Positive Rate Weekly - 4/25/17
Positive Rate Weekly - 4/25/17



Nobody likes getting a bill you didn’t expect—I get it. I didn’t like writing a check this morning for $143.28 to pay my dues balance. I’ve put together a Q and A to provide you some additional information on Section 29 implementation and the dues bills starting to show up in your email:

How did this happen? 

ALPA National Membership and FedEx payroll worked for several months early last year to implement the new timing of the paycheck dues deduction (DCO) described in CBA Section 29.B.4. The timing of the DCO was correctly programmed by the company and implemented on June 15th, 2016. However, the categories of pay that were subject to dues were not correctly programmed by the company. These categories included “separate check” income such as income from vacation cancellation (paid monthly), end of year vacation buy back (paid at end of December) and disability account (DSA) overflow/after tax income (paid at end of January).   The second installment of your signing bonus was paid on June 15th, 2016 but was not separate check income and dues were pulled correctly from that income.

Why wasn’t this discovered earlier?

From June 15th, 2016 through December 15th, 2016, separate check dues from monthly vacation cancellation should have been included in the income reports sent from the company to ALPA National Membership. These reports are essentially file exchanges of gross dues able income amounts for each pilot, the monthly “separate check” such as vacation cancellation dues able income should have been part of that exchange but was not. In mid-January 2017, yours truly noticed the monthly dues income had not bumped up at the end of December for end of year vacation buy back. I notified ALPA National Membership, who in turn notified the company. The company discovered and fixed the software error within a few days. Your MEC was informed in early February. ALPA National Membership has been testing the software and cross-checking gross income amounts and has verified the software has been correctly pulling dues since February 1st, 2017. Since that time, ALPA National membership has been calculating and verifying dues balances—those balances firmed up last week. Once we had reasonably accurate balances, ALPA and the company started informing the pilots via communications on PFC and from ALPA. We were also able to delay issuing the bills until after April 18th, 2017, to delay the pain from any taxes you were paying Uncle Sam.
What is a reconciliation?

ALPA does an annual verification (reconciliation) of what income each pilot had, against the dues they paid. This is generally perfunctory because 98% of our pilots are on DCO, so most of us are not familiar with this process. The reconciliation results in an adjustment, which if you have a balance due, results in a bill. We had two choices to collect the dues balance generated by the error in the company’s software. We could have asked the company to add the balance to DCO and pulled from your paycheck. We instead decided to add the balance into the annual ALPA reconciliation because we could maintain some flexibility of payment terms and have built in processes and staffing at ALPA National to verify balances. The result of the annual reconciliation is the email you received from ALPA National Membership on or about April 24th, 2017.  

Who is affected and has a balance to pay?

We have 2,320 pilots who had monthly vacation cancellation, end of year vacation buy back income or other “separate check” income that were not correctly charged dues from June 15th, 2016 though January 31st, 2017. The average amount of that dues balance is $360.44. We have another 348 pilots who have DSA spillover after tax income that was paid on January 31st, 2017 and not correctly charged dues with an average balance of $151.37. The “separate check” vacation cancellation and vacation buy back income dues is included in the 2016 balance line of your reconciliation statement. The DSA spillover income and other “separate check” income’s dues are reflected in the 2017 balance line of your reconciliation statement. You should have received a reconciliation statement via email from ALPA National Membership on or about April 24th, 2017.

What is an arrangement plan?

If you would like to pay your balance over time, you can contact ALPA National Membership and ask for an arrangement (payment) plan. Those requests are sent to the ALPA First VP of Finance, Randy Helling and myself for approval. Additionally, the FDX MEC has requested, and Captain Randy Helling has established, a pre-approved monthly payment of $200. If you desire a different amount, please contact ALPA National Membership.

How can I find my balance?

The balance is on the emailed reconciliation statement. You can also view your balance in the My Account area of the ALPA web site on or after May 5th, 2017.  You will be mailed a paper bill with your balance on or after May 9th, 2017. There is a remittance coupon included in this paper bill that you can return with your check.

How do I pay?

Three ways:

  1. Payment by check using the remittance coupon and self-addressed envelope provided with your monthly billing statement. You should receive this on or around May 9th, 2017.
  2. Payment via a bill payer service through your financial institution.
    1. Account Number: Your account number is your ALPA number.
    2. Address: Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l 535 Herndon Parkway, Herndon, VA 20170
  3. By contacting Membership Administration and signing an arrangement plan (ARP) that will allow you to pay the obligation over time.
    1. Payroll deductions for ARP’s are made once a month
    2. Monthly payment amount will be no more than $200, unless you request a higher monthly payment amount.

Your recent Secretary Treasurer’s message said I might need to provide a copy of my pay stub, why?

ALPA National Membership uses your company pay statement to cross check the income on the statement versus what the company reported to ALPA. So, if you have a question about the accuracy of your balance, ALPA National may ask for your pay statements to verify and cross check dues able income. The end-of-year pay statements are usually the most useful for ALPA National membership to verify your balance. You can download all your past pay statements at ADP Self Service Portal For enrollment instructions for the ADP self-service portal, go to PFC and type “ADP” in the search bar in the upper right hand corner of the home page—that will take you to a detailed instruction job aid to enroll.

I’ve added up my 2016 and January 2017 income and it doesn’t match the reconciliation statement balances, why?

Until June 2016, your dues were pulled in arrears (accounting name for “based on prior month’s income”). So, your dues able income from December 2015 is included in the 2016 balance. I recommend calling ALPA National Membership if you have question about your balance and they can provide a spreadsheet that breaks down your income, balance and dues month by month to help you QC their numbers.

Could my dues balance be paid out of the remaining 5% signing bonus?                                          

Unfortunately, no. The language in the CBA 2015 Lump Sum Distribution Letter and ALPA Admin Manual Section 60 states that the 5% should be used for corrective purposes for errors and omissions for bonus payments only.

If I have questions, who should do I contact?

ALPA National Membership has the software that keeps your balance, sends the bills, and processes payments. They are your primary point of contact and have several people on staff to handle incoming calls and emails. Their email is Their phone number is 888-Fly-ALPA, option 3. You can also call me with questions, but if you have questions about your balance or how to pay, I recommend you start at ALPA National Membership. Trish McHugh is our primary membership staff member who works FedEx pilots’ dues issues and she received about 55 calls yesterday and is working her way through the backlog of voicemails.   

We all know this is a hassle, we are used to being on DCO, budgeting our expenses with some predictability and this wasn’t on your radar. When I found out what was happening in January with the company’s software I thought, “!!##&&$$!!**—this is going to leave a mark.” Please maintain your professionalism when contacting staff members in the ALPA National Membership Department.

Fly safe,

Rich Zins

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As many of you may recall, during the 2015 FedEx St. Jude Golf Classic in Memphis, many of our pilots came together to build a 1965 Shelby Cobra kit car (click here to view CBS coverage of the 2015 car build). The car was completed in five days, then delivered to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and eventually sold at an auction with 100% of the proceeds ($85,000) going to help the children of St. Jude. It was your generous donations that made this possible in 2015 and we are again counting on you to join us this year as we build a Mark 4 Roadster.

St. Jude patient Leland with the replica 1965 Shelby Cobra built during the 2015 FedEx St. Jude Golf Classic.

Captain Bob McKee is again heading up this extraordinary effort and is seeking to assemble a team of about 30 pilots to assist with the build of the Mark 4 Roadster. The pre-build will take place May 4-6 and the official car build will take place during the golf tournament June 7-11. There is no car building experience required! If you are unavailable to assist during the build, we encourage you to join this amazing fundraising effort for a worthy cause!

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. No family ever receives a bill from St. Jude. While we get caught up in the daily struggles of our lives and jobs, it’s easy to forget that, in our own communities, there are children who are simply hoping to still be alive tomorrow, next week or next year. Let’s unite in a purpose that will ensure some of these children have a bright future. This event is our chance to make a difference through working together toward a common goal. Will you join Captain McKee and your fellow pilots in the fight against childhood cancer?

To volunteer your assistance for the pre-build or build during the tournament, please email Captain McKee at To make a donation to this great cause, please click here.

Following the build, the Mark 4 Roadster will be moved to the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, where it will be on display until the auction. The online auction for the Mark 4 Roadster will open on Saturday, June 10th and the car will be sold on Friday, June 23rd.

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Peyton Manning children's hospital airplane-themed room

Dear Fellow FedEx Pilots,

It is a pleasure to present this update to you for your review. Please find attached the finalized plan for our Pilots for Kids (PFK)/Airplane room at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis..

The rendition of the DC-6 on the north wall is not just a painting. It is a dimensional model that will be "flying" out of the wall. The leading edges of the wings, the cowlings, the radome, and the propellers will be made of PVC or similar material and protrude from the wall about six inches. The remainder of the airplane depiction will be painted. The white rectangle over the wing box area is a light fixture that must remain on the wall but will be painted to match the airplane. The size of the wings and hence the scale of rest of the DC-6 was designed to facilitate the blending of the light fixture into the wings, cowls, and forward fuselage.

After landing his/her DC-6 on RWY 22 (Floor Plan), our aviator-patient will have the option of taking off again by moving to the fanciful flight deck rendition on the south wall. Yoke, pedals, and a view out of the flight deck windshield awaits for imaginary flying fun. The propeller on the south wall is a real wooden propeller donated by one of our members. It will be in it's own plexiglass case.

The west wall, in addition to the couch and window, will include custom display cases, art work/pictures and a custom made plexiglass enclosed valence over the window. The valence is a dimensional case which will contain patches and small aircraft models diplayed in plan view. The items depicted in the wall cases in this rendition of the plan are representative of what may be displayed. The cases will be partially lined with aeronautical charts. Art work will include "Indy Pilots For Kids" lithographs from the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. The representative from the Thunderbirds politely suggested that I display the Blue Angels litho in the lavatory. Just a little friendly rivalry.

The east wall depicts a UH-1 with an "Expand Your Horizons" graphic over the door. This is in honor of Ed Faath, founder and president of Pilots For Kids. Ed flew "Huey's" during the Vietnam conflict. He was inspired to help hospitalized children during the war and vowed to somehow do so upon his return home. He succeeded.

Based on the hospital's need for rooms, construction will begin in early to mid summer. When construction is complete and the room certified patient ready, the St. Vincent Foundation will host a grand opening ceremony at the hospital to which we are all invited. Please look for further updates from me via email, Positive Rate Weekly and on our website.

Due to generous donations by many of our PFK members, we have just about everything we need for our display cases. I'm still a little short, however, on wings, insignia, and patches (commercial or military) for the valence.

THANK YOU for supporting this initiative and making our PFK/Airplane room possible!


Dan Ferracciolo
Coordinator, Indy Pilots For Kids

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The violations of both altitude and speed restrictions of Climb/Descend Via clearances continue to be a problem we see in ASAP. The proper phraseology by both pilots and ATC controllers continues to be an ongoing cause of confusion and misunderstanding of what is required or expected resulting in altitude and speed violations on the SID's and STAR's. Through our Confidential Information Sharing Program (CISP), we have the ability to share the issues our pilots have with these clearances with our ATC partners and identify the causes of misunderstanding for both parties.

Below is the latest publication that NATCA has sent out to their controllers. These 'ATSAP Briefings' use subject matter that is compiled from both Air Carrier ASAP reports (reports from pilots) as well as the Air Traffic Controllers ASAP reports (ATSAP). Through this program, we are able to identify problems for both ATC and pilots. By sharing them with you, we hope to try and mitigate these problems through education. I highly recommend reading the latest ATSAP Briefing “Subtle Problems with Climb/Descend Phraseology.” I also recommend the following two briefings that have been published in the past on this subject:  “Climb Via” and “A Pilot’s Perspective:  Normal Speed.” 

You can access these reports as well as others on the MEC website's safety committee page (click on ASAP and then ATSAP Briefings). I encourage you to take a look and see what other subjects CISP has identified to help us all work better together. 

Stacy Horn

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We want your photos

We want to see what you see. Share your pictures or videos from the line, and give us some context (i.e., let us know what we’re looking at).

We encourage you to submit your high-quality high-resolution digital images. Your photos could be featured in future MEC communications! Please note that by submitting your photos and/or videos, you are giving the MEC office permission to crop, edit, alter and publish your images and/or videos.

Send your photos to

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Retirement Education And research

Retirement was a primary issue where much attention was focused during our last collective bargaining agreement (CBA). While enhancements were made to Section 28, we know many hoped for more improvements that were not achieved in the latest agreement. Over the course of the last year, your elected representatives, MEC Officers, Negotiating Committee and R&I Committee have been involved in an effort to research our retirement plan as it currently exists, and explore possibilities that could enhance it. As this process continues to evolve, we’ve created this website as a central location to provide you with important information—from key players involved to previously released R&I educational videos and Chairman’s Messages.

The research process is underway. However, as you can imagine, this is an extensive project and will take our team of consultants significant time to develop concepts for consideration. It’s not until we reach that point that your elected representatives will determine if the outcome is worthy of further consideration. As previously noted in various communications, there is NO bargaining on retirement taking place with the company nor will there be without your inclusion.

Please take some time to peruse the website. We encourage you to bookmark it as a favorite as the information here will continue to be updated as we move forward.

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From Contract enforcement - Trip extensions and critical pay period

Trip Extensions
A quality of life enhancement in the 2015 CBA is Section 12.A.8., which reduces trip extensions by 12 hours compared to the previous language. Domestic trips can be extended 36 hours and international trips 84 hours into time previously scheduled free from duty at base. Please note that the 36/84 limit may be exceeded due to maintenance or weather disruptions particular to the pilot’s specific flight, but only to that limited extent.

Critical Period Pay

One of many pay enhancements in the current CBA are the Critical Period Pay Events (Section 4.GG.). This language applies to all domestic trips, regardless of the assignment code. Also, it is paid in addition to other compensation. There are four situations that qualify for the Critical Period Pay.

1. Critical Period Departures
Following flight deck duty that operates anytime in the critical period,
if a pilot has an intermediate stop at a facility other than AFW, CDG,
EWR, IND, MEM, or OAK (or other like facilities as agreed upon by the
SIG), that is greater than 2 but less than 4 hours (from block-in to block-out),
the pilot shall be paid 1.5 CH. This event shall not apply to trips
that depart base in the critical period and return to base in the same
duty period (out and backs).

2. For any duty period that begins in the critical period, a pilot shall be
paid 1.5 CH for each landing in excess of 2 in that duty period.

3. For any duty period that begins in the critical period, if a trip departs
from base and returns to base in the same duty period, and blocks in
after 10:15 LBT, the pilot shall be paid 1.5 CH.

4. For any flight deck duty period that operates in the critical period, and
has a flight in excess of 4:30 block hours, the pilot shall be paid 3 CH
for each subsequent flight in that duty period.

Please contact if you have any CBA questions.

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pre-flight your ipad (and verify your charts are downloaded)

We're partnering with FedEx Flight Ops iPad Support to bring you information you can use. Please continue to read the Positive Rate for more articles similar to the one found below. We would like to thank Al Brucker for providing us with this information.

Pre-Flight Your iPad (and verify your charts are downloaded)

What’s one recommendation for the iPad and pilots at FedEx? Always, always, always pre-flight your iPad!

Sure, the iPad is easy to use and very reliable. But just like with your airplane, you want to find out about any issues with your iPad while you’re on the ground (and have an internet connection). This could take 30 seconds or 10 minutes, depending on how you use your iPad and how comfortable you are with the technology.

With that in mind, here are some tips and procedures to consider:

Company-Issued iPad Procedures (Prior to each flight duty day):

  • Each pilot shall determine the company-issued iPad is operable.
  • Ensure required flight publications (Jeppesen charts and company manuals) are current. (Run the JeppFDPro and Content Locker applications once. Both apps must be opened with an internet connection to update. Especially if you’ve updated the app, check to make sure it won’t crash or lock up on initial start-up.)
  • The minimum iPad battery charge status required to begin a flight duty day is 70%, unless the pilot carries a fully charged external backup. It’s a good habit to always take off with a full charge (it takes 4-6 hours to charge a drained battery).

More Pre-Flight Tips:

  • Load routes and alternate airports – Taking care of this on the ground before show time saves a lot of heads-down time in the cockpit that could be spent addressing other important responsibilities. 
  • Turn off wireless functions that aren’t needed – Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi unless you’ll need them in flight, as they will drain the battery. It is an FOM requirement to have the cellular function turned off during flight.
  • Clean the screen and adjust the screen brightness to less than 100% - If conditions permit, lowering the screen to around the 70–80% brightness level can add an extra hour or more of battery life.

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does flying run in your family? Tell Us about it!

If you grew up with a family member in the cockpit, perhaps you’ve always known you’d follow their contrails. ALPA “All in the Family” wants to hear your story!

“All in the Family” is our series about pilots who share a special bond with a family member up in the air—a father and son working together for an airline, a spark ignited when a mother speaks in her child’s classroom on career day, siblings who continue their childhood rivalry into the aviation business . . .
How does flying run in your family? Share your story and help inspire a new generation of flying families.

Like father, like daughter, F/O Stephanie Layman (Spirit) followed in father, Jim Layman's footsteps. Read their story, then submit your own!

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MEM Retirement and benefits seminars

MEM Retirement Seminars:

The next available Retirement Counseling Seminars will be held on May 3rd and May 17th 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.

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schwab individual retirement & financial counseling sessions - MEM and ANC

Dates: Thursday, May 4th and Thursday, May 18th

Schwab Executive Services Financial Consultants will be available on Thursday 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.

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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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 "April 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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