Fred Lewis Posted July 18, 2012 Report Share Posted July 18, 2012 In Australia, where the flight crew includes not more than 2 pilots for other than aerial agricultural operations into which category helicopter pilots appear to fall, the duty day is limited to 11 hours and the maximum flight hours in 7 days to 30. Pilots are restricted to 90 hours of duty in a 14 day period. In Great Britain, helicopter pilots specifically are limited to 60 hours of duty in 7 days and 30 hours of flying in 7 days. Helicopter crew members shall not work more than 7 consecutive days. The rules in these two countries are detailed and should be studied to be fully appreciated. The contrast with the Canadian rules is marked. Unless one believes that Australians and the British are silly wimps, to which characterization they would certainly vigorously object, an alternative conclusion is that these rules are carefully thought out with a view to both safety and the pilot’s quality of life. Some Canadian pilots and most if not all Canadian operators will argue that the geographical realities in Canada preclude liberal F&DT regulations such as those in these other two countries. Helicopter flying in Canada is more demanding and more difficult. If this is true, then how can the F&DT rules be more onerous for the pilot? This is a contradiction. In a significant number of cases, the F&DT rules lead to the failure of a pilot’s family life, assuming he can initiate one to begin with. The single most important thing in the life of any woman or man is one’s family. Too often one’s occupation interferes with this. Work to live. Do not live to work. It costs a great deal of money to train to be a helicopter pilot. There are no guarantees of employment or a satisfactory lifestyle at the conclusion of training. If the supply of pilots is a problem for operators, then they must consider training their own pilots and doing what they can to see that their employees can enjoy the sort of life that any human being deserves to have. It is unfortunate the pilots do not have association through which their views, whatever they may be, can be expressed to law makers. HEPAC almost got off the ground and this would have been the instrument through which such representation was accomplished. The operators have such an association in HAC. They lobby the government with vigor and effect. Their website presents their views on F&DT. Their position is skewed in favor of the operator. How considerate of them to allow a pilot to sleep during the day if he cannot get enough of it at night. How considerate of them to allow a pilot 10 hours a day to sleep and contemplate rest, meals and personal hygiene. Ten hours is enough to contemplate these activities but that’s about it. Thirteen hours is more like it. A 35 day tour of duty followed by 7 days off results in 5 times as much time spent at work than with the family. This is wrong. A 14 day tour of duty followed by 14 days off is about right. “The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family." Lee Iacocca 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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