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It's Time to Rethink the PED Rules.

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It's Time to Rethink the PED Rules.

Old 10-18-2022, 09:28 AM
  #1  
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Default It's Time to Rethink the PED Rules.

I get it, I do. Personal electronics are distracting regardless of what activity you are engaged in. Obviously in some scenarios their inappropriate use can kill, especially while driving. In the cockpit their use during the pre-flight phase at the gate or parking stand, and during all sterile cockpit phases of flight can do and has caused critical items to get missed.

However, where I think there needs to be some re-thinking is established at cruise altitude on long flights. I got into a debate with my niece on this as she does follow the rules, I taught her right, but gave me some things to think about. Namely, why and how specificlly is their use during cruise flight an actual safety problem?

Gone are the days that I came up in when we had nothing but a wing leveler, raw nav data HSI/CDIs to follow and a whole lot of round dials that required constant monitoring. Let's face it, those of us opposing the use of PEDs in long range cruise flight I think are just suffering throwback syndrome. Lets be honest, the modern jets in use at today's airlines just don't need that level of attention in cruise as the old Diesel 9s and 727s some of us used to put around in. The current generation of aircraft (with some cargo company and 135 exceptions) pretty much do all the monitoring for you do they not? When something goes awry they yell at you. What needs constant monitoring? Really? I mean set aside the instinct to be against this for a moment and game it out? What scenario in say an Airbus 321 at cruise could turn into a disaster because a pilot was playing Candy Crush, reading a Kindal or watching football? Before you say missed radio calls: A, I'd love to see an example of a missed radio call turn deadly and B: I missed a helluva lot of radio calls over my tenure without an ipad or cell phone in hand. You don't need gadgets to mentally tune out ATC unwittingly. What else? What am I missing?

What is the true workload at cruise in these modern jets? Then you throw in CPDLC and what's left? Twiddling your thumbs asking the guy/gal next to you: "are we there yet?" After listening to my young padawan whine about this I started to see her point. What's the harm really in watching a movie, playing a silly game or reading while on long cruise flights? I think there should be some basic rules established here such as minimum time at cruise, off during briefings etc, yet as much as I pondered this I really couldn't come up with any other argument against her points that were anything other than old school pilot thinking.

Listen, not saying this should be done, just thinking it should be reconsidered for discussion sake.
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Old 10-18-2022, 02:41 PM
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There are many facets to this discussion. I would argue the most critical issue at this time (contract negotiations) is not trying to make the case that modern automated flight decks require so little monitoring from us that we should be allowed to watch movies. That isn't going to be conducive to our arguments that we deserve massive pay increases. I might instead argue that long hours monitoring are extremely fatiguing and safety dictates that we increase the time off between trips in order to recharge.
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Old 10-18-2022, 02:55 PM
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A couple of NWA guys who overshot MSP by a couple hundred miles tried to make that case once. The FAA didnít buy it.
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Old 10-18-2022, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
A couple of NWA guys who overshot MSP by a couple hundred miles tried to make that case once. The FAA didn’t buy it.
They fell asleep. One might make an argument that had they been watching porn, lol, or football, they wouldn't have missed Minneapolis brother!
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Old 10-18-2022, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MCRN View Post
They fell asleep. One might make an argument that had they been watching porn, lol, or football, they wouldn't have missed Minneapolis brother!
No, they didn’t fall asleep. They were working on line scheduling.

Although acquaintances of the pilots' have launched defenses on the Internet, Capt. Timothy Cheney and First Officer Richard Cole were at least initially apologetic for their actions in the days following the mistake.

"There's no good excuse," Cheney told NTSB investigators four days after the event. "I let my guard down. I wish I could explain why."

Cheney and Cole told investigators that they had not fallen asleep, as originally had been suspected, but had become distracted by an airline scheduling system on their laptop computers and "got deeper and deeper into it."

When a flight attendant called the cockpit to ask when they would land, the pilots realized that not only were they a half-hour late for the scheduled prelanding deceleration, they were about 150 miles beyond the Minneapolis, Minnesota, airport where they were supposed to land.

Cheney, who has about 20,000 hours of flying time, told investigators he was "blown away" that he had been distracted for so long, saying that in 24 years of flying, "I've never, ever, been in this situation."

He acknowledged putting his 144 passengers "at risk" and said he was embarrassed, the safety board report said. "You'll never know how sorry I am," it quoted him as saying.

The crew of Northwest Flight 188 was out of radio contact with radio controllers for 77 minutes during the October 21 flight from San Diego, California, according to the FAA.
Being distracted by porn or football I might have actually understood.
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Old 10-18-2022, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MCRN View Post
They fell asleep. One might make an argument that had they been watching porn, lol, or football, they wouldn't have missed Minneapolis brother!

That was the Go! (Mesa) crew that fell asleep IIRC


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Old 10-18-2022, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Av8rPHX View Post
That was the Go! (Mesa) crew that fell asleep IIRC
They are known to have fallen asleep. Crap schedules, and it turned out the CA had OSA IIRC.

The NWA crew that overflew MSP *probably* fell asleep, but they blamed a laptop for their distraction so here we are. Only two people know for sure though.
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Old 10-18-2022, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
No, they didnít fall asleep.
Nobody actually knows for sure but them. Anything's possible but improbable IMO.

1. 30 minutes past TOD
2. FMA/NAV reversions
3. Radio Calls

They were so distracted they missed all of that? Maybe, but again improbable.
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Old 10-18-2022, 08:57 PM
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One of my favorite things about the A320 was the slide out tray right in front of me I could sit my laptop on. On redeyes I'd watch movies or play solitaire. Flying on the backside of the clock without something to keep your brain engaged is a great way to fall asleep.
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