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ReuschAir
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:25 pm

BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:09 pm

In light of the CO pilot who died recently while working the Brussels/Newark flight he was on. (Sympathies to friends and family by the way. I wonder if that isn't ideal for a pilot--to die peacefully in the sky, loving his job, presumably). I am curious regarding standard practice to have back-up crew on both domestic and international flights. If back-ups are put on flights, how many? Also, even if no one is scheduled to serve as back-up, what are the chances that there will be crew members aboard flying to work or flying on a pass, thus allowing them to take over in emergent cases? Does it matter if a UA flight is transporting a DL captain to his work destination? Can other pilots from other airlines take over in such cases? Are there liability and training issues, presuming that person is trained on the aircraft being flown?

Thanks Reusch
 
migair54
Posts: 2468
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:24 am

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:38 pm

Usually Back up crews are in the hotels waiting to be called, all the airlines have back up crews pilots and F/A.

Not all the destinations have a crew to replace, like back up planes.
If no back up crew available in the destination then the airline will send someone.

Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Are there liability and training issues

In case of an emergency like this one any pilots is welcome in the cockpit to help the captain, if no pilot on board a F/A could help, the captain can easily pilot the plane alone and land the plane safe.

Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
If back-ups are put on flights, how many?

Just the crew needed, If the captain is sick then just a captain and so on.


18 months ago I was in a plane flying from HAV to MAD and the first offices doesn´t feel very good, I did all the flight in the cockpit and I´m not Airbus pilot, but if he feels worst I (pilot non-flying )could help the captain while he flies the plane, Finally I didn´t do anything.
 
blueflyer
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:46 pm



Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
I am curious regarding standard practice to have back-up crew on both domestic and international flights

There are no in-air back-up crews. Crew number is determined by length of flight. EWR-BRU is blocked at 8:15. Every flight over 8 hours has a three-crew complement (captain, first officer, reserve).

Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Are there liability and training issues, presuming that person is trained on the aircraft being flown?

If it's a dire emergency and there's only one company pilot left at the control, I highly doubt the pilot will worry about liability or training if any other pilot is on board. The other pilot doesn't even have to be type-rated to help, he can handle the radios while the company pilot flies the plane...
 
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glen
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:43 pm

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:51 pm

Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):

There are no inflight back-up pilots. On flights with enlarged crews due to longer flight time the one pilot resting will take over the part of the failing crewmember.
With standard crew the only back-up is the to have a two-man cockpit anyway.

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 2):
If it's a dire emergency and there's only one company pilot left at the control, I highly doubt the pilot will worry about liability or training if any other pilot is on board.

Every pilot is trained to fly the aircraft alone. There will be no redundancy in crossmonitoring manipulations or understanding ATC etc. But you will be for sure be more alert than on a normal flight, thinking over your manipulations twice, inform ATC as well to have them informed about your status.

Quoting MIgAiR54 (Reply 1):
the captain can easily pilot the plane alone and land the plane safe

Also the copilot can fly and land the plane alone - but just easy it isn't neither for him nor a captain. Just fly is not be the big problem, but there a lot of other things like communication with cabin, organizing medical assistance and so on. May be you have to land on an airport you have never been, just to receive medical treatment for a seriously sick crew member without having a lot of time for preparation (we do this for passengers as well...)

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 2):
Every flight over 8 hours has a three-crew complement (captain, first officer, reserve).

Well, the third pilot is not just "reserve". It is normaly captain/first officer/first officer on a partial crew enlargement.
But lucky pilots to have a crew enlargement starting at 8 hours flight-time. We can have up to 12:30 hours duty-time (which makes 11 hours flight time) with standard crew. And as far as I know there are others with even worse regulations - especially charter carriers.

[Edited 2009-06-18 12:52:41]
"The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view." - Albert Einstein
 
DescendVia
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:26 am

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:22 am



Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Does it matter if a UA flight is transporting a DL captain to his work destination?

No

Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Can other pilots from other airlines take over in such cases?

No.... let a passenger do it since the guy doesn't fly for the airline in question.

Of course I'm being sarcastic but common sense should be applied to that question.
 
Viscount724
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:29 am



Quoting MIgAiR54 (Reply 1):
Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Are there liability and training issues

In case of an emergency like this one any pilots is welcome in the cockpit to help the captain, if no pilot on board a F/A could help, the captain can easily pilot the plane alone and land the plane safe.

The last time a CO captain died at the controls (on a 757-300 IAH-PVR in January 2007), a passenger with a private pilot's license assisted the first officer for the remainder of the flight.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1773510/posts

When an AC 767 first officer had to be removed from the cockpit due to a mental breakdown during a YYZ-LHR flight in January 2008, one of the flight attendants (female if memory correct) happened to have a commercial pilot's license and assisted the captain for the rest of the flight (it diverted to SNN).
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/539749
 
FredT
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:22 am

There is a back-up crew on almost every commercial flight. It is called a co-pilot...
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
chrisMUC
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:47 pm

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:19 am



Quoting ReuschAir (Thread starter):
Does it matter if a UA flight is transporting a DL captain to his work destination?

At my company it does, and I would be surprised to hear that it's different at other flight operations. Our SOP is, that if the cpt is incapacitated the fo becomes PIC (obvious). If there is by chance another cpt, rated on the same type and ready to fly, on board, then he can function as PIC. A type rated cpt of another company won't be PIC - but of course his help and back up would be highly welcomed. Same for pilots flying other types.
(As always, if deemed necessary, the PIC can deviate from SOPs)
 
pilotpip
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:06 am



Quoting FredT (Reply 6):
There is a back-up crew on almost every commercial flight. It is called a co-pilot...

I didn't realize I was a "backup". We work together.

I don't know how many have done it, but I have practiced a "crew incapacitation" situation in the simulator and did everything from about 10,000 feet to shutdown by myself. It was a little busy but not impossible to do. The only thing I can't do from the right seat is make sharp turns. I'd stop on the runway and get towed in.

If I were faced with this situation, I don't know if I would "ask" for help for a couple reasons. First I don't want to panic the passengers. Second, the last thing I'd want in a stressful situation like that is some flight simulator geek who has no business there. If there was a 121 or charter pilot on board I would ask them to work the radios, that's about it. We do have procedures in place in the event there's a deadheading crew on board. In that case the captain in the back would assume PIC duties. If it were another FO I would assume those duties. I always say high to the pilots if I'm deadheading primarily for this reason. I want them to know I'm back there if they need me. Likewise I try to watch passenger boarding.

Basically, it comes down to the situation. The PIC has the right to deviate from any regulation to meet the needs of an emergency situation.
DMI
 
wilco737
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:21 am



Quoting FredT (Reply 6):
There is a back-up crew on almost every commercial flight. It is called a co-pilot...

The Co- pilot is as much of a back- up as the captain! Both have the same knowledge, same skills to fly and land the plane safely.

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
I didn't realize I was a "backup".

Me neither. I don't feel like backup and the Co- Pilot is not really a Co- Pilot, he is the First Officer. Like on a ship, the captain comes first, then the First Officer. Both have the same skills and know how to do their job, but the Captain has the final decision when it is needed, but usally all decisions are made between the Captain and the First Officer together. It is called CRM, MCC, CCC etc etc. We are a team...

wilco737
 
m11stephen
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:31 am

Some airlines have F/As read the checklists and sit up there during landing in the event of a pilot incapacitation. I would really like to know if there is a procedure in place that F/As follow in the event both pilots are incapacitated...
My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
 
FredT
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:49 pm

Note to self: Do not make tongue-in-cheek-comments about the radio operators. They get terribly upset! Big grin

And sorry guys, but you are the back-up, in the sense that without the need for a fallback in case of excrementus ventilatus (s**t hits the fan), we'd be doing single-pilot all over the place. Money would have been thrown at the workload problem. Thus, the second pilot to get there is backup, and the captains got there first.  Smile

Done with having a dig at you, right you are that the days of Captains and Sky Gods Allmighty are long gone, and good riddance to them! A crew is much more than the sum of its parts when done right and the industry was about sixty years late in recognizing the value of making good use of the trained individual in the right seat.
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
wilco737
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:56 pm



Quoting FredT (Reply 11):
And sorry guys, but you are the back-up

And the Captain is my backup. So we are backing up each other.

wilco737
 
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golfradio
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:12 pm

I apologize if this is a silly question but say the FO is incapacitated and there is no relief pilot on board, does not the Captain have a problem with reach etc. For instance dropping the landing gear. Similarly for the FO. I believe that not all controls are duplicated on both sides, so does it require a second person to help out or is it a non-issue?

Thanks
CSeries forever. Bring back the old site.
 
DescendVia
Posts: 141
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:18 pm



Quoting Golfradio (Reply 13):
For instance dropping the landing gear.

Who do you think handles the gear when the FO is flying  Wink
 
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golfradio
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:32 pm

Quoting Golfradio (Reply 13):
Who do you think handles the gear when the FO is flying

But then he is not flying himself. I meant having to handle flying duties and then having to reach out?

Anyways from your response I guess its a non-issue

[Edited 2009-06-22 13:39:20]
CSeries forever. Bring back the old site.
 
DescendVia
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:26 am

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:04 pm



Quoting Golfradio (Reply 15):
Anyways from your response I guess its a non-issue

Worst comes to worst if there was only 1 pilot....... "otto" would help, which it probably would anyway.
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:36 pm

If you can't trim the aircraft enough to reach over and flip the gear lever or have the presence of mind to turn the autopilot on you probably shouldn't be in front.
DMI
 
XXXX10
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RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:25 pm

It happened on a BA flight, the captain continued to destination as normal with a cabin crew member on the flight deck.

http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources/dft_avsafety_pdf_501353.pdf
 
EcuadorianMD11
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:32 pm

RE: BackUp Crew On Domestic/International Flights

Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:45 pm



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
some flight simulator geek who has no business there.

Mmm, very graphically put! You may trot on some sensitive toes........especially in the "aviation hobby" forum.
But yes, there may be some people that are a mildly overconfident in a cockpit due to an excessive amount of SIM-ming.

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 9):
Like on a ship, the captain comes first, then the First Officer



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 9):
Both have the same skills and know how to do their job

Being a ship´s captian (and ex C/O obviously) I beg to differ on this one.
Yes, both enjoyed the same level of education but generally captains have more all round experience. If the C/O is really as up to speed as the "old man" is.........he will be promoted on relatively short notice unless the indiviual question is not interested in climbing the proverbial ladder.

I don´t know about aviation...........but isn´t the captain normally way more experienced?
A highly experienced 1st offcer would be on the verge of promotion, correct?
Just asking.......

But yes, WILCO 737 is right, at the end of the day they are each other´s back up in case of an emergency.........both can safely park the plane at the gate if the lunch of either one turns out to be mildly poisonous!

That reminds me............is it true that both pilots never eat the same type of food on a flight?

Cheers,

Ecuadorian MD11.
A lot of people need to be offended on a regular basis I always felt, and I�´m the very boy to do it! - Billy Connolly

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