AT
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Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:32 am

I've often wondered this.

Let's say an American Airlines 777 flight departing from London suddenly loses a pilot (say either the original pilot falls sick, or happened to be coming from another inbound flight that is severely delayed), but there are extra British Airways pilots on base at Heathrow.
Can they request use by another airlines' available pilots?

I assume that the answer would probably be no, but am not sure. And if so why not? Airlines do it with passengers all the time- for example if a passenger misses a connection they will often put her or him on a different carrier's flights.

A related but distinct question is are there operational differences between different airlines on teh same aircraft? In other words, using the aforementioned example, would a British Airways 777 pilot be able to fly an AA 777 if needed without any additional training? And if not, wha sort of procedural differences would there be?

And a final, even more tangential question: are pilots on any given aircraft trained for all engine variants or are they specialized- e.g., can a RR 777 captain fly a GE 777 or vice versa?
 
lrdc9
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:42 am



Quoting AT (Thread starter):

A related but distinct question is are there operational differences between different airlines on teh same aircraft? In other words, using the aforementioned example, would a British Airways 777 pilot be able to fly an AA 777 if needed without any additional training? And if not, wha sort of procedural differences would there be?

Would be able to fly it, yes, but the SOP varies by airline.

And No, airlines do not share pilots.
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Mir
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:47 am



Quoting AT (Thread starter):
Can they request use by another airlines' available pilots?

No.

Quoting AT (Thread starter):
A related but distinct question is are there operational differences between different airlines on teh same aircraft? In other words, using the aforementioned example, would a British Airways 777 pilot be able to fly an AA 777 if needed without any additional training? And if not, wha sort of procedural differences would there be?

This is the biggest problem (the other being that someone with a UK license can't serve as a crewmember on a US-registered airplane, but it would still be true if you tried to substitute a UA 777 pilot for an AA 777 pilot). Every airline has different procedures, and some have different cockpit layouts (different panels in different places) based off of those procedures. To take someone who is fully versed in a certain way of doing things and to put them in a cockpit with someone else who is fully versed in a different way of doing things is bad from a CRM point of view - you create the opportunity for lots of expectancy errors, and those can really ruin your day.

In a dire inflight emergency, you'll just work around that sort of stuff, because having two people up front is better than one, even if one of them hasn't been trained on the airline-specific procedures - they still have an understanding of how the airplane works, they can manipulate switches if need be, and that'll do in a pinch. But it's not something you'd want to dispatch a flight with.

Liability comes into the picture as well - if something were to happen, you'd have people wondering why the airline let someone in the cockpit who wasn't trained to the same standards as the other pilot, and you'd have a huge lawsuit on your hands.

The reason that airlines can do it with passengers is because a passenger doesn't have any effect on the operation of the flight, regardless of who they actually booked their ticket with. A pilot has a significant effect on the operation of the flight.

-Mir
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LAXintl
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:47 am

NO.

Each pilot is certified per a specific operators procedures. AA has different company and aircraft operating procedures then another carrier. Also aircraft cockpit design and, aircraft technical procedures are very often set up different amongst different carriers.

Additionally in your case, a big issue is the BA pilot does not hold the requisite US licenses anyhow.
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gothamspotter
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:06 am

Union agreements would probably also prevent this from happening.
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:36 am



Quoting AT:
Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

I would say that airlines could share pilots, but not in the example situations you describe. When I think of an emergency situation I think of natural disaster or outbreak of war. A sick pilot doesnt justify the risks listed by the previous posters.
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jhooper
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:40 am

Interesting enough, before I was furloughed, I flew 747 classics for a U.S. Part 121 supplemental air (cargo) carrier. I happen to collect the World Air Routes/Just Planes series of DVDs, and I was watching a cockpit video of the very airplane type I flew at another carrier. The airplane was being operated in a totally different manner than what I was trained to do--entirely different checklists responses, who performs various steps, etc. Their way was no more correct or incorrect than my way, but the important thing is that all the crews in a certain carrier are standardized and know exactly what to expect from the other crewmembers. Our procedures were adapted from Pan Am back in the day; their procedures obviously were developed elsewhere.

Your thread title mentioned the term "emergency", so I guess that would depend on your definition of that term. A pilot who gets sick before the flight is not an emergency. Now if we're halfway across the country and one of the two pilots croaks midflight, knowing there was a pilot onboard who is fully qualified on that type, it probably wouldn't hurt to call that individual up to help with radios/etc and get the jet on the ground safely.

Routinely swapping pilots out would be a violation of FAA regs, since each carrier must train and qualify their crewmembers according to their ops specs and company procedures. It's probably also not smart from a security standpoint.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:40 am

Not in Emergency conditions as you noticed,as Company SOP would vary.Also manpower training on the type would differ depending on customer configured type Aircraft.

However an airline can officially hire crew from another airline after a formal agreement has been signed for the same,taking into account that the hired crew are adequately qualified to operate the Airlines type Aircraft.

regds
MEL.
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avrich
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:08 am

Am I right in thinking that the airlines insurance companies would also have major issues with a scenario like that?
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BMI727
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:41 am



Quoting Jhooper (Reply 6):
Routinely swapping pilots out would be a violation of FAA regs, since each carrier must train and qualify their crewmembers according to their ops specs and company procedures

Wasn't something like that done in the past with interchanges, where a crew from airline B would fly airline A's aircraft on a given segment in a sort of precursor to a codeshare? I do recall hearing that it was unwieldy, as the crew had to carry additional documentation detailing the differences in aircraft. But as far as I know, it was always a complete crew, not just one pilot stepping in, which would minimize the risk of miscommunication and differences in procedure.
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:58 am



Quoting GothamSpotter (Reply 4):
Union agreements would probably also prevent this from happening.

This has nothin to do with unions. These are seperate operating certificates, so it's illegal for me to jump in another carriers 767/757 and operate it. Different Flight operations manuals, different procedures, different regs.

Now if I'm sitting in the back and the old "is there a pilot on board" comes over the PA.... I could get by just fine on whatever airplane we were on. However, that's a whole other deck of cards....
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Moose135
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:41 pm



Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 5):
I would say that airlines could share pilots, but not in the example situations you describe. When I think of an emergency situation I think of natural disaster or outbreak of war. A sick pilot doesnt justify the risks listed by the previous posters

That would be my take on it as well. You're on some small island, and there is a typhoon coming, or a coup coming, you have a plane load of pax you are trying to evacuate, and something happens to one of your pilots. In a case like that, I could see a pilot from another airline stepping in to get the flight out.
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norcal
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:06 pm

The only situation you would see a BA 777 pilot operating an AA 777 flight is if two of the pilots became incapacitated over the middle of the Atlantic (there would be 3 pilots because onboard because of the need for an IRO). In this case there would be only one pilot left and while he is technically competent to operate the aircraft himself it would be beneficial to have another pilot.

Of course the only way they would let that BA 777 pilot (or any other airline pilot) come up to the cockpit is if his identity could be verified for security reasons. This would be a unique situation and in this case the remaining AA pilot would have the authority to circumvent the FARs in order to ensure the safe completion of the flight.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 10):
This has nothin to do with unions. These are seperate operating certificates, so it's illegal for me to jump in another carriers 767/757 and operate it. Different Flight operations manuals, different procedures, different regs.

Absolutely, procedures at different airlines operating the same type are similar but not identical. There are variations in call outs, procedures, checklists, etc. so legally they couldn't just swap before the flight in LHR because someone is sick. AA would be SOL in this situation.
 
Transpac787
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:59 pm



Quoting GothamSpotter (Reply 4):
Union agreements would probably also prevent this from happening.

No reason to have an agreement or contractual clause for something that would be illegal on several different levels  Wink
 
Mir
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:49 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
No reason to have an agreement or contractual clause for something that would be illegal on several different levels

But I wouldn't be surprised if the union had the rule anyway just to make extra-doubly sure.  Smile

-Mir
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lowrider
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:09 am



Quoting Mir (Reply 14):
But I wouldn't be surprised if the union had the rule anyway just to make extra-doubly sure.

There are regs about who can occupy a pilot seat on the aircraft and when. No union contract could countermand the FAA.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Wasn't something like that done in the past with interchanges, where a crew from airline B would fly airline A's aircraft on a given segment in a sort of precursor to a codeshare? I do recall hearing that it was unwieldy, as the crew had to carry additional documentation detailing the differences in aircraft.

This has been done, you are right, it is unwieldy. The aircraft is operated by carrier A to a point where it is taken over by a crew from carrier B and operated as a carrier B flight. This would usually happen to get around certain political or diplomatic tangles. However, you did not mix and match crews from A and B.

Quoting Moose135 (Reply 11):
You're on some small island, and there is a typhoon coming, or a coup coming, you have a plane load of pax you are trying to evacuate, and something happens to one of your pilots. In a case like that, I could see a pilot from another airline stepping in to get the flight out.

That is pretty extreme but you might get away with it in that particular scenerio. Even though you may disregard regs in an emergency, you will still have to be able to show why doing so was the safest course of action.
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Transpac787
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:29 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Wasn't something like that done in the past with interchanges, where a crew from airline B would fly airline A's aircraft on a given segment in a sort of precursor to a codeshare?

There was a CivAv thread some months back about the Concorde flying domestic routes within the US, and those flights requiring a partial (or full?) US crew, as well as temporary re-registration of the aircraft. I'm sure if I looked a bit harder I could dig that thread up but I'm not having much luck right now.  irked 
 
thegman
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:02 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
There was a CivAv thread some months back about the Concorde flying domestic routes within the US, and those flights requiring a partial (or full?) US crew, as well as temporary re-registration of the aircraft. I'm sure if I looked a bit harder I could dig that thread up but I'm not having much luck right now.   

I remember it. Braniff crews. Braniff manuals. Something about all BA documentation had to be hidden during flight.
 
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cpd
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:29 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
There was a CivAv thread some months back about the Concorde flying domestic routes within the US

The Braniff crew flew it, only subsonic - insurance required a crew member from the original airline to be on board (observing?) and the BA manuals were apparently stowed in the LAV if I remember right.

Don't know what the AF/Braniff procedures were though. When the plane flew onwards, the N rego became a G or a F registration. EG: G-N94AE. Quite funny procedures.  Wink
 
Fabo
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:14 am



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 15):
The aircraft is operated by carrier A to a point where it is taken over by a crew from carrier B and operated as a carrier B flight. This would usually happen to get around certain political or diplomatic tangles. However, you did not mix and match crews from A and B.

I think Delta and PanAm cooperated in such manner in the early 747 days. Flight was something like ATL-JFK-LHR.
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PGNCS
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:42 pm

Your title asks "Do airlines share pilots in emergency situations?", which is unintentionally misleading. What you are describing is not an emergency situation, it is a crew availability and scheduling issue.

As others have said, this does not occur due to a variety of regulatory and training issues.
 
stratosphere
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:06 am



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 20):
As others have said, this does not occur due to a variety of regulatory and training issues

But they do it with mechanics though..I have been on call maintenance for many airlines regardless of training.
 
movingtin
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:08 pm



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 21):
But they do it with mechanics though..I have been on call maintenance for many airlines regardless of training.

But, you are working under the direct control of that airlines MTC controller.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Do Airlines Share Pilots In Emergency Situations?

Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:44 am



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 21):
But they do it with mechanics though..I have been on call maintenance for many airlines regardless of training.

I guess the certifying supervisor is of the original Airline hence the SOP may permit.
regds
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