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Topic: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: tugger
Posted 2013-01-15 14:45:40 and read 10138 times.

Soon there may be no more iPods or personal laptops allowed to be used in the cockpit if new rules being considered by the FAA go through:

Quote:
Airline pilots would be prohibited from using personal electronics at any time during a flight, except if it directly relates to the operation of the plane, according to a new Federal Aviation Administration proposal.

A longstanding "sterile cockpit" rule currently bars the use of any personal gadgets during critical phases of flight. This usually means operations related to takeoff and landing.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/travel/pilots-electronics/index.html

Tugg

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: tugger
Posted 2013-01-15 15:02:37 and read 10030 times.

Here is the actual proposal from today's "Federal Register":

Quote:
[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 15, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 2912-2916]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00608]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 121

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0929; Notice No. 13-02]
RIN 2120-AJ17


Prohibition on Personal Use of Electronic Devices on the Flight
Deck

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The proposed rule would prohibit flightcrew members in
operations under part 121 from using a personal wireless communications
device or laptop computer for personal use while at their duty station
on the flight deck while the aircraft is being operated. This rule,
which conforms FAA regulations with recent legislation, is intended to
ensure that certain non-essential activities do not contribute to the
challenge of task management on the flight deck or a loss of
situational awareness due to attention to non-essential tasks.

DATES: Send comments on or before March 18, 2013.

[...]
I. Overview of Proposed Rule

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 was enacted on February 14, 2012. Section 307 of the Act, Prohibition on Personal Use of Electronic Devices on the Flight Deck, makes it ''unlawful for a flight crewmember of an aircraft used to provide air transportation under part 121 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, to use a personal wireless communications device or laptop computer while at the flight crewmember's duty station on the flight deck of such an aircraft while the aircraft is being operated.'' The legislation also states that this prohibition does not apply to the use of a personal wireless communications device or laptop computer for a purpose directly related to operation of the aircraft, or for emergency, safety-related, or employment-related communications, in accordance with procedures
established by the air carrier and the FAA. The FAA is proposing to amend part 121 to conform to this legislation. The FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR 121.542 to add language to prohibit flightcrew members operating under part 121 from using a personal wireless communications device or a laptop computer for personal use while at their duty station on the flight deck while the aircraft is being operated. The amended regulatory language will clarify that the prohibition on use of a personal wireless communications device or laptop computer does not apply to the use of a personal wireless communications device or laptop computer for a purpose directly related to the operation of the aircraft, or for emergency, safety-related, or employment-related communications, in accordance with procedures established by the air carrier and approved by the FAA.
http://gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-01-15/html/2013-00608.htm

Tugg

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-15 15:10:31 and read 9956 times.

This is what you get when you try to enforce common sense by regulation.   

Let's face facts: 90% of cruise flight is extremely monotonous. And periods of low workload have a negative effect on someone's situational awareness and ability to perform to a high standard when needed. Thus, it makes sense to, during such periods, find other ways of keeping your mental activity up. Sure, there are times when you need your full attention on the plane - if I'm deviating around some weather, that's a good time to not be doing other things. And one person should always have their attention on the aircraft. But apparently the FAA can't trust crews to do the right thing, and so we get proposals like this (and the rule would be unenforceable anyway).

As planes become more capable of managing themselves, we need more leeway to take a few minutes off during a flight, not less. Staring at screens waiting for something to go wrong gets mighty tiring mighty quick.

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: AirframeAS
Posted 2013-01-15 15:16:46 and read 9917 times.

Aren't the iPads that AS issues to their pilots are strictly used for company business use only and the only app that is used on there is the app that AS designed for their crews only?? I thought this was already covered.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-15 15:24:08 and read 9846 times.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
I thought this was already covered.

This rule would presumably extend to devices owned by the pilots themselves (though the wording seems to only mention communication devices and laptops, which is leaving out a whole category of electronic devices like e-readers, portable game systems, etc. - not sure why the FAA would do that).

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: luv2fly
Posted 2013-01-15 16:27:41 and read 9597 times.

My question is how are they going to enforce it.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: tb727
Posted 2013-01-15 16:39:36 and read 9530 times.

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 5):
My question is how are they going to enforce it.

Why video cameras in the cockpit of course!

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: AirframeAS
Posted 2013-01-15 16:48:33 and read 9483 times.

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 5):
My question is how are they going to enforce it.

They still do checkrides....

Quoting tb727 (Reply 6):
Why video cameras in the cockpit of course!

Ain't gonna happen. There was a thread about this awhile ago on this very topic. Every pilot union in the U.S. was totally against this idea, IIRC, hence why it never came about.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-15 16:57:00 and read 9433 times.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
They still do checkrides....

And pilots will definitely keep the devices turned off during those flights.

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: AirframeAS
Posted 2013-01-15 17:04:25 and read 9388 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):

Only when there is a checkride being done by the FAA Inspector. When there is not a checkride being done, the pads come back on. Trust me on this.

I don't think this FAR will get anywhere. This saves a lot on weight and saves a lot of money in the long run. Manuals and flight bags are quite expensive! Getting updates on the iPad is the way to go and much faster to get revisions.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: tb727
Posted 2013-01-15 17:05:22 and read 9385 times.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Ain't gonna happen.

Haha I know. A little duct tape could fix that anyways...

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: tugger
Posted 2013-01-15 17:15:21 and read 9336 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
Let's face facts: 90% of cruise flight is extremely monotonous. And periods of low workload have a negative effect on someone's situational awareness and ability to perform to a high standard when needed. Thus, it makes sense to, during such periods, find other ways of keeping your mental activity up. Sure, there are times when you need your full attention on the plane - if I'm deviating around some weather, that's a good time to not be doing other things. And one person should always have their attention on the aircraft. But apparently the FAA can't trust crews to do the right thing, and so we get proposals like this (and the rule would be unenforceable anyway).

As planes become more capable of managing themselves, we need more leeway to take a few minutes off during a flight, not less. Staring at screens waiting for something to go wrong gets mighty tiring mighty quick.

  
It doesn't really make sense, the rules now really are sufficient. I think it is being done out of a "but we gotta do SOMETHING" reflex to some recent events.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
Aren't the iPads that AS issues to their pilots are strictly used for company business use only and the only app that is used on there is the app that AS designed for their crews only?? I thought this was already covered.

Company provided equipment and electronics are allowed under this proposal.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Ain't gonna happen. There was a thread about this awhile ago on this very topic. Every pilot union in the U.S. was totally against this idea, IIRC, hence why it never came about.

Someday, it will be standard. There is absolutely no reason to not do it (except union resistance). For all the hue and cry about "privacy" it affects nothing in the function of the job and can provide substantial help in an investigation. It will just take time and a few more crashes (sadly) for it to happen.

Tugg

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: ltbewr
Posted 2013-01-15 17:18:45 and read 9312 times.

This may be a pre-emptive measure as more aircraft and airlines offer satellite wireless wi-fi to their customers/passengers and as all but a few 'readers' (like Nook), smartphones, tablets and oter devices offer wi-fi access as well. Pilots must be able to react in seconds to the not uncommon problems like turbulence, but also ATC errors and mechanical problems, that the use of such devices could distract from.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: cbphoto
Posted 2013-01-15 17:26:42 and read 9268 times.

It is already in my companies SOP that Ipods, Ipads, M3P players and such are not allowed during any phase of the flight in the flight deck. We even had a couple pilots get suspended over the use of such items.

Here is why the Feds want this rule in the FARs. Yes, pilots and crews will use it, but if an incident ever occurs where the CVR is pulled and evaluated, it gives the FAA more ammunition to go after the crews for using these devices in flight, specifically during sterile cockpit phases of flight. If it is not in the FARs or SOPs, then the Feds don't have a lot to get the pilots on. Will it improve safety in the flight deck, likely not at all, it's just more busy work for the Feds and more common sense procedures for the pilots!

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Sean-SAN-
Posted 2013-01-15 17:27:46 and read 9267 times.

Pilots staring out the window blindly for hours is much safer than looking at an iPad.. makes tons of sense.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-15 17:49:02 and read 9155 times.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 12):
Pilots must be able to react in seconds to the not uncommon problems like turbulence, but also ATC errors and mechanical problems, that the use of such devices could distract from.

This greatly overstates the seriousness of issues that can crop up during cruise. Turbulence is not something that needs an immediate reaction, nor is an ATC error. As for mechanical problems, it'll probably take an extra three seconds to put down an iPad and pick up a checklist, and nothing is so critical that those extra three seconds are going to make an impact.

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: AirframeAS
Posted 2013-01-15 18:01:07 and read 9095 times.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
Company provided equipment and electronics are allowed under this proposal.

That is what I thought. Thanks, Tugger.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: JarradS
Posted 2013-01-15 18:20:10 and read 9009 times.

Quoting Sean-SAN- (Reply 14):

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with C..................

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: freeze3192
Posted 2013-01-15 18:37:42 and read 8919 times.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
Company provided equipment and electronics are allowed under this proposal.

Gotta make sure screw scheduling can get ahold of us!

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):

Someday, it will be standard. There is absolutely no reason to not do it (except union resistance). For all the hue and cry about "privacy" it affects nothing in the function of the job and can provide substantial help in an investigation. It will just take time and a few more crashes (sadly) for it to happen.

And it will be a great place to hang my hat.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2013-01-15 18:45:39 and read 8878 times.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 9):

How are the manuals on the iPad updated? At the moment I work in an airline's library and thankfully I deal mainly with maintenance stuff which is 95% digital (the only paper documents I have to update on every plane is the AFM and FRM). The flight operations library people deal with all the jepps, FCOM, QRH, and tons more paper. It boggles the mind how much work they do including paper.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: UA735WL
Posted 2013-01-15 19:48:56 and read 8746 times.

Quoting JarradS (Reply 17):

  

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Dash8Driver16
Posted 2013-01-15 20:07:20 and read 8676 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
to put down an iPad and pick up a checklist, and nothing is so critical that those extra three seconds are going to make an impact.

or it takes 3 seconds for you to open the checklist APP on your IPad

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2013-01-15 22:34:12 and read 8418 times.

Another rule to solve a problem which doesn't exist.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: baw716
Posted 2013-01-15 23:02:59 and read 8354 times.

I think this one is a bit of overkill.

Do pilots use personal electronic devices in flight...yes. Do they use them during the critical phase of the flight? NO.

I have done enough cockpit jumpseating as a licensed dispatcher to tell you with some degree of conviction that while pilots do use their personal devices, they use them very rarely. I infer from the "need" for this rule change that pilots use these devices for long periods of time during the flight. My observation (literally) is that this is not the case.

My suspicion is that the FAA is getting ahead of the curve as the industry moves from paper approach plates and charts to tablet based products, which could be used during critical phases of flight. In this respect it's not a -bad- idea, but my observation is that while pilots have their gadgets and do use them, pilots are pretty responsible about how they use them and at the airline level, I'm not sure the FAA needs to regulate this one.

baw716

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: boilerla
Posted 2013-01-16 02:04:49 and read 8137 times.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 22):
Another rule to solve a problem which doesn't exist.

Well...there was this.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/us/27plane.html?_r=0

I'm not saying it's a widespread problem, but when something like the above happens, the flying public cries out, and the FAA overreacts.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: NW747-400
Posted 2013-01-16 07:51:56 and read 7888 times.

This issue is already covered by each airline's respective operating procedures. Most, if not all US airlines, do not allow pilots to use PED's or read materials not approved by the company between block out and block in.

This proposed regulation changes nothing. An FAA inspector can violate a crew for non-compliance with company procedures. Company procedures are already regulatory in nature because they are approved and enforced by the FAA.

Just a waste of time and resources in my opinion.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-01-16 08:13:58 and read 7587 times.

First of all, how is using a "wireless communication device" (presumably any device that can send and receive data via cellular or Wi-Fi) a problem, but not two pilots getting into a serious conversation, say about union issues, the merits of Boeing versus Airbus, sports, where to go for dinner during a layover, whether switching layover hotels was a good idea, etc.

I've seen drivers of cars in very animated conversations with passengers, and cars and clearly under full control (drifting in a lane, changing speeds, etc.).

Second, as mentioned earlier, what about electronic devices incapable of wireless communication, such as e-readers, DSs, digital cameras and video recorders, and so on? This may prevent someone from filling out a bid sheet on a laptop, to be sent electronically later, but it doesn't prevent the shutterbug from snapping photos with a Canon or Nikon DSLR (or better yet, an older camera that uses 35mm film).

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: apodino
Posted 2013-01-16 10:02:02 and read 6462 times.

Quoting baw716 (Reply 23):
I have done enough cockpit jumpseating as a licensed dispatcher to tell you with some degree of conviction that while pilots do use their personal devices, they use them very rarely. I infer from the "need" for this rule change that pilots use these devices for long periods of time during the flight. My observation (literally) is that this is not the case.

My suspicion is that the FAA is getting ahead of the curve as the industry moves from paper approach plates and charts to tablet based products, which could be used during critical phases of flight. In this respect it's not a -bad- idea, but my observation is that while pilots have their gadgets and do use them, pilots are pretty responsible about how they use them and at the airline level, I'm not sure the FAA needs to regulate this one.

  
I am also a licensed dispatcher and I agree with everything you said having been in many jumpseats in my career. Though I have yet to be on a Jumpseat with an EFB being used though.

Quoting NW747-400 (Reply 25):
This issue is already covered by each airline's respective operating procedures. Most, if not all US airlines, do not allow pilots to use PED's or read materials not approved by the company between block out and block in.

This proposed regulation changes nothing. An FAA inspector can violate a crew for non-compliance with company procedures. Company procedures are already regulatory in nature because they are approved and enforced by the FAA.

Just a waste of time and resources in my opinion.

  

This is one of those things where bureaucrats are putting things into place that look good and will please some people, but is at the same time impossible to enforce, unless some pilots or jumpseaters decide to be whistleblowers...which I am not nor would I ever be unless I saw something really bad (And I mean really bad)

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: cbphoto
Posted 2013-01-16 11:20:08 and read 5549 times.

Again, I think your guys are missing the whole point of this regulation! You would have to be the stupidest pilot alive to pull out your iPod during your takeoff, with a FAA inspector onboard in the Jumpseat! It just won't happen and this rule is not supposed to cover that! Should an incident occur that warrants the FAA and NTSB to pull and audit the CVR and during that investigation, they discover the crew using these devices during steril cockpit phases of flight, then the FAA have hard rules in writing to go after and violate the crew! While 99% of the crews out there are professionals, their will always be a few who try and push the limits with their toys and gadgets in the flight deck!

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-16 11:38:23 and read 5338 times.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 28):
Should an incident occur that warrants the FAA and NTSB to pull and audit the CVR and during that investigation, they discover the crew using these devices during steril cockpit phases of flight, then the FAA have hard rules in writing to go after and violate the crew!

They've already got the "careless and reckless" rule, which should cover using distracting devices at an inappropriate time, as well as having both crewmembers using electronic devices at the same time. Why do we need a blanket provision that prevents crewmembers from using their judgement on how to best maintain their alertness?

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: cbphoto
Posted 2013-01-16 12:05:06 and read 5009 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 29):

They've already got the "careless and reckless" rule, which should cover using distracting devices at an inappropriate time, as well as having both crewmembers using electronic devices at the same time. Why do we need a blanket provision that prevents crewmembers from using their judgement on how to best maintain their alertness?

-Mir

Because careless and reckless is a broad rule, one that a strong union and lawyer could fight and win! Unless its black and white, it will always be tough for the FAA to prosecute a specific crew on a specific incident! This new rule is of course redundant, but look at most of the FARs out there!

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-16 12:19:23 and read 4857 times.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 30):
Unless its black and white, it will always be tough for the FAA to prosecute a specific crew on a specific incident!

I wasn't aware the FAA's job was to prosecute crews. I thought they were all about promoting safety.

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Acey559
Posted 2013-01-16 13:48:40 and read 3967 times.

Whew, good thing books/magazines/newspapers aren't covered under this proposal.  

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Litz
Posted 2013-01-16 14:27:48 and read 3618 times.

You're going to see this eventually across all federally regulated transportation sectors.

It's already law in the railroad world, headed that way in commercial over-the-road (truck / bus), and now in the airlines too.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: kurtjeter
Posted 2013-01-16 19:07:43 and read 3261 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
Let's face facts: 90% of cruise flight is extremely monotonous. And periods of low workload have a negative effect on someone's situational awareness and ability to perform to a high standard when needed. Thus, it makes sense to, during such periods, find other ways of keeping your mental activity up. Sure, there are times when you need your full attention on the plane - if I'm deviating around some weather, that's a good time to not be doing other things. And one person should always have their attention on the aircraft. But apparently the FAA can't trust crews to do the right thing, and so we get proposals like this (and the rule would be unenforceable anyway).

Not trying to make a point, just asking a question. Whatever happened to the flightcrew of the NW (??) flight a while back, that were "out of contact" with ATC and flew past MSP?

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-16 21:11:16 and read 3154 times.

Quoting kurtjeter (Reply 34):
Not trying to make a point, just asking a question. Whatever happened to the flightcrew of the NW (??) flight a while back, that were "out of contact" with ATC and flew past MSP?

If you're asking what happened to them, they had FAA action taken against them and their licenses were either suspended or revoked - I'm not sure which. I'm not sure what rules were specifically cited, but I'd imagine "careless and reckless operation" was one of them.

If you're asking why there shouldn't be a rule to prevent that sort of thing from happening again, I'd say that that's a judgement issue - pilots should be able to manage their own workload.

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: cbphoto
Posted 2013-01-16 21:56:12 and read 3099 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 31):
I wasn't aware the FAA's job was to prosecute crews. I thought they were all about promoting safety.

I hope this was a sarcastic remark??? The FAA has more to do with politics, certain agendas and money, with a bit of safety at the end of it!

Quoting Mir (Reply 35):
If you're asking what happened to them, they had FAA action taken against them and their licenses were either suspended or revoked - I'm not sure which. I'm not sure what rules were specifically cited, but I'd imagine "careless and reckless operation" was one of them.

Well, "careless and reckless" because they overflew their destination, not because they broke sterile cockpit.

I don't see why you are so hell bent on being against this regulation? It's not like it will ever affect you in any way. Most of the crews out their know not to use it and most companies have rules against it. Why not let the Feds think they are doing something good in the name of safety for this industry!  

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: Mir
Posted 2013-01-16 22:34:18 and read 3046 times.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 36):
Well, "careless and reckless" because they overflew their destination, not because they broke sterile cockpit.

Overflying your destination in itself isn't careless or reckless depending on the reason it's done. Overflying your destination because you were distracted? That's a different matter.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 36):
I don't see why you are so hell bent on being against this regulation?

Because it's stupid and doesn't reflect the reality of the problem of maintaining mental alertness during long periods of cruise flight.

-Mir

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2013-01-16 22:37:00 and read 3033 times.

Quoting boilerla (Reply 24):

There isn't a rule that will stop every problem, every time. There already are rules against falling asleep at the wheel, or getting so distracted you don't go way the hell off course. Further sterilizing the cockpit wouldn't have made any difference.

Topic: RE: FAA May Require Stricter "Sterile Cockpit" Rules
Username: tb727
Posted 2013-01-17 08:12:22 and read 2798 times.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 28):
Again, I think your guys are missing the whole point of this regulation! You would have to be the stupidest pilot alive to pull out your iPod during your takeoff, with a FAA inspector onboard in the Jumpseat! It just won't happen and this rule is not supposed to cover that!

Haha, believe it or not, I know a guy that did. What a moron!


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