Fatigue Reports Needed

In the past week, the ALPA SIG has received a few interesting e-mails. Pilots reported that pairing design led to fatigue issues in the field. Still, none of these pilots called in fatigued. We continue to see the fatigue report underutilized.


“should not be done”

“extremely fatiguing”

“F/O already called in fatigued”

Our Fatigue Risk Management Group (FRMG), ALPA, and company relies heavily on data and feedback to build and improve the program. The ALPA SIG needs your feedback to bolster arguments for change in the pairing review process. One of the single most effective forms of feedback is the Fatigue Report.

If you are fighting fatigue on a pairing, or if you are otherwise concerned about safety issues related to a pairing, regardless of whether you call in fatigued, please submit a fatigue report. The FRMG tracks, catalogs, and summarizes all fatigue reports, and that data is crucial to the ongoing work by the FRMG to battle fatigue risk at FedEx.

If you believe a pairing is dangerous, the FOM requires you to address the issue. FOM 2.03: Safety is the most important consideration in all FedEx operations.

Also from the FOM: Any uncertainty regarding the safety of an operation is to be questioned and satisfactorily resolved before that operation is conducted or continued.

The effects of fatigue can be insidious, and are similar to those of alcohol. Once fatigued, you may think you’re okay to continue, but your judgment may be affected. It’s imperative to have a game plan prior to reaching that state. Learn to recognize keys that you are becoming unsafe. Missing radio calls or checklist items are common red flags.

“ . . . had there been a readily available replacement, I most likely would have called in fatigued too.”

Reliability should be a distant third, after safety and legality, in our decision making. Again referencing FOM 2.03: During times when various priorities of safety, legality, and reliability appear to be in conflict, it is the responsibility of all crewmembers in general, and the Captain in particular, to ensure that safety remains the primary focus.

If an aircraft is broken, reliability doesn’t dictate whether we take the aircraft; the decision is clear. The same logic should be applied to your fitness to fly. If you’re not fit to fly, stay out of our aircraft. We need to do a better job at self-evaluation, watching out for each other and documenting of onerous pairings. No one at FedEx wants impaired pilots to operate our flights.

Please use the Fatigue Report (under “Reports”) at pilot.fedex.com to provide specific feedback. You can also fill out a scheduling PIREP or e-mail the ALPA SIG. If you have any questions concerning fatigue reporting or calling in fatigued, please contact the ALPA FRMG with your concerns.


Captain Martin Harrington
Scheduling Committee Chairman


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