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Volanti Subvenimus- We Support the Flyer

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 of high-energy subatomic particles from all of the natural elements[...Click Below to Read More]

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Ebola Risk & Response for Airlines

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains a webpage dedicated to providing updated recommendations to airlines on high-interest infectious diseases.  The current website offers guidance to airlines on the measles, flu, cholera, and Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS).  On August 11 2014, they added airline guidance for Ebola. Ultimately, the CDC’s recommendations emphasize[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 500-pound laser guided bomb (LGB) directly on target. The result[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 and the British on the Allied side.  The American military[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) investigation concluded it was the[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 law authorized a spending of $607 billion. It should be[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 is behind most of the books precepts, the general concepts[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 desert or high-humidity tropical  climates.  Unfortunately, heat stress significantly diminishes performance[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 marginal weather at night. Accompanied by his wife, Carolyn Bessette[...Click Below to Read More]

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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 sacrificed their lives in lighter-than-air and glider ventures, but powered[...Click Below to Read More]

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