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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:23 pm

FedEx Crew Schedules

Mon May 20, 2013 6:15 pm

Here in TPA we get a DC-10 or-11 every evening from MEM and then it departs the following morning, returning to MEM. The flight is only 90 minutes occurring once each day each way. How are the crews scheduled? It seems like they are waiting around for 12 hours to do a 90 minute flight. In the course of a week, that is not much flying time compared to some of the regional pilots on anet.

Since this same pattern occurs all over the FedEx domestic system, am I missing something obvious or do the FedEx crews not accumulate much time?

To be clear, I am not talking at all about international routes, just the domestic ones.

Many thanks for your explanations.
Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors.
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Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:40 am

RE: FedEx Crew Schedules

Mon May 20, 2013 6:40 pm

I'm not an expert on the matter, somebody else can be more precise, but crews deadhead on commercial airline flights to reposition. They aren't limited to deadheading on company planes. There is a type of agreement among airlines that allow crews from other carriers to deadhead when they're are available seats on their flights.

In the case you mentioned. I doubt the crew simply flew to TPA and that was a day. It's more likely the crew originated somewhere like LAX or OAK, and flew one of FXs daytime operations to MEM. Once in MEM, they probably laid over for a few hours and then flew the flight to TPA. From there, they either boarded another FX flight back to MEM, or they perhaps overnighted at the hotel before deadheading on a commercial flight the next day back to MEM, home base, or whatever the city they live and commute out of.

Also, there is the website below used for FX crews to find available jumpseats. Kind of interesting to play around with.

[Edited 2013-05-20 11:55:37]
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:09 am

RE: FedEx Crew Schedules

Mon May 20, 2013 7:44 pm

In terms of block hours, FedEx crews typically do no accumulate many. Most trips, or sequences of trips, span 6 days or more. Most trips pay based upon time away from base rather than upon duty time or block hours.
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:33 pm

RE: FedEx Crew Schedules

Mon May 20, 2013 11:37 pm

The typical pattern for domestic night cargo pilots (as opposed to FedEx's daytime USPS operation) is to start in domicile on day 1 and do one leg to an outstation (leaving around 4 a.m.). They then spend all day in a hotel at the outstation and do two legs the next night. The first leg being back to the hub and the second leg to another outstation, following the night sort. The pattern continues for a few more days. On the last day, the crews do one leg back to the hub.
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

RE: FedEx Crew Schedules

Tue May 21, 2013 1:19 pm

from a now retired guy I will say there are numerous combinations of trip pairings however an afternoon dept. to TPA with a morning return would certainly be a proper trip. Remember the crew would fly back to MEM in the a.m. then wait for the sort and fly back to TPA in the p.m. for the night. There are also trips that would dept. MEM in the afternoon to, say, TPA and turn right back to MEM arriving around 11pm. Doing that for a week. week on week off. As for the comments on D/Hs, Fedex never builds a pairing with a D/H on a co. jet. They're all on pax carriers. If the pilot wishes to deviate then he can go anyway he wishes. Most of the stuff you see regarding J/Sing is usually a crew commuting to or from work. Internationally we had a D/H from London to Paris and some would deviate and take the train. What ever works.

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