Updated: Hundreds of Norwegian pilots admit in-flight sleeping / News / The Foreigner

Updated: Hundreds of Norwegian pilots admit in-flight sleeping. 206 SAS and Norwegian pilots have admitted falling asleep in the cockpit, according to a new survey conducted by NRK. Aircrew blame long hours and working conditions. The majority who answered NRK’s poll said they worked as many as 13 hours, or had rosters containing four weekends in a row. Commercial pressures can often mean limits are pushed, or sometimes exceeded. 70 percent answered they experienced current working regulations as unsafe, or a security risk.

pilots, notfitforflight, fatigue, sas, norwegianairshuttle



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Updated: Hundreds of Norwegian pilots admit in-flight sleeping

Published on Wednesday, 9th February, 2011 at 09:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 9th February 2011 at 16:04.

206 SAS and Norwegian pilots have admitted falling asleep in the cockpit, according to a new survey conducted by NRK.

Bombardier CRJ cockpit (illus. photo)
Bombardier CRJ cockpit (illus. photo)
Photo: Dmitry Denisenkov/Wikimedia Commons


Aircrew blame long hours and working conditions. The majority who answered NRK’s poll said they worked as many as 13 hours, or had rosters containing four weekends in a row. Commercial pressures can often mean limits are pushed, or sometimes exceeded.

70 percent answered they experienced current working regulations as unsafe, or a security risk.

Last week, VG reported an incident where the captain of an SAS flight between Copenhagen and Stockholm dozed off in the cockpit whilst the First Officer was in the lavatory. The information came from an internal security report the paper claims to have seen.

“I became extremely tired at cruising altitude and had to fight to keep my eyes open,” wrote the captain, who was on his fourth short-haul inter-Scandinavian trip of the day.

The captain admitted he only woke up in a confused state after the co-pilot rang the flight-deck door buzzer to get back in.

“Fatigue is a problem on the short and medium-haul routes. Current EASA (European Air Safety Authority) rules state a 13-hour maximum. However, these could be revised if EU rules are harmonised, meaning perhaps even longer shifts,” Aleksander Wasland, deputy leader of the Norwegian Airline Pilots Association tells The Foreigner.

He argues the new suggestion will not be adequate, because of different countries’ geography.

“You cannot compare them. Conditions for pilots in Romania, for example, are different to those we experience here.”

Senior flight officers in both SAS and Norwegian confirm safety is their top priority. Pilots can report in as being so-called “unfit for flight”, without any further consequences, but NRK’s survey shows 59 percent have never done so.

 “It’s just a matter of time before an accident will be fatigue-related,” says an anonymous pilot.



Published on Wednesday, 9th February, 2011 at 09:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 9th February 2011 at 16:04.

This post has the following tags: pilots, notfitforflight, fatigue, sas, norwegianairshuttle.





  
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