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Health / Blood Pressure (merged)

I have been following a thread on another forum - no, not that one - and this forum has a section dedicated to aviation safety etc which I find most interesting once you filter out the excess twoddle that gets written. Anyhow, there is a thread running about a pilot that had a heart attack and died while flying and obviously said plane crashed. This got me thinking about my flying. I love solo flying but what carnage would ensue should I have a heart attack or similar while flying through more congested parts of the UK and crash and kill innocent people. Should I change my flying and at the very least always have someone with me even if a non aviator? Flying medicals don't mean much do they? Under EASA you don't need an ecg etc anymore so even that possible early detection of trouble is no more. I am not a heath and safety type person but this did get me to cogitate on this matter. Anyhow, I thought I would share my musings with the collective. :-)

Always looking for adventure
Shoreham

Interesting, so you don't need an ECG when aged 40+ anymore? Is it needed under EASA at any age limit? Under the CAA rules, the initial medical (even Class II) required an initial ECG, and then I think you only needed then when over 40, every 2 years, increasing yearly at a later stage in life I think. Two of the pilots in my group are circa 70 years old, and while fit and healthy and passing their medicals every year, always fly together for personal safety reasons.

I'm nearing 40, and if I at any age felt I wasn't 100%, but fit enough to pass a medical, I would take someone with me. I wouldn't put an age on it as I know someone nearing 80 who is still flying solo quite happily :-) Its a personal / safety choice. I know of a highly accomplished (non professional) aerobatic pilot, not all that old either, who in between medicals developed a heart condition and sadly passed away, and he was seemingly very fit and pushing his body to the extremes. That said, you cant always walk, ride, drive, fly or do other things constantly in pairs, and everything, especially aviation, always has inherent risks, not just to the PIC.

I agree, you cant always do things in pairs but it did get me thinking - a rare concept for me. :-) I am not sure what the age requirements are re the ecg but having just done a re-newel on my medical I was told I did not need an ecg. The wallet was happy but I sort of felt cheated. Lol.

Always looking for adventure
Shoreham

Even in congested Europe if you simply throw anything out of the aircraft window you will hardly hit anybody. Just take Google earth put the mouse somewhere and zoom in to the lowest level with the wheel and see what you would "hit".

If you have a look at the accident reports small aircraft very hardly hurt anybody when they crash just somewhere. That is also reflected in the isurance policys. The coverage for aircraft damage is expensive. The coverage for passenger damage is expensive but the basic coverage for third party liability is cheap.

In 2009 we had such a sad accident at our airfield. Apparently the pilot a retired politician aged 69 passed out on take off ad the aircraft went into the trees:

http://www.bfu-web.de/DE/Publikationen/Untersuchungsberichte/2009/Bericht093X164AquilaSchoenhagen.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

In 2001 the father of a business contact went into the trees at Nürnberg. Maybe it was a health problem but the cause could never be determined. He even ran a big company for pacemakers but did not have one himself. A while before they hired an “assistant” who’s job it was to be the copilot for the boss and to look after him when he flew the bigger two person planes (Lear, Challenger 604) but that day in the Cheyenne he went alone:

http://de.wikinews.org/wiki/Ermittlungen%C3%BCberTodesflug_eingestellt

I think if you are afraid of your health do not take somebody with you who could not land the plane. That would put a much bigger risk on the rest of the world than anything else. If you are really afraid fly solo or take along a second qualified pilot especially when you have passengers.

Having said that depending on ones personal situation it might not be the worst thing to fall out of the sky solo at a certain age instead of the other things that might come...

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

Gentlemen,

@Bloomer

There is absolutely no prohibition on having your health checked thoroughly, even if a particular test (stress ECG, for example) is not required by aviation licensing authorities!

@PiperArcher

if I at any age felt I wasn't 100%, but fit enough to pass a medical, I would take someone with me.

I would like to suggest that if you are "not (feeling) 100%" (and you realise it yourself!) - you do not sit behind controls of a plane!

YSCB

@ANTEK

My comments (in #5) are primarily addressed to myself!!!!

YSCB

There is absolutely no prohibition on having your health checked thoroughly, even if a particular test (stress ECG, for example) is not required by aviation licensing authorities!

I suspect pilots have a huge disincentive to see a doctor, because if any one of a large range of things is merely suspected, the pilot is grounded. A UK GP has no duty of confidentiality to the client, when information is requested by say the CAA. The only person who has a duty of confidentiality to the client (which cannot be breached) is a lawyer.

I know of a Shamani healer who sees a lot of airline pilots, and they specifically tell him they are going to him because of the privacy angle. He has a signed Concorde pic which was given to him by a Concorde pilot who used to see him. I happen to know that the "procedure" works very well but I am certain it works due to the placebo effect, which can be very powerful. Obviously if it works for any other reason then somebody is in line for a Nobel prize in physics...

Under EASA you don't need an ecg etc anymore

Is that true? Maybe for the LAPL? It cannot be generally true otherwise all EASA medicals would be non ICAO compliant.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter - no ECG has ever been required for private pilots in the US but I see the Class 3 medical being referred to as 'ICAO Compliant'. Not that I'd care one way or the other.

@PiperArcher, if I at any age felt I wasn't 100%, but fit enough to pass a medical, I would take someone with me.

I would like to suggest that if you are "not (feeling) 100%" (and you realise it yourself!) - you do not sit behind controls of a plane!

That's a fair comment and I probably didn't word it well. What I meant was that as we get older, our bodies are never 100%. Even at birth, not everyone is '100%'. Therefore as people get older maybe they get low or high blood pressure or bad backs or something, and while medically fit enough (perhaps so long as they keep taking certain pills), and mentally fit to fly, they might seek comfort in having someone else (qualified) with them. Like for example at the age of 80, the CAA mandate you must always fly with a safety pilot.

Habiscus tea is brilliant for blood pressure.

Beats anything your GP can give you.

Like for example at the age of 80, the CAA mandate you must always fly with a safety pilot.

Even if you can get a Class 2 medical?

no ECG has ever been required for private pilots in the US but I see the Class 3 medical being referred to as 'ICAO Compliant'. Not that I'd care one way or the other.

I believe the FAA Class 3 is ICAO compliant (maybe the USA has filed a difference?) unless it has "special issuance" on it. This has come up on various occassions. I also hear the Irish CAA bans Irish residents flying on the FAA Class 3.

But you don't need the ECG anyway on the Class 2 if you are young enough.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
324 Posts
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