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Transcon Turns

Old 06-02-2005, 02:17 PM
  #11  
Meworry?
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Originally Posted by Calpilot
The 8 hour waiver is just the beginning. Accepting this as the "norm" will result in future degradation of the current regulations. I believe in Darwinism but do not support changing rules that are contrary to flight safety. Anyone who thinks flying a 10+ hour LA turn safely with a 2 pilot crew is naive.

Good Luck.
The problem is there is no science behind the 8 hour rule. We are running a test program that will yield empirical evidence as to the the physiological effects of the 8 hour waiver. Until then, we are all naive because we just don't know the effect on flight safety, but we will.

Those of you that have worked at 3 or 4 airlines have a right to be skeptical, even cynical. But a word of caution...your skepticism can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of "us vs. them," and you will end up with the exact situation you had at your previous airlines. Is that what you want? Do you think the result will be any different? Do you want to be looking for work in another five years?

Realistic, how do you figure the 8 hour waiver will result in fewer pilots? We will still have a set number of hours divided by a number of pilots flying 80-85 hours per month. Monthly divisors will be about the same, so there should be no incentive to reduce the number of pilots, unless we up the 100 hour rule, extremely unlikely. The effect on reserves remains to be seen. The seniority rule is a valid issue, and I strongly suggest you take up some of your concerns in a pocket session. Why not? However, I suspect senior pilots will end up with productivity of about 8-9 hours a day, with junior about 6 hours, an improvement for everyone, if you ask me. Time will tell.

This forum is a great exchange of ideas and thoughts, and I welcome the comments from outside JB as well. Thanks.
 
Old 06-02-2005, 03:52 PM
  #12  
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If you have ever been on reserve at JetBlue, you would know that our crew scheduling is famous for bending rules when it benifits them. I think that the top 200 will make out very well but the "bad" transcon turns will go to Jr. guys on reserve.

blueside
 
Old 06-02-2005, 05:33 PM
  #13  
automatique
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Originally Posted by BlueSide
If you have ever been on reserve at JetBlue, you would know that our crew scheduling is famous for bending rules when it benifits them. I think that the top 200 will make out very well but the "bad" transcon turns will go to Jr. guys on reserve.

blueside
And the reserves will get those "bad" transcons untill they approach
guarantee and then they will be "parked" for the remainder of their 18-19 duty days a month. There is absolutely no incentive for transcon turns if you're on reserve.
 
Old 06-02-2005, 07:45 PM
  #14  
Realistic
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Meworry,
I think you're assuming that the monthly line averages would remain the same and that days off would be the only thing to increase. In an airline of our size a movement in monthly line averages for the top third to say 90 hours would result in fewer line holders for a given number of pilots. I say the top third because one would assume that at some seniority level, trans-con turns would run out.
No one would deny that a pilot who could concievably fly 90-95 hours with 20 days off would push very hard to move those averages up and a company faced with staffing problems would be inclined to oblige. Once the cat was out of the bag, it would be very hard to put it back in - and - you suddenly put the breaks on upgrades. That kind of flexibility would allow you to run LGB with 40 crews instead of 50.
Great way to fix a staffing shortage - bad way to fix the grumbling about pay disparity.
How about a trade? We rationalize premium pay into a fixed hourly rate in return for trans-con turns. The masses get a raise and the super senior get a sweet schedule.
Win - win.
 
Old 06-02-2005, 10:02 PM
  #15  
Meworry?
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I'm all for rationalizing pay...that would be a pay raise for us reserve lineholders. I'm not sure that the 8 hour waiver would result in a smaller base at LGB, probably the opposite. It would then make more sense to base more crews at LGB to cover more transcons, which is most of the LGB flying. Also, remember that this covers more than transcon turns. Lots of other combos that can result in more than 8 hours, so I think the benefit will accrue to a larger group than just the top third.

'Course, I could be wrong...
 
Old 06-03-2005, 08:25 AM
  #16  
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We're probably both wrong. I have a feeling though, that if we stuck trans-con turns into the optimizer - we would be capable of doing some different things in terms of staffing. LGB hasn't benefited yet from more trans-cons or additional bases or even the American slots, but I suppose it could happen. I have no doubt that they will benefit some pilots at LGB.
We are frequently reminded that: "we are an East Coast airline."
I hope the boys in Kew are saying this in the same tone that I heard it, when they talk to prospective new hires. It's fairly common to see some "unrealistic" expectations out there.
In my case the unfulfilled hype has been predictable.
I hope (like you do) that we can break the cycle that we've seen played out at every major airline in America. But, the total-compensation disparity between the top and bottom of the seniority list (as compared to every other major airline) will become more apparent to more pilots as the months pass and THIS will be the main reason that we probably won't escape this cycle.
Even if we don't - we still have the best product in the industry and a very good group of experienced pilots who are painfully aware of what can happen if you don't execute efficiently.

Last edited by Realistic; 06-03-2005 at 08:47 AM.
 
Old 06-03-2005, 10:00 PM
  #17  
mm320cap
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First, a disclaimer... I am not a jetBlue pilot, but the way this industry is going, it behooves us all to keep tabs on what is happening at the survivors.

A question. Are these tests being conducted yet? I had dinner with a guy who was doing a DH JFK-OAK, layover, DH back. This sounded to me as if he was acting as the safety pilot for the tests, but I didn't know for sure if you all had started flying them yet.

Next, I'll be honest. I am concerned somewhat about the safety of such a schedule. If you have a reserve pilot who lives a couple hours outside of New York, and he gets called for one of these turns, he will probably need to be on the road by 5am. So let's assume a 4:30am wakeup, and a 7am launch. Assuming an hour ground time, the landing back at JFK is going to be around 7pm. Two hour drive home... That's a LONG day. A few times at my airline (brand X), I have done a DH out to fly back transcon, and my experience has been that I am absolutely worthless during the final phases of the second leg. Add any sort of weather delays, mechanical problems etc., and it is going to be a LONG night. I'm assuming that the prevailing thought is that if you get to OAK and you are fatigued, that you would not fly back. That's fine, but you could easily feel fine in OAK, and 5 hours later be functioning at a VERY reduced level of awareness. It only takes one accident to make the whole project not worth it.

Believe me I understand the desire for more efficient schedules... we all want more time at home. Let me also say to those of you that commute: You are ALWAYS welcome on my jumpseat. Although I have never had the opportunity to ride on your airline, I am well aware that you have the best jumpseat policy in the business. I'm sure that there will be those who try to use the jumpseat as a tool to "punish" your efforts; I find this deplorable. We are all just trying to get to work...

See you on the line.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 10:08 AM
  #18  
Meworry?
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mm320Cap,

Thanks, appreciate the thought on jumpseating.

Yes, some tests have been done. I know the exact turn you mentioned was flown on Mother's day. I got called on a day off to be the safety pilot (turned it down...Mother's Day?!). Have not heard any results yet, but probably will not hear anything until all tests are done and evaluated.

Your points are well taken. I hope (and believe) that JB has the fortitude to try something based on an honest evaluation that it will work well for all involved. I expect something that will change over time as we gain experience and feedback from the pilots, if it is approved at all.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 02:10 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Meworry?
Your points are well taken. I hope (and believe) that JB has the fortitude to try something based on an honest evaluation that it will work well for all involved.
That is a danger and a challenge. With competing intrests can you really find an honest evaluation ?

Management will like the reduced manpower the waiver will create - works well for them.

Line holders will like having 18 days off per month and have the ability to rest in preparation for reduced rest pairings - works well for them too.

Reserves will pay with reduced margins of safety by not being able to properly rest for such pairings. Of course one or even two of these trips would be OK for most of us. The real danger comes from the prolonged and cumulative sleep debt of several months of reduced rest flying. That's where the JB reserve pilots will get hammered - and the entire operation see's a reduction in the margin of safety. Is it an accident waiting to happen? Who knows. Does it reduce the margin of safety? For reserve pilots - I think so.

Worth a disclaimer here - I'm not a JB pilot so take the above with a grain of salt.

Good luck with the program
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Old 06-05-2005, 07:27 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by WatchThis!
Management will like the reduced manpower the waiver will create - works well for them.

Line holders will like having 18 days off per month and have the ability to rest in preparation for reduced rest pairings - works well for them too.

Reserves will pay with reduced margins of safety by not being able to properly rest for such pairings. Of course one or even two of these trips would be OK for most of us. The real danger comes from the prolonged and cumulative sleep debt of several months of reduced rest flying. That's where the JB reserve pilots will get hammered - and the entire operation see's a reduction in the margin of safety. Is it an accident waiting to happen? Who knows. Does it reduce the margin of safety? For reserve pilots - I think so.

Worth a disclaimer here - I'm not a JB pilot so take the above with a grain of salt.

Good luck with the program

Watch,

If this works out, there will be no reduction of pilots. Remember, we will still be flying the same number of hours, just in a smaller number of days. The company average will still be around 85 hours. This will mean the number of line holders will be the same.

The 18-22! days per month will be great if it all works out.

I don't think there will be a reduced margin of safety due to sleep debt. I expect there will be some minimum number of hours of rest between turns. I would expect something like 10-12 hours minimum. That gives good rest. Remember the "work day" will be the same or shorter than some of our long 4 leg/8 hour days running up and down the east coast with the great "productivity sits" in the middle.

As for reserves, remember with a reduced number of pilots flying per day, the number of reserves needed to replace this reduced number of line holders per day will should be reduced somewhat. What that means to me is that we can use these extra pilots to increase the total number of reserves and implement some improvements to the reserve system (long callout, late report, early release, etc). More reserves will allow this to actually happen and thus make reserve less painful, and maybe even desired by those who live in NYC or where based. All of this will reduce the demand on the reserves thus eliminating their fatique also. Remember, that reserves have limited windows where they can fill a "transcon turn" so they will only be options for such during their first few hours of a reserve period. After that, they would be illegal to fly a turn. So I don't think the reserves will be at risk.

Anyway, I guess we will all have to wait and see.

Just my opinion......

FNG
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