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When Are Pilots Safe to Fly? The Answer Is Still Being Debated

An article by aviation journalist, Christine Negroni, appeared  in this week's International Herald Tribune and NY Times. The article discusses the challenges facing EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), which has been given the task of creating rules governing flight time and fatigue management that will be applied to all EU ...Read more

Tiger Airways changes rosters following crew fatigue reports

Singapore-based low cost airline, Tiger Airways, has made changes to crew rosters following 17 reports of fatigue from pilots and cabin crew since the start of 2010. The 17 reported cases were from 76,000 rostered shifts, however Director of Operations Captain Tim Berry told a Senate inquiry into air safety ...Read more

Sleep inertia cited as a contributing factor to Air India Express accident

An Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation final inquiry report into a 2010 Air India Express accident has cited sleep inertia as a contributing factor. The Court of Inquiry determined that “the cause of this accident was Captain’s failure to discontinue the ‘unstabilised approach’ and his persistence in continuing with the ...Read more

Fatigue cited as a contributing factor to Empire Airlines accident

A US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report into a 2009 Empire Airlines ATR 42 accident at Lubbock, Texas has cited fatigue as a contributing factor. The NTSB determined that “the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew's failure to monitor and maintain a minimum safe airspeed while ...Read more

Air incident highlights pilot fatigue

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report into a 2008 Qantas Boeing 717-200 incident has cited fatigue as a contributor. According to the report, the scheduled flight carrying 70 passengers and six crew from Cairns to Alice Springs was “higher, faster and closer to the aerodrome than was suitable for ...Read more

Pilot falls asleep in cockpit

A Scandinavian Airlines pilot has fallen asleep during a fully-booked flight while his co-pilot was locked out of the cockpit. According to reports, the flight from Copenhagen to Stockholm remained under unmonitored autopilot control for several minutes while the co-pilot, who had left the flight-deck to go to the lavatory, ...Read more

ATSB report examines fatigue and other crew error factors

A newly-released report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) considers the role of fatigue and other causal factors in aircraft take-off incidents stemming from pre-flight calculation errors. The report, titled ‘Take-off performance calculation and entry errors: A global perspective’, examines incidents documented over a twenty-year period between 1989 and ...Read more

Unions unhappy with proposed FAA changes to flight and rest times

Unions representing US airline bodies have expressed dissatisfaction with proposed changes to Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) flight, duty and rest times, claiming that they are likely to increase fatigue amongst pilots. According to the unions, the new guidelines have not been given sufficient scientific consideration or evaluated by independent fatigue specialists. Unions have criticised ...Read more

Private jet and charter pilots not covered by FAA fatigue regulation

US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)  pilot fatigue measures are being scrutinised after reports that proposed regulations will not cover an estimated 11,000 corporate and charter aircraft currently operating. With corporate and charter flights also omitted from existing flight time limitations, operators are being urged to voluntarily adopt stricter guidelines until legislative changes are made. ...Read more

Pilot fatigue possible contributor to Air India crash

Pilot fatigue is being considered as a possible contributor to the crash of Air India Express Flight IX-812 in Mangalore on May 22. 158 of the 166 people on board were killed when the Boeing 737-800 over-ran the runway on landing. The tragedy, India’s worst air accident for 14 years, ...Read more