jumbojim747
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How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:50 am

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.
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411A
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:09 am

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.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:20 am

According to the FARs, you can't fly more than 8hrs a day, but this rule is broken often.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:40 am

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
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SlamClick
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:16 am

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.
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jumbojim747
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:20 pm

Thanks guys for the comments greatly appreciated
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PhilSquares
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:11 pm

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.
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Santhosh
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:40 pm

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
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411A
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:19 am

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.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:34 am

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
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
SlamClick
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:50 am

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.
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AvionicMech
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:11 am

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.
 
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longhauler
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:20 am

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.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
PhilSquares
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:54 am

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.
Fly fast, live slow
 
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longhauler
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:26 am

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!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
buckfifty
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:35 am

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.
 
jumbojim747
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:46 pm

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
 
loggat
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:42 am

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)
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bravo7e7
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:31 am

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
 
BWI757
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:10 am

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
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411A
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:40 am

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
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:12 pm

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
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
fspilot747
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:12 am

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
 
lyzzard
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:09 pm

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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bravo7e7
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:13 am

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?
 
bri2k1
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:26 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (reply 24):
are pilots paid whey they rest, or just while in the cockpit?


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 an annual salary divided equally among calendar pay periods. Hourly wages are usually not deemed appropriate at the pay scale on which airline pilots are paid.

There may be some exceptions to this, but I believe it to be generally true.
Position and hold
 
PhilSquares
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:37 am

Quoting Bri2k1 (reply 25):
Pilots of Part 141 flights are usually paid on a salary basis, so they're paid according to an annual salary divided equally among calendar pay periods. Hourly wages are usually not deemed appropriate at the pay scale on which airline pilots are paid.


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 wrong. Pilots are paid under a variety of schemes. For instance, when I worked for a US carrier, you have a guarantee of XX hours. If you fly above that you get more, below that you get the guarantee. (simple example). However, if I was flying long haul, I got paid for the time I was in the bunk.

Foreign airlines have varying schemes for payment. Most are hourly based. Some airlines only pay half the hourly rate while the crew is in the bunk. At SQ, we get the normal hourly rate while we are in the bunk. The crew commander is designated by crew scheduling. He signs the flight plan and is in the seat for takeoff and landings.
Fly fast, live slow
 
lyzzard
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:47 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (reply 24):
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?


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 secondary crew. The opposite for the initial secondary crew.

As Phil mentioned, SQ crew are paid for bunk time. Likewise, bunk hours are also counted in full.
 
bravo7e7
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:56 am

Quoting Lyzzard (reply 27):
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 secondary crew. The opposite for the initial secondary crew.

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 pilots at the same level?
 
bri2k1
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:00 pm

PhilSquares, thanks for the clarification. I never mind being corrected when I am not.

I wonder if American-based airlines have similar policies to your employer? I am surprised no one else wants to comment on this...
Position and hold
 
lyzzard
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:04 pm

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (reply 28):
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 pilots at the same level?


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 command.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: How Do Pilots Rotate Shifts In The Cockpit?

Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:06 pm

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 all airlines have some variation of the guaranteed hours system.

To respond to another post (28), it depends on how the airline staffs the flight. Some US airlines use 2 Capts and 2 F/0s. Both Captains sign the flight plan. One crew works the first half and the second crew works the remainder. Some airlines, such as SQ, have a "commander" he signs the flight plan, and is in the seat for takeoff and landing. He is responsible. That position is assigned by crew scheduling in the construction of the schedules.
Fly fast, live slow

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