The Aviation industry is probably the most higly regulated sector in the world, which is not surprising if we consider the massive potential for disaster that is inherent to modern air transport.
The past decade has seen some impressive technological advances aimed at preventing aviation accidents, limiting avaition incidents, and improving the safety of both passangers, crew, and the people who are vulnerable on the ground, and the positive result of these measures are reflected in the steady improvement seen in global aircraft accident statistics since World War II.
According to the Geneva-based Aircraft Crashes Record Office, 2004 was the year with the lowest number of fatalities since the end of World War II with 771 deaths, and the year 2007 was noted as the safest year in aviation since 1963 in terms of the number of accidents. If we consider that Boeing alone logged a total of 45.6 million hours of flight in 2009 from 21.6 million takeoffs, recorded a 12and % drop in fatal accidents since the turn of the century it would seem that efforts in this regard are by and large successful.
One of the important measures that have been put in place to prevent aviation incidents concern the various licensing requirements for pilots and crew, and the concommitant health assessments that certify air crew as healthy and fit to fly.
The basic principle of regular health assessments to identify any medical conditions that could compromise flight safety has basically remained the same since it’s inception, and the past few years has even seen a general relaxation in many of the health standards. This is largely due to advances in medical science that have improved early diagnosis of disease, expanded the number and efficacy of treatment options available and significantly improved the morbidity previously associated with such diseases.
Unfortunately the advances seen with regard to medicine and flight safety do not translate to healthier pilots or crew, and as the use of air travel increases year on year, so does the pressure on the individuals responsible to operate the computers and machines, and fly the craft that make air travel possible. And with flight shedules demanding more and more from people in the industry, health practitioners responsible to perform the legally mandated health assessments end up seeing more and more health problems among liscence holders, particularly in the category of disease believed to be caused by the stress and strain inherent to the aviation industry, and so typical of our modern lifestyle.
Diseases like Hypertention, Diabetes, abnormal blood lipids and Obesity may be common in the demand, excess and stress that is part of modern society, but it is disconcerting, if not worrying that an ever increasing number of aviators suffer from these diseases. If a person holding a licence issued by the CAA is diagnosed with any of a growing number of chronic diseases, they are requested to submit any number of reports and or investigations as determined by established protocols and procedures in order to determine the full extent and nature of disease, following which all of the required reports and investigations are presented to a panel of Aviation Medical Specialists that deliberate on the risk of sudden incapacitation from the disease, debate on the ability of treatmnent or surgery to maintain the level of capacity required for the lisence they applied, determine all the restrictions that may be necessary to ensure flight safety, and prescribe any further investigations or reports that may be necessary to monitor the health status to the levels required for safety.
Whether it is because “The Panel” hold the power to crush a person’s dream of flying, or because panel decisions usually imply additional restrictions, investigations or increase the number of medical reports needed for licensing, thereby increasing the cost and trouble necessary to stay in the air, or just because people are generally scared of being sick, the monthly medical panel of the CAA seem to be some kind of dreaded entity that most licence holders try to avoid by all means. Methods that may temporary bring your blood pressure back to normal for you “medical”, or detox regimens to follow if you want to have the competitive edge when put under the scrutiny of your AME are well known and widely used. While many of these regimens may result in some success as far as passing a medical to fly is concerned, in terms of flight safety, any attempt at influencing paramaters of health being measures translate directly to a flight safety risk.
With an increasing number of flight personnel resorting to measures that would assure a clean bill of health, AME’s are losing their ability to provide the CAA with an objective and accurate reflection of the health profile of pilots and air crew. The more license holders try to beat the system, the less AME’s are able to make early diagnosis of disease, and the higher the morbity and mortality we see in the health profile of this ‘well regulated’ group of individuals.
The solution that would bring an end to all the posture and charade that currently exist in the Aviation Health Assessment Industry may be found in changing the traditional role of the AME, from a designated agent of the CAA who is paid by the client he needs to assess, to a Health Care Practitioner that is concerned about the health and well being of a patient. From a license holder that is hell bent on making sure they remain in the air, to an individual that lives the reward of a healthy life, and who trusts the AME to inform them of the best prevention, care and treatment choices available to enjoy life to the brim.
As far as we think it all began with a big bang, and most of the prophets seem to agree that it will all end in chaos and catastrophy. But since the turning of the century we have found that a lot of things we thought was right is wrong, and much of what we knew before is nothing more than someone’s point of view.
Accross the globe the dialogue created by scientific discovery has caused much more panic and confusion than the better understanding we were searchng for, and there seems to be a growing uncertainty about what is fact and what is fabrication.
In a growing world of virtual reality we find people who couldn’t care less for reality come face to face with it whether they want to or not, and since our mind cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality, the virtual reality found online just replace the one the people have been running from in the first place.
Reality can be virtually displaced, but man is finding there is no escape to the nightmare we create ourselves. We have to face the monster we made, and break the bonds of time to find the moment of sublime existance that never fades as long as you stay in the moment it made.
On the other side we find a growing number of people that have given up on trying to find the truth. Instead they start to live in the truth of the moment, and the honesty of choice. Most of them with great success.
True to nature, la cocara-cha and cheeky-cheeky ja-ja-ja only make sense if you sing it. Sense cannot be defined by opinion, discussion or debate. It is less an understanding than a feeling, and more a response than a reason. Sense is the meaning we find in doing.
“If I should take a wild guess at the nature that is and of us, at change and the resonant nature of flow, we are much more likely to be figthing the temptation to surrender to the exstacy of being, than discussing the readiness of others. Joy is the journey!”—A comment
“A genuine smile distributes the cosmic current, Prana to every body cell.The happy man is less subject to disease, for happiness actually attracts into the body a greater supply of the Universal life energy.”—
“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action. They know that love is not a mere sentiment, but the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe.”—
“Erotic pleasure arguably requires a kind of momentary annihilation or suspension of what normally counts as ‘identity,’ the conscious, masterful, self-identical self, lost in the ‘little death’ of orgasm. These momentary suspensions, when linked together in the context of a particular relationship, work towards a more profound kind of ego destruction.”—
“Just like reality, dreams are real while you are in it. The only difference is that the 20 percent sensory input of reality is replaced by our subconscious mind, much like the 80 percent in life.”—Inception