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Military Aviation Medicine

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Incentive & Familiarization Flights in Military Fighter Jets

Many times large number of incentive and familiarization flights are offered to maintenance and operational support personnel during temporary duty (TDY) deployments.  Flight surgeons play a crucial role in this process educating and medically clearing potential candidates.  In this setting,[...]

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Cosmic Radiation

Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR’s) are considered a threat to aviators, flight crews and frequent air travelers.  This risk to astronauts is even greater (possibly even lethal) and continues to pose a significant obstacle to long expeditions into outer space.  Cosmic radiation is comprised[...]

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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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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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Combating Fighter Pilot Fatigue

Pilot fatigue is a constant threat to all aircrew. There are particular risk factors for those flying high-performance fighter platforms. Flying high-G sorties is physically exhausting. This is an tiring business and even well-rested pilots will find themselves fatigued from the[...]

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Be a Better G-Monster: The Anti-G Straining Maneuver (AGSM)

This installment will review the effect of G’s on the human body, the Anti-G Straining Maneuver (AGSM) and how you as the modern fighter pilot can decrease the likelihood of being the victim of a G-LOC (G-induced loss of consciousness).[...]

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Aeromedical Standards & Fitness for Flight

Aerospace Medicine is essentially a branch of occupational medicine. Unlike traditional medical disciplines where a patient in a normal environment experiences abnormal diseases and pathology, occupational medicine often provides medical services to patients of normal health and physiology in an abnormal[...]

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Hypoxia in Aviation

Before becoming a flight doc, I often felt skeptical as the flight attendant showcased what appeared to be a yellow Dixie cup connected to an empty IV bag prior to takeoff on commercial airliners. This darting glance wavered as my attention faded.[...]

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