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War casualty flights shunned by union

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War casualty flights shunned by union

Old 11th Mar 2003, 19:06
  #41 (permalink)  
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Beamer - "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 ?"

That comment is totally out of order, IMO. I cannot imagine ANY crews refusing to get the job done unless they are UNFIT. REPEAT UNFIT. Then it is in everyones' interest to stop before you kill everyone on board, no?

It has been said several times already on this thread, and at the risk of boring repetition:

The option to extend FDP is already there for the Captain. I and I'm sure others would use it. What BALPA and others are trying to forestall is the planning WEEKS ahead of FDPs outside the rules when it is not necessary. There is NO need for change. The ANO allows it as it is. IF you are a Captain you have the authority to get the job done. IF you are an f/o or c/c YOUR Captain has it. What is your difficulty with that?

I will do the job if called upon. Let's leave this nonsense now?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 19:09
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I thank you for your apology. I am sorry to hear that 72 Sqn let you down but I know nothing of the rotary world never having flown an angry palm tree in my life.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 20:46
  #43 (permalink)  
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Well I'm taking a risk posting this under my real name but can't be bothered to do it anonymously. Like many others on this list I am civilian and have no military experience. However If called upon (unlikely) to carry out casevac duties I would do it irrespective of FTLs Unless I considered myself so fatigued as to pose more of a risk to the pax than the reason for their evacuation.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 21:13
  #44 (permalink)  
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Alan Hill - well done!
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 21:16
  #45 (permalink)  
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I feel that you and many others are of the same opinion, its a small myopic group who let the others down in time of need.

Unless the PM has no balls at all, the last news broadcasts seem to indicate that the US will go it alone and we will not be called upon to fly those in need back to Blighty.

I have not heard any good reason why I should not support our service personel overseas, and in return if I am called upon to put in those extra hours, will do so, keeping a weather eye upon the possible fatigue.

The safety of my crew and those who fly with me is always paramount

Those persons who think that this is a way to increase their hours (FTL's) at a later date are mistaken, its just a proposal in the event we are called upon in a time of War.
If longer duty times are to be considered as per JAA proposals then there are ways and means to go about showing our displeasure, a time of war is not the forum for this action.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 21:57
  #46 (permalink)  
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Calm down.

You miss the point. We all support our forces when they are at war.

This is not 1940.

If the government wants the forces looked after there will be plenty of spare crews and aircraft available when the war starts. There is absolutely no need for any alleviations to FTL's for pilots. On the day it's the individuals call.

The current rules are in place to stop individuals being pressurised to operate when they should not.

Decisions made in the calm now are bound to better than those made in the heat of a war.

BALPA is right to take this stand and most members, ex-military and civilian pilots, are bound to support them.

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Old 11th Mar 2003, 22:43
  #47 (permalink)  
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..... Alan / soddim / Night_fr8, etc...... some might thank you for your supposed 'patriotism’, but on the flip side some would suggest that your “Yes Boss” attitude is really nothing more than the thin end of the wedge into our safety orientated FTL scheme(s).

That said, on a slightly more esoteric note, and as per the lyrics of the ballad ‘The Patriot Game’ :
Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.
...... and indeed it seemingly does !

Ps. ( hence edit ) Peter .... hear hear !!
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 22:46
  #48 (permalink)  
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As a Brit (half Scottish and half English) I cannot conceive of not supporting our forces. In the (very) unlikely event of the country requiring my services the FTL Scheme would be the last thing on my mind. This has nothing to do with being a warmonger but has everything to do with looking after your own of whatever race, crede or colour. After all we would all expect the armed services to look after us.. wouldn't we?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 22:47
  #49 (permalink)  
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What, as in 'Bloody Sunday' ?!
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 23:12
  #50 (permalink)  
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Alan Hill, I still think you are missing the point of this thread.

Like you, I would do everything I could to support our armed forces, especially in a war situation.

However, when the resources are clearly available then surely complying with the normal FTL "planning" rules IS supporting our armed forces.

How ironic it would be if, as a soldier, I suffered injury only to meet death when being flown back to the UK owing to the fatigued state of the flight deck crew!
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 03:43
  #51 (permalink)  
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Pardon this attempt by a foreign (narrowbody pilot) to understand something, and bring up an apparent contrast, because what happens over there is certainly none of my business.

It was my impression that the CAA is more conscientious about enforcement of crew rest requirements than is often the case with our 'friends' here at the FAA, which in the past allowed airlines to force crews to fly an extra leg in order to reposition a plane (using FAR Part 91, as with a private or corporate plane)-which could add on an extra 5-12 hour duty period.

There never seemed to be news about US widebody crews being pushed (or shamed) into exceeding their FAR duty day limitations during Desert Storm, although they had some long periods in order to return to Frankfurt etc. My company just a week or two ago announced activation of the CRAF (C. Res. Air Fleet), and there has been no news from our union about being expected to fly extra long duty days as a substitute for pre-planning by our DOD (Dept. of Defense) or company, that I'm aware of. It was also my impression that the govt here pays higher fares for military passengers on DOD business, than what our typical "local yokel" (wearing t-shirt and sandals) pays to sit in coach class.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 12th Mar 2003 at 04:02.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 08:23
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I only wish to make a point on how this could be spun by our beloved media.

It is highly likely that they will soon be portraying Flight Crew as work-shy in order to instigate the 'new-improved' FTL's that whilst being anti-safety are certainly pro-shareholder. We all know who 'owns' these media groups so we must be very careful about the public reaction to the story "Pilots refuse to work a bit longer to bring back our dead".

I hope BALPA are taking note of some of the excellent posts being made here. 'Spin' it back to them chaps!
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 09:25
  #53 (permalink)  
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Why do the rules have to be changed to accommodate unforeseen long duties? Isn't that the definition of a "mercy flight". Changing the rules is merely acknowledging that the situation is not unforeseen, and therefore a penny-pinching exercise.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 16:40
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BOAC - Thankyou so much for your considered reply - I guess your
'handle' says it all.

Alan Hill - Hear hear - what small minded people there are out there !
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 18:57
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In my (relatively few) years in civvie street / aviation, I have been quite impressed with how accurate the FTLs are i.e. whenever I get near their limits, I am getting near mine!

Pre-planning on "disregarding" FTLs, however noble the cause, has a danger - these limits are NOT union inspired, quality of life limits. They are borne of scientific study, and dead bodies, and are there solely to preserve safety levels. Anyone who states now they are willing to fly well in excess of current FTLs is endangering the pax you would be flying.

There are ways around this - suitable heavy crewing levels, pre-positioning crews etc. On the day, circumstances may well lead to discretion, and given the medical nature of the flights, even the cop out in our scheme (and presumably therefore CAP371) for discretion to go beyond 3 hours ("...emergency... judgement of commander ... presents serious risk to health / safety of crew / PAX / others"). Sums up the situation well...

Pre-planned significant extension to current FTLs is NOT the way to go - IMHO!

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Old 12th Mar 2003, 19:21
  #56 (permalink)  
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Nigel on draft

You have hit the nail on the head , All the regulations are in place to extend the duty day if it is a life and death situation.

The changing of the rules is not about saving lives it is about saving money and the trade off is the safety of the very casualtys that that the goverment claim they are trying to help.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 20:10
  #57 (permalink)  
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We're not at war, nor are we going to be at war. It is likely that there will be a contained conflict within Iraq and British forces may, or may not it seems, be involved in an active combat role. This isn't 1939 and we don't need all hands to battle stations to survive this. There is ample capacity within the UK aviation industry to cover all likely eventualities in the Gulf without the need to endanger lives further through cost-cutting. Jingoistic fervour does nobody any favours right now.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 21:57
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We're not at war, nor are we going to be at war.
Tell that to the troops at the front!!!!
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Old 13th Mar 2003, 07:18
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It might came from cosideration of actual operational issues: London to Baghdad is like 5:15 on 757/767 (in even more in case you going to BSR or KWI), basically 10:30 flight time plus you can expect 2-3 hours turnaround time at SDA, so it doesn't fit into 13 hrs, and in case of emergency you cannot manage to do a crew swap somewhere en-route, and sure you would not consider to have crews based in SDA.
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Old 13th Mar 2003, 07:32
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One point appears to have been forgotten in all this. During the last Gulf War, contingency plans were laid in much the same way, but in the event all of the British casualties from that theatre could quite comfortably have been carried in one widebody airliner.

If this war produces similar levels of British casualties, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then it would not overstress the resources of even the smallest British charter airline to crew with a heavy crew or using a stopover in the SBA at Akrotiri. This could all be achieved within UK CAA FTLs as they stand at the moment.

It should be borne in mind that BA are staging their crews through Larnaca, and some other airlines are staging through Paphos.

If the situation degenerates into a nightmare carnage, casualties are excessive and there is a genuine need for us to operate beyond current FTLs, then I suspect that all of us would certainly consider doing so. However, I don't remotely believe that it will be necessary, and so the current gung-ho twaddle from some contributors on this thread is seriously misplaced.

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