Rest and Duty–The One Call Rule

“Hello.  This is your pilot speaking.”  A company needs to call its pilot on her off day. It’s no big deal you think. It’s just to run a schedule change by her, or better yet, to offer her additional training. Call anytime? Don’t dial just yet. With the one call rule, you have one chance to make that phone call count. You don’t want to blow it.

A Part 135 Operator should not call the crew without a clear understanding of the pilot’s requirement to pick up the phone.  So, yes, it is OK for an employer to call an accountant, doctor, or lawyer anytime without regulation but not your pilot. Why the difference?

The FAA not only has a long list of regulations regarding phoning your pilot on his day off, but it also has interpretations of those regulations since they need additional clarity. Hence, a simple phone call to an off duty pilot has to be clarified.  FAR §135.267(d) states the crew must have 10 consecutive hours of rest during the 24-hour period that precedes the planned completion time of the assignment.  The crewmember must “be free from all restraint by the certificate holder.”  Therefore, a pilot answering the phone from his employer during this time violates his rest period. Moody Legal Interpretation

Ok – what about just one call?  Actually, there is a provision that does allow a pilot to answer one call. It’s called the one phone call policy or the one call rule.  But the pilot has to answer voluntarily and on his own volition. You can read more about the one call rule here:  Kidd Legal Interpretation

Operators  – make sure it is an important phone call  — you only get one, and that is IF the pilot answers!