Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This is your captain spea...zzzzz

…HA hates flying enough already.

…Now she learns from Andy Pasztor and Susan Carey (WSJ, Oct 21, 2006), that JetBlue did a little experiment last year without telling the guinea pigs strapped in the seats.

…They rigged up some pilots (not all) with devices to measure alertness. Then they assigned them to longer than allowable shifts in the cockpit—as much as 12 hours a day.

…Some lower level FAA people knew, but the muckety-mucks didn’t approve it.

…Their hope was to show that pilots could fly longer than allowed with no ill effects.

…The report is not out yet, but people are plenty mad 18 mos later.

…One FAA higher-up even went so far as to say the FAA did not allow experiments with passengers onboard.

…The company, of course, fell back on the old miscommunication gambit.

…People buy tickets and don’t expect to be test pilots themselves, grumped the head of the Air Travelers Association.

…Some pilots argue that long days enhance alertness. By round tripping from LA to NY, they can sleep in their own beds that night and get better rest, according to this argument.

…It saves money, too, and it’s not the passenger’s.

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