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Ryanair & Positioning Pilots

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Ryanair & Positioning Pilots

Old 9th Jan 2016, 15:32
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I have no particular care how this pans out but can anyone tell me how commuting on your own dime is less, or more fatiguing than positioning at the behest of the operator? One attracts FDP, the other does not, yet they are identical activities.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 15:55
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Scheduled deadheading eventually leads to a bidding system based on your seniority number that creates incentive and a more efficient work environment.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 15:57
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PENKO: As you can probably tell, I am not against commuting per se. My issue is with crew who appear to take the view that what they do in their own time ( that is their real life) can have no bearing on their work fatigue. Surely you can concede that a commute always involves fitting in with schedules and invariably takes longer than one would hope. This is before one even considers cancelled flights etc. The guy who is based correctly contols his own travel schedule. The real issue is do all commuters always give themselves 12 hours rest in a hotel before reporting as would have been required with a company placed positioning flight?

To illustrate this with a rather extreme example - a friend of mine was required to act as "pilots council" for a disciplinary hearing for an F/O for a well known Hong Kong airline. The defendant had been caught commuting in from europe arriving in the afternoon prior to operating back to europe! His arguement was, "it was his own time and anyway the rest he got on the flight was just as good as any hotel"!! You can probably work out for yourself how that went with the company and the CAD! The clue is - it involved a P45
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 16:00
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Its simple.Providing you have the right ID and clear security,pilots must not be denied access at their place of work.Imagine an airport without pilots.Imagine a city guy being denied access at the office.Or a doctor locked out of his surgery?911 has tightened it up and thats good but positioning is what we,as pilots,do.Stress in the pre-flight phase is a known cause of accidents in aviation.
Truth is...many security guys enjoy giving pilots a hard time.Check the ID,the gendec,pass the security.No more questions.Its that simple.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 16:36
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JUAN TUGOH
quite simple, commuting in my own time cuts down on my rest at home. I have been doing this on a LH programme for the last 2 years. If I get 2 days off, day 2 is spent commuting back to base ready to work the next morning, so in effect I get only 1 day off. It is not a lifestyle to be recommended.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 17:02
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Some of those remote bases are not easy to get to on your own time,
Full flights and other crews trying to get a seat before you and with that no reciprocal agreements on other carriers.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 17:03
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This pattern here follows that of their employment practices and money bags - a big fat gray area.

I can speak for myself having commuted for years, sometimes with less time at base than a 'minimum rest period'. Was I tired? At times yes, but no more than my colleague who had two sick kids at home. My overall well being? The flexible commuting made it possible to keep up somewhat of a family life with a newborn at home. In the mean time I never got the opportunity to transfer, even though vacancies existed at the base of choice.

While the commuting helps a lot of people that were in my situation, I think the system should be highlighted and exposed. Tighten the screws on them, issue proper tickets, pay the airport fees and let OFF day mean OFF day. It's part of levelling the playing field with competitors. They will have to take the basing issue seriously and bring back some general decency.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 17:03
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PENKO: As you can probably tell, I am not against commuting per se. My issue is with crew who appear to take the view that what they do in their own time ( that is their real life) can have no bearing on their work fatigue. Surely you can concede that a commute always involves fitting in with schedules and invariably takes longer than one would hope. This is before one even considers cancelled flights etc. The guy who is based correctly contols his own travel schedule. The real issue is do all commuters always give themselves 12 hours rest in a hotel before reporting as would have been required with a company placed positioning flight?
Meiklour.
I do concede that commuting has its own risks regarding fatigue and cancelled flights. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with fair and honest rules set by the company regarding pilots who use commuter travel perks.

We must however not fall into the trap of equating commuting with positioning duties. Commuting is no duty and as such, FTL rules such as '12 hours rest' rest should not apply! It would be quite nonsensical to ask a pilot who commutes from AMS to LGW to observe a 12 hour rest period after his commute just because he took a 38 minute flight the day before on his DAY OFF, as a passenger. Whilst he is taking this 12 hour rest, his locally based FO could still be partying and drinking alcohol, or be running a marathon, or be driving for three hours to visit his in-laws, so why burden the commuter with FTL's? Just because of that 38 minute flight? Is that reasonable? I don't think so.

Last edited by PENKO; 9th Jan 2016 at 17:24.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 17:17
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I have no particular care how this pans out but can anyone tell me how commuting on your own dime is less, or more fatiguing than positioning at the behest of the operator? One attracts FDP, the other does not, yet they are identical activities.
Juan,

I have an airport standby duty tomorrow. It consists of sitting in a lounge on a couch watching TV, moaning about work and politics, telling silly stories whilst waiting to go back home... AND it attracts flight duty time. So can we please stop using that red herring of 'how can commuting not count towards the FTL's? Unless you count your visits to the inlaws as FDP. Commuting is voluntary, done in your own time, at your own leisure. As such it should not be counted as duty.


And do remember guys, commuting is just a base closure away. In modern aviation with bases spread out all over Europe and bases opening and closing, commuting will become more and more important. You just cannot uproot your family just because the your base happens to be on the scrap list this year.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 17:30
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Penko, I wasn't using any red herrings. All I was asking was what is the difference on the body when you sit in an aeroplane at the behest of an operator, or whether you do it on your own dime? The logical conclusion of either argument is not pleasant, you either say there is no difference and therefore should count any pre op commuting by air as fdp, or you jump the other way and that would allow an airline to position you without it counting as fdp. What you are defending is the logically indefensible argument that sitting in an aircraft only sometimes (when it suits you personally) is in any way fatiguing. As I said I really do not care as it doesn't affect me, so I will not ever be in the situation where I have to make such arguments in front of a judge who is deciding whether the accident/incident that I was involved in (God forbid) was in any way down to a personally advantageous interpretation of the FDP rules. Barristers are paid to make us and our decisions look foolish, I don't want to in the position of trying to defend the indefensible. I hope you never have to either.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 17:53
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Short haul airline commuting is generally safety positive - i'll tell you why..

Given that commuting is generally done the afternoon or evening before work the next day, there will be a good uninterrupted sleep in their pad or hotel close by their base - so a sensible wake up time, followed by a very quick stroll or drive to work.
Emphasis on short-haul commute not short-haul flight operated. People abuse the system - look at Colgan: The FO was living near Seattle and commuting to Newark.. to get there she flew from Seattle to Memphis in a spare seat on Fedex and then to Newark on another Fedex flight, planning to sleep in a Colgan crew lounge. Crikey! My understanding is that this lead to FAA Hours Of Service (HOS) changes.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 18:13
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Could someone explain the mechanics of the "tax paid" sector cheque? LOL
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 18:25
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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midnight cruiser,

The objective is to level the playing field. We're in a race to the bottom and the lowest level sets the target for competitors as well. If you are commuting at the behest of the company (as in: sent out of base, in Ryan lingo), they should be paying the price for that. That's not happening.

When positioning by own choice, I just think someone (company or commuting pilot) should be paying the cost involved just like every other passenger is paying a security surcharge (or whatever it's called these days). We'll see if the generousity of positioning pilots 'for free' still stands. It will expose their true colors. And honestly, I think they will find it pretty hard to crew some of the most far flung bases. A monetary reward my be appropriate, or an honest basing system where direct entry pilots just can't skip ahead of the masses having patiently waited for a base for years.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 19:05
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Penko, I wasn't using any red herrings. All I was asking was what is the difference on the body when you sit in an aeroplane at the behest of an operator, or whether you do it on your own dime? The logical conclusion of either argument is not pleasant, you either say there is no difference and therefore should count any pre op commuting by air as fdp, or you jump the other way and that would allow an airline to position you without it counting as fdp. What you are defending is the logically indefensible argument that sitting in an aircraft only sometimes (when it suits you personally) is in any way fatiguing. As I said I really do not care as it doesn't affect me, so I will not ever be in the situation where I have to make such arguments in front of a judge who is deciding whether the accident/incident that I was involved in (God forbid) was in any way down to a personally advantageous interpretation of the FDP rules. Barristers are paid to make us and our decisions look foolish, I don't want to in the position of trying to defend the indefensible. I hope you never have to either.
Juan,
Dressing and driving children to school causes fatigue.
Doing groceries causes fatigue.
Mowing the lawn causes fatigue.
Driving every day for an hour just to reach your airport causes fatigue.
Running 10K to stay fit causes fatigue.
Going on and returning from holiday causes major fatigue.
And yes, commuting causes fatigue.
All these things are called 'having a life'. They are not governed by FTL's. FTL's govern what my employer asks of me (i.e. a duty) and what I can give in return. Not what I choose to do in my spare time.

Hence FTL's govern that I earn twelve hours rest after sleeping through my early morning standby, but not when I can or cannot mow the lawn, run a marathon or commute for that matter (show me the article that says so). FTL's know that I have a life, so all it asks of me is to be 'well rested' and to make arrangements to live closer to work if my commute regularly takes more than an x amount of minutes. Well, that is exactly what commuters do IMHO.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 20:09
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Magplug
EASA FTL also has enhanced crew members responsibilities. In the case of a crew member travelling on a late flight on a day off ( in uniform or not) into an early duty there will be trouble at mill if anything went wrong. It can't be no coincidence that there are only two UK AOC who have approved FRMS and both have commuting protocols. You cannot however police professional crew members there has to be a level of trust involved.
Penko - plenty of science out there to suggest running marathon before flying not a good idea wasn't there a recent incident involving a pilot who did such ?
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 20:11
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A quick poll. No particular company involved. it is just what you are allowing to become the norm by turning many blind eyes.

Hands up anybody who likes to work = be on duty for no pay.
Hands up anyone who likes to sit in an hotel, away from home, at their own cost, on SBY duty for no pay.
Hands up anyone who lives in A, is based in A but then has to position to/from B to work; during time off, at their own cost, for which no duty time credit is given.
Hands up anyone who likes to divert, position home, go out of hours for next day and receive no compensation.
Hands up anyone who likes go sick/injured for 4 weeks for no pay.
Hands up anyone who likes to take holiday, for no pay, not at your own choice.

Hands up anyone who .....etc......etc. get real guys.

The XAA's know all about this and they turn a blind eye. Why should you do also? It is your profession. Protect it because no-one else will.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 20:20
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Easa FTL has this to say about commuting:

Crew members should consider making arrangements for temporary accommodation closer to their home base if the travelling time from their residence to their home base usually exceeds 90 minutes.
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 20:35
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Indeed, but, I think what they are saying is please don't drive every day from Birmingham to Stansted & back , NOT , please don't sit as pax in an aircraft from Stansted to Pisa on your last OFF day. Fly 5 Days in Pisa, then take another aircraft home. . . . .
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 20:53
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Our ops manual simply states what I have reproduced in my post above
I think this has been included purely to address the Colgan situation and is one of the better changes in easa ftl
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 21:44
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Crew members should consider making arrangements for temporary accommodation closer to their home base if the travelling time from their residence to their home base usually exceeds 90 minutes.
This is exactly what commuters do.
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