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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

Old 21st Dec 2022, 10:30
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I'd guess an easy $1 Billion for the project.

Related reading for a plane with a system similar to the proposal: https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...ir/ao-2015-149 An Australian report on a 787 incident. It illuminates some design trade-offs made for such systems.

Curiously the 787 only does synthetic airspeed, not AoA.

A full SADS (Synthetic Air Data System) looks expensive.

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Old 21st Dec 2022, 10:52
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How does the 787 tail strike protection feature work then? It must use attitude from internal systems data not from sensors?
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Old 21st Dec 2022, 11:09
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Originally Posted by Less Hair
How does the 787 tail strike protection feature work then? It must use attitude from internal systems data not from sensors?
While that is off topic, AoA is not the same as attitude; attitude is the governing concern for tail strike. I presume whatever sensor they use to manage the artificial horizon could also be used to indicate aircraft attitude for tail strike protection.

Per https://www.boeing.com/commercial/ae...icle_02_5.html, for the 777:

Tailskid height and rate are computed from radio altimeter signals, pitch attitude, pitch rate, vertical speed, and the length between the radio altimeter location and the tailskid location. A complementary filter is used to provide acceptably smooth rate and height signals. Provisions are included to account for the bending of the forward fuselage when the nose wheel gear lifts off the ground.
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Old 21st Dec 2022, 11:20
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You said the 787 would use only synthetic airspeed. It is not off topic as the MAX will need a similar likely more complex attitude reference system. It would make a difference if Boeing had something at hand already.
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Old 21st Dec 2022, 12:23
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Originally Posted by MechEngr
Curiously the 787 only does synthetic airspeed, not AoA.

A full SADS (Synthetic Air Data System) looks expensive.
My understanding (which may be completely wrong) is that it's relatively easy to synthesise either airspeed or AoA, but to do both together is much more difficult.
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Old 21st Dec 2022, 13:09
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Originally Posted by Less Hair
You said the 787 would use only synthetic airspeed. It is not off topic as the MAX will need a similar likely more complex attitude reference system. It would make a difference if Boeing had something at hand already.
It would but I'm not sure any commercial operator does. There are articles suggesting that small UAVs might use SADS because of the difficulty of producing good sensors suitable for the smaller aircraft.

The off-topic part is that there is little overlap between anti-tail strike systems and synthetic AoA and airspeed. The attitude sensor is past the 90th year since its invention.
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Old 21st Dec 2022, 13:58
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I seem to miss what you want to say.
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Old 28th Dec 2022, 17:07
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IMO Boeing should have been forced to change the cockpit when the NG came out. Absolutely not right they were allowed to keep that cockpit for the MAX. Just look at the DC9/MD80/B717. All still on the same type rating, but huge changes/improvements were made. Also no excuse for the handling by the pilots, and the lack of addressing that in the official report. Agree with most of the NTSB additional notes.
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Old 29th Dec 2022, 14:45
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Originally Posted by safetypee
The NTSB Release at this time is a 'shot across the bows', a reaction to political intervention in aviation safety processes. Highlighting the continuing need for strong, independent investigation (NTSB) to support an ailing regulatory body (FFA).

The core issue (NTSB report) remains … "design mitigation must adequately account for expected human behavior to be successful, and a thorough understanding of the flight crew’s performance in this accident is required not only for robust design mitigations but also for operational and training safety improvements necessary to achieve multiple layers of safety barriers to trap human errors and prevent accidents."

Note that ops and training are 'also'; another layer of safety, neither the primary nor ultimate safety barrier.

Thus the fundamental problem is how the processes of design and regulation consider human performance in certification: train humans to mitigate design weakness: or design systems to protect humans from their weaknesses.
There is no unique solution, thus the starting view is important.

The safety concern is where politicians define the starting view - law, control, regulation, thence issues of human activity 'are not our problem'. This is of particularly concern in an operating environment which now requires an alternative view - the human as an asset, learn from success in very safe system.

Politicians, FAA; Safety-I;

NTSB, and other regulators moving towards Safety-II.
.
Actually, I smell Boeing lobbying in Ethiopia, to downplay the relevant aspects on the Boeing diner plate.

The same what happened with Turkish in AMS, where the impact of the (I would call it) criminal unlogical logic of the captain RA sensor feeding to both Captain and FO control logic got significantly downplayed from the draft version to the final version of the crash report. Not to say, the weak cockpit overhead panels attaching, crushing the cockpit crew in case of a major accident, seems to have encountered the same faith.

Understandable, the NTBS comes up against this.
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Old 29th Dec 2022, 15:40
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(as the MAX accidents continue to be the unwanted gifts that keep on giving)
Could you expand on a couple items in your post?

First, can you identify particular portions or parts of the NTSB comments which you claim show - or at least suggest - that Boeing lobbied the investigation by Eithiopian authorities to deflect or reduce culpability of Boeing?

Second, with regard to how the FO in the Turkish AMS accident mishandled the FCU ... just an SLF/attorney here but it has been reported that the FO set up for single-channel using CMD A rather than dual channel - are you asserting that the possibility of an FO making such an error is a design flaw on Boeing's part? Isn't that the main assertion of the NYT article which is the main source for implications about the Turkish AMS accident investigation?

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Old 29th Dec 2022, 16:20
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Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3
WideScreen
(as the MAX accidents continue to be the unwanted gifts that keep on giving)
Could you expand on a couple items in your post?
OK, let me elaborate.
Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3
First, can you identify particular portions or parts of the NTSB comments which you claim show - or at least suggest - that Boeing lobbied the investigation by Eithiopian authorities to deflect or reduce culpability of Boeing?
No it doesn't. That's why I write "I smell". There is no proof of this, though on the contrary, there is neither a realistic reason to just ignore serious remarks from the (what I consider to be the best) accident investigation bureau, just dropping their whole comment.

Be aware, I did not indicate "who" were being lobbied on, only "Ethiopia". It could very well be, and probably is, not a "direct" connection. We should need to be aware, that the Ethiopian airline industry is -similar to the ME ones- pretty well intermingled around subjects/responsibilities which are considered to be mandatory/legally split over independent organizations (and even then....), in Western countries.

Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3
Second, with regard to how the FO in the Turkish AMS accident mishandled the FCU ... just an SLF/attorney here but it has been reported that the FO set up for single-channel using CMD A rather than dual channel - are you asserting that the possibility of an FO making such an error is a design flaw on Boeing's part? Isn't that the main assertion of the NYT article which is the main source for implications about the Turkish AMS accident investigation?
I think, the Turkish at AMS had little to do with single/dual channel setup mistakes.

It was pretty well known in the cockpit, the Captain side RA didn't work. As such, they configured the FO side computers to do the approach, etc. expecting the FO side to work properly.

The mistake here is, that both Captain and FO computers do use the (faulty) Captains' RA sensor. An aspect that is completely outside normal logic thinking. Which caught them heavily for their specific approach situation (get on glide slope "aggressively", from above). My memory says, there was no training at Turkish for this RA aspect and the documentation itself around this subject was also minimal and could be easily overseen.

The subsequent manual take-over by the captain was neither performed perfectly. The automation was not turned off completely, with the consequence, the throttles moved back to idle, after the captain moved these to TO trust. It has to be seen, whether the TO trust, taking into account, the spool-up time, together with the in those days mandated "don't sink during stall recovery" would have been enough to avoid stall persistence and ground contact.

Many years later, it surfaced that the accident report draft did address this RA logic aspect as an important item, though got (largely) removed after Boeing "feedback" on the draft. This developed into a scandal around accident bureau, which gave a lot of lost-face and political consequences. I forgot about the exact outcome, though the then-head of the accident investigation bureau did have to do a lot of political (potato in the throat) assurance, that everything was still OK, but everybody knew how the situation around the investigation really was. Nothing different from the Boeing-MAX / FAA cooperation disaster, where Boeing effectively over classed the controlling organization(s).
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Old 29th Dec 2022, 16:23
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Good lobbying should not be detectable

Good lobbying - Ethiopia or AMS - would not be detectable.(Nobbling the jury ?)
There are similarities between the Max and AMS, particularly in the Boeing stance that the pilots should have seen, understood, and managed the situation.

Decker provides a good overview of the human factors aspects at AMS, prepared for the Dutch Investigators; https://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/nl/med...t_s_dekker.pdf

Change the Flight No and highlight 737 Max, then the conclusions could be the same.

"The only defence agains a designed-in single-failure path are the pilots who are warned to mistrust their machine and to stare at it harder.
For flight crews of Boeing 737’s, like the crew of TK1951, there is no sufficient training, no written guidance or documentation, and no likelihood of line experience that would insulate them from the kind of automation surprise that happened …"


Also, in one of the Annexes to the AMS Investigation Report there is a good argument with simulator tests that Boeing's assumptions on system setup and use, and their piloted simulation (CAB) of the detection, understanding and action for pull-up during an AMS type malfunction, was an unrealistic view of human performance for certification - and not trained for.

Apparently the FAA did not respond to this aspect - why, … too difficult, we accepted thus believe Boeings view (self certification), and it (737) has been safe enough so far (but Boeing did modify some FGS aspects which would have disconnected the AP).

Other views:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile...ication_detail
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Old 29th Dec 2022, 17:25
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Originally Posted by safetypee
Good lobbying - Ethiopia or AMS - would not be detectable......
Actually it is, when the conclusions/results are just "off".

For example, in recent real life, where the now defunct vice-chair-she of the EU parliament publicly states that the human rights are perfectly regulated/respected in Qatar. Just recently, it became public, she got heavily paid in cash by several Mediterranean and ME governments (especially Qatar), right around the time, she did these really unbelievable statements. Ouch, she is from Greece (other money receptors from Italy).

Or so to say, when the offer is too good to be true, don't accept it, it'll show to be fraud.

Many countries are now overthinking all the controversial landing rights given to ME countries, recently, especially Qatar.

Nobody realizes, if you want to uphold human rights standards, you'll need to take care of a level playfield. So, if Qatar doesn't care about night flights at their local airport and the EU/US does, let them pay a fine for that, to create a level playfield with airlines who do (have to) and have reduced options to compete. Avoid your local airlines being out-competed on price and offerings, due to your local "do-good" intentions. Or what about the slavery wages / living conditions for airline (cabin) crews ?
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Old 29th Dec 2022, 21:48
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WS, ?

Context, viewpoint, subjectivity. Which report is to be believed, why.
'Seeing' is in the minds eye of the beholder.

The Ethiopian report challenges NTSB, what if it is correct?
Anyone party to the investigation (ICAO annex 13) can challenge the finding. It just so happens that this one is a little late. Note the glib comment re 'not in the NTSB format'.

Who judges accuracy, relevance, how can we tell ?

cf Dekker / Dutch AMS report; significantly different from Boeing, FAA view presented by NTSB; their comments on the Dutch report.
Who was lobbying (influencing) who.
Also note NTSB comment on Dutch report re not using an appropriate format; to which the Dutch replied that their format followed that in ICAO Annex13 !!
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Old 29th Dec 2022, 22:46
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These last few posts are fascinating. .... for a couple different reasons.

First, the fallout from the various things that went wrong resulting in the 737 MAX accidents continues. As SLF/attorney I can't and don't claim to understand enough of the NTSB comments - along with the factors s.p. has noted - to say that this latest development will affect, or have any real influence upon, how the pending crew-alerting certification issues play out, as between FAA, EASA, and other CAAs. Other posters who are quite knowledgeable about the systems involved, and their integration and operation, lead an observer to believe that the issue is more complicated than just "go to the state of the art, or stay with the grandfathered system". (For example, what to do with or about stick-shaker activations... ) But having said that, if I was forced to guess, I'd say that the technically virtuous senior-level people who sooner or later will have to rule on this issue will see the NTSB-Ethiopia subtext as relevant.

I recall that the Dekker report surfaced on one or more threads on the forum some time ago, in the context of the two MAX accidents, and given the recent posts here, and a second factor, it just moved up higher on my reference/reading list.

Secondly, for some time now I have wanted to agitate, or at least try to find influence and apply it, to make aviation law curricula include a lot more study of the Annex 13 process. I am not saying that lawyers as lawyers ought to have more authority in these matters or that the overall process should become or needs to become more legalistic. To the contrary, the point emerging from Dekker's report surfacing again is that in order to be both knowledgeable about and useful to the aviation safety ecosystem, lawyers need to have a better understanding of the complications of piecing together what happened in an accident. I'd say every lawyer who really practices in public international air law, and most who practice in private int'l air law, can recite cold the basics about Annex 13. But ask them to read s.p.'s insightful post and then offer answers to the questions posed with regard to the NTSB comments on the Ethiopia report? Maybe some grizzled old-timers could tackle it. No one I've met in various aviation law settings could, though (neither can I, just to be clear). And out of some sense of decorum I'm not referring to any "lawmakers" here.

I realize this is could be drift worthy of the recent storm in the U.S. but there's a precedent in the law books proving that better understanding of accident investigation processes and the actual nuts-and-bolts cause-and-effect analysis is needed. When the U.S. FAA grounded DC-10s in the aftermath of the May 1979 accident in Chicago, operators of the type holding certificates from other CAAs sued over the denial of recognition of those airworthiness certificates. In the British Caledonian case, the U.S. federal appellate court ruled that the foreign operators had been unlawfully denied access to U.S. airspace. The problem with the court decision, though, is that at the time the U.S. was denying access despite the airworthiness certificates issued by foreign CAAs, it was not yet known how the loss of Flight 191 had occurred. As a poster on a different thread some months ago stated, it was still a perfectly flyable airframe - it just had suffered an increase in stall speed due to the ripping off of the engine from the left wing, severing of hydraulic lines, retraction of slats - none of which the tragically ill-fated aviators or other people aboard could have known. So unless the foreign operators of the DC-10 type (or their respectiive CAAs) knew, at the time they were denied access to U.S. airspace, how the accident had occurred -- and I have never yet found any information that they did know - the denial of access was proper in the interest of safety. The court decision was correct legalistically (under provisions of the Chicago Convention) but wrongly decided in a context of how the airplane operated, and did not operate.

Unless I've botched up understanding of the timeline regarding Flight 191 (SLF that I am), it would be quite a "case study" in a course intended to train future aviation lawyers about how little we legal types actually know, yet how much we must understand, even so.

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Old 30th Dec 2022, 01:55
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Originally Posted by safetypee
WS, ?

Context, viewpoint, subjectivity. Which report is to be believed, why.
'Seeing' is in the minds eye of the beholder.
Of course. So, when you want a conclusion of the reality of the factual situation, you'll need to go back to the technical facts.

Compare that to Trump's 2020 election denials. Still, 50+% of the GOP "believers" follow their holy leader, despite the facts showing different (and got persistently confirmed in courts).

Originally Posted by safetypee
The Ethiopian report challenges NTSB, what if it is correct?
Of course, the NTSB could be wrong. Though, maybe you missed that part in my writing, when the different pillars around aviation in a country all merge into the same responsible / in-charge dictator or single ruling party, the pillars are no longer independent and the results start to show the preference of the leader vs. the reality of the situation (compare that to the zero-covid madness in China, this whole developed and derailed under the rain of Xi/CCP, it's simply the result of the way the state is organized).

After KLM-Tenerife, the Western world concluded that the airline industry would need several independent (!) parties (the pillars) to significantly improve safety in the airline industry. This has been implemented, and recent history of improved safety in Western countries has shown, this works. And when things go MAX-haywire, it shows the pillar-independence got compromised.

In countries like Ethiopia, ME, China, Russia and you name it, these instances are only independent on severe punishment, when not complying with the dictator or single ruling party in place. So, principally, the conclusions of the not so independent pillars are doubtful, right from the start. As such, I have significantly more trust in the correctness of the NTSB findings, than, in the probably politically and lobby saturated Ethiopian accident report. I did not read the Ethiopian report, though, I am just comparing the environments where the reports are created.
Originally Posted by safetypee
Anyone party to the investigation (ICAO annex 13) can challenge the finding. It just so happens that this one is a little late. Note the glib comment re 'not in the NTSB format'.
Yep, challenging, though it takes courage to stand-up with a deviating (and properly founded) description of the reality (I am not speaking about the Trump/Putin/Xi nonsense we are seeing in the past couple of years, this does suggest equivalents with the demise of the Roman Empire, some 20 centuries ago).
I don't think, the NTSB is "a little late", though they decided to stand-up, because of the faults in the Ethiopian report. And it just takes time to mature for such a decision.
Originally Posted by safetypee
Who judges accuracy, relevance, how can we tell ?
For this, you will need to go back to the facts, before these are colored by political and lobby interests. Unfortunately.
Originally Posted by safetypee
cf Dekker / Dutch AMS report; significantly different from Boeing, FAA view presented by NTSB; their comments on the Dutch report.
Who was lobbying (influencing) who.
My understanding is, the Dekker research results didn't make is into the original published Dutch AMS report, because it was considered to be too controversial towards Boeing. Please check, if it was referred to in the draft report.
Please note, the Dekker and the Dutch AMS report are reports at a different level. The Dekker report is focusing on the Human behavior around the just bad logic around the RA sensor usage with strings towards a conclusion, whereas the Dutch AMS report is an accident report, where the Dekker results got rejected in the final one.
Originally Posted by safetypee
Also note NTSB comment on Dutch report re not using an appropriate format; to which the Dutch replied that their format followed that in ICAO Annex13 !!
Yeah, typically Dutch, just stubborn, though that is a subject of the "format", not the content itself.
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Old 30th Dec 2022, 02:21
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Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3
These last few posts are fascinating. .... for a couple different reasons.
1-2-3
.......
Unless I've botched up understanding of the timeline regarding Flight 191 (SLF that I am), it would be quite a "case study" in a course intended to train future aviation lawyers about how little we legal types actually know, yet how much we must understand, even so.
Yep, you are touching the biggest issue around legal proceedings.

These tend to detach from reality, because of the lack of subject knowledge at all legal parties involved, deviating the legal proceedings away from the factual reality into legal nitpicking. And the result of that, is a verdict no longer covering the factual situation, but moving into theoretical mesmerizing around tidbits not relevant for the situation at the ground. Have a look at the fall-out of the Colgan crash (the 1500 hours rule, which does have little to do with the cause(s) of the Colgan crash).

So, yeah, if one, as a lawyer, really wants to accomplish something useful for the society, take care, you have subject knowledge and understanding, and use that to "win" the lawsuits .......

And around the 737 and its over-extended life-line, the faults with this aircraft go much further than the nitpicking around the MAX introduced issues, the -7 / -10 cockpit items, and so on. The Turkish AMS, Kegworth and several other 737 incidents/accidents just show, the 737 airframe does lack sufficient integrity to protect its human content against the harsh effects of a crash. The 777 at SFO as well the 321 into the Hudson, showed to be a much, much better crash performer. But hey, this ancient 737 stuff is still allowed according to the regulations, signaling, these regulations do desperately need a stiff update......
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Old 30th Dec 2022, 02:46
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Originally Posted by safetypee
WS, ?

Context, viewpoint, subjectivity. Which report is to be believed, why.
'Seeing' is in the minds eye of the beholder.

The Ethiopian report challenges NTSB, what if it is correct?
Anyone party to the investigation (ICAO annex 13) can challenge the finding. It just so happens that this one is a little late. Note the glib comment re 'not in the NTSB format'.

Who judges accuracy, relevance, how can we tell ?
I look at the FDR trace and would look at the CVR transcript, if that was made available. The Ethiopian report diverges from what was reported out of the FDR and matches, in relevant parts, what the NTSB claims.
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Old 30th Dec 2022, 02:47
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WS

About Colgan - a few years ago R Zumwalt, NTSB Chair at the time, gave a guest lecture that I happened to attend. He commented on the subject of how pilot fatigue had been treated as a possible contributing factor in the Board's report.
The way the subject was raised, someone asked about whether an accident would need to happen for regulations to be tightened with regard to crew rest or fatigue.... the Chairman's reply: "We've already had that accident." It was quite a stark reply.
(The question was not mine. I asked something about the Air Canada 759 taxiway line-up incident at SFO in summer of 2017 - wish I could recall more specifically.)
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Old 30th Dec 2022, 05:03
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Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3
WS

About Colgan - a few years ago R Zumwalt, NTSB Chair at the time, gave a guest lecture that I happened to attend. He commented on the subject of how pilot fatigue had been treated as a possible contributing factor in the Board's report.
The way the subject was raised, someone asked about whether an accident would need to happen for regulations to be tightened with regard to crew rest or fatigue.... the Chairman's reply: "We've already had that accident." It was quite a stark reply.
(The question was not mine. I asked something about the Air Canada 759 taxiway line-up incident at SFO in summer of 2017 - wish I could recall more specifically.)
Only "one" accident, where fatigue was a major factor ? I think, easily, half of the accidents do have a serious fatigue component. Not to say, the crew rest/scheduling regulations are a serious issue, world-wide.

Though, let me add on top of that, that quite a lot of pilot fatigue does have its cause in the pilots' private life, either due to excessive commuting (Colgan for example), or pilots who want to get the most out of their life and are very active aside of the job, or simply because pilots don't work a "full job" and have secondary jobs, where the total hours seriously active by large exceed the regulatory pilot hours.

I personally know a captain flying a 90% job at a major and doing secondary jobs to "adhoc" drive freight trucks at back hours of the clock. Oh, he also complains about fatigue being an issue, yeah sure.

Pilots often seem to forget that "rest" is intended for resting, just like when people have a 40 h/w office job.

But this deviates from the original subject .....
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