• NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.
  • Logbook Pro for Apple iOS version 8.1 is now available on the App Store. Major update including signature endorsements and dark/light theme support. Click here to install now.

3rd pilot rest/rotation

doublepsych

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Posts
74
Total Time
5+
Long leg coming up in our department, and for the first time, they have staffed with a 3rd pilot so we can rotate for rest. Any suggestions on the best way to rotate? My initial thoughts are for maybe a 3 hr rotation, but any suggestions would be much appreciated...
 

Gulfstream 200

Database Expert
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Posts
4,574
Total Time
18,550
Long leg coming up in our department, and for the first time, they have staffed with a 3rd pilot so we can rotate for rest. Any suggestions on the best way to rotate? My initial thoughts are for maybe a 3 hr rotation, but any suggestions would be much appreciated...


I believe the 3hr rotation is what FSF recommends?

I have done too many 3 pilot trips and each one varies by the aircraft you are using, the configuration, number of pax, how noisy the FA is, etc etc....very hard to predict. How fatigued do your fellow crew members get? Our oldest guys got tired fast, but one of our youngest did also....

After doing these, I'm pretty much a believer that unless you have a dedicated, lie flat, undisturbed rest area (not many do, maybe you are lucky?) - there really is no benefit to dragging a 3rd pilot in a business jet. Rest in back with the pax is a joke and should be considered worthless. Rest in a small crew rest area off the galley is also worthless when a FA is banging around. You just have 3 tired pilots instead of two...it checks the box and lets you play by the rules, but I find its value to be rather low.

If a total crew swap is not an option (does not sound like?) I personally think its much better to send the 3rd pilot ahead to meet the plane at the tech stop. He is then far more rested. Of course then you need a reasonable place to stop and the expense of sending him/her out a few days early- something far too many operations balk at...you also still have at least one very tired pilot up front.

End of the day, IMHO, total crew swap is the answer (in a perfect world)

Have fun!
 
Last edited:

semperfido

Keep Humpin
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Posts
1,873
Total Time
11K+
I pretty much agree with g200. What kind of Acft and config? We take 3 pilots all the time, but we are on a 550 with a crew rest up front. Works well. Usually we go take the flight time and divide by 3 to get the time in rest. As for rotation, I like to draw straws as the #1 slot in rest sucks. The lucky draw is #3 IMHO as he flys then goes back and is done.
 

K.V.

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Posts
240
Total Time
a lot
We run an augmented crew for any flights with a leg(s) longer than 8 hours. Typically legs 8 - 10.5 hours we'll divide by 3 for crew rest, and legs 10.5 - 13 we divide by 4. Main thing is that on the last rotation, be sure not to do it within the last hour of the leg. Give the guy coming out of his slumber enough time to get oriented before his decent and landing. Sometimes it takes tweaking the numbers just a bit.
 

Jetdriver69

High Speed, Low Drag
Joined
Nov 16, 2002
Posts
272
Total Time
10000+
We carry a third pilot for any flight/s over 12 hours total. The GV doesn't have as good a crew rest area as the G550, but it is better than nothing. We use a 2 hour rotation, the 3rd pilot always going first. We try to give the landing pilot a rest period before the landing. Seems to work pretty good.
 

G4G5

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Posts
1,800
Total Time
8500+
I've done the, send the 3rd pilot ahead and it seems to work out best. But:

It's not condoned by FSI or ISBAO, or anyone else for that matter.
It's costs more money, an airline ticket, a hotel, a day off, a meal or two. Yada Yada
Most tech stops are in so so spots, ANC or Helsinki or Russia, you get the idea. You also run the risk that you may not actual stop at the airport where the relief pilot is. Then what?

Even with all that I still like the one fresh guy Vs 3 tired guys approach. It's always helpful to have a friendly face at a strange FBO making sure that things flow smoothly.

When we take 3 in the aircraft we wait until level off, look at the time until top of descent and then subtract 30 minutes (10 minutes for each guy to freshen up and swap out). The remaining time is then divided by 3, that's your rack time. The jump seat guy takes the first break, then the other two guys either play coin of fate or the United Nations approved treaty negotiations tool (rock, paper, scissors).
 
Top