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Ethiopian asleep

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Ethiopian asleep

Old 20th Aug 2022, 19:23
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Don't believe B737 has a pilot response warning or anything similar.

At the end of the route I think you get FMC message and autopilot stays on. Nothing particularly loud that I'm aware of.

Comms and radar coverage spotty in this part of the world. Addis probably wasn't aware they weren't descending until they were tens of miles out.

Cabin crew should be checking though. Maybe Ethiopian don't do that or let it slip.
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 16:52
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Fatigue or sleep deprivation. A long while back my co-pilot fell asleep on base leg into Gatwick. Early morning & I had to reach over to his shoulder & shake him awake. Obviously I was PF, but not sure how much PM I got. However we landed safely. (737-300) taught me a lesson that when the human body says enough is enough it will go to sleep whatever. We are all human maybe some understanding is in order.
(co-pilot had been awake during the descent)
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 03:50
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If you read forums regarding ET employment and Ethiopian civil aviation authority, you will find a common theme. Lack of work/rest rules or flagrant violation of them, lots of flying, poor treatment by management, zero enforcement of regulations and a punitive culture and lack of oversight. The crew will be punished for this, there will be zero change in safety protocols or oversight and pilots will continue to fly above max duty regs and norms.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 12:40
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
Well......if it happens, it happens for a reason. What would your solution be in this instance?

Normally cabin crew are required to contact the flight deck every 20 mins or so, in person or via the inter-phone, to check all is well.

I am wondering if something bad is happening to crew training now, as well as fatiguing rosters?

On quiet long-haul flights, if I wasn't reading something or doing the crossword, I would listen to Radio 4 on the ADF receiver, which helped keep me alert. Important to be doing something - in the absence of inputs a tired brain will tend to go to sleep.
In all my 27000 hours I have never even come close to putting 300 tonnes or the lives of 300 pax in jeopardy by falling asleep
FLY THE AIRCRAFT is the first thing you learn when training and if you can't do that then you should not be up the front.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 12:51
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Originally Posted by BoeingDriver99 View Post
you keep using that word… I don’t think it means what you think it means.
I meant it to mean you deserve the wrath of god if you fall asleep as pic anyway you cant spell proper English at the best of times (tire route etc) and no, I don't know the Queen
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 18:25
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Most pilots, unlike you apparently, are not superhumans. Tiredness and fatigue happen and not all carriers do allow blame free fatigue calls, some routinely roster in extremely fatigue inducing ways and of course the result is obvious.

Combine that with routine use of controlled rest on the flight deck, which is actually meant as an emergency procedure to regain enough alertness for a safe landing, and you habe a recipe for both falling asleep. Especially at night and while the operating environment is fairly quiet (and without CPDLC which is a nice alarm by itself).

And on most short to medium range flights we do not have the luxury of a third or fourth pilot o cover for us while we rest or even sleep.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 20:41
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I am not shifting from my zero tolerance stance on falling asleep as pic.
I am not claiming to be superhuman but my skipper and I would always be well rested for a long haul across the pond.
We did have the luxury of a third crew member which allows a rest during the flight but I defy any self respecting commander to sleep when travelling at .75 and having 300 souls on board.
Yes it gets tedious calling levels and headings for most flights and we would welcome some chop or a unexpected level change just for "something to do"
Falling asleep is as funny as a fire warning in the cruise and I would bin your epaulettes as a consequence
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 02:33
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Originally Posted by p7lot View Post
I am not shifting from my zero tolerance stance on falling asleep as pic.
I am not claiming to be superhuman but my skipper and I would always be well rested for a long haul across the pond.
We did have the luxury of a third crew member which allows a rest during the flight but I defy any self respecting commander to sleep when travelling at .75 and having 300 souls on board.
Yes it gets tedious calling levels and headings for most flights and we would welcome some chop or a unexpected level change just for "something to do"
Falling asleep is as funny as a fire warning in the cruise and I would bin your epaulettes as a consequence
You fly for BA, right?
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 06:42
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You fly for BA, right?
Not if they routinely had "... the luxury of a third crew member which allows a rest during the flight"...
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 07:20
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I am not claiming to be superhuman but my skipper and I would always be well rested for a long haul across the pond.
You are not claiming to be an idiot either but it is obvious for all to see.

We did have the luxury of a third crew member which allows a rest during the flight but I defy any self respecting commander to sleep when travelling at .75 and having 300 souls on board.
ICYMI the crew were operating a B737. It can neither accommodate 300 SOB or has a third crew member unless there is some form of training or checking going on. You are also assuming that the crew were only operating 1 sector. This could have been sector 4 which had included a BOC duty. They did not fall asleep because they were incompetent or couldn't give a flying f#$k for the people in the back. They probably fell asleep because they were fatigued to a point that their bodies decided that the eyes were to close and the brain was to close down to rejuvenate. Fatigue is a world-wide problem in aviation and will only get worse with lax regulators and airlines wanting to make up for lost revenue from the last 2 years.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 09:17
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I wonder what sort of airliner carries 300 passengers and only cruises at .75? Furthermore, we haven't had Souls on Board for quite some time (SOB) - it should be People on Board (POB).
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 12:00
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Originally Posted by p7lot View Post
I am not shifting from my zero tolerance stance on falling asleep as pic.
I am not claiming to be superhuman but my skipper and I would always be well rested for a long haul across the pond.
We did have the luxury of a third crew member which allows a rest during the flight but I defy any self respecting commander to sleep when travelling at .75 and having 300 souls on board.
Yes it gets tedious calling levels and headings for most flights and we would welcome some chop or a unexpected level change just for "something to do"
Falling asleep is as funny as a fire warning in the cruise and I would bin your epaulettes as a consequence
In all my 27000 hours
27,000 hours and still a first officer?
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 12:18
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Originally Posted by p7lot View Post
I am not shifting from my zero tolerance stance on falling asleep as pic.
Absolutism is always bad. Falling asleep as a PIC (or SIC) can be the safest course of action in many instances, if done in a controlled manner. Which means for a fairly short duration to prevent deep sleep and sleep inertia, cabin crew has to be informed and regular checks done.
I am not claiming to be superhuman but my skipper and I would always be well rested for a long haul across the pond.
We did have the luxury of a third crew member which allows a rest during the flight but I defy any self respecting commander to sleep when travelling at .75 and having 300 souls on board.
Several things to unpack here. Apparently you have never operated on a narrowbody aircraft and short haul route structure. Which means that you might be on day six or seven of your duty block, having done four or five sectors each day always under considerable time pressure. Which is quite different from leisurely climbing aboard your already prepared widebody aircraft, operating just one sector being fed first class food (sans the wine) and then take a nice nap before doing the only landing for that month and having another day or two to relax afterwards before flying back the same way and then having a week off. And yes, i know reality looks quite differently for most long haul crew anyway.

The only thing is of course, the commander in this case, according to you, would not be able to have that nap as he doesn’t stop being the commander even in the bunk.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 13:52
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Originally Posted by Lookleft View Post
You are not claiming to be an idiot either but it is obvious for all to see.



ICYMI the crew were operating a B737. It can neither accommodate 300 SOB or has a third crew member unless there is some form of training or checking going on. You are also assuming that the crew were only operating 1 sector. This could have been sector 4 which had included a BOC duty. They did not fall asleep because they were incompetent or couldn't give a flying f#$k for the people in the back. They probably fell asleep because they were fatigued to a point that their bodies decided that the eyes were to close and the brain was to close down to rejuvenate. Fatigue is a world-wide problem in aviation and will only get worse with lax regulators and airlines wanting to make up for lost revenue from the last 2 years.
Well this idiot is still saying falling asleep whatever the reason is unacceptable the rest is semantics
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 14:06
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Originally Posted by bobbytables View Post
Don't believe B737 has a pilot response warning or anything similar.

At the end of the route I think you get FMC message and autopilot stays on. Nothing particularly loud that I'm aware of.

Comms and radar coverage spotty in this part of the world. Addis probably wasn't aware they weren't descending until they were tens of miles out.

Cabin crew should be checking though. Maybe Ethiopian don't do that or let it slip.
Unlikely...ADD radar and comms are quite good. Plus I believe they have ADS-B and should have been quickly able to identify the plane wasn't descending or programmed to descend as it was supposed to by that point.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 16:27
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Originally Posted by p7lot View Post
Well this idiot is still saying falling asleep whatever the reason is unacceptable the rest is semantics
Sure. And pilots shouldn't crash perfectly good aircraft into the ground, yet here we are....

When did you retire? It's obvious that you've haven't quite experienced the 'limits as targets' lifestyle that airline flying has become. Day 6 of 6 on leg 4 of 4 at the end of a 100 hour month? I've done those hours, and those pairings. And whilst it was a high, it wasn't that much higher than the average I'd done for the last six months (85-95 hrs per calendar month). You can preach on about 'UNFORGIVABLE!!!111!' as much as you like, but true professionals might want to take tiny little looky-loo at possible causes before they go all high and mighty. That is, like it or not, how aviation has actually advanced. You're basically saying both the crew intended to fall asleep and overfly their destination? Or did they not intend that? If not, why did it still happen? Did they not try and stay awake hard enough? So.....we could just 'try harder' next time, that's really going to be your final answer? Sure you weren't in management at some point? I'm not ruling out blatant dereliction of duty, but I would advocate for taking a closer look. Fatigue is hard to combat, both from a practical perspective, AND ESPECIALLY from a managerial and regulatory perspective.

Frankly, it's only the professionalism of the crew that keeps them awake with some of these ridiculous rostering practices......and of course 'we value safety as our number on priority, and all operations are according to the strictest standards etc etc bla bla'. Meanwhile, back at rostering....

Like I've said before - the planes are so good now that they don't crash enough to keep airline managers honest anymore. Which is why we see some of these ridiculous causes and incidents now.

/rant
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 16:45
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Originally Posted by p7lot View Post
In all my 27000 hours I have never even come close to putting 300 tonnes or the lives of 300 pax in jeopardy by falling asleep....
Nor have I.

But I have taken off - having rested responsibly and feeling fine - only to find 8 hours later that I am getting sleepy. If that happens I mitigate it by telling the other pilot, taking 20 mins controlled rest, and drinking coffee etc.

We didn't have bunks either, so "sleeping" as one of heavy crew was extremely unsatisfactory - curled on the floor at the back of the cockpit (yes, really), or possibly having a seat in the cabin with a curtain round it. The curtain of course did not prevent the conversations of the passengers having drinking parties coming through.

.......FLY THE AIRCRAFT is the first thing you learn when training and if you can't do that then you should not be up the front.
So, what did you do if you felt sleepy on a flight? Did you immediately open the DV window and jump out - since "obviously" you were unfit to be in the cockpit?

Look, I realise you are trolling, but nobody falls asleep at work on purpose. Spare a thought for those who do fall asleep, owing to terrible rosters, (probably), and perhaps have a think about why this might happen.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 16:59
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Better scheduling, more rest before flight and less hours every week/month/year will help but till it happens some threat mitigation survival techniques need to be deviced. Fatigue should be included in briefing as a threat. Like many suggesting cabin crew periodic check, hot towel/ cold towel, more caffeine may be or when it's worse a Modafinil tablet. It's suggested to combat pilots so couldn't be a psychotropic substance. Better check it. I used it on a nine hours drive starting early morning and it did help. May be they knew all this but missed out. If not, good to start now.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 20:15
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You can't just pop Modafinil like sweeties and they are - certainly IMHO - prescribed medication and for certain medical conditions only. Should you have such a medical condition you should not be flying without having declared it to your company and declared to and agreed by your AME.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 23:21
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Originally Posted by Denti View Post
Absolutism is always bad.
LOL. I know what you meant, and you're right, but it still gave me a chuckle. Thanks.
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