Vice Chairman's Message - 3/21/17
Vice Chairman's Message - 3/21/17


Our recent crew room meetings have made it clear that you all would like more information on what’s going on over at Kirby Parkway. So, with that in mind, I thought I would update you on just a few topics we have been working.

One of my jobs as your MEC Vice Chairman is to oversee the 35 committees working on your behalf each and every day. I can’t tell you how much work goes on behind the scenes that many of you may not realize. Let’s take lithium batteries, one of the most dangerous items we carry, for our first topic. Scott Schwartz, your Dangerous Goods Chairman, has done a tremendous job making sure we carry this cargo in the safest manner possible. He and the officers have worked with outside agencies, ICAO, IFALPA, FAA and, of course, our company safety department to discuss safe carriage of these batteries. The procedure changes you have read about from the company, with regard to carrying lithium batteries on FedEx aircraft, are the result of these meetings. Do we have more work to do? Absolutely, and the FCIF addressing this risk is a great start. Please be sure to thank Scott when you see him.

With over 4,000 pilots on the property, you can’t help but expect that more than a few will have issues that weigh them down. I recently attended a pilot assistance forum and it became apparent that mental health is getting a lot of attention. The personality of a pilot makes us think we can handle anything—that may not always be the case. Thankfully, we have a wonderful team in place should you need help. Kandy Bernskoetter, your Pilot Assistance Team Hotline Coordinator (PATH), and I, recently attended Delta Airlines Pilot Assistance Network (PAN) training forum in Atlanta. To say that Kandy is engaged in this area is an understatement. She spends an incredible amount of time learning industry best practices to help our pilots who get overwhelmed by life’s challenges. We set up a PATH option on our office number (866-FDX-ALPA; option 8) that will put you in touch with a PATH volunteer. All calls are kept completely confidential. Please be patient and understand that you may have to hold for a few minutes while your call is routed to an available volunteer. The key is that you have to call them and take advantage of this great resource. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so make the call if you need to.

Vic Tansey, your Membership Committee Chairman, is extremely busy these days. We have about 42 pilots coming onto the property each month, and we expect 400 new hires by the end of the year. Vic and his team do a wonderful job briefing the new hires on much of what we take for granted, such as getting around the system, bidding, benefits, and just plain communicating with the company. The officers get to meet each class and brief them about FedEx ALPA. This is a great time for all of us as we grow our pilot group.

Some of you may have noticed that our work stations are getting more attention with regard to cleanliness and overall health concerns. Ozone converter inspections, air duct cleaning, increased lav service, mic covers and O2 mask cleaning are just a few of the changes taking place thanks to the hard work your Environmental Standards Committee Chairman Bob Avery has been doing on your behalf. Bob and the officers met multiple times with the company to discuss health concerns as they relate to our cockpit environment. I am happy to report that progress is being made, but make no mistake, much more work needs to be done. You can help by filing an Insite report should you experience any issues with cockpit cleanliness.

Pat Haggerty and his team are doing great work investigating trips that expose our crews with excessive fatigue. Let’s face it, most of our trips are fatiguing. Unfortunately, we have some trips that really push the envelope. That is where Pat and his team come in. If you are asked to help gather data, please do. Remember, no data, no problem. Your officers and Fatigue Risk Management Committee are in the process of getting access to the company’s fatigue modeling software. Fatigue is a huge risk that we take seriously. Your scheduling committee established the “PIREP” link to report over fatiguing pairings, please use it.

Next week, I’ll discuss HIMS, Jumpseat, Military Affairs, and Pro Stan. Please continue to stay engaged.

Fly Safe,

Captain John Cardaci
FedEx MEC Vice Chairman

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