My vacation was awesome. Loved it. There was no chance of direct flights to and from Miami so my wife and I had to make a stop. No big deal, all worked out fine.
I had just one reserve day (today) before being off for three more days. I thought there wasn’t much they could do to me with just one reserve day. Yeah about that.
I was assigned reserve at home with a call out. At 7:25AM my phone rang. I was assigned airport standby starting at 9:25AM. Welcome back.
My wife dropped me off and I used to time to update my charts. Two updates had come out since I had been at work including one beefy one. Once done two pilots who I went to ATP with joined me at my table as they had down time as well.
Around 11:20AM I was thinking I would not be used. Then at 11:30AM I was called for a 12:20PM flight. The assignment wasn’t bad. One leg out and a deadhead back. I could do this. Then I saw who the Captain was……hmmm I might be able to do this.
The Captain I was assigned to fly with and I don’t get along. It happens.
As I exited the crew elevator he was walking in. I headed to a cold plane and fired up the APU. He arrived and we both simply did our jobs. I had been out of the cockpit for almost 2 weeks. I was slower than normal and much more deliberate in my actions.
The flight was quiet. Just the required verbage was spoken. As we neared the out station a printout emerged showing our next assignments. I was still deadheading back on the next flight (same plane I was on). For some reason the Captain was deadheading on a later flight.
Once we shut everything down I went up to the gate to get a boarding pass. The Captain stayed back in the cockpit.
The gate agent was busy. I headed off the chat with the out bound First Officer. The Captain I was with got his boarding pass first. I noticed I was no longer on the list. Something happened.
I checked my schedule. Now I was assigned to sit in this out station for 3 hours before flying one leg back. To make matters worse the plane I was waiting on was running very late. I started doing math.
My duty day started at 4AM (the time I had to turn my phone on). Under current regulations I can be on duty for 14 hours. Weather or mechanical delays can stretch that to 16 hours, but it can’t be scheduled. As scheduled I would arrive back in base at 5:40PM and end my duty day at 5:55PM or 13 hours and 55 minutes after I started. Five minutes shy of being illegal.
I tried calling scheduling and tipped them off to the near 14 hour duty day and that the plane was running very late. They didn’t seem to care. I then called a union rep. I’ve had his number in my phone for more than 2 years…..just in case. I discussed my situation with him and that I might end up calling in fatigued. He explained the process. Now it’s up to me.
If I call in fatigued I will initially lose money. I have only flown an hour today. I am paid for almost 4 hours each reserve day. If I call in fatigued and I don’t fly at least 4 hours I lose money. Thus I will lose about 3 hours of pay. Next up is getting home tomorrow. I have to arrange it all on my own.
There is a chance I can get my pay back by going through a union review board. Eh. I have two hours to think about it. I am certain I will go over 14 hours of duty today. Best case scenario I will hit 14 1/2 hours duty.
Here I sit. Vacation is over indeed.