Positive Rate Weekly - 2/21/17
Positive Rate Weekly - 2/21/17


retired fedex pilot: "shot down over North vietnam"

In a recent article posted in Air Facts Journal, retired FedEx pilot Joe Crecca describes a life-changing moment that occurred on November 22, 1966—"selected as the day a massive air strike would be launched again the first of two high-priority targets in North Vietnam." To read more of his incredible story, please click here.

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from the MEC vice chairman

Last week, I attended the Delta MEC’s Pilot Assistance Network (PAN) training forum in Atlanta, Georgia. For those who don’t know, the Delta PAN and our PATH program are virtually that same. Representing the FDX MEC and attending with me was our PATH Coordinator Kandy Bernskoetter. There were well over 50 other pilot assistance volunteers in attendance. This was a well-attended event run by Captain Mark Pinsky, the Delta MEC Pilot Assistance and Aeromedical Chairman. Mark did a fantastic job inviting industry-leading doctors to discuss mental health concerns, particularly anxiety, depression and addiction. A few of the doctors who spoke were Dr. Snyder, ALPA Aeromedical Advisor; Dr. Berry, FAA Federal Air Surgeon; Dr. Faulkner, Delta Medical Director; Dr. Pinals, Forensic Psychiatry; Dr. Chesanow, FAA Chief Psychiatrist; and Dr. Bedi, Manifestations of Mental Health. In addition to pilot volunteers, I counted 12 Delta management/chief pilots in the audience who actively contributed to the event.

Here’s what I want you to take away from this brief post—statistics show that about ten percent of any group suffers from some sort of mental illness. For us, that means about 500 pilots. Like cancer, mental illness is a disease that needs to be professionally treated; you can’t just gut it out. Years ago, this was a big problem for pilots, mainly due to the fear of losing their medical and the stigma attached to reporting any mental illness. Folks, I am happy to report that times have changed. The thought of pilots flying while on medication for anxiety or depression was unheard of not too many years ago. Dr. Chesanow, the FAA Chief Psychiatrist, was pleased to report that we have pilots who take anti-depression and anti-anxiety medication who are not only happy and healthy, but also actively flying again. The worst place to be if you suffer from anxiety, depression or addiction problems is alone in a hotel room, where we all spend a majority of our time on the road.

If as you read this, you realize that you are one of the 500 pilots on the property suffering in silence, please do yourself, your family and your fellow pilots a favor and call PATH at 866-FDX-ALPA, option 8. You don’t need to suffer any more; they will connect you with a mental healthcare provider that will get you back to feeling great again and the phone call is confidential.

Fly safe,


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from the mec secretary treasurer

Third Payment of the Lump Sum Signing Bonus Update

First a review, the administration of the third payment is governed by two source documents:

  1. The ALPA Admin Manual Section 40.3.J.3.f states: The MEC shall, in consultation with ALPA counsel designated by the Director of the ALPA Legal Department, set aside adequate monies from the total distribution amount into a Holdback Fund as a reserve to correct any inadvertent errors or omissions in the allocation calculation and distribution.

  2. The 2015 CBA Lump Sum Distribution Letter further states:  There will be retained from the total estimated payment, a sufficient reserve holdback, as required by ALPA Policy Section 40.3.J.3.f., of five percent (5%) of the total estimated payment.

These provisions together create a holdback designed to ensure that a small reserve fund exists so that if an error is spotted or a recalculation is later deemed necessary to fully compensate someone under the MEC allocation methodology, there are sufficient funds remaining to do so.  Once those contingencies are resolved, the remaining monies are distributed. 

So, where are we in the process and when will I be getting paid? The ALPA Admin Manual section 40.3.J describes an expedited dispute resolution process and arbitration option to correct or challenge lump sum payments. Both of those processes were completed last year. Our current efforts revolve around resolving two contingent calculation issues involving two groups of pilots that impact monies that would remain in this reserve holdback:

  1. Defining and accurately paying pilots who were on long term military leave during the amendable period and either have returned from such leave or are still on leave. Both of these groups need to be made whole from funds in the third payment based upon the crew position they returned to and/or will return to after returning from military leave. The company has provided us a list of these pilots. We are in discussions with the company about the administration of paying these pilots, and we no longer see this as a major obstacle to getting the third payment to the pilot group.

  2. The Passover pay grievance, which is a bigger obstacle. We are in discussions with the company about a grievance filed on behalf of a significant number of pilots who were denied 767 passover pay over the last few years. Some of these pilots may also need to be made whole – because like the military leave pilots described above, the amount of their retro signing bonus would depend on their pay status, which would be dependent upon the result of this pending grievance -- from funds from the holdback. Active discussions with the company are in progress  but the timeline for resolution of this grievance is presently difficult to define.  Unfortunately, until this issue is resolved, given the size of the potential change in payments involved for this group, we can’t release the third payment. 

We will keep you updated on our progress in resolving these contingent payment issues that impact the holdback. Please know that we are working to distribute the third payment to you as soon as possible. Please stay tuned for more information as we receive it. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 901-752-8749 (Ext 2011) or email at Fly safe.

MEC Meeting Minutes and Resolutions

Minutes from previous MEC meetings were approved by the MEC during the latest Tri-Annual MEC Meeting are posted here. Additionally, resolutions passed by the MEC are posted here.

Agenda Item Update

The Council 79 Agenda Item (AI 17-11) concerning benefits seminar scheduling was sent back to subcommittee by the MEC and is in work to be re-presented to the MEC at the next MEC Special Meeting.

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Ifalpa safety bulletin: turnback procedures in the nat

North Atlantic (NAT) Diversion Update

The latest edition of NAT Document 007 – North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual (v.2017-1) contains a subtle modification to the NAT contingency procedures in Chapter 13 – Special Procedures for In-Flight Contingencies. The changes have been underlined and italicized below for ease of reading:

13.3.5 Before commencing any diversion across the flow of adjacent traffic or before initiating any turn-back (180°), aircraft should, while subsequently maintaining a same direction 15 NM offset track, expedite climb above or descent below the vast majority of NAT traffic (i.e. to a level above FL410 or below FL280), and then maintain a flight level which differs from those normally used: by 1000 ft if above FL410, or by 500 ft if below FL410. However, if the pilot is unable or unwilling to carry out a major climb or descent, then any diversion or turn-back manoeuvre should be carried out at a level 500 ft different from those in use within the NAT HLA, until a new ATC clearance is obtained. To read the full safety bulletin, please click here.

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mem md-11 first officer needs your assistance

MD-11 First Officer Mark Mainetti recently lost his home due to a fire. Thankfully, his family escaped unharmed. Unfortunately, they only got out with the clothes on their back—everything was lost.

As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for Mark and his family. Mark will need to get off a few trips in order to work with his insurance company to set up temporary housing and purchase clothes and other items that were lost in the fire. Any FO willing to offer a PDO bump will be doing Mark and his family a huge favor. The trips Mark has available are:

Trip 20 - 26 Feb.

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from the safety committee

The Content Locker on your iPad has a "Hot Topics" section under "Airwatch" that contains some very good safety information for our crews. Please take time to reference this section during your trip preparation.

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Join Mesa pilots on the picket line: dfw, February 23

Mesa pilots will be conducting informational picketing in Dallas on Thursday, February 23. All pilots are encouraged to come out in uniform to support Mesa pilots as they put pressure on the company to come to the table with a fair and equitable contract. Currently, Mesa first officers make less than half of what their peers do at other airlines flying similar routes and equipment.

9:00 am: Brief at the Envoy MEC Office (150 Westpark Way, Suite 130, Euless, TX)
11:00 am: Informational picketing begins at Terminal B, DFW
1:00 pm: Debrief in the Envoy MEC Office

To RSVP or get more information, email

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From the Safety and Training Committees

We recently published a joint communication regarding understanding TALPA for takeoff and landing. If you missed this important article, please click here to view it in its entirety.

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Retirement and benefits seminars for memphis and cologne bases

MEM Retirement Seminars:

The next available Retirement Counseling Seminars will be held on March 1st and 22nd from 1:00-4:00 p.m. CST at the FDX MEC Office, 1770 Kirby Parkway, Suite 300, Memphis, TN 38138.

The Retirement Seminar is geared towards pilots preparing for retirement providing general information on all pilots’ retirement benefits and the retirement process. While we encourage all pilots to attend the Retirement Seminar, preference will be given to pilots closer to retirement.

For pilots who are unable to attend in person, we will provide access to the seminar via teleconference. In order to streamline the seminars and to ensure the highest level of counseling, we are limiting each seminar to 28 slots. Spouses are welcome to attend. 

To register for a Retirement Counseling Seminar click here. Please be prepared to provide your ALPA member number. Since the seminars fill up quickly, you should register as soon as possible.

CGN Benefits & Retirement Seminar:

The R&I Committee will be holding a Benefits and Retirement Seminars for the CGN-based pilots on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Location: Pullman Hotel


Saturday, March 11, 2017
Benefits Seminar – 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Retirement Seminar – 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Benefits Seminar will provide information on all FedEx and ALPA benefits available to you. The topics will include health care, life, disability, and retirement, among many others. With a focus on the benefit improvements being implemented in 2017. Since all CGN pilots will eventually be required to rotate back to the US and the domestic health plans, this will be a great opportunity to learn about what you can expect.

The Retirement Seminar is geared towards pilots preparing for retirement, providing general information on all pilots’ retirement benefits and the retirement process.

Additionally, on Sunday March 12th, Brandy Hough, Benefits Specialist, will be available for one-on-one conversations regarding Retirement, Benefits, or any issues you have encountered in the EMEA with health insurance. To register for this, click here.

To register for the Retirement Seminar or Benefits Seminar click here.

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Attention members: Local Council proxy changes coming march 1

Starting March 1, ALPA pilots who wish to give or receive proxies for local council meetings will use a new electronic program, My Proxy System (MPS). When you are unable to attend a local council meeting, you will be able to use your computers or mobile device—in advance—to authorize another member to vote on your behalf. Please note that MPS only remains accessible for proxy designations until two days prior to the meeting. Effective March 1, paper forms will no longer be a valid way to designate a proxy.

MPS streamlines the designation of proxy holders and the validation of proxies for local council meetings, allowing more ALPA members to participate in local council business and helping local councils to conduct meetings more efficiently. The new electronic proxy system was approved as a change to the Constitution and By-Laws by ALPA’s Board of Directors.

Look for more details soon.

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professional pilot - terminal checklist quiz

Professional Pilot magazine has given us permission to reprint their "Terminal Checklist" section of the magazine. Please click here to view the "February 2017 Terminal Checklist."

John Cardaci
MEC Vice Chairman

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Air Facts journal

As you know, we recently received permission from Air Facts Journal to forward their online magazine to FedEx pilots. We hope you find this reading enjoyable. To view articles in Air Facts Journal, please click here.

Fly safe,

John Cardaci
MEC Vice Chairman

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schwab individual retirement & financial counseling sessions - MEM and ANC

Dates: Thursday, March 2nd and Thursday, March 23rd.

Schwab Executive Services Financial Consultants will be available in Memphis on Thursday, March 2nd and Thursday, March 23rd to conduct individual Retirement & Financial planning sessions with FedEx ALPA member pilots and their spouses. See the link below for available times. The sessions are free and scheduled for one hour in length. The slots fill up fast, so reserve yours now by clicking here.

Dates: March 1st, 2nd and 3rd

Schwab Executive Services Financial Consultants will be available in Anchorage on Wednesday, March 1st, Thursday, March 2nd, and Friday, March 3rd to conduct individual Retirement & Financial planning sessions with FedEx ALPA member pilots and their spouses. The sessions are free and scheduled for one hour in length. The slots fill up fast, so reserve yours now by clicking here.

Charles Schwab is ALPA’s preferred financial provider. Some of the benefits available for ALPA member pilots from Charles Schwab include complimentary financial planning, low-cost trading, educational online resources, etc. To learn more about the ALPA-Schwab relationship, please visit or contact Sylvia Arellano, the lead Executive Services Financial Consultant for FedEx ALPA pilots, directly at (720) 418-4200.

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PATH Hotline

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