From the Safety Committee: Call for LOSA Observers - 12/7/18
From the Safety Committee: Call for LOSA Observers - 12/7/18


December 7, 2018
Call for LOSA Observers
Enhancing safety as a LOSA (line operations safety audit) observer
We are seeking LOSA observers—line pilots representing each base and seat position. As the foremost experts in the complexities of FedEx flight operations, FedEx line pilot involvement is essential to enhancing safety at our airline.
What is a LOSA?
A LOSA is a formal process based on scientific methodology that requires expert and highly trained observers to ride the jumpseat during regularly scheduled flights to collect safety-related data on environmental conditions, operational complexity, and flight crew performance. The required training will be conducted by the LOSA Collaborative to ensure the selected LOSA observer pilots can capture essential data. 
What are some of the benefits of a LOSA?
This valuable safety assessment is based on the threat and error model, which has been widely accepted within the aviation industry and the scientific community for more than two decades, and contributes to understanding risk within our system in two ways: 
  1. Providing insights into the challenges (threats and errors) faced by line pilots in a carrier’s operation
  2. Providing a window into the effectiveness of the carrier’s processes and procedures for mitigating these challenges 
By analyzing normal flights that make up a statistically valid sample of our operations, the LOSA will help us develop a better understanding of the actual prevalence of the various threats and errors in our system. In addition, a LOSA, as compared to other programs such as ASAP or FOQA, captures examples of “what went right,” not just “what went wrong.” 
A LOSA observer is a line pilot
A line pilot, in the role of a LOSA observer, will simply “observe,” like a scientist observes an environment. These pilots will observe the system in which we operate to identify and understand threats and how flight crews creatively manage those threats. More importantly, the LOSA team can provide future, post-audit feedback regarding observed best practices.
What is a LOSA observation?
A LOSA observation is a flight accompanied by a LOSA observer (fellow line pilot). The observer will be recording safety-related data from the beginning of flight planning until the final checklist is completed. The observation flight is a voluntary, completely optional, non-jeopardy event for the observed flight crew. If even one flight crewmember declines to be observed, then the observation of that flight will not occur, no questions asked. To ensure the observation is non-jeopardy, check airmen, SIM instructors, and managers are not eligible to be LOSA observers. Also, the observers will not record crew names, flight numbers, or dates when they report on the observations. Finally, the details of the observations are sent directly to the LOSA Collaborative, further ensuring de-identification before any analysis begins.
Why do ALPA and FedEx support this collaborative safety program?
Both ALPA and FedEx support this program, its process, and the safety benefits it provides. A LOSA is a proactive safety program that provides unique data about an airline’s defenses and vulnerabilities. It does not replace other safety data sources, such as FOQA or ASAP. Instead, it complements these programs, and extends the reach of an airline’s safety management system. The data collected during a LOSA can impact almost every department in an airline. 
Bottom line: this program is used for the sole purpose of enhancing safety through a scientific study, and our line pilots, with training from a respected third party, are the ones conducting it. 
Interested in acting as a LOSA observer?
Details regarding application to become a LOSA observer will soon be provided by the Joint (ALPA and Company) LOSA Steering Committee.
Thank you for your interest,
Captain Jose Nieves
LOSA Coordinator

2019 Joint LOSA Steering Committee Members:
Captain Rich Hughey, ALPA Captain Stewart Harro, FedEx
Captain Steve Heid, ALPA Captain Rob Fisher, FedEx