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New FTLs and EU proposals

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New FTLs and EU proposals

Old 11th Feb 2003, 23:17
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Exclamation New FTLs and EU proposals

There was a post made on here a few minutes ago by Paul Miles, the author of the Telegraph article that angered so many of us because of the STN taxi drivers claims about intoxicated pilots.

Whilst I can understand everyones anger, I do not need you all laying into the journalist on here, especially if he has come forward and asked a question that needs clarification. Yes, he was out of order for the article that was published in the Telegraph travel section but maybe, just maybe, he has seen the error of his ways and decided to do a bit more in depth research before his next article. Either way, I believe that we should give him the benefit of the doubt and provide him with some assistance.

If you don't want to help then by all means refrain but just heaping abuse on here isn't going to happen. The post was deleted while I was reading it, probably by the author. In an effort to try and get it resuscitated I managed to keep a copy of the post and I will reproduce it below sans the insults.

hackhack

Press enquiry - fatigue and new EC ruling


Hello

I am a UK journalist. I write for a national UK paper.
I'm trying to understand the new EC ruling on flight and duty time, it seems very complex.

Are there any pilots who either:
1. Strongly object to
2. Don't mind/agree with
the new ruling?

If so, and you would like to comment, please contact me. And/or if you have accounts of personal experiences of fatigue due to long flying times, I would also like to hear.

If you reply, please do so with your full name, title, airline and where you live. If you wish to remain anonymous, please let me know. A contact phone number would be very useful.

Thank you
Paul Miles
The first reply was by Cathar
The first thing to understand is that there is no new EC ruling. There is a European Parliament first reading amendment of a draft Regulation on operational standards for airlines. The amendment adds flight and duty time limits to the requirement. The draft regulation (including the amendment) has to go through the full co-decision procedure including endorsement by the Council before it becomes EC legislation. It is by no means a forgone conclusion that the amendment will be adopted and, from what I have heard, it is exceedingly unlikely be adopted without further amendment.

Still why worry about the truth.
And the third reply was by Unwiseowl
BALPA should be able to provide you with the facts: www.balpa.org
Can we now return to answering some of the questions for this journalist and see if he can redeem himself in our eyes and use his journalistic education to put our worries about the proposed rules into some sort of sense that the public can understand. All we need is him getting another easyJet manager to quote that we only work 750 hours a year to seal the perception that non pilots have about our lives of leisure!

Last edited by Danny; 11th Feb 2003 at 23:27.
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Old 12th Feb 2003, 08:45
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"Can we now return to answering some of the questions for this journalist "

Danny - as one of the moderators who brought the post to your attention yesterday, I have to say 'NO'!

Yes, it is an important topic for discussion - perhaps when details of the proposals are nearer (as Cathar says), but Mr Miles has ably demonstrated that he is the wrong person to be involved in a serious discussion on flight safety. In my opinion, it would be EXTREMELY unwise for anyone to have ANY dealings with this person.

Like you, I do not wish to start an 'anti-journo' run, but leopards and spots and all that........?
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Old 12th Feb 2003, 10:13
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Danny & others.

Over the past few weeks, on the various topics:

"Airlines and morale."

"Pilots against hours increase."

Easyjet pilots to strike."

and now this one, there has been a strong concensus about FTL's and their abuse by the companies. There have been quotes from CAP 371 Para. 2.1 & 3.1 that have been repeated in the latest Chirps. What is plain fact is that the companies totally ignore these philosophies/guidelines, and the various national authorities turn a blind eye.

The EU committee, perhaps via the ECA, or whoever is campaigning on our behalf, would do well to be made aware of these views. To repeat them all would be extremely tedious. perhaps even this Brian Simpson chappie needs a copy too.

How can these whole topics be forwarded from Prune to the correct people en masse?

It is easy to spout off on Prune and it will have as much effect as all the bar-room whinging of the last 20 years. In a week it will all have been lost on page 3 of Reporting Points. Now's the chance to make a difference.

Any suggestions?
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Old 12th Feb 2003, 11:14
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Question

Ok, I will post hackhack's reply in the original thread although some of it references some fo the insults leveled at him.
Back to fatigue...

Well, fatigue doesn't seem to be much of an issue then?

Coalface: i don't think it's just me who finds things like this confusing:

"Max FDP per day = 13 hours. This is reduced for flights encroaching the WOCL (Window of Circadian Low) 0200-0600 local. If you report for a flight during the WOCL then the FDP is reduced by 100% of its' encroachment. If you end during or after (having started before) the WOCL then FDP is reduced by 50% of its' encroachment.

Only comment re days off is min 36 hours off per week, to include 2 local nights. No more than 168 hours between 2 of these off periods. "

As you're no doubt a genius, perhaps you can put it in non-airline jargon for me?

(And, digressing again: to Mitty: the airline and CAA were indeed informed.)

Anyone who wants to return to the original reason for this post is more than welcome. I believe some pilots want this issue of duty hours raised?
I have received a message from Paul explaining some of the background to the other article in the Telegraph and as in most cases there is more to the background that appears at first. Let us just say that the editor has a hell of a lot to answer for.
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Old 12th Feb 2003, 11:51
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"I have received a message from Paul explaining some of the background to the other article in the Telegraph and as in most cases there is more to the background that appears at first. Let us just say that the editor has a hell of a lot to answer for."

Ok, Danny - let us give him the benefit of the doubt, from what you tell us.

Firstly - can we have a link to the 'proposals' please. Otherwise it is impossible to discuss selected bits and pieces. The package needs to be looked at in the round.

Secondly, for Mr Miles, the current duty period under UK rules varies from a minimum of 9 hours to a maximum of 14 hours, so in effect this would represent a reduction in maximum duty period. HOWEVER, under present rules, if you start duty at 0559 local and fly, say, 4 sectors, you are limited to 9 hours duty. You indicate that this limit increases to 12 hrs 59 minutes. Pilots will DEFINITELY 'fall asleep at the wheel' with those sort of days!

On the face of what you say, the day off 'per week' (is that a seven day week or a Monday to Sunday week and is it a day off IN ANY WEEK ie does the week 'restart' following the time off or at the start of it?) is an improvement of 2 hours off and a reduction of 1 working day between these single days off. At present you can work 7 days before a day off. The 168hrs bracket appears unchanged. What does it say about days off in a 4 week period etc. Is 'DUTY PERIOD' redefined? What does it say about the number of sectors flown in a duty period? Are you confused yet? Do you have a copy of the current regulations?

As I say, without the whole package, it is impossible to comment in a constructive way! Let us just say that current rules can cause extreme tiredness in crews where circadian rythms and/or early starts over a few days are disrupted/worked. As a further answer (based on personal experience only) it is not 'long flights' which are particularly tiring - it is repetitive disruption to 'normal' sleep/rest patterns which are the most damaging.
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Old 12th Feb 2003, 12:08
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Sorry - no story

Hello there
Thanks but we've decided not to run this story. As I didn't have much interest yesterday - and the only answer on the topic that I did have (from Cathar) implied that there's no story - we've decided not to run it. A pain for me personally too as I've spent two hours in the meantime interviewing BALPA, Simpson and ERA, getting to grips with it a little. It does seem that the CAA will stick to regulations as they are in UK anyway doesn't it? In which case, there's nothing for UK pilots to worry about is there?
But...anyway, due mostly to lack of interesting comments from pilots, there will be no story.
Perhaps you can re-delete the thread please Danny?
Paul
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Old 12th Feb 2003, 12:21
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It is oversimplistic to say that since the CAA will stick to the current rules, there is nothing for pilots to worry about.

Pressure (particularly from low-cost operators) is intense. Simpson has caved in to a lot from operators already.

When UK airlines are operating at a financial disadvantage to other European airlines, they will squawk loud and long about wanting a "level playing field", meaning to be permitted to overwork their staff as much as the others do. Then sit back and watch the politicians cave in with BALPA and the CAA on one side and the operators on the other.

Furthermore, as you will already be aware, on the road you are more in danger from "the other idiot" then you are from your own driving. (This, at least, is most drivers' perception! ). The same is very true in aviation. It doesn't matter how well-rested you are if the other guy is falling asleep at the controls, doesn't hear "Hold Position" from ATC and enters the runway ahead of you just as you are rolling.
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Old 12th Feb 2003, 22:48
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Danger

Research? Two hours spent working on this angle? Two hours? One post in a site frequented by people who work away from desks around all corners of the globe and only use the internet infrequently? And you have the temerity to call that research?

Well, Mr Miles, you and your ilk would not know the real story if it leapt up in your cornflakes and slapped you in the face. I like the number of sources you quoted in your article, pointing us to all the alcohol-related accidents over the years. That was a nice touch... oh hang on, sorry, maybe I dreamt that part. Actually, come to think of it, what alcohol-related accidents? Obviously couldn't find any fatigue-related ones in your extensive research there, or maybe we'd be looking forward to another article from your good self soon.

Nice headline grabber though, the booze slant, and you get a lot for your 2 hours with that one. Did you even think to do an in-depth search on this site? Did you read Macaskills thread? Do you think maybe that we are just whining un-necessarily and have never had to use coping strategies merely to complete a flight that was rostered in accordance with the current practice, never mind the lower protections on the way?

Two hours research, and you kill the story. Nice one pal, you've just turned down signing The Beatles.

Alien
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