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FAA to check overweight pilots for restful sleep

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FAA's concerns that overweight pilots or controllers could lose sleep that could hurt their performance at work. (www.usatoday.com) 기타...

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preacher1
Total, unnecessary, BS. Like they don't have anything better to do.IMHO
PhotoFinish
When safety in aviation gets down to the numbers we see in much of the developed world, the low handing fruit to increase safety is in eliminating causes for pilot fatigue.

I can see within a generation that pilots are tested for fatigue when they show up for duty and/or at the start of each flight segment. (when the diagnostic technology gets mature). There are already lots of biometric devices in widespread use (eg. fitbits). It's only a matter of time for us to better understand rest and fatigue, and be better able to tease out status of individuals' tiredness from their biometrics.
preacher1
Rest and fatigue are pretty well understood now but people just tend to look at total hours off and on and not what a person has gone through previously. The data is there but nobody will pay any attention to it. The extra hour is nice but what about all the cargo jockeys that did not get it on account of the $. Until people quit looking at the bottom line and start looking at good detail on what it costs to get there, things won't ever change
PhotoFinish
There may be required rest hours. But there are pilots who commute to work from a city other than where they are based or other than where their trip begins. This commute often can be on a red eye that gets in the morning of their trip, which may impact both the quantity and quality of the pilot's sleep before they show up to work.

There may be a difference between pilots in the amount of sleep they need. But let's not take invincible cowboy pilots' word for it. Test the mental acuity of each pilot at different states of rest and know for sure.

I can invision a time, when a short mental acuity exercise may be as important or more important than hours of sleep and/or hours off (which may or may not result in sleep).

You can now measure hours of sleep with cheap of the shelf technology. Passengers deserve to have a pilot that has slept, and is ready to handle whatever emergency may appear on that day.
preacher1
Yeah, that DH is a big part of it. Ain't nothing like sleeping in your own bed and getting up and going to work.
PhotoFinish
Testing for mental acuity may change the practice of deadheading. Those pilots who show a decrease in mental acuity (prob. most pilots) by taking the redeye to work, ould hav ti change that practice. All pilots should be paid enough that they can afford to live on whatever city they at based or can afford a hotel room the night before they pilot commercial aircraft (so they can commute in the day before and get a full night's sleep).

Pilots partying till 3am also is not conducive to good mental acuity. Those that can't miss half a night of sleep without impacting their duty mental acuity test would also change that behavior.

The point is that insufficient sleep whole on layover between two or more days on duty is not the only reason pilots show up unfit for duty.

Let's do what we can to make sure every pilot is fit to command an aircraft filled with passengers every time they show up to do so. Being on their game and having the metal acuity to get out of an unexpected mess is part of the job responsibility. Every passenger deserves a competent and an awake pilot.
preacher1
While there is some red eye, there is a lot of crash pad too. That is some better but not much, in my opinion. However, in regard to the partying, I have seen crews come in, have the required layover time and skewer part of it by staying up for whatever reason, so who knows.
PhotoFinish
Yeah, I've seen some of these crash pads. They make college dorms look like a luxury.

Rather than regulating every possible sleep-depriving situation/ behavior, simply testing for mental acuity takes care of them all in a simpler and more effective way.

You could use fitbits today to measure sleep in advance of showing up fir duty. Short of mandatory reporting by a regulator, airlines would have to negotiate such testing in collective bargaining. But individual pilots xan use their own fitbit device to make sure they've gotten the sleep they need to be mentally prepared to do their job.
preacher1
You know, a decent Motel room probably would not be that big a deal for a big iron line dawg. The RJ pilots are where it would hurt; the ones who could afford it the least.
PhotoFinish
They're the ones I'm thinking about when I say should be able to 'afford' a good night's rest before their work day.

Those crash pads often aren't any better than a hostel, just populated with fligt crew. Often they don't provide te best sleeping environment either. Loud snoring will keep many from sleep, even if the others are also working in aviation.
PhotoFinish
Plus it might help a few more pilots to consider the implications of their health status. Better diet and more exercise, together with closer medical monitoring might have much better health outcomes for these pilots.

Weight would be a better predictor of a future health emergency in the cockpit or outside, then regular ECGs. Until the day a pilot has a catastrophic (even fatal) heart attack or stroke, their ECG may be perfect, until their acute incident begins. Even then, the early changes are minor. Radical changes to the ECG are more pronounced usualky only after chunks of heart tissue are damaged in previous attacks and/or cardiac conductivity is hampered in some way.

The point is that the ECG gives a false sense of assurance. Someone who is obese should not be assured by a clean ECG.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
Good to see you're still alive. Haven't heard from you in a week or better.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
That builds character. LOL
ltcjra
ltcjra 1
AOPA asks FAA to suspend new program
http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2013/November/18/aopa-asks-faa-to-suspend-implementation-of-new-sleep-apnea-policy.aspx?
preacher1
One of the comments on the article itself says the need to hit 135/121 pilots and leave GA alone. If I understand this correctly it is for everybody that has a certificate of any kind.
PhotoFinish
Because it's such a major change, it sounds like they were implementing it in stages to not overwhelm the system all at once. Both regulators and sleep specialists would be overwhelmed if all certificates cane under the new rule at the sans time. Makes sense to start with 121 pilots. Lack of sleep and mental acuity in a passenger airliner would have the greatest risk to life in that setting. Also the starting with at obviously obese BMI of 40 before lowering it later on, starts with those pilots most likely to be affected by obesity-related sleep apnea, while giving everyone who on the borderline fair notice to slim up or prepare to get their sleep evaluated.

Can inadvertently result in decreased early mortality and early morbidity in pilots.
preacher1
It's stuff like this that makes me glad I am hanging up my spurs next year. Wile it will probably get down to me eventually, I'll be at the house and won't have to put up with it if I don't want to. LOL
PhotoFinish
No matter how one gets there, good sleep is still good sleep.
canuck44
canuck44 1
BMI greater than 40 should attract more attention, but sleep studies are not necessarily the way go as they have lots of inaccuracies. With BMIs this high, pilots will have obvious Dunlop's Syndrome when your gut Dun Lop over your belt and the fat rolls over the arm rests of the seats.

BMI of 25 to 30 is considered "Overweight"...the only problem is that athletic individuals with increased muscle bulk will fall into this category. The 30% number is a bit of a stretch likely more accurate in the 30-40 group.
PhotoFinish
The recommendation is to be evaluated by a sleep specialist. If it helps a few days sleep better and be less tired while at te controls, ten it's all good.

If in addition, the new directive becomes the motivation that helps a few others get their health under control: lose weight, fewer coronaries, fewer strokes, better sleep, better health, mood and general disposition. The decrease in early death and early disability will be a nice side effect.
clipper759
Brought to you by the same jokers who thought reduced rest over-nights and "legal to start legal to finish" were great ideas.
AAaviator
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Pilots too fat to fly?

FAA concerned about sleep apnea in obese pilots and controllers.

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/11/20/faa-to-check-overweight-pilots-for-sleep-apnea/

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