Below was my schedule from last week. Rough.
Thursday October 15
14:00- Sign in for airport standby
17:30 - Assigned ferry flight to another airport
22:32 - Ferry flight finally leaves my base
23:15 - Arrive at maintenance airport
00:10 - Arrive at the hotel - set alarm for 8AM for breakfast before scheduled 10AM deadhead to base
07:10 - Wake up without alarm. Tired. Head down for breakfast
8:05 - Phone rings. "Unknown". I don't answer
8:06 - Phone rings again. "Unknown". I still don't answer
8:10 - Hotel phone rings. I answer. It's the Captain I'm flying with. Tells me deadhead cancelled. Now we are doing a test flight at 13:00
8:11 - I pound sand. Long day ahead.
12:00 - Walk across the street to convenience store for water and snacks. No food at the airport.
12:15 - We ride to the airport in a brand new Lincoln Town Car. Nice ride.
12:45 - The plane is ready for the test flight. I go out for the preflight
13:30 - We taxi out for the test flight. The test fails. Random vibrations at random speeds. Hard to reproduce
14:29 - We park back at the hangar. We then spend 2 hours waiting on what we need to do next. Last flight to base laves at 17:50.
16:00 - I get upset with scheduling making a decision on what our assignment is. Finally assign us the 17:50 deadhead
17:49 - The deadhead flight leaves.
18:41 - Arrive in base. Tired. Call to get released. Scheduling gives me the run around. I ask for a Chief Pilot to be conference in. Placed on hold. They give me an assignment. A deadhead BACK to the airport I just left leaving in 30 minutes. I refuse stating I need dinner. Assigned a later deadhead.
20:55 - Deadhead leaves. A new Captain and a company maintenance pilot also deadheading.
21:43 - Arrive at the outstation. I'm very tired.
22:54 - We taxi out for ANOTHER test flight. It again fails. Random vibrations.
00:04 - Park back at the hangar
01:05 - Arrive at the hotel. The primary and secondary hotels are full. Convention in town. Sent to the backup, backup hotel. So tired I never turned on the lights.
08:00 - Alarm goes off for 8:30 van. Tired.
09:05 - Arrive at airport for 9:35 deadhead.
09:49 - Deadhead flight leaves. Another pilot is also deadheading. We went to ATP together. I discuss how crappy my trip has gone.
10:37 - Deadhead flight arrives in base after a go around on short final. Captain reported plane on the runway. I had a 3 hour break between flights.
11:00 - In my car driving home to relax a bit. Very tired. Clearly fatigued.
11:15 - Arrive at home. Call Chief Pilot to discuss what happens if I call in fatigued. Result would be I would lose a days pay (roughly $140). I make coffee.
12:50 - Wife arrives home
13:00 - Leave back for the airport
13:45 - In the back of another plane. Another deadhead for an overnight. Very tired. If I was flying the flight I would have called in fatigued.
14:54 - Arrived at the outstation. Called hotel van while still on the plane. Because the rest of the crew arrived hours ago, the hotel would not be expecting me
15:20 - Hotel van arrives
20:30 - After dinner and a cocktail I go to bed. 8AM flight scheduled.
06:15 - Alarm goes off for 7:00 van. Well rested.
06:30 - Check schedule. Another deadhead. Flight downgraded to a smaller plane
07:00 - In hotel van. Wondering if I will ever actually fly a plane.
07:56 - Deadhead flight leaves outstation
09:08 - Flight arrives in base. Another 3 hour break
09:20 - Wife picks me up to relax at home
11:00 - Checked my schedule. My next flight downgraded. Another deadhead
11:30 - Wife drops me off at the airport for the next deadhead. Due to it being flown by a smaller plane, 20+ passengers are denied boarding. Gate agent asked if I would mind taking the jump seat. I checked to see if any other pilots were listed. There were none. I agree. One extra passenger is boarded.
12:25 - Deadhead flight leaves the gate. I have second thoughts about taking the jump seat. Too late.
13:34 - Flight arrives in next out station. I unfolded myself from the jump seat.
13:55 - Hotel van arrives. Off we go.
17:00 - Nice dinner at an Irish Pub. Interesting fish and chips.
19:00 - Hit the treadmill for exercise. Two miles later I'm done.
21:30 - Shower, pack and go to bed. Early morning van.
04:15 - Alarm goes off. Get dressed and head down stairs
04:30 - Pile into hotel van. We were all still asleep
04:50- Arrive at the gate. Find Starbucks.
05:40 - Amazed I'm in the cockpit behind the controls. My leg. Normal flight
06:38 - Pull into the gate. Tired.
07:19 - Push out of the gate for the next turn. Captain gives me the leg.
08:27 - After making an amazing landing we pull into the gate 7 minutes late
09:02 - We turn out of the gate. Headed back to base.
10:07 - Captain lands and pulls into the gate. Scheduled for a 3 hour break before last turn
10:40 - I get lunch and head to the crew room. A senior pilot FO who also went to ATP sees me and joins me at a table. I discuss my crappy trip. He is amazed. He was hired years ago. Only was on reserve for 1 month. Nice. Also in the crew room were representatives from crew scheduling. I bite my tongue from lashing out.
11:40 - I notice that my last turn downgraded. I bolt. Done.
This was my first 5 day trip in months. It was rough. I was ridiculously tired. Weeks ago during the hearings at Congress concerning regional pilot training, schedules and such the topic of fatigue was brought up. Many airline reps stated there is no punishment if a pilot calls in fatigued. Not true. Calling in fatigued at my airline results in pay loss (if I flew more than my daily guarantee I lose no money) At other regional’s (thru direct discussion with a friend) the pilot loses pay and faces a meeting to explain why they called in fatigued with a Chief Pilot. The extra scrutiny pressures many not to call in.
Tomorrow starts my vacation. Wife and I are headed out of the country for a while. Not sure how updates will go.
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