View Full Version : Falcon Express Iraq and FEDEX

4th Nov 2003, 22:41
Looking for constructive remarks on this topic

Was talking to a friend of a friend who knows a pilot currently within Falcon Express and was shocked to here the pressures and conditions that they are currently under with regard to flying into Iraq for FEDEX.

Was told that the management team at Falcon Express Cargo Airline have reduced wages, provided the pilots with little to no info on Iraq, and expect them to still fly in there with no offer of compensation for doing such a high risk job. Was also told that there hasn't even been one meeting to explain safety issues or what will be done in the event of something going wrong! Now I know the old adage, “you know were there door is, if you don’t like it leave”, but I do think this is taking it all to far especially when FEDEX themselves advertise that they have a dedicated team flying into Iraq. When I heard all this it made me wonder just how dedicated is the so called FEDEX team. From what I hear it is the pilots at Falcon taking all the risk and for what.

Would be interested in hearing what people have to say I know the working conditions for pilots have eroded somewhat over the past years all around the world but I do think this has gone a bit far. Myself I wouldn't go in there no matter how much I was paid and I'm lucky that the company I work for would not entertain such ideas and if they did would ensure safety and renumeration went hand in hand, but I do understand the difficulties and differing situatons people are in with regard to debt etc and needing to fly to further there prospective careers but there has to be a point when you have to say no.

If there are any Falcon, FEDEX, DHL or any other pilots flying into Iraq for other private companies out there would be interested in hearing what the word actually is for you guys, my fingers are crossed for you.

Over and out respect

5th Nov 2003, 14:19

I must say that you are quite well informed.
FedEx brags about flying to Iraq, when in reality it is Falcon Express.

There is absolutely no extra pay or bonus for the guys out in the field taking all the risks. And believe me, the risk is there.
How would you feel if you landed in Kirkuk, and as soon as you get out of the plane you are shown the quickest way to a bunker, just in case, because the day before they came under a mortar attack.
Or planes being shot at within an hour of your arrival.

Another interesting point to make is that our Chief Pilot has not actually flown to Iraq, even though Falcon has been flying there since June. For that matter, he does not acually fly at all.

There is indeed little info about the flights into Iraq. Some photocopied pages of the AIP and that's about it. You figure things out as you go along.

Now with winter approaching, things will get even more interesting, considering that the flights are VFR only.

And regarding the dangermoney, the General Managers' response to that was "will more money make the flights safer? No, so why pay more".

Morale in the company is already at an all time low, but forcing these flights on the pilots, makes them increasingly unhappy and I feel that somehing will happen soon.

Management needs to step up to the plate and LISTEN to their crews comments and complaints. And then maybe, just maybe, things will improve.

7th Nov 2003, 09:27
It's easy to say that the pilot's should demand some sort of compensation or more money for the risk they are taking everytime flying into Iraq but as you all know working for a company like Falcon this will never happen since those so called managers(what a joke )have never been outside there airconditioned office whenever they rock up for work. Basically it comes down to, shut up, fly the plane or leave. It's just a matter of time that something terrible will happen and I wonder if management then will take action.........after all and accident is much more dearer then given the guys a few bucks more for flying into Iraq.

7th Nov 2003, 14:56
We have the same problems in DHL Bah. But fortunately for us due to insurance and other reasons we are not flying into Iraq at the moment! but given the chance I know our management will be doing the same.
We have flown some flights to Iraq earlier and the former Chief pilot was a passenger on one of them,but all that aside he avereaged only 25hrs per month and never flew to Kuwait during the last gulf war.The same goes for the former director of ops.
He flew as a passenger on 1 flight to Kuwait,as he puts it " as an example to the pilots"He also averages 25hrs per month and never helps out when we are short of pilots due to illness etc.
As for our mangement,we are in the same posistion as you guys both our GM and Middle east manager could not care less about the welfare,health or safety of the pilots,Only how they are looking with DHL head office.If there was an incident or loss they would use it to promote themselves and use as an opportunity for media exposure as they did with the 757 crash.
Bottom line,mangement are not concerned with safety of pilots and aircraft,all they care is that the flights go through.
Good luck to us all!

8th Nov 2003, 18:12
What it comes down to is simple: The cost of losing one plane and its crew to hostile fire in Iraq is so much less than the cost of losing the US Armed Forces contract that Falcon management are prepared to roll the dice and hope it doesn't happen.

The problem is that one day it will happen - tragically that'll be the only way that the firm's "fearless leaders" learn from their repeated mistakes.

Until then beating your head against barbed-wire would be more effective than trying to challenge the status-quo. Better just to go to work, rack up the hours and get out as soon as you find something better.

Remember: "No quick hands"!


P.S - I'd almost be more concerned about operating into Saudi than Iraq. Especially after this morning's events in Riyadh and associated diplomatic warnings in Qatar & Bahrain.

9th Nov 2003, 21:25
When the show's been running longer, some contractors will pay the bad guys to leave 'em alone like they did in Vietnam.
What it comes down to is simple: The cost of losing one plane and its crew to hostile fire in Iraq is so much less than the cost of losing the US Armed Forces contract that Falcon management are prepared to roll the dice and hope it doesn't happen.

10th Nov 2003, 02:44
I have been in Iraq for 7 months. Have seen DHL almost daily in Mosul. It is a travesty considering the situation and the danger. Just two dasy ago a Blackhawk was downed by a Russian SAM. Not to mention the RPG attacks on othe AC, ie. the Chinook a few days ago. The civilians, UN and the Red Cross are not immune. What a @#$%ing animals. Anyway, you guys be careful out there! Might see you in Mosul Baghdad or Kirkuk.

Tonto Kowalski
11th Nov 2003, 15:42
2daddies: No quick hands! Hahaaa that's a good one. Would've thought the boys might be needing the quick hands over Iraq given the threat of hostile fire!

How are the fellas deciding who gets to sit on the tech log for the flights in there then?!

Thought this site may be of interest:


Good as they have a full range of prices for the FECA pilot on a budget!

Speaking of which does anyone know why pilot's salaries were slashed even though the contract to service Iraq must be HUGELY lucrative?!

Take care,


15th Nov 2003, 20:58
Sorry, I'm not ready to let this thread die just yet.
Does anyone else have anything to say on this?
Pilots from within the company are afraid to speak up, for fear of losing their jobs or missing out on command upgrades.
Maybe through this roundabout way management will read about what's happening in the company.

16th Nov 2003, 22:14
My only comment is, how do you deal with a menatlity of "Will more money make it safer...NO...so why pay more"??? I wouldn't know what to say!! Well actually, I'd have a few choice words to use but I don't think they would have helped the situation. ;-) ;-) But really, it must be extremely frustrating to have that sort of barrier between those who actually do the work and those who are the "leaders". Best of luck and stay safe.

17th Nov 2003, 21:46
since this is the second time I hae written this reply and the timmy arab internet gobbled it upI will keep my reply short.
Just an idea but why doesnt eerybody ( the key between the B and C is U/s) start asking their friends about how theyhae resoled conflicts in their present/preious companies. In other words get 300 minds thinking instead of 30.
"gain co-operation ". is always a key element in any problem soling model.
All i know is sitting around bitching about it aint going to achiee much.
just food for thought anyway:ok:

17th Nov 2003, 23:05
Check out the post about airlines flying into Baghdad in the "Rumours and News" forum. Written by 747FOCAL. The link about the "corkscrew" is fascinating as well, particularly in light of a recently "prohibited" manoeuver.

I think it's only going to be a matter of time before two of us will be able to present our illustrious management "family" with hard and conclusive proof that we are indeed subject to enemy fire in Iraq.

Perhaps, though, it will be posthumously.

Ever felt like a mushroom? Kept in the dark and fed bullsh*t? :suspect:

18th Nov 2003, 06:33
The problem of being employed with a company as Falcon (in generally all companies in DXB)is that you don't have a place to go and express your concern by flying into a warzone, they say the war is over but how can you explain that at this stage there are more casualties then during the war, the war is not over, that crazy texas ranger wants everbody believe this so that we don't see it as another failure for the americans, anyhow.
The pilots should all refuse to fly into Irak and have their say to management as a group, I know that most of the blokes are scared to loose there job but trust me, if everybody walks out the so called managers are loosing there job as well since they have to close the shop...............
Don't be scared, and if worse comes to worse most of the guys should have enough experience to get a job in the normal world.

Do deal with unskilled management is a challlenge and considered as an advantage..........

22nd Nov 2003, 12:59

22nd Nov 2003, 14:57
Yep!!!! WAY too close for comfort.

And the latest today: DHL was shot at and HIT!!! They were forced to make an emergency landing in Baghdad.
No further info as of yet, but hope the crew are OK.

27th Nov 2003, 06:42

Tonto Kowalski
30th Nov 2003, 19:33
Don't understand what all the complaining is about. If the President can fly in...so can you!!


30th Nov 2003, 20:56
Well that's just showing everybody how far down in the sand your head is buried, Tonto.

That may have been a joke, but I don't care. Let me point out some differences between Air Force 1 and a cargo Beech 1900C:

1) AF1 has a full array of electronic and physical countermeasures designed to repel SAMs and other projectiles. We have nothing.

2) AF1 flew in unannounced. We go in at the same time, every single day.

3) AF1 flew in at night with its lights off. We do not because Night VFR is illegal in Iraq for flight planning purposes.

4) AF1 is flown by highly experienced military pilots, fully trained in the techniques to be used to avoid enemy threats. All of our pilots are civilians who, bar one or two of the most recent recruits, were hired without knowledge of impending Iraq flights.

In fact, Tonto, a majority of pilots were so unhappy with the idea of resuming services into Iraq (suspended after DHL) that many had made the decision to vote with their feet. Thankfully management decided to make operating there purely voluntary and so no-one resigned (but more than twice as many declined to operate Iraq flights as chose to do so).

To summarise, Air Force 1's visit to Iraq was certainly notable and no doubt was one of the riskiest missions it has ever accomplished. DO NOT use that event to downplay the importance of this issue for us.

Think I'm a little highly strung? Probably, but the VERY REAL possibility of having RPGs and SAMs fired at you isn't a calming experience.

16th Dec 2003, 11:14
Hey Rostov!
There's only one major difference that I can point to: 6 months!

To quote the speedwog - GET ON THE GAS, BRING ON THE BUS!

See you on the farm, shagosaurus!

30th Jan 2004, 21:31
Whats the latest at FECA? Are u boys still flying into Iraq?

30th Jan 2004, 23:20
Can any one fill me in with falcon DHL contacts out of Baharain
Thank you!:O