Oh, for a Good Night's Sleep

By By Ross Detwiler rossdetwiler@gmail.com
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

Before I left my previous employer, I worked on a plan that ultimately produced a crew rest area for two crewmembers. I got the idea from an early serial number Global Express that we operated while awaiting delivery of our airplane. This plane had a couch-like seat in the closed off crew rest area. The back of the couch swung out from the bottom and was held in place aloft by two steel legs, resulting in two lay-flat bunks. The couch was in the same area as the galley, but the flight attendants had the option to use the top bunk for rest or storage. The arrangement worked fine.

I think, before one of the new, ultra- long-range marvels shows up on your ramp, flight department management should explain to the folks downtown the importance of adopting a new paradigm regarding crew rest. That paradigm's particulars follow:

Flight crews must be provided lay-flat areas, at least separated by a curtain in the main cabin. Remember this only qualifies as a Class 2 accommodation.

A crew rest area next to the galley is best for the flight attendant. When that person needs rest, there is no noise in the galley.

Provisions for “self-serve” cold drink, wine, liquor, snacks must be made in the cabin so that passengers can help themselves during periods of rest for the flight attendant.

It must be understood that those periods of rest for the flight attendant must be inviolate or the passengers are establishing the need for a second flight attendant.

Two of the pilots have to be rated company captains.

With these types of considerations, I can see the possibility of actually doing 16-hr. legs in business airplanes. Without them, I would just use the old axiom that you should fly a 16-hr. airplane on 12-hr. legs because it gives you much better fuel reserves.

According to FAA Advisory Circular 117-1, “Flightcrew Member Rest Facilities,” a Class 1 crew rest facility aboard an aircraft is a place equipped with a bunk or other surface that allows for a flat sleeping position and is located separate from both the flight deck and passenger cabin in an area that is temperature-controlled, allows the flight crew member to control light, and provides isolation from noise and disturbance.

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