Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.


Old 24th Mar 2018, 10:52
  #21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stoneangel
When you see two pilots suspended for taking videos and dancing in a cockpit during cruise, do you think we should call it "Fatigue " ? Because of them pilots lost credibility....
thanks they are suspended now.
Fair play, at least they looked awake!

Fancy putting it up on social media, what were they thinking! In this day and age, posting anything is tempting professional suicide.
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 12:03
  #22 (permalink)  
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Interesting that this has drifted so rapidly into a debate about the perils of social media.
That might be an important issue, but it is a separate one.
Here's an example of BBC twisting a story.
It's from a while back, during the EASA consultations.
Apologies for the ungainly link:
What I mean by twisting the story is it has taken:
"How can the companies and regulators potentially compromise safety?"
And turned it into:
"How can the pilots behave so unprofessionally?"
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 12:59
  #23 (permalink)  
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Victoria yes your post pretty much hit the nail. Fatigue has unfortunately become a staple of airline life. Particularly at the low cost end of the industry. Long flying duty periods sometimes with too-short rest periods a recipe for cumulative fatigue. Arguably the most serious safety issue faced by our industry.
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 20:17
  #24 (permalink)  
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I can give you some insight if you would care to pm me - I think you need 5 posts or more to be able to do this.


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Old 25th Mar 2018, 07:36
  #25 (permalink)  
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There was a whole 'Dispatches' program made about carrying minimum fuel. Lots of anonymous shadowy pilot figures making pointed & disturbing claims. Even some 'out in the open' pilot figures laying the facts down. That was considered OK and in some cases applauded by by many that at long last some had the courage to tell the truth.

But with fatigue there is great reticence. Which is the more serious issue? Other industries, e.g. junior doctors, have stood up and fought their corner. Why has this topic been bar-room chat for 40 years and not open chat?
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 08:12
  #26 (permalink)  
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One reason might be that many pilots are not effected in the same way by brutal rosters.
Eg, when I was 25 and very fit with zero responsibilities apart from my role as First Officer and paying the rent on my one bedroom apartment downtown, I could do these rosters no problem at all. Now, twenty years later with command and three childeren under seven, I struggle. I do an early (5am) two sector 12 hour duty and when I get home ( 14 hours after I left) I still have a lot that needs doing. When I get one of my 8 days off a month ( often single days off)I now sleep rather than mow the lawns or take the car to the mechanic. It’s not sustainable if you dare to raise a family and actually want to do things with them.
So it’s different for pilots at different stages of life. Management think “ we’ll if pilot A doesn’t call fatigued on that roster why should pilot B?” I’ll give them a clue, pilot B can’t go home to a quiet dark flat and sleep the entire time between shifts.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 10:47
  #27 (permalink)  
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Framer: spot on. I empathise with all that. Also a huge difference was where you slept, and thus what you could do in your off duty time. 6 days in a hotel then 3 days at home, or each night at home. The former creates a long list of 'jobbers from herself' that need doing during your 3 days. That is hardly R&R time, and anything left over is rolled over to the next 3 days off.
However, 5 days of earlies doesn't leave a lot of enthusiasm to get your hands dirty before retiring to your own bed at 21.00-ish.
The fatigue analysts do not take into account any family/social element of the roster. They look only at the work/sleep time relationship. Utter nonsense. My AME's always said that health was all about a balanced life. Today's airline managers are all about maximising productivity and to hell with anything humane. FTL's are legal and will be used as targets because that satisfies the basic philosophy. It's all about money/profit/bonuses and the abuse of vocational workers.

The medical people have acknowledged for years that there are owls & larks. (look how they are now even talking about adjusting the traditional schooling schedule for teenagers). Those who prefer earlier or lates might be due to personal characteristics or family life. The medics are convinced that quality of performance, especially under stress, is affected positively & negatively if in or out of your natural owl/lark natural state. Yet airlines do not allow you to bid for a preference. Why not? productivity is not affected. It's because they want to remain in control and not open the door to pilot control. Daft.
And, as you get older, or family aspects change, so your preference will change. Are you allowed to adjust roster? No.
Airlines, in many aspects seem to roster in total disregard of medical opinion and human performance data. Screw all that CRM stuff; start with the basic foundations. Don't use sticking plasters of new fangled human behaviour ideas when at the same time you weaken the weakest link.

The comments above are, perhaps, more applicable to the new generation of airlines. I've mates in 3 different national carriers who have a bid line system. They seem to be able to generate a much better balance in work/social life, especially the long-haul guys. Everyone you speak to, including myself, say that the only way to achieve a real liveable sustained balance is to go part-time. That can't be correct, but it is reality.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 18:51
  #28 (permalink)  
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Closing the thread for now so as not to waste experience and opinion.

Original poster did have a BBC address but has never returned since posting.

Something will trigger a more useful thread here at some point.
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Old 29th Mar 2018, 22:17
  #29 (permalink)  
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There is not a pilot in the world that doesn't need to read this book.

Or driver, or . . . there is no one really, that should not be aware.

These days it's uncommon for me to get overexcited about scientific findings, but when my son caused this to land on my mat at Christmas I thought, yeh, that should get me to sleep.

Matthew Walker's, Why We Sleep is an . . . eye opener. Far from being soporific in its own right, the book had me on the edge of my chair turning pages in disbelief. Oh sure, I knew some of the science but this world authority takes us into realms that are gut-wrenchingly familiar to pilots and then out the other side into a surreal land.

There are so many 'I need to post this' statements that frankly I'd post a quarter of the book, but the studies that reveal an exponential rise in danger with reduced sleep are nothing short of alarming.

This is serious science but nonetheless often difficult to believe - but believe it we should; the reader will be left in no doubt about the credentials of the scientists and universities involved in the decades long research.

With an aviation connection, there is an amusing section about David Dinges and Dr Mark Rosekind. It seems they suggested names like 'prophylactic naps' to the FAA but it was deemed ripe for snide jokes. It was the latter that put forward the term, 'Power Nap'. Quote: More fitting with leadership and dominance based job-positions. Unquote. One thing is for sure, those gentlemen certainly got the FAA's attention back then.

Some of the stories are heartbreaking. Some, in particular the big name drug companies who make bewildering profits from sleeping tablets, are a description of a cancer in the side of humanity. When I say bewildering, I mean reading, and rereading, and rereading the lines describing their profits . . . and the number of people who die as the result of not being fit to drive the morning after their use.

The number of people that die in north America due to tiredness exceeds both intoxication and drug use combined. Need I go on?

There is one immutable fact drawn from this WHO-backed research. Humans need 7-9 hours sleep to avoid not only immediate danger but also a slew of serious long term health effects. The chances of you being one of the people that only need ~6 hours is less than your chances of being struck by lightning. And I don't mean the airframe we're in. Maggie Thatcher was of course a different species.
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Old 29th Mar 2018, 22:26
  #30 (permalink)  
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back in the day, when I flew international, if you needed a nap in my cockpit, you got it. you dont really need to be a scientist or a gubment regulator to know which would be the safer option, sleep or none, for a crew member.

look forward to reading the book.
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