Monthly Archive: February 2012

There is LASER in my eye!

There is a spurt in the incidence of Laser devices aimed at aircraft during low level flying or while making an approach to land [1, 2]. Despite punitive actions against culprits, including sentence up to 10 years in Germany or 20 years in US, it shows no signs of abating [2, 3, 4]. Those shining …

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Pilot Incapacitation: Extent of the Problem.

The study by Evans et.al. highlighted a linear trend in incapacitation rates from the pilots in 20s to those in their 60s, with those in 60s accounting for 15% of incapacitation [4]. Both cardio- and cerebro-vascular conditions being responsible for 50% (18/36) of incapacitation events, including 2 of the 4 sudden deaths, endorse the present …

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Pilot Incapacitation: What is?

Common medical causes of in-flight incapacitation amongst airline pilots in U.K were cardiovascular (heart attacks, rhythm disturbances) and neurological (epileptic seizures) [10]. Another study in U.S. identified several causes of in-flight incapacitation. This included loss of consciousness; causes related to the gut viz., gallbladder stones, gastroenteritis or discomfort due to expansion of trapped intestinal gases; …

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Pilot Incapacitation: Debate on Assessment, 1% Rule etc.

Reuters reported on 15 February 2012 that the captain of a Czech Airlines plane collapsed and died in flight from Warsaw to Prague. The plane carrying 46 passengers made a safe landing with the co-pilot on controls [1]. In another case, a Qatar Airways captain passed away in October 2010 on a flight from Manila, …

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Flouting Safety, Stymied DGCA and Bollywood!

A domestic commerical airliner in India has been recently found to have flouted flight safety norms almost four months back. The captain of the aircraft allowed a supernumerary pilot to undertake landing, when that pilot was neither qualified nor authorised for piloting duties! Indian DGCA recommended suspension of the concerned airline’s flight safety officer. The …

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Hypoxia Training – Essentially Useful.

Most military aircrew undergo hypoxia training, including experience in decompression chamber, to understand the ill-effects of the silent but deadly hazard of in-flight hypoxia [1]. Symptoms experienced during the classic mask-off hypoxia indoctrination in altitude/decompression chamber correlates well with reported in-flight symptoms [2]. The objectives of hypoxia indoctrination, an effects-based training, is to make aircrew …

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