MUMBAI: While the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for flight attendants to check on pilots during lean-activity periods in the cockpit to prevent the flying crew from falling asleep at the controls, the country’s aviation regulator is yet to issue scientifically backed pilot rest rules despite the rising instances of fatigue-related air crashes the world over.
The fatigue-element was factored into the 1992 rest rules to a small extent on the basis of lessons learnt from earlier crashes-like the October 12, 1976, crash of Bombay-Madras Indian Airlines flight. The Caravelle aircraft caught fire on take off and the fatigued commander-who had flown a Boeing aircraft in the morning, attended office work through the day and operated the late-night flight to Madras-failed to take the corrective action, which led to 95 deaths.

Fatal air crashes where fatigue played a prominent role continue to go up. Only last week, the president of Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association, Captain Sohail Baloch, said the Margalla Hills Air Blue A320 crash might be attributed to pilots’ fatigue. “The pilot may be suffering from accumulated fatigue because they are not given adequate leaves,” he told a private news channel.

Courtesy: Times of India

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