WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

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Waldo Peppar
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WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Waldo Peppar » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:58 am

To add to WestJet's woes....They are in the news again this morning.....this time it is about pilot fatigue....a "former pilot "
who quit because of working conditions speaks out. The report does say the working conditions were within Canadian rules ...BUT Canadian rules are some of the worst in the world.
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flyinhigh
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by flyinhigh » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:00 am

Care to post a link, instead of just saying crap.

To much hear say on this site all the time.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Longtimer » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:09 am

Here is the CTV article and the link to the video:
Schedules leaving some WestJet pilots fatigued, internal report says

An internal report obtained exclusively by CTV News is highlighting exhaustion faced by WestJet pilots.

Monday, March 7, 2016 - CTV News

There are concerns among WestJet pilots that their schedules are leaving them exhausted on the job, according to an internal report obtained by CTV News.

The report, which sums up the results of focus groups commissioned by the airline late last year, highlights frustration among many pilots, some of whom blame the issue on WestJet executives pushing to cut costs and increase efficiency.

“You’re not flying at the level you should be – and that’s the problem. There are no options,” one unnamed participant says in the document.

“Fatigue is not a free fix. They know how to fix it, but it’s all about cost. And they don’t want to spend the money,” says another.

According to the report, nine different pilot groups involving a total of 94 participants were consulted in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. It found the same key issues about fatigue and related health and safety concerns among all groups.

“Participants were passionate and overwhelmingly negative with regards to increasingly difficult schedules and related fatigue issues,” it reads.

“Many pilots believe that the increased focus on delivering value to the shareholder has been made at a significant cost to morale, culture, and trust.”

One former pilot, Rob Scratch Mitchell, said fatigue was one of the reasons he decided to quit WestJet.

He also admitted to having fallen asleep in the air.

“There have been a few times I’ve woken up and I’ve seen the other pilot nodding off as well. That’s probably something people aren’t comfortable to hear,” he said.

“We’re stretching our crews to the edge of safety.”

Asked about the report, WestJet told CTV News it’s trying to address employees’ concerns about fatigue, and has made headway since the focus group was conducted.

“A significant amount of work had already been done prior to these focus groups, and several changes have been implemented since, with more to come,” a spokesperson said in an email.

“It is also important to note that all of our pilots are scheduled not only within regulatory requirements laid out by Transport Canada, but in accordance with our pilot agreements and, most importantly, through changes implemented in accordance with our fatigue risk management system.”

There are also concerns among pilots that Canada’s regulations have fallen behind international standards, however.

The U.S. overhauled its rules after a 2009 crash in Buffalo that killed 49 people, and which was blamed on pilot error and fatigue. Many Canadian pilots are urging federal regulators to do the same now, and not wait for a similar tragedy.

“Countries such as Morocco, Bangladesh, India all have flight and duty time regulations that are a lot more strict,” said Capt. Dan Adamus of the Airline Pilots' Association.

Currently, Transport Canada allows pilots to work a 14-hour shift, longer than is allowed in many countries. The agency announced it wanted to udate the rules last year, including a new limit of between nine and 13 hours in the cockpit, but postponed their implementation
http://bc.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=82401 ... tPageNum=1
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Waldo Peppar
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Waldo Peppar » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:13 am

Thanks longtimer...you beat me to it.

Flyinghigh...quote "saying crap" .....really????
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Art Garfunkel
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Art Garfunkel » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:43 am

How about the regionals? (Sky, Encore and Georgian) these companies fly right to the CAR's limits. And in Sky's case, they fly right into the busiest airspace in the world on a a daily basis (LGA, ORD, DCA and soon ATL). It is written right into Sky's terms of employment that you are expected to work 14 hours a day for 20 days per month. How is that NOT fatiguing! These routes used to be flown by the ACPA contract rules and are now operated by 3rd world standard regulations (CAR's). Who is benefiting here? Pilots? No. Passengers? No. Tickets are purchased at the same place and the passengers are probably expecting the same level of alertness from the crews flying them. Sorry, not happening.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by sstaurus » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:04 am

WJ still gets 14 days off per month at least, no?
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by SRV » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:40 am

Transport Canada intends to make the flight and duty times changes to the regulations ASAP but they can't find anyone that is not on leave, coming in late or going home early to do the work...specifically in Ottawa!
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by digits_ » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:11 am

Must be from all the mandatory socializing and drinking.
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bobcaygeon
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by bobcaygeon » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:24 am

They should definitely updated the Regs for duty days but the number of days worked under their contract should be updated as well. Total duty hours/month shouldn't change.

Capt. Mitchell left out that he only works 16 days a month and doesn't normally meet the federally mandated requirements for overtime pay, likely calculated using the averaging of hours (160 hrs at work in 28 days, 24 hr layovers in CUN or YZF don't count).

You can't pick and choose the rules as you please.

"Please regulate what I couldn't negotiate"
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by mbav8r » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:41 am

Bobcaygeon,
What do you do for a living? Seriously, are you a pilot because you clearly have no clue about airline ops.
I guarantee that any given month of 85 credit hours I am on duty for at least 160 hrs, that's credit hours, when the door is closed and park brake off. Unless you're doing long haul, when airline pilots go to work for a 10 hour day they are only paid for 5 most days, once in awhile if I work a 10 hour duty day, I'll get paid for 6 or 7 but pretty rare.
So, yes I would average 15 days work per month but im putting in a full months work(160 min) in 3 weeks equivalent. The 24 hour layovers are not the norm, majority under 14 and many min rest besides the fact 24 hours at a hotel and not in your own bed would not be considered a good rest.
Does anyone know an office worker who goes to work for 40 hours a week but is only paid for 20 or anyone that would put up with that.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Tiny Voices » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:11 pm

mbav8r wrote:Bobcaygeon,
What do you do for a living? Seriously, are you a pilot because you clearly have no clue about airline ops.
I guarantee that any given month of 85 credit hours I am on duty for at least 160 hrs, that's credit hours, when the door is closed and park brake off. Unless you're doing long haul, when airline pilots go to work for a 10 hour day they are only paid for 5 most days, once in awhile if I work a 10 hour duty day, I'll get paid for 6 or 7 but pretty rare.
So, yes I would average 15 days work per month but im putting in a full months work(160 min) in 3 weeks equivalent. The 24 hour layovers are not the norm, majority under 14 and many min rest besides the fact 24 hours at a hotel and not in your own bed would not be considered a good rest.
Does anyone know an office worker who goes to work for 40 hours a week but is only paid for 20 or anyone that would put up with that.

Throw in a few hour time zone shift from your domicile, and that min rest overnight in an unfamiliar hotel room bed can make an already short night even shorter as you lay awake staring at the ceiling.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by ZBBYLW » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:10 pm

bobcaygeon wrote:They should definitely updated the Regs for duty days but the number of days worked under their contract should be updated as well. Total duty hours/month shouldn't change.

Capt. Mitchell left out that he only works 16 days a month and doesn't normally meet the federally mandated requirements for overtime pay, likely calculated using the averaging of hours (160 hrs at work in 28 days, 24 hr layovers in CUN or YZF don't count).

You can't pick and choose the rules as you please.

"Please regulate what I couldn't negotiate"
Yes a 24 hour layover does count. I do not choose to be away from my family for the 4 day pairing that I am gone. Some of the layovers are better than others but it is due to work.

With that being said, the issue is fatigue not days of work. I could work 28 days a month and not be fatigued, conversely I could work 5 days a month and be tired for each and everyone of them. The issue is we could be required to be at work for 14 hours (extendable up to 17! for those that choose to partake in some unforeseen circumstance). Some of the flying done to CARS is not safe and should be changed.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by plhought » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:13 pm

digits_ wrote:Must be from all the mandatory socializing and drinking.
:lol:

Honestly,

I think the WJ gang has it pretty good. I'd be be lying if I didn't say they sound a bit whiny. What pilot isn't going to complain about fatigue/duty when asked in some focus group? D'uh.
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NotDirty!
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by NotDirty! » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:35 pm

mbav8r wrote:Bobcaygeon,
What do you do for a living? Seriously, are you a pilot because you clearly have no clue about airline ops.
I guarantee that any given month of 85 credit hours I am on duty for at least 160 hrs, that's credit hours, when the door is closed and park brake off. Unless you're doing long haul, when airline pilots go to work for a 10 hour day they are only paid for 5 most days, once in awhile if I work a 10 hour duty day, I'll get paid for 6 or 7 but pretty rare.
So, yes I would average 15 days work per month but im putting in a full months work(160 min) in 3 weeks equivalent. The 24 hour layovers are not the norm, majority under 14 and many min rest besides the fact 24 hours at a hotel and not in your own bed would not be considered a good rest.
Does anyone know an office worker who goes to work for 40 hours a week but is only paid for 20 or anyone that would put up with that.
Most airline rosters seem to work out to approximately 1 credit hour for every 2 duty hours. So that 85 credit month would be more like 170 hours of duty, which is (as you point out) more than the 160 normally required for overtime. This makes sense, as airline pilots typically see about 1000 credit hours per year, while a 9-5 worker would see 2000 (ok, 2080 if they work 40 hours/week, 52 weeks per year). So the better question is, would your hypothetical office worker put up with the offer "we're going to double your hourly wage, but only pay you for half the hours you work"?
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by I WAS Birddog » Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:44 pm

Since when have good ole boy WestJet pilots started talking about their "feelings"?

Common girls...hike up your Daisy-Dukes and put your back into it.
.......You're making us easterners look manly.

---break break---
Art Garfunkel wrote:How about the regionals? (Sky, Encore and Georgian) these companies fly right to the CAR's limits. And in Sky's case, they fly right into the busiest airspace in the world on a a daily basis (LGA, ORD, DCA and soon ATL). It is written right into Sky's terms of employment that you are expected to work 14 hours a day for 20 days per month. How is that NOT fatiguing! These routes used to be flown by the ACPA contract rules and are now operated by 3rd world standard regulations (CAR's). Who is benefiting here? Pilots? No. Passengers? No. Tickets are purchased at the same place and the passengers are probably expecting the same level of alertness from the crews flying them. Sorry, not happening.
Aside from (some) of the few Seneca pilots working there :wink: ...you won't find a tougher bunch of the toughest Viking soldiers anywhere in the industry working today in the history of ever....women OR men....everrrrr
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Pratt X 3 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:55 pm

Totally trolling and ready to take cover but I noticed something regarding both recent WestJet news stories.

Story 1
"She has identified the pilot only as "Pilot M."

Story 2
"One former pilot, Rob Scratch Mitchell, said fatigue was one of the reasons he decided to quit WestJet."

Coincidence? :mrgreen:
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by CpnCrunch » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:34 pm

Pratt X 3 wrote:Totally trolling and ready to take cover but I noticed something regarding both recent WestJet news stories.

Story 1
"She has identified the pilot only as "Pilot M."

Story 2
"One former pilot, Rob Scratch Mitchell, said fatigue was one of the reasons he decided to quit WestJet."

Coincidence? :mrgreen:
I wondered the same thing myself, but figured there are probably lots of "Pilot M"s. It would certainly explain the fatigue :)

Anyway, if you look at his linkedin profile you'll see he wasn't working at WJ in 2008:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertjmitchell1
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Jean-Pierre » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:05 pm

So he was a fighter pilot before Westjet? Do other pilot that maybe worked in the North for a while before Westjet also think that it is grueling? I was sad to hear a national carrier may have a problem with overworking their pilot. My image was they had it pretty good but I have no first hand knowledge of conditions at Westjet.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by bobcaygeon » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:01 pm

If fatigue is an issue then why do you live in Barrie, Cochrane or Cranston?
Surely you can't be safe driving after such a long day? On a single day pairing that adds 2-3 hours of driving.
The reason isn't financial as I'm pretty sure a large part of Mississauga/Calgary makes less than the average WJ/AC pilot wage. You choose to.

Lots of crew commute from across the country by choice. Is that not fatiguing?? At some airlines pilots commute on red eyes and then operate. If the company tried to schedule them to do the exact same thing it would be illegal and unsafe. I really enjoy working with those guys.
"Yay, I get to play babysitter because you barely slept on the plane and were up all day yesterday golfing" All because you can hold a better schedule in YYZ than in YVR"
Thankfully WJ has addressed this one.

Why are you reporting to work fatigued? The regulations are pretty clear. If you're at WJ/AC and you are scared to call "fatigued" how did you survive 703/704 where everyone would sell you out?

Colgan in Buffalo was fatigue related only because the both crew members chose to sleep in the crew room or jump seat across the country instead of sleep.

Many airline pilots love to load up the beginning of one month and then backload the end of the next month so they have max days off in the middle and can travel. Where did the fatigue issue go?
Oh, it's not convenient now.

Is there another profession (Pilot/FA) where large numbers of people live in different provinces from where they work?
Not conducive to minimizing fatigue at all.

I'm all for shorter days but then you can expect more days worked. It's simple math.

You can't have it both ways

BTW federal labour law says 160 hrs in 28 days not 1 month. Neither CARs nor labour code consider a 24 layover a work day. Not saying you shouldn't get paid just what rules actually say.

It just isn't like the old days when WJ's planes were old and their FA's were ...
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by trey kule » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:30 am

It is a bit sad if the government has to change the regulations to make a major airline consider issues like fatigue. Seems Canadians love to turn to the government
Guess SMS is not the answer.

I would expect that after this has made the news, if WJ has an accident that can even remotely be connected to pilot fatigue, lawsuits will follow.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by godsrcrazy » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:10 am

Oh my god people. I have seen people have a nap after 10 days off and not long after reaching flight level. There are just days a nap is needed. There are reasons why there are 2 crew. Face it most planes today could be flown single pilot with no issue.

All i can say is suck it up butter cup.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by mbav8r » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:26 am

bobcaygeon wrote;
BTW federal labour law says 160 hrs in 28 days not 1 month. Neither CARs nor labour code consider a 24 layover a work day. Not saying you shouldn't get paid just what rules actually
And I'm not including the layovers in duty hours, I'm saying that I show up for work at 0600, check wx, look over flt plan, pre flight checks etc, fly 3 or 4 legs for credit of 5 or 6 hours, end duty day 1700. That's an 11 hour day, I was at work the whole time but paid for half of it, do that 16 times a month, that would be 176 duty hours, maybe I should be asking for 16 hours of overtime. Like I said this is more common than not, every month I look at my pairings and the credit is half of my duty day.
Also, I'm a commuter and I can assure you I don't do what you've said, I always go to my base in time for supper the day before my pairing, relax and get a good night sleep before I report, the odd time when I get an afternoon check in, if I can't fit my commuting flight into a 12 hour day including my scheduled flying, I still go to my base the night before. I use 12 hours for the possibility of delays and I can say that most commuters I know do the same thing as me, anything else is irresponsible.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Meecka » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:46 am

Pratt X 3 wrote:Totally trolling and ready to take cover but I noticed something regarding both recent WestJet news stories.

Story 1
"She has identified the pilot only as "Pilot M."

Story 2
"One former pilot, Rob Scratch Mitchell, said fatigue was one of the reasons he decided to quit WestJet."

Coincidence? :mrgreen:
I know Scratch fairly well, he's a good guy.
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by giligan » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:08 am

I don't post on here anymore but I think some context is I order. This is about balance.
WJ pilots have no min daily guarantee.
What happens as a result is a 30 hour sit on on east coast (no credit) followed by by 0545 departure in newfoundland and a day that consists of YYT-YHZ-YYZ-YYC-YXE. 8-9 hours in the seat with 40 min turns all day.
13 hours on the ground and a 0530 dept YXE-YEG-YYJ-YYC-YYZ to finish the pairing. Again 40 min turns. No food.
Yes you sat for 30 hours but the 0300 wake up in St John's and the next 2 days are the issue.
If you do say 3 24 plus hour sits in those 16 days you're flying 80 hours in 13 days. Some of those 13 days consist of a YYZ-YOW at 1.2 hours of credit. Again, not fatiguing by any means, but for every day like that you have to make up for it with a 0400 check in in YWG and fly YYZ-VRA-YYZ
The long one days are long yes, but you slept in your own bed and you were able to pack a lunch. Its not about long days, every airline has them, I about balancing them. As you all know going to bed at 1730 is tough enough especially when you factor in time zones, only to wake up at 0200. That's fine, pilots signed up for that but a 13.5 hour day (or 2) when you wake up at that time with min rest the next day takes a toll for many days following the pairing. That's assuming you were able to fall asleep for 8 hours mid afternoon.
Gil
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Re: WESTJET PILOT FATIGUE

Post by Rockie » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:13 am

That east coast 05:30 departure day you describe is obscene, you guys need to look up CAR 602.02 and start applying it for your own protection. With that kind of day you're violating the CAR's even as ridiculously permissive as they currently are.
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