|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 5000
flight time type : 300
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
12/88 all us jet EMS operations were required to go to 12 hour shifts. This change from our previous 48 shift has caused many problems for our pilots and compromised safety primarily because 3 of our 4 pilots live long distances from work. Getting ready and traveling to work takes 4 of the 12 hours we have off. If we take time to eat, spend time with our family, we are left with only 5 or 6 hours to rest, if not disturbed by telephones, children, visitors and whatever. The truth is that the quality and amount of rest we get when we work 12 hour shifts is much less than if we work 48 hour shifts with a standby pilot. Flying under far part 135-271 provided the pilots with 8 hours of rest in a 24 hour period at least, and in most situation pilots get more than 8 hour rest due to the nature of EMS flying. When operating under part 135-265 there are other problem besides lack of rest when working 12 hour shifts. 1) during a 4 day rotation the travel time and distance to and from work is increased by a factor of 4 and submitted us to personal danger of driving in a tired condition. 2) when a pilot takes time off for vacation, personal leave, sickness, national guard or reserve duty. This time has to be absorbed by 2 of the other pilots which reduces schedule day off and increases his work load and driving, etc. This time is much harder to cover with 12 hours shifts. 3) family relations are strained more so with the 12 hour shift in that, between working 12 hour shifts driving 4 hours to and from work, a 24 hour day has only 8 hours left for rest or family, one will come up short?? 4) an increase of expenses due to driving fuel, maintenance, etc. Child care, eating away from home there are many added expenses that are caused by the 12 hour shift and pilots are not being compensated for them! 5) in some cases critical ill patients have to wait until the next shift pilot show up for work to be flown to the hospital for emergency care. Under part 135-267 paragraph C pilots cannot exceed 14 hour duty. These are some of the problems created by going to a 12 hour shift. They either did not exist or were less severe while working a 48 hour shift under part 135.271. I sincerely feel that safety has been reduced when we were forced to go to a 12 hour shift. I urge the FAA to review their decision and if necessary revise 135-271 that would allow a practical application and working of a 24 or 48 hour shift. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: the organization referred to in the report is an association and not a union. Apparently it has had a large input to the FAA reference the scheduling of EMS operations. They have convinced the FAA, 12 hour shifts are the most safe. Reporter's operation provides excellent crew rest facs and through 12/88 they were working 24 hour shifts. His operation averages about 10 missions a month, meaning most of the time is spent at the rest facility. The office now insists they must operate using 12 hour shifts. Strongly suggested he become a member of this association so he and other pilots would have some input into the problem. Feels very strongly with the shorter duty period because of the increased commute time, safety is compromised.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: EMS OPERATION COMPLAINS OF 12 HOUR DUTY SHIFTS.
Narrative: 12/88 ALL U.S. JET EMS OPERATIONS WERE REQUIRED TO GO TO 12 HR SHIFTS. THIS CHANGE FROM OUR PREVIOUS 48 SHIFT HAS CAUSED MANY PROBS FOR OUR PLTS AND COMPROMISED SAFETY PRIMARILY BECAUSE 3 OF OUR 4 PLTS LIVE LONG DISTANCES FROM WORK. GETTING READY AND TRAVELING TO WORK TAKES 4 OF THE 12 HRS WE HAVE OFF. IF WE TAKE TIME TO EAT, SPEND TIME WITH OUR FAMILY, WE ARE LEFT WITH ONLY 5 OR 6 HRS TO REST, IF NOT DISTURBED BY TELEPHONES, CHILDREN, VISITORS AND WHATEVER. THE TRUTH IS THAT THE QUALITY AND AMOUNT OF REST WE GET WHEN WE WORK 12 HR SHIFTS IS MUCH LESS THAN IF WE WORK 48 HR SHIFTS WITH A STANDBY PLT. FLYING UNDER FAR PART 135-271 PROVIDED THE PLTS WITH 8 HRS OF REST IN A 24 HR PERIOD AT LEAST, AND IN MOST SITUATION PLTS GET MORE THAN 8 HR REST DUE TO THE NATURE OF EMS FLYING. WHEN OPERATING UNDER PART 135-265 THERE ARE OTHER PROB BESIDES LACK OF REST WHEN WORKING 12 HR SHIFTS. 1) DURING A 4 DAY ROTATION THE TRAVEL TIME AND DISTANCE TO AND FROM WORK IS INCREASED BY A FACTOR OF 4 AND SUBMITTED US TO PERSONAL DANGER OF DRIVING IN A TIRED CONDITION. 2) WHEN A PLT TAKES TIME OFF FOR VACATION, PERSONAL LEAVE, SICKNESS, NATL GUARD OR RESERVE DUTY. THIS TIME HAS TO BE ABSORBED BY 2 OF THE OTHER PLTS WHICH REDUCES SCHEDULE DAY OFF AND INCREASES HIS WORK LOAD AND DRIVING, ETC. THIS TIME IS MUCH HARDER TO COVER WITH 12 HRS SHIFTS. 3) FAMILY RELATIONS ARE STRAINED MORE SO WITH THE 12 HR SHIFT IN THAT, BTWN WORKING 12 HR SHIFTS DRIVING 4 HRS TO AND FROM WORK, A 24 HR DAY HAS ONLY 8 HRS LEFT FOR REST OR FAMILY, ONE WILL COME UP SHORT?? 4) AN INCREASE OF EXPENSES DUE TO DRIVING FUEL, MAINT, ETC. CHILD CARE, EATING AWAY FROM HOME THERE ARE MANY ADDED EXPENSES THAT ARE CAUSED BY THE 12 HR SHIFT AND PLTS ARE NOT BEING COMPENSATED FOR THEM! 5) IN SOME CASES CRITICAL ILL PATIENTS HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT SHIFT PLT SHOW UP FOR WORK TO BE FLOWN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR EMER CARE. UNDER PART 135-267 PARAGRAPH C PLTS CANNOT EXCEED 14 HR DUTY. THESE ARE SOME OF THE PROBS CREATED BY GOING TO A 12 HR SHIFT. THEY EITHER DID NOT EXIST OR WERE LESS SEVERE WHILE WORKING A 48 HR SHIFT UNDER PART 135.271. I SINCERELY FEEL THAT SAFETY HAS BEEN REDUCED WHEN WE WERE FORCED TO GO TO A 12 HR SHIFT. I URGE THE FAA TO REVIEW THEIR DECISION AND IF NECESSARY REVISE 135-271 THAT WOULD ALLOW A PRACTICAL APPLICATION AND WORKING OF A 24 OR 48 HR SHIFT. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THE ORGANIZATION REFERRED TO IN THE RPT IS AN ASSOCIATION AND NOT A UNION. APPARENTLY IT HAS HAD A LARGE INPUT TO THE FAA REF THE SCHEDULING OF EMS OPS. THEY HAVE CONVINCED THE FAA, 12 HR SHIFTS ARE THE MOST SAFE. RPTR'S OPERATION PROVIDES EXCELLENT CREW REST FACS AND THROUGH 12/88 THEY WERE WORKING 24 HR SHIFTS. HIS OPERATION AVERAGES ABOUT 10 MISSIONS A MONTH, MEANING MOST OF THE TIME IS SPENT AT THE REST FAC. THE OFFICE NOW INSISTS THEY MUST OPERATE USING 12 HR SHIFTS. STRONGLY SUGGESTED HE BECOME A MEMBER OF THIS ASSOCIATION SO HE AND OTHER PLTS WOULD HAVE SOME INPUT INTO THE PROB. FEELS VERY STRONGLY WITH THE SHORTER DUTY PERIOD BECAUSE OF THE INCREASED COMMUTE TIME, SAFETY IS COMPROMISED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 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.