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How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?  
User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7722 times:

On a long flight where 2 sets of pilots are onboard how do they rotate shifts and is it compulsory to do it after a certain amount of time or is it up to the captain in charge to say .
Any comments would be appreciated.


On a wing and a prayer
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7691 times:

Generally speaking, and this depends on the regulatory/company policies, the nominated Commander decides when he wants to be on duty, and the other Commander has the option on the return flight.

A 'gentlemens agreement' is worked out between all parties concerned.
In my experience, it works out quite nicely for all.


User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7677 times:

According to the FARs, you can't fly more than 8hrs a day, but this rule is broken often.

User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7660 times:

I think he was referring to how do they conduct two-crew operations for longhauls. In that instance, you'd switch off at the mid point of the flight, or let the 2nd crew be the relief pilots, while the command pilots would have done the takeoff, slept, then waken up to do the landing. Depends on which airline I guess.

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day ago) and read 7606 times:

Quoting FLY2HMO (reply 2):
According to the FARs, you can't fly more than 8hrs a day, but this rule is broken often.


Not anywhere I've worked in the last 35 years.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 21 hours ago) and read 7504 times:

Thanks guys for the comments greatly appreciated


On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 7459 times:

I have to agree with SlamClick, it's not been broken anywhere I worked either.

At SQ, on longhaul flights there is a Commander. He signs the flight plan and will normally make the takeoff and landing. Depending on his preference and the other crew's preference, then the "gentleman's agreement" is struck.


User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 7410 times:

One of my friends who flies 747’s for SAA said to me that when ever she flies to and from US sectors the total flight time will usually be more than 13 hours. In that case the 4 member crew will split into 2 set and the first set will shift after flying for 7 hours and then the remaining is flown by the next set of pilots.

Regards
George



Happy Landing
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 7379 times:

It also might be worth remembering that, under some regulatory authorities requirements, the DUTY time allowed can be quite long indeed.
For example, for an augmentated crew (2 Captains, one First Officer, two Flight Engineers...in this example) the allowed duty time is 24 hours.
Under another scheme (different regulatory authority) one Captain, two First Officers, the duty time allowed is 18 hours, extendable SCD, to twenty hours.

These flights can be very tiring for some...others have no particular problem.
It depends on the individual.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7219 times:

Quoting FLY2HMO (reply 2):
According to the FARs, you can't fly more than 8hrs a day, but this rule is broken often.


I dont think FDTL is broken often.
Out here at times We have to transport a relief crew if FDTL is Exceeded.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7219 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (reply 9):
I dont think FDTL is broken often.
Out here at times We have to transport a relief crew if FDTL is Exceeded.
regds
MEL


I can only speak from my experience and observations but a pilot who will exceed flight or duty time limits is a fool.

Your license is worth far more than the job of the moment. Lose the job - go find another. Lose the license and learn how to say "would you like fries with that?"

Why would a pilot even want to work for an employer who would demand that he break regulations like that? If they would do that, they would break other laws too. Get out before you get killed!

For the last decade or so, ACARS has automatically uplinked my OUT, OFF, ON and IN times, along with my payroll number. It would not even have been possible to fudge them.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineAvionicMech From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 315 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7209 times:

Quoting SlamClick (reply 10):
For the last decade or so, ACARS has automatically uplinked my OUT, OFF, ON and IN times, along with my payroll number. It would not even have been possible to fudge them.


That is quite funny that you say you have had ACARS for the last decade or so Slamclick. Here at BY we only installed it on our 767-300's about a year ago I think it was, but our 757's are still without it despite having wiring provisions for both a centre VHF transceiver and an ACARS box from the factory.


User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5055 posts, RR: 43
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7195 times:

In Air Canada for the very long haul operations, like YYZ-HKG or SYD-YVR we carry One Captain, One First Officer and Two Relief pilots. These are the designated posts, but in actuality the two relief pilots can be Captains, or First Officers as crewing dictates.

The pilot designated as the pilot flying does the take off and the landing, also picks the times for his 4 hours in the chair (a business class seat curtained off) and his 4 hours in the bunk. The pilot not flying then picks his chair and bunk time. The two relief pilots then battle it out for their times.

There are four pilots in the cockpit for take off and landing, and two or three in the cockpit during cruise.

This crew configuration with two bunks and one J class seat would allow a duty time of 18:00, or flight time of 16:30.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7135 times:

Again, I agree with SlamClick. I have been flying ACARS equipped for atleast the past 15 years. Best thing invented for keeping everyone "honest". Stations can't pressure the crew for an "ontime" departure.

User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5055 posts, RR: 43
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 7097 times:

Funny ...with regard to ACARS, I recall reading that airlines that have ACARS equipped aircraft generally have a poorer on time departure record than those airlines without ACARS. It went on to say that without ACARS, there were virtually no 1-4 minute delays.

I guess it goes back to the good old days when EVERYTHING went on time, or so the Second Officer (me) was pressured to make it so!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineBuckFifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 19
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 7101 times:

We tend to be quite flexible with our 'gentlemen's agreement'. Often, we'd break the rest down the middle. But if it's a longhaul dayflight, we might split the rest into four sections of varying times just to keep people interested. When it's three crew, the shifts are just rotated.

User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7038 times:

Thanks to all who replied .
I would like to take this opportunity to thank kindly the pilots who replied to this thread without you guys we would not be learning as much as we do about our love of aviation.
Cheers



On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlineLoggat From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6976 times:

I flew with a captain a couple of weeks ago who said he would not change the system time in the ACARS to show an ontime departure, even if it was 1 minute late. 99.9999999999% of the time, it is not the crew's fault if the plane doesn't get boarded up and leave on time. Why should he have to cover because some other area of operation is dragging their feet *cough* IAD rampers *cough*.

As far as the 8 hour rule. No US airline in their right mind would schedule a pilot for more than 8 hours of flying in any consecutive 24 hour period.

Remember though, legal to start, legal to finish. Meaning that you are legal to fly all the legs that have been scheduled to you at the beginning of the day (assuming your schedule starting out was legal). Even if you fly 15 hours, that is still legal (weather delays, holding, etc.). The only thing that cannot be done is that you cannot fly a leg that would take you over the maximum legal duty day (16 hours)



There are 3 types of people in this world, those that can count, and those that can't.
User currently offlineBravo7e7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 17
Reply 18, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6933 times:

A just have a few questions to which I would appreciate answers for based on most airlines in the U.S:
1. Are there usually 2 Captains and 2 First officers, or 1 captin and three first officers, assumig there is a 15 hour flight?
2. If there are two captians, is there not one senior one, who makes all of the decisions, and who always has say?
3. Is the senior captain only paid when he sits in the cockpit, or also when he is resting?
4. Are there people who's jobs are "relief pilots", or how are they chosen?

Thanks


User currently offlineBwi757 From Israel, joined Dec 2004, 429 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6848 times:

411A,

"Gentlemen's agreement"? WOW!!! Sounds like CRM!! Heavens, what have you been drinking????

I thought YOU ARE IN COMMAND!!!!!! NO FLEXIBILITY!!! TEN HUT!! YES SIR!!

Sorry, couldn't resist.... duck 

BWI757



I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6791 times:

Well now, Bwi757, now you know that this so called 'CRM' is really nothing new...it's been around for a very long time.

Only the very young and naive guys think that it is a new idea. Wink Wink


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6748 times:

Will the Crew resting on board [ie non flying] be considered as rest & not part of FDTL.
What about the Pilot on an observers seat.That would be included in FDTL.
Out here a pilot travelling supernumery in the obs seat is also clocked as on FDTL as the optng crew.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6685 times:

AFAIK, if it's anything less than 8 hours in the U.S., pilots just fly a leg and alternate. So if you're flying LAX-DEN-JFK-ORD, FO flies to LAX, captain flies to DEN, and they alternate. Who goes first, I guess you can toss a coin.



FSP


User currently offlineLyzzard From Singapore, joined Nov 2003, 404 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6639 times:

The ULR flights by SQ to EWR and LAX went into undiscovered territory which current FTLs do not take into account. Flight times are typically between 17 to 19 hours and new rest patterns needed to be formulated to take into account the longer working hours.

ULR flights are all flown with double crews (2 Captains & 2 First Officers). A captain and FO would be paired together and each set would be designated as either the primary or secondary crew.

ULR rules stipulate that each set of crew needs to have 2 separate rest periods and one of these periods cannot be shorter than 5 hours. Typically, the primary crew will be at the controls for both the takeoff and landing and the rest periods are skewed towards the primary crew ie. better sleeping periods. Let's say for an 18 hour flight, the primary crew would be in the seat for 3 hours from takeoff, rest 4 hours, fly 5 hours, rest 5 hours and spend the last hour in the seat until the landing. There might be slight variations to this but all crewmembers will need to adhere to the regulations and also understand that any changes need to be agreed upon by all members of the crew.

This rest pattern has worked pretty well and most primary crew members are well rested for both the takeoff and landing.

Rest facilities on board the A345 are also very comfortable. The Captain and FO get separate bunks, which are both very spacious and quiet. Here are some shots...


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Photo © Vector Grafix
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Vector Grafix



User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6592 times:

Quoting Lyzzard (reply 23):
A captain and FO would be paired together and each set would be designated as either the primary or secondary crew.

Is the primary crew the more senior captain with a first officer, or are they just randomly chosen? Also, as I asked above are pilots paid whey they rest, or just while in the cockpit?


25 Bri2k1 : Since no one else has answered this, I will take a stab. Pilots of Part 141 flights are usually paid on a salary basis, so they're paid according to
26 PhilSquares : Bri2k1....I hate to jump on you but you're completely wrong. First of all, airline pilots are under 121. Secondly, your comments about salary are wro
27 Lyzzard : Seniority has no play in the selection. If a set of crew acts as primary crew on the outbound sector, they will return on the inbound leg as secondar
28 BRAVO7E7 : Thanks, but does the flight have one senior captain? Does there not have to be one commanding officer, who is in charge of everything, or are bith pi
29 Bri2k1 : PhilSquares, thanks for the clarification. I never mind being corrected when I am not. I wonder if American-based airlines have similar policies to yo
30 Lyzzard : Whoever the Captain is in the designated primary crew is the overall commander of the flight. As such, seniority has no bearing in the chain of comma
31 Philsquares : Bri2k1, I did work for a US airline. The pay is as I described. I know of no airline that works on a salary system. I believe F9 did at one time, but
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