Flydubai pilots complain of ‘dangerous’ workloads in leaked documents

‘Trying to sweet talk a crew into doing something they have said they feel is unsafe is unprofessionally and extremely dangerous,’ one pilot wrote

Harriet Sinclair
Saturday 30 July 2016 14:44
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The revelations come less than four months after the budget airline saw its first fatal crash
The revelations come less than four months after the budget airline saw its first fatal crash

Pilots on budget airline flydubai have claimed they are subjected to ‘dangerous’ working hours which leave them overtired, according leaked air safety reports.

Documents of 413 flights seen by The Guardian describe conditions in which a plane’s handbrake was left on during take-off, a pilot was criticised for a “dangerous landing” by a colleague, and a staff member complained the hours he was working were illegal.

In at least 40 instances in the leaked documents, fatigue was raised by pilots as a concern, with claims the airline’s scheduling does not give them a chance to rest properly before their next flight.

One pilot wrote: “It is unsafe and unhelpful for crewing to continually ask the crew to go into discretion [voluntary extra work] especially after the crew have said they don’t feel safe to continue into discretion.

"Once the crew have made the statement … it should be taken as set in stone and not something to try and whittle away at! No one wants to cause additional delays, disruption and end up at an out station. If we felt safe to continue to Dubai we would have done so!

“It is unacceptable to apply pressure, however pleasantly it is done, trying to sweet talk a crew into doing something they have said they feel is unsafe is unprofessionally and extremely dangerous!”

In other reports, issues including medical emergencies, a mid-flight bomb scare and lasers being shone at pilots were also raised.

The leaked reports come less than four months after the airline saw its first fatal crash.

All 62 people on board flight FZ981 from Dubai to Russia were killed when the plane went down in poor weather conditions.

Flydubai told The Guardian it followed all official safety regulations and added that pilots were encouraged to report concerns so they could be dealt with.

“If any of our pilots have any worries or grievances, there are a number of forums and avenues available to them to raise those problems. The welfare of our crew is of the utmost importance and we provide formal and informal support mechanisms,” it said.

“We have always been committed to exceeding the regulatory standards by investing in safety, technology, training and procedures.”

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