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Tarnak Farm – Reckless Pilots, Speed, or Fog of War?

On 17 April 2002, as the Afghanistan conflict was escalating, a friendly-fire incident swept the headlines. An American F-16 being flown by an Air National Guard pilot mistook Canadians training in a live fire drill for Taliban insurgents and dropped a[...]

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Stimulants & Sleep Aids in Military Aviation

Chemical stimulants and sleeping aids have a long history of use in improving performance in military personnel.  The first pharmacologic stimulant, Amphetamine, became available by prescription in 1937.  It was used in WWII by the Japanese and Germans of the Axis Powers[...]

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United Airlines 173 – The Need for CRM

In late December 1978, a United Airlines commercial aircraft DC-8 carrying 181 passengers and 8 crew crashed outside Portland, Oregon.  8 passengers and 2 crew members died.  Although the crew did encounter a real malfunction of the aircraft, ultimately the National[...]

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Ejection Seat Safety & Reliability Improvement Program

Legislators of the Armed Services Committee recently published comments on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. This federal law is passed every year and specifies the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense. The 2014[...]

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Combat Stress Response & Tactical Breathing

I recently finished the book, On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, by former Army Ranger turned psychologist, Lt Col (ret.) Dave Grossman.  Although I have some concerns on how rigorous the science[...]

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Thermal Stress in the Cockpit

Fighter aircraft are commonly home to locations with stable weather patterns and abundant airspace for training purposes.  Many times, these advantages for military flight operations also coincide with very high temperatures.  Additionally, military aircraft often deploy to either hot arid[...]

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Seeking Truth in Medicine

Critical analysis of medical information is not unique to Aerospace Medicine or any of the other sub-categories of medicine typically covered by Go Flight Medicine (GFM). However, a discussion on the process of acquiring medical knowledge is important for both readers and[...]

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JFK Jr Piper Saratoga Mishap

On 16 July 1999, the son of former President John F. Kennedy took off in his privately-owned Piper Saratoga from New Jersey bound for Martha’s Vineyard. Although he held a private pilot’s license without an instrument rating, he departed in[...]

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Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM)

Looking for a job at Everest ER?  If this is a career goal of yours, you need to strongly consider acquiring a Diploma of Mountain Medicine (DiMM). This internationally recognized certification in the field of Wilderness Medicine is awarded to[...]

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First Fatal Mishap in Powered Flight – Orville Wright & Lt Selfridge

Almost 5 years after the historic birth of controlled flight at Kitty Hawk, an updated version of the Wright Flyer was involved in the first fatal aircraft mishap in powered flight.  Many early pioneers in aviation, like Otto Lilienthal, had already[...]

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