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Pilot Education: LASER Exposure & Eye Injury

LASER exposure continues to be an increasingly frequent problem in both military and civilian aviation.  Typically, these exposures arise from people pointing green commercial LASERs directly at flying aircraft.       The FAA has been tracking the number of LASER incidents since 2005. This number has been increasing every[...Click Below to Read More]

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Become an Aviation Medical Examiner Today!

Last weekend, I attended a medical seminar held by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Denver, CO.  The seminar was a refresher training seminar for Aviation Medical Examiners (AME).  Although I had not yet been designated an AME, my experience and training as a USAF flight surgeon allowed me to[...Click Below to Read More]

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Spitfire 944 – WWII Flight Surgeon Footage

This short 14 minute documentary featured in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival won’t leave you disappointed.  The film invigorates an aged WWII pilot when he is reunited with old video footage of himself taken by his unit’s flight surgeon during the war. The film was directed by William Lorton and produced by[...Click Below to Read More]

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In Flight Emergency – Cabin Pressure & Hypoxia

I was recently in Estonia for a NATO military training exercise.  Flying in the back seat of an F-16D (two seater), I was ‘gently’ reminded of the importance of human factors in flight and the constant, inherent danger in combat aviation.  Even in the training environment, significant risks and aeromedical stressors[...Click Below to Read More]

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Clearing Your Ears

Most aviators learn early in their career that flying with a simple upper respiratory infection or seasonal allergies can be painful.  Gases in the sinuses and middle ear expand in accordance with Boyles Law as altitude increases and pressure decreases. [For a full discussion on the Gas Laws that apply[...Click Below to Read More]

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‘Fitness for Flight’ – Mental Health & Antidepressants

The recent Germanwings tragedy has called commercial aviation’s concept of ‘Fitness for Flight’ into question.  In case the reader has just returned from a week long hike in the wilderness and missed the news headlines – on 24 March 2014 an Airbus 320 carrying 150 passengers destined for Dusseldorf, Germany from[...Click Below to Read More]

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From the Cockpit to the Hospital – CRM for Docs

Have you ever been part of Code Blue (patient in full arrest) that went horribly wrong?  Almost all docs have a horror story from either a real-world or (preferably) sim lab scenario where a resuscitation fell apart and ultimately led to catastrophe.  What happened?  If I’m wagering a bet on the[...Click Below to Read More]

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Does Bilberry Extract Improve Night Vision in Pilots?

BLUF:  Bilberry is probably not effective in improving night vision visual acuity or contrast recognition. It recently was brought to my attention that some pilots have added bilberry to their diets and others have been willing to shell out cold hard cash on bilberry extracts or leaves in pill form.  Why? For[...Click Below to Read More]

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The Golden Age

On a recent domestic flight with Delta Airlines departing the busy Chicago O’Hare International Airport, I had an unexpected, but enjoyable experience.  Awaiting takeoff near the back of the Boeing 737’s coach seating, I heard an announcement from the front of the aircraft.  I looked up to see a man with salt and peppered hair wearing a pristine pilot’s[...Click Below to Read More]

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Gas Laws in Aerospace Physiology

There exist a huge number of Laws in Physics & Chemistry.  However, there are only a few that are really important in aerospace medicine.  Most of these are the basic Gas Laws. Let’s review some of the most important ones.         Ideal Gas Law  PV = nRT[...Click Below to Read More]

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