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Wizz Air Crew Forced to Resign

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Wizz Air Crew Forced to Resign

Old 16th Aug 2022, 16:01
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I don't doubt that a doctor's letter would help, but I think the practicalities would be too difficult:

a) At my base airport, I don't remember there being duty medical staff, only first-aiders and the cabin crews. To see a doctor you would have to call 999 and wait however long for an ambulance to arrive from the nearest hospital - that's what we do if a passenger feels unwell. Fatigue is debilitating of course, but not like a heart attack or a broken leg, and there is nothing they can apply or inject you with, so I don't think they would be very impressed.

b) It would set a dangerous precedent; in that if a crew member declared they felt too unwell to work, but were not believed unless a doctor had examined them, where would that leave us - especially with fatigue?
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 16:04
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Originally Posted by Youmightsaythat
Absolutely true, and I have done the same. However there is a requirement for the commander to take into account the state of the of and cabin crew before he agrees to operate. However the use of discretion to cover illegally planned FDPs is another issue entirely and that is now common.
Come on then give us some examples of 'common' illegally planned FDP......
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 16:46
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
I don't doubt that a doctor's letter would help, but I think the practicalities would be too difficult:

a) At my base airport, I don't remember there being duty medical staff, only first-aiders and the cabin crews. To see a doctor you would have to call 999 and wait however long for an ambulance to arrive from the nearest hospital - that's what we do if a passenger feels unwell. Fatigue is debilitating of course, but not like a heart attack or a broken leg, and there is nothing they can apply or inject you with, so I don't think they would be very impressed.

b) It would set a dangerous precedent; in that if a crew member declared they felt too unwell to work, but were not believed unless a doctor had examined them, where would that leave us - especially with fatigue?
a) Should passenger aircraft be operating into a commercial airport without medical staff on immediate call? What happens if a passenger has a heart attack during taxi in? Surely there is a requirement for para medics or doctors to meet the aircraft at the gate?

b) An appropriate OMA entry would cover it. 'In the event that a crew member feels unfit to operate at outstation (including during a turnaround at outstation) every effort is to be made to be examined by a doctor prior to operating. This specifically includes unfitness due to suspected fatigue at outstation on a turnaround flight. In the case of reported unfitness to operate during a turnaround, if no doctor is available in a reasonable time then the Commander shall consult the affected crew member himself and liaise with the affected crew member, station manager, company and airport authorities to determine if the crew member shall be offloaded to wait for medical care or to position back to base. If the affected crew member insists on seeing a doctor he shall be offloaded into the care of the station manager if necessary to minimise delay. Note: Crew member's health is always to be of paramount concern and this should be considered and reflected in any decision made by the Commander'

It will never happen of course as para b would be wide open to abuse.

Last edited by BANANASBANANAS; 16th Aug 2022 at 17:00.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 18:10
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Originally Posted by BANANASBANANAS
Any airport which has arriving and departing passengers will (or most certainly, should) have the required medical capability.
Not at any airport Im familiar with. They obviously have first responders, but thats essentially paramedics who are there to deal with medical issues - not someone whos too tired to work.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 21:00
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a) Should passenger aircraft be operating into a commercial airport without medical staff on immediate call? What happens if a passenger has a heart attack during taxi in? Surely there is a requirement for para medics or doctors to meet the aircraft at the gate?
Paramedics maybe, doctors no... I agree with a few previous observations:

At my old main base, a major major UK international airport, the only health care professionals on call were (the very capable) paramedics. Anything more needed and it would require an ambulance to be summoned from off airport....there was no on call airport doctor AFAIK.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 21:10
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Originally Posted by BANANASBANANAS
What happens if a passenger has a heart attack during taxi in?
No more and no less than would be the case if they had a heart attack just outside the terminal building. the local health authorities would handle it as they would any other local issue.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 22:16
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Originally Posted by Twiglet1
Come on then give us some examples of 'common' illegally planned FDP......
If you need to ask you have not read the book. or talked to the ex head of Flight safety department at a rather large Union. It's just most pilots just 'get on with it'.....until.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 22:40
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From a different occupation, but when you are seriously tired / fatigued, all these very sensible but convoluted legal arguments are not being considered. Having the courage to say to authority that you are too tired to be continuing with your duties is a hugely stressful event in itself. Having the wherewithal to consider how a judge/jury may consider your approach to the problem is the least of your concerns! It's very simple. If a professional feels this way, then they need to go to the hotel / home, and talk about it 12 hours later. The only logic for getting a medical professional would be if there were a consideration of intoxication.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 03:14
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In this case, the airport at the centre of the episode is Beauvais. If medical assistance is requested, paramedics will arrive; however, is this an appropriate response for a cabin crew member who is unable to fly due to fatigue? How appropriate is it if paramedics are dispatched from outside the airport and are prevented from responding to a medical call for a critically ill patient in the local area who desperately needs their assistance? There should be no need for any medical personnel to intervene in such a situation.

Commanders have the discretion to make the final decision, but the sign of a skilled leader is to balance what he/she or the company wants against the welfare of the entire crew. Offload, stand down and position back, or operate but give the crew member a choice but script the narrative as needed to persuade the crew member to do what you want.

The issue here, however, is not one of FTL legalities, but rather that Wizz Air is more afraid of its own employees than of its competitors. If you disagree, why do they refuse to recognise unions and appear to rule over their own workforce with an iron fist? A crew member who refuses to operate due to fatigue should not be dismissed. It would not be the first time Wizz Air has been summoned to court in a case of unfair dismissal, which was alluded to in a letter to the airline circulated online by a former investor.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 05:42
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Interesting that under EU regulations, the captain has to make a decision to extend on behalf of the entire crew. Under FAA regulations, each crewmember must decide if he/she is sufficiently rested for the flight.

We're not allowed to start a duty, knowing that we'll need to use "discretion" either.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 10:26
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Originally Posted by Check Airman
Interesting that under EU regulations, the captain has to make a decision to extend on behalf of the entire crew. Under FAA regulations, each crewmember must decide if he/she is sufficiently rested for the flight.

We're not allowed to start a duty, knowing that we'll need to use "discretion" either.

Actually under the EU regulations -unless any change Im not aware of- , the Captain may, at his discretion, and after taking note of the well-being of other members of the crew, take decision about extension of duty, or reduction of rest provided, that he is satisfied that the flight can be made safely....
Copy and paste from one of my old OM-As;
".....The commander shall consult all crew members on their alertness levels before deciding any of the modifications...."
Also "...A crewmember shall not perform duties on an airplane if he knows or suspects that he is suffering from fatigue or feels unfit to the extent that the flight may be endangered...

Last edited by Flappo; 17th Aug 2022 at 11:22.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 11:42
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Many cabin crew appear to be under the impression that it is their discretion. I was once told by a male CC that there was "no way" he was going to use his discretion. I left him in Muscat and he was later sacked too.
It is your discretion as the commander. However, in the UK, you are not allowed to force someone to operate if you believe them to be fatigued. If they have just told you they are, you are in a bad place to say "You're working".
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 12:26
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A breach of these is a criminal act. So either comply with the bullies and empower them or grow a backbone and inform them of the following

EU. Ops 2.2 'An operator will ensure that for all its flights, flights are planned to be completed within the allowable flight duty period taking into account the time necessary for pre-flight duties, the flight and turn-around times.'

ANO 146 (1) 'A person must not act as a member of the crew of an aircraft to which this article applies if they know or suspect that they are suffering from or having regard to the circumstances of the flight to be undertaken are likely to suffer from such fatigue as may endanger the safety of the aircraft or of its occupants’.

ANO 145 (2) ‘The operator of an aircraft to which this article applies must not cause or permit any person to fly as a member of its crew who the operator knows or has reason to believe is suffering from or, having regard to the circumstances of the flight to be undertaken, is likely to suffer from, such fatigue as may endanger the safety of the aircraft or of its occupants.’

E.U. Ops 3.6. ‘Operators shall ensure flight duty periods are planned to enable crew members to remain sufficiently free from fatigue so they can operate to a satisfactory level of safety under all circumstances. ‘
Therefore, if you are going to bed and waking when you can and you are still fatigued you must therefore be fatigued due the airlines failure to comply with EU Ops 3.6.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 18:05
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The Captain (Commander if you prefer) is usually the line manager of the crew and has the responsibility of managing them. This requires a knowledge of the relevant regulations and HR procedures (although these may be administered through a different department from that concerned with pilots.) Depending on the size of the company the Captain may not know of any HR records for her/his crew, so he/she may not be aware of any disciplinary record that may be relevant to his/her decision making. This makes the HR side of managing impersonal - as it should be. It also means that the Captain has to exercise her/his skill in managing potentially difficult situations such as the exercising of discretion. In these circumstances the declaration of fatigue by any crew member is a no brainer, the CC member can not continue with duties. The Captain also has to manage the consequences of losing a crew member and that may mean offloading passengers and blanking off seats or in extremis not operating that sector. Those are his/her responsibilities, it is not in her/his remit to manage the knock on effects, that is for the Operations department to sort out. Nor is it the Captain's responsibility to take HR procedures any further than the immediate incident, no matter how he/she may feel toward any individual. It's not easy to manage impartially, with a clear conscience, in a straightforward way and not all Captains are aware of their duties in this respect especially when faced with difficult individuals who have character flaws.
Nobody said it would be easy
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 06:18
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Originally Posted by beardy
The Captain (Commander if you prefer) is usually the line manager of the crew and has the responsibility of managing them. This requires a knowledge of the relevant regulations and HR procedures (although these may be administered through a different department from that concerned with pilots.) Depending on the size of the company the Captain may not know of any HR records for her/his crew, so he/she may not be aware of any disciplinary record that may be relevant to his/her decision making. This makes the HR side of managing impersonal - as it should be. It also means that the Captain has to exercise her/his skill in managing potentially difficult situations such as the exercising of discretion. In these circumstances the declaration of fatigue by any crew member is a no brainer, the CC member can not continue with duties. The Captain also has to manage the consequences of losing a crew member and that may mean offloading passengers and blanking off seats or in extremis not operating that sector. Those are his/her responsibilities, it is not in her/his remit to manage the knock on effects, that is for the Operations department to sort out. Nor is it the Captain's responsibility to take HR procedures any further than the immediate incident, no matter how he/she may feel toward any individual. It's not easy to manage impartially, with a clear conscience, in a straightforward way and not all Captains are aware of their duties in this respect especially when faced with difficult individuals who have character flaws.
Nobody said it would be easy
Well put beardy. That is what we get paid the extra $50k per day for isn't it! 😂
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 09:58
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Originally Posted by Youmightsaythat
There are no 'tests' the doctor can do. He asks...How do you feel, you answer 'fatigued' thats it. Seriously you ONLY need the FAST printout. + it puts the cowboy operators on warning. And stick to your guns, they back on you bottling it. If you are a professional do not be pressured. If you allow yourself to be then ergo you are not a 'professional'.
A FAST is only required if the company uses a FRMS, it is absolutely legal and valid to operate without that, at least according to EASA rules. Then all the company has to prove is that the roster was legal in accordance with chapter 7 of the OMA, it is the crew members responsibility to assure adequate rest and living circumstances that allows that at home, and of course the companies while on layovers. I worked both in airlines with and without FRMS, and the latter can actually reduce costs in certain circumstances.
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 10:35
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Originally Posted by Denti
. Then all the company has to prove is that the roster was legal in accordance with chapter 7 of the OMA,.
Respectfully, you are incorrect. The oft used phrase by Ops 'But it's legal' is the red herring. It might well conform to the max FDP in the table but the duties must also comply with EU.Ops 3.6. It is the pilot (and crews) responsibility to refuse if they know (or even suspect) they will be fatigued for a duty. If a company take action against that individual that is illegal

Don't take my word for it. Its in the Judgement of my case. The precedent is set.

Last edited by Youmightsaythat; 24th Aug 2022 at 13:37.
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 10:40
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Its in the Judgement of my case. The president is set.
I think that is precedent. But only in English courts.
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 10:41
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Originally Posted by beardy
I think that is precedent. But only in English courts.
Don't you just love auto correct!
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 21:39
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Originally Posted by Youmightsaythat
Legal fees you mean?...cost me zero...I represented my self with no lawyer to advise or present my case.
Surely you could have charged your time out?
Make the ****** pay that as well!

By the way read the judgement and have to say one or two characters come across almost as criminals to my mind. I say almost because I have no legal qualifications and leave that judgement to others.

Look forward to reading the book(s).
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