Unravelling ADM (Aeromedical Decision Making)

Aeromedical Decision Making (ADM) is a paradigm, a template and a tool. ADM as a paradigm presently consciously practiced by Civil Aviation Authority, New Zealand; and it is a logical template to be applied by other regulators as well, while it is a useful tool in the hands of Aviation Medical Examiners (AME).

Continue reading

Unsafe Deceit – Air India extends Pilots’ duty hours

It is interesting to hear about Air India, with alleged concurrence of DGCA (since denied), ordering its pilots to continue flights beyond their mandated duty hours. This operational order, now being withdrawn, raises questions about arm twisting tactics of an organization already having had a tragic crash at Mangalore recently. Their Flight Safety department seems to have looked the other way, and probably neither Air India nor their pilots union have Human factors Specialists to advise them scientifically. Continue reading

Aviation Safety – Is the Future Bleak?

As is evident, there would be bigger aircraft with better flight management systems to carry more passengers flying longer hauls in commercial sector and more intelligent tactical military aircraft and helicopters. We may even see increased dependence on tactical and strategic missiles and use of unmanned aircraft, with the systems manager, the theatre commanders, sitting safely miles away from the theatre of war, as has been amply demonstrated by Americans in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Considering the economic upsurge in India, along with China, the probability of war is bleak due to its adverse effects on this boom, yet the war games with friendly forces shall continue, to remain vigilant and to prepare for the larger global role in the later years of rising India. Continue reading

The Road Ahead: IAM and Beyond…

Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM), in its more than five decades of existence has done yeoman service to the growth of Aviation Medicine / Aerospace Medicine in India. Starting as the School of Aviation Medicine, the founding fathers of this prestigious institute envisaged a multiple role of training, research and consultancy for it, which continues unfettered till date. Besides, IAM has kept pace with the changing times, including upgrade of its infrastructure, to offer the latest and the best to its primary clientele, the Indian Air Force. Training of the aircrew and the doctors in uniform has evolved constantly. Though the research has taken a back seat due to focus on other activities and paucity of manpower, yet efforts are in the right direction. It is the consultancy which has remained unsung, what with all the glory going to the developing agencies, be it the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) or the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). Continue reading

The Excitement continues – Practicing Military Aviation Medicine

The practitioners of Military Aviation Medicine would be required to deal with newer challenges in the field due to redefined aspirations and strategic needs of the Indian Armed Forces, as per the emerging politico-economic realities of our nation. The integration amongst the three services, formation of an Aerospace or the Strategic Command and the availability of the airborne command and control platforms shall make the tactical pilots in their combat aircraft omni-present to face the enemy and force them on the back foot. There would be unmanned aerial vehicles jostling for operational space with manned aircraft. Integrated operations shall be undertaken on land, at sea and in the air, any time of the day or the night, adding to the workload of the pilots, with frequently changing operational terrain. More importantly, the missions would extend beyond the national boundaries, and Indian warriors shall operate with multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural groups in the emerging world order. The ever changing location of action and adjustment to newer conflict zones across the world shall affect their adjustment to the varying conditions, both physically and psychologically. Continue reading