Safety, CRM, QA & Emergency Response Planning A wide ranging forum for issues facing Aviation Professionals and Academics

Pilot fatigue...a victory, of sorts

Old 22nd Jan 2017, 08:59
  #141 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 41S174E
Age: 57
Posts: 3,139
Received 538 Likes on 151 Posts
Fly while fatigued and you are a criminal / don't fly when potentially fatigued and you get sacked.

Not much wriggle room on this subject, is there??
That is probably the best summation of the situation I have ever read.
framer is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 12:03
  #142 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Not Aviation House
Posts: 729
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 6 Posts
The other thing to consider here is that this is not a case of whinging pilots.

Why?

1) FTL's are laid down by regulation, and are legally binding.

2) In the example of the case in question, we are talking about an operator rostering a duty of over 12 1/2 hours. That could mean 12 1/2 hours with no break.

3) I do not know the circumstances of the duty, but most very long duties either involve getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning in order to get to work; or coming in later and finishing in the wee small hours of the morning. This in itself is fatiguing, even before you consider the length of duty.

4) Before anyone 'complains' there is typically a sequence of several of these duties, with a resultant build-up of fatigue. This was the case here.

5) A good pilot, and certainly a good Captain is employed to avoid or reduce risk to safety. It is what a pilot is ultimately there to do. Whilst there always some risk in doing anything other than parking the aircraft up, we are not trained to be gun-ho. We are trained and learn to look ahead, predict and assess risks, and then do 'something' about it. To not 'do something' about it is potentially criminal.

6) We are required BY LAW to report safety concerns and violations.

7) If you do not report certain safety issues, you are potentially behaving in a criminal manner.

A solution?

Perhaps any systemic safety concern should be duplicated at source, with a copy going to the regulator. If the operator than "shoots the messenger", there is an instant trace, which the regulator would be obliged to stamp out.

E.g. A clear beech of Public Interest Disclosure - and detriment is automatically illegal.

At least this would make operators stop and think before they sanction the very people who make air transport safe: pilots.
Fire and brimstone is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 12:47
  #143 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 3,110
Received 107 Likes on 40 Posts
F&B,

All very good, but we have no regulator. The airlines pay vast sums to the regulator, who then in turn work hard to find ways to work round the legislation issued by EASA.

The operators want us to work harder and longer, and the regulator wants a happy operator.

The public are happy, because they believe that the regulator is strict, conservative and powerful.

It leaves us all on our own.
HundredPercentPlease is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 15:08
  #144 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The public are happy, because they believe that the regulator is strict, conservative and powerful.

That is indeed the case, and in many other industries also. The public are then rightly horrified, "how could that be allowed to happen?" after an accident: be it transport or a power station. The public have blind faith in the authorities because they are in ignorance and the authorities blow their own trumpets about how 'on the ball' they are in over sight and regulation. I think events at The Met one the past few years have shown the truth of that naivety. If it can happen there is can certainly happen in the 'old boys club' of other authorities.
During 35 years of operation under 4 different XAA's I've seen just how flexible and blind eyed they can be with the operators: until I forget a signature some flight paperwork or other and then the wroth of almighty descends in a torrent of tut tut!
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2017, 15:36
  #145 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Not Aviation House
Posts: 729
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 6 Posts
100%Please

We are not on our own, as you say, although I think your sentiment is spot on.

Go to court, if you have 'done the right thing', and you will win your case, as the law is quite clear.

The difficult bit is the small matter of what happens between making a safety disclosure and winning the court case, which is why most people will keep their mouths shut.

In an ideal world, ones union would make the appropriate legal representations - if necessary, all the way up to parliament. It is fair to comment that they have had the chances to do this and choose not to.

In many cases of common law, at the point a crime is being committed, you can shout "unfair" and something is done at that point. You should not have to wait until you are hung, drawn and quartered before the law is invoked. It seems in aviation, that is what has to happen before you can then invoke the law i.e. when you are potentially sad, alone, without a job, and with rather less funds to fight a legal battle.

What I am suggesting is a system when you have made a safety disclosure, and at the point you are placed on a disciplinary (or otherwise treated unfairly), you can invoke the law at that point.

You can argue this is no different from any of life's unfair situations.

You can also very well argue that so may peoples lives are at potential risk, that to not have such a system is, well, 'criminal' in itself.

We have whistleblowing systems in place - make them damn well work?
Fire and brimstone is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2017, 12:19
  #146 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Where it's warm
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It will be interesting to find out if this guy did go to the CAA with the details. Does anyone know? I can't believe the he would not have done. If he did, then, having looked at the judgement I can not see a single reason the CAA would not have Thomas Cook bang to rights. It is clear that BALPA dropped legal support for him at court, have the CAA let him down as well? If they have, I cant see any view other than those charged with protecting the pilots, cabin crew and public have acted totally irresponsibly. The big unanswered question is ......why?
onlythetruth is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2017, 12:46
  #147 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is clear that BALPA dropped legal support for him at court,

There may be more to this than this simple statement. However, many yeas ago in a dispute with my employer, BALPA were hesitant about coming forwards in support. I was an individual member and it was a constructive dismissal claim. BALPA was trying to recruit within the company. What better advertisement than to show their teeth to potential new members. Sadly half those teeth were missing and the remaining were filed blunt. In the end the company paid a small settlement with no admission of anything.

I'm not a member and retired anyway, but how would members raise a vote of no-confidence if it is shown that support of a member was withdrawn in a case where he won. Just what is 1% for? So what is the truth behind the above statement?
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 07:39
  #148 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Unknown
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Exactly - and what does it say about Thomas Cook if they continue to employ those named in the tribunal such as the Chief Pilot and DFO, surely they must be suspended pending an investigation?
Club World is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 10:32
  #149 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Not Aviation House
Posts: 729
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 6 Posts
If you are able to read the result of the 'remedy hearing' you might get an idea.

E.g. Whether the company actually broke the law / actions the court requires them to take / reprimands, etc, etc.

This may not be in the public domain, although as it is not an out of court settlement, it usually finds its way into the press.

What is important is a precedent is set that can be quoted in subsequent cases of this nature i.e. the ruling becomes case law.
Fire and brimstone is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 11:01
  #150 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Unknown
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That is true but there are many unanswered questions, one is how and who calculated the planned FDP?

The company 'accepts' the tribunal decision, they said sorry to the pilot concern, they then alledge there was a dispute between him and his manager, the pilot concerned reported he 'is' fatique, his professional judgment was questioned by his manager who accused him of lying.

This has cause the company negative PR, it is no secret that those managers concerned are not trusted within the pilot community, the top senior mangers (CEO) knows that, so the question remains why are they still there?

If they are left there, there is without doubt they will do it again, this becomes a public safety issue.
Club World is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 11:13
  #151 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Where it's warm
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I understand there was an out of court settlement, with Thomas Cook accepting the findings of the Tribunal. But the details of that will no doubt be confidential. As I read it the 'Tribunal' only deal with the 'employment' aspect of the case, not the 'legality' of if a FDP was legal or not or the ANO breach aspect of it. Although reading through it the Judge thought this guy was right tor he would not have won on both aspects. So the next thing is, if it was illegal, and the details would tend to show it was, has the CAA become involved? because if they haven't then I think that tells us all something we have suspected for years. Would not like to have been anyone involved at the company or the CAA when the inevitable smouldering heap at the end of the runway occurs irrespective of which airline.
onlythetruth is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 13:07
  #152 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Anywhere
Posts: 79
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
And we laugh about the XAA of a Banana Republic being in bed with their airlines...
MonarchOrBust is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 18:18
  #153 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Centre of Universe
Posts: 376
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OTR
The CAA (and the Company) will audit the FTL as part of normal compliance process. This is done normally to look for trends e.g. XXX-BBB-XXX flight runs seasonally and discretion was xx %. If its over 25% (might be 33%) then remedial action will need to be put in place, at the very least in time for next season. Airlines don't in general "tweak" the schedules because of On Time Perf and the risk that a bent block/schedule will impact it / slots / EU delay comp rules etc - This is unlike the old days when it was more common practice.
The issue is this schedule was a one off so harder to look for unless the CAA had the Company under closer scrutiny from previous audits. In this case they might have well unearthed it.
From my knowledge of TC their employees including Pilots they are no where in this bracket and it may have been a simple case of someone trying to do their best. Yes the schedule was unrealistic but how many times do you work to the max at TC - not when your going to PMI and back.
It then snowballed into us v them which is a great shame.
Twiglet1 is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 19:51
  #154 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hotel Sheets, Downtown Plunketville
Age: 77
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"lt appears likely, from the evidence of the respondent's witnesses, that the decision to suspend the claimant and the formulation of the allegation was made by Jo Smith on advice from HR. " Quote from the ET judgement.
So to my sort of reading and understanding the blame for the monumental cock up is down to HR.
Don`t know much about HR, must be some kind of new invention, like PC`s,tablets and things, not all that common in my days. But from little I know about it, sounds very much like a bunch of busy business things trotting around dishing out gems on how to get rid of non- resource human types. I wonder do they carry stethoscopes round the neck and a mirror with a little lamp on their heads when they are doing their rounds.
Chronus is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 20:50
  #155 (permalink)  

"Mildly" Eccentric Stardriver
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: England
Age: 77
Posts: 4,191
Received 260 Likes on 83 Posts
I can remember an HR type once saying "we don't consider crews to be an asset, because we can't sell them at a profit". I guess you'd be better off as a slave.
Herod is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2017, 22:15
  #156 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mosquitoville
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's a rather fuzzy memory, but didn't Rolls actually claim part of their workforce as an asset before their bankruptcy/bailout. The issue that was pointed out to them was that the asset can deduct itself from the balance sheet with little or no warning.
Sorry Dog is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2017, 08:45
  #157 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can remember an HR type once saying "we don't consider crews to be an asset

That BS would guarantee you a humongous FAIL on any quality management course. If that attitude is in any HR person, or financial person, they should be out the door PDQ.

Sadly, over 35 years of varied experience I am not surprised by such attitudes. It was not uncommon for HR people to be the first to clock off at 17.00 after they had just berated a pilot for: e.g. refusing to use discretion to extend their 13hr day; refusing to come in on their day off at a weekend; been sick too often at inconvenient times etc. etc.
And this from muppets who were young enough to be your kids and had only been in the dept for a few months, while you'd been saving there for years.
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2017, 19:05
  #158 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hotel Sheets, Downtown Plunketville
Age: 77
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It has been said by many, time and time again. The pilot is the last line of defence against accidents. Only he /she can change the outcome when all else has failed. Captain Simkins` case highlights this. His best efforts to ensure the paramount matter of safety and the very fact that he was acting conscious of his role as such. That in the event of need, a state of fatigue would render him unfit to act as the last line of defence. This, his sole motive led to an accusation of dishonesty and rebelliousness against the unquestionable authority of management. If I recall correctly the HR person was unable to attend the hearing and give evidence, because of illness. Please do correct me if I am wrong.
Chronus is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2017, 19:58
  #159 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cronus: Agree. I've said it many times, and Air Crash Investigation has confirmed it, that the pilots are the last insurance policy. When it's called upon to pay out the pax AND company expect it to do so. Sadly the company often tie one arm behind your back. Firstly the current basic training is inadequate to handle 'out of the box' scenarios: and rostering often leaves you semi-incapcatiated to think straight when even the simplest deviation from ideal occurs. If the deviation is more challenging, watch out and hang on.
Combine a scenario where you're tired and not trained for it and the outcome will be tragic. But hey; technology has advanced to make that most unlikely. The same can be said about your house burning down, but people still buy smoke sensors and insurance.
Look at the accidents; and unless the wing or rudder falls off there are many slices of cheese in the flight deck to taste.
Having said that, about engineering & bits falling off, the root cause of the Atlantic Glider A330 began in the hangar and was money related. Now there's a surprise!
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2017, 09:33
  #160 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Not Aviation House
Posts: 729
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 6 Posts
There still seems to be a major issue with the safety information being disseminated to the people who need to know. (Whether they then do anything with the information is a separate - and also massive issue).

Have you ever tried to get an operator to MOR an event?

I've only done this a few times - WHEN I THINK IT IS IF SIGNIFICANT IMPORTANCE. Each and every time the operator refuses. Assorted reasons are usually given, typically challenging the importance of your report. It is simply a form of controlling safety data. I should not be surprised by this - given the case we have discussed in the previous pages. It still sends a shiver down my spine when a company refuses to forward safety data to the regulator.

Put simply it is extreme and literal example of operators trying to silence the safety concerns of pilots.

The safety reports NOT getting through is the cause of the major accidents and scandals which brought forward whistleblowing statutes in the first place. The NHS, Piper Alpha, etc. Have we not learned the lessons from misery and deaths that have been caused.

Companies and regulators have to listen to the front line staff for a safety system to operate efficiently. Yet they are expending energy actively telling us to 'shut up' and go away. How can a regulator listen to a company manager in preference to receiving a safety report. Do they understand what a 'vested interest' is??

The sad thing is: we all know this is going on. Hundreds have proof, thousands have deep felt reservations and suspect wrong doing. There have been numerous court cases.

Does it take that hull loss to change things?

A big investigation to find peoples safety concerns were crushed and silenced?
Fire and brimstone is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.