c5load
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Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:44 am

When an international flight takes off it usually has two sets of pilots, or at least one other captain correct? But if a pilot's duty day can be what, 16 hrs? then why does a 7.5 hr flight from ATL-LHR need another pilot? There can't be an additional 7 hrs of duty in between when the pilots get alerted and they take off. Or am I missing a rule that the airlines have that the military doesn't? Because we are expected to be able to work a 24 hr duty day when we fly. (with little breaks here and there, obviously)
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airtran737
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:10 am

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):


When an international flight takes off it usually has two sets of pilots, or at least one other captain correct? But if a pilot's duty day can be what, 16 hrs? then why does a 7.5 hr flight from ATL-LHR need another pilot? There can't be an additional 7 hrs of duty in between when the pilots get alerted and they take off. Or am I missing a rule that the airlines have that the military doesn't? Because we are expected to be able to work a 24 hr duty day when we fly. (with little breaks here and there, obviously)

A two man crew can only be scheduled to fly 8 hours, three man crews are limited to 13 hours. The military does not have the FAA overseeing any of their operations like airlines do. Also, airline pilots have these cool things called contracts that specify their duty time limitations.
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ILUV767
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:18 am

It also allows for fatigue mitigation. International crews travel through several time zones and are expected to stay fresh and alert for the entire time. Having an additional crew member allows for rest which greatly improves safety (and is required by the FAA).
 
deltabobo
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:37 am

Thank you AirTran for beating me to the punch!
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KAUSpilot
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:27 am

You must make a distinction between FLIGHT TIME and DUTY TIME. Understand that a 16 hour day might only include 4 hours of flying...preflight time, time between flights, and postflight time count toward duty time. Flight time is only the time from which the parking brake is released for pushback or taxi out to the time a door is opened on arrival (with minor variations on these triggers from carrier to carrier).

On an aircraft with a flight deck designed for 2 pilots:

A 2 man crew is allowed 8 hours of scheduled flight time

A 3 man crew is allowed 12 hours of scheduled flight time

A 4 man crew is allowed an unlimited duty day and unlimited flight time but adequate rest quarters must be available on the aircraft.

Understand that on a 3 or 4 man crew the pilots will work in "shifts" with the excess pilots relieving the others at intervals determined by the captain. Also understand that unions and most reputable carriers do limit the duty days even on 4 man crews, because lets face it, even the best on-board sleeping quarters aren't going to give you the same restfulness or amenities as a hotel room (and especially in the freight world, on-board sleeping quarters are often spartan at best). Also understand that "duty time" regulations will vary depending on the type of carrier being discussed. For instance, I work for a flag carrier, and we are permitted 16, 18, and 20 hour duty days with 2, 3, and 4 man crews respectively.

Please see the following link for the actual regulations:

http://cf.alpa.org/internet/projects/ftdt/backgr/ftdtguide.html#a2
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:14 am

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
When an international flight takes off it usually has two sets of pilots, or at least one other captain correct?

Depends on country specific regulations but for example a CX flight with 4 crew will only have one Captain, two first officers and a second officer (AKA "cruise pilot"). The Captain will always sit in the left seat for take-off and landing but will typically rest for much of cruise. Or study for an upcoming check.  
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Transpac787
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:17 am

Quoting airtran737 (Reply 1):
A two man crew can only be scheduled to fly 8 hours, three man crews are limited to 13 hours.

This is incorrect. On a 2-pilot airplane:

A 2-man crew may fly up to 8+00 block time, a 3-man crew may fly 8+01 to 12+00, and a 4-man crew is required for 12+01 and above.
 
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tb727
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:31 am

The craziest rules out there are 121 Supplemental. There are no duty day limits on flights outside the contiguous 48 states and the only rule is you can't go over 12 hours of flight in a 24 hour period. It's all good if you know your trips ahead of time but not so much if you are on call, makes for some long days with only 1 crew on board!
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:40 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 6):
Quoting airtran737 (Reply 1):
A two man crew can only be scheduled to fly 8 hours, three man crews are limited to 13 hours.

This is incorrect. On a 2-pilot airplane:

A 2-man crew may fly up to 8+00 block time, a 3-man crew may fly 8+01 to 12+00, and a 4-man crew is required for 12+01 and above.

It should be noted that regulations vary by country.
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wilco737
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:31 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
It should be noted that regulations vary by country.

I was about to say that. 2 men crew only 8 hours? My longest 2 pilots flight was LEJ-HKG... And I can assure you it was longer than 8 hours.

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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:22 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 6):
This is incorrect. On a 2-pilot airplane:

A 2-man crew may fly up to 8+00 block time, a 3-man crew may fly 8+01 to 12+00, and a 4-man crew is required for 12+01 and above.

Not necessarily... what you state is correct for the US FAR's.. they vary.


Over at widget land, for flight time under 8 hours, it is a 2 man crew (1 CA/1 FO...but may be staffed with 1 CA/2 FO if the return leg from yurop is going to be over 8).

For over 8 hours up to 12 hours, it is 1 CA/2 FOs.

Over 12 hours it is 2 CA and 2 FOs.... no cruise pilots! Crew breaks on over 12 are done via NASA research standards, which the former Northwest guys showed resistance to but... hey, it's proven to be more effective.
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wilco737
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:06 am

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 10):
Not necessarily... what you state is correct for the US FAR's.. they vary.

We even make difference between day and night. During day you can fly longer than during night. If a flight leaves at 8 am you can fly longer than if a flight leaves at 2 am.
That's why it is possible to fly LEJ-HKG nonstop with only 2 pilots. I did that twice, was a pretty long day. But there was not a lot margin, so better be on time.
Good example are the FRA-ORD flights. The early one LH430 is only 2 pilots as the duty time stays within the German day. But the later flight LH432 is 3 pilots as we are flying into the German night.
We don't have any routes where we require 4 pilots. Our longst is FRA-EZE, 1 CP, 1 SFO, 1 FO is barely enough. That is the reason why the 744 is flying that route. if the 340 would fly it, it would require at least 30 minutes more flight time and thus more flight duty time and then there would be 4 pilots on board. So the 744 is flying it to save the 4th pilot on board.

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FlyboyOz
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:36 am

What about LH charter flight to Australia - did LH need 4 pilots to fly to Australia via Singapore?
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wilco737
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:43 am

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 12):
What about LH charter flight to Australia - did LH need 4 pilots to fly to Australia via Singapore?

It was not a nonstop flight... It was a flight on several days with stopover and enough rest...

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JRadier
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:44 am

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 11):

We even make difference between day and night. During day you can fly longer than during night. If a flight leaves at 8 am you can fly longer than if a flight leaves at 2 am.

Also known as the Window Of Circadian Low, or WOCL. This is the time that the body would normally be asleep, and runs from 0200LT to 0559LT. If you report, fly though or arrive in this window your FDP (Flight Duty Period) will be shortened. IIRC if you report in the WOCL the time within the WOCL will be 100% reduced on the FDP with a maximum of 2 hours. Not sure how flying through or arriving in the WOCL is counted. Wilco?
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wilco737
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:50 am

Quoting JRadier (Reply 14):
Not sure how flying through or arriving in the WOCL is counted. Wilco?

That depends on how many hours you fly into that WOCL and when you finally arrive. We have tables where you can check it.
And if you are 3 pilots then you can fly for a very loong loooooong time....

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Charlienoble
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:55 am

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 10):
Crew breaks on over 12 are done via NASA research standards

Can you elaborate a little more on this...or do you have a link?
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Viscount724
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:30 pm

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 11):
Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 10):
Not necessarily... what you state is correct for the US FAR's.. they vary.

We even make difference between day and night. During day you can fly longer than during night. If a flight leaves at 8 am you can fly longer than if a flight leaves at 2 am.
That's why it is possible to fly LEJ-HKG nonstop with only 2 pilots. I did that twice, was a pretty long day. But there was not a lot margin, so better be on time.
Good example are the FRA-ORD flights. The early one LH430 is only 2 pilots as the duty time stays within the German day. But the later flight LH432 is 3 pilots as we are flying into the German night.
We don't have any routes where we require 4 pilots. Our longst is FRA-EZE, 1 CP, 1 SFO, 1 FO is barely enough. That is the reason why the 744 is flying that route. if the 340 would fly it, it would require at least 30 minutes more flight time and thus more flight duty time and then there would be 4 pilots on board. So the 744 is flying it to save the 4th pilot on board.

What happens on routes where an extra pilot is needed in one direction only due to differences in flight times, e.g. where a westbound flight may exeed the time limit for 2 pilots but the eastbound flight is within the limit? Does the extra pilot deadhead as a passenger in the other direction where not required?
 
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:34 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
What happens on routes where an extra pilot is needed in one direction only due to differences in flight times, e.g. where a westbound flight may exeed the time limit for 2 pilots but the eastbound flight is within the limit? Does the extra pilot deadhead as a passenger in the other direction where not required?

At my carrier both legs are staffed for the longest of the 2 legs.

For example, if it only needs 2 going eastbound, but 3 coming back, it will be staffed with 3 pilots both legs.

Same idea for 3/4 pilots.

Quoting CharlieNoble (Reply 16):
Can you elaborate a little more on this...or do you have a link?

I'll try to find a link... it basically boils down to a splitting up to a "takeoff/landing crew" and a "cruise crew."

The takeoff crew starts out, flies for 3 hours or so, then cycles out for a 2 or so hour break (replaced by the cruise crew), then they come back up for a 3 or 4 hours, then cycle out for a longer 4 hour or so break, and finish out the last hour and change of the flight... that way the most fresh crew is in the seats for the takeoff and for the landing.... it also keeps you not in the seat for very long stretches.
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wilco737
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:38 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
What happens on routes where an extra pilot is needed in one direction only due to differences in flight times, e.g. where a westbound flight may exeed the time limit for 2 pilots but the eastbound flight is within the limit? Does the extra pilot deadhead as a passenger in the other direction where not required?

At LH Cargo the SFO was sent back home as dead head crew on the passenger flight or being sent to some other place where he was needed.
But at LH Pax both flights are flown with 3 pilots. So even ORD-FRA which can be rather short you have a break as there are 3 pilots.

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Charlienoble
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RE: Why Are There Two Crews On Int'l Flights?

Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:49 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 18):
Quoting CharlieNoble (Reply 16):
Can you elaborate a little more on this...or do you have a link?

I'll try to find a link... it basically boils down to a splitting up to a "takeoff/landing crew" and a "cruise crew."

The takeoff crew starts out, flies for 3 hours or so, then cycles out for a 2 or so hour break (replaced by the cruise crew), then they come back up for a 3 or 4 hours, then cycle out for a longer 4 hour or so break, and finish out the last hour and change of the flight... that way the most fresh crew is in the seats for the takeoff and for the landing.... it also keeps you not in the seat for very long stretches.

That makes sense, no link required - thanks!
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