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This is your Captain Sleeping....

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This is your Captain Sleeping....

Old 18th Jul 2003, 17:57
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This is your Captain Sleeping....

http://www.skynews.co.uk/skynews/art...378553,00.html

PILOT CAUGHT SLEEPING

A US pilot has had his wings clipped - after being caught by a passenger asleep in his cockpit.

The incident was recorded on videotape during a flight from the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale.


The pilot apparently slept for most of the flight.

Now his airline, Walkers Aviation, has given him the sack.

The Federal Aviation Adminstration said sleeping at the controls was "inappropriate".

It was also a complete violation of regulations.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 18:28
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Must be a wind-up. What was a passenger doing on the flight-deck in flight in the first place, secondly, who would allow themselves to be filmed asleep ?
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 18:29
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Who was the old BOAC captain who complained that he couldn't get a nap in during the cruise because the rest of the crew were snoring so loudly?

(Oh, the old ones are always the best.)

Last edited by Globaliser; 18th Jul 2003 at 18:39.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 18:32
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Photo on the sky news article looks like it could be an elderly small regional airliner which might not have had a partition/curtain or cockpit door on it at all, e.g. a small Embraer prop or the likes.

Captain looks elderly as well.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 19:02
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As a non pilot (well, not heavy metal anyway), I couldn't condone kipping in the cockpit, but is it not the case that long rotations & time zone changes make this sort of thing inevitable?

My gut instinct is to feel a bit sorry for the guy for getting caught really.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 19:29
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The safer option would have been for the passenger to wake him up rather than videotape him.

Airclues
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 19:31
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I used to work for Walker Aviation in Ft. Lauderdale (not as a pilot) and one of their a/c was a Twin Otter, which from the TV footage shown, appears to possibly be the same a/c. As far as I'm aware and can remember, this a/c is single pilot operated.

On larger, multi-crew a/c, usually on long night sectors, it can be difficult to remain 'alert' and it is not unusual to have a 'controlled nap' whilst in your seat. This involves letting your colleague in the other seat know that you are going to be closing your eyes for 15 minutes or so. These kinds of naps are known to be beneficial and do not, in my view, affect the safe operation of the a/c. It is very rare to be able to get more than 15 minutes as the cabin crew are going to be checking in about as often as that anyway.

For those of you not familiar with this kind of flying, you can make your own simulator at home so that you can appreciate what it actually feels like. Put an armchair (not too comfortable) and a vacuum cleaner in a small darkened room. A cubby hole under the stairs is usually a suitable palce. If you have a PC, place that in there too and run a flight sim program. At about your usual bedtime sit yourself in the chair, set up a flight on autopilot in your flight sim program, preferably one of at least three hours. Turn on the vacuum cleaner and turn off any other lights and relax in the armchair. Feel free to phone a few friends who may be awake at that time of night.

If anyone would care to try this out, especially after having a break after 3-4 hours and then repeating the exercise, and get back to us here on PPRuNe and let us know if they managed to remain awake without feeling drowsy at all, it would be appreciated. If possible, repeat the exercise within 24 hours at about the same time.

The video shown on Sky News is of the pilot, asleep, being filmed from the pax cabin through doorless bulkhead to the cockpit of what appears to be a DHC6 Twotter. It was a daylight flight. As far as I remember, Walkers operated a scheduled service between their private island, Walkers Cay, Bimini, Ft. lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 20:24
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Quite impressive that he can actually get of to sleep between the Bahamas and Ft. Lauderdale !! If he cant stay awake that long he should try for Homer Simpsons job !
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 20:46
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Personally, I encourage a fellow crew member to take a "power nap". I don't expect them, however, to sleep from take off to touchdown. 5 or 10 minutes when you are feeling a little "jaded" (daren't use the word 'fatigue' as that opens up the regular debate) can make all the difference just to see you through to the staff car park.

k
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 20:46
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"Apparently slept for most of the flight."

It didn't occur to anyone to wake him up, then?
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 22:16
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Thumbs down

Ah yes, just saw the footage.

And why, pray tell, would you bother waking him, when you can make a fortune from selling the tape, or winning Funniest Home videos and even appearing on Riki Lake?

For arguments sake, what if he'd had a heart attack (God forbid!), and there's Cletus with his video making sure he gets a great shot! I'm no Saint, but like someone else mentioned, I'd be up there either waking him or seeing if he was ok! (For the record, the footage I saw didn't appear to show him snoring either!)

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Old 18th Jul 2003, 23:16
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About 15 years ago I had a F/O who was awake at the OM but was asleep at 500 above minima - quite remarkable.

More recently I discovered that my F/O was no longer with me towards the end of a SID!
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 23:18
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After watching the footage on US TV last night it was quite obvious to all concerned that the right-hand seat had control of the flight! (Nobody see that bit?)
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Old 18th Jul 2003, 23:56
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Stupid pax! Any sensible person would have quietly slipped into the RHS and 'had a go'. Those Twotters look fun.
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Old 19th Jul 2003, 00:03
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Dittos to thetexpat,

My wife said the video she saw identified the right seat person as the copilot. If you did not see this minor detail, you may want to reevaluate your source of news and information.

Questions? Now, lets find something else to obliterate!

Right!

PT
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Old 19th Jul 2003, 00:34
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Lightbulb

Why donīt take a nap in the Twotter?

-Every trip in a these aircrafts are a kind of long ones, -regardless of distances flown -and all pilots with Twotter experience knows that there are no clocks on board, only calenders...
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Old 19th Jul 2003, 00:51
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Devil

The TV footage shown in the UK did not show the right seat and the commentary tried to emphasise that the pilot was on his own. Looks like the US version was not quite as skillfully edited as the UK one. Still, never let the truth get in the way of a good story!
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Old 19th Jul 2003, 01:39
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I heard a rumor a year or two ago, that the FAA was looking into the idea of allowing pilots (on 2 pilot aircraft) to take short naps during the cruise phase, as long as the other pilot was awake and alert (and in his/her seat). I heard the thinking was this might have some benefits for the pilots on long sector flights, by allowing them to be more refreshed and alert during the high work load let-down and approach phases of the flight.

Anyone else heard of this? Would this actually be helpful in any way? Would it present any risks if allowed?
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Old 19th Jul 2003, 02:04
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>>Anyone else heard of this? Would this actually be helpful in any way? Would it present any risks if allowed?<<

Here's one of Dr. Rosekind's (et al.) original articles describing his research at NASA on the subject:

http://olias.arc.nasa.gov/zteam/fcp/pubs/jsr.art.html

Here's a short interview where Dr. Rosekind extolls the virtues of a short nap in the cockpit:

http://health.discovery.com/centers/...rosekind3.html
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Old 19th Jul 2003, 02:15
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You may be interested to know that the 'video-taker' (in the US footage) was VERY concerned that the pilot was not WEARING A HEADSET EITHER! !
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