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Both Pilots Asleep At Controls of Packed Passenger Jet

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Two pilots flying a commercial airliner filled with passengers were both asleep at the controls last month, leaving the jet on autopilot for an unknown amount of time, British aviation authorities said. (gma.yahoo.com) More...

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Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 25
Pilots and doctors have some of the most vital jobs, relative to dealing with other people's lives. And yet, they get the least amount of sleep of any. Something's not right with that.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 4
It's better for pilots to get some shut eye at altitude, ratter than be at less than their prime during final approach. But they should take turns.

Would be interesting to know what the distance traveled was for the flight in question, and whether their were any other flight crew on the flight.
preacher1
preacher1 3
Same bunch that forced the 1500hr rule on everybody is in favor of the power naps and has evidenced they can be refreshing; can't understand why the FAA is so slow coming to that when they just stumbled all over themselves to implement the 1500hr rule.
chalet
chalet 2
Can't they bring along a trustworthy (and old fashioned) alarm clock to the cockpit to ring very loud every say 2 hours and then switch on-duty vigils. As an old pro like PhotoFinish is saying: well rested pilots are a must during the last stages of the flight.
LordLayton
Leighton Elliott 2
That 1500 hr rule only ensures that it will cost anybody interested in a pilot career 6 times more than now to do it while earning poverty level pay. 1500 hrs pushing computer buttons instead of 250 hrs of hands on flying is stupid. It just promotes more glorified bus drivers like those who couldn't hand fly a plane in perfect weather at SFO by Asiana "pilots?" another FAA boondoggle.
kadriver
kadriver 2
Railroad locomotives have reset buttons that need to be pressed every couple minutes or the loco will automatically stop. I'm sure something similar can be implemented on flight decks.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
No push the button, engines shut down. That'll keep you awake.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
LOL For sure.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Actually, on second thought with so many mainline pilots having trouble when automation is unavailable (eg Asiana, Air France), we may be asking for more trouble than it's worth.

You would think that restarting a stalled plane from scratch would be a skill that an accomplished pilot would have. But then again you would've thought that a perfectly functioning plane with the engines on, temporarily in an aerodynamic stall, would be recoverable. You would think wrong. In some cases, the pilots just lack the most basic flying skills. If some pilots can't handle the autopilot kicking out, or be able to properly select the flight mode on approach; adding such a engine cutoff would be guaranteed to increase airline fatalities slightly. Even if such a device would do wonders for keeping pilots awake.

Then you'd have the secondary effect of lots more pilots on approach that haven't gotten sufficient rest. So not only might you have more crashes directly caused by the engine stoppage, but also mite crashes caused indirectly by the increased level of fatigue.

I'd say, continue to look the other way and let pilots get some shut eye at cruise altitude (in alternating turns) and have them fresh for when you really need them on final approach.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Someday pilots will get plugged in to the plane. The plane will be able to monitor the pilot, as the pilot monitors the plane. The sensors will be able to determine sleep and fatigue, and make appropriate recommendations. If the pilot at the controls is fatigued, shows signs of falling asleep, or outright falls asleep the plane could sound an audible alarm in his headset and/or zap the pilot, and note the fatigued status.

If one pilot is indicating fatigue on the pilot status, then the other pilot knows to stay alert on final.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend PhotoFinish, I wonder if there can be some formal or official way for the tired pilots to take turns to doze off but NOT in cockpit, in the appropriate crew rest area. And if rest area is not there, allocate a couple of passenger seats in a 'silent zone' for the purpose. .
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I don't mind the rest occurring on the flight deck. The resting pilot would be more easily available if necessary.

When rest becomes officially sanctioned then a specific rest area/seat can be built into cockpit or resting pilot could grab a seat in first class just outside of the cockpit.

For long flights where there are 3 or 4 flight crew, there are specific crew rest areas outside of the cockpit (for the extra crew when they are on rest time and not on duty). But there are always 2 pilots on duty.
kadriver
kadriver 1
I like it!!!
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
PhotoFinish, a great idea. Seems pretty workable and doable in a not very distant future.
All you need is some crazy guy like me BUT 40 years younger with a huge grant to develop a gadget like this !
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
There are many people working on aspects of these. There is even a large sample of Delta pilots that are being studied both with a full night's sleep and as well as intentionally fatigued.

It's only a matter of time before these kinds of useful devices/functions become available.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
You seem pretty convincing, dear friend PhotoFinish. As an after though I realized that in these days of eye readers and brain mappers it shouldn't be very difficult to build a prototype soon ! Even pattern of heart beat and ECG pattern changes when a person dozes off or goes to sleep ! Beside the already known physical changes like slumping, neck loosening or loss of hand/foot pressure and so on .
Welcome tired pilots !
Bon voyage happy flying and safe landings .

P.S.
A word of caution however. The greedy employers may tend to over work the already pilots under the excuse of power naps and alarm systems etc. !
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I would've even begin to predict a timeline fir maturation of thus technology. They're only doing the basic research now, trying to understand the vast variability between different people.

I would suggest that regulations be more lenient, not more burdensome. "look the other way" naps could be specifically allowed across the ocean/ polar route, etc.

Think of it more as an informational tool. I would think that 1) pilots would show up to work less exhausted to begin. 2) companies wouldn't routinely work pilots past the point of exhaustion. We'd get a better idea what are the limits of human ability, stop pushing pilots past that unnecessarily regularly in ways that compromise safety.

Most people don't recognize how much their capabilities are diminished with fatigue and/or under the influence of substances. The irony is that being tired (or drunk) diminishes one's perceptiveness. So the pilot is less able to perceive his or her diminished capacity exactly when the capacity is diminished.

Too often you hear stories from pilots of "not eating to fly with that person again", "glad it's over", "after ths flight, it won't be my problem".

Suggesting that there's underreporting of deficiency by the person(s) in a position to best notice - the other pilot.

Having safer operation of flights helps us all. Just the act of measuring objectively changes behaviors.
dfcully
dfcully 1
That doesn't work with transportation modes that can't come to a safe stop on their own anywhere and any time, such as trains; held to tracks with gravity and all that.
dfcully
dfcully 1
The 1500 hour co-pilot rule was a congressional "look, we did something about it" boondoggle. The FAA had no choice but to enforce it.
canuck44
John Donaldson 6
Requires registration to access the full article.

On the topic however the ATP guys might answer for the rest of us as to whether aircraft have installed devices that require positive action to cancel ensuring the pilots are awake and functioning. Railroad locomotives for many years have had "dead man" pedals or sticks requiring positive action to move the locomotive. It would seem to be easy to install although somewhat annoying for the awake pilot.
preacher1
preacher1 3
I haven't seen it but am fully aware of the "deadman" that you are speaking of.
preacher1
preacher1 7
In the for what its worth column though: the RR deadman device simply throws the train into EMERGENCY STOP if unanswered within the required time, normally about 90 seconds, if no other control is pushed at all. What would one do with an airplane at FL380. LOL maybe an electric shock to the seats.
canuck44
John Donaldson 6
Better article has been posted that says cockpit alarms are available, but no specifications on this type.

Ideally the alarm would only engage with autopilot operating the aircraft and would begin with a benign indicator such as a light on the panel. If not extinguished, an alarm to reset, then the electric shock to the seat and if not extinguished the ultimate: speakers playing rap music using John F'in Lurch Kerry's voice.
preacher1
preacher1 2
THAT would wake anybody up.LOL
yr2012
matt jensen 3
Have them wear a headrest collar. The kind I wear when I'm seated in the pax cabin. Except have it connected to the engineering panel, which when you're head bobs - it will give you a small shock that brings person wearing it to full attention!
canuck44
John Donaldson 6
Cockpit ECT...don't know if that would be covered under ObamaCare...LOL
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
It dropped out during the sequestration. Bottom tier service provided by taser.
isemann2
Frank Eisenman 2
It's a simple fix for a Deadman device in the cockpipt, if not responded to in the correct ammount of time, it would alert the cabin crew to investigate and send a remote signal to ATC to establish radio contact. The FAA and other proper authorities would then be able to take proper action to include revoking flight status. And the acknowledgement to such a alarm be more then just pushing a button but entering a code in key panel.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
'Deadman's device/handle' , as I remember from my younger days, will be no help in the context of auto pilot !
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Actually not true. Modern trains have autopilots and deadman switches. If a certain period of time elapses without input from the train's engineer, either to change a control, or in the absence of change a touch to the deadman's switch to tell the train the engineer is not dead or otherwise incapacitated, the train's propulsion will turn off and the train will be braked to a full stop.

On a plane, you can't turn off propulsion and activate the brakes and reverse thrusters mid-flight at cruising altitude, but you could sound off alarms, first to the cockpit, and secondly, if no response to cockpit alarms, at the chief FA's station, as well as sending notification to central ops.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Cockpit alarms ! Interesting, my friend PhotoFinish.
But what do you suggest to activate them ? Circumstance wise ?
Say, no voices of both pilots ? Low dB level ?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The comment was in reference to the deadman switch, which has been successfully used in combo with autopilot on trains, but would obviously need modification on a plane, which could not be stopped if a pilot failed to respond during re elapsed period.
RRKen
Kenneth Schmidt 3
"Deadman's" pedals are long since gone. However they have alarms which sound every so often if no movement of the controls is noted, and if you do not respond, will slow your train to a stop. Bad news, a lot of folks can hit that button in their sleep without missing a snore. Call it conditioned response.
preacher1
preacher1 3
Acronym, PITA button, akin to FRED, you figure it out. LOL
preacher1
preacher1 2
You know, on the serious side of all this, the story says they had only about 5 hours sleep each the previous day, from the context that they were forced to work on that as if it were known. Something is wrong with that picture. I remember the FedEx fiasco back in the 90's and the comment being made that the assailant thought he would have very different and much smaller crew to contend with on that flight rather than a couple of 'Nam vets, but the other crew was DQ as they liked a few minutes being legal on their logs, just a very few minutes. These guys are talking only 5 hours rest since yesterday. Something is not jiving here. Also, I personally think a 30 minute power nap will rejuvenate anybody, and THRUSTT, don't you say one damn word,LOL
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 0
I'll just sic Phil on you!!!
Derg
Roland Dent 3
In Gulf War 1 the USAF had a world wide HF frequency that played rock music from midnight UTC until 6 am. 5725 if I remember.
chalet
chalet 0
What HF SSB radio do you have now. I have wasted a few hundreds buying a Mycom set and also a Tecsun specimen for tuning in SSB HF aviation frequencies and I am telling you programming them requires a PhD from MIT or Stanford or both, they defy reason and I have almost given up, so if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.
TelW
Terry Wright 4
So , whats new,I wouldn't mind betting that it happens every day somewhere in the skies.
ikele76
Richard Shirley 2
I have line pilots tell me its happen to them One told me that the sun woke them up .On long haul it can be down right boring and not enough rest only adds to prolem It may be that they do need a reminder in that a flashing lite or warning buzzer every so often has to be reset . How many of us have fallen asleep watching tv ?
Derg
Roland Dent -2
FGS man STFU.
AZAFVET
Wayne Fox 3
On heavy rail in the US there is a signal that appears on a regularly set schedule of minutes that must be acknowledged by the engineer, if not an alarm is sounded both in the cab and in the control room where the engineer is contacted. I don't know why this same type of system cannot be installed in long haul flights where pilot fatigue could be a problem. Seems like this would be more humane to everyone involved saving jobs and possibly lives or serious stress in the aircraft. I have no problem using autopilot and perhaps having one pilot sleep at a time.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
Aren't there compulsory reporting points when radar is not available?
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well there are and here in the US, with their frequency, that shouldn't be a problem, other than the distance between them at times, and it may be planned accordingly. According to the story, these were overseas so without some digging and knowing the exact details, it would be hard to say. In addition, this is a self reported thing. The big question that goes unanswered here is that both reported only 5 hrs sleep; now, was that their own part or was it company forced. Rest rules lax in that part of the world.
kinoworks
Michael Sheridan 2
For get the stick shaker, these guys need a seat shaker.
evbutler
Ev Butler 2
Donaldson, John Kerry puts me to sleep with his boring speeches. Now, his singing may wake up the dead. I hope that he can sing better than he can "blab".
smoki
smoki 2
Yet another example of the efficacy of a 3 man cockpit. Every PFE I flew with had a knack for engaging in conversation, however trivial, and that helped to keep us awake on those long dark monotonous north Atlantic crossings. Plus they kept the coffee hot and knew just when it was needed.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
After the better part of a week, why has noone suggested the return of the Flight Engineer as a solution. What are the odds of all three sleeping at once?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Cheaper solution-keep a couple black beauties in the cockpit (the pills).
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Absolutely no need! There are already 2 pilots and an autopilot. That's plenty of piloting to get a plane moved along at cruising altitude.

No need for anymore bodies in the cockpit (at least not pilots). Maybe bring back the flight attendants as conversationalists and bringers of coffee. Keeps everyone occupied when they would otherwise have nothing to do mid-flight, and helps maintain flight crew alertness.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Management is always looking for the cheapest way.
A cattle prod with a variable reset timer would pass the drug testing.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
How about mandated in-flight crew rest: nap on break?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Let's start by not prohibiting naps at appropriate times and places where the performance of flight is not hampered by having one pilot resting.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
It seems that simple, pragmatic, common-sense solutions cannot be placed into regulation.
Thus the introduction of a Rube Goldberg contraption or its equivalent into the cockpit is suggested.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
Good looking staff, a few cans of beer. some nice music...party time.
yr2012
matt jensen 3
Like that doesn't happen on So Pac flights - come on, who are they kidding?
JohnBode
John Bode 2
My plane reminds me periodically to switch fuel tanks. I would not even consider doing away with that feature. It is a backup for my memory and helps keep me out of trouble. This is not the first occurrence of both pilots asleep at the controls. There may be excuses for not installing a dead man switch, but the warnings are clear. Without this device a plane full of people will run out of fuel. It's not if, but when. Until the device is installed, if I were a pilot on a multi pilot aircraft, I would not trust the other pilot to wake me up. I would use a device similar to an alarm clock to wake me, and rely on the other pilot as a backup. I have flown with other pilots that went to sleep and told me to wake them in x minutes. I thought to myself this guy has poor judgement, should I be flying with him? The deadman switch should be on single pilot aircraft as well. There have been times the cockpit was warm with the sun in my face and I was pretty sleepy at the controls.
mfbutzin
mfbutzin 1
Google Glass?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Everybody gets behind the sleep curve once in a while. Just gut it out. If you can't stand the hours you are in the wrong profession. Jeez! Everybody in every profession has to work thru it.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Brain storming is going on, for the the kinds of 'deadman's handle/system' .
But, I wonder, if some one would comment considering how to combat a situation when auto pilot/run/drive is on ?
How to override it ? Who will override it ?
mfbutzin
mfbutzin 1
How about a cockpit camera similar to patrol cars only the cabin attendants have a buzzer button to push when they don't see movement. I wonder who revealed this in the cockpit anyway?
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Sorry...I dooped my post! Maybe the key is that little bottle of "5 Hour Energy" 3 times during flight! The 5 hour energy drink wasn't available when I flew! I think that the technology of flying now days has put pilots. In a no hands-on and letting technology take over. So SAD!
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
If you haven't experienced it...you don't get it! Flying internatinal is brutal!
The Crew is flying in an atmosphere...crossing time Zones...and the "internal clock" doesn't miss a beat. Flight crews will fly 14 plus hours and one never will recover! Yah...you may get a week off between flights...but it takes at least a week to recover from one time Zone. Do the math! I did not experience sleeping on the job but I can relate to "Jet Lag"! I've put in 5 years into international flying and I was a "hurting unit"! Never slept on the job. We, as crew members, have a manditory rest period. The body "time Clock" can not adjust to. The so called norm is for each time zone , one needs a week off!. Never happens. Just when you think you are feeling "Normal"....you go back again!!! And the cycle goes round and round!
Bottom line: You're internal clock doesn't do much good!
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
If you haven't experienced it...you don't get it! Flying internatinal is brutal!
The Crew is flying in an atmosphere...crossing time Zones...and the "internal clock" doesn't miss a beat. Flight crews will fly 14 plus hours and one never will recover! Yah...you may get a week off between flights...but it takes at least a week to recover from one time Zone. Do the math! I did not experience sleeping on the job but I can relate to "Jet Lag"! I've put in 5 years into international flying and I was a "hurting unit"! Never slept on the job. We, as crew members, have a manditory rest period. The body "time Clock" can not adjust to. The so called norm is for each time zone , one needs a week off!. Never happens. Just when you think you are feeling "Normal"....you go back again!!! And the cycle goes round and round!
mfbutzin
mfbutzin 1
I guess they whished they had the old 747's with the crew space for spare pilots. Or they could have a blow up doll like on the movie airplane!!!!
JENNYJET
JENNIFER JORDAN 1
If not already mentioned previously amongst the rather heavy and irrelevant contributions thus far, is it not the case that there are sufficient alarms loud enough to wake the deepest sleepers from their naps should the aircraft ( under autopilot at FL350 ) need the aid of a human?

I think it rather obvious to those in the business that automation is the way ahead on long haul sectors and that the humans on the flight deck simply 'manage' the flight and that computers 'fly' the aircraft during the cruise at altitude between airports. When within the high altitude airways ( as opposed to the climb and decent phase ) the likelihood of collisions and other incidentals are so remote that it could be deemed that the flight crew be best employed having 40 winks so as to be alert when they are needed most...i,e on approach to unfamiliar runways such as SFO and Asiana etc...and managing the taxiways amongst dozens of other aircraft ferreting around the airfield as at LHR!

I am really annoyed that yet another 'common' incident is blown out of all proportion by low life media for it's sensationalist effect instead of reporting the full context and explaining the systems and procedures behind a long haul flight....these are not fighter jets but air LINERS, slow buses in comparison and somewhat more predictable and manageable so if a pilot nods off, and the other likewise, then I trust the computers to look after us and wake the humans as they undoubtedly already do!!
LordLayton
Leighton Elliott 1
The whole story is not being told. There are a lot of ifs, buts, whys, whens, who knews, and other circumstances that need to be addressed before the liberal media blows everything out of proportion because some stupid fookin intern at a liberal media outhouse wants to perform "sensationalism" to enhance their careers in half truths.
JohnBode
John Bode 1
My personal opinion is that no pilot should be going to sleep at the controls. There are at least two ways to fall asleep, intentional and unintentional. If a pilot is so tired that they need to intentionally take a nap, then isn't it possible that the other pilot may unintentionally fall asleep. If a pilot has such poor judgement, why are they flying at all? If a pilot falls asleep at the controls, the other pilot should immediately wake them. I understand the system is broken, but pilots should not sleep at the controls not matter what excuse they come up with.
abuelouwe1
abuelouwe1 1
how do they prove that this actually happened?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Apparently they weren't doing anything anyhow. Lol
LarryQB
LarryQB 1
This was simply testing the new system that allows planes to be perfectly automated. Pilots are an expensive luxury that are prone to making mistakes, want pay raises, and like seagulls you have to throw rocks at them to make them fly.

Seriously though, prior to 9/11 and the locked cockpits of today you could count on an F/A to periodically come into the cockpit with a few minutes of conversation, a cup of coffee, and perhaps a snack. Boredome reigns.
mwf117
Is the regulation regarding crew rest the same for US and British pilots? I know the FAA adjusted the sleep quota recently.
bsavage
Bill Savage 1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Both Pilots try out the 'Power of a Nap' theory

Both British A330 pilots fell asleep enroute while flying a full plane.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/5161906/Mid-air-scare-as-both-pilots-fall-asleep-during-long-haul-flight.html
blake1023
blake1023 1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Takin' a snooze at 30,000 ft

Cruising at 30,000 feet, pilots snoozed in the cockpit of a 300-passenger airliner en route to Britain last August, UK aviation authorities told CNN on Thursday.

A spokesman for the UK's Civil Aviation Authority tells CNN that the Airbus A330 incident occurred while the aircraft was operating on autopilot on a long-distance flight. The CAA wouldn't reveal any other details of the flight, including the airline, its route or its destination airport.


http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/26/travel/airline-pilots-asleep-cockpit/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
jwills8606
James Wills 7
The new Airbus is so automated that they replaced the pilots with one pilot and a dog.

The pilot's job is to monitor the airplane; the dog's job is to bite the pilot if he touches anything.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Does that make the dog 'First Arfficer'? FFA to differentiate from the other FA. 8-)
budnadeau
bud nadeau 1
Now that comment made me laugh!!! :-)
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I'll bet a large percentage of the people in the back of the plane want their pilots to be awake. Just a guess.
mfbutzin
mfbutzin 1
Could you imagine flying across the Soviet Unions fourteen time zones?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I'm much more concerned that the pilots are fully awake and alert during final approach, and not so much at cruising altitude while the autopilot is keeping the plane on its' heading. I'd rather one pilot be awake at all times, but am not at all concerned that they take turns to get some shut eye.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I get it. I got an auto pilot. But I bet the company and the pax want them awake doing what they are paid to do.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
To put it lightly, they are paid to fly, and fly safely, no matter how or by who ! :-)
JENNYJET
JENNIFER JORDAN 1
....but they are no longer able to fly these modern beasts are they? Cables and pulleys are gone and boxes of electronics and magic are the norm now.

It is near impossible now for a 'pilot' of an Airbus to take charge with the joystick available to him/her should total electrical failure occur unlike when with the older Boeings that relied upon cables, hydraulics and mechanicals that did not need electricity to control flight surfaces on the airframe.

Think of the original 'AIRPORT' movie and the B707 that had a bomb go off...could Mr.Patroni have helped the pilots on board to land the jet had it been an A340?

Today, pilots are mere managers of a flight with the task of taking the aircraft up and being there to keep a watchful eye on the systems and FMC's they set up pre departure. They no longer even need to bother landing the aircraft at those most up to date airfields because of onboard system doing it for them, rather they simply drive the (Air)bus along the taxiways to the gate!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
How many Airbus' have crashed with total elec failure? Would the autopilot land in a river after engine failures? Does it navigate around a t'stms? Why do we use 2 pilots? Why do we pay them so much?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear Friend, JENNIFER JORDAN, nothing has changed ! Ages ago, it was 'man' handling the machine, today also it's the same. What has chanced is the manner of connectivity between the two.
Rods/levers gave way to flexible steel wires to electrical cables to electronics(optical fibre) to remote sensing/blue tooth.
But man-machine connect is the SAME ! Cause-effect relationship is same.
The manner to bring about effect is the only activity that is changing over time. And that is normal / natural .
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Without a capable pilot to handle the emergency, a plane depending on a flight computer in an emergency where both engines fail, rather than land on the Hudson, would likely have crashed.

The computer would have to determine the situation, calculate potential landing sites (nearby runways) and after determining that there were no runways close enough to be reached from the actual distance and altitude of engine failure (+ elapsed calculation time), the airplane computer would direct the plane toward the closest runway, and crash the plane into a high density neighborhood along the path to that runway, killing every soul aboard and many others on the ground.

That would be a significantly different outcome.
JENNYJET
JENNIFER JORDAN 1
With respect Sir, my question was how a human pilot could take ownership of an aircraft directly when it is in difficulty if that aircraft was designed and built to be unstable and reliant upon computers and not designed to be flown using the traditional aeronautical principles all pilots are initially trained to employ?

If all electricity fails, solar flares and other EM issues not catered for, during flight would it not be rather nice to be able to have a competent pilot nurse the aircraft down by way of actual physics and aeronautics by gliding using cabled control surfaces and first hand knowledge of potential airfields available?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Exactly my point. We could program t/o, nav, landing, and emergencies. Even could be flown remotely by a pilot. BUT, who would ride in it? Only those who believe computer programmers are God. Lol
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend, JENNIFER JORDAN, evidently I am not qualified enough to argue beyond a certain point as far as flying is concerned.
But my simple answer would be , take the case of instrument landing vis-a-vis visual landing ! Same automated aircraft.
Same principles held centuries ago as today.
Arms combat and hand-to-hand fight !
Many of you may differ, may be .
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Someday flight computer logic can get much better than we can imagine today. I can't imagine the day when a flight computer will be more effective in an emergency than a highly trained competent pilot, but someday it may happen.
JENNYJET
JENNIFER JORDAN 1
Human biological computer against human created aircraft computer? Just whom do we obey? Both are created to serve us so whom do we disregard? My eyes tell me 123 but the fight computers tell me 124. I believe the former but the aircraft decides to over ride me, do I sit back or do I take ownership and rely upon my training and use instinct and land the aircraft using traditional aeronautics?
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
To be honest with you Jennifer, I would trust the airplane!
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
A passenger speak !
How do I know when I am being flown by Ms./Mr. Auto Pilot ?
No way, never !
So worry not ye pilot friends. Enjoy your rest/power naps .
But fly me safe ! That's all I seek.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Hey if you're sleepy, might as well get some shuteye at altitude. It's the same as if you gotta go, then you go!!!
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 0
Is there any truth to one of the pilots being originally from Korea?

That might explain the name, "Wi Tu Tard".
num1tailhooker
Lucio DiLoreto 0
Sleeping off a drunk.
suz
suz 0
Yaaawwwwnn ...
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Most of professionals on this portal are better informed of FAA regulations in this regard. I am referring to CFR 14 - 'Sec. 91.1059 — Flight time limitations and rest requirements: One or two pilot crews' and also 'Sec. 91.1061 — Augmented flight crews'. And by common sense I assume that these rules qua USA are in consonance with requirements laid down by ICAO . And what ever is binding on USA is equally applicable to ALL members of the ICAO. In short, the whole world. And the standards laid down by ICAO are the bare minimum that are required. And every local(National) authority is at liberty to create better standards.
In this back ground, how can any country deviate from guidelines laid down by ICAO and get away with ?
Or is it that there are no guidelines of ICAO similar to what exist in the USA, as specified above ?
LordLayton
Leighton Elliott 0
Big Deal! They been sleeping in long hauls flights forever ffs. they even have napping bunks behind the flight engineer's station. Maybe they should have cockpit Kuereg machines now. Gimme a break. Makin a big deal about nothing.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
[should you insert an 'n' in your login name and get some crew rest" 8-)]
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Baahaa!!!
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -1
Between two of them they were following the proverbial ' catching forty winks ' !
20 a piece !
But on a serious note, when there are clear laws relating to number of flying hours followed by minimum rest hours, so on how could this happen ? Or how was it allowed to happen ? Can it not be a case of flouting the laws and compromising safety ?
And I am sure , the concept of "Power nap" can not be or should not be invoked considering the fact that flying is a very high risk activity.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Be there before you or the general public criticizes too much. Bad enough here but much worse on the European side because of little or no regulation of that part
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
First, the rest requirements are a lot more lax in Europe than US. But even where rest is regulated, just because you had a certain numbers of hours off-duty out of the cockpit, doesn't mean you slept enough hours.

In fact, by simple maths, you know that the pilots sleep for fewer hours than they have off duty. Consider that pilots have post-flying duties, then they have to make their way through the airport to the shuttle bus waiting area and wait for the shuttle to their hotel, then the shuttle has to make its' way to the airport, check-in, find the room, unpack, wash-up, get a bite to eat, try to get whatever winks they can before they have to get up in the morning early enough to get up, get cleaned up and dressed for work, packed up, have breakfast, wait for shuttle bus, get to the airport, check-in with the airline, get ready for flight, make their way to gate, check the plane, and be ready to get the plane in the sky at the scheduled departure time.

Keep in mind that the plane is very expensive capital investment, and it doesn't make any money for the airline unless it is in the air. So every extra hour that you give the pilots to get extra rest, is an hour that the plane sits on the ground unused. There is presssure to keep the planes flying for as many hours as is possible, and try to schedule them tightly and efficiently. The need fir pilot rest and the need to keep planes moving are at odds.

In the example above, the pilots can take a taxi both ways at their cost to gain a few minutes of extra time. They may also want some time downstairs at the bar/restaurant to wind down, get some drinks and a bite to eat. That can subtract significantly from time available to sleep, from the best case scenario. But every pilot after every day of flying will not all be ready to sleep as soon as they get through all those steps of getting from plane to room. Sometimes, after all that, pilots don't even get enough hours in their room to sleep enough hours. But even if pilots have sufficient room hours, we all know that just because someone wants to sleep, doesn't mean that deep will happen for the entire desired time.

So the short answer...
Off-duty rest hours doesn't guarantee that a pilot will have gotten enough sleep.

That both pilots got so few hours and both about the same amount suggests that either 1) they had too little time between arrival time and departure time to get through all the steps and get enough sleep, or 2) had just enough off-duty time just barely, but they both went to have dinner and get some drinks/ unwind before sleep.

Airlines will sometimes overlap their crews resting at away destinations, so that the crew arriving the night before doesn't have to be on duty early the next morning and can get the plane out again quickly with a fresh well-rested crew. Depending on the number of frequencies to the destination, it may involve keeping crews at the destination for 24 or 48 hours. There is a perdiem and accomadation cost to having these crews on extended rest. Some crew look forward to these layovers at distant cities. That lifestyle is part of the reason some chose to work for an airline. Others may want to get back to their life/ their family as quickly as possible and prefer shorter rest stops.

So the answer is not as easy as asking why they didn't get enough sleep. Their are many reasons for pilots to not get sufficient sleep, and many are not even in their control.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Wayne are you accusing the European employers of squeezing every ounce of goodwill and effort through intimidation, sitting rookies in the right hand seat etc etc?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
My apologies for not understanding your English !
Do you approve sleeping of these pilots or no ?
Or are you condemning my statement/observation simpliciter ?
preacher1
preacher1 2
I approve of the enroute power nap, one at a time of course, and while the law or in this case, FAA regulation, is in black and white, it is one that needs changing. The same folks that brought the 1500 hour and the extended rest rules out of the Colgan crash have evidence out of those same studies that the "POWER NAP" can refresh a body. Mine and a lot of others question is: The FAA instituted the others like a whirlwind. Why didn't they allow this as well?
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Because there is no money to be made by consultants and contractors for power naps!
Cherry picking is a veneralble (venal?) tradition.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I guess what gets me is that our company has and does make good money off of consulting and in some cases, management contracts. I guess we are the stupid ones in not getting a piece of this golden government pie, but our contracts over the years, especially in the consulting part, have all been with the private sector, and our procedure has been to come in, analyze and handle a special project, then when completed, turn it over to the one that initiated it, and go home and on to something else; not homestead and become a de facto part of the organization, as so many have with government agencies. We just always thought that's how it was supposed to be done, not just stand at the trough waiting on slop with the rest of the hogs.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Sorry to touch a nerve. There are at least 2 categories of consultants. You described one of which you are a member. I was referring to another, which does thrive on contracts with governments and large corporate entities. My experience with them is limited to Info Tech contracts with the State of Calif, some of which I was involved, others merely a spectator.
http://www.despair.com/consulting.html sums up my observations in that milieu.
Sometimes, the only reason something gets done in the bureaucracy, is that enough of us have a hobby of doing a good job to overcome the deadwood.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Love that link. LOL and sad part is, you are probably correct on the deadwood. Lol
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Like you want names, dates, places?
LOL
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yep, and if you look real close, you'll probably find some folks on this side of the pond, mostly shady 135 operators, doing the same thing. In that respect, we have been fortunate over the years in partnering with a worldwide 121 carrier for a lot of our support as far as logs, safety & upgrade training, flight planning, etc. went, and now in later times to Boeing itself via Jeppsen and pattern our operation as such. Some smaller companies are not that fortunate.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
ThanX dear friend PhotoFinish, for the detailed reply. In a work cycle the period of rest is ALL inclusive, in every case, whether white collar job or blue, or any other shade. And that is how the distribution of hours is worked out.
What I fail to understand is that when there are clear rules/laws in place for duty hours as well as rest period how and why they are not complied with ? I am sure that there is no disagreement on the rationale of number of hours for duty vis-a-vis rest ! Why disobedience/violation is allowed ? Which clearly translates into compromising safety, of personnel as well as of machine .
preacher1
preacher1 1
That is the quandary. All the rules are well intentioned but basically for any transport job, the company can put the required rest hours in a schedule but cannot mandate what the crew member does with that time. The certification is on them as that time is theirs. Most will not mark off for fear of losing a run so it is a catch 22. In the event of a crash or something to that effect that gets investigated, these violations will be found out but generally not unless something happens, just because of lack of enforcement. As an FYI, the FO in the Colgan crash; even though she was legal per the company, she had definitely cut herself way to short for rest.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
All I can say and wish is that where ever possible such cases(of insufficient rest period) must be thoroughly investigated and guilty must be punished. Accident or no accident.
This is not a game to be left to be played by political rules of populism or profiteering !
preacher1
preacher1 2
I don't disagree but you are talking about a situation that has gone on for years. Most transport modes are careful in their runs to stay legal, yet some gain a bad reputation for working their people hard or not giving enough time, but when you come back to work to get some rest, you are in an awkward situation. The company cannot get 100% to which they are entitled, and the employee is short on rest time and not near 100%.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Times change, situations change,what is happening today will not be happening in next 10 or 20 years hence.
Every profession has its own nuances, its own level of sensitivity, its own uniqueness. And all have to live with in the cocoon meant for the profession. All humans are entitled for equal possibilities of human weaknesses. YET some humans have to be above the 'general' weaknesses excuse. For example, Judges or Medical professionals and many more.
Aviation cannot be any exception !
I close at this.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
They are studying biorhythms in pilots. If they figure out how to identify Pulitzer fatigue in pilots in general oe specifically for each pilot, then it may be possible to disqualify a pilot fir duty based on their fatigue indicators.

But until that futuristic vision becomes reality, expect the current situation to continue for many years. Most people don't skip work because they stayed out too late the night before, or because they didn't get enough sleep (check-in time too early, couldn't sleep, bed was lumpy, the baby was teething, the toodler had fever, spouse wasn't feeling well, dad in hospital, etc. etc).

Until you can reliably determine who's too fatigued to fly, pilots (and everyone else) will just continue to show up at work at their scheduled duty time, and do their job.

At least intercontinental flights provide plenty of opportunity to get some rest. Regional airline pilots with 5, 6, 7 or more legs in a day (a long day that starts early and goes late), don't get the same opportunities to get some (serious) shut eye.
mfbutzin
mfbutzin 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Both pilots fall asleep during British Airbus flight, incident report reveals

Two pilots of a British passenger plane both fell asleep while the aircraft was on autopilot, according an August incident report unveiled by U.K. media Thursday.


The two pilots of the British-operated Airbus A330 initially took turns napping, but then both fell asleep, according to an report documented by a British airline regulatory body and initially provided to The Sun, a British tabloid.


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57604804/both-pilots-fall-asleep-during-british-airbus-flight-incident-report-reveals/