Insight: Not Just a Simple Mole
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
7M ago
“There is something on the scan.” Six little words that hold so much meaning. These six words were followed by a non-emotional, young emergency room doctor asking if we wanted to know what they saw. Being a two-time cancer survivor myself, I wanted to beg the doctor not to say another word and to allow us to hang on to those last moments of blissfully not knowing. However, my husband, American Airlines First Officer Thomas Christiansen, said he wanted to know. Thomas Christiansen “There are three lesions on your brain,” said the doctor. My husband turned to me and voiced his gratitude that he ..read more
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Higher Risk
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
7M ago
Although pilots and cabin crewmembers have a lower risk of dying from cancer than the general public, studies show their incidence of melanoma — the most serious form of skin cancer — is significantly higher, as is their risk of dying of the disease, according to numerous studies in recent years.1 The reasons are not clear, according to a 2015 report in JAMA Dermatology, an American Medical Association journal, but they may include their on-the-job exposure to higher levels of (UV) radiation. In addition, some studies say that disruptions in the body’s circadian rhythm — the internal biologica ..read more
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Incapacitation
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
10M ago
The emergency medical services Bell 407 was 10 to 15 ft (3 to 5 m) above the ground and approaching the helipad at Headland (Alabama, U.S.) Municipal Airport, when it abruptly rolled left; the pilot made no attempt to correct the roll, and the 407 crashed into the ground. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in its final report that the probable cause of the Dec. 25, 2019, accident was the incapacitation of the 61-year-old pilot because of a sudden cardiac event associated with his severe coronary artery disease. The pilot died in the crash – with his death attributed to ..read more
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Aeromedical Confessions
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
10M ago
Twelve percent of pilots and air traffic controllers admit underreporting the severity of their medical conditions, and 50 percent of established pilots said they knew colleagues who had underreported medical information, according to a study of more than 1,600 Norwegian pilots and air traffic controllers. A report on the study, which was based on survey responses by pilots and controllers who underwent aeromedical examinations in the five years preceding Dec. 2, 2019, was published in the April issue of Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance.1 “Medical certification can be regarded as an im ..read more
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Linking Age and Fitness to Fly
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
1y ago
A study of European pilots grounded for medical reasons found a link between their unfitness to fly and aging, with cardiovascular problems the most common cause of grounding. The study, commissioned by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and published in the December issue of Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, reviewed the cases of 82,435 pilots evaluated by six European national aviation authorities (NAAs). Of that number, 2.1 percent were assessed as unfit for flight. The reasons for their unfitness were cardiovascular problems (19 percent), psychiatric issues (11 perce ..read more
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Safety News in Brief
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
1y ago
Although the rate of incidents involving unruly passengers on U.S. airlines has dropped sharply in recent months, incidents continue to occur at about twice the rate recorded at the end of 2020, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA ) says. In a statement issued in late September, the FAA credited its zero-tolerance policy with achieving the lower rates. Data showed that in mid-September, incidents occurred about six times in every 10,000 flights – about half as often as early in the year. Under the zero-tolerance policy, the FAA has stopped writing warning letters to unruly passengers ..read more
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Fear of Job Loss Motivates Student Pilots’ Self-Medication, Report Says
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
1y ago
A small survey of student pilots working toward aviation careers found that 89 were aware that self-medication is a danger to flight safety, and 78 percent said they did not use over-the-counter drugs while flying, according to a report on the survey.1 However, the 97 student pilots – enrolled in ab initio programs at five flight training organizations in Turkey – also said that a fear of medical disqualification and subsequent job loss is the most significant contributor to self-medication among ab initio pilots, said the report, published in the March issue of Aerospace Medicine and Human Pe ..read more
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DOT IG: FAA Faulted on BasicMed Program Implementation
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
1y ago
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not implemented an effective method of ensuring that general aviation pilots who use an alternative to the standard medical certification process are meeting all eligibility requirements, a government watchdog agency says. A report by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) says the FAA has no way of confirming that the more than 55,000 pilots in the BasicMed program meet two conditions: that they have a valid U.S. driver’s license and that their medical examinations are conducted by state-licensed physicians. The Ba ..read more
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Causes of Fume Events Remain a Mystery
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
1y ago
A British operator whose pilots have experienced six recent encounters with fumes on the flight deck says the company is implementing action aimed at alleviating similar events in the future, according to a report by the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). The AAIB said, in a report issued in late July on the Sept. 23, 2019, fumes event during approach and landing at London Heathrow Airport, that it was unable to identify the source of the fumes in any of the events. Nevertheless, the report added, “a number of common factors have been identified. The majority of events occurred af ..read more
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Aviation Medicine: Failure to Disclose
Flight Safety Foundation » Aviation Medicine
by Linda Werfelman
1y ago
Older pilots are more likely than their younger counterparts to be honest in their reporting to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the medications they use, according to a study by researchers from the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI).1 In addition, the study, which compared the medications found in post-accident toxicology tests with those that had been reported by the pilots in previous applications for FAA medical certificates, found that holders of special issuance (SI) medical certificates2 also were more likely to be truthful in reporting their medication use ..read more
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