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Civilian Aviation Medicine

Civilian Aviation Medicine

 
Boeing 787 Dreamliner in flight
Boeing 787 Dreamliner in flight

Civilian aviation in the United States is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Specialized medical providers trained by the FAA, known as Aviation Medical Examiners (AME’s), are authorized to conduct airman medical examinations and to issue medical certificates that communicate fitness for aviation-related duties.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized agency within the United Nations. The ICAO dictates a basic set of medical rules to determine a pilot’s fitness for flight. Most nations use their nation’s specifics medical standards as well as the ICAO’s.

 

Explore additional topics in Civilian Aviation Medicine below!

FAA Corner: When do I need an EKG?
05Nov

FAA Corner: When do I need an EKG?

An ECG (or EKG) is short for electrocardiogram and is a tracing of the heart’s electrical activity. It can be used to diagnosis abnormal rhythms and even heart attacks. There…

How to Find a Good Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)
22Nov

How to Find a Good Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

Most pilots have experienced the anxiety and trepidation felt when going to any doctor. This feeling is even more intense when visiting the flight doc for medical clearance. This is…

What is a CACI Condition?
13Aug

What is a CACI Condition?

Pilots and other aircrew must maintain strict medical standards to be considered fit & healthy to fly airplanes & passengers. Check out this previous post for a full history and…

Serving in Residency
30Jul

Serving in Residency

This is an article our newest Featured Flight Doc, Lt Col Robert SOJU Ryu, authored when he was just a lowly Major and a resident back in 2019. In this piece,…

Important Dates: FAA Certificate Extensions for COVID19
30Aug

Important Dates: FAA Certificate Extensions for COVID19

Some important dates are approaching and both pilots and AME’s need to be aware. Due to the COVID19 pandemic and challenges accessing medical care, the FAA has modified the standard…

FAA Medical Certification during COVID19 Pandemic
11Apr

FAA Medical Certification during COVID19 Pandemic

In light of the recent Coronavirus Pandemic, the FAA has permitted airmen to continue flying with expired medical certificates thru 30 June 2020. This ONLY applies to airmen who were…

Pilot Education: LASER Exposure & Eye Injury
06Dec

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…

Become an Aviation Medical Examiner Today!
07Sep

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…

‘Fitness for Flight’ – Mental Health & Antidepressants
30Mar

‘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…

Ground Collision Avoidance Technology
14Dec

Ground Collision Avoidance Technology

On a recent flight in a Block 40 F-16 with our squadron’s weapons officer I was introduced to the new pilot-activated recovery system (PARS).  Starting at about 20,000 feet (FL…

Aviation Podcast “Slipstream Radio” Features GFM
30Nov

Aviation Podcast “Slipstream Radio” Features GFM

In January 2014, F-22 Raptor driver and creator of TallyOne, Rob “Shotz” Burgon partnered with commercial aviator Brent Owens of iFlyBlog to create a unique podcast for aviation enthusiasts called Slipstream Radio. This past…

Investigating Pilot Error in Plane Crashes:  A Human Factors Analysis
22Nov

Investigating Pilot Error in Plane Crashes: A Human Factors Analysis

Although horrific plane crashes continue to make the headlines and the media seems to agitate the public by suggesting otherwise, traveling by air remains the safest form of transportation.  Period.…

KLM-Panam Tenerife Disaster
11Oct

KLM-Panam Tenerife Disaster

The Boeing 747 was first introduced in 1970 by Panam Airlines. The 747 was the first aircraft to earn the moniker ‘Jumbo Jet’, which has now become synonymous with all large passenger…

Dietary Supplements in Aircrew
23Sep

Dietary Supplements in Aircrew

“Ok, I got this nailed- Vitamin M, dip, coffee, Jack & Coke.  That’s what makes a fighter pilot” ~ Anonymous Fighter Pilot Although this may be the typical formula that fighter…

Cosmic Radiation
03Sep

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…

Ebola Risk & Response for Airlines
20Aug

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,…

Aeromedical Standards & Fitness for Flight
10May

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…

Hypoxia in Aviation
28Apr

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…

Decompression Illness in Aviation
22Apr

Decompression Illness in Aviation

Before English chemist, William Henry, took his own life in 1836, he discovered a simple physics law to explain how gas behaves in solution. This gas law, now appropriately known…

Pulling G’s – The Effects of G-Forces on the Human Body
05Apr

Pulling G’s – The Effects of G-Forces on the Human Body

“After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden and drank thea, under the shade of some apple trees…he told me, he was just in the same situation,…

Recent Comments

  1. Total BS. When you lose horizon you might go into a slow descent, if you are not trusting your instruments,…

  2. Hi Jay, I've just led myself to this article after coming across your PPP slides from the AF Specialty Teleconference,…

  3. How do flight surgeons reconcile Geneva Convention status issues? As medical officers, they are non-combatants; as pilots, they definitely ARE.…

  4. Major Jedick, Very intersting piece. I often wondered this myself- I briefed a flight surgeon once (WX) and we chatted…