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Chichester International Film Festival: Pilot Fatigue (U, 52 mins)
Before turning his hand to film-making, Tristan Loraine worked in aviation. As such, the former airline captain for British Airways who formed award-winning Horsham-based production company Fact Not Fiction Films in 2006, knows the drawbacks of the business.
He has already written a book about one unwelcome secret in the industry – Toxic Airlines, which revealed the contaminated air we airline passengers breathe on board flights.
His latest gripe – pilot fatigue – is documented in a film with the same title. He says tired pilots not daring to speak up even though they are tired may be putting passengers at risk. It will not be long before there is an accident, he believes.
By way of example he has recreated a plane crash in Bangalore, where all the passengers were killed. “It’s as realistic as you can get. We did it in a simulator in Horsham and you get to see what happened in the cockpit.”
It certainly sounds harrowing.
“We talk about the whole aspect of fatigue, including the circadian rhythms, when most people are asleep there are people working on complex problem-solving. We also went out to a nuclear power station and interviewed workers there. They were really open. They said everyone who arrives on shift is questioned to see what state of mind they are in to work, which seems like a no-brainer.
“Imagine if a doctor, before he went on shift, had to sit down with another doctor to see what state of mind he is in.”
The film was part funded by pilots’ two main unions.
Loraine says airline professionals are not allowed to speak to the media about the problems inside the industry and it is only through documentary films such as Pilot Fatigue that the issues will land on the desk of MPs.
- Pilot Fatigue shows in The Studio at Chichester Cinema, New Park Road, on Saturday, August 25, at 4.15pm