Wednesday, September 14, 2011

American Weeks?

What the heck does this mean?

Each dispatcher must be relieved of all duty with the certificate holder for at least 24 consecutive hours during any seven consecutive days or the equivalent thereof within any calendar month.

The dispatcher is supposed to have one day off every week? The dispatcher is supposed to have one week off every month? The dispatcher is supposed to have one day off every seven days, but if Monday is his day off, and it's March and March started on a Monday, and he's had the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th off so there are only three days left in the month he gets another day off because during the calendar month of March the last two days are equivalent to a week?

What does a calendar month have to do with anything? So there are different rules in long months than short ones? If it stopped after "seven consecutive days" it would make perfect sense. But what on earth could be equivalent to seven consecutive days, but wasn't adequately described by "seven consecutive days"?

And can ATPL holders automatically work as dispatchers in the US, or are they supposed to be policing their dispatchers' sleep schedules? Why would such a question be on a pilot's exam?

Also I have to know that if a drunk creates a disturbance on my aircraft I have five days to report it to the Administrator.


Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Trix:

In re: "within any calendar month," I'm afraid that it means what you think it means. Look HERE.



Flyerist said...

I am a dispatcher for a large US airline. Our POI has interpreted the literal meaning of 24-in-7, so we need a 24 hour break every 7 days. Also a dispatch license is similar to, but not equivalent to an ATPL. So, you cannot automatically be a dispatcher with an ATPL. We do permit quick-turns with just 8 hours off, but union rules say that we get 1.5 rate for hours 8-12 in a 24-hour period, and double time for anything above 12 hours on duty.

Aviatrix said...

Frank, I don't think I would have figured that one out without your help. I was expecting something more humane. I agree with the poster you link to that that should be illegal.

Cedarglen said...

Welcome to Amerikan rules and Amerikan English usage. Don't feel bad, we do not unerstand it either. -C.

A Squared said...

I don't have the answer for what that means, but if a reg says calender month, it means the month you find on a calendar. If it says day, it means midnight to midnight. if it saya 24 hour period, it means just that. If a reg says "year" it means 1 January thru 31 December. If they meant "12 months" they will say that. SOme yearly time limits are based on a calendar year, others on a rolling 12 month period. I just got finished taking the tests for converting to a Papua New Guinea ATPL. There, yearly limits are based on a "365 day period".

The reason you have dispatcher questions are because the tests for the Dispatcher certificate are drawn from the same question bank as the ATP test. Despite that, you shouldn't get any dispatcher questions on an ATP test. When studying for them, I completely skipped all the Dispatcher specific questions, as I did the helicopter specific one. I didn't see either on my exam.

A Squared said...

Our POI has interpreted the literal meaning of 24-in-7, so we need a 24 hour break every 7 days.

I don't think that your POI's interpretation would stand up to legal scrutiny. If the regulation was intended to mean 24 hours off in every 7 days (or in one week) period. I would have said exactly that. You can find any number of examples of exactly that in the regulations. No ambiguity, no wiggle room, no if, ands or buts. 24 hours off every 7 days.

But it doesn't say that at all, does it" it say that, and then it continues on to say "or the equivalent thereof within any calendar month."

Now clearly, that last phrase has meaning. Clearly it means that there is an alternative to 24 hours every 7 days. I'll admit that it is unclear exactly what "the equivalent" means, but you can't pretend that the "or the equivalent thereof within any calendar month." language just doesn't exist.

Your POI is on pretty shaky grounds claiming that it means 24 hours of every 7 days, no alternative.