Skip to comments.Passengers furious after 10-hour delay of Spirit flight [Obama regs forbid pilots to keep working]
Posted on 07/09/2012 4:52:05 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
Passengers on a Spirit Airlines flight are upset after an emergency landing left them stranded in Houston for at least 10 hours on Sunday....
(Excerpt) Read more at khou.com ...
New FAA rules restrict when and how long pilots can fly. After the lunatic forced the plane to land, and the authorities finished their interviews, guess what? The window allowing the pilots to fly was closed.
Who got inconvenienced? The customers.
Who got blamed? The company.
Who got away with ruining the situation? Obamugabe and his unelected FAA.
What new FAA rules? This happened to me 25 or 30 years ago. Plane had to divert for bad weather. We sat on the ground for a couple hours waiting for it to clear. The flight crew’s window closed and they had to round up a new flight crew at the unintended destination which added another hour or two. It wasn’t as bad as a 10-hour delay, but exact same cause.
I refuse to fly. Unless I am the pilot. And though it was a long time ago I can pilot a small aircraft.
The problem appear to be the ground and security handling at Houston. The pilots should have dropped the guy and then continued the flight. From interviews with passengers the guy that caused the trouble was and 81 year old from hell. He groped passengers, kicked their seats, locked himself in the bathroom and a whole host of other misdeeds?
Don't fault Obama on this one, these flying safety regulations have been in effect since airline deregulation in the 1970s. How would you like to be a passenger on an airplane if you knew the pilots had been at the controls or in the cockpit for over 16 hours? These rules are written in blood due to previous mishaps. Remember the accident at Buffalo, where 50 died, a few years ago? That was attributed to crew fatigue. By the way those pilots were under FAR Part 135 which was a more relaxed crew duty day/rest requirement. The accident caused a change in crew duty/rest requirements as well as required training and qualifications.
Too bad commercial planes don't have ejector seats.
The only time I had something like this happen was when a plane had a broken fuel pump and had to land at Gatwick airport in London. The airline and British customs at London were wonderful. They set up a barrier rope line around our gate so we could get to phones and a restroom without having to officially go through British customs and they brought us food and drinks. Five hours later we had a new fuel pump and were headed back to the US.
Thanks for the facts!
As much as I dislike Obama, this incident, as you said, was none of his doing. The delay was for a valid and a good reason. Unfortunately, we are a nation of folks who demand instant gratification. We can tolerated no inconveniences. If they arise, someone must pay, often through a lawsuit!
Spirit is a small airline, offering discount fares. As such, they do not have a surplus of aircrews conveniently stationed at all airports to take over for pilots who have exceeded crew-day.
I flew in the military and fully agree with the crew-day limitations. In combat it might be necessary to exceed the limits in an emergency situation. This incident was neither combat nor an emergency.
I think most pilots who have flown multi-pilot aircraft have had a co-pilot fall asleep while flying. Sleep, inattention and fuzzy thinking due to pilots pushing life too hard have no business in the cockpit.
Crew-day limitations are our friend.
“Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.”
Obamugabe did change the FAA rules, here is a link describing them:
This is about the agency shutdown due to funding in 2011 not about pilot rules. When an accident occurs like in Buffalo happens the NTSB, who works for the GAO investigates and makes recommendations to the FAA. This particular accident changed the required crew rest for commuter pilots governed by FAR Part 35 from 8 hours to 9 hours rest between flights. Airline pilots under FAR Part 121 crew rest requirements were not affected.
Which pretty much puts the knock on you getting any more bears.
I might add, it's also too bad that the regulatory agencies, and for that matter Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House don't also have ejector seats. If they did, they might even be more beneficial than having ejector seats on commercial flights.
Colgan operates under Part 121 of the FARs. Part 135 typically does not typically apply to scheduled air carriers, but rather to un-scheduled, on demand operators. That wasn’t always the case.
Back... before 1996 I believe Colgan and some other “regional” carriers did operate under Part 135. A lot of it was in aircraft that had 19 seats or less. Then the FAA published new rules that required and governed a transition from Part 135 to Part 121 for most of these carriers - the FAA wanted tighter regulation for operators flying more than nine folks around on a scheduled basis. Today, scheduled service in aircraft with more than nine seats falls under Part 121. Company (privately) owned aircraft carrying more than nine passengers on a scheduled run do not fall into this category. Again, if it’s scheduled airline, it’s Part 121 if it’s over 9 seats.
Part 135 rest rules are not all that relaxed. A maximum duty day is not defined, but rather a minimum rest period equal to ten hours out of every twenty four. That leaves 14 hours for duty. There are additional rules that allow you to extend the duty period somewhat if that duty period is followed by additional compensatory rest.
Part 121 specifies a nine hour rest period for every twenty four. That too, can be reduced to just eight with the same type of compensatory rest after the end of the duty period I just mentioned. Part 121 also speaks to how much rest is required based on how many hours you are scheduled to fly. No less than eight hours of rest can be scheduled under any circumstances, hence the sixteen hour maximum duty day.
The bottom line is that under either 135 or 121 you have either ten or nine hours (possibly less if the duty day is extended) to get to your home or hotel, eat, unwind, etc. before being eligible for further duty. That’s translates to a lot of nights where you only get 5-6 hours of sleep.
The FAA has published new Part 121 rest and duty rules, which the airlines are working to adopt. It’s... more complicated in a nutshell and I’m not all that familiar with it yet.
It’s unfortunate and infuriating when this sort of delay happens - I’ve been on both ends of it more than I would like.