RetiredNWA wrote:Let’s try to actually answer your question and expand your knowledge. The basics:
The absolute limit of an aircraft is, in short, the calculated endurance of the airplane. Weights, winds, weather, alternates, routing, sector length, etc are all factored during the planning stages. Trips are then created with the required crew complement of either two or three pilots.
At US operators, ALPA/APA (the pilot unions) collective bargaining agreements (contracts) require that the operator (airline) block (make unavailable in inventory and not available for sale or passenger use)a business class (or better) seat for pilot rest purposes. There is a jumpseat in the cockpit for the third pilot (called the “relief” or “IRO”) and that is occupied by said pilot and not available for any other usage.
These collective bargaining agreements are available for you to read. Try a google search the current Delta, United or American contract and find the section regarding “Hours of Service” or “Scheduling” or “Duty Periods” and you will find a plethora of information regarding the scenario you describe.
Interestingly, not all two-pilot aircraft have bunks; many 767’s do not have pilot rest bunks; no 757 has bunks (that I know of) and I am unfamiliar with Airbus narrowbodies. In the cabin, you can typically spot the crew rest seat in First/Biz because it is typically curtained-off and has audio jacks for a pilot headset and microphone.
The scenario you present seems to describe a “Red Eye Turn” which is typically prohibited by the contracts I have referenced. I have no knowledge of how operators outside of the “Big Three” in the USA schedule their pilots.
The reply above mine does not make much sense; disregard it.
T54A wrote:I’m think of something like a two sector over night flight, with each sector been around 3hr45min which would obviously be very fatiguing and close to the legal limit.
T54A wrote:What measures can be put in place to manage the fatigue? Third pilot in a business seat perhaps?
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