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Airline pilots 'buckling under unacceptable pressures'?

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Airline pilots 'buckling under unacceptable pressures'?

Old 7th Jun 2015, 09:28
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I recall a quote from my Flight Time Limitations agreement with a former employer which stated: "For the avoidance of fatigue, rest periods of 18 to 30 hours should be avoided."
CTF

Under CAP371 this was aimed at UK flights operating to Florida under day/night rotations. It could be argued that it was also for switching from late's to early's to nights but that was because of CAP371 regs that no more than 3 could be operated. Thank god this rule will go under EASA and some common sense can be applied to roster patterns (and for avoidance of doubt backed up by science by UK AOC's who have approved FRMS so plenty of science work on consecutive earlies lates and nights)
18-30hr rest periods have also been challenged on night / day rotations as this pattern allows crewmembers to start the recovery in company time compared to at home.

Finally my only other advice to others reading the post would be trying to argue the point with Crew Schedulers is a waste of time. If I have a problem i'd go to the Chief Pilot my boss.
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Old 7th Jun 2015, 09:36
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If I have a problem i'd go to the Chief Pilot my boss.


Mr Angry from Purley... That's precisely what I did and not much help came from there either!


I was operating within a similar time zone and not longhaul... it was the worst possible scenario for screwing up circadian rhythms. Constantly heading off for yet another long day/night at precisely the time when I needed another sleep pattern.
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Old 7th Jun 2015, 18:53
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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in my experience, i noticed that most of the time (for not saying all the time) chief pilots are beside the management...so...
As long as you start flying less (when you climb the ladder in the management) you become another person.
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Old 7th Jun 2015, 20:35
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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Google "do I have PTSD"

Hey, I scored full marks, and they invited me in for an exploratory interview. They may as well have said 'give us your credit card'.

These scams are so obvious, they are not worth wasting a single breath on them.
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Old 9th Jun 2015, 09:45
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Interesting piece here on pilot skills/pressures today from QF32 Captain & a certain Jim Lovell....


https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/na...crash-warning/
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Old 9th Jun 2015, 12:49
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Commander Jim Lovell, commander of NASA's Apollo 13, told Captain de Crespigny he hoped his message "on the effects of too much automation in aircraft controls will sink through".

Captain de Crespigny said modern cockpit automation induced pilots to focus on just the green and magenta targets (air speed, attitude, altitude and track) without being aware of underlying raw data.

"Many airlines either frown upon or refuse to let their pilots fly manually when the autopilot and auto thrust is available," he said.


IMHO it is not "too much automation" (former statement) it is not being allowed to choose when and when not to use it, (latter statement). I still don't understand why a B737 NG can not be flown on a regular basis like as B732 was, i.e. manually for arrivals and departures where & when appropriate. Switch off the FD's and A/T's. The NG has so much more information to make it a doddle for SA, but you keep the manual skills alive. I know operators who discourage such a heinous practice, and if you ever did venture into the dark abyss of such blasphemous actions then DO NOT even think of turning off the FD. Even if there is no ILS to lock it onto there should be an LNAV/VNAV path to give guidance.
Every so often we have an eye test and a reactions test, but for some managers the Mk.1 eyeball is not good enough. There has to be a magenta line and little diamond. There must be much 'turning in graves' going on from the old codgers who taught me.
IMHO it is this very discouragement that has made the job more difficult and messy, not the other way round.
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Old 9th Jun 2015, 13:26
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ILS27LEFT
(...) The world of degenerated capitalism is going crazy by the day.
Working for an airline used to be a dream job, today is basically a modern form of slavery. Unfortunately the entire system, not only the airline industry, is designed to maximise profits at all costs, the well-being of human beings is ignored. Large Companies are managed by "bonus seekers" paid to maximise profit by brainwashing their workforce and convince all, including themselves, that a constant improvement is achievable, so constant reduction of costs is the main target. (...) This is the result of massive corporate brainwashing: to expect workers not to take a lunch break or join a Union is now very common.
I am seriously worried about the mental health of this society and I am especially concerned about the future working life of my kids.
This trend must be stopped. How?
Ideology -- once impregnated in people's brains -- is hard to dislodge.
I don't know about other industries, but as long as people like Michael O'Leary are setting the trends in the airline world, only an arresting string of serious accidents clearly attributable to pilot fatigue can cause things to change, and then only because this would be in the airlines' financial interests.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 01:16
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but as long as people like Michael O'Leary are setting the trends in the airline world,
Let's hope it will be confined to just the low cost world.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 06:56
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Let's hope it will be confined to just the low cost world.
I'm afraid that's too late already ....
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 08:15
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Maybe the difference is the quality of the candidate. Military pilots and BA cadets etc passed strict selection. Nowadays it comes down to money.

Indeed. I have flown with several in the Middle East who did not want to be pilots at all, but were told to go and get a good job by papa. A decent selection procedure would have weeded them out of the race at stage one.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 09:40
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At the core is the seemingly inexhaustible supply of "flying lemmings" ready to sign anything and work for nothing just to get a seat at the controls. Until that dries up, we can name-call O'Leary etc until we're blue in the face but nothing will change.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 10:14
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What I have noticed as sad & depressing is an attitude change in the pilots. I teach the raw, keen, dedicated & excited cadets who are embarking on a jet pilot career. After a couple of ears I may meet some of them in the cockpit and find bored, disillusioned, blasé, dull and rather sad guys. They've sunken into the 'come to work, do the job, go home' ethos. They're fed up with the commuting lifestyle imposed on them; the lack of respect; the constant nagging; the lack of real flying etc. etc. At 25 years old the income is very good, but the enthusiasm has been diluted. A command course revives it short-term, and then again even that falls away. It is very sad to behold and not something I remember from my peers in the past 35 years.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 11:23
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RAT5 sums it up very nicely.
I do find the odd pilot who is keen as mustard after 20 years, but they are few and far between. The problem for most is if you want to get out, where can you go, with your qualifications and experience, where you will get anywhere near the same money! Catch22.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 12:39
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What is perhaps even worse; I've heard of a few. Daddy is/was a B747 national carrier captain. Son is well educated and looks at the job market. He sees a pilot in a national carrier can earn £€$60,000 at 25 years old. Hard work and expensive to get the qualifications, initially, but you can analyse how your career and income should develop over >30 years. It's not hard work once you're in. It seems very attractive and glamorous to those who can so choose and have access to the higher levels. Thus, there are a few who join the brigade for less than ideal reasons.
What I find unbalanced is the qualifications demanded by national carriers are often still those of yesteryear. The job now is very different and IMHO too many pilot are over qualified and so it is easy to become frustrated with not being challenged on a daily basis. I know in LoCo circles there are those who think that money is more a criteria than character. The reverse might be true in the national majors. Either way there appears to be an inconsistence in designing the ideal pilot.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 13:06
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ShotOne wrote:
At the core is the seemingly inexhaustible supply of "flying lemmings" ready to sign anything and work for nothing just to get a seat at the controls. Until that dries up, we can name-call O'Leary etc until we're blue in the face but nothing will change.
It's not just the inexhaustible supply of "flying lemmings" as you call them; but rather the alarming and sad lack of oversight by the regulators and authorities. They let AOC holders get away with forcing pilots into zero-time pseudo self-employed/entrepreneurial external workforce contracts, or worse, charging for the 'priviledge' to crew their aircraft ('pay to fly' - P2F).

This lack of oversight (or let's call it putting the blinds on, if not outright corruption) occurs in broad daylight under the pretext that such 'employment' tactics are beyond the scope of regulators and authorities assigned with supervising air-safety.

I profoundly disagree. Knowledge of who an operator places at the pointy end, how they get there and how an operator ensures their relative wellbeing ('a happy pilot is a good pilot') is crucial in determining whether or not an operator can be entrusted with the high responsibility of engaging in commercial air transport. When an operator refuses to employ their own flight crew (with the exception of temporary contractors required to cope with new aircraft arrivals/seasonal peaks), train and pay them adequately, this either points to financial instablility, or social irresponsibility and recklessness on the part of the management, both which have to establish disqualifying criteria for holding an AOC.

We have to target regulators and authorities to make these practices stop, there's no point targeting the lemmings, they'll always exist as long as flying holds the fascination it does.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 13:07
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That particular breed of BA cadet was very much in evidence at Cranfield in the mid nineties when Cabair were doing the training.
I imagine the latest cadets have their eyes firmly fixed on the debt mountain they have incurred to sit in the right seat of a 'bus. That 60k at 25 years old is a lot less attractive when you are repaying a 100k loan! So now you are tied to the job by the debt, as if you leave your earning potential is immediately halved! Catch22 again!

What our, and many other tech or engineering, industries need to do is take some responsibility for training young people into viable jobs with a career structure and advancement. Not going to happen anytime soon as the accountants still have control of everything.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 18:07
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but rather the alarming and sad lack of oversight by the regulators and authorities. They let AOC holders get away with forcing pilots into zero-time pseudo self-employed/entrepreneurial external workforce contracts,

The CAA is a government organisation. Air Law is national law. EASA is now law in EU. The UK government has publicly denounced the use of zero hour contracts in 21st century, especially by those companies making handsome profits and in no way shape or form in a vulnerable state. Yet here we see, for years, right under their noses, companies increasingly using such contracts. Some government ministers even publish the fact they travel on LoCo carriers. How daft is that for a philosophy? They should publicly declare they will never set foot on an a/c where zero hour contracts are in force. That would be credible, not this blind eye action.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 19:54
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macdo - "I imagine the latest cadets have their eyes firmly fixed on the debt mountain they have incurred to sit in the right seat of a 'bus. That 60k at 25 years old is a lot less attractive when you are repaying a 100k loan! So now you are tied to the job by the debt, as if you leave your earning potential is immediately halved"

It's a little bit like black medical graduates and specialisation here. Although few will have quite the same enormous depts as aviation graduates, their families will have gone without for years to get them through and do expect some return.

Setting up as a cash-at-the-door GP is easy - within weeks the rands are rolling in! Specialisation means another 4-5 years of low income and it takes another few years after specialisation for the real money to start.

Not many young black graduates and their families have the time for all that tralala - especially when only a few specialists ever make it into the the big moolah!

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Old 13th Jun 2015, 20:00
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RAT 5 wrote
They should publicly declare they will never set foot on an a/c where zero hour contracts are in force. That would be credible, not this blind eye action.
Even better, pull their AOCs, landing rights, take them to court for undermining EU wide minimum employment and social regulations standards.

Not so long ago a well known European business jet company went bust for this very reason. Faced with back-charges and penalties in the millions for their failure to properly register and pay social security contributions for their pilots they had to declare bankruptcy.

It is just as easy to prove that pilots working at an airline in scheduled services do not qualify as entrepreneurs: not free to charge as they want, not free to offer their services to who they want, not free to decide their work hours, under complete direction on how to fulfill their 'services' down to the letter, etc.

I wish I was a lawyer, lots of money to be earned hanging those companies and authorities out to dry.
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Old 13th Jun 2015, 21:28
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I wish I was a lawyer, lots of money to be earned hanging those companies and authorities out to dry.

So why aren't unions & pilots doing it?
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