Positive Rate Weekly - 12/27/17
Positive Rate Weekly - 12/27/17




WE RECENTLY PUBLISHED information regarding an important notice from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) concerning new drug testing changes (link provided below).
Additionally, we provided a link to a brochure published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) titled the "Opioid Epidemic and Aviation." You can read/download the FAA's brochure by clicking on the image to the left. 
We strongly encourage all FedEx pilots read this important information from the DOT and FAA.
S ome of you have recently received a notice very similar to the attached letter from ALPA National Membership. It is important to note that if you stay in bad standing through the end of December, you will be dis-enrolled from all your ALPA Insurance Programs to include the FDX MEC Supplemental Long-Term Disability program. You will not be able to re-enroll without evidence of insurability (good health) in these programs until the next open enrollment occurs. Pilots currently on disability are not put on bad standing and are not affected by this deadline. You can easily become a member in good standing by paying your balance or contacting ALPA National Membership to arrange an arrangement (payment) plan. ALPA National Membership can be reached at 1-888-359-2572, option 3 or
T he following retirement announcements were submitted for publication. We would like to congratulate Captain Jim Cobb and Captain Dennis Miller on their upcoming retirements. Both Jim and Dennis will be retired on December 31, 2017. 
Captain Jim Cobb
Forty years in the industry, 32 years with accidents, no incidents, and no violations...priceless. Thanks to all who helped me in that achievement.
Captain Dennis Miller
Well, that didn't take long. I've put in my 34 years and now it's time to go. You can only fool instructors for so long, and my bag of tricks is running out. I need to give a nod to someone long in my past: Jeff Powell. I sat down beside him in freshman English, on my way to a degree in Pharmacy and a long career behind a counter. One day he said that he had a low draft number and had joined Air Force ROTC. "You should  too!," he prodded. My little pea brain immediately thought, "Huh...Air Force.. pilot.. airline for nothing and ....." (It was the early '70s after all). I never looked back.
But my thanks  goes first and foremost to my beautiful wife, Susan. My career and our marriage both span forty years. She has been a rock, supporting every career decision I've ever made, always encouraging me to bid whatever I desired, go where ever I wished. And in all those years, providing a home I can't wait to return to and raising four wonderful, highly successful children who have made me so proud. A special thanks to all the FedEx mechanics who answered my every question and for over 16,000 flight hours handed me aircraft that delivered me safely to my destination. Thanks to all the great people in scheduling, GOC, corporate travel, flight coordination, jumpseats, crew pay, and management. Their support, helpfulness, and positive attitudes have always been exceptional.
Finally, to the hundreds of second and first officers over the last 28 years, who maintained vigilance and kept me safe while enduring countless hours of sheer mediocrity, interrupted by occasional moments of blinding stupidity, I would just like to say,
"Pardon the inconvenience..."
If you think about it, life is a long series of junctions  with two operative words: Over and Next.
My long and wonderful flying career at FedEx is over. I've had the time of my life (what more can one ask?). But now I can't wait to start enjoying life full-time at our lake home and delving into all those long delayed projects and plans. I can't wait  for...Next!
Be Safe and Prosper,
Reminder: Pilots Retiring on December 31, 2018 who are at least Age 60 but under age 65
I f you are planning on retiring December 31, 2018 at or after age 60 but under age 65, you have until December 31, 2017 to submit your Advance Notice of Planned Retirement to qualify for the retirement bonus in Section 28.F. of the CBA. The End of Career Sick Leave/Advance Notice of Planned Retirement Bonus requires that a pilot submit an advance notice of his/her retirement date at least 12 months in advance of the retirement date and actually retire on that date. The date may be any December 31st after the pilot’s 60th birthday or any day (up to and including the birthday but no later) in the month the pilot turns age 65. Pilots can submit their planned retirement date using the Advance Retirement Notice form that can be completed on by selecting “VIPS” then entering “retire” in the keyword search field.
CBA Reference
End of Career Sick Leave/Advance Notice of Planned Retirement Bonus
1  A pilot who reaches age 60 prior to his retirement date, and who provides at least 12 months advance written notice that his retirement date will be either during the month in which he turns the regulated age or on December 31 of a specified year, shall be eligible for the End of Career Sick Leave/Advance Notice of Planned Retirement Bonus (Bonus)
From the R&I Committee
Attention: Pilots Who Planned to Disenroll in Tricare for 2018 to Enroll in One of the CDHP HSA Options: 
It has come to ALPA’s attention that an error occurred in the FedEx enrollment system during the 2017 Annual Enrollment period. The enrollment system prompted questions to determine the pilot’s eligibility for benefits. One of the questions was “Are you eligible for Tricare?” If the pilot answered "yes," the enrollment system did not allow the pilot to enroll in either of the CDHP HSA options. For pilots who planned to disenroll in Tricare for 2018, the answer to this question should have been "no."
If you planned to disenroll in Tricare for 2018 in order to enroll in one of the CDHP HSA options, but were unable to do so because of the enrollment system glitch, you may do so now. There is a correction period that ends on December 31st, which allows you to make enrollment corrections. To make corrections, please contact Pilot Benefits Administration (PBA) at 866.795.6353.
Please be aware that as of 12 December, the Beneficiary Web Enrollment website is not operational for veterans to make changes to their TRICARE. It should be available at the end of December. We realize that the end of the year is rapidly approaching and ALPA is working with FedEx Benefits to achieve a resolution to this issue. 
T o our female aviators, I am pleased to announce that Uniform Chairman Tim King and I, along with the help of Kandy Bernskoetter and Christine Miller, have successfully collaborated with Flight Management to provide a jacket made just for women. You no longer have to wear men’s winter coats that don’t fit. That has been a complaint for some time now, and I am pleased to announce that we have narrowed the selection down to two Patagonia coats of which you will chose one from—majority rules.
Please follow this link to take a short (one-question) survey to express your preference between the two. The survey will run for two weeks. During this time, a size medium of each coat will hang in the foyer of the Fleet Captain area. Please take a look at the parka options. One is quite a bit warmer than the other, but otherwise the coats are similar in cut, length and style. At the end of the two-week survey, the coat with the most votes will be authorized as the women’s uniform parka.
I hope these choices meet your needs in both fit and function.
Fly safe,
John Cardaci
MEC Vice Chairman
With the Christmas holiday behind us and as we approach New Year's Day, we would like to remind you that the MEC office will be closed on Monday, January 1st.
The office will reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd at 8 a.m.
We wish each of you a happy and safe holiday! 
The following article was featured in the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) flight safety publication. We feel this is an excellent article on a very current topic and encourage you to take a few moments and read it. 
Don’t Put Yourself in the Frame
There’s nothing more impressive than saying to your kids, “look here’s a video of Daddy/Mummy landing their aeroplane.” This often works quite well with slightly older people as well apparently, but do you know how vulnerable you are leaving yourself when you introduce your personal camera into the cockpit? Firstly, you could be introducing a flight safety hazard; the Daily Mail reported earlier this year on an incident where 33 passengers were injured after a pilot’s personal camera interfered with the controls and caused a rapid descent. Secondly, you may be contravening company rules—that won’t be a pleasant phone call. Finally, and really importantly, you may find any images you take (or are taken of you) being used against you or your colleagues in the event of something going wrong. In a recent fatal accident investigation, the police asked for all AAIB material to be released to them but a judge opined that nothing could be released, as that could prove detrimental to future flight safety reporting. Nothing, that is, except for the personal video camera that the pilot had installed to film his flying. That’s gold dust to some people.
Of course you may find that your “David Bailey/Spielberg” worshiping colleague posts his imagery on social media and some eagle-eyed member of the public may just notice something that you appear to have missed. Even if nothing is actually amiss this could generate some undesirable attention and remember, these pictures and videos will be there forever. So the next time you are tempted to capture the amazing sights that this job exposes us to, or your fellow aviator says “it’s OK to take some pictures/take a video, isn’t it?” can we suggest that you think very carefully about all the possible ramifications. As we begin to see aircraft being delivered from factories with cameras fitted as standard we need to make sure any images from the “office” are dealt with in a sensible, legal and agreed way, and we need your help to make sure that happens.

Fedex Military Liaison 
T he Company's Military Liaison, Jack Ramsaur will be on a medical leave of absence from his position from approximately 21 December through 30 January to undergo back surgery. In his absence, Dexter Tutor will be executing the duties of Military Liaison. Please continue to contact the ALPA Military Affairs Committee at with any feedback pertaining to communications with the Company during Peak concerning your military duties.
T he following publication was produced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regarding Unstable Approaches: Risk Mitigation Policies, Procedures and Best Practices. To view the publication in its entirety, please click here
ipad support - iOS: To Update or not to update
ne question we receive quite regularly regarding the pilot iPad has to do with software updates. Specifically, when an update to iOS comes out, is the crewmember allowed to update their device to the latest version? We appreciate the fact that crewmembers ask this, as a premature update to a new iOS can be detrimental if the update hasn’t been “FedEx tested.” 
As a general rule, there are two types of updates, major updates and minor updates. A major update ALWAYS requires a testing period prior to being available to the crewmembers, while a minor update can usually be installed immediately (see caveat below).
So how can you as a crewmember tell if an update is a major update or a minor update? An easy way to tell is by looking at which number on the current iOS version changes. As of this writing, Apple’s latest version of the iOS is 11.2.1. A major update would change the number LEFT of the first decimal point, and a minor update would be any other number. As an example, if the next version of the iOS was either 11.3 or 11.2.2, this would be considered a minor update, and the crewmember could change the software without an official notification by iPad support. If, on the other hand, the next update to the iOS was to version 12.1 (or 12. [insert any other number here]), this would be considered a major update, and we would want you to wait until the update has been further checked to make sure it is compatible with our other FedEx required apps.
As a caveat to the above, with a minor update, it is usually a good idea for you as a user to wait a day or two after the update comes out to make sure there aren’t any issues with the new iOS before installing. Typically, if there is an issue, Apple will discover it quite quickly and patch it with a new iOS rather soon after the release. This can save you from some issues with the new software.
Finally, with ALL iOS updates, before committing to the update, make sure your other Airwatch apps such as Agent, Browser, and Content Locker are up to date. If you don’t do this, there is a possibility you could lose all your FedEx applications after installing the new iOS. The iPad section on PFC will let you know the current versions of the software, and how to check your device.
Please contact iPad Support using with any questions or issues
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