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Pilot fatigue...a victory, of sorts

Old 16th Dec 2016, 22:47
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Nicely summed up Major Cleve. All those mentioned should really take a long hard look at themselves. Thankfully a judicial/tribunal system picked out the minutiae and questioned on it. It is what they do. There seemed to be a very cavalier attitude to everything when dealing with this poor individual ( Balls of steel!) and to the person reading with half a brain cell, questions would have been asked and conclusions formulated almost all the way through. Subjectivity was a key factor as opposed to what they perceived was objectivity by right. Noone can say how a person feels but the person. Reasonable belief... that was particularly interesting, seems obvious! The arguments put forward by Management were poor, to say the least.In fact at times, and in my humble opinion, I could eat a bowl of alphabetty spaghetti and poop a better argument!

Last edited by Septimus Pyecroft 48; 17th Dec 2016 at 17:27.
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 08:01
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It was on radio 5 Live (BBC) this morning after 7 and 8.
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 09:30
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The Times this morning Exhausted captain who refused to fly wins payout | News | The Times & The Sunday Times
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 12:31
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And what did happen about the strike?
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 19:43
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I am a CPL, multi rated and do not fly jets but occasionally do get SJS.


For a long time now I have failed to understand why truck drivers have better FTL (or maybe it's DTL) than pilots. Pilot's have more responsibility than a truck driver and I mean no disrespect to the truck drivers, but when a pilot has 4 or 500 passengers and crew, plus freight plus a couple of hundred million dollars of aircraft that really is a tad more than a truck driver is responsible for. With all that to look after I cannot see the logic behind the beancounters risking it by continually pushing the envelope to extract yet more hours from the guy(s) who have to land the whole package safely in possibly marginal conditions at the end of the flight.


I have read about pilots falling asleep between the OM and the MM on approach. Surely if this was happening many years ago then what is really happening on the flight deck now with the increase of Duty and Flight Times? Do management really think it is cost effective to push the hours and then have to pay out when mistakes are made on landing or landing phase?


If the beancounter gets tired on the way home then he can pull his car over and stop at the side of the road to recover. Can't really do that when your aircraft's wheel are no longer on the ground. Also, why do the Regulators allow these excessive FTL to exist? Guess being fatigued isn't a safety factor for them to be concerned about.
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 21:24
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So if this indeed the case, the "roster" is not the legal document, any old tom dick or harry could make up any times they wanted, it would not be "illegal" as its only the roster i.e. it is not the "plan"
When issued with the "Flight Plan" it says "ATC Plan" so therefore that is, by definition "the plan".
What a load of twaddle, the roster IS the plan that crew have to work to, flight times are done using a standard aircraft speed and a company set head/tailwind bias, standard turnround times are then used to produce the roster, it is possible to use high speed cruise figures to reduce these times, but to reduce turnround times you would need to have good justification, and a non normal operation will rarely achieve better than standard turnrounds, this is where TCX got it wrong, they cut down on flight times and turnround without justification to fudge the duty.
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 22:37
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I say again the "roster" is not a "legal" document. Its nothing more than a "you report then and you go home then" timetable, The "flight plan" which is sent to ATC and is signed by PIC is the "legal" document. It is the "flight plan" that is required to be kept for inspection by the CAA not a roster.
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 22:53
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Once had a schedule given to me for a single sector within ftl just.
(Got changed after I pointed out the 76 couldn't do Mach 2)
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 00:26
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If that is the case onlythetruth, why then is there a legal requirement for the flight times used to produce the roster ? The flight times used must be achievable 80% of the time. Ie the company has to take account of the prevailing winds. Different XAA's may have different rules regarding the roster but your blanket statement doesn't apply everywhere that is for sure.
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 01:08
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If the beancounter gets tired on the way home then he can pull his car over and stop at the side of the road to recover.
The bean counter probably hasn't risen at 0345 and done 12 hours continuous work with no break and at an altitude of 7000ft.
Another thing to consider is the rate of processing required in the final 7 seconds of the work day. The bean counter probably doesn't notice if his rate of processing information is low because he never has to process X amount of information in seven seconds....or else.
Pilots know when they are slower at this than normal, most people don't because they just wander off to the kitchen to make a cup of tea if it is all getting a bit much.
I have driven trucks and only rarely was I required to process the quantity of information that I process on every landing. Normally it was when a car pulled out in front of me.
The reality is that if you are not a pilot then you probably don't understand what the job entails. How many pilots are involved in creating duty limitations and rosters?
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 08:54
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And how many scheduling officers and pilot managers actually know what it is like to do 5 earlies these days? Or work 6 on, 2 off? They might think they know, but management pilots last did regular flying 10 years ago. We see them maybe once a fortnight when they fly on one day only; just 2 short sectors and go home early for a long weekend. The scheduling people work 9-5.

Ditto, how many pilot managers do you see flying at weekends and Christmas?
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 09:56
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Have a look at what your local truck driver rest requirements are. Have a look at what ATC shifts are, and then compare them to the rules that govern our roles. We by necessity need to be at work longer on many routes, but there needs to be recognition of that through recovery time before heading off and doing it again. At my joint we can do five 12 hour multi sector shifts in a row that see our alarms going off at 03 something ( and getting home at about 7pm) and it is completely legal because the XAA has allowed individual companies to put forward the FRMS and they rubber stamp it. Where is the 8000ft cabin altitude taken into account? Or the inability to wander away from your seat? Where is the half hour break free of duty every five hours the truckies so rightly take?
The whole thing is a shambles. My favourite is when an operations staff member or manager says ' have a nice Christmas break' or ' how was your weekend? ' completely oblivious to the fact that we get one weekend a month which finishes late on the Friday and starts early on the Monday and get Christmas break off about once every five years.
Can you tell I'm jack of it?
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 11:07
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@framer,

Yes, I agree entirely with your sentiments. BUT
How many of us actually put in fatigue reports?
How many of us ring crewing and say we can't come to work today because we are fatigued?
How many of us have refused to go into discretion?
How hard are the Unions fighting fatigue?
How hard are the XAAs fighting fatigue?

A Cabin manager said to me "yes but if we put in a fatigue report it will show that we can't cope" EXACTLY !!

What are the Unions doing about weekend and Christmas working?
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 11:56
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Lets face it 99.99% of pilots are spineless on this matter. The union..well what have they done?...dropped this guy at the most import point for all of us...just before the Tribunal date. Thank God he won. But have the union used this to really tackle what we all know is going on?. well have they? Apart from a "bit of noise" in the press and radio, they have done nothing.

It will take a massive loss of life before the "lessons have been learned" rubbish is spouted. The public don't have a clue about the reality of the situation.

We all get the gleaming Jets, the gold braid, the looks from passengers as we walk through the terminal, but lets face it, as a group we are a pathetic bunch, frightened of our own shadows in case "the boss" turns against us for daring to claim we are not fit.

And here is a thought, every time you put in a fatigue report "post duty", you have just admitted you HAVE committed a criminal act.
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 12:07
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And how many scheduling officers and pilot managers actually know what it is like to do 5 earlies these days?

Over 30 years ago, when things were sometimes bad, before the got worse, I challenged rosterers & managers to work my summer roster in their offices. They would still have their comfy chairs, radios, internet, coffee machines. phones, space, social environment, lunch canteen with out side tables, sea level clean atmosphere and proper toilets, time to take a walk/bike ride and get some fresh air every couple of hours or lunchtime.
There were no takers. No attempt at understanding the question. No recognition there was a problem. It was quite simply a case of whinging pilots who were paid a handsome salary, did little work, got lots of time off and should be grateful that all the other workers busted their guts so the boys could play with their toys.
Then the hard-nosed bean counters took over, the FTL's stretched, the XAA's sided against the pilots and solid medical science, things got worse and money won. The pilots capitulated and here we are. It's a numbers game. Rosters are productivity generators. The CFO demands max value. The rostering dept has to deliver that within legal limits. The human factor might be the weakest link in the accident chain, but they are there to be pushed, and in a vocation it is easy to do.
Perhaps the tide is just starting to turn, slowly.
But I would still challenge, very publicly, various XAA chiefs to work an EASA block roster in their office. I would also challenge a chief medical officer to fly an EASA block roster in the cockpit. After that let's see what their opinions are, and their families.
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 13:26
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And here is a thought, every time you put in a fatigue report "post duty", you have just admitted you HAVE committed a criminal act.
That is simply not true under EASA. By stating it you may very well have dissuaded the hesitant from filing a fatigue form.
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 13:41
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And here is a thought, every time you put in a fatigue report "post duty", you have just admitted you HAVE committed a criminal act.
Wrong. That would only apply if you said you were fatigued before flying but got on and flew anyway. I have filed reports when I became fatigued before TOD, although I felt OK before push-back. The fatigue report (at least ours) includes a section to report how you mitigated in-flight fatigue. Drank coffee, ate food, took controlled rest, etc.

If you feel fatigued during the cruise, on approach or taxiing in, or in the crew bus, you should report it.

But we must put the reports in otherwise our companies will think - and be able to "prove" - that their rostering is not causing any fatigue, or that heavy crews are not necessary, or 6 on 2 off rosters or 900 hours a year are sustainable etc. Pilots have a duty to their fellow pilots to put reports in.

If more than 50% of pilots were reporting fatigue, then something would have to be done.
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 14:35
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Not sure what the need for the flight plan has to do with it. Has the schedule the Commander showed up for been published. That's really all that is needed. Any Charter Pilot will then tell us if the block times are kosher (the turn round of 45-60 mins).
I guess the other question is what are the implications now for TC crews in the future. On the same flight next season will a extra crew be sent down to operate the last sector (on the aircraft even?). Will the crew that Pax back on the last leg say "i'd rather operate" than sit down the back with the punters.....
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Old 19th Dec 2016, 16:06
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Twigglet

Well I am sure the flights will be on a "schedule" for the season as I doubt they will be "one offs". At least for the first and the last sector. , so if the roster shows flight times the same as the schedule for the season, all is good. If its less then, whoops, I can see knocks on the door.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 10:33
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Only
Yep understood.
There must be a few TC commuters that live just past the 90 minutes (normal for Airlines) re-thinking their standby call out policy.
If a crew member gets called out from standby and is late because they live 2 hours away and claims he/she can normally do it in 90 mins.....

Now Me Lord what about these bent traffic routes and your average speed over 70 mph.
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