Pilot Fatigue Cited In Air Canada Mid-Flight Dive

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News Article: Tired pilot caused Air Canada mid-flight dive
Originally, turbulence was the reported reason for a dive and an abrupt climb on a transatlantic Air Canada flight from Toronto to Zurich. The Transportation Safety Board’s report attributed the incident to the action of the first officer awakening from a “controlled rest”; he initially mistook the planet Venus for a U.S. air force C-17 military plane in the vicinity, and later decreased altitude abruptly after being “confused” and believing they were on an ‘imminent collision course’ with another aircraft. The Captain counter-reacted by pulling the plane up.” Capt. Barry Wiszniowski, safety chairman of the Air Canada Pilots Association, concluded that the Canadian Flight and Duty rules “are the worst on the planet”. CAPA has been collecting data on “pilot fatigue’ and wants to revise the regulations to reflect the science of fatigue.
As noted recently here (http://jdasolutions.aero/blog/?p=450), the flight and duty regulations in the US and worldwide are among the most controversial of all of the safety rules. Updating science would be most welcome, particularly if the CAPA data measures pilot readiness prior to presentation for work. Fatigue is not just a function of time in the cockpit; a pilot’s performance is impacted by the time precedent to flight and duty time.

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