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Pilot Fatigue

affinity4aviation

Active member
Kelsey and any of you pilots, do you get pilot fatigue from long flights at night or from flying to a lot in different countries, and what do you do to recover, (besides sleeping of course?) Due to covid most passenger pilots are working fewer hours ,or got furloughed, but are you Kelsey working a lot + extra flights, since you're mostly flying cargo? (ie. online sales are way up). What do you think about certain airlines discussing having only one pilot flying + the reduced redundancy that will take place?
 
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MsHighAltitude

Administrator
Staff member
I get passenger fatigue from long flights, day or night. :) I'm not getting on a commercial jet that only has one pilot in the cockpit. I mean, what if the window cracks and he/she gets stuck in it?!

I think the holiday season is traditionally the busiest time for cargo pilots. This year probably even more so with the supply chain issues and the pandemic.
 

Sean

Active member
Freight dogs are still exempt, in the US, from the stricter fatigue prevention rules that apply to passenger flight crews. There's a bill in the US House called the Safe Skies Act of 2021 that, if enacted, would bring cargo pilots under the same umbrella. Seems it's been stalled in committee since 24 June. So the double standard is still alive and well.
 

affinity4aviation

Active member
Freight dogs are still exempt, in the US, from the stricter fatigue prevention rules that apply to passenger flight crews. There's a bill in the US House called the Safe Skies Act of 2021 that, if enacted, would bring cargo pilots under the same umbrella. Seems it's been stalled in committee since 24 June. So the double standard is still alive and well.
Thank you, that's interesting.
 

affinity4aviation

Active member
I get passenger fatigue from long flights, day or night. :) I'm not getting on a commercial jet that only has one pilot in the cockpit. I mean, what if the window cracks and he/she get stuck in it?!

I think the holiday season is traditionally the busiest time for cargo pilots. This year probably even more so with the supply chain issues and the pandemic.
Appreciate your thoughts. Didn't think anyone wanted only one pilot in command of a large passenger jet, incl. the pilots + f/a's! Airlines can cut other costs or raise tix prices a bit instead. Even in my dad's Cessna 182 he taught every time we flew, the basics + what to do in case something happened + I'm not a pilot. He was always aware of having a Plan B + having that second set of eyes with some skills, in case they were needed.
Many of Kelsey's, Petter's + Joe's, videos of jets landing. During approach + landing + when bad weather hits; severe crosswinds, fog, last min. runways changes + microbursts, are times when having two pilots is a good idea, reducing their task load. If they have only one pilot + they fall asleep + are not within range of ATC, this seems potentially an issue. The one pilot 797 got shelved for now, when CEO Calhoun replaced the prior one, due to the 737 Max issues + mgmt. issues.
 
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Sean

Active member
Aunt tells a story about Raytheon's corporate jet always having a flight crew of 2, even though the aircraft is rated for single pilot ops. [She says during a flight from the old HQ in Mass. down to Huntsville, the] windshield cracked and one of the crew lost consciousness. The other landed the plane safely. If I can find the link to back it up, I will add it.

I won't board any commercial flight that doesn't have two pilots at the controls during take-off and landing. George may be qualified to fly the plane in any scenario the programmers can imagine, but her skills are limited by their reactive imaginations *cough* Max *cough*.
 

Plague

Active member
If they have only one pilot + they fall asleep + are not within range of ATC, this seems potentially a bit dicey.
The other landed the plane safely.
I don't think anyone is seriously pushing single pilot commercial at the current state of automation, but we are getting towards it being good enough. At that point if the pilot is 'incapacitated' the systems will be able to land the aircraft safely, probably normally.
Failure of both pilot and automation would (hopefully) be no more likely than failure of both pilots.
 

Plague

Active member
If it can happen, it will (failure)
Of course. What is your point?
People fail too.
Once computers become less likely to fail than people, which do you put your faith in?
Bearing in mind computers have been auto-landing for decades and operating fly-by- wire for nearly as long.

I can't say I'm 100% confident about FBW but that's probably because we are nearly all Luddites at heart. :)
 

Plague

Active member
Point was both computers " fail" mainly because of code
AIUI the Airbus systems (at least some years back) use 5 computers running 2 different (written/developed by different teams) sets of code (3 on one code, 2 on the other) for exactly that reason.
Failure is still possible, but I've not heard of any.
As these are bread and butter (or maybe waffles and maple syrup) to @321Captain perhaps he can elucidate on the latest 'stuff' with Airbus FBW.
 

affinity4aviation

Active member
I don't think anyone is seriously pushing single pilot commercial at the current state of automation, but we are getting towards it being good enough. At that point if the pilot is 'incapacitated' the systems will be able to land the aircraft safely, probably normally.
Failure of both pilot and automation would (hopefully) be no more likely than failure of both pilots.
They said they'll have a person on the ground monitoring the 797. Many years in the future it's a possibility according to Boeing CEO Calhoun, but I wonder how passengers will feel about it?
 
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affinity4aviation

Active member
Point was both computers " fail" mainly because of code and of course people fail also
My brother designed computers for Hewlett Packard his entire career + he speaks that language that's Greek to me. He helped prevent software failure, but Sonerai I agree, software is imperfect, despite the amazing strides they've made in software development. The 737 Max software issues that they corrected, is indicative of this + the FBW more automated system took some getting used to by pilots when it was new. It's clear from NTSB reports, that having enough proper sim training on unfamiliar systems is as crucial to safety + efficacy, as how good the software is. They've proven this is often where the problem lies; cost cutting, so not enough sim training. We've all heard this ridiculous cost cutting.
 
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Sonerai

Active member
My brother designed computers for Hewlett Packard his entire career. He helped prevent software failure, but Sonerai I agree, software is imperfect, despite the amazing strides they've made in software development. The 737 Max software issues that they corrected, is indicative of this + the FBW more automated system took some getting used to by pilots when it was new.
Yep, perhaps an off switch so the pilot can hand fly the bird
 

affinity4aviation

Active member
I read that the pilots couldn't override certain things in the FBW system. I don't comprehend why this would be the case, since instruments or software can malfunction, sending incorrect feedback to the system, creating a need for manual override. Pilots 'outsmarted', only in theory, by an automated safety system, turns out wasn't 100% the answer either! I trust most pilots over a computer when deductive reasoning needs to be a factor in the right decision; automation has its limits.
 
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