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SAS pilot fell asleep while co-pilot at the toilet

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SAS pilot fell asleep while co-pilot at the toilet

Old 3rd Feb 2011, 11:23
  #1 (permalink)  
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SAS pilot fell asleep while co-pilot at the toilet

Google translation from daily swedish newspaper:

SAS-pilot fell asleep in the cockpit

When the co-pilot went to the bathroom, the captain aboard an SAS plane fell asleep , en route between Copenhagen and Stockholm. The co-pilot had to call twice before the pilot woke up and opened, reported Aftonbladet, referring to a report by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang.
The captain's explanation is that he did not had time to sleep properly because he would fly five routes on one day. Some measures in the pilot will not be taken, announces the SAS.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 12:45
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Some additional info, from the original newspaper article; FWIW.

He was rostered for 5 inter Scandinavian stretches, this happened on stretch 4.

When the doorbell woke him up, he was momentarily disoriented and could not immediately locate the door opener, being newish on the 737.

SAS chief Pilot Bjørn Granviken confirms this has happened last summer. The pilot is anonymous, and the report is intended for use by SAS pilots, not the newspapers.

SAS pilot union foreman Jens Lippestad mentions that pilots have a duty to inform the company when they are too tired to fly. He says current flight time regulations are too flexible and can too easily cause pilot fatigue.

- The rules are too parsimonious - says Lippestad.

Again, this is from a newspaper report; uncertain veracity.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 14:25
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I'm not sure I understand how the FO let this information out. I had a captain that was always asleep 30 minutes after departure on the first flight in California. The flight was only one hour but that is what he normally did. We would change the heading bug to keep us on course until he woke up again. That was before the magenta line days. One FO was going to turn him in but was told, would you rather him fall asleep enroute or on the approach if you didn't let him sleep?
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 15:22
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He only 4 hours sleep

In the Aftonbladet story here The excuse that he gave was that he had only 4 hours sleep. He was on leg 4 of a 5 sector day CPH-ARN-CPH so had most probably been on duty about 8 hours with turnarounds.
As he must have had the minimum 8hrs hotel time, what was he up to that not only lead to only 4 hours sleep but also to be so knackered that he fell asleep?
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 15:42
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It should never have made it to the press!!!!!!
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 15:49
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Well, I can think of dozens of reasons why he might have got just 4 hours sleep in his hotel room so let us start with just a few:

1. Children running up and down the corridor.
2. The staff emptying bottles into the skip just outside his room.
3. The maid calling on the telephone to see if she can come and clean his room.
4. The air-conditioning has failed and the room is stiflingly hot.
5. The heating has failed and he is freezing his b*lls off.
6. The front desk has just called to see what time he is going to check out.
7. The company has called to change his roster.

And so it goes on and on. How many of you genuine pilots out there can put your hands on your hearts and tell me that you have always enjoyed 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a hotel room somewhere down route?

Dream on!
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 16:58
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I rarely get 8hrs of uninterrupted sleep in hotels.
- declare unfit to fly
- make company to change hotel
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 17:01
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6. The front desk has just called to see what time he is going to check out.
7. The company has called to change his roster.
Okay, then the rest period is interrupted and starts again at those times....
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 17:28
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Always lock your door from the inside! Otherwise someone will surely enter your room for whatever reason (the maid, someone misreading his room number, some hooker trying to earn some additional money, an FA for the same reason sans money etc).

And of course EU-OPS FDT limits are so bad that simply rostering to the limit will surely cause fatigue. At the end of last summer nearly everyone in my company fell asleep during a flight more often than not. A result of p**s-poor rostering.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 20:34
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It should never have made it to the press!!!!!!
Yes it should! The scandalous hours some aircrew are expected to work in a safety orientated industry is nothing short of scandalous - and anything but safe.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 21:12
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Given that the EU is currently considering Europe-wide Flight Time Limits (FTL) this is a VERY TOPICAL subject.

Of course, you have all been to the BALPA FTL website:

FTL Campaign Site • BALPA FTL Campaign Home
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 21:14
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Doesn't help that inflight paranoia since 9/11 keeps the poor pilots locked away from all us pax! who would love to visit the cockpit....and ask lots of questions.
How any of you can keep awake on the transatlantic eastbound flight...not only everyone in the cabin is lights out, but nobody's talking on the RT either.
Soporific in the extreme, I should think, fatigue or no fatigue.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 21:41
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and to add to JW411's list ........

8, " Just want to check the mini-bar .. .( " [email protected]*$!U* OFF !! )

9, BOAC Resthouse Karachi, circa. 1959 ... no room telephone, so call-time was by Bearer knocking on the door - albeit carrying a welcome cup of tea ... time 02.00, loud knocking, opened door to be told ( read with nodding head from side to side and with Indian accent) ... " I am waking you up sir, to tell you that you don't have to get up because your aircraft has been delayed "

( the Bearers always had better knowledge of the aircraft movements than the Ops staff ! )

and in other hotels, the ICDU (International Crew Disturbance Unit) - those with the Jack Hammers and the concrete cutters - obviously got advance warning of my roster.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 22:14
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Who the hell even reports this sh*te... I can't even believe that these stories make their way off the flight... if the national enquirer ever found about how ofter I have awoken from a micro nap to find the copilot fast asleep... it would have been the end of my career 20 years ago...
The sensationalization of all this is getting on my nerves...
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 22:17
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This story is going into the book I am working on at the moment about airline scams and scandals - we will have to see whether it was the pilot or the rostering to blame, but either way I will put a focus on the inadequecies of the current regs. Excuse the thread drift but has anyone any other aviation scandals that could be included? I've got about 25 so far (search airline scams on Google and the PPRuNe thread will appear).
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 22:28
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Who the hell even reports this sh*te...
The Captain himself I believe! Non-punitive anonymous reporting system to get the company's attention to bad scheduling! It won't get any better if it is not reported! But the ones who are really at fault here are the legislators who allow this kind of abuse!! They really SUCK!!

Last edited by Hotel Charlie; 3rd Feb 2011 at 22:29. Reason: Needed to puke some more!!!
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 23:07
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Mary M. Planned sleeping is the way to go! If I still flew pax I'd be delighted to have yr presence on the flight deck.

Aero Mad. It's not a scandal, just the reality of sleep/fatigue management. everyone deals with it differently - some better than others. I think I'm lucky and usually (though not always) deal with it quite well.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 23:45
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I agree 100% that 8 hours rest in a hotel is going to result in about 5 to 6 hours sleep, if you are lucky.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 01:10
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I agree 100% that 8 hours rest in a hotel is going to result in about 5 to 6 hours sleep, if you are lucky.
- Very true; now consider the proposed EU FTLs which could allow downroute hotel "rest" to be as little as 7:30 (which includes 15 min. travel between airport/hotel).
- so that's 7 hrs 'room available for occupation' - and with about an hour each side to go to bed & get ready for next duty & maybe half an hour to actually get to sleep that leaves 4:30 for you to achieve adequate rest before strapping your @rse into that aircraft again. Appalling.

I refer you to Checkboard's post #11

Be afraid.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 01:38
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People ...

Minimum rest dictates a minimum of 10 or 11 hours in a hotel of which a minimum of 8 hours should be horizontal rest ... one could be in a hotel for a week or more but did one achieve 8 hours horizontal before reporting for duty?
Phileas Fogg is offline  

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