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FAA proposes 40-48 hour rest after 'ultra-long-range flights'

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FAA proposes 40-48 hour rest after 'ultra-long-range flights'

Old 17th Nov 2008, 12:11
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Ultra Long Range (something in the 13h+ flight time)
Long Range (up to that)

..... and I admire all the heroes who consider them fit after a ULR with 9+ hours time difference to make a flight back after 24h rest ..... but I will continue to think they are overrating themselves (one of the most common and dangerous phenomenons in the pilots society) and rather believe the extended and serious research by people who have studied medicine and fatigue issues (like NASA) than those guys.

Happy ULR flights and I hope I will never sit in the back of one of those heroes.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 12:21
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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ULR is Ultra Long Haul defined as a flight over 16 hours. I thought that there were rules already laid down for these flights by ICAO and that Singapore Airlines had been applying them for a few years now on their routes between SIN and LAX and EWR.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 13:12
  #23 (permalink)  
Trash du Blanc
 
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After ten years of long-haul cargo, my observations:

- I guess some guys jumpseat in to start without a rest, but it is frowned upon by my company, and if they j/s on company aircraft, that flight is shown on their schedule just like an operational leg (NOT subject to duty limits but still visible to management, etc.). I would have problems blasting off with a guy like that and we may end up talking to the duty officer.

- I'd rather have an 18-hour layover than a 24. 36 is best. 48 is just the same problem. I like to go to work after breakfast, not at the end of a day.

- We have duty rig. I get paid for rest days on the road. Not sure why someone would want to rush home.

- I love Delhi layovers. Mumbai as well. Bring a camera.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 16:36
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I guess some guys jumpseat in to start without a rest, but it is frowned upon by my company, and if they j/s on company aircraft, that flight is shown on their schedule just like an operational leg (NOT subject to duty limits but still visible to management, etc.). I would have problems blasting off with a guy like that and we may end up talking to the duty officer.
Didn't your company try to get pilots to check in for their flights hours before from a local phone number some years ago? Not sure it would work in these days of Skype, caller ID spoofing and cell phones but the idea has some merit. I've both commuted and lived at the domicile over the years. When I commuted, I always figured it was my job to get to work. I also felt obligated to the other crewmembers to get some rest. Still, some of my coworkers seem to want me to cover for them when they show up late for a crossing with no rest. "I'm catching the redeye from the coast, it gets in 30 minutes before show time, if I don't make it to the briefing I'll meet you at the plane, here's my cell phone number." I guess that's why we carry extra pilots.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 17:51
  #25 (permalink)  

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- I'd rather have an 18-hour layover than a 24. 36 is best. 48 is just the same problem. I like to go to work after breakfast, not at the end of a day.
36 hours, I agree.

In an informal, unscientific survey of corporate pilots on long international flights, having crew duty days of 16 hours or longer, usually which includes at least one fuel stop, it was determined that a 36 hour rest period was the best. 48 hours is just too long for just crew rest for most of us. The same 36 hours seems to be the best period when one places a pre-positioned crew for a crew change to allow the trip to continue without delays because of crew rest requirements.

One advantage that many corporate crews enjoy is that many times when we arrive at a destination we will be there for three days or longer as the passengers conduct business. In these cases crew rest is not an issue.

Shoot, a week in Hong Kong, Singapore and many more places is very nice.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 17:55
  #26 (permalink)  
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I initiated this thread with the question in the first quote and L337 responded in the second:
Would North American or Western European pilots really want 40-48 hour layovers in India (or other Asian cities after “ultra-long-range flights“? It has been questioned on another BB.
The implication in your post is that there is something wrong with India, and "other Asian Cities". And you live in the USA?
Not my implication; but that of others who pointed out that most ULR flights from the cited areas turned in Asia.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 20:04
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with the posts above, the ideal resttimes would be 36 or 60 hours, not 24 or 48.

It is simply because no matter how much of a time difference there is (take a flight Europe - S.Africa, there's none) the 24 hours rest forces you to shift your wake-sleep pattern by 12 hours. So simply this already constitutes the worst of all time shifts. Then add in the opening times of restaurants, sunlight, etc and it makes for some exhausting trip. Flying Europe to the US, many times I wished I could have flown back in the early morning instead of the afternoon US time...

Nic
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 21:57
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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LR and ULR FAA rest...

I flew most of my career on these long flights.
When was with PanAm, I lived in Los Angeles, based JFK or MIA.
Commuted from home the day before trip, so to get well rested.
To go home, yes, was tiring, I went home upon return to base.
Such as operating BAH-FRA then remained on plane to JFK, then deadhead to LAX.
Often was 24 hours from bed to bed. If not longer.
xxx
One thing that most crews make a mistake is to try to adjust to local time.
I never did that, ever. I always remained with my "body" time.
If arriving to destination, I had my happy hour at the hotel bar even if it was early morning.
Then would have dinner and wine, who cares it is "their breakfast time".
Would sleep when I felt like it. Daylight, afternoon, who cares.
xxx
If I woke up and local time was evening, I would have "my breakfast eggs" and coffee.
Again, who cares, it is their dinner time, but for me, my breakfast.
Never tried to do like some do... trying to change my time.
Flight attendants are the worst in not observing that technique. They "need" to go shopping.
And the young pilot nerds and geeks in quest of the local ladies in discotheques.
xxx
We pilot often seem to be brainwashed in thinking "flight time". Easy math.
Wrong. Think instead "duty time". From crew bus to airport to arrival hotel.
You get up generally 3 or 4 hrs before departure schedule time.
Your "duty bed-to-bed time" is the one taxing your body comfort.
xxx
Some airlines select 4 or 5 star hotels (hopefully with bargain crew rates).
Fact is, these are often 1 hour crew bus ride away from airport.
In these hotels, you spend a fortune for a coffee, no refills.
Why not select a clean and convenient 3 star hotel near the airport if it is a short layover.
Then again, some airlines take the nearest cheap rat hole motel near airport.
Just next to the all-night maintenance area running engines.
xxx
Of course, some of you senior pilots, thanks to seniority, can fly short haul and be home each night.
You make me laugh, 4 sectors in a 737 is harder on your body than a 747 long haul single sector.
It is about time your airline pay you by company position/seniority, not by airplane size.
Consider my advice - many of you do maybe the same as I always did.
xxx
FAA is, I understand, better for rest requirements than EU-OPS.
As far as I recall, they always were. FAA 121 rest rules are fine.
And likely these new rules will improve things.
I think EU-OPS rules for 2 pilot crews are not adequate.
Heard there are guys who fly EUR-Carribean and back with 2 pilot crews...!
xxx
All the best to all of you.

Happy contrails
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Old 18th Nov 2008, 03:33
  #29 (permalink)  
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Didn't your company try to get pilots to check in for their flights hours before from a local phone number some years ago?
If you "deviate" and don't take the scheduled deadhead to an outstation to start your flight, you must get there ~12 hours before show time and call in to skds.

If you take the scheduled deadhead, you are leaving out of your base, and thus must check in at the ops center before heading to the pax terminal.

I would hasten to add that I don't always give myself 12 hours prior to showtime when I jumpseat in. I find that 4 - 6 hours in a comfy recliner at ops is more than adequate to start a trip that leaves at 3 am - even a long one.
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Old 18th Nov 2008, 04:30
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Dude what planet are you from saying India is a wonderful place. I have been all over the world.The first day in India my thoughts were mannnn the Africans have it better than these people.
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Old 18th Nov 2008, 07:35
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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For many years now, lets say more than 25, I have been operating SYD-LAX/SFO and return as well as SIN-LHR and return. Hence I have a fair handle on how my body copes. What I find is that at the terminal port 36 hours works best for me. Even though we have a 4 pilot crew, that is how it works for me. On the return leg I still feel "slow" and try hard to do things in a deliberate, unrushed fashion. I think we are safe enough, but I know none of us is as sharp as we could be. That's the nature of ultra long haul and one reason why we have 4 pilots.

To be honest, I don't want 48 hours - it would screw my sleeping patterns totally. The 36 hour slip works very well for me - get in, 3 or 4 hours in the cot, a walk/gym, a few beers and a feed then a good 8 -10 hours in the cot, another walk/golf etc., a couple of hours nap then off to work again.
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Old 18th Nov 2008, 10:07
  #32 (permalink)  
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Heard there are guys who fly EUR-Carribean and back with 2 pilot crews
Yes, although with my company (scheduled) to do that you get 48/72/96 hrs off in the carribean. For just a 24 hour turnround you need a third pilot.
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Old 18th Nov 2008, 12:30
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Is this once again a case where the authorities come up with proposals from behind their desks without asking the guys at the coal face? It has happend this way for years and we've been stuck with some daft rules for years. OK, this may seem an improvement on what happens in some airlines now, but from the repsonses it is not what exprience has shown works. Surely this is what national flight crew unions are for. They have technical committees. Why are they not involved at the research stage rather than fighting rear-guard actions trying to convince the CAA's that their ideas are not so good. No doubt there will be massive financial pressures from the airlines. It is likely that the CAA's have had boardroom meetings with the management before the proposals come to light. The pilot groups should be in at the start. The strength of the opposition is often too great when they start trying to convince people there is a better way.
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Old 18th Nov 2008, 13:47
  #34 (permalink)  
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BelArgUSA,

Some good advice.

It is about time your airline pay you by company position/seniority, not by airplane size.
Mine does based on years service, although obviously Captains get more than FOs although a longhaul (777, 747-400) pilot will be paid more than a shorthaul (A320,737) pilot of the same seat and seniority. While many of us (particularly on shorthaul ), would be keen to equalise pay, the company won't have it as the beancounters will see they have particularly expensive shorthaul pilots and the union won't have it as they will see they have particularly cheap longhaul pilots. Market forces and nobody wins.

I used to find going West or South outbound worked best for me. Much as I loved going to India, I always struggled with East! Operating to the Eastern seaboard was a killer on your fifth or sixth EWR or PHL a month so an extra day downroute somewhere like MCO or ATL often made all the difference. In the case of the latter, you would sometimes find you only had 24 hours but you'd then get a third pilot.
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 02:25
  #35 (permalink)  
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This all works great, assuming your seniority allows you to control the minutiae of your schedule.

Commercial aviation being what it is, and the concomitant requirement to keep all available metal moving in a financially advantageous way, there can be absolutely no opportunity for healthy rest on a long haul fleet. Always faced with a forced sleep schedule, the body remains in complete and systemic opposition to the home time zone it accustoms itself to.

This is viewed by a growing number in the medical science community as the primary reason long haul pilots’ immune systems tend to under-perform, they die of various causes significantly earlier than the mean average. Available statistics are quite alarming. The continuous and unrelenting shock to the system is something evolution never intended for us, nor apparently, a stress we are readily able to adapt to.

My advice after many years on the long-liners? Try to do it early in your career, and get back to short haul after you’ve had your fill, sooner rather than later. Your grandkids are something you’ll not want to miss.

Last edited by bugg smasher; 19th Nov 2008 at 02:44.
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 08:53
  #36 (permalink)  
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...long haul pilots’ immune systems tend to under-perform...
Interestingly, I'm rarely ill. The odd sniffle and that's about it. I put it down to be being exposed to small amounts of so many people's recirculated bugs over the years, I've developed an immunity without having to suffer the full lurgy.
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 12:14
  #37 (permalink)  
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I get sick all the time. In the last year I've had strep throat twice and pneumonia once. All developed shortly after getting home from +- 10 hour time differences.

When I hired into Fedex the chief pilot told us we had a 25% chance of losing our medicals before we reached 60. No telling what the odds are to 65.
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 15:58
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Interestingly, I'm rarely ill. The odd sniffle and that's about it.
Same here.

Looks like the United pilots will be getting sick less often after Judge Lefkow's recent ruling...
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 16:42
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Dude what planet are you from saying India is a wonderful place. I have been all over the world.The first day in India my thoughts were mannnn the Africans have it better than these people.
Guess U hve not been to India then
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 23:47
  #40 (permalink)  
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When I hired into Fedex
...and

being exposed to small amounts of so many people's recirculated bugs
Interesting, wonder if exposure to sick passengers is actually beneficial, would’ve thought the freighter people have an easier time of it. Almost like getting a vaccination every time you fly I guess. I’ve done both, never really noticed a difference with the exception of the Saudi Arabian Haj, extreme bacterial exposure there, everyone got pretty sick.

Still, boxes or people, circadian rhythm disruption is likely the main issue here.
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