Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

This is your Captain Sleeping....

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

This is your Captain Sleeping....

Old 21st Jul 2003, 01:04
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Wet Coast
Posts: 2,335
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They see captain sleeping, they panic. Why do you think this “tape”/pictures were taken if it’s so common pilots sleep while on duty? Why did he resign before the investigation?
In this incident there were no reports of pax 'panicking', in fact everyone seems to have been having a bit of a giggle about it. The DHC-6 does not have a cockpit door separating it from the cabin which is why the 'uncommon' footage was possible.

The Capt's resignation was announced by the airline General Manager in very short order. You can draw your own conclusion.
Other pax say he was awake for both the takeoff and landing and dozed for about 30 minutes at cruise, if in fact that was what he was doing.

The real villain here ISTM is the venal pax who rushed his scoop to the nearest media outlet. Maybe there's something to be said for banning cameras after all
PaperTiger is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2003, 01:35
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Canada
Age: 68
Posts: 261
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not knowing the circumstances of this particular situation I won't offer comment based solely on media reports. To do that would be a disservice to fellow pilots.

However, I too need to point out that "catching 40 winks" in a controlled fashion on the flight deck is both professional and increasingly becoming the norm. Our Ops manual allows for it and goes into great detail as to the whens and the hows this can be done. I will not reproduce all the details here but obviously must be done only in the cruise phase of flight, with the full agreement of others, to be not more than 20 minutes in duration and with no mitigating factors i.e. weather, system failures and the like. The actual section of the manual runs about 7 pages.

Canada is moving away from a prescriptive type of regulatory system to a Safety Management System. This allows well documented up to date research to be more easily incorporated into daily flight operations.

As for the inference by some that F/O's are there to keep the seat warm I beg to differ. F/O's are fully trained and qualified to operate the aircraft in all flight regimes. In any operation I have been involved in in the past 28 years that has certainly been the case. It is certainly the case with our aircraft.


Last edited by 604guy; 22nd Jul 2003 at 00:54.
604guy is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2003, 02:01
  #63 (permalink)  

I am a figment of my own imagination
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Posts: 726
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Jet_noseover, bought up as an idealist? Since it is far from an ideal world and you must therefor be in perpetual torment, but unkind of you to pass it on to others. Do enlighten us as to which airline you fly for as it will obviously be somewhere this sort of thing would never happen, better yet what equipment you fly and your roster, people will flock to fly with you since you will always be rested and never ever tired, in short the ideal pilot in the ideal plane working for the ideal airline in ideal weather, in short a Utopian situation just tell us where it is. Uhhh... sorry wake me up I'm dreaming.
Paterbrat is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2003, 06:32
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: England
Posts: 1,389
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why didn't pax wake him up? The temptation to call out "Pull-up" or "Warning Terrain" in a simulated computer voice must have been very tempting.
cwatters is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2003, 14:31
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Canada
Age: 67
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Pull-up" or "Warning Terrain" In a twotter?
Hogwash is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 00:01
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: S of the border
Posts: 74
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was returning to p.u. a load when I looked around, I had no idea were I was. After a few minutes I recognized the area. I did a 180 and found the strip we were working out of. When I landed, the ground crew asked me were I was going. I had flown directly over the strip and continued for another 10 miles before I woke up. This was at 100'agl in an AT-301 doing 10 min cycles.

I don't think it really matters what type ac or duration of the flight or the type of operation. If you need sleep, there's a real good chance that you will nod off.

I saw an earlier post that mentions procedures in their ops manual for dozing. I hold a JAA ATPL and I don't recall anything in any regs about sleeping at a crew station while on duty.
crack up is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 01:12
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: TBD
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cool sleeping !!

Well, well, well - so the Capt in question was "nailed" - this is not the fault of the captain - its a failure of the flight regulations regarding fatigue and crew rest - what about F/o,s who insist on having in seat brief sleep as they just cannot keep their eyes open because they are fatigued due to poor quality rest - person to be blame is the scheduling dept or better still, the regulations concerning rest and the quality of such rest - I believe that the captain used his discretion to make the flight safer by taking a short sleep so that he would be in a better state when it counted most - what this capt was caught doing is almost accepted practice in most airline,s - just not put on paper as the respective airlines would never do that.

wake up regulators!! - why don,t you make the airlines (CAA,s or equivalent - FAA) take some action in the interest of "Their Pilots" Capt or F/o,s - and make sure that sufficient rest (Quality rest) is ensured so that the respective FDP,s are amended in favour of safety and not profits.

Bye for now - going to put my head back for a moment as I'm really tired - could not get a decent sleep in the hotel - normaly don't have a problem sleeping but just could not sleep due to noise in hotel - maybe time zone problem - just wish the AVmed guys would make a decent study of fatigue

gjp is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 02:53
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: US for now
Posts: 524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
person to be blame is the scheduling dept or better still, the regulations concerning rest and the quality of such rest
The guilty party has been identified.

In the mean time the "sleeping beauty" is out of his job and $10K in the hole. (That's the fine attached for this illegal activity if reported, caught and confirmed.)
So, to all your sleepy heads out there when you are saying that it is your typical behavior while flying you better arm yourselves with cash, double check the door is closed/locked and your partner is not a snitch.
The problem to deal in the future be - the desire for some airlines to install the flightdeck cameras. What'ya gonna do then?

not ??

jet_noseover is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 03:27
  #69 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very interesting thread. I wish to pose a question;

Cat naps encouraged/allowed/performed?

1/ Large 2,3 or 4 engine jet with a 6,000+mile journey

2/ 737/MD80/A320 with a 2,000+ mile journey

2/ CRJ with a 1,000 mile+ journey

3/ DHC? / King Air / with a 500+/- mile journey

There HAS to be some difference between these operations. My guess is, the duty time/rostering etc is probably worse with #2.

Of course, referring to this specific incident, the Capt may have been flying for 10 hrs. No sleep in between. Etc etc.

I still feel the F/O has a lot of explaining to do, or the Capt was rather naive to rest in full view of his pax.
willbav8r is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 04:58
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Canada
Age: 68
Posts: 261
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not sure what the difference is in types of aircraft or stage lengths. Fatigue is fatigue. In our case our longest stage length is 51/2 hours. Is controlled rest appropriate for all operations and in all instances...no likely not but but probably in a great many. I remember back in 1980 one night on the last landing of a multi-stage day when the captain dozed off for a few seconds between the DH and the runway! On that particular day the longest stage had been 70 minutes, the last had been 25 minutes. It had been a 12 hour duty day and the last of 6 days in a row.

Regulators, management and professional associations need to face up to this. And as hard as it is for ourselves as professionals to admit it sometimes, there are NONE of us going around with a big "S" emblazoned on our chest.
604guy is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 06:45
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts


Neither pilot should have lost their job! If the FAA has a law that allows them to fine pilots for knapping on the flight deck and they would actually enforce it, then they are living in the dark ages! Same mentality that led to troops being shot for displaying a lack of moral fibre who were suffering from shell shock!

Last edited by kinsman; 22nd Jul 2003 at 06:56.
kinsman is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 07:32
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: The World
Posts: 388
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Your quote: "The problem to deal in the future be - the desire for some airlines to install the flightdeck cameras. What'ya gonna do then?"

I don't think that we are going to revisit having cameras on the flight deck anytime soon. The last time that I recall that the airlines had flight deck cameras installed was because the airlines thought it was a great freebie for the passengers. After a reject at JFK which resulted in a flurry of lawsuits the cameras disappeared..

Personally the only way to fly is to have a crew bunk...
Tan is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 10:34
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: US for now
Posts: 524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

“I still feel the F/O has a lot of explaining to do, or the Capt was rather naive to rest in full view of his pax.”

Where does it state the F/Os need to explain Captains actions? What exactly is it you feel he has to explain? Please elaborate.

The second part of your sentence makes more sense. The Darwin goes to the left seatter.


“Neither pilot should have lost their job.”

Only the one that slept (and got caught doing so) did. By his own choice.

“If the FAA has a law that allows them to fine pilots for knapping on the flight deck and they would actually enforce it, then they are living in the dark ages! “

You have a point there. But for right now it’s officially illegal and the fine is still $10K. Why do you think is so steep?
I think you might find it interesting. I was browsing other aviation safety sites and came upon this, from a 744 Captain. (US) :

“I do not know whether the FAR's address having one's eyes closed during flight but it is still illegal to sleep, nap or in any other word be less than totally conscious while in flight. It is a $10,000 fine if reported and confirmed by....? This is in spite of the fact that NTSB ran a 6 month test on crews flying back to back all nighters(KIX/HNL)wiring us up with electroencephlagrams to determine if naps are helpful in improving the ability to function at higher levels when in a state of sleep deprivation. Of course the result was that indeed the increase in alertness, even after only a 10 minute nap, was something like 80% over the fighting the urge to fall alseep condition. The FAA never acted on their advice of course. And those folks should be glad that the pilot had EYES to be closed as the FAA regulations allow for exemptions such as having only one eye if that pilot can demonstrate proficiency and depth perception with only one eye.”

So there… Silly? Yes it is!!

If anything gip identified the problem right on the money!


“Personally the only way to fly is to have a [..] bunk...”

I hope you meant ... for the pax.

Them auto-gadgets are not that smart to completely take over yet. Keeps you employed too.
But back to the subject:
“I don't think that we are going to revisit having cameras on the flight deck anytime soon. “
You might be surprised. There is a group of folks still actively pursuing the matter. Happened after the loss of EA990.

I am also for the cameras in the cockpits. One has nothing to fear when conducting proper, professional behavior. We probably would not have spent the money on the EA990 or Silk Air investigations either, had those been installed.
jet_noseover is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 12:28
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santee, CA.
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ATC's sleep on the job too

My name is James Bergquist, former USAF and FAA ATC, and head of our union, NATCA, in San Diego.

I wrote to President Bush and told him we used to sleep on the job in every facility I ever worked in. I also told him I have seen controllers falling asleep on position in the middle of the day.

Read my post titled Open Letter to President Bush Re: I was a blind air traffic controller in this forum under ATC ISSUES.

I asked the poeple who responded to my post to comment about the controller errors in the handling of the crash of ValuJet flight 592 in Miami. Shortly after the crash, I was featured on ABC news in Miami when a controller at MIA tower overdosed on HEROIN in the bathroom. It turned out that the tower chief was tipping off his controllers about "random" drug tests.

Interesting reading, see you there. And check out my website at..


James Bergquist
air safety activist
[email protected]
chickenlittle92071 is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 13:57
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Down south, USA.
Posts: 1,593
Received 9 Likes on 1 Post

If our FAA has ever cared one bit about any US flightcrewmembers' physical conditions and the ability to stay alert, then let any of our inspectors or administrators respond to the FAR Part 121 minimum rest period of eight (8) hours between duty periods-this includes post flight dutys, long walks thru airports to a hotel van (which might still be enroute), a long nap at the hotel and showering for the ride back to the airport, but no time to wait for a meal to be cooked. This is all considered a "continuous rest" period. It can be increased by one hour if the total flying time exceeded was more than 8 but less than 9 hours in the previous duty period. What a good deal-you might then be able to sleep up to 6 hours, following an exhausting day or night duty period which lasted up to sixteen hours without rest.

This rest period includes adequate time to check the aircraft logbooks, MEL limitations for deferred maintenance, determine whether the fuel load is enough for the new weather, along with many NOTAMS buried inside five feet of paperwork, alternate airports are adequate and then preflight the cockpit and check departure procedures.

How about the fact that until after the MD-80 accident at LIT (Little Rock, AR), our FAA had NEVER designated any rest periods for flightcrewmembers on continuous standby/reserve duty which can consist of several 24-hour periods in a row. Remember, no sleep period was provided, whether for daytime passenger ops or all-night cargo. After the Connie Kallita DC-8 cartwheeled at G'mo Bay, Cuba, following a very long duty period, the NTSB, for the FIRST TIME in US history, pointed to fatigue as the primary cause of a US air carrier accident: maybe they were only then able to find the nerve to stand up to the FAA.

These are just some of the conditions which can endanger us, our aircraft and passengers, therefore requiring us to have pilot unions in the US to increase the deplorable federally-imposed minimums , which I make no apologies for, whatsoever.

The FAA's second mandate, which is still often in total conflict with safety, is to indirectly subsidize US airlines. Check on the ATA's professional lobby activities in Congress.
Ignition Override is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 16:56
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts


The CAA is far more enlightened in this area and accepts the practice of knapping is an aid to flight safety. I would rather see more restrictions on rostering but no matter how good the rules they cannot cater for every situation or rouge company.

Some Southern European crews we had flying for us a few years ago used to fly the Atlantic with charts over the windshields and both pilots asleep! Now there you would have a case for fining or sacking, I would even go as far as locking them up!

However the FAA needs to get up to date ASAP!

The F/O, if unhappy with any situation, is duty bound to speak up and assert himself if he feels flight safety is an issue, he/she clearly did not feel this was the case. To follow your argument (which I don’t happen to agree with) if the Captain had to loose his job then so did F/O. He/she is also responsible; you can’t have it both ways.

I still maintain the passengers should be facing sanctions for distracting the flight crew! Makes about as much sense as fining the Captain or thinking he should loose his job.
kinsman is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2003, 11:40
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 728
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't think you'll see cockpit cameras with public access ever again. The folks on the AA DC-10 got to watch the barrel roll onto the ground when the engine separated (late 70's) Public cameras dissappeared quietly after that. With passengers using "fear" as a justification to sue, showing them a cockpit image with little context within which to understand what they are viewing is pure trouble for the asking.

A for their safety use in post accident investigations, perhaps. Many questions have to be answered about access to this information before any pilot will fly with them. In any case they better be flush mounted:

"The problem to deal in the future be - the desire for some airlines to install the flightdeck cameras. What'ya gonna do then?"

Hang my hat on it!

PlaneTruth is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2003, 21:00
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Belgium
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jet Nose-over, you are wrong.
Have you ever done anything else but flying ? I doubt you have. I, and I am sure many other pilots, have been in other jobs and I can assure you that fatigue and people dozing off while at work is not exclusive to aviation. You will however not see or hear it on the evening news unless it produces a fatal accident.
Our job is to get people safely from A to B. That includes admitting to myself and my captain that I am tired (if I am) and would like to 'rest my eyes' for a while. Never had an arguement about it. In fact, even yesterday, we both had an alternating rest while performing an all-nighter. During approach and landing it made me feel fit and alert. You should try it some time !
And about the passengers : you treat them as being ignorant. I can assure you that all of them will feel more at ease with a captain resting during the cruise and being sharp and alert during the approach then the other way round.

This too is good managment of your systems !
visualappr is offline  
Old 25th Jul 2003, 23:55
  #79 (permalink)  
ou Trek dronkie
Posts: n/a
This PNO lad knows nothing about aviation, for sure. Napping is a wonderful way of overcoming fatigue. If you are fatigued, you must sleep – for a while anyway. It’s no use fighting it.

The need for napping is not confined to long haul. It all depends on schedules, rest periods, daytime activities and so on.

More than once I have come round from a “long blink” to find everyone else up front slightly in the “comatose state”. In fact, at night, over Africa, this situation is only slightly more dangerous than “normal” ops (whatever that means over Africa). I’m talking about 126.9.

Don’t let the lad upset you, he’s read too many safety books.

Napping is a great solution to a very real problem and should have been invented long ago.
Old 26th Jul 2003, 01:15
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,499
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This gentleman thinks having two rested pilots at the controls at any given time is a good idea, and you guys are more or less branding him an idiot?

We are the idiots for accepting long haul with two pilots. For accepting crazy work patterns on the short/medium haul scene. For accepting fewer days off. Minimum rest, and so on. All those things which have forced "power napping" into our cockpits.

I'm not against napping, by the way. I don't practice it myself, but my Effohs are welcome to. Napping will increase alertness later on, but I would like to see (or rather not), how a napping pilot would react to an explosive decompression.

Not to mention our locked doors. Not so easy for our friends in the back to check on us any more. Intercom, ok. Or is it called snooze these days?
ManaAdaSystem is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.