> I'm going through some of the materials I pulled down from your
> web site. Some questions:
> What is a long-haul RPT? For the life of me, I cannot figure out
> what this acronym means.
> Who is Dagger Dirk?
> Somewhere in these materials, it is mentioned that Qantas
> re-introduced the second officer cum flight engineer. When did this
> happen? On all or on just some aircraft?
> Virgin bus: You have argued for this kind of "get-you-home"
> capability, but how would it be wired? I mean, wouldn't all wiring
> eventually have to go to the same places? If you could provide
> additional and detailed thoughts on your concept, I would not only
> appreciate it, I might print your suggestion in a side box.
> Many thanks,
Subject: Replies to your Queries
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 02:22:10 -3440
From: IASA Safety <email@example.com>
To: David Evans <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dagger_Dirk is a pseudonym (nom de guerre). It was also my Forward Air Controller callsign (from my war-like days). It was originally my intention to keep the site anonymous (but I was forgetting how easily recognisable my old callsign was).
Long-haul RPT is the in-term for trans-oceanic Regular Public Transport. RPT is a much used ICAO acronym that differentiates charter and air-cargo and air-work from the more serious business of pax-carrying in accordance with a published schedule. In the sense in which I use it I am particularly discriminating between (and contrasting the different considerations for) puddle-jumper feeder-liner regional commuter operations (which are never more than 10 to 12 mins from a landable airport in CONUS) and international flights which are always way above landing weight for the first three hours and then too remotely located for an urgent recovery. Farnborough AVMED in 1998 had some in-depth seminars on the subject of chronic pilot fatigue (or ennui) brought about by very inactive long duty hours. In the older turbo-props and jets those hours were broken up by the demands of Loran Navigation, HF selcal comms and cross-feed, cross-transfer tasks, how-gozit charts, comms relay
etc. Nowadays,because of FMS and TCAS collision avoidance systems, the typical airline pilot has very little function enroute and most Company OPS manuals don't permit reading books or newspapers etc. Ennui fatigue has led to a lot of Aviation Medico's grounding pilots for short periods on other
pretexts - because airline management construe complaints of ennui fatigue as shirking or opportunistic hypochondria. Fatigue due to enforced inactivity is slowly being recognised as a CRM factor. Of most concern is the low awareness thresholds that accompany it. A pilot being alerted to a malfunction by a seductive female EICAS voice is not likely to instantly galvanize into action. On the contrary, he is highly likely to misinterpret a situation and react inappropriately.
QANTAS has always had second officers on RPT Long-Haul. In part this was a hang-over from the B707 and Super Connie era and the fact that most international flights are long-haul sectors ex OZ. Mostly it is because QANTAS see the progression through that position to FO and then eventually into Command Training as a logical progression. By the time a pilot is FO qualified he has a very substantial grounding in aircraft technical subjects. The Second Officer does most of his backup through participatory observation and cruise seat time. It is a participatory post and not a dead-heading relief crew position as in Virgin Atlantic's Long-Haul routes to HK and beyond. The presence of a younger crash-buddy tends to promote more teaching/learning review and revision than would otherwise be the case in a two man show. It was always necessarily thus in Air Force crews where the throughput was higher. The presence of a junior always tends to put the seniors more on the qui vive and less prone to ennui induced errors (like overrunning beacons for a CFIT experience). However a lot of older F/E's would say that the old duty statement for a FE was a sounder proposition (i.e. no progression to a pilot seat and a defined responsibility for turn-around maintenance - i.e. an FE career structure as still exists with the RAAF, RAF and USN's plane captains ). In my experience they were always a tight, proud brotherhood and were rarely found wanting.
Look again at this extract from my landings3.html page:
THE VIRGIN BUS