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Is it legal ? ( a question about revised duties )

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Is it legal ? ( a question about revised duties )

Old 24th Jul 2005, 16:03
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Is it legal ? ( a question about revised duties )

Flight crew originally scheduled to do a three sector day, reporting for duty at 10:45Z with planned off-duty time of 20:25Z.

However, prior to leaving home, Crewing call (08:30Z) to say that they're standing-down the crew and instead putting them on standby from 16:00Z until 22:00Z (with their hope being that they'll operate the last of the aforementioned three sectors - which happens to be a very short sector. i.e. less than 1hr).

Crewing call again at 14:10Z (err, but the standby period yet hasn't started yet ?!) now telling the crew to report at 17:55Z - for a two sector trip that will see them off-duty (down-route) at 04:45Z and that these two sectors will now be operated by a 'heavy crew' (i.e. three pilots in the flight-deck - due to the fact that the 2nd of the sectors is more than seven hours long, wherein having the extra person allows the FDP to remain that from either Table A or B as appropriate).

So the questions are:
  • Is it legal ? and if so....
  • What time would ones newly revised duty period start ?
The airline is a UK JAR operator that's having a bad day due to some tech aircraft.
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Old 24th Jul 2005, 16:39
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I believe this is perfectly legal... Your duty time starts at 17:55. Since you haven't actually reported in yet, they're free to change your schedule as they see fit... As far as the company is concerned, they're doing you favour.. you get to sleep in!!! ;-)

I don't think this is the correct way to treat your staff though... Aren't there rules in place that prevent your company from keeping you on a leash like that? Terms & Conditions, anyone?

I've been in more or less the same situation... I resolved to not pick up my (work-)phone prior to actual reporting time. I'm theirs between punch in and punch out, the rest of the time is mine... MUHAHAHAA :-)
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Old 24th Jul 2005, 16:40
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First question:

First call by Crewing at 08:30Z - has it invalidated any rest period? If yes you get 12 hours rest from 08:30Z.

Second question:

Why answer the phone before STBY started at 14:10?


Not sure whether the next day would have been a working day or Day off. If the stop downroute is now in a day off there are implications to that. Also if it's not into a day off then what was planned for the crew on that following day.
All these points are relevant in order to piece together a sensible picture.

A personal opinion is that such a late notice for such a major change should be asked from rather than forced upon the crew.

Sorry, not sure if it's legal or not. The big question is how close to a start of a duty can crewing change that duty to a huge extent?
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Old 24th Jul 2005, 16:55
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Refer to Scheduling Limitations

A change of duty on the day must not exceed a Check in time 3 hours earlier or later than the originally assigned one + same limitations for Off duty Time BUT : this does not apply in situations caused for operational difficulties so basically... they can get away with murder !
I agree, not a nice way to treat their staff and this is cause number 1 of low morale, but at the end of the day, it's all part of the job!

PS. If the next day a Day Off was rostered, the duty could have been refused by the crew.
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Old 24th Jul 2005, 19:42
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Definitely NOT LEGAL! As the crew had their pre-flight rest disturbed at 1410 they aren't legal to start their next duty before (1410 + 12 hrs = ) 0210, so the rest of the "proposed" duty becomes academic.

How would that have looked if there had been a fatigue-attributable accident...REMEMBER FOLKS, THE GREEN (or blue) BOOK BELONGS TO YOU, NOT YOUR EMPLOYER !
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Old 24th Jul 2005, 21:23
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If you work for a company that has a UK CAA AOC then:

Only your company, CAA aproved, FTL will tell you whether it is legal or not. Neither CAP 371 (which only contains an example of a suggested FTL) nor any other company FTL applies to you.

I understand that our company flt ops inspector is of the opinion that answering a telephone is not necessarily disturbing your rest and that the rest clock does not have to be reset to zero in order to achieve 12 hrs rest. Your flt ops inspector may have a different opinion, ask him.

That said it is very poor man management. Maybe your company has a form of employee consultation where issues like this can be raised. If it doesn't, it may be time to get one. IMHO and experience BALPA head office have a wealth of experience, probably more than your rostering dept, if you have a BALPA company council use them.

Last edited by beardy; 24th Jul 2005 at 21:36.
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Old 24th Jul 2005, 21:47
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reading your version of events, I would suggest it is legal, but not necssarily in the Spirit of the FTL scheme.

Two questions you need to ask, though.

1. Is this regular practice, or a one off due to exceptional circumstances and

2. Did YOU consider your preflight rest disturbed to the extent that you reported for work unfir for duty?

In the case of question 1, sh*t happens. If your crewing department are regularly in the business of rejigging your day like this it suggests a problem in the department or a shortage of crew. If not, it's a crewing department doing whjat ever it can to keep a flying program together in difficult circumstances.

In the case of question 2. , what might you have been doing at 1410, if you were rostered to report at 17:55. In other words, would you have been asleep, to the point that the telephone call would ahve " disturbed" you?

I know the CAA generally do NOT consider phone calls to delay report as disturbing rest, bacuse it is NOT duty. Would you consider a phone call from your uncle during the same period to be a disturbance of rest?

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Old 25th Jul 2005, 09:09
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This is a suficiently grey area for the CAA not to get worked up about. After all, airline crewing departments will produce rosters that are not in the spirit of CAP371, but "not in the spirit" is a long way from illegal.

If this was a rare occurance then the airline were just doing what they could to get out of a sticky situation. If this is happening alot then it is symptomatic of deeper problems, and in that case don't answer your phone outside of standby/duty periods.
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Old 26th Jul 2005, 09:58
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Some interesting replies....

All FTL schemes worldwide assume proper rest prior to reporting for duty. The company does it's part by complying with the scheme which it seems to have done in this case.

The question is what affect did the phone calls have on you in the rest period prior to duty?

As a licence holder your primary responsibility is the preservation of flight safety.

If the calls prior to duty (or some other influence) disrupted your rest to the point where your "reasonably held belief" was that the duty you were being asked to perform would be sufficiently fatiguing to significantly affect flight safety then you would be committing an offence by completing the duty.

This would likely only become a problem for you if you had an incident and during the subsequent investigation it became known that you held this opinion prior to reporting for duty.

It's legally almost as silly as turning up for work drunk or under the influence of other drugs.

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Old 26th Jul 2005, 12:28
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Folks, many thanks for the feedback and points of view - it's an interesting subject, is it not ?!

To add a few more details to it, as mentioned previously, the crew were originally rostered to report at 10:45Z, from which they would then operate three sectors, with planned off-duty time of 20:25Z.

But at 08:30Z they were 'stood down', and instead put on a standby from 16:00Z until 22:00Z - wherein Crewing tells them that they're on standby to potentially operate the originally planned third sector, following which they'd have the (as originally rostered) whole of the next day off as a lay-over down route (which hopefull answers one four sick's point about the next days duty).

However, what happened next is that Crewing call at 14:10Z (i.e. which is prior to the agreed standby period) and tell the crew to report at 17:55Z from which they're to operate the originally planned third sector, plus that they're also now required to fly onwards to an additional destination (one which would now see them off duty down-route at 04:45Z).

The point I wonder about is that, given that the crew were originally to operate what was very much planned as a day-time fllight, how is it that it seems 'legal' that one might find oneself operating through the subsequent night .... and, given the timing & announcements of the changes, at what point are the crew supposed to (hopefully) obtain some uninterrupted rest prior to operating a night flight ?

beardy - The Operations Manual is not quite as clear as one might like on this matter (imho) wherein the only section I can see which might cover it is where it says:

When a crew me member is informed of a delay to the reporting time due to a changed schedule, before leaving the place of rest, the FDP shall be calculated as follows. When the delay is less than 4 hours the maximum FDP allowed will be based on the original report time and the FDP will start at the actual report time. When the delay is 4 hours or more, the maximum FDP will be calculated using the more limiting of the planned and actual report times and the FDP will start 4 hours after the original report time.
Nb. I've highlighted that last section as being the section which, in this case, might come closest, i.e. the originally rostered report time was 10:45Z and the ‘revised’ report time was 17:55 - and thus the revised start time of duty should maybe be 14:45Z ? ( the effect of which would then have been to completely exceeded the FLT’s and therein made it a no-go for a night flight)
Hence why, in the opening thread, I asked the question about what time ones newly revised duty period would start….. given that the revised / 17:55 duty start time falls within that of the originally planned duty. I.e. does this rule apply, given that one is stood-down, put on standby, called prior to the standby starting, to operate part of the originally rostered flight group, plus an additional sector (which was not rostered) but which then turns the whole thing into a night flight ?

jmc-man - You said 'what might you have been doing at 1410, if you were rostered to report at 17:55. In other words, would you have been asleep, to the point that the telephone call would have "disturbed" you?'
In response I would probably say that "Had one been informed, from the outset, i.e. at 08:30Z that one was being stood down and that at 17:55 one was required to report for night flight then a sensible person would have been taking rest / sleep - and probably have had the phone switched off".
However, that was not the information that was provided to the crew (see above), wherein they only found out that they were required to do a long night flight some 3:45 prior to being required to report on duty for it, which - given that one could live up to 1:30 minutes from ones base - leaves only 2:15 (less getting dressed time, etc) to stop what one's doing and say to oneself "I must I must go to sleep, I must I must go to sleep" (which is pretty impossible, isn't it ?! )... wherein would you really think that the crew members were adequately rested in such circumstances ?
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Old 26th Jul 2005, 13:04
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Most definitely not legal. When a duty is changed it either falls under 2 heading. Either a change is sufficiently far ahead that min rest is attained and the duty is a separate entity to the original one. If min rest is NOT attained the original report time has to be taken into consideration and the FDP will start effectively no later than 4 hours after the original start time. i.e. 1445z.
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Old 26th Jul 2005, 16:52
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One of the many grey areas in UK FTLs. The highlighted part of Safety's ops manual would seem to cover the situation, however does the phrase
delay to the reporting time due to a changed schedule
refer to a change of schedule to the rostered flight, or does it refer to a change of roster schedule. I would say that the intent of that phrase is when a crew member receives notification that the flight they were planned to operate has been delayed in excess of 4 hours.

I would say this situation is covered by the definition and calculation of Rest Periods.

Definition = A period of time before starting a flying duty period which is designed to give crew members adequate opportunity to rest before a flight. (the highlight is mine).

Calculation = The aircraft operator must notify crew members in good time of a flying duty period so that sufficient and uninterrupted pre-flight rest can be obtained.
The minimum rest which must be provided before undertaking a flying duty period shall be:
(a) at least as long as the preceding duty period, or
(b) 12 hours
whichever is the greater.

Duty = Any continous period during which a crew member is required to carry out any task associated with the business of the operator.

Did the aircraft operator notify the crew "in good time"? Depends on what you define as "good time".
Could the crew take sufficient and uninterrupted rest? Again, depends on your definition of sufficient, but it wasn't uninterrupted.

How to resolve the matter? Either an unofficial approach to the CAA to seek clarification on the matter, or submit a CHIRP to get an official response. Either way, this situation highlights just how peppered with holes CAP371 (and all its' many interpretations) really is.
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Old 30th Jul 2005, 06:48
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If I was a suspicious sort I would think that the original intention of crewing was for you to do the last sector, then the additional sector and the standby was just a bit of creative crewing. My betting is that they had standby cover for the first 2 sectors but none to get them out of a hole at the far end.

Ultimately if you consider that you would be fatigued your requirement under UK legislation is not to fly however many hours you have flown.

Suggest you that bundle the whole lot off to CHIRP
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