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Old 06-18-2008, 10:35 AM   #1  
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Default On-Call Is Not Rest

For those who do not know, there are several interpretive letters issued by the FAA regarding the definition of rest. Here is a quote from one of them, a letter from Donald P. Byrne, Assistant Chief Counsel, FAA, to Frederick G. Pappas, Jr., Director, Flight Services, Midwest Corporate Aviation, Inc. (June 24, 1991):

"[A] rest period must be prospective in nature. Stated another way, a flight crewmember must be told in advance that he or she will be on a rest period for the duration required by the regulations. In addition, a rest period must be free of all restraint....Moreover, a flight crewmember in a rest period must be free of present responsibility for work should the occasion arise." (see link below)

The US Court of Appeals, First Circuit found that interpretation of rest to be reasonable. They also found that the FAA could take enforcement action against pilots and 135 certificate holders for violating that interpretation (again see link below).

So, at the end of every 14 hours on call a 135 operator must release a pilot for 10 hours of rest if they expect him/her to be legal for another 14 hours at the beginning of the next 24. On-call is not rest time! If the company assigns and the pilot accepts a flight without 10 hours of rest (that were determined in advance, were continuous, and were free from any responsibility to the company) in the 24 preceding the end of duty, then the pilot and company can (and will according to FAA Notice (again see below link)) be violated!

To give an example, if you (pilot) have been on call for 12 hours (say it's 2100) and company calls and assigns you duty from 2200 to 0200 it is a violation to assign/accept that flight. Realistically speaking (1 hour to report + 1 hour preflight + 12 = 14) at 12 hours on call, the company must give you 10 hours of rest before requiring you to report for duty.

Come on guys, stop doing this stuff for these guys. Stop risking your certificate, future, and life (fatigue)! If the boss wants to have a jet available to him on a moments notice, then he should hire adequate crews to handle a situation like that.


http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opin...9-1888-01A.pdf
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:49 AM   #2  
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In another thread someone said:

Define "on-call"

I'm sitting at home, have the option to sleep or not. Can do pretty much what I want. I can also choose to accept or decline a trip. This is the typical routine of most corporate/charter pilots. So am I on duty or in rest?




What I am discussing here is charter only, not corporate. The Court defined two different on-call scenarios in their opinion. The first they called a "duty-to-report" status. The other they called a "duty-to-be-available" status. The full definitions are in the opinion if you are really bored, I mean interested.

If I were in your shoes, I would think about the answer to this question to determine which status I fell under. Are you realistically able to choose whether or not to accept a flight? We always have a choice whether we fly or not, but what happens when you choose not to accept a flight (fatigue, etc.)?

If you do not have a choice, then you fall under duty-to-report. The Court upheld the FAA interpretation of rest regarding duty-to-report. In that case everything I said in my previous post clearly applies. Though you are not on duty, you/the company cannot count your on-call time as rest.

If you do have a choice, then you fall under duty-to-be-available. This scenario is not quite as clear. The Court states, "...one footnote in the FAA's brief, and its statements at oral argument, suggest that an unrequited duty-to-be-available is not "rest," but we are unwilling to bind the agency to the less-than-clear litigation position of its lawyers...".

So, the FAA apparently does not consider this scenario to be rest. The Court however failed to decide the issue. Later in the opinion though, it implied if the FAA would clarify its position on the issue than it would find similarly to the duty-to-report scenario. If the FAA violates you for inadequate rest, do you really want to have to take it to the Court of Appeals to find out?

Choice or not, on-call is not rest as far as my certificate is concerned.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:50 AM   #3  
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My POI would disagree with you. He thinks the way we do it is just fine, and I know because we where just investigated by the FAA because some prick that doesn't understand how flight and duty time works sent a nasty gram to the FAA, anonymously. The FAA looked at all our records and deemed that we where in compliance with the regs. There's a whole industry that is built upon last minute charters, and fitting into a cookie cutter mold just doesn't work. When I'm at home on call I am not on duty, I'm not working. It's your responsibility to stop flying if your fatigued! When I get somewhere at 3 am and I'm tired, I tell my company I'm tired and go to a hotel, and I've never been questioned.

BTW You posted the one interpretation, where's the other interpretations???


EDIT: BTW reading your second post, I would say I fall under "duty to be available" since I do have the choice to accept the trip or not. They may no be happy when I turn one down, but there's no repercussions if I do.

Last edited by RedGuy; 06-18-2008 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:34 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedGuy View Post
My POI would disagree with you.

When I'm at home on call I am not on duty, I'm not working. It's your responsibility to stop flying if your fatigued! When I get somewhere at 3 am and I'm tired, I tell my company I'm tired and go to a hotel, and I've never been questioned.

BTW You posted the one interpretation, where's the other interpretations???
You know how it goes, some FSDOs/POIs enforce regs differently. If the FAA Regional Counsel for your area decided to violate you/the company though, they would have this opinion to rely upon. The FAA Chief Counsel's office is where the rest interpretations come from. They're a little higher up the food chain than a local POI.

When you are on-call you are not able to have a couple of beers, get too far away from base, etc. You must be fit and available to fly, though it sounds like your company is reasonable. How do you know when to sleep, though? Doesn't it suck getting up to go fly on 3 hours of sleep? BTW, it is also the company's responsibility not to assign you to a flight if you are fatigued.

You can use the link below to search for other interpretations. I only have the Word/PDF files. They all say the same thing, more or less.

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/...terpretations/
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:32 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR22 View Post

When you are on-call you are not able to have a couple of beers, get too far away from base, etc. You must be fit and available to fly, though it sounds like your company is reasonable. How do you know when to sleep, though? Doesn't it suck getting up to go fly on 3 hours of sleep? BTW, it is also the company's responsibility not to assign you to a flight if you are fatigued.

You can use the link below to search for other interpretations. I only have the Word/PDF files. They all say the same thing, more or less.

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/...terpretations/


Having a couple beers is over rated, but no if I want to be available I can't have a beer since then I would not be able to fly. But if I want to have a beer I can call in and say I'm going to be unavailable. Same thing if I need to go somewhere, or do something that's involved. I just call in and let them know I'm unavailable. The down side to that is that by calling in unavailable you may miss a big trip that pays really well. But I've even turned a couple of those down because I had other plans.

As far as sleeping, I just sleep when I would normally sleep. I go to bed around 10pm, wake up when ever I wake up, and take a nap in the afternoon. Flying on three hours sleep really isn't bad at all once you get up and get out of the shower. The key thing about working on call is knowing your limits and staying within them. And if I worked at an employer that gave me a problem about refusing to fly because I was tired, that plane would sit right where it was and I'd be on the first buss home! I won't work for a company that doesn't respect my decisions and safety. Personally I feel that I'm better off where I'm at after hearing about how some of these scheduled carriers basically force you to fly if you answer the phone or if your even sick! No thanks! Being on call may suck, but it's as safe as you make it.

Last edited by RedGuy; 06-18-2008 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:57 PM   #6  
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Well, I guess the MI FSDO at KYIP will have to violate half the crews that try to depart tomorrow.

This topic has been beaten to death and we all know what the correct interpretation is. POI's know about it and they aren't violating pilots or operators. That may change eventually, but it hasn't yet.

I am not risking my life, future or certificate for my boss.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:53 AM   #7  
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Quote:
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This topic has been beaten to death and we all know what the correct interpretation is.

I am not risking my life, future or certificate for my boss.
Apparently not (see RedGuy's post above). Should anyone ever be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, this is just one more thing they can use to blame it on you (the pilot). And it'd be kinda hard to prove "my POI verbally told me it was okay," don'tcha think? Perhaps I should have ended my first post something more like this, though:

Here's a little something to keep in your back pocket until the next time you are tired, are fed up with unexpectedly climbing out of bed at 0200 and shooting an approach to mins on 3 hours sleep, want to improve your overall QOL (stable schedule = you can make plans), want to help other guys improve their QOL, and want to help create more jobs (so we all have more opportunities, you included).
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:35 AM   #8  
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SR22, I have to disagree with your assertion that predictive rest would benefit pilots by creating more jobs and better QOL. The economics would simply decrease pay and opportunities, such as is happening with oil prices and increased fares in the scheduled passenger marketplace. Now with regulated markets and price control, I would agree with you and it looks like the next Presidential admin. might move in that direction, so perhaps your thinking is a bit progressive.

Furthur, you have cherry picked legal intrepretations and failed to get the entire legal picture and if you are really interested, I would suggest searching the 121 supplemental rullings.

Please understand I am not arguing from a safety standpoint or a social view as these are totally different conversations. But the legal precident is clear and the economic situation is well founded.

By the way, do you have a dog in this fight? If so, why not get another job? You mention in your first point "stop doing this stuff for these guys" What guys? I consider myself part of one company not divided by us and them and have been treated likewise. Just curious and thanks for the interesting post and conversation.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:01 AM   #9  
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Really as a whole, there are pilots that will and some that won't go "above and beyound" and fly no matter what. As long as you, individually, make a stand about what your interpretation of the rules are, you're usually ok. I did this when I worked 135, and regardless of what a few of the "Go-To" guys were doing, I covered my own rear. In the end, it is really our responsibility to protect ourselves, not the POI's, chief pilot, or DO.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:27 AM   #10  
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Like coyote said you would not increase jobs, or QOL, you would probably put a large segment of the 135 business, out of business. It's called "unscheduled 135" for a reason. If you don't like it, go work for the regionals. Then see how well rested you feel after spending 9 hours in some dumpy hotel on a 4 day trip with them, but hey at least you'll know when you'll be tired. It seems to me that your more interested in increasing your QOL than you really are about safety, and just using safety for the argument.

Quote:
Here's a little something to keep in your back pocket until the next time you are tired, are fed up with unexpectedly climbing out of bed at 0200 and shooting an approach to mins on 3 hours sleep, want to improve your overall QOL (stable schedule = you can make plans), want to help other guys improve their QOL, and want to help create more jobs (so we all have more opportunities, you included).

BTW Who's to say I'm not rested with 3 hours sleep? Or who's to say that someone who has 10 hours off will sleep during that 10 hours? I've said it before, you can't legislate good judgment. I may be well rested with just a few hours sleep while someone else may need 12hours of sleep to feel rested. Also you may still be crawling out of bed unexpectedly at 2am as while some pilots will do their 14 hours during the day, someone else will still have to cover the night shift.


Also this 2am call out you keep talking about is pretty rare where I work.

Last edited by RedGuy; 06-19-2008 at 11:12 AM.
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