Affecting professional airline pilots: especially our local UPS contingent.
The FAA will host a stakeholders conference call prior to the release of the Flight Time/Duty Time (FT/DT ) rules.
“The effort was revived after the February 2009 crash of a regional airliner near Buffalo, N.Y., killing all 49 people aboard and a man on the ground. An NTSB investigation found that both pilots were probably suffering from fatigue.
Neither pilot appeared to have slept in a bed the previous night. The flight’s captain had logged onto a computer in the middle of the night from an airport crew lounge where sleeping was discouraged. The first officer had commuted overnight from Seattle to Newark, N.J., much of the time sitting in a cockpit jumpseat. They could be heard yawning on the ill-fated flight’s cockpit voice recorder.” ~ Washington Post
The Coalition of Airline Pilots represents over 28,000 professional airline pilots. CAPA is hoping the FAA will stand for the “one level of safety” for all professional pilots, but forecasts that the new Flight Time/Duty Time Rules may only apply to passenger airline pilots.
Some industry heads have been battling the new rules for cargo pilots citing the costs over safety.
This position is a misnomer in that no matter what you are transporting, humans or boxes, a human pilot is still flying the aircraft equipment. Period.
To say there is a difference in piloting is political gerrymandering by those affected by the costs of operation and their greed.
Follow breaking news on : @CAPApilots
CAPA is a trade association comprised of over 28,000 professional pilots. CAPA’s purpose is to address safety, security, legislative and regulatory issues affecting the professional flight deck crew member on matters of common interest to the individual member unions. The five members of CAPA are: Allied Pilots Association (American Airlines), Independent Pilots Association (UPS), Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (Southwest Airlines), Teamsters Local 1224 (Horizon Air, Southern Air, ABX Air, Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo, Atlas Worldwide, Kalitta Air, Cape Air, Miami Air, Gulfstream Air, Omni Air and USA 3000), and US Airline Pilots Association (US Airways).
To read more about FT/DT go here:
Form the Washington Post:
A study point: FATIGUE AND FLIGHT OPERATIONS
By Dr Samuel Strauss
Fatigue is a threat to aviation safety because of the impairments in alertness and performance it creates. “Fatigue” is defined as “a non-pathologic state resulting in a decreased ability to maintain function or workload due to mental or physical stress.” The term used to describe a range of experiences from sleepy, or tired, to exhausted. There are two major physiological phenomena that have been demonstrated to create fatigue: sleep loss and circadian rhythm disruption. Fatigue is a normal response to many conditions common to flight operations because of sleep loss, shift work, and long duty cycles. It has significant physiological and performance consequences because it is essential that all flight crewmembers remain alert and contribute to flight safety by their actions, observations and communications. The only effective treatment for fatigue is adequate sleep.
CAPA’s position is outlined here:
From the Website CAPA Talking Points:
Flight Time/Duty Time (FT/DT)
The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA), representing over 28,000 commercial airline pilots, would like to recommend a number of modifications to the current FAA “NPRM for Flight Time/Duty Time (FT/DT)” as currently proposed. The FAA has recently been charged by Congress and the Administration to develop a set of comprehensive new rules utilizing the best available science, which would reduce the risks associated with fatigue, along with the hazards it presents to the safe conduct of commercial airline flight operations.
These changes are long overdue and indeed several provisions within the current proposal actually run counter to intuition and common sense. In some cases and under certain conditions, the new regulations would actually increase the number of hours flown in a given period from current levels; others would reduce the quality and frequency of rest periods available to a working pilot.
The following represent CAPA’s suggestions to the areas where improvement or modifications be made to the NPRM:
1. One Level of Safety for all commercial flight operations. We applaud the FAA’s willingness to apply the same rules to all air passenger and cargo operators. CAPA is pleased to see that this NPRM recognizes that pilots are human beings and all are subject to the same biological principles and share the same airspace. It is imperative to resist efforts to carve out special rules based on business models rather than fatigue science.
2. Block Hour limit: CAPA appreciates the recognition by the FAA that the current practice of utilizing a basic maximum daily limit of 8-hours at the flight controls is unrealistic. Because it only applies to the scheduled flight sequence, it frequently
CAPA does not support any form of “cut-out” or waiving of regulatory
language for certain types of operations.
Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations: Talking Points “FAA NPRM FT/DT”leads to flights actually exceeding the 8-hour limit and results in operations that can lead to fatigue. The proposed “hard” limit on the actual or planned flight is a great step forward.
However, under the current proposal: a. The maximum allowable block hour limit is increased to 10 hours. This
represents a 25% increase in flying over the current FAA maximums.
b. The weekly limit of “30 hours flying in 7 days” is eliminated. The weekly limit is now based on duty periods and could result in up to 50 flight hours per week.
c. There is no scientific data to support to show that increasing flight hours worked will reduce fatigue. Common sense would suggest these increases would only increase the risk of fatigue.
3. Rest: The NPRM proposes 9 hours as the minimum break after a full day of flying for both domestic and international flying.
a. 9 hours – even at the rest facility – does not provide the opportunity for 8 hours of sleep; to say nothing of nutrition and exercise.
b. The NPRM would allow for a 44% reduction of rest for international long-haul flying; ignoring the fatigue affects of multiple time zone/longitudinal changes.
4. Augmentation: This NPRM increases the amount of time that can be flown without a relief pilot or with a single relief pilot. The NPRM also allows for the degradation of the current crew rest seat/bunk requirements. This new change would increase fatigue on long-haul international flights.
CAPA supports a “hard” limit of 8 hours of block time for a non-augmented crew.
CAPA urges an absolute minimum rest period of 10 hours for domestic flying;
and 14 hours for international flying.
CAPA strongly urges no change to the current crew augmentation schedule of
“3 pilots over 8 hours”, and “4 pilots over 12 hours”; the FAA should at all
times adhere to the NPRM outlined rest facilities.
Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations: Talking Points “FAA NPRM FT/DT”
5. Night Duties: Currently, there is no limit to the number of consecutive nights that can be flown (subject to weekly 24-hour rest). The NPRM would place a limit of “3 consecutive duty periods” during the Window of Circadian Low (WOCL). CAPA believes that this limit is overly restrictive and would have serious unintended consequences that could increase cumulative fatigue.
6. FRMS: The Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) proposal is excessively vague in both content and implementation. Many parties have privately indicated that they feel the FRMS program will allow them to circumvent the new regulatory scheme.