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Pilots dozing at controls

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Pilots dozing at controls

Old 9th Sep 2001, 15:23
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Where is our friend, SKYDRIFTER these days? He is most well read on this subject of fatigue and would have loads to say on the matter and knows well how the FAA treats the issue in America.
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Old 9th Sep 2001, 17:22
  #42 (permalink)  

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I am not a commercial pilot so would like to know what are the "rules" for flying hours.

I have been told that some charter pilots can even find themselves spending a lot of time being ferried from their home airport to another to run some "there and back" flight to be ferried home again. In such a circumstance I have been told that the pilot "hours" for work purposes do NOT begin as s/he gets in the minibus prior to a few hours boneshaking road journey to the aircraft but when they arrive at the departure airport!!

Is this correct?

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Old 9th Sep 2001, 17:54
  #43 (permalink)  
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Do folks recall the car manufacturers testing Infra-Red eye check system?

mounted on the dash, the unit was calibrated to the driver and then pulsed IR every one or two(?) seconds. If the eye dissappeared, then an alarm sounded. Obviously, the driver could have been changing radio or something so silences the alarm. I don't think they had an auto-stop (ala train) fitted.

Problem is, if the airlines fitted this - they would be admitting that their scheduling was not conducive to good health!

Pprune could start selling branded Pprune Clocks that fit into the top pocket and vibrate
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Old 9th Sep 2001, 22:10
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Talking

Having recently been involuntarily retired from 3-crew longhaul in favour of 2-pilot electric gameboyjets I have much regard for the 3rd man, especially when fatigue sets in during the wee small hours over the ocean.
Allowing one person to nap while the other two watch the shop has always seemed the sensible way to deal with it.
However, flew with a particular F/E some years back who was always asleep by 20W even on a daytime w'bound out of the UK. This got a bit tiresome after a while,so I crept round the back of his seat to test the fire bell, while the F/O watched gleefully for his reaction......of which there was none- just more snores. When he finally awoke he was presented with a "Death on Board" form.
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Old 9th Sep 2001, 23:59
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I think the problems in this area are possibly one of the most profound and worrying facing our industry at the moment. The bottom line would seem to be that management and industry gurus have become obsessed with the fancy gizmos and bells and whistles that technology has given us and forgotten that pilots are human beings evolved over millions of years to operate mostly in daylight. To treat us simply as another link in a mechanistic process is good for the profit margins short term but over the long term will undoubtedly be disastrous, if indeed it has not already been. How many accidents have been put down as 'pilot error' when in fact should read 'pilot totally knackered through fatigue at the end of the summer season but still within hours'? Quite a few I should imagine. Human rest needs and sleep pattern disruption problems have been studied in great depth, particularly in the military. The way we operate presently is dangerous (do you think falling asleep on base leg is safe - I've done and I was the Captain) and until our industry takes less notice of accountants and more of pilots then I fear for the worse. Most MDs are accountants so I suppose the living dead will prevail.
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Old 10th Sep 2001, 02:34
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sorry for my ignorance,

but how would a three crew operation work,

itsnt a pilot only allowed to fly for a max. of 8hrs so wouldnt three pilots be too few.

wouldnt the min. required be four to maintain that regulation?

or is it that the pilots have very short breaks of a couple of hours and take it in turns to rest.

are there always 2 pilots on f/d at all times and how does it work when the f/e is there?


cheers

[ 09 September 2001: Message edited by: purple haze ]
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Old 10th Sep 2001, 08:26
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Brokenspectre: Unless enough revenue passengers have died recently to help the FAA justify including ferry flights as "flight duty", it is very possible that flights with no passengers, even a flight from LAX to BOS, could still be considered something OTHER than duty. This could be after a 14 hour day flying passengers and/ or cargo, with no rest period in between.

Or, those passengers in back might have a flightcrew which has been through ten hours of continuous duty with no intervening rest period, before their "delicate pink bodies" step onboard for a eight hour flight.

This was not uncommon (at least until recently), and happened for decades with the blessings of the US FAA. Think about it: their primary mandate was to "promote aviation" and make as few changes as possible to the system, being a very unwieldy over-bloated bureaucracy.

You have all seen pictures of a swollen dead cow in a river or pond, with a methane psi high enough to start a JT8-D engine ( APU: 36 psi at sea level, ground starter: 25 psi min.). Any apparent similarities between floating dead mammals (especially bloated, hairy pink pigs) and the gigantic US FAA bureaucracy are merely coincidental. Did someone out there just utter the phrase "the public feeding trough"?...This is not to critique the many nice guys/gals with the FAA who have pilot or FE backgrounds, possibly other operational experience, and who do a very reasonable job "on the line", along with the ATC personnel etc.

[ 10 September 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

[ 11 September 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]
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Old 10th Sep 2001, 22:05
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SKYDRIFTER....Is probably feeling like a piece of chewed string and crapped out in his uniform on his bed, that is if he actually made it outa the bathroom, and is now awaiting his pickup for, a two crew 12hour night duty, delayed TBN.
This I was told is tirdness and normal, and not fatigue, which the regulations guard against and is not normal.
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Old 11th Sep 2001, 07:14
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Recently, the American Airlines pilots' union, the APA, filed some sort of grievance against their company because of flight planning at lower altitudes (less headwind), in order to reduce enroute time and avoid the FAR requirement for a third crewmember to be on board. Apparently such flights have more trouble with weather on those routes, as is easy to imagine (and more fuel burn). That was my impression from either Internut or media articles.

What is the latest on this?

In an industry which has been changed from a service into a commodity business, none of this really surprises me. Once, when a former majority stockholder visited a B-757 (with Pratt&Whitney engines) cockpit while enroute, the Captain descended while seeking a smoother altitude. After asking the Captain for the difference in fuel burn (on the "progress page"), the co-owner's only reaction was something like "that will cost me xxxx dollars". What a classy response. Those CPA backgrounds are really paying off regarding attitudes towards passenger service (or lack of).
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Old 11th Sep 2001, 11:23
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My mob have a "Controlled Pilot Rest" regime, agreed by CAA and built in to SOPs. Among the constraints/procedures are:
a. No level changes
b. FAs briefed to visit the flight deck at regular intervals
c. Reccommended max of about 45 min (enables rest but prevents deep sleep-lets the person be effective again, post wake-up, in about 10-15 min).
Needless to say these rest periods take place mainly on back-of the-clock long haul, outside of VHF range.
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