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Ultrafine particles in aircraft linked to engine operation, oil leakage and ill health 

A newly published study has identified increases in Ultrafine Particle (UFP) concentrations in aircraft cabins associated with normal aircraft engine and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) operation. These results correlate with times when engine and APU oil seals are known to be less effective, enabling oil fumes to leak into the aircraft flight deck and passenger cabins. The study indicates that high UFP concentrations during normal flight might be associated with adverse health consequences for aircrew and some passengers.

Ryanair gets a lesson in “Commander’s Discretion” from Spanish Court

The four dismissed Ryanair cabin crew, who rightfully refused to fly fatigued and exceeding the maximum working hours, should be either reinstated or compensated, says a Spanish Court. The judges do not see any indication of misconduct or disobedience by the crew, who were, in any case, not responsible for the flight back from Germany taking off two hours later than the scheduled time. The case made headlines in 2018 and the crew had filed a complaint with EASA and the Irish Aviation Authority held a hearing into that incident. 

Returning to work: Seatbelts (loosely) fastened 

Pilots are gradually returning to work but it is not always a sign of relief. Check out this guide by the Center for Aviation Psychology, outlining some of the challenges that crew now face.  CAP experts share some hints and tips on boosting cognitive performance and giving your brain a ‘work out’ on your return-to-work path. Download here.

Watching you

The industry is gearing up for eye-tracking technology and producers believe their systems have a role to play, both in simulators and on the line.  The technology could help instructors analyse flying performance more accurately or support accident or incident investigations by recreating the relevant scenarios and using the gaze-tracking outputs to better understand pilot decision making. But the technology is not flawless. ECA Technical Board Director Tanja Harter spoke to Yocova about the possible pitfalls of gaze tracking. 

Icelandic pilots fight injustice & win! 

Can an airline dismiss its directly employed & unionised pilots and replace them by (bogus) self-employed ones? Bluebird tried and failed. The Icelandic labour court issued a ruling, deeming the dismissals illegal. 

The facts of the case: A rapidly growing Icelandic airline laid off all its pilot employees who were union members, only weeks after having hired a comparable number of bogus self-employed contractors, ready to replace the union pilots. This was done despite the fact that the Collective Labor Agreement between the parties contained a clear provision on the priority rights of FÍA members. This is an important victory for Félag íslenskra atvinnuflugmanna, European pilots, unions, regulators and all governments working to end fake self-employment in aviation!