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Dec 26, 2011 7:39 PM by Herbie Smith

Acadiana Pilot Talks About the Stress that Comes with Flying Tired


James Thibodeaux has been a commercial pilot for near thirty years. Without a doubt he says he's been tired in the cockpit. "At the end of the flight is when you're the most fatigued. It's also when you have the heaviest work load trying to transition from 30 to 40 thousand feet in the air down to the run way," said Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux says dealing with bad weather such as snow fog or rain add more stress. "Air planes and ice are a deadly combination," said Thibodeaux. Flying fatigued is a recipe for disaster Thibodeaux says there are so many opportunities for mistakes. Flying tired is a decision, Thibodeaux says many pilots choose for fear of losing their jobs. "If you work for a small company, you're just a number they'll find someone to replace you," said Thibodeaux.
New FAA guidelines give pilots a minimum of ten hours to rest before take off, which is two hours more.
Eight of those hours have to be uninterrupted sleep.Thibodeaux supports the new rules because he believes pilots will make safer decisions.

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