Flying Hours

Thu Nov 25, 1999 11:47 am

A set of Questions that I have often thought of relating to Flight Crew Hours.

1. Just how long can a pilot legally fly for ?
2. Who monitors those hours ?
3. Are restrictions uniform the world over ?
4. What are the penalties for breaking those restrictions ?

For any commercial pilots out there......
Are you put under undue pressure to meet schedules ?

In the UK we have Tacographs to monitor our Road Haulage Companies, do airlines/authorities monitor as closely ?

It would be interesting to hear views on both the FAA
and CAA perspective.........

RE: Flying Hours

Thu Nov 25, 1999 3:50 pm

1) 11 hours. But with some funny rules like if you fly for 8 days you must have 1 off.

2)If the pilots are being delayed alot and started flying that day with time to spare they are. But if you are meant to fly for 4 hours and you would go over way before take off the airline would call and change your route or give you the day off.

3)Yeah all countries have them but some do not abide by them as much as others.

4)The pilots will not break those rules as flying for 11 hours a day you are not safe to fly. I think the FAA might suspend your license if it was really bad. I have heard some regional guys that where so tired they where messing up there call signs.
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RE: Flying Hours

Fri Nov 26, 1999 6:33 am

In Canada, we have the least restrictive flight time limitations of any country I've seen. A pilot may be "on duty" for 14 hours, and then extend that to 17 hours for "unforeseen operational circumstances", a catch-phrase that has virtually no meaning.

Go here

and search for "flight duty limitations", or just wander through the site and you'll have ALL the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR's).

Best Regeards,

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RE: Iainhol

Fri Nov 26, 1999 8:55 am


Regarding the 11 rule if thats true then how come in the past year when the AA MD80 crashed in Arkansass the pilots were on their 13 hour

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RE: Flying Hours

Fri Nov 26, 1999 9:15 am

Here in the UK a pilot can legally be on duty for 14 hours without a break, the minimum rest period which follows is 8 hours (I think).

We may fly a maximum 100 hours a month and no more than 900 a year (in some countries this is 800, in some 1000). Other little restrictions apply like we cannot fly more than 55 hours a fortnight or 190 hours a month, no more than three consecutive night flights and no more than 4 early starts or late finishes.

As far as I know Italy has the least restrictive limits, pilots can be on duty for 24 hours without a rest period.

As for whose job it is to control and enforce, mostly it is the crewing / rostering department, but it is also the pilot's responsibility. We cannot legally fly a flight if when we arrive at the destination we know that we will be over our legal duty time, even by a few minutes.

Hope this information is of some use.

A320/330 Pilot.

RE: Flying Hours

Fri Nov 26, 1999 1:12 pm

In the US under domestic operations a pilot can be on duty for a max of 16 hours and fly for a max of 8 all within a 24hour period. Internationally, duty time is technically not limited and flight time is limited to 12 flying hours in 24, 20 flying in 48, and 24 flying in 72. Company or union regulations will usually decrease these times. All pilots must be given 24 hours off within a 7-day period. Annual flying is limited to 1000 hours in a 12 month period, 300hours for a 90 day period and 120hours for intl and 100hours for domestic every 30 days. Crew scheduling keeps track of this info at my airline. I'm not familiar with other countries but as for the US, dispatchers even have time regulations under flag and domestic ops: not more than 10 hours strait in 24, but if more than 10 is required, an intervening 8 hour rest period must be taken before 10 successive hours are up. We are also required to have a 24 hours off with a 7 day period. That's the US in a nutshell.ADIOS

RE: Iainhol

Fri Nov 26, 1999 3:55 pm

The 11 hour rule is a CAA rule not FAA. There are exceptions to the rules but it gets very complex when people from different countries get talking about it.

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