|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0001 To 0600|
|Locale Reference||airport : dfw|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||SF 340B|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Navigation In Use||Other |
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 200|
flight time total : 4100
flight time type : 250
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
This is a case of scheduling and management taking advantage of the vague regulations concerning the part 121 duty times. Jun/sat/96, I was assigned the following trip sequence (listed as station, departure time, station and arrival time): dfw XG50 - jan XI35, jan XJ55 - dfw XL55, dfw XN10 - fsm XO25, fsm XO55 - dfw XQ15. Show time was at XG20, completion time was XQ30 = 10 hours, 10 min duty day. Upon the return trip from jan, dfw shut down due to violent thunderstorms. We diverted to act to wait until dfw reopened. We landed at act at XM35. The dfw airport reopened at around XN15, but dispatch did not release us from act till XP30. We arrived at dfw at XQ45. They readjusted my schedule as such: dfw XR30 - fsm XS39, fsm XS55 - dfw XU13. They now have scheduled me for 14 hours 18 mins. However, the flight from dfw did not depart until XT01. We then arrived at fsm at XU19. Duty time = 14 hours. I knew I would have to depart fsm by XV00, or I would not block out under 16 hours, thus violating the far part 121 duty times. While in fsm, I was supposed to pick up a new crew, but they had not arrived. Now I knew I would not be able to make the XV00 departure time. I called scheduling and they said they could assign me more than 16 hours due to 'operational necessity.' scheduling put me on the phone with our director of operations. He said he had a letter from the FAA which gave a waiver to the 16 hours duty period. If unforeseen circumstances occur during a normal schedule, they could schedule us indefinitely. I had been up since XE30 that morning, extremely fatigued, and not in any shape to fly. I took the trip anyway because of the pressure scheduling and management had put on me. We departed fsm at XV42, and arrived at dfw at XX04. My new completion time was at XX19 = 16 hour, 59 min duty day. By the time the day was over, I had been awake for more than 20 hours. In addition, they called me out the next morning at XI00 for a duty day of more than 11 hours. Something desperately needs to be changed in regards to the duty times of part 121 carriers. I would like to see a maximum duty day of 12 hours, extended to 14 hours only if unforeseen occur on 1 leg. It cannot carry over the entire day, as happened to me. There should also be an extended rest period if one is extended beyond the maximum of 12 hours. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter flies the saab 340 for a regional air carrier. He is aware that far 121pt470 et seq does not address duty time, only flight time. He is now aware of the FAA safety hotline and will use it in addition to the ASRS. His pilot contract unfortunately allows this sort of treatment. He asked his chief pilot for a copy of the 'waiver to the 16 hour duty period.' he has not received his copy.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN ACR SAAB 340 FO COMPLAINS ABOUT AN EXTENDED DUTY DAY APPARENTLY APCHING FAR 121 PT 471 LIMITATIONS. THERE WERE WX FACTORS TSTMS SHUTTING DOWN DFW REQUIRING A DIVERSION TO ALTERNATE AND CONTINUING DELAYS.
Narrative: THIS IS A CASE OF SCHEDULING AND MGMNT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE VAGUE REGS CONCERNING THE PART 121 DUTY TIMES. JUN/SAT/96, I WAS ASSIGNED THE FOLLOWING TRIP SEQUENCE (LISTED AS STATION, DEP TIME, STATION AND ARR TIME): DFW XG50 - JAN XI35, JAN XJ55 - DFW XL55, DFW XN10 - FSM XO25, FSM XO55 - DFW XQ15. SHOW TIME WAS AT XG20, COMPLETION TIME WAS XQ30 = 10 HRS, 10 MIN DUTY DAY. UPON THE RETURN TRIP FROM JAN, DFW SHUT DOWN DUE TO VIOLENT TSTMS. WE DIVERTED TO ACT TO WAIT UNTIL DFW REOPENED. WE LANDED AT ACT AT XM35. THE DFW ARPT REOPENED AT AROUND XN15, BUT DISPATCH DID NOT RELEASE US FROM ACT TILL XP30. WE ARRIVED AT DFW AT XQ45. THEY READJUSTED MY SCHEDULE AS SUCH: DFW XR30 - FSM XS39, FSM XS55 - DFW XU13. THEY NOW HAVE SCHEDULED ME FOR 14 HRS 18 MINS. HOWEVER, THE FLT FROM DFW DID NOT DEPART UNTIL XT01. WE THEN ARRIVED AT FSM AT XU19. DUTY TIME = 14 HRS. I KNEW I WOULD HAVE TO DEPART FSM BY XV00, OR I WOULD NOT BLOCK OUT UNDER 16 HRS, THUS VIOLATING THE FAR PART 121 DUTY TIMES. WHILE IN FSM, I WAS SUPPOSED TO PICK UP A NEW CREW, BUT THEY HAD NOT ARRIVED. NOW I KNEW I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE THE XV00 DEP TIME. I CALLED SCHEDULING AND THEY SAID THEY COULD ASSIGN ME MORE THAN 16 HRS DUE TO 'OPERATIONAL NECESSITY.' SCHEDULING PUT ME ON THE PHONE WITH OUR DIRECTOR OF OPS. HE SAID HE HAD A LETTER FROM THE FAA WHICH GAVE A WAIVER TO THE 16 HRS DUTY PERIOD. IF UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES OCCUR DURING A NORMAL SCHEDULE, THEY COULD SCHEDULE US INDEFINITELY. I HAD BEEN UP SINCE XE30 THAT MORNING, EXTREMELY FATIGUED, AND NOT IN ANY SHAPE TO FLY. I TOOK THE TRIP ANYWAY BECAUSE OF THE PRESSURE SCHEDULING AND MGMNT HAD PUT ON ME. WE DEPARTED FSM AT XV42, AND ARRIVED AT DFW AT XX04. MY NEW COMPLETION TIME WAS AT XX19 = 16 HR, 59 MIN DUTY DAY. BY THE TIME THE DAY WAS OVER, I HAD BEEN AWAKE FOR MORE THAN 20 HRS. IN ADDITION, THEY CALLED ME OUT THE NEXT MORNING AT XI00 FOR A DUTY DAY OF MORE THAN 11 HRS. SOMETHING DESPERATELY NEEDS TO BE CHANGED IN REGARDS TO THE DUTY TIMES OF PART 121 CARRIERS. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A MAX DUTY DAY OF 12 HRS, EXTENDED TO 14 HRS ONLY IF UNFORESEEN OCCUR ON 1 LEG. IT CANNOT CARRY OVER THE ENTIRE DAY, AS HAPPENED TO ME. THERE SHOULD ALSO BE AN EXTENDED REST PERIOD IF ONE IS EXTENDED BEYOND THE MAX OF 12 HRS. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR FLIES THE SAAB 340 FOR A REGIONAL ACR. HE IS AWARE THAT FAR 121PT470 ET SEQ DOES NOT ADDRESS DUTY TIME, ONLY FLT TIME. HE IS NOW AWARE OF THE FAA SAFETY HOTLINE AND WILL USE IT IN ADDITION TO THE ASRS. HIS PLT CONTRACT UNFORTUNATELY ALLOWS THIS SORT OF TREATMENT. HE ASKED HIS CHIEF PLT FOR A COPY OF THE 'WAIVER TO THE 16 HR DUTY PERIOD.' HE HAS NOT RECEIVED HIS COPY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.