 hours.

I decided then and there, that when I upgraded I would get my own commuter place (with no other crew) and always commute in the day before my trips. I made good on that decision and never, in 12 years as captain, commuted in on the day of my trip. It made for a much less stressful career.
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Old 9th Jan 2014, 14:29
  #23 (permalink)  
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My airline (or rather our holding company) has opened and closed 39 bases over the past decade. Thirty-nine. Certainly people aren't expected to move 39 times, are they? Hence commuting.
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 03:07
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The new rules have been quite the steep learning curve at my airline.

In combination with the horrendous weather this past weekend there were over 5000 cancelled flights. It's a disaster. Flight crews and passengers stranded everywhere. My crew and I spent 8 days on the road unable to get home and that was not uncommon. The fact that you can no longer be extended in combination with the massive fines for on aircraft delays (UAL paid over $8million in fines in one weekend recently), the airlines just preemptively cancel flights now.

I have benefited from both the 30hr rest rule and the 10hr layover rule this week, thoroughly excellent. The change in emphasis on flight time limits to duty time limits has forced my company to make the schedules much more efficient. No more long sits between flights, and if you get delayed they call out a reserve and you go home with full pay instead of working for 16 hours.
As for commuters, yes this is still a huge problem but as mentioned earlier you can't move every time your base closes or shrinks, or you have to change bases to take a promotion or better aircraft. It seems to me that commuting should be positive space and included as part of the flight duty period but that's not likely.
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 04:09
  #25 (permalink)  
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I guess flying will become more expensive. The passengers will have to pay for their safety.

Flying Cheap | FRONTLINE | PBS
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 06:53
  #26 (permalink)  
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My 2€ cents worth.

Commuting is part of our business, for the reasons posted above and more such as I just prefer to live where I live etc. Being "fit" for duty is a nebulous term and checking a box doesn't make anyone more or less ready to operate an aircraft, a bus or an excavator.

Imho, commuting may or may not more make one more tired or unprepared to fly. In fact, it may actually help. I offer the following examples.

1. I live in the same time zone (or even 1-2 hours difference) as my base. I have a family or am just normally an early riser. I wake up at 0600-0800 and start my day doing "stuff" even though I have a 1700-2000 departure. I get on a flight to my base sometime in the early afternoon. Rest on the flight and relax in the airport or ops office prior to sign-on.

2. I live 30min - 1 hr 30 min drive from my base. I wake up as above and grab a quick nap at home in the afternoon. I then drive to work and sign-on.

Which person is better rested or more "fit"? What if the driver has to leave 3 hours early due to snow or traffic etc? Do I really get a good nap at home? Am I able to nap on the commute flight? How about a 2-3 hour train ride?

I submit that, as professionals, we owe it to our clients, our employers, our colleagues and ourselves to regulate our time prior to sign-on much in the way we monitor our health conditions. Should we call in sick for a headache, runny nose, pulled muscle, tennis elbow?

In addition, I also submit that commuting a day early and sleeping in a hotel or crashpad does not, in itself, contribute to more or better rest. I certainly sleep better in my own bed. I prefer that good night of rest and a "smart" commute.

Yes, we are tired sometime into the evening period but what about operating a pattern which has us legally rested in a company-paid hotel yet signing on at 0100 on our body clocks when we are abroad? We are tired and work through it. If you are unfit go unfit, plain and simple.

PS: Murexway, why did you change your commute policy only after upgrading to the left seat? All of us should be "fit" to fly and I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate having your FO add to your workload by doing the same things you mention your tired CN did.

Last edited by sodapop; 10th Jan 2014 at 09:59.
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 08:46
  #27 (permalink)  
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Funny thing about the check box is you check it once for the whole day.

Sure you're wide awake and alert when you show up to fly at 5pm, you may even have had a late afternoon cup of coffee. That doesn't mean you're feeling the same way later at 3am when you are landing in a snowstorm in a different time zone.

The whole idea is stupid. Self analysis must be an ongoing thing.

Better way to fight fatigue is to take turns sleeping in the cockpit during cruise. It's not officially condoned but there are plenty of advocates of "catnapping" both in the airlines and the regulating agencies. This practice needs to be condoned and encouraged along with some procedures such as having a cabin attendant check in periodically to make sure one of you is awake.
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 09:58
  #28 (permalink)  
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Controlled Rest

In some parts of the world, catnapping is condoned. It is called controlled rest and has specific guidelines. Works like a charm.

A fatigue report may be filed and the duty and rest periods evaluated. Doesn't mean schedules will always change but we have seen changes to certain patterns.

Here is what is stated by EASA, formally the JAA.

European Aviation Safety Agency

Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC)

and Guidance Material (GM)



GM1 CAT.OP.MPA.210 Crew members at stations


(a) This GM addresses controlled rest taken by the minimum certified flight crew. It is

not related to planned in-flight rest by members of an augmented crew.

(b) Although flight crew members should stay alert at all times during flight,

unexpected fatigue can occur as a result of sleep disturbance and circadian

disruption. To cover for this unexpected fatigue, and to regain a high level of

alertness, a controlled rest procedure in the flight crew compartment, organised by

the commander may be used, if workload permits and a controlled rest procedure is

described in the operations manual. ‘Controlled rest' means a period of time ‘off

task' that may include actual sleep. The use of controlled rest has been shown to

significantly increase the levels of alertness during the later phases of flight,

particularly after the top of descent, and is considered to be good use of crew

resource management (CRM) principles. Controlled rest should be used in conjunction with other on-board fatigue management countermeasures such as

physical exercise, bright cockpit illumination at appropriate times, balanced eating

and drinking, and intellectual activity.

(c) Controlled rest taken in this way should not be considered to be part of a rest

period for the purposes of calculating flight time limitations, nor used to justify any

duty period. Controlled rest may be used to manage both sudden unexpected

fatigue and fatigue that is expected to become more severe during higher workload

periods later in the flight. Controlled rest is not related to fatigue management,

which is planned before flight.

(d) Controlled rest periods should be agreed according to individual needs and the

accepted principles of CRM; where the involvement of the cabin crew is required,

consideration should be given to their workload.

(e) When applying controlled rest procedures, the commander should ensure that:

(1) the other flight crew member(s) is/are adequately briefed to carry out the

duties of the resting flight crew member;

(2) one flight crew member is fully able to exercise control of the aircraft at all

times; and

(3) any system intervention that would normally require a cross-check according

to multi-crew principles is avoided until the resting flight crew member

resumes his/her duties.

(f) Controlled rest procedures should satisfy all of the following criteria:

(1) Only one flight crew member at a time should take rest at his/her station; the

restraint device should be used and the seat positioned to minimise

unintentional interference with the controls.

(2) The rest period should be no longer than 45 minutes (in order to limit any

actual sleep to approximately 30 minutes) to limit deep sleep and associated

long recovery time (sleep inertia).

(3) After this 45-minute period, there should be a recovery period of 20 minutes

to overcome sleep inertia during which control of the aircraft should not be

entrusted to the flight crew member. At the end of this recovery period an

appropriate briefing should be given.

(4) In the case of two-crew operations, means should be established to ensure

that the non-resting flight crew member remains alert. This may include:

(i) appropriate alarm systems;

(ii) on-board systems to monitor flight crew activity; and

(iii) frequent cabin crew checks. In this case, the commander should inform

the senior cabin crew member of the intention of the flight crew

member to take controlled rest, and of the time of the end of that rest;

frequent contact should be established between the non-resting flight

crew member and the cabin crew by communication means, and the

cabin crew should check that the resting flight crew member is awake

at the end of the period.

(5) There should be a minimum of 20 minutes between two subsequent controlled

rest periods in order to overcome the effects of sleep inertia and allow for

adequate briefing.

(6) If necessary, a flight crew member may take more than one rest period, if

time permits, on longer sectors, subject to the restrictions above.

(7) Controlled rest periods should terminate at least 30 minutes before the top of


Last edited by sodapop; 10th Jan 2014 at 10:44.
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 16:57
  #29 (permalink)  
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Sleep inertia... never heard the term until AC dived to avoid a mid-air with Venus.

Sleepy Air Canada pilot thought Venus was a plane | Reuters
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 17:14
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Controlled Rest.

Long 2 sector days i.e. 2 x 6 hrs =12hrs flight time. The big boys have a heavy crew and bunks for that kind of duty. It's a farce, and I wonder what the pax will think of it.
It suggests fatigue fighting measures such as exercise. Has any of these muppets been in a B737 cockpit?
It is an acknowledgement that duty times, because of better endurance from modern a/c, have been extended over the years for short-haul ops perhaps beyond what is wise. You can't put the genie back in the bottle, so here is quick fix. With all the chat about giving you 20mins to wake up etc. makes it sound as if this has been a scientific study. AGH!
Trying to sleep in an average Boeing seat in a small cockpit with little recline will give you a cricked back in no time. Make you worse off.
It really is the lunatics in charge of the asylum. Glad it is a thing of my past. Relate this to the thread about the modern day job and if it's worth it anymore.
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 18:18
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Well said sodapop sums it up nicely
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Old 10th Jan 2014, 21:19
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Even though I travel the day before, I often awaken at 0630 for a 1545 show for a sunset takeoff and a 10 hour flight. Its the nature of the beast. My remedy is to run the lights full bright and take a 5 Hour Energy three or four hours into the flight.
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 02:46
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sodapop: PS: Murexway, why did you change your commute policy only after upgrading to the left seat? All of us should be "fit" to fly and I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate having your FO add to your workload by doing the same things you mention your tired CN did.
I didn't change my commute policy. When I was an F/O, I bid early trips, came in the night prior, and stayed in a hotel room. I found I was more rested than commuting in early the day of the trip and grabbing a "day" room at a motel like the tired captain usually did. The only change when I upgraded was to buy a second home in my crew base city, which was quieter and more comfortable than any hotel. Thus, I was always fit to fly. Commuting was my choice and I didn't feel that it was fair to my fellow crewmembers (cockpit or cabin) to arrive for work tired. I also felt that it was better for my health to avoid the physical stress of excessively long hours between sleep periods.
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 03:34
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It's Universal

I've got news. Every industry in the U.S. has been struggling with contradictory human resources regulations since they were implemented on January 1. Find any businessperson in your SLF compartment and ask how they feel about it. We're all in the same boat.
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 05:22
  #35 (permalink)  
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Purely from the legal liability angle

Regarding the "Fit to Fly" box, tick it then date and time your tick. All you are then certifying is that, for example, at 0800 on the 14th Jan you were fit to fly, nothing more. If need be, buy your own date/time stamp.
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 06:04
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Murexway: Wow, buying a second house. That IS commitment. Impressive.

Mr Angry: Thanks mate!
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 12:32
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Complaining about other people commuting only works when the company actually pays the worker enough to be able to live comfortably near base. I doubt any airline wants to have that frank discussion.
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 14:46
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Let's not forget, in this day of more & more so-called contractors, any travelling time to/from the ever changing place of duty is often not included in duty time and therefore reduces the so-called rest time. The life of the commuter is becoming more the norm.
Regarding controlled rest: These long duties for which this is seen as a solution are IMHO intended for large long-haul a/c with associated sized cockpits and the ability to design a proper crew rest area, even in the cockpit. You can stand up and stretch etc. Allowing these duties and the use of so-called controlled rest in a/c which were designed for multi-sector short-haul flights is not 'in the spirit' of the regs. But then, what's new?
Regs will always be seen as a challenge. There has to be a loop-hole somewhere. I once operated for a long-haul operation. The night before a westbound 12 hour flight I took the a/c to the maintenance base for a periodic check. The plan was then to ferry it back to home base with an early departure time, board pax and depart for the Caribbean. This 2 sector day extended the duty day beyond the limit for 2 pilots. Solution: take 3 pilots to the maintenance base and thus operate a heavy crew from the maintenance base, via home base to the Caribbean. Thus, all 3 pilots had to rise at 04.00 for a very long day. The so-called relief pilot would have been significantly better prepared for the flight if he could have joined us at home base. The regs did not allow this. The whole duty had to be heavy crew, but the regs were NEVER intended to be used in this manner. It was not 'in the spirit' even if the arithmetic was correct. Daft, but legal.
I consider the frequent use of this controlled rest to mitigate against long duty with short-haul a/c falls into the same category. If such a duty is planned then there should be a limit on what can be rostered the day before and day after. With such out & back long-haul 2 sector days you could do this for a few consecutive days as long as you stay within the 7 day limit. Is this really the intention of the authorities? The loop hole will be found. It always has been.
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 18:00
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sodapop: Wow, buying a second house. That IS commitment. Impressive.
Well, I can't claim that it was an original idea. When I was an F/O, I flew a month with a senior captain who had a long commute to work. He had bought a small commuter house near the airport and didn't rent out rooms to anybody.

We were discussing commuting one day and he told me that over the years he had noticed how many other commuters he had known died relatively soon after retiring. I began watching the obits myself.

Maybe it was just a coincidence or the power of suggestion, but it did seem that some of the guys I knew, who commuted late in their careers in order to chase the bigger equipment and the higher-paying international all-nighters, didn't get very long to enjoy their retirement.

I owned my commuter house for 15 years, was fortunate to retire well before the big real estate swoon in 2008, sold to new captain who felt the same way about not destroying his health, and made a nice profit on the house.

Of course, I'm sure there's no statistically significant correlation between commuting and early death. Who knows?.... maybe for those other guys it was just having to stay home with the old lady 24/7 for the first time in decades
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 19:38
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Murexway: Respect
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