Controlled rests are used by pilots in different countries to combat fatigue on long-haul sectors.And what exactly does "controlled rest" mean? sleeping.
"Sleeping always tends to be talked about in terms of a euphemism, like controlled rest, because people feel much more comfortable with that language."
Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) guidelines agreed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations (IFALPA), controlled rest is recommended on the flight deck for a commercial aircraft, but it's not really defined.
It does state "it is not a substitute for pre-flight sleep or for normal crew augmentation, but intended as a response to unexpected fatigue experienced during operations."
Vagueness of what controlled rest entails is a dangerous one. When you look at the reality, the repercussions are not fully worked through. For example, if you were resting you might be awake, but if you're sleeping you're not awake, and that has a whole set of implications if there's an emergency. in an ideal world, pilots would not be tired: The issue about sleeping on the flight deck is that pilots shouldn't be so tired that they have to do it, but if you do have to do it, then it is sensible to do it. If pilots would not declare themselves unfit before a flight as it would look bad on their record with the company.
That is difficult for many pilots who work on, for example, the trans-Atlantic routes and arrive for duty in the early hours of the morning.Controlled rest on the flight deck is an effective fatigue mitigation tool for flight crews. It is a way of managing unavoidable excessive tiredness in-flight is through the use of Controlled Rest on the flight deck. This is commonly referred to as “Cockpit Napping”
and involves the use of short naps by one pilot, during low workload periods of the cruise, whilst seated at the controls of the aircraft. The remaining pilot
With the guidelines from the FRMS and the proposed rules, one question still remains unanswered does anyone monitor the co-pilot who takes charge of the resting pilot? We need to understand what the risks are of the other pilot falling asleep and that pilot needs to be more closely monitored.Controlled rest should be used on a flight sector duration of 3 hours or more