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mercure1
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ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 5:30 pm

Its reported that on flight AZ609 JFK-FCO on April 30th, air traffic control in Marseille lost contact with the flight for 10 minutes.

The first officer was reportedly on a controlled rest when the captain fell asleep also. The captain has since been fired.

The lack of communication triggered a terrorist alert, with two French fighter jets taking off to intercept the flight and monitor the situation.

https://www.repubblica.it/economia/2022 ... 351382699/
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/news/p ... ar-AAXSjOi
 
32andBelow
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 6:02 pm

Wow 10 minutes only and they scrambled on them?
 
TW870
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 6:24 pm

Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.
 
Jshank83
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 6:50 pm

TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


The MSN article listed has direct quotes from the airline about the airlines investigation and removal of the pilot. It also talks about the rest break

The airline said: “For flight AZ609 on 30 April from New York JFK to Rome Fiumicino, ITA Airways initiated and concluded an internal investigation procedure.

“The purpose of this internal investigation was to determine the incidents relating to the momentary loss of radio communication between the cockpit and the air traffic control offices, particularly during the overflight of French airspace.

“This investigation led to the identification of a behavior of the Captain that did not comply with the procedures in force both during the flight and once landed, i.e. a professional conduct that was not consistent with the behavioral and working rules dictated by the Company, which the staff is required to follow strictly, and above all of strong inconsistencies between the statements made by the Captain and the outcome of the internal investigations.

“In light of this, the Company has adopted a disciplinary measure that has led to the immediate removal of the resource from the ITA Airways workforce, as the relationship of trust in the working environment had been broken.”
Last edited by Jshank83 on Tue May 31, 2022 6:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
Planetalk
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 6:50 pm

TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


It's very common practice and perfectly normal for controlled rest breaks to be allowed in two pilot operations. Any flight you're on one pilot could be having a nap!
 
UA444
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 7:13 pm

It’s a sign. Bring back Alitalia
 
ILUV767
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 7:22 pm

It boggles my mind that flights like this are not flown with an augmented crew.
 
LDRA
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 7:26 pm

What happened? Capt. ordered dark roast coffee, but was served decaf instead???
 
TexasAirCorp
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 7:39 pm

Must be taking after their old Alitalia bosses. Asleep at the wheel.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 7:58 pm

EU duty time rules are different. I've seen European airlines like Martinair and LTU operate with two pilots all the way to West Coast.
 
IFlyVeryLittle
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 8:06 pm

Are unions a thing with Italy? Amazing how fast a company can move without that pesky due process and stuff.
 
32andBelow
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 8:15 pm

ILUV767 wrote:
It boggles my mind that flights like this are not flown with an augmented crew.

Why it’s not that long of a flight
 
Tracks
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 8:34 pm

LAXintl wrote:
EU duty time rules are different. I've seen European airlines like Martinair and LTU operate with two pilots all the way to West Coast.


Taking a U.S. airline on a similar route - e.g. FRA-SFO on UA, how many cockpit crew would United staff the flight with? I fly transatlantic approx. monthly (almost always on United) and feel like sometimes I see 4 pilots board, but not sure what their roles are/whether they're deadheading, are relief crew, pilots being trained etc.
 
Eikie
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 8:52 pm

ILUV767 wrote:
It boggles my mind that flights like this are not flown with an augmented crew.

The flighttime is slightl less than 8 hours.
Take a generous 2 hours before takeoff and 30 minutes after landing and you're still well within the 11 hours max FDP at night.
 
Etheereal
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 9:33 pm

Well, hope that pilot can find a good flight career somewhere else. I heard they're needing pilots in the US.

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
Are unions a thing with Italy? Amazing how fast a company can move without that pesky due process and stuff.


:stirthepot: :stirthepot:
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 10:20 pm

32andBelow wrote:
ILUV767 wrote:
It boggles my mind that flights like this are not flown with an augmented crew.

Why it’s not that long of a flight


Why? Is pretty well answered with the mere existence of this thread.

I think you’ll find all American carriers would fly this route with three pilots. Fatigue is a very real issue and a causal factor in a lot of incident/accident investigations.

“Legal” isn’t always the best way to go.
 
32andBelow
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 10:34 pm

CrewBunk wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
ILUV767 wrote:
It boggles my mind that flights like this are not flown with an augmented crew.

Why it’s not that long of a flight


Why? Is pretty well answered with the mere existence of this thread.

I think you’ll find all American carriers would fly this route with three pilots. Fatigue is a very real issue and a causal factor in a lot of incident/accident investigations.

“Legal” isn’t always the best way to go.

It’s barley longer than Boston to SFO
 
johns624
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 11:15 pm

32andBelow wrote:
CrewBunk wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Why it’s not that long of a flight


Why? Is pretty well answered with the mere existence of this thread.

I think you’ll find all American carriers would fly this route with three pilots. Fatigue is a very real issue and a causal factor in a lot of incident/accident investigations.

“Legal” isn’t always the best way to go.

It’s barley longer than Boston to SFO
4200 miles is barely longer than 2700 miles?
https://www.distance.to/Rome/New-York
https://www.distance.to/Boston,MA,USA/S ... sco,CA,USA
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 11:19 pm

32andBelow wrote:
It’s barely longer than Boston to SFO


SFO-BOS is about 1500 miles less than JFK-FCO. Remember, you’re cruising around 480 knots.

The big difference though, is the timing. Start times/end times etc.

For example, we have three (soon to be four) YYZ-LHR flights a day. All are legal with only two pilots. However, through a union committee, each leg is assessed for fatigue. The 0835 (daylight flight) - two pilots. 1835 departure - two pilots, 2030 and 2330 departures - three pilots.

I’ll tell you from experience, the exact spot where the ITA incident occurred is a “hot spot”. Right after NAT exit, the sun in your face and still an hour from top of descent, it’s brutal. We found the best way to deal with it, is to have each pilot take 2 hours in the bunk on the way over then have all three in the cockpit for the last 90 minutes.

We encourage our pilots to file fatigue reports so we can identify “hot spots” we never envisioned. Some pop up where we never imagined. One odd one is a 0530 departure from St John’s Newfoundland, arriving in Toronto at 0700. Sit for two hours then fly Toronto to Regina. Looks great on paper ….. we got fatigue reports almost daily. The solution. Fly to Toronto then go home. (God help you in traffic).

You mention BOS - SFO …. easy peasy, (unless it leaves BOS at 2300). It’s the eastbound leg that causes troubles. An eastbound red-eye? We often carry three pilots.

Safety is expensive. Fatigue is even more expensive.
 
Kiwiandrew
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 11:31 pm

CrewBunk wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
It’s barely longer than Boston to SFO


SFO-BOS is about 1500 miles less than JFK-FCO. Remember, you’re cruising around 480 knots.

The big difference though, is the timing. Start times/end times etc.

For example, we have three (soon to be four) YYZ-LHR flights a day. All are legal with only two pilots. However, through a union committee, each leg is assessed for fatigue. The 0835 (daylight flight) - two pilots. 1835 departure - two pilots, 2030 and 2330 departures - three pilots.

I’ll tell you from experience, the exact spot where the ITA incident occurred is a “hot spot”. Right after NAT exit, the sun in your face and still an hour from top of descent, it’s brutal. We found the best way to deal with it, is to have each pilot take 2 hours in the bunk on the way over then have all three in the cockpit for the last 90 minutes.

We encourage our pilots to file fatigue reports so we can identify “hot spots” we never envisioned. Some pop up where we never imagined. One odd one is a 0530 departure from St John’s Newfoundland, arriving in Toronto at 0700. Sit for two hours then fly Toronto to Regina. Looks great on paper ….. we got fatigue reports almost daily. The solution. Fly to Toronto then go home. (God help you in traffic).

You mention BOS - SFO …. easy peasy, (unless it leaves BOS at 2300). It’s the eastbound leg that causes troubles. An eastbound red-eye? We often carry three pilots.

Safety is expensive. Fatigue is even more expensive.


Thanks for sharing your expertise. I found this a really interesting insight. It's great to get a bit of the thought process, particularly with crewing the same sector, but at different times of the day .
 
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NYPECO
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Tue May 31, 2022 11:56 pm

32andBelow wrote:
CrewBunk wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Why it’s not that long of a flight


Why? Is pretty well answered with the mere existence of this thread.

I think you’ll find all American carriers would fly this route with three pilots. Fatigue is a very real issue and a causal factor in a lot of incident/accident investigations.

“Legal” isn’t always the best way to go.

It’s barley longer than Boston to SFO


It's 1,600 miles longer which is going to be at least 4 extra hours of flight time.
 
d8s
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 12:03 am

mercure1 wrote:
Its reported that on flight AZ609 JFK-FCO on April 30th, air traffic control in Marseille lost contact with the flight for 10 minutes.

The first officer was reportedly on a controlled rest when the captain fell asleep also. The captain has since been fired.

The lack of communication triggered a terrorist alert, with two French fighter jets taking off to intercept the flight and monitor the situation.

https://www.repubblica.it/economia/2022 ... 351382699/
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/news/p ... ar-AAXSjOi


Maybe the captain was "occupied" for a period of time rather than asleep....thats what the investigation sounds like.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 12:16 am

NYPECO wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
CrewBunk wrote:

Why? Is pretty well answered with the mere existence of this thread.

I think you’ll find all American carriers would fly this route with three pilots. Fatigue is a very real issue and a causal factor in a lot of incident/accident investigations.

“Legal” isn’t always the best way to go.

It’s barley longer than Boston to SFO


It's 1,600 miles longer which is going to be at least 4 extra hours of flight time.


Much depends on the wind, BOS-SFO night leg against winter winds could exceed 6 hours. Depart BOS at 2100, acclimated to EST—landing deep in the WOCL.
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 12:31 am

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
Are unions a thing with Italy? Amazing how fast a company can move without that pesky due process and stuff.

Unions are a huge thing in Italia, but this guy lied about it claiming the radio was broken which was not true (nor did they squawk NORDO). They did investigate and sacked him.
 
jetskipper
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 12:37 am

It's very common practice and perfectly normal for controlled rest breaks to be allowed in two pilot operations. Any flight you're on one pilot could be having a nap![/quote]

No US passenger operators allow controlled naps.
 
AngMoh
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:04 am

Jshank83 wrote:
TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


The MSN article listed has direct quotes from the airline about the airlines investigation and removal of the pilot. It also talks about the rest break

The airline said: “For flight AZ609 on 30 April from New York JFK to Rome Fiumicino, ITA Airways initiated and concluded an internal investigation procedure.

“The purpose of this internal investigation was to determine the incidents relating to the momentary loss of radio communication between the cockpit and the air traffic control offices, particularly during the overflight of French airspace.

“This investigation led to the identification of a behavior of the Captain that did not comply with the procedures in force both during the flight and once landed, i.e. a professional conduct that was not consistent with the behavioral and working rules dictated by the Company, which the staff is required to follow strictly, and above all of strong inconsistencies between the statements made by the Captain and the outcome of the internal investigations.

“In light of this, the Company has adopted a disciplinary measure that has led to the immediate removal of the resource from the ITA Airways workforce, as the relationship of trust in the working environment had been broken.”


So he did not get fired for the incident itself, but for making false statements in his report (and maybe the actions during the flights which drove him to make false statements).
 
ScorpioMC3
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:17 am

Tracks wrote:
LAXintl wrote:
EU duty time rules are different. I've seen European airlines like Martinair and LTU operate with two pilots all the way to West Coast.


Taking a U.S. airline on a similar route - e.g. FRA-SFO on UA, how many cockpit crew would United staff the flight with? I fly transatlantic approx. monthly (almost always on United) and feel like sometimes I see 4 pilots board, but not sure what their roles are/whether they're deadheading, are relief crew, pilots being trained etc.



United staffs most transatlantic flights with 3 pilots. If there are 4, chances are there is an IOE being conducted and their contract requires an additional pilot. We do have some EWR/IAD-Europe flights staffed with 2 pilots. The contractual limit states that 8:01 hours of scheduled flight time require a third pilot. So while the US-Europe flight could be under 8 hours of flight time, the return leg could be over 8 hours, thus requiring a third pilot for the whole trip.
 
DualQual
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:20 am

AngMoh wrote:
So he did not get fired for the incident itself, but for making false statements in his report (and maybe the actions during the flights which drove him to make false statements).


It’s not usually the mistake that’s the fireable offense. It’s covering or trying to cover it up.
 
catiii
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:26 am

CrewBunk wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
It’s barely longer than Boston to SFO


SFO-BOS is about 1500 miles less than JFK-FCO. Remember, you’re cruising around 480 knots.

The big difference though, is the timing. Start times/end times etc.

For example, we have three (soon to be four) YYZ-LHR flights a day. All are legal with only two pilots. However, through a union committee, each leg is assessed for fatigue. The 0835 (daylight flight) - two pilots. 1835 departure - two pilots, 2030 and 2330 departures - three pilots.

I’ll tell you from experience, the exact spot where the ITA incident occurred is a “hot spot”. Right after NAT exit, the sun in your face and still an hour from top of descent, it’s brutal. We found the best way to deal with it, is to have each pilot take 2 hours in the bunk on the way over then have all three in the cockpit for the last 90 minutes.

We encourage our pilots to file fatigue reports so we can identify “hot spots” we never envisioned. Some pop up where we never imagined. One odd one is a 0530 departure from St John’s Newfoundland, arriving in Toronto at 0700. Sit for two hours then fly Toronto to Regina. Looks great on paper ….. we got fatigue reports almost daily. The solution. Fly to Toronto then go home. (God help you in traffic).

You mention BOS - SFO …. easy peasy, (unless it leaves BOS at 2300). It’s the eastbound leg that causes troubles. An eastbound red-eye? We often carry three pilots.

Safety is expensive. Fatigue is even more expensive.


What US carrier is flying any eastbound redeye with an augmented flight crew?
 
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LAXintl
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:59 am

Back in the day, CO used to staff 2 pilots on some Eastbound Atlantic trips(such as UK isles), and 3 on the return to the U.S.

But anyhow, US and EU duty rules are quite different, so probably no point in comparing the two. What AZ as doing was quite legal and something employed by European operators as SOP.
 
RMTAviation
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:20 am

The regulation for sure needs to be changed for 2 pilots in the cockpit at all times.
 
dcajet
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:08 am

TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


Many European airlines (Lufthansa and Swiss come to mind) operate to the East Coast and Midwest with a 2-person crew.
 
32andBelow
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:34 am

RMTAviation wrote:
The regulation for sure needs to be changed for 2 pilots in the cockpit at all times.

I don’t think you understand. The second pilot doesn’t leave the cockpit. They just nap in their seat. If they get a loud ass alarm they’ll wake up.
 
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Aesma
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 5:27 am

Talking about someone as a resource...
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 5:34 am

RMTAviation wrote:
The regulation for sure needs to be changed for 2 pilots in the cockpit at all times.


The FO was in the cockpit just on designated rest break.
 
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Aquila3
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Wed Jun 01, 2022 5:40 am

Aesma wrote:
Talking about someone as a resource...

That's usual crude bureaucratic HR jargon in Italy. Seems it works in English too : HR= Human Resources.
Otherwise you will hear "Collaboratore", i.e. co-worker, a little alike German Mitarbeiter. How they say over there?
 
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Lunix
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Sat Jun 04, 2022 8:47 pm

I see here some of you referring Pilot Unions and Company policies enforcing more pilots than legally required.

In my opinion, let's be clear: if a number of pilots is legally approved, I expect it is safe or law should be changed right away. Well, it depends what law is applicable – company's country of registration law, country of departure law, country of arrival law – but here the flight is departing and arriving on decent countries with democracy and all the like, so I expect that the law is safe and can be trusted, even if I can't vote for it.

So if Pilot Unions or Company policies staff more pilots, it's to give them more comfort, to make an airline more attractive for hiring pilots, but please, please, if any airline do it for safety, let's change the law.

By the way, shouldn't the airline compensate for the takeoff of the military jets? It would be more fair, no?
 
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zeke
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Sun Jun 05, 2022 1:49 am

TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


Controlled rest is a common procedure that is perfectly allowed see https://flightsafety.org/wp-content/upl ... d-Rest.pdf

I am also concerned the captain was terminated, it does not seem from an outsiders viewpoint to be conducive to safety, next time this happens it will never get reported now they will fire the crew.
 
N1120A
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Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Sun Jun 05, 2022 1:53 pm

zeke wrote:
TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


Controlled rest is a common procedure that is perfectly allowed see https://flightsafety.org/wp-content/upl ... d-Rest.pdf

I am also concerned the captain was terminated, it does not seem from an outsiders viewpoint to be conducive to safety, next time this happens it will never get reported now they will fire the crew.


Perfectly allowed is a stretch, grammatically and from a policy perspective. It does lend itself to this sort of situation. JFK-FCO really is the kind of route that should be 3 crew.

I am concerned about the captain's termination as well. Unless there is something we're not getting here, fatigue is something that should be handled in a much less rash way. If you have the non-resting crew member dozing off or losing focus, should the onus be on them or on the airline to look at what created that situation in the first place? JFK-FCO is a very tricky flight length, especially when looking at whether to do 2 or 3 crew. Crewbunk's analysis on how AC and their pilot union look at rest on various routings is really on point.

Planetalk wrote:
TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


It's very common practice and perfectly normal for controlled rest breaks to be allowed in two pilot operations. Any flight you're on one pilot could be having a nap!


Not any flight. US regulations do not allow controlled rest.

dcajet wrote:
TW870 wrote:
Something is wrong with the media reports. Sure, the FO could have been on a rest break, but what about the relief FO who should have been in the right seat? I don't know the Italian rules well, but I cannot believe that any airline would let a working pilot do a "controlled rest" in the cockpit while being part of minimum crew - if no other reason for decompression preparedness. Also, if the incident occurred on 30 April, that is really fast for the Captain to have already been fired. Termination could certainly result, and it would be normal to ground the crew on paid leave during the investigation, but I would be surprised if ITA had already separated him.

Seems like we need far more information to get a realistic account here.


Many European airlines (Lufthansa and Swiss come to mind) operate to the East Coast and Midwest with a 2-person crew.


I know BA does LHR-ORD-LHR with just 2 crew.

RMTAviation wrote:
The regulation for sure needs to be changed for 2 pilots in the cockpit at all times.


That would not have changed a thing here.

CrewBunk wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
It’s barely longer than Boston to SFO


SFO-BOS is about 1500 miles less than JFK-FCO. Remember, you’re cruising around 480 knots.

The big difference though, is the timing. Start times/end times etc.

For example, we have three (soon to be four) YYZ-LHR flights a day. All are legal with only two pilots. However, through a union committee, each leg is assessed for fatigue. The 0835 (daylight flight) - two pilots. 1835 departure - two pilots, 2030 and 2330 departures - three pilots.

I’ll tell you from experience, the exact spot where the ITA incident occurred is a “hot spot”. Right after NAT exit, the sun in your face and still an hour from top of descent, it’s brutal. We found the best way to deal with it, is to have each pilot take 2 hours in the bunk on the way over then have all three in the cockpit for the last 90 minutes.

We encourage our pilots to file fatigue reports so we can identify “hot spots” we never envisioned. Some pop up where we never imagined. One odd one is a 0530 departure from St John’s Newfoundland, arriving in Toronto at 0700. Sit for two hours then fly Toronto to Regina. Looks great on paper ….. we got fatigue reports almost daily. The solution. Fly to Toronto then go home. (God help you in traffic).

You mention BOS - SFO …. easy peasy, (unless it leaves BOS at 2300). It’s the eastbound leg that causes troubles. An eastbound red-eye? We often carry three pilots.

Safety is expensive. Fatigue is even more expensive.


I really like the way AC seems to handle fatigue, though it didn't seem to help with that YYZ-SFO incident.

UA444 wrote:
It’s a sign. Bring back Alitalia


Given the weird way ITA has been set up, I'm not sure they don't still work for Alitalia.
 
SierraEcho777
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:04 pm

Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Sun Jun 05, 2022 4:11 pm

The reason why he was terminated is because he lied blaming the radio equipment to have not worked properly during those 10 minutes of absence.

Then several tests have been conducted on the aircraft on the ground (also with third parties companies involved and a very expensive invoice) and everything was working just fine and he basically lied to cover up his mishap.

This resulted in the termination for basically a lack of trust in the relationship between employer and employee.
 
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CrewBunk
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:12 am

Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Sun Jun 05, 2022 6:57 pm

N1120A wrote:
I really like the way AC seems to handle fatigue, though it didn't seem to help with that YYZ-SFO incident.

One of the hardest tasks for a union fatigue committee is convincing the company that while alleviating fatigue has a cost, fatigue itself can be very expensive.

Coming within metres of causing what would likely have been the worst air disaster in history gives the fatigue committee boatloads of ammunition. Even five years later, AC759 is often quoted internally. And believe me, you wouldn’t believe the changes made in the last five years.

It works on a spectrum. The first level is the fatigue reports I mentioned. On our iPads, it’s a very easy function and can be done during quiet hours when flying using the onboard wifi. That’s a big plus, as the easier it is, the more likely one will report it. It doesn’t take long to point out fatigue hot spots.

The next level is a “fatigue book off”. A pilot, through Crew Scheduling can refuse a duty period due to fatigue. It is not punitive, but the company will want an explanation. Reports are filed on both sides with the intent that methods of avoiding it in the future will be devised. It could be something like an onerous duty period to not getting any sleep due to your three week old infant.

The next level is a “public” incident with fatigue as a major factor. Air Canada has had two of these in the last 20 years.

The last level would be a fatigue caused accident. There have been many in the industry, touch wood, Air Canada has not.

Armed with this information, the company is very open to any suggestions that reduces fatigue. I mention the union fatigue committee … actually, it’s joint union/company committee. I find generally, they agree with our suggestions. From both sides of the table, some solutions are ingenious and quite creative.

But, using FCO as an example. Our YYZ-FCO flight is crewed with three pilots. Our main competitor on the route uses two. In Canada, what really needs to change are our pathetic air regulations with regard to duty and crewing so all airlines are on the same page.
 
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zeke
Posts: 17348
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:35 pm

N1120A wrote:

Perfectly allowed is a stretch, grammatically and from a policy perspective. It does lend itself to this sort of situation. JFK-FCO really is the kind of route that should be 3 crew.


Under EASA FTLs the maximum FDP would be 11 hours unknown state of acclimatisation, and 12 hrs if acclimatised assuming a FDP start time of 1515. The flight time for the sector is about 8 hrs, schedule FDP would be around 9:30 which is perfectly legal to be rostered 2 crew.
 
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AirKevin
Posts: 1168
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:18 am

Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:22 pm

zeke wrote:
N1120A wrote:

Perfectly allowed is a stretch, grammatically and from a policy perspective. It does lend itself to this sort of situation. JFK-FCO really is the kind of route that should be 3 crew.


Under EASA FTLs the maximum FDP would be 11 hours unknown state of acclimatisation, and 12 hrs if acclimatised assuming a FDP start time of 1515. The flight time for the sector is about 8 hrs, schedule FDP would be around 9:30 which is perfectly legal to be rostered 2 crew.

Sure, but just because something is legal doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea.
 
Etheereal
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:44 am

Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:33 pm

AirKevin wrote:
zeke wrote:
N1120A wrote:

Perfectly allowed is a stretch, grammatically and from a policy perspective. It does lend itself to this sort of situation. JFK-FCO really is the kind of route that should be 3 crew.


Under EASA FTLs the maximum FDP would be 11 hours unknown state of acclimatisation, and 12 hrs if acclimatised assuming a FDP start time of 1515. The flight time for the sector is about 8 hrs, schedule FDP would be around 9:30 which is perfectly legal to be rostered 2 crew.

Sure, but just because something is legal doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea.

That's just semantics, and for now its legal.
 
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GlobalAirways
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:03 am

Re: ITA pilots fall asleep on transatlantic flight

Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:57 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
Must be taking after their old Alitalia bosses. Asleep at the wheel.


You took the words out of my mouth!!! Same bird, different name!!! LOL

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