What should be done to reduce commercial airline pilot fatigue? Are pilots work hours too long?

October 20, 2008

USA today;
The NTSB has for two decades called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to tighten restrictions on how many hours pilots can work each day. Airline crews can work up to 16 hours a day, possibly more if a flight is delayed. Research by the NTSB and others shows sharply higher risks of pilot mistakes and accidents after long shifts or periods without normal sleep.

The FAA has tried several times to revise pilot work rules since the 1990s, but the efforts failed each time under opposition from airlines and pilot unions.

Airlines recognize that tired pilots are not effective and have devoted considerable resources to the issue, said Basil Barimo, vice president of operations and safety at the Air Transport Association, the carriers' Washington trade group. In recent years, most carriers have boosted fatigue training and strengthened policies allowing pilots to decline to fly if they feel tired, Barimo said.

Frontier Airlines acknowledged Wednesday that two of its pilots fell asleep on a 2004 red-eye flight from Baltimore to Denver. One pilot awoke to "frantic calls" from a controller, according to a report on the incident in the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System.

The NASA system contains 750 incidents since 2003 in which aviation workers cited fatigue-related incidents. Pilots were involved in 650 of those cases. USA TODAY also found four additional cases in which pilots reported falling asleep. None caused an accident.

This whole question, and all the responses display the exact problem in commercial aviation today. There is not a lack or pilots, there is a shortage of pilots who want to work for 21000 a year. Pilots do NOT get enough rest and the problem rests directly on the FAA. For most domestic commercial pilots, the FAA requires you must receive 9 hours of rest for a normal day, seems fair enough. That is, until you consider that this 'rest' begins 15 minutes after you arrive at the gate, and lasts until you duty in the next morning, often times 45 min before your first flight. So let's assume that we leave the plane 15 min after arriving at the gate, usually takes more like 25 min, and then walk to wait for the shuttle. The shuttle is almost never there and we waste another 30 min waiting for it. We'll assume for this scenario, that the hotel is close to the airport and say 10 min, although in reality in traffic, bad weather, or many other factors it usually takes much longer. By the time we get to the hotel we have already used 40 minutes of our 'rest' and we still have not checked in. Checking in and possibly eating dinner takes another 45 min, so now our 9 hours is down to 7.5. By the time you go to bed and finally get to sleep, it is probably an hour later. Now we need to arrive at the airport 45 min before flight, so we can duty in on time, this puts us leaving the hotel 15 min before then. Most hotels only run their vans every 30 min, so we must conform to their schedule, this puts us downstairs, on the van 75 min prior to departure. Keep in mind, this is all 'rest'. In this example, the pilot only got 6 hours of rest and didn't even get a chance to get breakfast. Real world conditions occur which reduce the rest even further. This whole scenario was predicated on the pilot given normal rest of 9 hours, did you know that the company can actually reduce that rest to 8 hours? How much sleep do you think the pilot is getting then?

Also, those of you who think pilots are overpaid, I bet you didn't take a 50% paycut after 9/11, and I bet the average salary for your position has risen over the past 20 years. Not so for pilots. People always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence…..

Edit: Oh ya, I forgot, now imagine flying a plane with 100 people in the back at 140 kt down to 200 ft above the ground because that is where you finally break out of the clouds. Ya, pilots are definitely overpaid…..

Which is the best flying school in the U.S. as per DGCA standards for Indian students?

October 20, 2008

My dream is to be a Commercial Pilot. Confused about the various U.S schools and related querries. Had shortlisted Epic Flight Academy, Florida but seems too expensive and quite over-crowded. Wud it be worth the price? How about RAA, Voyageur, Orlando Flight Academy, Ariben? Which of these would be the best bet in terms of training, fleet & the fee structure? Is it advisable to attend ground school classes prior to enrolling in a flight school? Which are the best ground school classes conducted in India to prepare for the DGCA conversion exams after obtaining a FAA licence? In the present fuel scenario, is flying a good career choice? How good are job prospects? Would really appreciate and be grateful for interaction with pilots who have been in my shoes sometime and assistance & advice would go a very long way in helping me live my dream, for which help I shall eternally be grateful. Help me please…

I recently found this contest that lets people try their dream job for a day you should enter and you can try being a pilot and get some good connections!


Logbook errors/corrections?

October 20, 2008

I have found several errors in my logbook from very early on in my training (some of the earliest entries) where the instructor omitted a line item or two and where I accidentally counted several flights as cross-country that were less than 50 NM. I know that it is legal to log most flights as x-country even if it's under 50 NM but since it can't be applied towards ratings, I don't want it in my book.

The errors do not affect my ratings as I would have still been perfectly legal even with these corrections noted but I hate having to white so many "Totals" lines on my logbook pages making it look rather sloppy and unprofessional. Is there an appropriate method of trying to correct these, and will it be accepted by the FAA or the airlines this way? What are your sources please! Thank you!

There's no one way to fix this. The only thing that I've heard is that you don't want to write-out entries from your log book. Not that that is illegal (there aren't any regulations against or for this!) but if the FAA wants to see your log book, if there are white-outs, it's looks "funny."

My first log book also has errors (none of which would affect my licenses and ratings). The easiest thing to do is to put a line through the entry/entries and fix it/them.

Alternatively, if you use an e-logbook (like Safelog — which, by the way, is superb!!!), then you can "remove" those entries there.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

For a Cessna 340, which cruise speed abt 230 knot, can I fly it and maintain at 120 knot? What is the effect?

October 20, 2008

I need to fly it at this speed for aerial photography.

Yes, but be aware that at that speed the controls are liable to be rather floppy, as the stall speed is 71 knots (airspeed not groundspeed, remember).

Why do Cessna 172 SP aircraft tires have inter tubes?

October 20, 2008

I believe all Cessna single engine aircraft have tires with inter tubes. Why not tubeless tires?

general aviation aircraft have split wheels, tubes must be used. The tube is placed in the tire when changing then the wheel half's are pushed into place then bolted together. Air or nitrogen is then used to bring the tire pressure to specification.

Speed change with throttle change in a 152 Cessna.?

October 20, 2008

If your flying a 152 Cessna that is trimmed for level flight at cruise speed and you do nothing other than reduce power to idle, will your speed change and why.
Yes the airspeed does increase slightly. The question now is why?

Actually, your airspeed will increase.

Even if you take out the pitch oscillations with the yoke but don't touch the trim, the aircraft will settle down at a slightly higher airspeed than before.

If you don't believe me try it out for yourselves. You might be surprised!

closest airport to surprize,arizona?

October 20, 2008

that would be the glendale airport-but it's for private plane use only….

the only airport that is closest to surprise for traveling is sky harbor airport in downtown phoenix-roughly about 30mins east of surprise….

If I'm flying from Arizona to Eastman Ga what would b the closest airport to Eastman Ga?

October 20, 2008

Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport is the closest major airport.

i have a friend who wants to travel and see me, the problem is she is on parole in arizona.?

October 20, 2008

Just wanting to know if she can travel(fly) without being stopped at the airport. Do they have that type of thing at the airport? She is flying out of Phoenix, Arizona.

Assuming you're in the USA also, they don't ask people such questions. If it's an international flight then, yeah, it could be a problem. Most countries reserve the right to refuse entry to people with a criminal record.

The bigger question could be what are the terms of your friend's parole. I would assume she has to check in with her parole officer before traveling out of state.

Helo flight trainer – IMC HEMS mission Part.2

October 20, 2008

Intervention primaire AS355 seconde partie.

Duration : 0:7:47

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