Vice Chairman's Message - 11/14/17
Vice Chairman's Message - 11/14/17



“Fatigue is a general lack of alertness and degradation in mental and physical performance. . . .The National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB] has included an item to ‘Reduce Accidents and Incidents Caused by Human Fatigue in the Aviation Industry’ as an action area in their aviation safety ‘Most Wanted List.’ —September 10, 2010.
That was seven years ago—I have to ask, is your quality of life any better? Are you any less fatigued than you were seven years ago? Are your schedules any better? Fatigue management requires an understanding of the relationship between work, rest, and fatigue. Working conditions: The elephant in the room.
As pilots, our working conditions live in mostly our bidpack where preplanned schedules directly affect work, rest, fatigue, and our quality of life. If we are truly serious about fatigue mitigation and wish to take action, we must start with our bidpack. Let’s face it, our bidpacks are the first place where our prevention against fatigue must start. The prevention should then progress from preplanned schedules to operational revisions.
The FAA states:
“Field studies have consistently revealed that fatigue has complex and diverse causes, with 24-h duty/rest cycles, circadian desynchronization and night-time flying all related to fatigue.”
Sound familiar?
The inconvenient truth is that our contract language allows the 24-hour layover, it allows the day-night swap, it allows long duty days and short layovers—what it doesn’t allow is for you to fly fatigued. Just because the contract allows these things doesn’t mean it’s the prudent thing to do in relation to managing risk and understanding human performance. I understand the company’s need for efficiencies, but where does it end? I call upon our company and our ALPA Scheduling teams to redouble their effort to address the elephant in the room.
We too need to take ownership here and help our Fatigue Risk Management Chairman Pat Hagerty manage the risks of fatigue and pilot performance. Here is what Pat put out in the latest SIG Notes—I wonder how many of you read it and realized the importance of filling out fatigue reports when you feel fatigue degraded your performance. The bottom line is, NO REPORT, NO PROBLEM.

“Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.” — Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London 

Fly Safe,

Captain John Cardaci
FedEx MEC Vice Chairman

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