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War casualty flights shunned by union

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War casualty flights shunned by union

Old 10th Mar 2003, 19:54
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If being a die hard unionist means not flying a 19 hour day to satisfy the tightfistedness of Gordon Brown, then fine, I'll be a die hard unionist. If the powers that be gave a damn about our troops, they would spend the money to bring them home with the same safety standards as all other passengers - they deserve the best.

Idunno - I agree with what you are saying, except we already have the option to extend discretion beyond three hours where lives are at risk and I'm sure we all would.
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Old 10th Mar 2003, 20:24
  #22 (permalink)  
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anybody got any idea which companies the MOD are talking to.I seem to remember an article again in the times mentioning BA , Virgin and EasyJet , all three of which i would of thought were unlikely candidates. Aren't the charter companies more likely to have the spare airframes initially and yes i know in times of war all aircraft can be used if needed.
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Old 10th Mar 2003, 21:52
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Arkroyal - RAF FTLs for transport aircraft are known as Crew Duty Hours and are less restrictive than the CAA FTLs. Furthermore, in 'war' they don't apply. On 3 occasions while in the RAF, I flew well in excess of the published limits - during conflicts.

However, I don't agree with the proposals. It's about costs - and will produce a precedent which we don't need while the current FTLs are in dispute.
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Old 10th Mar 2003, 22:12
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Well Diplomat et al

From my reading of this I believe that this is what is called a contingency plan.
If there are some casualties then I am sure that they will be repatriated by the RAF.
What they are talking about is the use of a chemical weapons against our countrymen. (and other weapons).
I am not a war hawk, however I am disgusted that there are people who are more concerned about their straight eight than those who are risking their lives.

On a personal note, I have recieved my standby for the gulf. I guess at 29 I am younger than most if not all of the posters. I am willing to stand up and be counted, I am against the war but I will do my duty, and a lack of sleep is just part of that.

I do not want to get into a debate as to the legality of the war. But as I have served with many of those out there already I am part of that family. BALPA may slip to the same level of the fire brigade if they are not careful. If I am injured I hope that somebody would get me home as quick as possible to those who I love and will protect me.

Sorry to say this gentlemen but England Expects.
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Old 10th Mar 2003, 22:46
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Cool W.r.t. 'England Expects'.... and 'do my duty'

Don't make me laugh, this is March 2003 not October 1805 !

What next - "Ve ver simply following ze orders !" ?

Grow up mate.
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Old 10th Mar 2003, 22:52
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Errr, am I being thick or does the post before last not quite make sense? If you're injured then the RAF will take you home. If Saddam uses chemical weapons against you, then the RAF will take you home (but lets face it were not going to withdraw the entire military presence in a hurry just because Saddam has done the entirely expected). So who are these 'countrymen' that were all supposed to be riding to the rescue of?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 01:37
  #27 (permalink)  
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So anyway, in Angola in 1992, I was on a crew tasked to take several (read 195) Zaire citizens (who were either employees or familiy of employees of our company) from Luanda to Kinshasa.

Our A/C was a 727/100 outfitted to tanker fuel.

We fit them all, plus more, between the fuel tanks on the cargo deck.

Duty time was not an issue in this instance, but when the ball goes up, real pilots can be counted on to be counted on, regardless of union affilation or CAA/FAR regulations.

Grow up guys, people may get hurt here, and our risk is nothing compared to that of the young folks who may be sent into harms way...
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 05:15
  #28 (permalink)  
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Night_fr8 & Down In 3Green,

You both miss the point, this isn't WW2, nor will lives be at stake by not extending FTL's, it is about the MoD saving money and my company making more.

Our company has such a contract and if they were to try and get me to work outside of FTL (and therefore my contract) they can go and shove it.

It has nothing to do with defense of the realm, my company are not chartering these aircraft to the MoD for nothing, it is all about PROFIT, not Charity.

Down In 3Green, what a stirling chap you are, but you signed up for that, did you not?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 05:34
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<<NigelonDraft - for example, do you know for sure that heavy crews are not being used?>>
I know nothing about this topic other than what has been posted here.

However, from the start of the thread:
<<The DfT directive, a copy of which has been obtained by The Times, says that pilots operating medical flights can have their duty hours extended by four hours beyond the present 13hr 15min maximum. Pilots can be ordered to work for 70 hours a week, 15 hours more than the existing 55-hour limit. Rest periods between shifts have also been cut to a minimum of nine hours>>

From our (BA) scheme the 13:15 limit is 2+ Flt Crew, 2 sectors, 0800-1259 start. So the above figures seems to be based on "some" fact.

My point was that if Heavy crews are planned (which would be the sensible, but expensive option to GB), then there would be no need for the directive - it would all be legal. The fact the directive has been produced (and leaked?) implies to me they are trying to get around the need (and cost passed on from the airline) for heavy crew. The same sort of attitude that has "our boys" in the Gulf without bog paper!

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Old 11th Mar 2003, 14:17
  #30 (permalink)  
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The real Basil wishes it to be known that he is not a Batlord or even batty and his only similarity to the order Chiroptera of furry nocturnal flying mammals is his involuntary habit of flying around in the middle of the night and occasionally finding the crewroom by echolocation
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 15:33
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Maybe I have the wrong impression but many of the posters on this thread don't seem prepared to work longer hours than currently allowed in order to perform medivac flights to the Gulf, if required. If that is the case what a sad lot they are.

I believe it is enshrined in maritime law that you must go to the assistance of anyone in distress and that takes priority over all including your beauty sleep or normal crew rest. It does not matter if they became injured doing something you did not agree with or if it was a military vessel involved. A medivac requirement is not dissimilar in my book unless you know for sure that it is merely a routine logistic task and the patients lives are not at risk from delay.

I really hope I have the wrong impression of those earlier posters who say they will not respond.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 15:47
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Maybe I have the wrong impression but many of the posters on this thread don't seem prepared to work longer hours than currently allowed in order to perform medivac flights to the Gulf, if required.
Not quite. My impression of this thread is that lots of people are quite willing to help perform medivac flights, and would be quite willing to go into discretion (and perhaps even beyond) should it be required on the day. What they are not prepared to do is allow their employers and the government to fly them until they drop for the purposes of increasing profits and reducing costs. If the government want a proper medivac operation let them pay for it, they screw enough tax out of us already.

The maritime analogy is inappropriate. The government are not asking passing seafarers to divert in order to assist parties in unexpected peril. They are planning several weeks in advance for civilian pilots to fly civilian aircraft to a known hotspot to collect expected casualties. They have more than enough time to plan a scehdule which will allow the medivac needs to be met without infringing existing cvilian safety guidelines. They choose not to do so because they don't want to spend the money.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 16:15
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<<don't seem prepared to work longer hours than currently allowed >>
Please note, we are NOT talking of Union agreed "Industrial Limits", or of demanding our beauty sleep!

We are talking of the LEGAL limits, limits derived by long experience back to the Bader "enquiry", set up after a number of fatal accidents due to fatigue.

This is just typical 2 faced government that sets "safe rules" (aren't we a good caring Govt?) until its their turn to pay the bill, when suddenly all the safe limits no longer apply, and we can fly the servicemen home in what was the week before an illegally tired state. And where there is a perfectly safe and practiced alternative - heavy crewing...

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Old 11th Mar 2003, 16:27
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Precisely what I'd have said if I were as eloquent as your goodself
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 16:27
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Forgive me but I cannot see the rationale behind claiming it is not safe to carry holidaymakers in excess of 12hrs duty (or whatever)but it is safe to carry squaddies. What has changed, safety & fatigue wise?

If there are wounded to be repatriated then they must be stabilised in a local hospital first (and the field facilities plus local hospitals will in all probability be good enough). You cannot fly seriously wounded home unless the medical facilities in theatreare chronically deficient - the level of care available in a (chertered civvy) aeroplane are just not good enough.

This idea is surely a govt cop out to save a few bob instead of contracting return crews to be on standby in theatre or nearby in case. For the cost of one smart bomb you'd keep an entire crew on sby for three months or so. How mean can the get?

I seriously wonder about the legal implications of agreeing to do this. We are told (by CAP 371) it is not safe therefore you are duty bound not to do it. Have an accident at 19hrs duty and what do you suppose the relative's lawyers would concentrate on? They won't claim from the MOD, but you are defenceless.

Equally, if this is done and deemed safe what chance do we stand of defeating the outrageous new duty limitations the europrats are proposing? We'll be screwing ourselves for ever!

INSIST the company tells the MOD we'll do it, but only within the law.

Is that unreasonable?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 16:55
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The problem is the military have been doing this for years and their Airships probably think its safe. They used to have a rule, maybe still have, that crew duty could be extended to 18 hours by calling it an 'operation'. The worst they did to me was, in a TriStar, Brize to Dusseldorf, pick up troops, flag Dusseldorf to Las Vegas drop off troops, flag Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Night stop, 18 hours off. Next day, repeat the trip backwards. That was savage.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 17:14
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Cheapskate treasury

I can see where pilots are coming from WRT duty time and doing the job on the cheap.

I firmly believe that should the situation arise on the day that required them to extend they will do so to get the job done.

Absolutely right, the cost of one cruise missile would cover this. Most people have come to expect nothing less of this government.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 17:19
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It seems that the good old media have got / twisted the initial idea of these revised FTL's...

Here's how I heard it, and my observations on a few comments in a few of the above posts...

1. Crews will NOT be ORDERED to operate these flights. All required operations are planned to be on a voluntary basis with crews being asked if they want to perform them.

2. Possible extensions to FTL's will be advised to all crew in advance of them operating.

3. Rest periods may be cut to 9 hour periods, but crews will not be expected to fly multiple rotations - new crews will be arranged for each flight.

4. It does not come down to cost.

5. Reasoning behind seeking to get these FTL changes in place prior to any conflict is to ensure that Aircraft can be provided to recover casualties at the 'drop of a hat'.

6. Crews cannot be left in Cyprus. (There are reasons).

7. How many large Aircraft fitted with stretchers are just sitting around waiting to be chartered?

8. Idunno hits the nail on the head.

9. I asume the civil requirement is due to RAF aircraft operating elsewhere.

10. Planning a schedule to allow medivac flights... how do they know how many people are going to be injured?

Last edited by rentaghost; 11th Mar 2003 at 17:45.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 17:35
  #39 (permalink)  
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Apologies all for my earlier crab-bating, now is probably not the time. I just remember Bessbrook about 20 years ago when a 72 sqn crew called duty hours and poked off to bed leaving us to pick up the pieces. It was operational too.

The point here is that as said by many, each and every one of us would bend the rules and work whatever hours were necessary if the task on the day required it.

We are saying that we would not agree to be bound to do this simply to save the government from spending more of OUR money.

Fund it and crew it properly, you skin-flints.

England expects alright. It expects its government to treat its loyal servants at least as well as a holidaymaker.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 18:32
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I signed up for this duty without hesitation - it is a backstop Operation should RAF AT aircraft be unable to cope with a high
number of casualties should Tone and George screw up bigtime.
The 'possible extension' of crew duty times is to cover the potential diversion en-route between the Middle East and the UK;
this is quite a likely scenario bearing in mind the aircraft could be
carrying large numbers of casualties. Lets say we have to divert for medical reasons half way home - what are we supposed to do - plead FTL and head off to a hotel leaving the aeromed staff to sit in the aircraft for 12 hours ?

For God's sake - the aircraft will be heavy crewed anyway to cover this eventuality - are we supposed to do nothing when the
poor sods down the back have been injured in fighting ? Yes, the
military should have enough assets to do it all themselves but the
simple fact is they don't - they do not even seem to have military
hospitals anymore.

Some will recall that RAF AT crews flew up to 28 hours on a single sector many years ago, albeit heavy crewed, whilst single crews
certainly flew up to 20 hours - I know, its in my log book !! Of
course its not desirable but sometimes........................
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