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EASA FTLs after a short time in. Do you feel worse, better or no change?

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EASA FTLs after a short time in. Do you feel worse, better or no change?

Old 11th Sep 2016, 11:35
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EASA FTLs after a short time in. Do you feel worse, better or no change?

I read a medical pilot study on fatigue pre EASA and it highlighted how little study has been done on the matter.

EASA flight times have been in a short while. How are you finding them so far?Do you feel worse? Or do you feel better and more rested? Does it work for you? Does it work for your operation? Long haul and short haul.
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Old 11th Sep 2016, 13:28
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Long haul, and no, in my opinion they do not work. They take no account of nights out of your bed, and instead work on time zone changes/acclimatisation. In my opinion they were designed by someone who has never done the job, but is most likely someone who travelled with work a lot and found jet lag the main problem. Some of the most tiring trips generate the least time off, and some less tiring trips generate a larger requirement for time off.
Add to that the lack of flexibility and people now have a lot less control in terms of being able to have a roster that works for them.
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Old 11th Sep 2016, 13:44
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Short haul. Worse. We aren't even working to full EASA yet and the much extended earlies are generating more fatigue reports than before. The reduction of rest accrual for standby call outs is creating extremely long duties. 18/21hours with only 12 hours rest and 4 sector late call outs from 0330 local standby.

All legal
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Old 11th Sep 2016, 13:58
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FTL's are so theoretical, based on many diverse opinions. When a new product is brought to the market there is much market research, much customer surveys, much testing in situ.
In previous flying lives, when in discussion/disagreement about rostering practices and FTL's with the DFO or usually financial director, and being fed up of the headache caused by banging my head against the wall, I challenged any manager to work my short-haul roster for 2 weeks. This was allowing for the case that they had a comfy air-conditioned office, a telephone, radio, TV, internet, lunch break, space to walk about, different people to converse with, various challenges to keep them alert, and a coffee lounge to relax as required. After they had worked 5 earlies & 5 lates, including weekends, then I would consider their opinion about my working life-style. All refused.
What was also never taken into account was the balance in work & social life. The time spent away from home had no compensation in time allowed at home. Work was to FTL's and days away had no 'balance factor' allowed for in days off at home.
So, I wonder, if these new improved (for whom) EASA FTL's were flight tested by anyone who devised them? I doubt it. When you consider the testing program necessary to certify an a/c, and when you consider that the greatest cause of incidents/accidents is human error, sometime the crew, how on earth can the weakest link be subjected to untested uncertified opinionated (by ignorant financially driven muppets) working conditions? ABSURD!
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Old 11th Sep 2016, 16:55
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Better. Not much, but the EASA FTL do have some improvements over the EU OPS FTL we had to use beforehand. And much much better than the old german national rules.

The biggest downside is that the whole framework is nor available in one single document and is therefore much more difficult to read and understand. Due to my union work i have to work a lot with them, but my normal line colleagues have a much harder time understanding them.
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Old 11th Sep 2016, 17:48
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The answers will no doubt vary as there was no standard reference point prior, some were on sub part Q, come caa cap371 etc etc.

I have to say comparing to 371 and on shorthaul I think worse personally, the so called fatigue mitigation that employers have to implement seems to be on very varying levels of what satisfies "mitigated" !

EASA FTL's was allegedly to be a big enhancement for many pilots who were subpart Q before (hence why M'OL was on the record opposing them (as Balpa was), for uk operators I personally feel it was a dilution to cap371 (which wasn't perfect) but hey ho......

I'm yet to see any serious "fatigue mitigation" taking place rather than lip service to it, but what do the CAA care, so long as they get their cheque from the operators !

No limit on discretion once airborne on the last sector is just madness !
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 08:27
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Long haul, and no, in my opinion they do not work. They take no account of nights out of your bed, and instead work on time zone changes/acclimatisation. In my opinion they were designed by someone who has never done the job, but is most likely someone who travelled with work a lot and found jet lag the main problem. Some of the most tiring trips generate the least time off, and some less tiring trips generate a larger requirement for time off.
Add to that the lack of flexibility and people now have a lot less control in terms of being able to have a roster that works for them.
Pretty much what Iíve found.

Itís absurd that if I operate to say, Boston from LHR during the day and return the next day after a natural nightís sleep, I have to take two local nights rest. If I fly LHR to Angola and back (two much longer flights both at night), there is zero requirement for any rest and I can do them continuously with no break apart from two lots of two days off during the month. By the third rotation I would be lethal.

From where I sit the new regulations, especially some of the two-crew limits, are setting people up for disastrous fatigue levels. Who cares what time zone the airports are in, itís the nature of the flying that causes the problems.
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 09:50
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Fortunately I'm not subjected to FTL's anymore. I ask a question for information. In old CAP371 there was an allowance for time zone changes and a provision of local nights to acclimatise etc. Jet lag was a known phenomenon. Days off down tour + days off on return. However, at home short-haul we used to do 'creeping rosters': i.e early starts and over 6 days creeping towards night flights. Everyday a disruptive sleep/eat pattern. By day 4 I was struggling to be ready to fly as my report time had slipped to 18.00 after a 09.00 wake up. On day 5 my go to bed time was 06.00 and report 21.00 with a 09.00 return then drive home. I felt worse than jet-lagged and only required 2 days 3 local nights to be 'fit again' for another launch.
Do these daft rosters still exist and are they still possible? Fatigue mitigation sounds a fancy/poncey get out of jail thingy for rostering. "yes of course we have a plan in force" as XAA ticks the approval box.
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 10:38
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Short haul. Better, I just go fatigued a lot.

Anyone who says it's worse isn't using the system as they should.
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 20:58
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We used to have a lot of "short night" layovers leaving in the evening, sleeping for 3-6 hours and then returning in the morning.

Common opinion was that these were easier when you had a longer night in the hotel, i.e. 5 hours in the hotel would be easier than 3.

Under the new EASA rules the "longer" of these are no longer legal as the clock keeps ticking and you only get a 50% relief for the break time spent in a hotel.

The "short" ones with only a bit over three hours are still legal while the longer ones had to be re-rostered.


I don't fly long-haul but we got in-flight rest on some legs that did not require it before.
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Old 13th Sep 2016, 03:40
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Long Haul - better than 371 which had you un acclimatised as soon as you ended up somewhere over three TZ away. More difficult to calculate though.
FDP pretty similar to 371 except for early starts where longer FDP available
Discretion is less than 371 I get your point xollob but why divert to an airfield you have never been to, with marginal weather when destination is 15 mins away and wide open just to keel legal. The rules do say when airborne.
The only area where pilots do lose out is when they sell days off. Under 371 this often resulted in a stash of cash plus more days off to meet 1 in 7, 2 in 14. Now with ERRP this doesn't always mean they get days off as well so can end up working a stint.
But as we know fatigue goes out the window when £££ involved
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Old 13th Sep 2016, 07:40
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LH - fine until the wheels come off.

Had three long delays (one tech, two diversion) under EASA. All three were ex-London 17+ hour duties before discretion, but because we had Class 1 rest facilities, that makes everything ok. There's an assumption that we sleep the second we go in the bunk - if only that were the case.
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Old 13th Sep 2016, 08:15
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For my part on LH I find them wide of the mark for the exact reasons "I'm off" and "full wings" stated.

Feeling they were designed in a room that had a mixture of commercial pressure from operators with silent regulators playing yes men and compliant psychologists who've never worked shift reversals coming up with what the pay masters want to hear. No account has clearly been taken of what the long term damage is to a human doing this for decades. Doesn't matter as all they're interested in is "fatigue". When people fall off their perch in the 40s/50s/ 60s because of diabetes, cancers, psychological ill and heart problems they'll put these down as outliers and not related.

Fascinating reading.
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Old 13th Sep 2016, 11:29
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For my part on LH I find them wide of the mark for the exact reasons "I'm off" and "full wings" stated.
Likeswise..as has been pointed out, but nevertheless worth restating:

Day flight out to JFK/BOS, then GMT nights sleep, then daylight flight back arriving evening UK time = most peoples's idea of 2 normal days at work, but EASA then demand two local nights off.

OTOH night flight to Africa, try to sleep UK daytime, night flight back to UK - one night off in UK, wash rinse and repeat almost ad infinitum.

Where on earth is the logic or scientific research that led to that?
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Old 13th Sep 2016, 13:41
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But as we know fatigue goes out the window when £££ involved

IMHO that has been refuted on many occasions over the past few years. Many pilots fought for better lifestyle than bigger wallets. Often they didn't achieve either.
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Old 13th Sep 2016, 14:51
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Fatigue report, fatigue report, fatigue report.

You have do do it else nothing will change.



I was told the regs were dreamt up by some sleep expert, some medic, from Brussels who has never been an airline pilot.
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Old 13th Sep 2016, 17:16
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RAT5
Its a classic line though. Its a bit like in the 1980" s when Britannia crews were in dispute and working to rule. No use of discretion. Until Christmas eve came along and all of a sudden. Not even sure it was true but these myths hang around with those of us that deal with that strange group called pilots
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Old 14th Sep 2016, 06:03
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Originally Posted by Mr Angry from Purley View Post
RAT5
Its a classic line though. Its a bit like in the 1980" s when Britannia crews were in dispute and working to rule. No use of discretion. Until Christmas eve came along and all of a sudden. Not even sure it was true but these myths hang around with those of us that deal with that strange group called pilots
Whilst that might have been true "back in the day" of lighter rosters these days given the increasing number of part time pilots our company's schedulers have to deal with I doubt £s are the driving force they used to be.

Many people I know are actually taking a pay cut to try and regain some control over their lives.

Last edited by wiggy; 14th Sep 2016 at 07:57.
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Old 14th Sep 2016, 07:38
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OTOH night flight to Africa, try to sleep UK daytime, night flight back to UK - one night off in UK, wash rinse and repeat almost ad infinitum.

Where on earth is the logic or scientific research that led to that?
Trouble is, there doesnít appear to be any. I have yet to see any published, peer reviewed science that in any way points in that direction.

At 0459 you can do 11hrs and by 0530 you can do 12.5. What good luck that things turned out that way for Ryan/Easy, etc.
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