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SR 111 Investigation Report

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1.5.4  Seventy-Two-Hour History

A review of the flight and duty times for the flight and cabin crew revealed that they were all in accordance with the limitations prescribed by Swissair policies and JAA regulations.

The captain was off duty from Saturday, 29 August, up to and including Monday, 31 August, and was reported to have been well rested prior to departing for the outbound flight from Zurich to Geneva to New York on Tuesday, 1 September. Normal crew rest time was allocated to the crew while in New York.

The first officer was off duty from 30 to 31 August, and was reported to have been well rested prior to reporting for duty on Tuesday, 1 September.

On 1 September the two members of the flight crew, and 7 of the 12 cabin crew deadheaded[9] from Zurich to Geneva on Swissair Flight 920 (SR 920). The aircraft departed the gate in Zurich at 0643, arriving at the gate in Geneva at 0723. The remaining five flight attendants joined the rest of the aircraft crew in Geneva. The flight and cabin crews assumed flying duties on Swissair Flight 110 (SR 110), Geneva to New York. SR 110 departed the gate in Geneva at 1018, arriving in New York at 1835 on 1 September. The aircraft used for SR 110 was not the accident aircraft.

In accordance with Swissair procedures, on 2 September 1998, the day of the homebound flight to Geneva, the pilots received at their hotel a pre-flight information package from the Swissair Flight Operations Centre (FOC) at JFK airport. Included in this package was flight routing, weather, and aircraft weight information (i.e., weight based on preliminary information).

The aircraft crew checked out of their hotel in New York at 1750 local time (2150 UTC) on 2 September 1998 and arrived at the airport one hour before the scheduled departure time for SR 111 of 1950 local time (2350 UTC). On arrival at the airport, all aircraft crew members passed through terminal security and checked their bags at the Swissair check-in area. The cabin crew proceeded directly to the aircraft. The pilots reported to the FOC where they completed their flight planning and then proceeded to the aircraft. The flight departed the gate in New York at 1953 local time (2353 UTC).

The aircraft crew's circadian[10] time was likely close to Swiss time (UTC plus two hours) as they would not have had enough time in New York to significantly adjust their circadian rhythm to local (New York) time. Their circadian time was not considered to be a factor in the occurrence.

[9]    Deadheading refers to the travel of aircraft crew as passengers, who are not on active duty on that flight.

[10]    Circadian refers to a 24-hour biological period or cycle.

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Updated: 2003-03-27

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