unsafe PSA / usairways policies?

 
Old Aug 24, 13, 12:03 am
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unsafe PSA / usairways policies?

Sitting very close to a non rev pilot who works for PSA on behalf of usairways on the red eye from sea to CLT RIGHT NOW. He tells the guy next to him that he's on his way into work from his home in eastern Washington state (long drive or additional flight) to CLT where he will be flying for the next 4 days. Shouldn't we be concerned that this guy is going to get off a 5 hour flight with marginal sleep and be flying up and down the east coast for the next day? I have an enormous respect for pilots. Still would like to be one myself. But didn't we already see the ramifications of such behavior with the crash in buffalo. Is it reasonable that this guy stacks his days and commutes multiple thousand miles before going to the office? I could understand for some professions... But a pilot?

In sure that many will probably say that this is common and that pilots are underpaid on the regional airlines... But as the customer I'm not sure I care when it comes to the guy driving the plane.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 12:17 am
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Since you have no idea exactly when his flights start, when his sleep breaks are, etc., how can you make such broad comments?

Too much uninformed speculation, IMO.

And by the way, PSA usually means public service announcements. Confusing thread title.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 12:27 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
Since you have no idea exactly when his flights start, when his sleep breaks are, etc., how can you make such broad comments?

Too much uninformed speculation, IMO.

And by the way, PSA usually means public service announcements. Confusing thread title.
That's a fair point. Still, i'm not sure I want any pilot getting off a red eye and then going to work the next day. Just doesn't seem to make sense to me as the layman. Interrupted and irregular sleep schedules are not great for anyone working in such high performance professions.

Sorry for the confusion about PSA. That's the name of the regional provider.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by justhadtosay View Post
That's a fair point. Still, i'm not sure I want any pilot getting off a red eye and then going to work the next day. Just doesn't seem to make sense to me as the layman. Interrupted and irregular sleep schedules are not great for anyone working in such high performance professions.

Sorry for the confusion about PSA. That's the name of the regional provider.
This happens everyday of the week in the airline industry.... Now, how do you know he was going to fly when he got off your flight? He mights be commuting to his base and may not start working until 8pm... Remember what ASSUME means.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 5:33 am
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The title of this thread is misleading. This is not a US Airways policy about pilot rest, it's an FAA regulation that all airline crews have to follow.

Lots of airline pilots (and flight attendants) commute from a location far from their base. They often have to be very flexible in their travel plans because they need to basically fly 'standby', so it's quite possible he was getting to CLT early to give himself plenty of padding (and rest time) before actually flying.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 5:46 am
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I do love the opinions of non industry outsiders who havent a clue what goes into commuting...

Some people seem to forget that Sully commuted from California... Schedules at airlines arent glamorous... Many people would freak out what many employees do to get to work and the schedules they keep...

I commuted from ROA to DCA for 7 years... the majority of the time I was on the early flight to CLT/PHL/LGA to make the connection to DCA and on occasion I would head to IAD and take the bus and Metro to DCA... Then fly a long round trip DCA-MCI/DFW/RSW/PBI and then possibly a 2hr flight for the overnight. Start at 0330 from my house drive an hour to the airport, two legs to base, checkin, fly 3-5 flights end at midnight (god knows if there were irrops) and then get up the next morning to fly another 3-5 legs. Do that for 4 days and on the last day some how make it home...

Now think about your ground crews... that person pushing back the plane... 16hr shifts are not uncommon... Or my absolute fav ER Doctors! those 24hr shifts.... Tell me the person thats going to set my grandmothers broken wrist yesterday was going on 25hrs...

As others have said dont assume you know whats going on in that pilots life or his schedule. Further it has nothing to do with policies at US or PSA... Its an industry wide event...
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Old Aug 24, 13, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
The title of this thread is misleading. This is not a US Airways policy about pilot rest, it's an FAA regulation that all airline crews have to follow.

Lots of airline pilots (and flight attendants) commute from a location far from their base. They often have to be very flexible in their travel plans because they need to basically fly 'standby', so it's quite possible he was getting to CLT early to give himself plenty of padding (and rest time) before actually flying.
So I think this is exactly the point that concerns me. I've crossed enough time zone and taken enough red eye flights in my life to know that you don't just get off a plane... Get into a strange bed... and rack out REM sleep by forcing yourself into an unnatural sleep pattern (unless you are being proscribed flight meds under close supervision by a doctor). I get it. I don't think that anyone is likely breaking any laws here or even airline policies... I fully understand now that this is completely above board. But in my mind, this behavior is akin to a pilot pulling an all nighter and then being expected to perform at his or her best. This is simply not feasible. Aside from one's own morals and ethics, what is it that stops a pilot from not sleeping for 24 hours and then flying a plane? There's no test for sleep deprivation that is being performed by gate agents or copilots that I'm aware of. I understand that it's big boy rules out there, but airlines clearly allow for and tacitly accept such irresponsible behavior by allowing their pilots to live on one side of the country and base from another. Any normal job would demand that the individual move locations to be at their best on a consistent basis.

I found it interesting that this pilot seemed to suggest that this type of behavior would no longer be permitted by law come the first of the year, but would be almost impossible to enforce. I hope that's not the attitude of the industry writ large.

My point here is not to call out one individual, because this is clearly endemic throughout the industry. However, as an industry outsider and a consumer of the airline industry, I was honestly shocked to see such behavior which I'm sure the general public is not aware is still acceptable. As I said in my original post, I thought these things were corrected after the buffalo crash. But this seemed to me to be just another variation on the same tune.

The other posters are correct. I do not have all the facts. But even from the limited ones that I have, I refuse to accept that this is a good practice for a pilot to be commuting for so many hours.... In the middle of the night... And going to be flying around ANYTIME the next day.

As consumers we expect more.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 6:58 am
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Originally Posted by cwe84 View Post
I Now think about your ground crews... that person pushing back the plane... 16hr shifts are not uncommon... Or my absolute fav ER Doctors! those 24hr shifts.... Tell me the person thats going to set my grandmothers broken wrist yesterday was going on 25hrs...
As others have said dont assume you know whats going on in that pilots life or his schedule. Further it has nothing to do with policies at US or PSA... Its an industry wide event...
THis is not true, Resident hours are governed in which they can not be on for more than 15 hrs. This all changed 2 years ago, in which residents would be on for up to 36 hrs.

Attending physicians in the ER work shift work, usually 10 hr shift. The days of the 24 hr shifts are over with...

Nurses are also governed on the amount of hours we can work which is 18 in the state of AZ. Trust me, after a 12 hr shift, I would not want any nurses working on me...

Just like any industry things get changed over time, usually when a big accident happens...
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Old Aug 24, 13, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by justhadtosay View Post
I fully understand now that this is completely above board. But in my mind, this behavior is akin to a pilot pulling an all nighter and then being expected to perform at his or her best. This is simply not feasible. Aside from one's own morals and ethics, what is it that stops a pilot from not sleeping for 24 hours and then flying a plane?

The other posters are correct. I do not have all the facts. But even from the limited ones that I have, I refuse to accept that this is a good practice for a pilot to be commuting for so many hours.... In the middle of the night... And going to be flying around ANYTIME the next day.

As consumers we expect more.
You just do not get it, you are basing what you saw as fact and continue to believe that the pilot you saw getting off the red eye was marching off to work... He might have had one flight for his day at 9am and off duty until 1pm the following day... We would never know, but stop this "as consumers we expect more".... Until you have the facts in front of you.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by justhadtosay View Post
Any normal job would demand that the individual move locations to be at their best on a consistent basis.
I just have to laugh at this.... Im guessing your not a top tier FF... One of my favorite FF that was often on the same flight as I was commuting from ROA lives on the lake and his office is in SFO... But not everyone is cut out to be a road warrior...

Originally Posted by justhadtosay View Post
As consumers we expect more.

As an employee we expect more too... But alas someone always get the shorter end of the stick... and some times we share it in order to make it work...
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Old Aug 24, 13, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
You just do not get it, you are basing what you saw as fact and continue to believe that the pilot you saw getting off the red eye was marching off to work... He might have had one flight for his day at 9am and off duty until 1pm the following day... We would never know, but stop this "as consumers we expect more".... Until you have the facts in front of you.
Fact. Pilot had a flight today.

Opinion. I find this unacceptable regardless of how long a "break"
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Old Aug 24, 13, 7:57 am
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Fact - you have no idea when his flight is "today". Landing at 6am from a red-eye and flying a 9pm commuter flight is of absolutely no concern to me. The fact that you just make an assumption that a professional pilot is going to violate FAA regulations and put his flight, his passengers, his career, and his life at risk is your issue.

Opinion - you have no idea what you're talking about. "no matter how long a break"??? Really? Lemme guess - you don't work for the FAA, have not studied 50+ years of pilot behavior, are not a sleep expert, and are making accusations based on no data because "it doesn't seem right". OK, whatever.

I find your posts unacceptable.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by justhadtosay View Post
Sitting very close to a non rev pilot who works for PSA on behalf of usairways on the red eye from sea to CLT RIGHT NOW. He tells the guy next to him that he's on his way into work from his home in eastern Washington state (long drive or additional flight) to CLT where he will be flying for the next 4 days. Shouldn't we be concerned that this guy is going to get off a 5 hour flight with marginal sleep and be flying up and down the east coast for the next day? I have an enormous respect for pilots. Still would like to be one myself. But didn't we already see the ramifications of such behavior with the crash in buffalo. Is it reasonable that this guy stacks his days and commutes multiple thousand miles before going to the office? I could understand for some professions... But a pilot?

In sure that many will probably say that this is common and that pilots are underpaid on the regional airlines... But as the customer I'm not sure I care when it comes to the guy driving the plane.
yeah well colgan crashed happened because of a similar situation. Not enough people have died yet because of pilot fatigue. Don't worry a couple hundred more and congress and the faa will get behind it.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 12:20 pm
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The FAA changed some requirements after Colgan but nothing can prevent every situation that would lead a pilot to break the new rules (and I wasn't affected so don't remember the specific of the changes). Odds are excellent that the pilot was legal, though. If I were going to worry about pilot fatique I'd worry about perfectly legal scheduling while on a trip.

Jim
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Old Aug 24, 13, 1:56 pm
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This thread might be a contender for one of the worst threads of 2013.
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