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Old 02-07-2008, 05:58 PM   #1  
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Default Crew rest

I think airlines have taken the very serious issue of crew rest way to casually. I have a few questions for you guys in the airline world:

I'm told that at most airlines rest begins ~15 minutes after you arrive. Depending on the situation, I'm sure it'll take longer than 15 minutes to get to a bed. Why doesn't the FAA insist that rest begins 15 minutes after you're checked in at the hotel? That sounds more realistic to me, and not at all unreasonable. If the FAA won't do it, why don't the pilots do it?

I've also heard that some airlines require you to live within (for example) 90 minutes of the airport. In this situation, do they give the courtesy of not starting their "crew rest timers" until 90 minutes after duty ends?

If my information is incorrect, please set me right, but I'm very concerned when I hear about pilots going to fly after "minimum rest".
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:16 PM   #2  
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You are released from duty 15 minutes after your arrival time. It doesn't matter if the van ride is a half hour or more (and they will be), rest begins as soon as you're released. A lot of the time I can't even make it outside of the airport in that time frame.

In theory, I like your idea of starting your rest at a hotel check-in, but there are way too many variables for that to work. You're putting the crew rest results in the hands of motel van drivers and desk workers. At some of the overnights the crews will talk the van driver into going through a drive-thru so we don't waste time on a reduced rest hunting for food. In one particular case, I have this 8:17 layover that we've run through the drive-thru a bunch, but if rest didn't begin until we checked in, they'd have to push our departure back the next day because we decided to hit up Taco Bell instead of going straight to bed. Not that I'd have a problem with getting more than the government-required minimum rest to be considered fit to fly.

Plus, what about locals, where you end up back in base and go to work the next day? Do you call in when you get home? I completely see where you're coming from, but I just don't see it being a feasible option.

I don't know of any airlines that require you to live any sort of timeframe from the airport, other than for reserve reporting purposes. Half the crews I fly with live in different time zones than the domicile.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:18 PM   #3  
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You've got the general idea. For our airline, you are "released" 20 minutes after you "block in" (or when the aircraft comes to a stop). Per the contract "time spent in transportation local in nature is considered part of the rest period". Fair? Nope not at all, but it's industry standard. Last night the van didn't even show up until 45 minutes after we got in...but does that matter to the company? Nope. Minimum rest for less than 8 hrs of scheduled flight time is 9 hrs, which can be reduced to 8 as long as you get extended rest ("compensatory") then next "day". So, get in at 2100, released at 2120, the company can make you report the next day as early as 2120 + 800 = 0520. Generally the report times are scheduled 1 hr before departure and that's what time you'll get the hotel van. Sometimes, if they have to bump back a report time because you got in late the night before, they'll do that but still tell you they expect an "on time departure". Some guys don't care and will take their good ole time, others will still take the van an hour before, even though it is technically an illegal report, so they'll be ready for an on-time and not inconvenience pax. I could go on & on, but I think I'm just rambling now....


Sorry for all the " " ' s
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:21 PM   #4  
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Plus, Rickair makes the extremely important point be known that the FAA doesn't care what you do during rest, as long as it's not commercial flying. The pilot who has an 18-hour break in his/her duty day might work a 10-hour shift at another job, while someone who has minimum rest may have the sense to get straight to bed. I suppose you may a valid reason to worry about pilots who have minimum rest, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

Too cheesy?
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:23 PM   #5  
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ok...one more....speaking of 'min rest', have you heard of cd's?

CD - continuous duty overnight.

Basically, you fly the last flight to an outstation, remain on duty overnight, and show up at the airport in time in the morning to operate the first flight back to base. So, rather than the company having to give you 8 hrs of rest, they keep you on duty overnight so that the morning flight will never be delayed due to crew rest. Eg - in at 2230, take the hotel van back to the airport at 450 for a 550 departure. Some people love um though because you're home during the day. Only problem I have is the people who bid for that reason and end up staying up all day as well to take care of family life. Somewhere in there, you can't be getting enough rest to be on your game all month...... Ok, rant over.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:34 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down2mins View Post
Per the contract "time spent in transportation local in nature is considered part of the rest period". Fair? Nope not at all, but it's industry standard.
Actually, that definition is in the FARs. As far as still taking the same van for an unofficial early report, don't do it. Show up at the legal report time and take the delay. I gurantee you, if you go splat, they will drag your name through the mud since you flew without the required rest. The company will say they told you to report with proper rest. If its 5 minutes, it won't matter with the 30 minute van schedules anyway. Any longer and its not worth doing them a favor.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:40 PM   #7  
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Actually, that definition is in the FARs. As far as still taking the same van for an unofficial early report, don't do it. Show up at the legal report time and take the delay. I gurantee you, if you go splat, they will drag your name through the mud since you flew without the required rest. The company will say they told you to report with proper rest. If its 5 minutes, it won't matter with the 30 minute van schedules anyway. Any longer and its not worth doing them a favor.

Yes, very true. I agree. It's like you said...the times when the van doesn't leave at your new time. Granted they're few, but the places that run um every 20 or 30 min are tricky.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:44 PM   #8  
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Yes, very true. I agree. It's like you said...the times when the van doesn't leave at your new time. Granted they're few, but the places that run um every 20 or 30 min are tricky.
You must be lucky. I have yet to stay at a hotel that didn't run vans on the 20 or 30 minute schedule to the airport. Going to the hotel is generally on demand, but at most places its a solid 45 minutes from block in to keys in hand for us.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #9  
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Yeah? I'd say most of ours are on-demand or 15 min. Do you have the option of having the hotel pay for a taxi if the the pickup/departure time is delayed __ min long?
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:52 PM   #10  
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FAA doesn't care what you do during rest

They shouldn't, but they should care that we are actually able to rest. Obviously they can't force us to sleep, but we all need sleep at some time, and the regs should state that we get at least 8 hours with appropriate sleeping facilities.

Standing up waiting 45 minutes for an airport van is just unacceptable to me. At a bare minimum, the airline should determine the average time it takes the van to get you to the hotel at various times during the day, and use that to calculate when rest starts. Doesn't seem too complex to me.

they'll be ready for an on-time and not inconvenience pax

I'm not yet flying for a living, but when did passenger convenience supersede flight safety? I don't see myself doing that. If the NTSB finds out that you reported without enough rest, I doubt passenger convenience will be a good enough answer.

I don't know of any airlines that require you to live any sort of timeframe from the airport, other than for reserve reporting purposes.

How does reserve work then? Say you live in MIA, and you're base is JFK? Do you have to check in at the crew hotel the night before? Seems wasteful, especially if you don't get called.

I realize that posting on this forum won't change the FAR's, but I'd like to know why pilots have allowed themselves to be taken advantage of, with the obvious risks to flight safety? Maybe somebody will read this post and bring it up at the next ALPA meeting?

Last edited by Senior Skipper; 02-07-2008 at 07:11 PM.
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