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Flights: Pilots banned from doing this in the cockpit for a terrifying reason | Travel News | Travel

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Pilots have a set of regulations they need to follow throughout a flight but take-off and landing are particularly crucial moments. At these times the pilots have to follow a law known as Sterile Flight Deck Procedures in Europe and Sterile Cockpit Rule in the USA. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), this is to ensure that the environment on the flight deck is free from potentially dangerous distractions. This means that when the plane is below 10,000ft pilots are not allowed to talk.

Chatting is considered a distraction at a time when the utmost concentration is required.

“The rule states that air carriers shall not require their flight crew members to perform non-safety related duties during critical phases of flight,” stated the Federal Register.

“Flight crew members shall not conduct non-safety related activities which could cause distractions on the flight deck during critical phases of flight.”

Cabin crew are also banned from distracting the pilots under the sterile flight deck rule.

“The rule further states that the pilot-in-command (PIC) shall not permit any activity during a critical phase of flight which would distract flight crew members from the performance of their duties,” stated the FAA.

“This in effect extends the sterile cockpit provisions to other crew members, such as flight attendants.”

A UK pilot told Express.co.uk: “Conversation below 10,000ft is limited to only operationally relevant conversation.”

The regulation applies to all the critical phases of flight including taxi, take-off and landing, and all other flight operations conducted below 10,000 feet, except cruise flight.

Pilots are also forbidden to use their phone or laptop during these stages.

“The personal use of personal wireless communications devices and laptop computers for non-safety related activities is prohibited by the broad restrictions in the 1981 Sterile Cockpit rule during ground operations involving taxi, take-off and landing, and all other flight operations conducted below 10,000 feet,” stated the FAA.

There have been incidents where this rule was not followed resulting in numerous problems.

In 2009 two Northwest Airlines pilots were using their own laptops during cruise flight. They lost “situational awareness, leading to a 150-mile fly-by of their destination.”

A more serious incident occurred in 1974 – resulting in the law being introduced.

“Poor cockpit discipline” resulted in Eastern Air Lines flight 212 falling short of North Carolina’s Charlotte Douglas International airport in heavy fog. A total of 72 people died in the crash.

A tragedy also occurred in 2009 when the co-pilot was texting as the plane taxied away from the gate five minutes before take off. The flight later crashed killing 50 people.

Landing at night can also prove difficult for pilots as sometimes it’s hard to see the runway, a pilot said. 

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Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

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Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

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KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

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The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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