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View Full Version : FAA Approval of Controlled Rest?


splanky474
12-05-2018, 09:42 AM
I wonder what it would take to get the FAA onboard with approving controlled rest https://pilotjobcentral.com/controlled-rest-on-the-flight-deck-report/


rickair7777
12-05-2018, 12:18 PM
I wonder what it would take to get the FAA onboard with approving controlled rest https://pilotjobcentral.com/controlled-rest-on-the-flight-deck-report/

I'm not optimistic. FAA is of course sensitive to political winds, and I can only imagine the kind of grandstanding soundbites which some of our sub-100-IQ congress-critters would employ to make hay out of a proposal like that. I doubt the FAA would even dare to test the waters, it would almost have to be proposed and mandated by congress itself (like the 1500 hour rule).

Yes, I know other countries allow it.

1wife2airlines
12-05-2018, 06:23 PM
I'm not optimistic. FAA is of course sensitive to political winds, and I can only imagine the kind of grandstanding soundbites which some of our sub-100-IQ congress-critters would employ to make hay out of a proposal like that. I doubt the FAA would even dare to test the waters, it would almost have to be proposed and mandated by congress itself (like the 1500 hour rule).

Yes, I know other countries allow it.

Off Topic: Sister-in-law true story while working as a Res agent for an airline. Could not placate customer who berated her and asked if her airline only hired imbeciles. She replied, "well we need jobs also" , customer hung up.
They need jobs also:rolleyes:


JohnBurke
12-06-2018, 02:36 AM
A sleep cycle of 3-4 hours is required to achieve any measurable value in rest. Despite anecdotal outdated thoughts to the contrary, cat naps don't help, and may actually impair an operator more. He or she might "feel" refreshed, but that does not equate to a tangible, scientific benefit, and the production of chemicals in the system during that time may be detrimental to safety rather than enhance it.

742Dash
12-06-2018, 03:30 AM
A sleep cycle of 3-4 hours is required to achieve any measurable value in rest. Despite anecdotal outdated thoughts to the contrary, cat naps don't help, and may actually impair an operator more. He or she might "feel" refreshed, but that does not equate to a tangible, scientific benefit, and the production of chemicals in the system during that time may be detrimental to safety rather than enhance it.

NASA reached a different conclusion.

https://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/1990/90-090.txt

JohnBurke
12-06-2018, 04:45 AM
NASA reached a different conclusion.

https://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/1990/90-090.txt

No, NASA didn't.

The Ames very limited minor study, involving only ten crews, divided in two, on four flights, is small population, statistically limited, and does not represent the position of NASA.

It's quite common for crews on long haul flights to close their eyes for a few minutes, sometimes much longer. Many of those doing the long legs in supplemental work lack the protections afforded by Part 117, and take sleep where they can.

Sleep science in the last few years has changed substantially from what it was. For many years, the concept of "cat naps" was considered valid; this has been proven to not be the case. A complete sleep cycle, which is necessary for all phases of sleep to be covered, takes 3-4 hours. Sleep which does not encompass a complete cycle may actually contribute to a sleep debt, much in the same way that food without nutrition might fill a stomach, but does not fill the need that the body has for nutrition. Likewise, one might close one's eyes, but does not get the rest needed during that time. More the illusion of rest, as a belly fully of popcorn might relieve hunger, but do nothing to nourish.

rickair7777
12-06-2018, 08:17 AM
As someone who has worked professionally in an organization where pushing physiological boundaries was part and parcel, I can attest that there is a noticeable positive psychological benefit to naps when you can get them. Especially if you're feeling deprived.

The psych benefit probably enhances performance. Lot to be said for the power of the mind.

tomgoodman
12-06-2018, 08:33 AM
A good 727 S/O was able to consume a meal between the outer and middle markers, then squeeze in a nap before touchdown. :D

joepilot
12-06-2018, 12:39 PM
A good 727 S/O was able to consume a meal between the outer and middle markers, then squeeze in a nap before touchdown. :D

Just because your eyes are open does not mean that you are awake.

Joe

JohnBurke
12-06-2018, 01:01 PM
As someone who has worked professionally in an organization where pushing physiological boundaries was part and parcel, I can attest that there is a noticeable positive psychological benefit to naps when you can get them. Especially if you're feeling deprived.

The psych benefit probably enhances performance. Lot to be said for the power of the mind.

And this is the thrust of the belief. Anecdotal.

What is needed is an exhaustive study that doesn't fly in the face of current sleep science.

It's one thing to say that ten crews felt a bit better and performed a bit better, but statistically speaking, that could be skewed for any number of reasons: the test subject population is far too small the the study far too limited.

Sleep science today is built on exhaustive (pun in tended) studies with a lot more than just an ECG and the notion that the crews performed better.

Concrete research needs to be performed to match that and at a minimum make valid determinations, not anecdotal, of the physical benefit derived. "Other airlines do it." Isn't science.

I've spent a lot of years pushing the boundaries, too...a lot of years pushing into places that I couldn't have imagined and some that wouldn't be believable in a fiction novel, and I've spent a lot of years squeezing in sleep where ever I could. I've had a lot of 72 hour days over the years and I'll say that today red bull, multiple red bulls, don't raise my pulse any more. I'm a sleep scientist's poster child the same way that a crack ***** is the darling of the emergency ward. I just slept through four hours of fire alarm testing, if that says anything.

Sleep science has been an interest, and I've followed it and the changes that have occurred in it. There are 70 million adults in the US who are sleep-deprived and most don't know it, and far more that get inadequate sleep. Those that get inadequate sleep cannot make it up with a cat nap or "power nap."

Those that do get adequate sleep may benefit from a few minutes of shut-eye enroute...but ONLY if getting adequate sleep. If getting inadequate sleep (meaning at a minimum two or more complete sleep cycles), a cat nap won't do a damn thing to address a sleep deficit of sleep debt; it may give the illusion, but it won't provide an actual benefit.

The real key, outside cat naps, is to focus on sleep, and circadian disruption. Only once adequate sleep is addressed on an ongoing basis (chronic debt settled) then and only then can a valid examination of inflight controlled rest be addressed scientifically. Until that point, there's no way to separate the perceived benefits from a healthy subject, especially if the control is adequately rested and not sleep deprived.

Much of the work that needs to be done can't be done in flight because it does involve deprived individuals in subject groups...and a lot of that work is known already...which includes the fact that power naps won't fix sleep debt. They're a hollow, ineffective substitute for a sleep cycle, when the subject has not received adequate rest.

Just because your eyes are open does not mean that you are awake.

Joe

If I were going to have a tombstone (which I won't), it would be a toss up for an epitaph between that, and "I should have had the blue pill."

sailingfun
12-09-2018, 04:12 AM
A sleep cycle of 3-4 hours is required to achieve any measurable value in rest. Despite anecdotal outdated thoughts to the contrary, cat naps don't help, and may actually impair an operator more. He or she might "feel" refreshed, but that does not equate to a tangible, scientific benefit, and the production of chemicals in the system during that time may be detrimental to safety rather than enhance it.

Can you give us some links to data proving this? I quick google search seems to overwhelming say the opposite.

JohnBurke
12-09-2018, 04:29 AM
Can you give us some links to data proving this? I quick google search seems to overwhelming say the opposite.

What legitimate sleep science did you reference to learn that a cat nap will take the place of adequate sleep?

A complete sleep cycle does not take place in 15-45 minutes.

For someone who is adequately rested, certainly a cat nap may be beneficial, as stated, but in this business that assumes a lot. Quite a few pilots hit the road without adequate sleep: indeed, a great deal of the adult population is sleep deprived, and in such a condition, cat naps will not make up the difference, nor contribute filling the sleep deficit. That can only be filled with adequate sleep, which must be a complete sleep cycle.

FTv3
12-09-2018, 05:02 AM
JohnBurke,

Your argument is that current research suggests only sleep episodes of 2-3 hours or more have any fatigue ameliorating value. When you look more into these publications youíll notice they were considering overall or long term fatigue, spanning a day or more. We are talking about short term sleep periods and their short term effects, in the hours heck even down to minutes; what effect does a sleep period from 30 mins to 2 hours have on the subsequent t=0 thru t=180min awake period? The sugar high effect... Doesnít appear to be much research in this aspect - perhaps I donít know the proper terminology to locate these papers. Regardless, you arenít citing the corrrect research to support your argument. Iím sure almost every pilot at FedEx and UPS (& ACMIs) will tell you (we get short sleep opportunities on the ground and inflight with long hauls), any sleep helps in the immediate short term - thatís why we have hundreds to thousands of sleep rooms and semi private beds scattered across our systems. It ainít no joke, and it ainít no Ďjust feels goodí syndrome. We all know it works from experience. To agree with you, I have no doubt cat naps have no positive effect on long term fatigue levels.

rickair7777
12-09-2018, 08:05 AM
I've spent a lot of years pushing the boundaries, too...a lot of years pushing into places that I couldn't have imagined and some that wouldn't be believable in a fiction novel, and I've spent a lot of years squeezing in sleep where ever I could. I've had a lot of 72 hour days over the years and I'll say that today red bull, multiple red bulls, don't raise my pulse any more. I'm a sleep scientist's poster child the same way that a crack ***** is the darling of the emergency ward. I just slept through four hours of fire alarm testing, if that says anything.

Sleep science has been an interest, and I've followed it and the changes that have occurred in it. There are 70 million adults in the US who are sleep-deprived and most don't know it, and far more that get inadequate sleep. Those that get inadequate sleep cannot make it up with a cat nap or "power nap."


Long-term sleep deprivation is cumulative, and as you said the only way to fix it is to get good sleep in the correct circadian context over a sustained period. Cat naps won't fix that.

Assuming a healthy, not-chronically-fatigued pilot, I think there's enough indication to warrant exploring "operational cat naps". I agree that science is important, we shouldn't do it just because someone else did.

But the risk of controlled napping is very low, the other guy just sets an alarm at ten minute intervals. With low risk, it might be worth doing even if the benefit is marginal, perhaps just psychological.

Also I wouldn't stay up any longer than 72 hours, you'll probably start to hallucinate.

C130driver
12-09-2018, 10:07 AM
A sleep cycle of 3-4 hours is required to achieve any measurable value in rest. Despite anecdotal outdated thoughts to the contrary, cat naps don't help, and may actually impair an operator more. He or she might "feel" refreshed, but that does not equate to a tangible, scientific benefit, and the production of chemicals in the system during that time may be detrimental to safety rather than enhance it.

My experience with 15-45 minute (allowed)catnaps on Air Force aircraft during extended cruise with nothing but HFs to listen to say otherwise. Always feel refreshed especially prior to TOD. If the military allows it then there is no reason why the FAA shouldnít.

JohnBurke
12-11-2018, 08:06 AM
My experience with 15-45 minute (allowed)catnaps on Air Force aircraft during extended cruise with nothing but HFs to listen to say otherwise. Always feel refreshed especially prior to TOD. If the military allows it then there is no reason why the FAA shouldn’t.

Again, anecdotal.

It's on the internet. It must be true.

The military says it's safe. What could go wrong?

I feel fine. That settles it.

Science.

JohnBurke,

Your argument is that current research suggests only sleep episodes of 2-3 hours or more have any fatigue ameliorating value.

No. You just said that.

I didn't.

Don't put words in my mouth, or attribute to me that which I did not say. If that's your argument, own it, but it's not mine.

Adlerdriver
12-11-2018, 10:27 AM
A sleep cycle of 3-4 hours is required to achieve any measurable value in rest.

What legitimate sleep science did you reference to learn that a cat nap will take the place of adequate sleep?

A complete sleep cycle does not take place in 15-45 minutes.


...... cat naps will not make up the difference, nor contribute filling the sleep deficit. That can only be filled with adequate sleep, which must be a complete sleep cycle.

Those that get inadequate sleep cannot make it up with a cat nap or "power nap."

Those that do get adequate sleep may benefit from a few minutes of shut-eye enroute...but ONLY if getting adequate sleep. If getting inadequate sleep (meaning at a minimum two or more complete sleep cycles), a cat nap won't do a damn thing to address a sleep deficit of sleep debt; it may give the illusion, but it won't provide an actual benefit.
Ok JB - I think you've adequately stated your viewpoint on cat naps. The thing is, from what I'm reading here, no one is trying to say a cat nap is a substitute for adequate sleep.

We're talking about doing it out of necessity - not design. The fact that a pilot is already fighting a sleep debt and may already be fatigued while flying is a problem - you're correct. But, once they find themselves in that position there are only so many options to attempt to complete the flight as safely as possible.

If your option is fight to stay awake for the rest of the flight or use a controlled nap, I vote nap. When I've used them they help. So much so that I avoid them if I'm on an augmented crew and my rest period is next. I've been falling sleep in the straps with a 1-2 hours to go until my break, taken a nap and been unable to sleep once it's actually my turn in the bunk.

So if they help, that's really all that matters to me. When I'm waking up in my seat after accidentally falling asleep every few minutes, standing up, walking around, red bulls or coffee don't help me. ~30 minutes of actual sleep, instead of fighting it have stopped the "nod off" problem and helped me prepare for the upcoming descent and approach. The fact that NASA or agency ABC hasn't done some exhaustive study to prove that to your satisfaction is irrelevant.

galaxy flyer
12-11-2018, 04:04 PM
A good 727 S/O was able to consume a meal between the outer and middle markers, then squeeze in a nap before touchdown. :D

A nap punctuated by the CA trying to save the F/Oís bounce by grabbing the speed brake handle leading to a second touchdown requiring a new airport elevation survey. :p

GF

Been there, done that, greeted to pax.

JohnBurke
12-11-2018, 11:03 PM
We're talking about doing it out of necessity - not design. The fact that a pilot is already fighting a sleep debt and may already be fatigued while flying is a problem - you're correct. But, once they find themselves in that position there are only so many options to attempt to complete the flight as safely as possible.


All the more reason to get it right. The ponit of the thread, that we must change the regulation to allow cat naps, now clarified by your asssertion that we must have them because they're the only way to safely complete a flight...illustrates my point.

If pilots are fatigued enough that they can't make it A to B without a power nap, then let's not correct the reason they can't stay awake...after all, when the barn burns down, we should de-horn all the cows. That'll fix the fire. Or we could look for reasons the barn. might burn down and fix those. Bandaids only go so far.

If the problem is serious enough that we want to create the institution of cat naps, then for damn sure we need to have a solid footing beyond anecdotal.


When I've used them they help.

That settles it then.

Anecdotal science. Let's change the world.

Adlerdriver
12-12-2018, 08:35 AM
All the more reason to get it right. The ponit of the thread, that we must change the regulation to allow cat naps, now clarified by your asssertion that we must have them because they're the only way to safely complete a flight.... Now John, to use your own words: Don't put words in my mouth, or attribute to me that which I did not say. I didn't say they were the only way to safely complete a flight. Read. I said the options were limited.

If pilots are fatigued enough that they can't make it A to B without a power nap, then let's not correct the reason they can't stay awake...after all, when the barn burns down, we should de-horn all the cows. That'll fix the fire. Or we could look for reasons the barn. might burn down and fix those. Bandaids only go so far. Now who wants to change the world? In a perfect world, that sounds great. You really want to approach this by trying to fix the myriad of circumstances that might result in a fatigued pilot on an airplane? What's your plan with that? How do you suggest we fix a maid accidentally waking a pilot or somehow solve the simple fact that his body clock is still back on Iowa time and he's on the other side of the world? In my opinion, there are too many possible "reasons they can't stay awake" to correct them all. We have fatigue calls if someone can recognize they're not fit to fly before departure. But, what if they feel okay at departure and still struggle enroute? I don't think your suggestion for a solution here is realistic.

If the problem is serious enough that we want to create the institution of cat naps, then for damn sure we need to have a solid footing beyond anecdotal. Why? What's so critical about giving someone the option? If they work for some pilots why do they need to prove that to some regulatory agency.

That settles it then.

Anecdotal science. Let's change the world.

Yes. It settles it for me. Of course I can't apply my personal experiences to anyone else. I wasn't suggesting that. But on the other hand, I don't think absolute scientific proof is required to allow an individual the option if they feel it would help them.