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Tired budget jet pilots 'endanger passengers' - The Times

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Tired budget jet pilots 'endanger passengers' - The Times

Old 16th Jan 2004, 16:21
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Spartacan

Thanks for thanks - and I believe your analysis is right.

More reponses needed to Richard Evans' letter which I will then include in my reply to his letter and to my MP.

WE
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Old 17th Jan 2004, 19:19
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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The CAA has just published a new edition of CAP 371.

Click here.
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Old 17th Jan 2004, 23:42
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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RICHARD EVANS:

"Further research into consecutive early starts, conducted by a low cost carrier, is currently planned to take place later this year.

I trust that this reassures you that the CAA is continuing with its research programme into aircrew fatigue issues."

one four sick:

Make sure they do it correctly as the outdated regulations are currently allowing airlines to roster people in such a manner that most pilots simply do not get enough time off to rest or to rejuvenate after a number (6) of long days/early starts, technical delays, challenging weather conditions, sometimes 4 times on the same day. Not to mention almost constantly finishing on a late duty 22:30 and starting on an early 06:00 after 2 short days off. These have a CUMULATIVE effect that is clearly not being addressed by the rostering machinery.
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Old 19th Jan 2004, 04:06
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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New Cap 371 seems to have overtaken this thread - see Flying Lawyers thread close by - interesting that the DfT did not seem to be aware of this.

Spartacan and Moonraker have a valid point in that thread (new rules need not be introduced until April 2006 - pilots will remain fatigued).

Any further observations (see my previous posting)?

WE
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Old 19th Jan 2004, 06:38
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Let's be careful about this new 'research'...

One 'low cost' airline is assisting a member of its staff in his university studies by allowing him to gather some information. Effectively the airline is sponsoring the research.

This research itself is dubious, in light of previous work by DERA and others. We need to stop trying to re-invent the wheel by waiting for more 'research' and instead take action to prevent the likely serious consequences of pilots falling asleep or being awake but too tired to think and operate correctly.

I believe we need to get together and make a big fuss over this, in public. Ben Webster has shown us there is interest, let's help him and his colleagues elsewhere to see through the mist...
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 17:04
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I work for a large low cost carrier my roster is very stable,5days on follwed by 3 off usually at least one standby per week and seldom called out at short notice No night flights
I was a hellaof alot more fatigued when on the charter side of the industry a few years ago and doing transition fromdays to nights every week
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Old 26th Jan 2004, 22:45
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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About time this was back to the top. Of for another rest now
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 00:57
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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For those who highlighted the 'fatigue' aspect of flying nowadays, here's another parameter to consider. It is especially relevant since the 'locked cockpit door policy has been introduced.

Remember all the furore about DVT and cattle-class syndrom etc. AH, that was only for passengers; sorry! But, I have regularly logged 4 sectors with 8.30 hours in the seat, including the preflight and post flight time. With speedy turn-rounds this meant a max of 5 minutes movement in 8.30 hours work; and this locked in a box about the size of a lorry cab with low humidity and low oxygen levels. Let nobody tell me this is a healthy profession. What about relaxing the duty times, or maxinum number of consecutive days to compensate for these incarcerating conditions. Remember that the public transport sector has, for the last 10 years, still not inroduced compensation for not meeting the EU directive on working conditions. Crews can still work 55 hour weeks of random shifts. Recently, the conditions have become even worse. My sympathies to the long-haul crews, especially B757 (8hours) who no longer can stretch in the galley and have a smallish cockpit. What's it like on the larger a/c, and where are the crew bunks for those so lucky? Our friends in Italy must have felt a real degradation in working conditions since the locked door policy. It is just possible to stand up in a B767 cockpit, but little else. The bad back brigade will soon be endowed with many pilots, me thinks.
Imagine it, in the 21st century, a work enviroment that imprisons someone for such long periods and prohibits or severly limits any form of movement . It's a joke and totally unacceptable. Can anyone tell us what is are the equivalent conditions for a train driver? Lorry drivers and coach drivers have similar constraints. What are their rules. I feel our profession is being abused to the extreme.
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 06:24
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RAT 5,

You're spot on of course. But so long as the public (and too often, management) perception is that we're a bunch of overpaid drunkards who are responsible for the majority of aircraft accidents ('But isn't pilot error usually the cause?'), you're stuck with it.

In the short term, if you fancy a leg stretch, then put the Seat Belts sign on, secure the cabin, get at least three cabin crew into the forward galley area, and go for a brief walk/stretch in the galley. You're the Commander - do what's right for you, and the passengers. (That is, assuming you have convinced yourself that your FO is not an AQ 'sleeper'!).

In the longer term, get out of aviation. This profession is going to the dogs, and with increasing speed.
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 23:21
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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Hello Harry.........again.

I am ahead of you, for a few years, and have quit. Luckily I have a few irons in fires that allow me to work when I wish. A mixture of training roles that include some flying when I want and some sim' when I want. You cannot beat being your own rosterer. I know I am very lucky to be in this position. I was just putting some points on the table, for those in the early part of their career, to consider when starting (hopefully) their campaign for general improvements. Sadly the unions have been toothless and gutless in this regard. It is the same in all EU countries. The national union is only concered about the flag carrier and has let the general conditions go to the dogs. IMHO the ECA has achieved tghe square-root of FA. Seems it was just another 'jolly' for delegates. I am not aware of anything tangible that has happened to improve matters. The great debate on EU FTL's has been going ON & ON & ON ...............
I do believe that things will only improve when the debate reaches the public's notice. The shock/surprise when they discovered the truth about conditions in industries such as health, railways, HGV & coach drivers, education etc. shows what can be achieved when politicians have their hand forced by public opinion.
There have been many threads during the past year with contributions by journalists and researchers, but nothing seems to have happened to start a puiblic debate.
Where is PANORAMA when you need them?

Good luck to all, but if you give up the debate then don't winge in the bar afterwards.
Amazingly, this matter seems to be one of the few things where 10 pilots most likely will give you 10 x the same opinion, and not 15 different ones. It crosses company boundaries and even national borders. This is far more important than e.g. crew food etc. It is amazing how the more trivial (but still important) matters rise to the top of the priority list, and the real vital stuff gets buried and forgotten. There seems to be a feeling that things will not change, pilots can not change them , so give up and shut up. A very sad reflection on a group of highly motivated, well educated, itelligent individuals who are the victims of their own vocational emotions. Management realised this years ago and have abused it ever since, and the line pilots let them. Accepted the few crumbs that were thrown their way, and carried on with their paid hobby. No union has created a common bond on which to form a united front. Every company is left to its own devices. Their is no national stratergy for the profession.
What always staggered me was the attitude of the biggest wingers who rose through the ranks to management and then did nothing to change things; indeed often made them worse. Shame on them.

I've said my peace on this. It has been interesting to read the comments of others. There appears to be will, from some, to instigate a campaign. You have all the data and ideas, so

Strength to your arm! May the force be with you.
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Old 1st Feb 2004, 19:17
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Rat 5, et al,

Rat 5, you're right about instigating a campaign.

For my little bit, I now have the promised proper reply from my MP - he commissioned some research in response to my enquiry of three weeks ago and has not been able to trace any Parliamentary inquiries into this issue. I will report more fully when I have his permission to quote him verbatim but for the meantime can report that he has taken the matter up with his Front Bench (opposition) colleagues and with the Select Committee on Transport. More later.

I think this is good - I know him to be a responsive and honest MP.

Keep it going.

WE (not a pilot)
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 03:50
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Simplified a little:-

I don't know about train drivers' hours, but in the EC truck drivers can drive for 4.5 hours before they have to have a 45-minute break. The 45-minute break can be taken during the 4.5-hour period in two or three smaller breaks of no less than 15 minutes.

No other work to be done during the break. Driving off-road (e.g. around a building site) doesn't count towards the driving time.

Normal maximum daily driving time is 9 hours, increasable to 10 hours on a maximum of two days a week.

No weekly limit, but must get at least 45 consecutive hours' rest after the 6th. day of working.
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Old 4th Feb 2004, 20:00
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I invite all of you to consult the results of the AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau) from Switzerland. It concerns the Crash of the Crossair Avro 146-RJ100 in Zurick on the 24-11-2001.
Link: www.bfu.admin.ch/common/pdf/u1793_e

You will find of interest that a factor contributing to the accident was attributed to FATIGUE.

You will find on page 120, #3.1.2 the Captain Duty time the day of the accident and the previous day.
The cause related to Fatigue is on page 124 and state clearly that Fatigue was a factor affecting the Captains judgement.

What I find interesting is that Fatigue is admited to be a factor in an Accident. That case demonstrates clearly that fatigue is recognised by authorities as a factor in accident.
I wish Low-Cost Operators and CAA could reconsider their attitude towards Crew fatigue in view of this report. Tks
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Old 4th Feb 2004, 21:02
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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See also the UK AAIB report on the N. African B737-200 freighter crash in Conventry a few years ago. Fatigue was also citied, but it was lost in the annals of time. If it had been a UK pax B757 in the middle of a local housing estate the reaction might have been very different.

Ask anyone at the CAA, JAA or your own avaiation minister, to be chained to their desk for 8 hours, except for w.c. breaks, eat their own food off their laps, reduce the humidity & oxygen to low levels, and ask how they feel.

Do this on a random day/night pattern for a couple of days, and ask how they feel.

Then do it for 6 days, and then ask how they feel.

It would certainly open some eyes. In fact I can guarantee that the very thought will prove too much and the offer will be refused. I believe that until this practical demonstration of the working conditions is performed, or at least offered, the authorities will stretch the medical opinion to the limits under the pressure of the bean counters. All the talk about fatigue, quality of life etc will only be dismissed as an emotional outburst.

There was an airline, which with a very forward thinking attitude, sent new rosterers on a block of crew duty. I heard it really opened some eyes and changed a lot of opinions about crews conditions.

Oh that there were more like that.
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Old 4th Feb 2004, 23:51
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9 till 5

bean counters work 9 till 5. They'll never know unless they try being on the shop floor!
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Old 5th Feb 2004, 03:37
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Thumbs down fatigued crews

Rat 5 entirely agree with your posting,as someone recently left the LCO sector.

Always tired,6/7 on,4 sector days,min rest.F/O s younger than me complaining of fatigue constantly.

Time the authority did something about it before its too late.
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Old 5th Feb 2004, 07:10
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Does anyone know of an accident that has been explicitly attributed to fatigue (rather than just given a 'contributory cause' mention)?

Probably not. Pilots don't get tired like ordinary mortals.
Besides...the 'F' word is taboo.

Dontcha just love it when this whol;e issue is raised in the press? The media immediately jump on the 'pilots only work 900 hours per year' crap. But how do you explain that to an ignorant public who believe whatever they want to. If someone has a soundbite explanation I'd really love to hear it.


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Old 7th Feb 2004, 19:27
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Danger

Just to help you feel better guys, in Italy, it's the same f... situation.
The problem to me is that nothing will change. Even worse, eastern countries pilots are arriving (no more boundaries in may) and expected by the "managers" in order to cut even more the costs... Which means same working patterns but for less $$$. Thinking selfish, I am already happy I could work in a major in good conditions for 15 years and today with "only" +/- 10 years left before saying bye bye to this once wonderful job...
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Old 7th Feb 2004, 20:39
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Fatigue and Accident Reports

The Little Rock DC 9 FAA report

The BA 1-11 UK CAA Engineers repair window at night early hours of morning

Wasn't the Guam B747 CFT at 2 or 3 in the morning!

RJ 146 Zurich see above ref

I think it is present in most accidents

YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK CAREFULLY
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Old 7th Feb 2004, 22:42
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Was there not an article in Flight Int'l, a few years ago, which cited an American report which had reviewed accidents during the previous 20 years. They looked at all the major western accident data that simply accused the crew of error.
I remember the conclusion was that a high % of these accidents could have had tiredness as a contributory factor. Did the FAA not then look into US FTL's?
Anyway, I recall that this new finding threatened to open up the whole FTL issue. Guess what; it all went very quiet and disappeared. And where were the unions? No doubt troughing it at some freebie (our subscriptions) delegates' conference.

Meanwhile, I reiterate, and this should be pushed under the nose of the politicians, that 12 years ago the EU, in the form of Niel Kinnock, stated that the implimentation of the workers charter could be postponed for a FEW years by the public transport industry. In the meantime, while drawing up proposals for changes to refelect the improvement in ground bsed working conditions, these industries should intorduce compensation packages for their travelling employees.
As I understand it this was an EU commission directive. It has NEVER even come close to being implemented, and to my knowledge has never been revoked. It should be easy for any national union to find out about this. That is what they are there and paid for; to avoid exploitation. I tried to invoke a response from the relevant union, a few years ago. Total silence.
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