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Old Oct 22, 2009, 8:55 PM
airhead airhead is offline
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Default Overworked pilots?

It seems that ground crew agents aren't the only ones who are required to work long crazy hours and perform safety sensitive jobs.
Old Oct 22, 2009, 11:13 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
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An employer will push as much as they can.

Back in the late 90's when I ran for UP, we were going to go on strike over the fatigue ridden dispatchers who control the switches, etc. There had been a few head on collisions in Texas because of dispatchers sending two trains at each other.
Old Oct 23, 2009, 3:15 AM
airhead airhead is offline
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You are correct. Greed can be one of the components of such disasters. I happen to pick on airlines because of my experience but you are correct that it happens in other industries too. The point I am trying to make is that I want others to know. It seems the only way to fight such companies is with large numbers or doing it from with in or perhaps both is the best strategy.
Old Oct 24, 2009, 9:17 PM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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The real issue is that the complaints and people going after the airlines are going after companies (the airlines) that do not different than other companies. Many employees are over worked, and under paid, across many industries. Many companies don't treat the customers they way they should. People go after the airlines, because the airlines can have a bigger effect on someone's day/life, than a poor experience at Wal-Mart, but reality is, the airlines operate no differently than basically any other major corporation in the U.S. today.
Old Oct 24, 2009, 11:30 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
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There is a significant difference. If I buy something from Walmart and it doesn' t work, I can take it back and get a refund, then go to Target. The consequences of their failure to perform to contract are fairly minor and amount to an inconvenience.

Airlines have established an entirely different relationship with their customers. First, there is a fundamental unfairness in their Terms and Conditions. For example: if I turn up at the airport in time to catch the flight, but with insufficient time to get through massive check in queues I am denied boarding and no refund is offered as I failed to get there in the contracted time. If the airline fails to get me to by destination on time, suddenly the airline points to a clause which states that the times of the flight "form no part of the contract", and I have no remedy.

Secondly, if an airline fails to perform, the consequences for the individual customer is often highly significant.. funerals, weddings, christenings, graduations.. events which are not repeatable are lost. It can result in people being stranded, sometimes in foreign countries, sometimes with few resources.

Third, the element of choice is often missing. Many routes have only one direct carrier, and there is no real competition.

So, whether you feel airlines are operating like other companies... I would argue that they should not be. The lack of regulation in the US air industry is highly detrimental to consumers and to the industry as a whole.
Old Oct 27, 2009, 3:21 AM
airhead airhead is offline
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Chris is correct to the to the point of many companies do treat their employees bad, especially the larger ones. But I want to point out that safety is the biggest issue for me and should be for airlines. If they can't be safe and make a profit then THE AIRLINE NEEDS TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS. Pilots asleep at the wheel, or having some sort of technical issue is an ISSUE that should be addressed. Gate agents that are tired is a safety issue. Any problems that come from passengers, cargo, fuel, and weight fall back on the that person. The pilot only triple checks the weights that are given. The pilot does not count the bags or judge the mentality of a passenger upon check in. The gate agent is responsible for those numbers. Working 30 hours over time is hard at any job but at an airline that is dangerous.
Old Oct 27, 2009, 7:33 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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I think we can now put the overworked theory to rest. A quick quote from a story on Yahoo.

"The pilots — Richard Cole of Salem, Ore., the first officer, and Timothy Cheney of Gig Harbor, Wash., the captain — said in interviews conducted over the weekend that they were not fatigued and didn't fall asleep, the board said in a statement."

This event is absolutely unforgivable as it put unknown amounts of people at risk and caused actions by other entities unnecessarily. I sincerely hope this act by these 2 pilots is not brushed aside by the airline and serves as an example to other pilots.
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
Old Oct 28, 2009, 1:55 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
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Well, the pilots say that they did not fall asleep... but there are factors in this which are highly suspect. I would suggest that there ways in which more aspects to this event will come out. The CVR only records the last 30 minutes, and as the pilots were back in contact with ATC in the last 30 minutes, it will not reveal whether the pilots were discussing company policy and lost "situational awareness" or were asleep. However, the other "black box" records flight parameters and inputs and this records the last 2 hours of the flight. If this shows no pilot inputs for the period in question, this will raise significant questions about the veracity of their account. So lets see what the NTSB come up with.

On the issue of pilot fatigue, there are very serious issues of safety which arise out of the conduct of airlines in the US. There are questions relating to the exploitation of the desperation of some pilots to "break into" the industry, such that their pay is so low....or in some cases, unbelieveably, they are paying the airline for "training" whilst flying as First Officers. This should be illegal. The consequences of this drive to push down wages (which the airlines claim is just "market forces") means that pilots are having work second jobs. This is particularly a problem in the regionals. There is a very real risk of fatigue in these circumstances, in what is one of the most safety critical jobs around.

People need to wake up and smell the coffee. The market is not working and there could well be some dead people in New York as a consequence.
Old Oct 28, 2009, 2:05 AM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
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from the last reports on this story the pilots lisence was taken away and they were on their laptops and didnt notice until a flight attendant asked about their landing time

big mess up, but the passengers got $500 travel vouchars
Old Oct 28, 2009, 4:01 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
However, the other "black box" records flight parameters and inputs and this records the last 2 hours of the flight.
Actually it records the last 25 hours. Also if the voice recorder is a solid state one (as it should be on an Airbus) it records the last 2 hours, but the DOT is still quoting the 30 minute time frame. That was for the old reel tape recorders. We will have to wait and see. Even if it is only 30 minutes, there's a good chance of it catching the "Oh, crap" reaction between the pilots after the fact, which would be quite revealing.

I can understand loosing situational awareness for a few minutes, but not 1:18.

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