Disputed 777 Pairing: Around the World Through LGG

Starting in April 2016, the 777 began a new around-the-world sequence. The DNA of the sequence consisted of the long Shanghai to Liege flight, less than 20-hour layover, then the flight back to Memphis.

The 777 Pilot Scheduling Improvement Team flagged the sequence as a possible fatigue risk. The Liege to Memphis leg flies through the Memphis window of circadian low (WOCL) and lands just after 11AM local base time. The SIG reviewed options through LGG, but nothing was acceptable to all parties. So, starting in April, ALPA SIG disputed the sequence.

Once a pairing is disputed, it is sent to the Fatigue Event Review Committee (FERC) for analysis. Please review that process here (The linked article reviews the FERC process and another 777 dispute). The FERC decided to collect data on the pairing.

The SIG/PSIT process considers a number of inputs when trying to effect pairing design change:

  1. PSIT Experience
  2. Fatigue Modeling Software
  3. Pilot Feedback

Working with the FRMG, we also use actual sleep data provided by you, the crew-force.

  1. Our experience reviewing pairings initially flagged this sequence as a possible fatigue risk.
  2. Fatigue Modeling is currently limited in predicting fatigue levels once the crew has traveled multiple time zones.
  3. As of October 10th this pairing has flown over 100 times. During that time, one crewmember sent a report ascribing fatigue to the sequence.

The Fatigue Risk Management Group collected 22 data sets during the April/May/June bid months. A good fatigue indicator is amount of sleep in the previous 24 hours. Due to the subjective and objective data collected, ALPA SIG has decided to withdraw our dispute.

If you have any future issues with this sequence, feel free to contact ALPA SIG or file a fatigue report. If there is substantive change, we can revisit the pairing design.

Fatigue Reports can be found at pilot.fedex.com (under reports) to provide specific feedback. You can also fill out a scheduling PIREP or email the ALPA SIG or ALPA FRMG with your concerns.


Captain Martin Harrington
Scheduling Committee Chairman

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