The sexual life of the camel
#1

Is stranger than anyone thinks.
At the height of the mating season, it tries to bugger the Sphinx.
But Sphinx posterior orifice, is blocked with sands of the Nile;
Which accounts for the hump of the camel and the Sphinx's superior smile.

It was my intention to delete the words of the ditty above; got bored - roped into a maintenance test.  But it can stand; the music to go with it is –HERE.   For once again the lobotomised assistants in Frankenstein's laboratory have decided to have another go at the embuggerance of pilot medical standards.  Every time the BRB entertain our brothers from the USA, sooner or later a 'medical' matter will be commented on; they simply cannot believe the problems we have in Australia.  It's not only the delays in getting your hands of the wretched certificate; the process involved in passing the bloody thing.

When the word got out that the grandiosely titled 'Principal Medical Officer' (PMO)   
Quote:Dr Pooshan Navathé
MBBS, Dip Occ Med, Dip Aviation Safety Regulation, B Ed, MD, MBA, PhD
FAFOEM (RACP), FRACMA, FRAeS, FAeMS, FAsMA, FACAsM, AIAMA, SAVMO (ADF)
Principal Medical Officer.

had quit; after the CVD debacle (colour vision) there was a huge sigh of relief.  Affectionately known as Pooh-Shambollic; his litigious attitude toward specialist medical advice was as famous as were some of the rebukes he received from judges and tribunal presidents, nearly as well known as his penchant for moving the medical goal post.  Say, for example, your clinical test score was four out of a CASA maximum allowed six; you could reasonably expect a tick.  Not so; the Pony-Pooh age scale is brought in; last year four was acceptable; but at midnight on your birthday you become a safety risk, now you're stuck with four as a maximum.  Once you are at an artificial CASA maximum, you are deemed borderline; and, off to the Specialist you go. 
 
The Specialist says "this is Bollocks, the normal range is between 3 and 15; we don't even treat until we have a reading of 12" -(stern WTF look)– "so, bugger off and stop wasting my time".  "Not so" sayeth the litigiously enamoured  Pooh-Shambollic, reaching for his unlimited budget:  and it's of to Tribunal or Court (your choice, your expense), where if you get lucky, Pooh-Shambollic may just get his ears pinned back; maybe not,  it's a very risky lottery.
 
The letter below is a typical howl of outrage, one of the many seen; but it is a shock.  The legacy of the PonyPooh- Shambollic method has survived.  We all hoped sanity and reason would creep back into the medical basements of Sleepy Hollow; seems not.
 
Quote:Hello Xxxx,

 Thank you for your advice, I want to make a further complaint and observe that you are answering an email that I addressed to Xyyyy of your AVMED office.
 

My further complaint is that AVMED is now, without any justification, making more stringent requirements of me for my next exam. "The oddest things happen at the oddest times" a refrain from a TV advertisement. These new requirements come at the same time that I have been prevented from flying because AVMED has been negligent in regards to my right to fly by denying me a valid medical certificate to which I was entitled. Dr Xyyyy's rapid accession to my email today by emailing my normal medical certificate immediately is testament to my opinion.

There are now these new, more expensive and onerous requirements for my next examination. Why is this so, and why now? 

The new and more stringent requirements are quoted below in parentheses, quoting from your email that came to me in company with my renewed medical (belatedly) valid to 7th Nov. 
 
"When your medical certificate becomes due for renewal, in addition to the usual renewal medical examination and age-related tests, please provide a report from your Cardiologist with respect to: 

 Clinical status (symptoms such as pain,· Confirmed diagnosis ·  Investigations·palpitations, dizziness, breathlessness)  conducted. 

Results of a recent (within the last 3 months) stress test 

Fasting lipids &  Management ·glucose

Control of cardiac risk factors 

 Proposed monitoring and·Treatment or interventions side-effects  follow-up plan."

The stress test I have been doing annually since 2002. The diagnosis has been completely accepted in the past and there is nothing to doubt it currently. I have been on a follow up plan that has been successful and known by all concerned. I am checked every year by a cardiologist and my CASA Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) and informally by my GP. Glucose as you are well aware is a routine check by my DAME. All of this annually in spite if the fact that a my previous DAME, since retired, after 40 odd years of practice stated that I should have been regularly allowed a two year medical. 

Furthermore you have not acceded to my request for information, nor acknowledged it, nor have you given me any concise information about how my complaint is to be treated or by whom.

I realise that you personally are not in control of AVMED policy in any way, therefore this email should be directed to the PMO and the CASA Board, and I would appreciate your confirmation that this email reaches both of the aforementioned. 

Please forward my additional complaint forthwith, in company with the prior complaint to your Clinical Governance Coordinator. May I have this person's name please?

All of the above in the knowledge that there is not a study anywhere that can draw a line between aviation medicals and the safety of flight. If you have one such study I would be pleased to read it. If such reason is demonstrably true then would not driving on the road surely command the same degree of medical scrutiny? 

Thank you, 

Xcccc Xbbbb
10,000 hours since 1965

This email is open to the public.

Unclassified
Reply
#2

The following was extracted from the long stickied Prune ESB thread on CVD pilots - most disturbing indeed:

brissypilot -

It was nice to see the responses to October's questions on notice were finally published yesterday, only 2 months past the due date [Image: eusa_wall.gif]



ATSB


Quote:Question No. 238


Senator FAWCETT: I am happy to put this on notice: in the period since last estimates, how many safety related incidents have there been that ATSB has investigated? As a subset of that, how many, if any, relate to a pilot who had a colour vision deficiency?

Mr Dolan: I am not aware, but I think we can safely say that we have not investigated anything that relates to an occurrence notified to us relating to a colour vision deficiency.

Senator FAWCETT: That does not surprise me, but if you could still come back to me with a number that would be great, thank you.

Mr Dolan: We will confirm that on notice



Answer:

• The ATSB has initiated 59 investigations of safety incidents and accidents since the last Senate Estimates.

• None of these 59 relate to a pilot who had a colour vision deficiency.

CASA:


Quote:Question No. 242





Senator FAWCETT: Mr Farquharson, can you tell me how many pilots who have a colour vision deficiency have lost privileges of their licence as a result of having to sit the CAD test, since the last estimates?


Mr Farquharson: I cannot directly inform you of that.


Senator FAWCETT: I am happy for you to take that on notice. Could you also find out how many initial applicants for an aircrew medical have been required to sit the CAD test as the third level of testing and have subsequently failed and been denied an aircrew medical?






Answer:


• Two candidates have fail results. The applicants have been notified of the intent to issue licences with the restriction “Day Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flying only”. One certificate has been issued with applicant agreement. One certificate is pending applicant response.


• No initial applicants for an aircrew medical have been required to sit the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test.


CAsA's new practice of issuing Day VFR medicals to those who fail the tests goes completely against the findings of the Denison AAT test case - and not to mention the legal requirements in CASR 67.150 (6)© that Creamie has eloquently highlighted in his past posts. These newbies are now being denied careers even in GA that many others before them have been able to enjoy over the past 25 years. What's the point of investing in a CPL now if AvMed won't even let you fly at night or IFR?



Hopefully it won't be too much longer now before the AAT publishes its latest decision. No doubt it'll be another interesting read!



For anyone who's interested, the next round of Estimates is happening late Tues night [Image: thumbs.gif]



Clearedtoenter -

Quote:Two candidates have fail results. The applicants have been notified of the intent to issue licences with the restriction “Day Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flying only”.

That is absolutely disgusting. How dare they fly in the face of the Denison ruling? How can they get away with this? They have no authority to do that. If they don't reverse these decisions, heads, acting or not, must roll!

brissypilot -

Quote:That is absolutely disgusting. How dare they fly in the face of the Denison ruling? How can they get away with this? They have no authority to do that. If they don't reverse these decisions, heads, acting or not, must roll..

And that's not all. I'm reliably informed that at least one person has been refused a class 1 medical entirely due to his CVD... [Image: eusa_wall.gif]


Clearedtoenter -


Quote:And that's not all. I'm reliably informed that at least one person has been refused a class 1 medical entirely due to his CVD...


Appalling! Is that initial or renewal? If renewal, I guess we'll all need to be looking for a new non flying job!



By stating day VFR only, they seem to have gone from the most enlightened regulator in the world to most uneducated, conformist, destructive, arrogant bunch of ..... imaginable..


How did we get to this? I hope they're pleased with themselves. All of that.... For what benefit to whom?



LeadSled -  


Quote:---- they seem to have gone from the most enlightened
Cleared to enter,



Said in jest, I trust!!


Just in case you were/are serious, CASA's predecessor expected to win Denison, and was most put out at the loss, but it took up until the arrival of the current management for CASA to have a team that was prepared to thumb their nose at Denison.


CASA is very mired in a "winners" and "losers" mindset, and any success by "the industry", a "win", is seen as a "loss" to CASA, and a score to be settled.


A "loss" is never accepted as CASA might have got it wrong.


As a former DAS said to the National Press Club, some years ago:"Judges get it wrong". That is the mindset, CASA is never wrong.


Tootle pip

While we are at it in an earlier post Creampuff rather eloquently summed up the state of affairs at Avmed up till now... Confused

Creampuff -I’d overlooked this relatively recent decision of the AAT in which CASA’s behaviour was described as “most inappropriate”: Hoore and Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2014] AATA 292 (13 May 2014)

Quote:As a final comment on the issue of jurisdiction of the Tribunal in situations where an applicants’ licence or certificate has expired, the Tribunal considers, notwithstanding the legality of their submission, that CASA’s timing in bringing to the attention of the applicant and the Tribunal notice of the certificate’s expiration was most inappropriate. In knowing the likely ramifications, CASA ought to have raised this issue well in advance so the applicant and the Tribunal could have responded accordingly and in a timely manner.


The Applicant in the matter was 75 years old and had been flying since 1977. CASA suspended the Applicant’s Class 1 and Class 2 medical certificates in May 2013, because the Applicant had been diagnosed with melanoma. The Applicant applied to the AAT for a review of that decision.


By the time the substance of the matter came to be dealt with by the AAT, the Applicant’s certificate had expired, but CASA hadn’t told the AAT. Instead, CASA stumped up and said, in effect: “Nyanie Nyanie Nyah Nyah: His certificate has expired so your review is legally pointless!”



Way to go, CASA. Way to treat a 75 year old citizen and the AAT. It’s just about the law. Your opinions about matters medical are, of course, objective truths that must be enforced with a crusader’s zeal. I feel so much safer.

Hmm...I think DAS Skidmore may have a fight on his hands... Undecided

MTF... Tongue

 
Reply
#3

One of the very few things I miss from the Unspeakable Prune are the 'Creampuff' sallies; often wry, dry and acid edged.  "Creamy" has been a stalwart supporter of the CVD pilots offering priceless advice and good old fashioned common sense, with a free smile thrown in. 

Creamy on CVD... Big Grin ...

Quote:C'mon Leaddie: Air 'safety' is always the winner.

"AIR SAFETY!" is emblazoned on the shield CASA Avmed carries in its crusade. 

CASA's opinions are objective truths: why else would they have been given the weapons to enforce them on others? 

Our regulatory saviours are merely earthly messengers for the Holy Annexes. (Blessed be our regulatory saviours.)

Any unbeliever or dissenter - or worse, any inconvenient data - casting doubt on the veracity of the Holy Annexes is obviously A DANGER TO AIR SAFETY! and to be ignored and dispatched with merciful beneficence by our regulatory saviours. (Blessed be our regulatory saviours.) Mere mortals who suffer the consequential stress, heartache, expense and disappointment are just a small but necessary price to pay for the greater good: AIR SAFETY!

Yea and verily, ATPLs with CVD are an ABOMINATION BEFORE THE HOLY ANNEXES and therefore, by definition, DANGEROUS!

The depth of CASA's beneficence is such that it can decide on differences from the Holy Annexes! When CASA decides on differences from the Holy Annexes, it is always on the basis of SAFETY and is never on the basis of politics, sectional interests or self-interest. Never. 

The beneficent CASA Avmed is merely doing the right thing - just ask them - in the face of the Denison HERESY! Yea and verily, the operational record of pilots with CVD subsequent to the Denison decision is merely a temptation by the danger-devil: a trick! A trick to distract the weak from the obvious doom that will be met by unsuspecting innocents in a 30,000' death plunge. CASA Avmed must therefore resist setting tests that properly simulate real operational situations, because the danger-devil will ensure that candidates pass them. A woman who does not drown is evidently a witch; A CVD pilot who passes tests that properly simulate real operational situations is evidently dangerous. CASA Avmed knows this.

There endeth the lesson.
Reply
#4

From CASA's monthly missive - From the Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore ...

"...The management of aviation medical certificates is an issue of interest to many pilots and air traffic controllers. I recognise some people have strong views about CASA’s aviation medical system, the decision making processes and medical rulings. This is not surprising as we process more than 25,000 medical applications each year. But the debate about CASA’s medical system needs to be put in context – in 2014 we refused 102 applications out of 25,855 and in the second half of the year there were 13 official complaints. Despite this low level of complaints and medical refusals I believe we can do better and the relatively small number of complaints we receive can be reduced. That is why I have initiated a full review of CASA’s AvMed capabilities..."

However for this to be really effective, more than just a gesture and a real change to culture then Skates needs feedback from industry...

"...I believe the aviation community and CASA need to build a closer working relationship based on our mutual interest in achieving the best safety outcomes. This relationship must be based on respect and trust. CASA is open and committed to an appropriate ‘safety partnership’ with the aviation community and I am devoting a good deal of time and energy towards working to the achievement of this goal. Of course a closer relationship between the aviation community and the regulator does not mean CASA can agree to every proposal or view put to us. Not everyone will get what they want and consensus may not always be possible. However, I will make sure we are listening to your views and criticisms and we respond in a considered and respectful way to your comments, questions, concerns and complaints..."

The DAS also provides a link to a recent speech he made to the - Aviation Medical Society of Victoria (28 February 2015)

Part of that speech devoted a section to the still vexing current CASA policy to CVD pilots that on one hand is somewhat reassuring but on the other hand very disconcerting because it is all still open to CASA interpretation:

Quote:Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD)
  • My speech won’t be complete if I don’t touch on the delicate subject of CVD. Australia does differ from other countries in relation to the requirements surrounding CVD. Australia is more flexible in allowing applicants to sit multiple sequential tests for CVD where they record a fail and can issue a medical certificate if at any stage any of the three-level tests are passed. Most overseas regulators do not allow this level of flexibility. For example the UK does not allow for any second chances if an applicant fails their only test, the CAD test. They do not receive a Class 1 medical certificate.
  • In mid-2014, it was determined that the handling of pilots with CVD had not been in strict accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 67 (Medical). CASA advised industry of its new process relating to the regulations in June 2014. This was done to provide industry with information to assist in understanding their obligations in relation to the regulations. The new processes related to new applicants only and there were no impacts on existing pilots. In response to some of the correspondence received, CASA updated the CVD information on its website.
  • In February 2015, CASA had 134 Class 1 medical certificate holders and 252 Class 2 medical certificate holders who have failed the Ishihara test.
  • CASA is considering the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test as a third-level test. CASA has determined the CAD test is suitable as an aviation specific test for detecting CVD. It is used by the UK and is also available in the US as an option for testing for CVD. CAD provides for colour and diagnostic testing, which can determine the degree of colour deficiency, which is something that is currently not able to be determined by the Ishihara or Farnsworth tests.
  • Whilst I am not considering further changes to policy or standards at this time, any proposed changes will be consulted through the SCC Medical sub-committee. Pilots with existing CVD restrictions will require no other tests related to CVD, unless other medical reasons determine a need to do so.
   
 It also leaves unaddressed the issue of an almost impossible barrier for future wannabes with an identified CVD at a time when pilot training to a commercial level in this country is almost stagnant in growth.

No IMO there is still much to be resolved with the CVD matter & maybe the Avmed reviews will provide a forum for finally some rational discussion on this and other aeromedical matters??

MTF...you bet! P2 Tongue  
Reply
#5

(03-27-2015, 09:00 AM)Peetwo Wrote:  From CASA's monthly missive - From the Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore ...

"...The management of aviation medical certificates is an issue of interest to many pilots and air traffic controllers. I recognise some people have strong views about CASA’s aviation medical system, the decision making processes and medical rulings. This is not surprising as we process more than 25,000 medical applications each year. But the debate about CASA’s medical system needs to be put in context – in 2014 we refused 102 applications out of 25,855 and in the second half of the year there were 13 official complaints. Despite this low level of complaints and medical refusals I believe we can do better and the relatively small number of complaints we receive can be reduced. That is why I have initiated a full review of CASA’s AvMed capabilities..."

However for this to be really effective, more than just a gesture and a real change to culture then Skates needs feedback from industry...

"...I believe the aviation community and CASA need to build a closer working relationship based on our mutual interest in achieving the best safety outcomes. This relationship must be based on respect and trust. CASA is open and committed to an appropriate ‘safety partnership’ with the aviation community and I am devoting a good deal of time and energy towards working to the achievement of this goal. Of course a closer relationship between the aviation community and the regulator does not mean CASA can agree to every proposal or view put to us. Not everyone will get what they want and consensus may not always be possible. However, I will make sure we are listening to your views and criticisms and we respond in a considered and respectful way to your comments, questions, concerns and complaints..."

The DAS also provides a link to a recent speech he made to the - Aviation Medical Society of Victoria (28 February 2015)

Part of that speech devoted a section to the still vexing current CASA policy to CVD pilots that on one hand is somewhat reassuring but on the other hand very disconcerting because it is all still open to CASA interpretation:


Quote:Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD)

  • My speech won’t be complete if I don’t touch on the delicate subject of CVD. Australia does differ from other countries in relation to the requirements surrounding CVD. Australia is more flexible in allowing applicants to sit multiple sequential tests for CVD where they record a fail and can issue a medical certificate if at any stage any of the three-level tests are passed. Most overseas regulators do not allow this level of flexibility. For example the UK does not allow for any second chances if an applicant fails their only test, the CAD test. They do not receive a Class 1 medical certificate.
  • In mid-2014, it was determined that the handling of pilots with CVD had not been in strict accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 67 (Medical). CASA advised industry of its new process relating to the regulations in June 2014. This was done to provide industry with information to assist in understanding their obligations in relation to the regulations. The new processes related to new applicants only and there were no impacts on existing pilots. In response to some of the correspondence received, CASA updated the CVD information on its website.
  • In February 2015, CASA had 134 Class 1 medical certificate holders and 252 Class 2 medical certificate holders who have failed the Ishihara test.
  • CASA is considering the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test as a third-level test. CASA has determined the CAD test is suitable as an aviation specific test for detecting CVD. It is used by the UK and is also available in the US as an option for testing for CVD. CAD provides for colour and diagnostic testing, which can determine the degree of colour deficiency, which is something that is currently not able to be determined by the Ishihara or Farnsworth tests.
  • Whilst I am not considering further changes to policy or standards at this time, any proposed changes will be consulted through the SCC Medical sub-committee. Pilots with existing CVD restrictions will require no other tests related to CVD, unless other medical reasons determine a need to do so.
   
 It also leaves unaddressed the issue of an almost impossible barrier for future wannabes with an identified CVD at a time when pilot training to a commercial level in this country is almost stagnant in growth.

No IMO there is still much to be resolved with the CVD matter & maybe the Avmed reviews will provide a forum for finally some rational discussion on this and other aeromedical matters??

MTF...you bet! P2 Tongue  

Addendum - Oz Aviation article:

Quote:CASA conducts medical review

March 26, 2015 by australianaviation.com.au 1 Comment
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has announced a review of how it deals with medical matters.
CASA director of aviation safety (DAS) Mark Skidmore says the review will look at the organisation’s “strategic approach to aviation medicine policy standards and clinical practice development, options for the better delivery of medical services in the future and the recruitment and retention of qualified and experienced aviation medicine doctors”.
“The management of aviation medical certificates is an issue of interest to many pilots and air traffic controllers,” Skidmore wrote in the March edition of his monthly CASA Briefing note.
“I recognise some people have strong views about CASA’s aviation medical system, the decision making processes and medical rulings.
“Our bottom line is to find ways to improve medical service delivery, ensure our decision making processes are transparent and evidence-based, as well as improving the management of complex medical matters.”
The review is due to be completed in the second half of 2015.
Skidmore noted CASA processed 25,855 medical applications in 2014, of which 102 were refused. There were 13 official complaints in the second half of 2014.
“Despite this low level of complaints and medical refusals I believe we can do better and the relatively small number of complaints we receive can be reduced,” Skidmore said.
Separately, Skidmore said CASA would also look at the current arrangements that allowed Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAME) to issue and renew class 2 medicals and consider the potential for them to renew class 1 and class 3 medical certificates in the future.
“I will ensure CASA consults widely and effectively with the aviation community during the course of these aviation medical reviews. Where criticism is warranted I will make sure the causes of problems are identified and addressed as quickly as possible,” Skidmore said.
CASA’s Office of Aviation Medicine was responsible for, among other things, the standards and policies regarding medical certification for pilots.
This included the recent move to change standards for colour vision deficiency (CVD), which has angered many pilots who have been flying with some form of CVD for many years but now faced the prospect of being grounded under new regulations.
Skidmore said in a speech to the Aviation Medical Society of Victoria on a February 28 that the new processes introduced in mid-2014 – before he joined the organisation as the new DAS – related to new applicants only and there were no impacts on existing pilots.
“In February 2015, CASA had 134 Class 1 medical certificate holders and 252 Class 2 medical certificate holders who have failed the Ishihara test,” Skidmore said in prepared remarks published on the CASA website.
Skidmore said CASA was considering the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test as a third-level test for detecting CVD.
“It is used by the UK and is also available in the US as an option for testing for CVD,” Skidmore said.
“CAD provides for colour and diagnostic testing, which can determine the degree of colour deficiency, which is something that is currently not able to be determined by the Ishihara or Farnsworth tests.
“Whilst I am not considering further changes to policy or standards at this time, any proposed changes will be consulted through the SCC Medical sub-committee. Pilots with existing CVD restrictions will require no other tests related to CVD, unless other medical reasons determine a need to do so.”
The head of CASA’s Office of Aviation Medicine Pooshan Navathe stepped down at the end of 2014, after six years in the role. Currently, Michael Drane was CASA’s acting principal medical officer.
 
Reply
#6

Yep, this CASA medical tripe, blah blah blah pilots can't see, blah blah, truly is a load of old bollocks. I wonder what medical tests the Germans use (my initial guess would be that a fist and urine is involved) because no silly test and nit-picking regulator crap seems to be able to stop a fruitcake from steering his A320 into a mountainside??
Reply
#7

Weasel word spin and bollocks.

Quote:Skidmore said CASA was considering the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test as a third-level test for detecting CVD.   “It is used by the UK and is also available in the US as an option for testing for CVD,” 

Skidmore said.  “CAD provides for colour and diagnostic testing, which can determine the degree of colour deficiency, which is something that is currently not able to be determined by the Ishihara or Farnsworth tests.

Warning Will Robinson – warning: Once there is an ability to draw a line; all bets on a CVD pilot being able to satisfy the ICAO 'operational criteria' are off. Any form of arbitrary points CVD scale, rating if you like, generated by CAD will be used to prevent 'operational assessment'.  Say there is a 0 – 10 scale based on CAD: 0- 4 points good to go 5 – 10 no medical issued, so no operational test and 25 years of safety evidence goes down the pan.  The CAD solves the problem for CASA, not for Jimmy Wannabe.  CAD is a medical improvement but a retrogressive tool for the use of Avmed, covering it's collective rump.  Up to the CVD troops to fight for future generations.  Curse Pooh-Sham and all who wallow in his trough. 

Quote:“Whilst I am not considering further changes to policy or standards at this time, any proposed changes will be consulted through the SCC Medical sub-committee. Pilots with existing CVD restrictions will require no other tests related to CVD, unless other medical reasons determine a need to do so.”

Come on Mark, show some gumption, you know you want to.  ICAO allows it as it stands, the empirical evidence supports it, let the Australian evidence lead the world, let's not follow along like some well trained simian, begging for nuts, coins and a pat on the head...... Angry .....PAIN - CVD submission from Aunty Pru - HERE-.

Selah.

Must look at Creampuffs take – a visit to UP then.  Aye well, nothing is completely free.   

 Yup, worth the effort, Creampuff says it all really.

Quote:Quote:

in 2014 we refused 102 applications out of 25,855 and in the second half of the year there were 13 official complaints. Despite this low level of complaints and medical refusals I believe we can do better and the relatively small number of complaints we receive can be reduced.
I wonder whether Mr McCormick is really so naive as to believe that's anything other than a cynical manipulation of terminology and statistics.


Quote:What is an "official" "complaint", Mr Skidmore? 

What about all the people who weren't refused certificates, but were f*cked around with delays and operational conditions that had to be appealed and overturned through AAT review, Mr Skidmore?

Have you read the submissions to the Forsyth Review, Mr Skidmore? What did AOPA say was the single biggest complaint of its members? What did some of the professional pilot associations' submissions say about Avmed? Do those submissions consitute one "complaint" each, or no complaint at all?

What about all the people who signed up to the petition on CVD, and wrote letters to the Deputy Prime Minister and local members of parliament, Mr Skidmore? 

And clearly, Mr Skidmore, you don't know what colour vision tests your own Avmed has been using. Or you are pretending not to know.

Either way, I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that you've joined the long line of people who are part of the problem.

Bravo Creampuff, cyber Tim Tam.   
Reply
#8

Quote:Warning Will Robinson – warning: Once there is an ability to draw a line; all bets on a CVD pilot being able to satisfy the ICAO 'operational criteria' are off. Any form of arbitrary points CVD scale, rating if you like, generated by CAD will be used to prevent 'operational assessment'.  Say there is a 0 – 10 scale based on CAD: 0- 4 points good to go 5 – 10 no medical issued, so no operational test and 25 years of safety evidence goes down the pan.  The CAD solves the problem for CASA, not for Jimmy Wannabe.  CAD is a medical improvement but a retrogressive tool for the use of Avmed, covering it's collective rump.  Up to the CVD troops to fight for future generations.  Curse Pooh-Sham and all who wallow in his trough. 

Nailed it "K" that is the standard conundrum with any past edicts/promises that CASA makes on any of a number industry complaint issues of badly written regulations.

Dear DAS Skidmore...As Creamy says just refer to the publicly available ASRR Submissions and look at what is high on the list of common CASA complaints from industry. Then refer to my post#14 on the NX thread & this video...




...or better still refer to the latest contribution's from Gobbles & Thorny on the same thread:

Quote:...Over regulation, unworkable and/or irrelevant rules, poor industry oversight and excessive financial burden is in itself a significant risk that is being created by CASA. People like Forsythe, Nick, Fawcett and others have worked out the root cause of this, but the Miniscule hasn't. If Truss was a CP he would've been shown the door by now. Truss has continued the Albo legacy and if he could pull his head out of the trough for just long enough he might just see that the toffee has well and truly worn off the turd, exposing a rancid flyblown mess.


The writing is on the wall boys and it has been written in the blood of people like Sally Urquhart, Karen Casey et al, so to speak. What will it take to wake up these dipshits residing in their own personal Forrest in Canberra? While the bureaucrats sit on leather Italian couches playing with themselves and comparing the depth of their superannuation accounts the clock keeps winding down......TICK TOCK MINISCULE TICK TOCK

Quote:"Dick Smith is threatening to launch a political party aimed at the Senate unless he sees reform at CASA (Civil Aviation and Safety Authority) and in the government’s general aviation policy."

25 years or so ago CAsA began their "regulatory Reform" project.
25 Years and $250 Million Dollars later we have Part 145, Part 61, Part 135 to come.
A read of a previous post lists all the Government policy and outcomes they expected. Where any of them achieved?
There were people warning people, way before these pieces of crap legislation became law, that the industry better sit up and take notice, because this was serious Sh.t and could mean the end of the industry.

Did the Industry Listen???? Let alone get off their asses and do anything, except argue amongst themselves?

We have witnessed our secondary airports flogged to property Sharks utilizing corrupt immoral practices. There were people warning that without objection our airports would disappear.
Primary Airports have become the biggest tax dodge in history and get voted the worlds worst year on year, and our secondary's are slowly being chewed to death by circling property sharks...too much money, no control, no objection, and rampant corruption. Any dissenting voices?...talk about the silence of the lambs!!

In recent times we have CAsA begging the Govn. for funds...Fuel levee is the answer to raise $90 million to employ extra front line personnel. Were any employed??

Na, but a bunch of managers and consultants were.

The levee has not been rescinded, so their still raking it in, but now CAsA want and extra $25 Million via dodgy service charges. That is a service charge for services that are entirely unnecessary, that serve no "Safety" function, merely swell CAsA's coffers.

Just how much can Industry absorb??

We have absorbed $170 million or so in costs to be the "First in the world" to mandate ADSB compliance. All to advance a CAsA CEO's nomination to the highest rank in ICAO. Save the government a vast sum for radar replacement and ensure ASA exec's got a nice little bonus.

We have absorbed the imposition of a vast swathe of incompetently formulated, inane regulations written by lawyers that nobody can understand that place Australia completely out of step with the rest of the world adding crippling costs to virtually everything we do in the running of our businesses.

Did we hear long and loud complaints for what would appear blatant corruption??..not a squeak.

Wow I'm glad I'm at the end of it. I really despair for the young people coming through. There is no hope for them. Their efforts are for nought.

What a waste of resources, time, energy and enthusiasm.
But I digress back to the Avmed angle & a question that hangs now over the Germanwings tragedy - where apparently the F/O was a nutter and deliberately crashed into the French Alps in an apparent mass murder/suicide??
Gobbles: "Yep, this CASA medical tripe, blah blah blah pilots can't see, blah blah, truly is a load of old bollocks. I wonder what medical tests the Germans use (my initial guess would be that a fist and urine is involved) because no silly test and nit-picking regulator crap seems to be able to stop a fruitcake from steering his A320 into a mountainside?? "
And that is the question are we going to get a standard overreaction by aeromedical regulators not only here but around the world?
In the following Avweb blog article Paul Bertorelli poses that question & makes some excellent observations of the Germanwings tragedy along the way:
Quote:Germanwings: The How May Be Easier Than the Why


By Paul Bertorelli | March 26, 2015

I should know the answer to this by now, but in a futile gesture, I flipped on the TV Thursday afternoon to see if CNN had dropped into 24/7 crash coverage of Germanwings 9525. Of course it had, and I have to concede, having honed its skills on MH370 a year ago, CNN is really good at filling airtime when minimal information is available.

I suppose the network is just giving the audience what it wants, but I have to wonder if the audience really wants a banner that says “Deliberate Death in the Alps.” I could do with something a little less tabloidish, if not for journalistic restraint then for the survivors of victims who might surf across this coverage.

One thing wall-to-wall coverage does is attempt to provide “answers,” on the assumption that a trained pilot deliberately flying an airplane into a mountain is somehow explainable. And by the way, I’ll make the feeble attempt here to note it hasn’t been officially determined that this is what 28-year-old First Officer Andreas Lubitz actually did. But based on the matter of fact statement of a French prosecutor who’s dealing with an air crash-turned-manslaughter case, it sure looks that way.

Personally, I’m not at all baffled that someone could do this nor am I much curious about why he would. I don’t need the why to close this circle. Suicide, if that’s what it was, is baked into the human DNA and a certain number of people will commit it, either deliberately with great planning and aforethought or capriciously, just because an opportunity presented itself. In 1954, John Thomas Doyle jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and left this note: “Absolutely no reason, except I have a toothache.” CNN can air all the experts it likes and there’s no explaining or predicting any of this. I think it’s just part of the human condition. Airline pilots are no more or less immune to it, in my view. They don’t walk on water.

But the consequences are another matter entirely. And they weren’t slow in coming. We got an email an hour ago from Norwegian, a regional carrier in Europe, advising that it will require two people in the cockpit at all times. If one leaves to visit the lav, another crew member sits in. I’ll admit that I didn’t know that European airlines weren’t already doing this. U.S.-based airlines evidently have been for a while. I’m sure other European and Asian airlines will consider this simple, commonsense rule.

But where does it go beyond this?

"..I have an uneasy feeling that legislators could push regulators into requiring more extensive psychological screening of pilot candidates or those already flying. Look what happened with the obstructive sleep apnea issue, all on the strength of virtually no evidence worthy of the name that it’s a problem for pilots. But suicidal tendency?.."  P2- Why does that sound so familiar??

How easy it would be to make this accident a smoking gun to mollify a CNN-stoked audience that wants explanations and answers now. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. The NTSB said EgyptAir 990 was a pilot suicide, although the Egyptians rejected that. SilkAir 185 was inconclusive but the pattern strongly suggested a suicidal pilot. 

"..One can only hope this doesn’t percolate down to the general aviation level just as we are on the verge of ridding ourselves of the Third Class medical requirement. Professional pilots are already poked and prodded enough; they surely don’t need a deeper round of Rorschach tests.."

Give credit to CNN for recruiting expert talking heads that make more sense than their anchors ever can. One of these was Les Abend, who wrote on these pages a couple of weeks ago offering his take on MH370. He said this accident, if the initial facts are borne out, hit him like a punch to the gut. I can relate. We always expect better of our fellow pilots—or our fellow humans for that matter—and a tragic accident like this just shows how profoundly that trust can be misplaced. 

P.M. addition: I just learned that there is a means to override the cockpit door lock via coded entry. Here's a video on it. Make of it what you will.
    
Creamy states.."Either way, I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that you've joined the long line of people who are part of the problem..."

Q/ Is Skates joining the CASA Conga Line?? Well the first signs aren't overly encouraging but I guess if industry don't grasp this opportunity then we will never really know if Mr Skidmore's olive branch was genuine or just another in a long line of false promises... Huh
MTF...P2 Wink
Reply
#9

Trawling for something else, I fell over this article (as you do) – HERE - from 'Flying' in the US of A. Why do I get the feeling that the USA will get something done while Australia keeps regressing toward the dark ages of 'desk top' medical mumbo-jumbo.  I wish the 'cousins' the very best in their endeavours.  FWIW:-

Quote:Since they were enacted decades ago, the FAA's medical certification rules have been built on bad science, bad policy and bad faith, resulting in a system that asks a lot of pilots but returns little in the way of improved safety of flight. Under intense pressure to update its rules, the FAA last year put out a proposal that would have liberalized the third-class medical certificate but with restrictions so great it would have been meaningless reform for many pilots. The agency then put the regulations on the back burner, so Congress stepped in.
Reply
#10

It's interesting the sexual life of a camel. But even more interesting is the mating habits of toads. And interestingly they look similar to Lookleft mating with a CAsA AWI;

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7pCv0tgjgD0

About the same pace as well!!

"Unsavoury habits for all"
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#11

It’s all been a bit quiet on the CVD front, the odd missive from Arthur and the CVD boys pop in a see AP fairly regularly. CVD seems like a good place to start with reform of the Avmed system, set a tone. By the same token I have not seen too many complaints about the speed of return of medicals. Silly system, I like the FAA one best – in, checked and out with your certificate in your wallet (which is a bit lighter) but it takes all the ‘worry’ about not being able to work for lack of a certificate in your hand away. How I wish.
Reply
#12

Tom, well said. The FAA seem to have their tidy bins in good order. A few Pals of mine fly in the land of Uncle Sam and reckon although the FAA can be a pain in the anus in some areas, in other areas they are quit efficient. Seems the Yanks have learned that if you mess around with a man and his attempt to earn a living you could end up with said man coming back with his 12 gauge and cutting loose! Now I may have embellished a little but you get my point. The Yanks accept that a mans right to earn a living is part of their constitution and you don't mess with that, as such they usually process applications, documents and signed authorities fairly quickly, unlike the Fort Fumble nupty's who don't give a sliver of camel dung whether you go broke waiting 8 months for your stupid bit of paper or not.

If DAS Skidmark has half a brain he will send someone to take a look at the Yanks system (but don't send one of the long term bludgers who won't do a thing while holidaying over there). Even better go take a look at our sheep loving brothers in NZ and see how they do it. Hell, go to Iceland or Africa and see how they do it, gotta be an improvement!
Reply
#13

Warning – This is truly only a whisper in the wind and cannot be substantiated, so with a large pinch of salt:-

It seems we are about to become even less individual and human under the new system of ‘medical assessment’.   Rumour - the new Pooh-Sham prefers using mathematically derived ‘charts’; tables and graphs to determine whether or not ‘you’ are fit to hold a licence; if you don’t fit within the data, that’s it.  It seems these ‘scales’ are not scientifically tested or ‘peer’ approved; but one mans vision of the way Avmed will grade your fitness to fly.

Most of these ‘rumours’ as you well know usually have a grain of truth, but when sense prevails and the truth emerges, things are not quite as first reported.  But FWIW, there you have the latest whisper from the very quiet Avmed department.  Of course if you have heard anything – share it.

Toot toot  
Reply
#14

Sandy posted :-


Quote:The piece de resistance is however "safety issues"....."aviation medicine clinical standards evidence base". Yes well AVMED will need a heavy rearguard action in view of the bill before the US Congress to do away with most avmed exams because there is no supporting safety case. That's right nil, zero, no evidence, none, of increased safety of flight any more than the same regime would make your next road trip any safer.

It was only a matter of time before the Avmed horror stories began to creep out.  More to follow, you bet, like my favorite - DAME will be hard to find, they all quit, walked away laughing hysterically.   Don't laugh, it could happen.
Reply
#15

The Empire Strikes Back MKII - 2016 Avmed & the one percenters?

Still trying to decipher what it all means but my gut feeling is this is not a good thing with reference to Avmed issues & the year ahead in 2016 Confused :

Quote:REASONS FOR DECISION


Senior Member McCabe


22 December 2015

1.Warwick Daw is a commercial airline pilot. He also holds a private pilot’s licence. On 5 December 2012, he had a stroke. He was grounded for a time but he has since made a good recovery. On 12 August 2013, he applied for Class 1 and Class 2 medical certificates so that he could return to work as a co-pilot on commercial flights. He cannot fly without those medical certificates. The [Image: displeft.png] Civil Aviation Safety Authority [Image: dispright.png] (CASA) decided it would issue the certificates but with a limitation: he was only permitted to operate a simulator. Mr Daw has asked the Tribunal to reconsider that decision. He says the certificates should be issued without the limits CASA has imposed.
2. We agree with CASA’s decision. We explain our reasons below.

What happened?

3. Mr Daw developed difficulty speaking and using his right arm on 5 December 2012. He was in Fiji where he was working as a commercial airline pilot. He was admitted to a local hospital and then transferred to Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital on 7 December 2012. At the Wesley, he was placed under the care of a Neurologist, Dr Noel Saines.

4. Dr Saines ordered tests that showed a left frontal subcortical intracerebral haematoma of 2cm diameter with no evidence of any other abnormality in the brain. In other words, he had a stroke.

5. On 4 February 2013, Dr Saines wrote to Dr Ian Knox at the Wesley Emergency Centre. Dr Saines said Mr Daw “has made an excellent recovery and has only slight slowing of fine finger movements with the right hand”. After further assessment Dr Saines said on 15 April 2013 that “Mr Daw is perfectly well with no neurological signs and a blood pressure of 120/75”.

6. Mr Daw wanted to return to work. While he had previously been the pilot-in-command on commercial passenger flights, he said in evidence that he was only seeking to fly as a second officer, or co-pilot. He pointed out that in the unlikely event of another incident, he would not be alone in the cockpit.

7. CASA was not convinced. It was only prepared to issue Class 1 and 2 certificates that expressly limited Mr Daw to using a simulator. (Mr Daw does not technically require a medical certificate to operate a simulator. The certification was granted in any event because it enabled him to work in a training role.)

The legislation governing the issue of medical certificates

8. Section 20AB of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act) prohibits a person from performing a “duty that is essential to the operation of an Australian aircraft during flight time” unless he or she holds the relevant civil aviation authorisation (which includes a certificate issued under the regulations: s 3(1) of the Act) or is excused from holding that authorisation. Regulation 5.04(1) of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) says the holder of a flight crew licence is required to hold a current medical certificate – which is a civil aviation authorisation. CAR 5.04(3) says a Class 1 medical certificate is required for persons operating as commercial pilots, while a Class 2 medical certificate is required for private pilots. (Mr Daw needs both because he holds both types of flight crew licence.)

9. The rules governing the issue of medical certificates are found in Part 67 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1988 (CASR). An applicant must lodge an application for a medical certificate under CASR 67.175 which includes all of the supporting documentation. If the applicant meets all of the requirements set out in CASR 67.180(2), a medical certificate must be issued: CASR 67.180(1). The certificate may be issued with any conditions that CASA considers are necessary “in the interests of the safety of air navigation”: CASR 11.056. But the requirements in CASR 67.180(2) include the following sub-regulation (at CASR 67.180(2)(e)):


Quote:
Quote:(e) either:
(i) the applicant meets the relevant medical standard; or
(ii) if the applicant does not meet that medical standard--the extent to which he or she does not meet the standard is not likely to endanger the safety of air navigation...
10. This provision lies at the heart of the case. We understand everyone involved accepts the applicant does not meet the relevant medical standards which are set out in CASR 67.150 for Class 1 certificates and CASR 67.155 for Class 2 certificates because there is a risk of (a) another cerebrovascular accident and (b) epilepsy secondary to damage of the brain. In those circumstances the debate in this case is over the second limb of CASR 67.180(2)(e).

11. We will return to consider the application of the law after we discuss the medical evidence.

What the medical experts say

12. We heard (or received reports) from a number of medical experts who were called to assist us in deciding the issue. CASA relied on Dr Peter Clem, one of its senior medical officers, to explain CASA’s approach to assessing medical risk when it makes decisions about the certification of pilots in cases of this kind. Dr Clem gave oral evidence and provided a detailed statement (exhibit 2). He explained that in the 1970’s and 1980’s aviation medicine was influenced by safety risk analyses developed by the engineering profession. He described the “1% rule” which says that any mechanical failure risk greater than 1% unacceptably compromises safety. Practitioners of aviation medicine regularly adopted this approach when assessing pilots’ health but added more sophistication by considering what remediation or treatment could be instituted to counter a greater than 1% annual risk of an event that can cause incapacitation due to a medical condition. The possibility of remediation meant there was some flexibility in the process but it was ultimately necessary to quantify the risk in every case. Dr Clem said the most recent relevant medical literature must inform assessments of risk.

13. Dr Clem also explained aviation medicine practitioners’ look at absolute risk, that is, the likelihood of something happening in the next 12 months rather than relative risk which is an individual’s risk compared to the general population. Dr Clem explained that even though the absolute risk percentage might seem a small number, it is still significant where aviation safety is at stake. He said any risk above 2% is unacceptable.

14. Dr Clem identified Mr Daw’s risk in his report dated 4 June 2015 by using the relevant medical standards and drawing on papers that he listed and attached. He concluded Mr Daw remained at an epilepsy risk of about 2% and that the risk of a cortical bleed was still at 2-3%. (It appears to be accepted that the risk of further events will decline over time.)

15. At the hearing, Dr Clem reported that even in the most recent literature reviews “without exception we (CASA) cannot find a post-stroke cohort that falls beneath the acceptable threshold of aviation safety”.

16. Dr Clem described Mr Daw as having two overlapping and separate risks of seizure and further stroke recurrence. The risk of Mr Daw succumbing to either of these conditions even with medical treatment exceeded aviation safety standards.

17. We were also provided with reports from Dr Saines, the applicant’s treating neurologist. He did not quantify the risk of another seizure or haemorrhage but CASA pointed out in submissions that Dr Saines conceded the risk was greater than that of the general population.

18. Other experts examined Mr Daw, including Dr Richard Adams. Dr Adams, a neurologist, wrote a report dated 14 July 2014 at the request of CASA (exhibit one at pp 71ff). After recounting the history and his observations upon examination, Dr Adams opined “The reason for this cortical haemorrhage is unclear”: (exhibit one at p 72). In those circumstances, he reported:


Quote:
Quote:I think it is extremely unlikely that there will be a further cerebral haemorrhage. All I can say is that logic would suggest that the probability of such a haemorrhage in the future is minimally higher than the rest of the population.
There are no disabilities. There is no loss of function because of this haemorrhage.
I don’t think there needs to be any concern about possible development of dementia.
The possibility of an epileptic seizure in the future related to this haemorrhage is small but not nil. There is a limited amount of objective material that I can base my comments on. Mr Daw has now gone more than 18 months since the haemorrhage. Most patients who have epileptic seizures following a stroke do have seizures early on after the stroke. Nevertheless, a seizure some years after the stroke can occur. Seizures are more likely to occur with cerebral haemorrhage compared with infarct. Seizures are more likely to occur if pathology is in the cerebral cortex rather than purely being deep in the brain. The overall prevalence of epilepsy after a stroke is around 3%, which has to be compared to a prevalence of ½ to 1% in the general population. With Mr Daw we are now over 18 months since the stroke. I think the rest of life likelihood of a seizure secondary to this stroke is very small, probably 1 to 2%.
Any possible seizure would probably be focal in nature. By that I mean it would probably produce jerking of the right side of the body, with preservation of consciousness. Progression to loss of consciousness with such a seizure is an unlikely possibility.
19. Dr Michael Drane, another of CASA’s senior medical officers, alerted Dr Adams to an article in the journal Stroke.[1] In his letter to Dr Adams of 25 August 2014, Dr Drane said:


Quote:
Quote:In your assessment, you made some comments about the likelihood of a recurrence. I note your comments about the uncertainty surrounding the underlying reason for this, and there was no clear cause identified.
In trying to determine the ongoing risk, the paper by Zia et al (2009) which I have attached seems to be relevant. It is based on a prospective population study, following the clinical course for 3 years. Earlier papers report an initial high mortality rate, mainly in the first few months, reducing over time. Zia et al extend their surveillance for an additional year, and two main conclusions seem to emerge.
Firstly, that while the mortality does seem to drop over the first two years, it accelerates after that. Secondly, when reading off the survival curve for the time covering the period when Mr Daw seeks aviation medical certification, the annualised mortality risk approximates to 6%. This is well outside the acceptable parameters for commercial flying.
There may be factors which I have not considered, or an error in my interpretation. Please could you enlarge on your comments in the light of these data, in order that I can finalise this reconsideration for Mr Daw.
20. Dr Adams responded in a letter dated 6 September 2014. He said:


Quote:
Quote:In summary, I don’t have any grounds for strong disagreement to do with anything in the article or what you’ve included in your letter to me. However, Mr Dawes’ (sic) haemorrhage was very unusual and very difficult to fit into any neat category and hence made a really strong prognostic statement.
21. CASA pointed out in its final submissions that Dr Adams only assessed the risk of seizure, not haemorrhage. CASA says the risk of seizure at 1-2% is unacceptably high.

22. Dr Warren Harrex prepared an opinion based on a file review on 14 August 2014. He noted the history of the intracerebral haemorrhage and the hypertension for which Mr Daw takes the medication Caduet. Dr Harrex considered Dr Adams’s report of 14 July 2014 but did not see Dr Adams’s later response to Dr Drane’s letter and the literature review. Dr Harrex wrote:


Quote:
Quote:The evidence in the literature suggests risk of recurrence is very low and both ICH and seizure risk less that (sic) 2% per annum. This supports the advice provided by Dr Adams. Probably the most important clinical finding for aeromedical disposition (in the absence of further episodes) is the BP control.
Young age, minimal risk factors, good control of BP, no residual disability, no new symptoms for > 18 months, risk < 2% per annum. If does develop recurrence, likely to be focal with no loss of consciousness (Dr Adams).
I recommend Class 1 WSP. Would like review to include regular BP recordings, rather than just at renewal medical.
23. CASA pointed out in its final submissions that Dr Harrex was a general practitioner. CASA said we ought to prefer the evidence of a neurologist.

24. CASA requested a file review by Dr John Cameron, a consultant neurologist. Dr Cameron was provided with a number of papers related to assessing risk after cerebrovascular accidents especially further occurrence and seizures.[2] His report is dated 10 June 2015. He opined (at p 5):


Quote:
Quote:Overall it would appear from these large studies that people who have suffered a spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage have a shortened life prognosis and also a risk of developing recurrent haemorrhage and other cerebral vascular events.
It is always difficult to apply one person to these studies such as in Mr Daw’s presentation. He is a younger man who had a small intracerebral haemorrhage in an unusual site for an intracerebral haemorrhage.
He may not strictly be typical of the cohorts in the above-quoted groups. Nevertheless he is in middle age, he has suffered a spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage and it appears that he has a past history of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. In view of his history, risk factors and age I believe one could quite reasonably assume that he has an increased risk of mortality and increased risk of recurrence of intracerebral haemorrhage compared to the general population;
and at page 8:
His risk of seizure activity is certainly above that of the general population for at least the next 3 years. This in itself is a preclusion involving a Class 1 or Class 2 licence.
25. In his oral evidence, Dr Cameron said if Mr Daw had a seizure during vulnerable times of a flight (for example, during take-off or landing) there was a risk of catastrophe. He disagreed with Dr Adams’s suggestion in his report dated 14 July 2014 that the presence of a co-pilot would circumvent this problem. Dr Cameron said a co-pilot might not pick up a seizure if it manifested itself in only disturbed consciousness or inappropriate motor activity rather than the more obvious tonic-clonic movements of a generalized seizure. Dr Cameron also drew attention to Mr Daw’s hypertension. Dr Cameron identified that as a risk factor for another cerebrovascular accident.

26. Mr Daw produced a letter from his nephrologist, Dr Simon Fleming, dated 11 August 2015 stating Mr Daw was on antihypertensive medication to protect his remaining kidney after he donated the other one. Mr Daw suggested the medication was prophylactic in the sense he took it as a precaution against damage to his remaining kidney should he develop blood pressure. He denied being prescribed the medication because he already had hypertension. We note Dr Harrex referred to hypertension medication in his report of 14 August 2014 when he emphasised the importance of controlling Mr Daw’s blood pressure. Dr Cameron pointed to medical evidence indicating the antihypertensive medication was not just prophylactic. He noted Dr Adams took a blood pressure reading of 140/90. He also noted there was a routine histological examination of Mr Daw’s donated kidney that showed arteriosclerotic changes consistent with already existing hypertension.

27. Dr Cameron reiterated there were a number of factors in Mr Daw’s case that significantly elevate the risk of another cerebrovascular accident. These include:


    • hypertension (a particular risk when the applicant only has one kidney);
    • hypercholesterolemia;
    • Mr Daw’s age (he is 53); and
    • the fact Mr Daw has already had one episode of an intracerebral bleed.
28. Mr Daw represented himself at the hearing. He asked Dr Cameron during cross-examination to consider the possibility that the intracerebral haemorrhage was from a singular small arteriovenous malformation. If that were the case, Mr Daw argued he was being unnecessarily restricted as the single arteriovenous malformation was now gone.

29. Dr Cameron agreed with Mr Daw that the cause of Mr Daw’s intracerebral haemorrhage was uncertain and there was a possibility that it was caused by such a singular arteriovenous malformation which was obliterated by the cerebrovascular accident. But even if this was the actual cause of the 2013 incident, other risk factors remained such as Mr Daw’s age, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and evidence of pathology in his vascular system. Dr Cameron suggested there is still an elevated risk of cerebrovascular accidents.

30. Dr Cameron acknowledged that assessing Mr Daw’s individual situation in comparison to the populations cited in the journal articles was not easy. He conceded that many of the studies used by CASA were based on much older patients. However, he said that all the studies cited showed that if a person has one intracerebral bleed there is an increased risk of further bleeds.

31. Dr Cameron also noted that in studies of seizures occurring after an intracerebral haemorrhage the maximum first time was in the first 3 years and then the risk falls. But the location of Mr Daw’s intracerebral haemorrhage in the subcortical/cortical area put him at increased risk. The reason for this is that the presence of haemosiderin (which is a breakdown product of blood) particularly in the cortical or subcritical area of the brain made seizures more likely.

32. Dr Cameron also considered a proposition raised by Mr Daw that pilots are trained to cope with a medical emergency of a co-pilot in the cockpit. Dr Cameron agreed there was such training but also emphasised a debilitated commercial pilot in the cockpit could have catastrophic consequences, particularly if an incident occurred at the most vulnerable times in a flight such as take-off or landing.

33. Dr Cameron is a well-credentialed and experienced neurologist with an interest in aviation medicine. He has also held a commercial pilot’s licence and has experience of the demands of flying. He is well-placed to make a risk assessment. We prefer his opinion on that basis. He considered the risk of seizure and the risk of haemorrhage. In his considered view, Mr Daw’s medical risk exceeded the safety risk profile for aviation medicine in Australia. His view is consistent with that expressed by Dr Clem who assessed the risk of seizure at 2% and the risk of haemorrhage at 2-3%.

The likelihood of endangering air safety

34. Once it is accepted the applicant does not meet the medical standards for a Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate – and we are satisfied he does not – it becomes necessary to focus on “the extent to which he or she does not meet the standard” and ask if that is “likely to endanger the safety of air navigation”. The key word in that tortured provision is “likely”. What does it mean in this context?

35. It should be said at once there is a very low risk that Mr Daw would experience another cerebrovascular accident while at the controls of a passenger aircraft. But the evidence of Dr Cameron and Dr Clem establish that he is more likely to experience such an event given his history.

36. Dr Clem explained how the “1%” rule came to be adopted by CASA. CASA pointed out it was accepted as a useful guide in Hazelton and [Image: displeft.png] Civil Aviation Safety Authority [Image: dispright.png] [2010] AATA 693. CASA urged that we should take it into account in this case.

37. We agree that the so-called “1% rule” is useful when making assessments of what is “likely to endanger the safety of air navigation” – although it can only ever be a guide. Dr Clem acknowledged that numerical criteria were useful but added (exhibit 2 at [30]):


Quote:
Quote:...the ultimate decision is made on the basis of a judgment as to whether there is a real and substantial (and not trivial) risk to the safety of air navigation.
38.We accept that approach to CASR 67.180(2)(e)(ii) is consistent with the legislative scheme that includes provisions like s 9A(1) of the Act. That provision instructs CASA to “regard the safety of air navigation as the most important consideration”.

39. We are satisfied, in particular on the basis of the evidence provided by Dr Cameron, that issuing a Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate to the applicant in light of his failure to meet the medical standards is likely to endanger the safety of air navigation given the non-trivial risk of him experiencing a further cerebrovascular accident. We are not satisfied it is possible to devise conditions that would acceptably ameliorate the risk: none were suggested, apart from the applicant’s concession that he would work only as a co-pilot rather than as pilot-in-command.

Conclusion

40. The decision under review is affirmed.
On second thoughts I definitely get the creepy feeling that the Empire is stealthily but surely striking back.. Dodgy
MTF..P2 Tongue
Quote:Ps A note to Doc Drano & his motley crew of Hoodoo Voodoo cyberdocs who have so obviously lost touch with their physical patients, courtesy Dr Rob Liddell from his submission to the ASRR review.. Wink : Dr Robert Liddell PDF: 108 KB



Quote:..The dangerous result of CASA’s draconian regulatory measures is that now many pilots tell CASA as little as possible about any medical problems in order to protect themselves from expensive and repetitive investigations or possible loss of certification . Most pilots are responsible people and they have no desire to be in charge of an aircraft if their risk of incapacity is unacceptable. When their DAME and their specialist believe they meet the risk target for certification without endless further testing demanded by CASA and the advice of their own specialist is ignored by the regulator then the pilot’s lose confidence in the regulator.


In medical certification CASA appears to have lost sight of the fact that all pilots self-certify themselves fit to fly every day they take control of an aircraft. The only day in the year when a doctor has any control over their fitness to fly is the day that they have their medical examination.


Dr Robert Liddell
  

Merry Xmas & lets hope for ASRR reform progress free from CASA persecution & discrimination... Angel

MTF...P2 Dodgy
Reply
#16

Quote:39. We are satisfied, in particular on the basis of the evidence provided by Dr Cameron, that issuing a Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate to the applicant in light of his failure to meet the medical standards is likely to endanger the safety of air navigation given the non-trivial risk of him experiencing a further cerebrovascular accident. We are not satisfied it is possible to devise conditions that would acceptably ameliorate the risk: none were suggested, apart from the applicant’s concession that he would work only as a co-pilot rather than as pilot-in-command.

Tricky one this; if and it’s a big IF, Pony-Pooh Shambollic had not completely buggered up Avmed's reputation; and, the CVD matter had been treated with mature consideration; and, the Hazelton case had been dealt with fairly; and, the Hempel case been given the same honest consideration; one could almost applaud the CASA caution.  For that’s what it is.

McCabe has ruled; and, if in error, then it is on the side of caution.  It’s tough on the pilot, but he may still earn a living and stay within the profession on the Sim and who knows; in year or two, there may be a way back to full flying duties.  Neither CASA, the court or the medico’s have made it a ‘life sentence’.  I wonder how much the ‘associated’ items mentioned influenced CASA, the AAT and the medico’s.  I often wonder how I would have voted, had I been on the jury.  Tough call.
Reply
#17


  Avmed total ineptitude continues - Dodgy


The following was sent to me by Sandy in regards to communications with CASA's AVMED office:
Quote:I went to the link from yesterday's AVMED email, copy below, regarding my renewal date which is later this Month. Sure enough I found all the AVMED instructions for my upcoming renewal including taking my general medical history to my DAME.


I was born in Melbourne but the medical records don't seem to be available from that time so I'm behind the eight ball but I recall being sick in bed with a fever at age four. 

Do you think they might accept what ever records I can retrieve from, say, the last thirty years? Mind you I fully appreciate that a difficult birth might entail brain damage. This AVMED email did make me consider that I well may have suffered some birth trauma, and therefore the email was a figment of my feverish imagination. 

But wait, please see the next AVMED email which followed, I shall forward it in a few minutes.

Sandy 


Quote:From:  <Medical.Certification@casa.gov.au>


Date: Friday, 5 February 2016

Subject: Your CASA Medical Certificate is due to expire [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

To: Sandy

This email is to advise you that one or more classes of your medical certificate are due to expire.

The new Medical Records System (MRS) will be released on the 21 March 2016 this may change the way in which you go about renewing your certificate during this time.

Please select the date range below that directly relates to when you’re medical is due to expire. 
Need more information?

Guidance on getting ready for the new MRS and steps to using the MRS Online is available on the CASA website.

Aviation Medical Certificates

Email: avmed@casa.gov.au

National: 1300 4 AVMED or 1300 4 28633

International: +61 2 6217 1888

Fax: 02 6217 1640
    
&..it continued Undecided :
Quote:This email from CASA AVMED followed.


No explanation is tendered leaving me to wonder if my renewal is not this month after all, or is the given procedure incorrect? 

Is this the new CASA Tiger team at work? Eight hundred and thirty personnel @ average $139,000 pa, even only working seven and a half hours per day, should do better.

These words spring to mind:- incompetence, control freakish, and by the fact of no explanation there's an arrogance and carelessness which goes to the heart of this misnomered "Government Business Enterprise", neither is it a business nor enterprising for in the real world of business this tax money black hole would not have lasted more than a couple of months. 

The limits of exasperation are clearly nearby,

Sandy 


Quote:Good Afternoon,


Earlier this morning you may have received an email from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority advising you that your Medical Certificate was due to expire.

This email was sent in error and we sincerely apologise for any undue concern that this has caused you.

Regards,

Aviation Medical Certificates

Email: avmed@casa.gov.au

National: 1300 4 AVMED or 1300 4 28633

International: +61 2 6217 1888

Fax: 02 6217 1640
 
So maybe an isolated aberration? - Think again, the following is another email chain from Sandy:
Quote:Open email string, reads in sequence from the AOPA ad below.


Gentlemen as addressed,

Talking with Brian a few days ago  he spoke about a long delay in having his AFR processed.
As you no doubt are aware the AFR is newspeak for the former term 'Biennial Flight Review'. When I was conducting those reviews all that was required was a log book statement of completion, so we now have more complexity for no measurable safety benefits.

What is measurable is the degradation of General Aviation by  the loss of jobs, avgas fuel sales, expertise, aircraft value (leading to export of same) and encroachment for non aviation purposes over irreplaceable airport land.

What is more important than the details of Brian's AFR renewal is the attitude that nothing can be done. Without some inspiration at the political level, driven by GA industry leaders, Brian's reaction will prevail.

Sandy


Quote:Dear Member,

The industry continues to have major problems with the implementation of the Part 61 licensing regulations. AOPA is trying to collate as many case studies as we can that we can use to publicize the damage that is being done to the industry. To that end we are looking for submissions detailing the problems individual pilots, and GA companies have endured, as well as the subsequent costs. If you feel happy to provide a written submission please send it to aaron.stephenson@aopa.com.au and editor@aopa.com.au . Specify if you’d like to remain anonymous.

Alternately please fill out the survey we have prepared, the link of which is below.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PX2BHVJ

The more information we get about these problems the better we will be able to fight the regulator for a real solution.

Thanks,

Mark Smith - Editor Australian Pilot
e:   editor@aopa.com.au

Quote:Brian,


Maybe you can help by recounting your AFR experience in contrast to the old system?

Cheers,

Sandy



I've thrown my hands in the air and given up, there is no chance of saving or changing the system, no matter what we say or do.

BJ 



Sandy 


Just did my medical with new to me Dr. Homewood in Lara.

Said the system would not allow him to give me the two months extension but could not say why (I am in very good health). Also you have to pay the AVMED fee separately now so I'll ring them in the morning and attempt to pay over the phone.

They wouldn't accept any credit card detail by phone last time around until I got my federal MP involved. 



May I quote you?


I understand your despair. Being retired I just take it as a civic duty to keep on pushing for reform. Unfortunately to maintain our freedoms, let alone improve them, sitting back and not making our opinions known is not an option.

Talk to Greg Hunt, at least ring or email his office. 




Yep.
 
MTF...P2 Tongue
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#18

Dear Reader,
I am pleased to report that AVMED has seen fit to issue, via email, my twelve month Class 2 medical certificate. My DAME submitted his report electronically this morning and an officer of AVMED courtesy called by telephone at 10.30 am with this pleasing advice. It's a long saga but the main problem had been that AVMED had issued a certificate last year in error giving me an extra few months more than one year and hence the system disallowed my DAME to re validate for the usual 2 months.

It can be expressed to the Board and Mr. Skidmore that there appears to be a most agreeable turn around in AVMED in regard to service and attitude.

In my negotiations with officers of AVMED these last couple of days I made the point that if there was a safety case to answer we would not be so concerned to lose the right to fly while the AVMED machinery turned. With the bill that's with the US Congress, to practically void the need for aviation medicals for most private flying, the writing is on the wall for the time consuming and costly Australian system. In addition the successful car driver standard for the low weight category of General Aviation belies the need for the current system.

With the departure of Minister Truss it behoves us to redouble our efforts for regulatory change, every effort during this pre-election period is required.
Reply
#19

Germanwings knock on effect??

The following is an excellent article from Jamie Freed (via the SMH) that outlines some of the dilemmas that the Germanwings BEA Final Report has unearthed:
Quote:Aviation industry needs to learn from Germanwings crash: French investigators


Date March 14, 2016
  • (29)
  • Read later
[Image: 1433717257517.jpg]
Jamie Freed
Senior Reporter


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/aviation-industry-needs-to-learn-from-germanwings-crash-french-investigators-20160313-gni0tj.html#ixzz42xlSzLIP
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

The mental health of airline pilots needs to be better monitored and the financial impacts of losing a pilot's licence for medical reasons should be mitigated to help prevent a repeat of last year's tragic Germanwings crash, say French aviation investigators.


All 150 passengers and crew on Germanwings flight 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf died in March last year when first officer Andreas Lubitz intentionally flew the A320 into the French Alps after locking the captain out of the flight deck.

A final report into the crash by France's Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses issued on Sunday found none of the pilots or instructors who had flown with Mr Lubitz in the months before the crash, had indicated any concerns about his mental health.

[Image: 1457935895139.jpg] Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz was not insured for loss of income if he was found unfit to fly. Photo: Michael Mueller

But the 27-year-old pilot had seen several private physicians since December 2014 expressing concern over vision problems and sleep disorders and had been prescribed anti-depressants.

Mr Lubitz, who had had an episode of depression in 2009 that was known to authorities at that time, also received sick leave certificates that were not forwarded to Germanwings in the weeks before the crash.

A fortnight before the crash, one doctor diagnosed Mr Lubitz with possible psychosis and recommended psychiatric hospital treatment.

[Image: 1457935895139.jpg]
In Australia, major airline pilots can be paid nearly $1 million if they are found medically unfit to fly. Photo: Jim Rice

Mental health monitoring
The final report laid out several recommendations for the airline industry to help prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future, including more mental health monitoring for pilots and a better balance between medical confidentiality and public safety.

BEA said the European Commission should define clear rules to require healthcare providers to inform the appropriate authorities when a specific patient's health was very likely to impact public safety, even if the patient did not give consent.

[Image: 1457935895139.jpg] All 150 passengers and crew on a Germanwings flight died when pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed it in the French Alps. Photo: AP

"These rules should take into account the specificities of pilots, for whom the risk of losing their medical certificate, being not only a financial matter but also a matter related to their passion for flying, may deter them from seeking appropriate health care," the French report said.

In Australia, personal information can be disclosed by a medical professional if it represents a serious threat to public health or public safety.

"We would be sceptical of that because the answer is not in breaching people's confidentiality - that means they won't tell the doctor in the first place," Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) president Nathan Safe said.

Mr Lubitz had a €41,000 loan to finance his €60,000 share of pilot training. The loss of licence contract with Germanwings would have provided him with a one-time payment of €58,799 if he was found permanently unfit to fly in his first five years of employment.

However, he did not have any additional insurance the would cover the potential loss of future income if he was found unfit to fly.

"In an email he wrote in December 2014 he mentioned that having a waiver attached to his medical certificate [due to his previous episode of depression] was hindering his ability to get such an insurance policy," BEA said.

Australian payouts
In Australia, pilots for major airlines have loss of licence insurance that can pay almost $1 million if they are deemed medically unfit to fly. The Australian Air Pilots Mutual Benefit Fund policy and the Association for Virgin Australia Group Pilots loss of licence fund pays out on mental health issues, although there are exclusions for intentional self-injury.
Qantas in December agreed with AIPA to modernise language regarding loss of licence insurance payouts that had not been updated since the 1960s.

Under new wording that took effect in January, payouts over specific mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, will still only be made at the discretion of the carrier on a doctor's advice.

But industry sources noted the carrier had typically been generous in serious cases and Qantas clearly did not want pilots to be flying if they were medically unfit, due to the obvious risks.

"We are happy with the approach over the last year," said Mr Safe of AIPA.
Australia has been ahead of much of the world in allowing pilots to fly while taking certain anti-depressant medications since the 1990s. There are also well-developed peer assistance networks for airline pilots.

Progressive approach
"[The Civil Aviation Safety Authority] has a very progressive approach to the medical certification of pilots who have had mental health challenges and, in the vast majority of cases, pilots are returned to flying status once adequately treated," Qantas head of base operations Captain Alistair Crawford told his airline's pilots in December.

"In simple cases of depression, this can be within a matter of weeks. Only in a fraction of cases, when treatment cannot adequately control symptoms do mental illnesses result in long-term unfitness to fly."

The French report recommended the European Aviation Safety Agency define ways in which European Union regulators would allow pilots to be declared fit to fly while taking anti-depressants under medical supervision.

In the wake of the Germanwings crash, Australian regulators and those from many other countries imposed a "rule of two", designed to enhance safety by having two people present on the flight deck at all times. BEA acknowledged the potential safety benefits but did not issue any recommendation in this regard.

"This 'two person in the cockpit' rule cannot fully mitigate the risk of suicide, although it is likely to make it more difficult," the report said.
"In addition, this rule may introduce new security risks by allowing an additional person inside the flight deck."
"O ye of little faith. Ye petty fidians; He calleth them not nullifidians."

Call me pessimistic but the current CASA DAS Skidmore's 19th century Maritime attitude to CVD Pilots - see HERE - does not fill me with a lot of confidence when it comes to the ramifications of the Germanwings tragedy.

It would be a shame if CASA intervened with some knee-jerk action, because it would seem if left to their own devices airlines, like our national carrier Qantas, are being very proactive & forward thinking with their response to the implications & recommendations of Germanwings. Via news.com.au:  

Quote:Germanwings’ crash report sees Qantas bid to help gauge pilots’ mental health

Robyn Ironside News Corp Australia Network


QANTAS pilots will be fed information on mental health and wellbeing via an app on their flightcrew iPads in an effort to safeguard the airline against a Germanwings’ type disaster.

The Flying Kangaroo has been looking at ways to assist pilots who may be struggling with mental health or depression, since the March 24, 2015 tragedy.

All 150 people on the Germanwings’ A320 were killed including two Australians, when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and flew the plane into the French Alps.

INVESTIGATORS’ FINAL REPORT INTO GERMANWINGS’ DISASTER
CRASH DAY SICK NOTE FOUND AT GERMANWINGS PILOT’S HOME

The horrific crash led to the Federal Government introducing a “rule of two” for Australia’s carriers to ensure one person was never left alone in the cockpit.

A final report on the Germanwings’ disaster revealed Lubitz had a long history of a serious depressive illness, and concealed his most recent episodes from his employer.

[Image: 89bf829e014e3ec51a475ea10da0f4b7]
Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was found to be solely responsible for flying an A320 into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. Picture: AFP / Foto Team MuellerSource:Supplied

The tragedy shone a light on how pilots’ mental health is monitored, and if enough is done to assist those struggling with the demands of the job.

Australian & International Pilots Association president Nathan Safe said the incident had helped bring the issue out into the open.

“I think the awareness from the employers and the regulator is better now, and I think attitudes are modernising,” said Mr Safe.

“I don’t think we have a huge problem in this country but I’m probably not qualified to say.”

[Image: ca32393da5c05b0348e7fc3274181416]
Safety first ... Qantas CEO Alan Joyce chats with pilots in Sydney. Picture: AAP / Dean LewinsSource:AAP

A Qantas spokesman said the safety and health of customers and employees was the group’s number one priority.

“We have a comprehensive safety management system that guards against risks to our operations, including multi-layered systems to protect the flight deck on our aircraft,” said the spokesman.

“Qantas has also signed a new agreement for a pilot to pilot peer support program, complementing a range of other support and counselling programs and safety reporting systems available to all Qantas employees.”

The Qantas Group will also roll out an iPad app for flightcrew midyear that will carry information about mental health and wellbeing useful to pilots.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority already requires all commercial airline pilots to undergo and pass an annual medical check that includes a psychological assessment.
The checks become twice yearly once the pilot reaches the age of 40.

The Germanwings’ crash may also lead to the sharing of information by doctors with airlines, if a pilot’s condition is considered detrimental to their ability to operate an aircraft.

In the case of Lubitz, Germany’s strict privacy laws prevented his doctors from alerting his employer to his relapse into depression.
MTF...P2 Undecided
Reply
#20

(03-15-2016, 07:58 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  Germanwings knock on effect??

The following is an excellent article from Jamie Freed (via the SMH) that outlines some of the dilemmas that the Germanwings BEA Final Report has unearthed:

Quote:Aviation industry needs to learn from Germanwings crash: French investigators


Date March 14, 2016
  • (29)
  • Read later
[Image: 1433717257517.jpg]
Jamie Freed
Senior Reporter


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/aviation-industry-needs-to-learn-from-germanwings-crash-french-investigators-20160313-gni0tj.html#ixzz42xlSzLIP
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
"O ye of little faith. Ye petty fidians; He calleth them not nullifidians."

Call me pessimistic but the current CASA DAS Skidmore's 19th century Maritime attitude to CVD Pilots - see HERE - does not fill me with a lot of confidence when it comes to the ramifications of the Germanwings tragedy.

It would be a shame if CASA intervened with some knee-jerk action, because it would seem if left to their own devices airlines, like our national carrier Qantas, are being very proactive & forward thinking with their response to the implications & recommendations of Germanwings. Via news.com.au:  


Quote:Germanwings’ crash report sees Qantas bid to help gauge pilots’ mental health

Robyn Ironside News Corp Australia Network


QANTAS pilots will be fed information on mental health and wellbeing via an app on their flightcrew iPads in an effort to safeguard the airline against a Germanwings’ type disaster.

Today from Joseph Wheeler via the Oz:
Quote:Pilot peer support the key to preventing disasters
  • Joseph Wheeler
  • The Australian
  • March 18, 2016 12:00AM
Most people think pilots are infallible. Their voices calmly assure travellers in flight, and do so with conviction. But events which prompt speculation of pilot malice, like MH370, or point to frailties like Germanwings, remind us that pilots are people too.

Their weaknesses can dramatically become the world’s to mourn when calls for help go unheard, or when they don’t call for help at all.

This week’s release of the French Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses (BEA) report on the Germanwings crash pointed to a variety of contributing causes for the co-pilot’s wilful actions.

They included his likely fear of losing his ability to fly professionally if he reported his decrease in medical fitness to an aeromedical examiner, and the potential financial consequences that would have resulted if he confessed his illness to aviation authorities.

The key to addressing these issues lies in developing and fostering a culture of self-referral of mental health concerns that is both unencumbered by a fear of airline disciplinary reproach or regulatory enforcement action, and which is culturally accepted throughout the industry.

Australia’s pilot associations and its regulatory regime lead the world with a mature approach to health issues facing pilots. They support, through policy, welfare initiatives, and legislation, self-monitoring and self-referral of serious medical complaints.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority also facilitates the appropriate use of therapeutic medications in a way that balances the competing, though not mutually exclusive, interests of aviation safety and pilot welfare. But is that enough?

For the travelling public and pilots themselves, more can be done to prevent unfortunate events like Germanwings.

The BEA report is a reminder that it is only through vigilance, continuous collaborative engagement through and with the medical profession, aviation regulators, airline and pilot professional associations, that we can be sure history won’t repeat.

So what is the solution? Piloting is a technically demanding, heavily scrutinised and unforgiving profession. Only pilots really know what the challenge of the constant, near-flawless performance demanded of them feels like. Accordingly, peer support within this community is vital.

In fact peer pilot support frameworks around the world have been found to be very successful in ensuring that reporting health concerns doesn’t impact on safety. Such systems encourage pilots to look after themselves, accept imperfections, and help each other identify concerns and seek suitable help.

Expectations of reprisals should not compete for priority with the genuine health needs of a silently suffering pilot and their family, nor be accepted by the public as an impediment to their safety.

The solution lies in encouraging the aeronautic equivalent of “looking after your mates”, wherein the culture of perfectionism gives way to a culture of compassion for self and colleagues.

The fact is all professionals should learn to recognise red flags, and encourage peers to get help when they need it. It is only after this concept completely permeates aviation culture that we can all be reassured that the nightmare of Germanwings won’t repeat.

Joseph Wheeler is aviation counsel to the Australian Federation of Air Pilots and Special Counsel to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

MTF...P2 Rolleyes
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