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"Air New Zealand Pilot Fell Asleep During Flight"  
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3232 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10504 times:

Year 2011, why is this being released now?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21628746

"The transport minister said it "doesn't look good" for the airline.
"You've got big reputational issues here," Gerry Brownlee said.
"Satisfy the public that you're making sure your pilots are not asleep on the job," he added.

This guy knows how to cause a storm.    


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTheAviator380 From UK - England, joined Feb 2013, 401 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10212 times:

This is very serious issue. I am not a Pilot but what I read and hear is, sometimes Pilots work under so much of stress, lack of sleep, odd duty hours, shift patterns can cause these things after all they are humans too. Airliners should take care of this in first place.

User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4827 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10078 times:

Storm in a teacup.
Not the first time or the last time this will happen. Not ideal sure but people aren't robots and thats why on long flights like these they have more than 2 pilots.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineNZ1 From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 2255 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9638 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

The local NZ media love to beat up on any little thing to do with Air NZ that they can find. This incident was actually self reported by the pilot in question as part of the open culture that the Airline has in encouraging people to not only report incidents concerning others, but also themselves.

Blown way out of proportion to what actually happened.

NZ1


User currently offlineseven3seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 318 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9571 times:

I would hope the media would focus less on the pilot who reported this work related fatigue issue and more on how Air New Zealand could ensure sure its pilots were more rested.


My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5602 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9387 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
"doesn't look good"
Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
reputational issues
Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Satisfy the public

Yep, nothing more than a sensational piece designed to sell newspapers. Notice how the article is all about perception, rather than reality.

Is pilots falling asleep in flight okay? Of course not, but that should be the issue, not what the lay person thinks or perceives.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinethegeek From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 2638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9336 times:

My understanding of US regs is that the pilot should have called in sick, on the basis of not being sufficiently rested fly. Perhaps that is not quite right? What would they do in other parts of the world if this had happened?

User currently offlinecuban8 From Kiribati, joined Sep 2009, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9089 times:

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 2):
Storm in a teacup.
Not the first time or the last time this will happen. Not ideal sure but people aren't robots and thats why on long flights like these they have more than 2 pilots

I could not have put it better myself. The only thing which I think could have been handled better is that they should have talked about his fatigue, so that he could have taken a short nap. It's not like he's sleeping during approach into Frankfurt...


User currently offlineZKOKQ From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 475 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8559 times:

Quoting thegeek (Reply 6):

Problem is the pilot might not have felt tired till later in the flight.


User currently offlineewr767 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6378 times:

I hate to disappoint you all. But this happens all the time. What I can't figure out is why it was reported as pilots usually cover for each other in the deck all the time as no one would know but the other pilot. There must have been some friction between the pilots and more to the story. If it was that big of a concern why would the other pilot not reach over to wake the other guy up if he just nodded off. It's not like he got his crew pillows and blankets and made a bed in the flight deck. There has to be more to this story that you will never know. And let me be clear I'm speaking about international flying. I mean I've seen so many things up there you would have no idea of some of the things you see. If you think the 2 pilots are sitting there staring out the window or scanning instruments for 8 or 15 hours straight, I think that would actually be the news story of the stupid things people believe!

User currently offlineawthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 474 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6378 times:

I read the article and thought; Big deal!
If a pilot has a nap on a long transatlantic flight where there is little to do only monitor systems and make position reports every 40 minutes or so, this will not have a detrimental effect on the safety of the flight.
If I had very little sleep the night before such a lengthy flight, I would probably like a nap or two during the boring cruise portion of the flight so that I would be in better form for the more crucial part of the flight ie. approach and landing.
His only mistake was not saying to the other flight deck member(s) that he needed a short rest and agreeing cover.
He reported the matter to keep pressure on management so that they should not ignore fatigue matters when making out schedules. The matter of fatigue in piloting is a big issue with long haul flights and tighter schedules than in the past.


User currently offlinesunrisevalley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4960 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6346 times:

Quoting NZ1 (Reply 3):
Blown way out of proportion to what actually happened.

What it does not say is whether he was PIC when he dropped off . Perhaps he was sitting in the third seat!


User currently offlineawthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 474 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6255 times:

We are wasting our efforts here even discussing the media side of the matter. They have nothing else to do - let them have their moment of attention. There have been countless threads here about media blunders and exaggerations, that ain't going to change any time soon. Its what they do.

The real matter that we would benefit from discussing is the subject of flight deck fatigue on long haul flying.


User currently offlineewr767 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6232 times:

Quoting awthompson (Reply 10):

He reported the matter to keep pressure on management so that they should not ignore fatigue matters when making out schedules. The matter of fatigue in piloting is a big issue with long haul flights and tighter schedules than in the past.



Thanks for that. That could be the only reason this was reported


User currently offlineewr767 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6145 times:

Another slow news day. YAWN!

User currently offlineawthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 474 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5501 times:

Quoting ewr767 (Reply 13):

Quoting awthompson (Reply 10):

He reported the matter to keep pressure on management so that they should not ignore fatigue matters when making out schedules. The matter of fatigue in piloting is a big issue with long haul flights and tighter schedules than in the past.


Thanks for that. That could be the only reason this was reported

Well, I generalize....!

This has been a much discussed subject with Pilots/Pilots unions in recent times.


User currently onlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4935 posts, RR: 43
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

Quoting awthompson (Reply 15):
This has been a much discussed subject with Pilots/Pilots unions in recent times.

A "Safety Management System" is very quickly becoming a governmental requirement for airlines. Not just the ones being governed, but also "visiting" airlines into countries. These safety committees are manned and financed by the airline ... as it IS a requirement.

However, Fatigue Management is not normally financed and manned by the airline. That is why it became a union function, financed by the union and manned by volunteers.

Slowly the airlines are starting to realize that Fatigue and Safety are related, some airlines do not. It is not hard to track though, as trends over the last 30 years have shown Fatigue to be gaining in percentage as the largest cause or contributing factor to air accidents and incidents.

Sometimes these "wake up" calls (sorry) are needed for the airline to see the connection between cost and fatigue. I head the safety committee of my union, and within the last year my "job" got a lot easier. (It's a volunteer position). My airline had an incident last year directly caused by fatigue, that was very public, very expensive and very embarrassing. Finally, my "what ifs" were replaced by fact. I thank the heavens above that no one was seriously injured.

Air New Zealand is a very very safe airline. I hope their pilot union is able to use an incident like this to show that safety is not money lost.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineFerroviarius From Norway, joined Mar 2007, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

Good evening,
I am much too much of an ignorant in the field of piloting a commercial airliner, but I know a little bit about the "dead man button" in the locomotive of quite a number of railway companies in Europe. An alarm sounds and then the loco is stopped if the button is not pressed or released in given time intervals. As far as I know, while the alarm does not sound on a regular basis in locomotives, it now and then does, specifically during night hours. I do doubt that there would be one single locomotive engineer, who would not have fallen asleep at least once or twice during her or his career. That's why the button is there. Up to WWII, in a number of countries all the locomotives - steam or electric - were built to be operated by staff STANDING (it was not possible to sit) since it was thought that this would keep the engineers awake. False this aasumption was and since the 50s, locos were constructed to be operated by staff SITTING.
In locos built before 1970, the engineer had to press a button at given time intervals. It is known that some engineers bypassed this mechanism by keeping the button pressed all the time by keeping it down by means of a match stuck in the opening for the button in the panel. There have been rumours in some some newspapers at the time that the railway disaster of Zagreb on Aug. 30th, 1974 was caused by two totally overworked engineers on one loco having fallen asleep after having blocked the button. Since, the construction has been changed, and now the button has to be kept pressed normally and released for a moment after a given time interval.

Isn't there any dead man button in the cockpit of airliners?

Best,
Ferroviarius


User currently offlinetguman From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 431 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4032 times:

I don't think the issue is that he fell asleep as sleeping in the flight deck during the cruise portion of flight is allowed provided that its in the SOP and that its coordinated with the other crew members. I believe, from reading the article in the BBC, that the pilot may have felt fine and alert one minute only to discover that a minute later he had dozed off and startled himself awake. Furthermore this happened twice on that flight.

I commend the pilot for reporting it, and I commend the airline for its willingness not to proceed with disciplinary action as disciplinary action can cause people to not self-report. It makes me think of the BA flight in the Carribean some years ago where the pilots reported confusion and did not backtrack the full length of the runway through the airlines non-punitive self-reporting system and then were disciplined. It makes a crew member think twice about reporting small incidents that otherwise wouldn't need to be reported if disciplinary action could occur despite the occurence being accidental.

TGUman



Life is a Mine Field.
User currently offlinetguman From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 431 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3993 times:

Quoting Ferroviarius (Reply 17):
Isn't there any dead man button in the cockpit of airliners?

The only possible thing I could see would be something that would sound a very loud alarm, however it would have to a unique alarm so that if a pilot had dozed off his/her waking up wouldn't cause any disturbance as happen some years ago on a flight from YYZ to ZRH.

We use deadmans for fuelling airplanes so that we are able to move between the truck and the aircraft guages if they are not co-located, and if anything should happen to us, the pump would stop pumping and not overfill the airplane or continue to spill onto the ramp until the truck is empty. I am trying to figure out how a deadman on the flight deck would be safe since the alarm could startle and confuse a pilot, and would NOT be able to stop the airplane mid-flight

TGUman



Life is a Mine Field.
User currently offlineaotearoa From New Zealand, joined May 2005, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3652 times:

A complete storm in a teacup.

Air New Zealand is widely acknowledged to have one of the best fatigue management systems in the world. Fact - Other airlines come to the airline to learn about how the airline manages fatigue.

Of course no system in the world is going to stop an individual crew member suffering from a one off event. The fact that the crew member reported this to the airline shows that the airline has an open and honest reporting culture. A key fundamental of any good safety management system.

I believe the more interesting question here is how the reporter gained access to this report. I understand the media occasionally approach the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand under the Official Information Act and request access to the Part 12 occurrence reports sent to the CAA by airlines. If there was ever going to be a negative safety action, this troll through occurrence reports to CAA by media must surely 'take the cake'.

If airline pilots know their open reports (including confidential reports) to the company are going to end up on the evening news or the front page of the morning paper, they are going to be far less likely to report.......This is a bad outcome in any ones language.


User currently offlinetguman From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 431 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3591 times:

Quoting aotearoa (Reply 20):
If airline pilots know their open reports (including confidential reports) to the company are going to end up on the evening news or the front page of the morning paper, they are going to be far less likely to report.......This is a bad outcome in any ones language.

Only if the airline doesn't stand up for its pilots. If the airline continues its course, as it has so far, then this will all blow away without the pilot being identified and nobody getting disciplined. This in fact gives Air New Zealand an opportunity to prove to its employees the confidentiality of the system and the airlines commitment to not have it be punitive. If the airline doesn't uphold this, then yes crew members will begin to fear self-reporting.

TGUman



Life is a Mine Field.
User currently offlineaotearoa From New Zealand, joined May 2005, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3440 times:

To put readers at rest, most modern airliners have some kind of 'pilot reponse' system. If pilot activity through flight deck inputs is not detected for a predetermined time, an increasing level of notification is displayed or ultimately sounded in the flight deck. This time period can be flight phase dependant, and is set by the airline.

User currently offlineaeroflop From New Zealand, joined Mar 2012, 39 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 2764 times:

Quoting tguman (Reply 18):
Isn't there any dead man button in the cockpit of airliners?

Absolutely, I've seen it demonstrated on the B777 personally. In flight if the pilots make no input for a certain time frame (lets say 15 minutes) on the ND there will be a pop up saying "Pilot Response" and to make that go away the pilots usually twist the heading bug a few degrees. If there is no response a loud alarm is set off.


User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 15 hours ago) and read 2558 times:

Pilots sleeping on the FD is nothing new, it happens all the time. A few years ago a memo actually came down from the FAA going over this situation and advising of the importance for the pilot to brief the other pilot of the nap. If you have two pilots who are both trying to get in a short nap before landing and neither one wants to speak up and tell his partner then you could end up with a very bad situation. If the pilots just brief the nap everyone will know whats going on and things wil be just fine.


/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9038 posts, RR: 75
Reply 25, posted (1 year 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 2553 times:

Quoting NZ1 (Reply 3):
This incident was actually self reported by the pilot in question as part of the open culture that the Airline has in encouraging people to not only report incidents concerning others, but also themselves.

My main concern would be how this report made its way into the media, not the nature of the report itself. We report things all the time with a view of making things better, not selling newspapers.

Quoting thegeek (Reply 6):
My understanding of US regs is that the pilot should have called in sick, on the basis of not being sufficiently rested fly. Perhaps that is not quite right? What would they do in other parts of the world if this had happened?

Define "sufficiently rested". I know of no long haul pilot that does not have some effects from the shift work. Having the legal minimum amount of rest does not mean a person has had a good rest, nor does it make them unfit.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinethegeek From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 2638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2197 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 25):
Define "sufficiently rested"

Good point. There's obviously a level of interpretation there.


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