Pilots count on cabin crew to fight fatigue

Indian pilots have a new weapon to combat mid-flight fatigue: talking with their cabin crew.

India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has issued some guidelines after recent incidents of pilots dozing off and veering off their flight paths, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported on Friday.

The orders instruct cabin crews of all domestic airlines to talk to pilots every half hour to keep them awake, and to keep speaker volume high so that pilots can hear air traffic controllers.

The instructions also reiterate general safety measures for cabin crew such as taking regular rest periods and limiting the length of each shift.

Last year the pilots of a Mumbai-bound Air India flight reportedly fell asleep and overshot their destination.

A DGCA official denied that there was a problem with Indian pilots falling asleep and said it was normal for the cockpit crew to feel drowsy. — AFP

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