Pilots Are Pooped
FAA domestic flight rules don't include a limit for the number of hours that a pilot can be on duty -- the organization simply has a limit of 8 hours of flight time for every 24 hours. If a pilot is scheduled for two or more flights in a day, delays on the ground for weather or other considerations can lengthen his or her time on duty, even though it may not affect actual time in the air. Add in the time for preflight checks, fueling and baggage loading, and your pilot may actually be on duty for 14 hours or more. To make matters worse, the mandatory 8 hours of rest time isn't all sleeping -- it includes driving, eating and getting ready for the next flight.