Ask Captain Dan: Our Resident Pilot Answers Flight Questions. February 15, 2012

CFN – Pilot Dan Baz is answering your flying questions here on the Cornwall Free News.   If you have a question about flying you can email Captain Dan or post below.

Question
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Are pilots’ duty times and number of flying hours regulated ?Question asked by Erich.

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Answer
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Pilot fatigue has been identified as the probable cause in numerous accidents and incidents. The Canadian Air Regulations clearly address this potential hazard.  Therefore, airline pilots’ duty times and flying hours are strictly regulated. It is not a simple rule as to how many hours a pilot may be on duty. The number of hours is a variable, affected by a number of factors, such as ;
  • Time of the day, ie, departure and arrival times
  • Number of flight legs or landings, in a duty period
  • Number of time zones crossed
  • Length of preceding rest period
  • Number of pilots on the crew
  • Type of rest facilities on an aircraft; bunks specifically designed for flight crew rest, or a passenger seat in the cabin.

Pilot duty times set out by the Canadian Air Regulations can be further reduced by a collective agreement between pilots and their employer. A typical pilot’s work duty, operating a series of flights in North America, may be from 8 to 12 hours, any day of the week including holidays.  This may include flying at night, taking off and landing in poor weather conditions and dealing with various contingencies.

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Pilots operating long international flights may be on duty for as long as 18 hours. In this case there would be additional qualified pilots (up to two) on the crew. There are always two pilots in the flight deck to fly the airplane, the other pilot(s) taking a rest.  The pilots then rotate through their flight duty, to ensure that the pilots at the controls are always properly rested.
Pilots are also restricted on how many flight hours they may work in a week, a month and a year.

A bit more about Captain Dan:

Captain Dan Baz enrolled in Flight School at the age of 16.

He has completed studies in Aircraft Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He has been at the controls of many different types of aircraft, from single engine Cessnas to large intercontinental jets on global routes.

Over the last four decades he has flown thousands of hours up in the blue sky.

Have a question for the Captain ?  Send it to Captain Dan Baz    captaindanbaz@yahoo.com Every week a question from the readers will be selected and answer posted in this column.

Best Western Cornwall

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