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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #1461
siamu maharaj
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Cathay can cut number of pilots in cockpit: court
The Standard
Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A pilots' union has lost a legal challenge against a Civil Aviation Department decision to let Cathay Pacific operate a flight with two instead of three pilots on board.

The director-reneral of civil aviation has the authority to vary the requirement of a three-man crew in long-haul flights, High Court Judge Andrew Cheung Kui-nang ruled yesterday.

The legal dispute arose after one pilot fell sick before the scheduled takeoff of Flight CX168 from Melbourne to Hong Kong on February 27 last year . The Hong Kong Aircrew Officers' Association, which took the government department to court, said Cathay Pacific's operation manual requires three pilots on long-haul flights.

The association was "naturally disappointed with Mr Justice Cheung's ruling."

"The request by Cathay Pacific to the CAD was in our view made on purely commercial grounds so that the expense of a seriously delayed or cancelled flight could be avoided," said the association's general secretary John Findlay, who added they were seeking legal advice on whether to appeal . CAD and Cathay Pacific refused to comment .

The duty period for pilots on board the flight departing Melbourne at 22.20pm (Hong Kong time) on February 27, 2008 was nine hours and 26 minutes . Under CAD rules a relief pilot is required on all flights where a two-member cockpit crew is on duty for more than nine hours.
Just 2 pilots for long haul doesn't sound good to me. Remind me to avoid Cathay for long routes.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #1462
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Given the level of automation these days, I'd be far more concerned with structural maintenance than the people sitting in the cockpit. 1 person is more than enough to fly a plane.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #1463
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Given the level of automation these days, I'd be far more concerned with structural maintenance than the people sitting in the cockpit. 1 person is more than enough to fly a plane.
Yeah it is...if your not talking about 12 hour flights.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:31 PM   #1464
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Yeah it is...if your not talking about 12 hour flights.
For those super long haul flights, such as HKG-YYZ, there are actually 2 sets of cockpit crew. I remember flying this route on CX long ago and they switched crews (both sets were on the flight, but only 1 set on duty at a time).

By the way, as the article noted, the flight to Melbourne is below 10 hours.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #1465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
For those super long haul flights, such as HKG-YYZ, there are actually 2 sets of cockpit crew. I remember flying this route on CX long ago and they switched crews (both sets were on the flight, but only 1 set on duty at a time).

By the way, as the article noted, the flight to Melbourne is below 10 hours.
Hong Kong to Toronto is about 15 hours right?
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #1466
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Hong Kong to Toronto is about 15 hours right?
Yes, but the sector I was referring to was ANC-HKG, which was about 12 hours (they had 2 crews), and a 3rd crew actually worked the YYZ-ANC leg.

Some HKG-YYZ flight reports :
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=322783
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Old July 10th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #1467
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The requirement as mentioned in the article is minimum of 2 pilots on board for any flight less than 9 hours, and a third relief pilot otherwise. The Melbourne was 9 hours and 26 minutes, so it was somewhat marginal. Technically, the third pilot should be there; but will that extra 26 minutes make a pilot too fatigue to fly? Unlikely it will. If you are taking about 10 or more for sure, then I don't think 2 is not right either.

HKG<>JFK is a 16+ hours flight with 4 cabin crews on board, and I believe that can possibly the longest direct flight of CX between two locations.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:26 PM   #1468
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By CX717 from HKADB :



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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #1469
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricIsHim View Post
The requirement as mentioned in the article is minimum of 2 pilots on board for any flight less than 9 hours, and a third relief pilot otherwise. The Melbourne was 9 hours and 26 minutes, so it was somewhat marginal. Technically, the third pilot should be there; but will that extra 26 minutes make a pilot too fatigue to fly? Unlikely it will. If you are taking about 10 or more for sure, then I don't think 2 is not right either.

HKG<>JFK is a 16+ hours flight with 4 cabin crews on board, and I believe that can possibly the longest direct flight of CX between two locations.
Yes - quite sure HKG-JFK is their longest nonstop route.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #1470
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By Bluesky2009 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :

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Old July 10th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #1471
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By LovingNikon from HKADB :

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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #1472
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What happened to Cathay's A340-600? Were they leased?
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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #1473
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What happened to Cathay's A340-600? Were they leased?
Sold - I believe one went to Hainan Airlines.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #1474
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #1475
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Sold - I believe one went to Hainan Airlines.
So sad they are gone.
They were once the sole fleet for HKG<>JFK at one point until the 777-300ER delivered, and I thought they were switched to other long haul routes like Toronto, Vancouver, Johannesburg or London etc. and replaced the old 747.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #1476
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By HR8916 from a Hong Kong bus forum :









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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #1477
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Quote:
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Given the level of automation these days, I'd be far more concerned with structural maintenance than the people sitting in the cockpit. 1 person is more than enough to fly a plane.
For me the concern is when things go wrong, when things are right the plane can fly even without a pilot. Suppose 1 pilot is taking a nap in teh resting area, you're left with just 1 pilot at the wheel. Personally, it's not a situation I'd like to be in.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #1478
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For me the concern is when things go wrong, when things are right the plane can fly even without a pilot. Suppose 1 pilot is taking a nap in teh resting area, you're left with just 1 pilot at the wheel. Personally, it's not a situation I'd like to be in.
When there are only two pilots in the flight, no one is going anywhere.
There has to be two pilots in the front at all time by laws.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #1479
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When there are only two pilots in the flight, no one is going anywhere.
There has to be two pilots in the front at all time by laws.
So you're saying no rest during a 15-hour long flight? I don't know about teh regulations on that. Is it physically possible for a person to do that?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #1480
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Quote:
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So you're saying no rest during a 15-hour long flight? I don't know about teh regulations on that. Is it physically possible for a person to do that?
That's why any flight that is longer than 9 hours requires a third or fourth relief pilot(s) on board, so the crew rotates position and rest time during the flight.
If there are more the two pilots, the captain and first officer take charge during take off. Then the three/four pilots rotate shift during the cruising period.

The bottom line is there has to be at least two pilots in the control cabin during any time of the commercial flight regardless of the flight time.
You may ask what happens if one of the pilots passes out or something making him/her unable to control the plane, then it will be an emergency landing to the closest airport controlled by the only pilot on the plane.
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