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Doctor (and pilot) Stephanie Plummer on inflight medical emergencies, hypoxia, 3rd class medical reform, and more. News on MH370, cosmic rays and passenger safety, an emergency Allegiant Airlines landing, and hackers hit United Airlines. Also, the NASA UTM Drone conference, the CH-46 Retirement Ceremony at the National Air & Space Museum, an Australia Desk, and plane spotting the 427th Special Operations Squadron.
Dr. Stephanie Plummer is a frequent co-host on the Airline Pilot Guy podcast. She’s an instrument-rated commercial pilot who flies primarily for personal enjoyment. As a physician, Dr. Steph answers the occasional listener question regarding in-flight or aviation-related medical topics.
We talk about the frequency of inflight medical emergencies, medical supplies on airlines, and what you do if you are a doctor on a flight and the call for help goes out. Also, we cover the three classes of aviation medicals in the US, and the role of aviation medical examiners, and 3rd class medical reform for private pilots.
Dr. Steph gives us a good tutorial on the forms and effects of hypoxia, time of useful consciousness, and effective performance time. She tells us about hypoxic hypoxia, hypemic hypoxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, stagnant hypoxia, and histotoxic hypoxia.
In her day job, Dr Plummer is a physician practicing in the Charlotte, NC area. She has a degree in Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from what was formerly The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, now part of Rowan University, School of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed a traditional rotating internship through the Crozer-Keystone Healthcare System in the Philadelphia area and then did her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Dr Plummer then went on to a fellowship program for interventional spine and now she works with a predominantly Orthopedic Spine group as one of their non-surgical providers.
Aviation Medical Resources
FAA AC 121-33B Emergency Medical Equipment (PDF)
FAA AC 121-34B Emergency Medical Equipment Training (PDF)
Outcomes of Medical Emergencies on Commercial Airline Flights from The New England Journal of Medicine.
What medical conditions does the FAA consider disqualifying? from FAA Pilot Medical Certification Questions and Answers.
A Guide for Prospective FAA Aviation Medical Examiners from FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) Training.
Aviation Physiology (PDF), common medical considerations affecting pilots in flight. A booklet from FAA.
MH370: Reunion debris discovery lifts hopes for missing flight clues
Last week, a piece of a Boeing 777 called a “flaperon” was found washed up on Reunion Island, in the western Indian Ocean. If it proves to be from MH370, which is likely, it may provide clues about the missing jetliner.
Long-haul air passengers at risk from cosmic rays, government fears
The earth’s atmosphere provides some degree of protection against cosmic rays. The higher you go, the less atmosphere you have above you blocking this high-energy radiation. We’ve seen studies in the past that suggest pilots are vulnerable to long term effects. Now solar radiation in the form of magnetically charged particles is of concern. Public Health England (PHE) has established The Cosmic Radiation Advisory Group, which includes experts from British Airways, the Cabinet Office, the Department of Health, the Met Office, and some universities.
Allegiant Air pilot pleads with tower to make emergency landing
An Allegiant Airlines pilot with a fuel emergency wanted to land at Fargo’s Hector International Airport. The airport was closed because the Blue Angels were practicing for an air show, and an exchange between the pilot and the tower ensued.
Hackers with ties to China said to breach United Airlines
A group of China-backed hackers has been linked to a May or June attack on United Airlines. This is supposedly the same group that breached the US Office of Personnel Management and health insurer Anthem Inc. The hackers may had had access to passenger lists and information about United’s mergers and acquisitions strategy. But they don’t know for sure.
Airplane of the Week
David attended the CH-46 Sea Knight “Phrog” retirement ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. David interviews:
- Corporal Greg Hamper, HMX-1 MV-22 Crew Chief.
- Major P.B. Benning, HMX-1 MV-22 and former CH-46E pilot.
- Lt. Colonel Dominic DeFazio, Commanding Officer HMM-774 and pilot of BuNo 153369, the retiring CH-46E.
Be sure to see the article Phrog Farewell by museum specialist Roger Connor, and the fly-in video CH-46 Retirement Ceremony Aug 1, 2015.
Special thanks to Nick Partridge and Sarah Banks of the National Air & Space Museum.
The Australia News Desk
It’s a week of firsts for the Australian Defence Force as the boys give progress on still more new or updated airframes coming down under:
- First RAAF E18G Growler unveiled
- First P8A in mid 2016
- First of 15 EC135 T2+ helicopters (HATS01) received
- Seventh RAAF C17 delivered
Meanwhile, Qantas long-haul pilots have approved a new wage deal.
But it’s terrible news for the Australian helicopter charter industry as Bronwyn Bishop resigns (Satire).
The UAV Digest Episode 106, UAS Traffic Management
Observations from the NASA Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management Convention, including the Amazon Prime Air proposal for drone traffic management.
A podcast by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University student Lucas Weakley with aviation stories told in the first person.
427th Special Operations Squadron
You didn’t see this:
Brian’s United 737-8 window seat…
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.
I like the photo of Brian’s window Virgin Australia did that to me too I booked a window seat and for some reason they moved me to the same row. I was very unimpressed like David I love looking out of the window
Always up for more abuse, I’d like to volenteer as the Beer Consultant,
Cheers! Jamie Dodson
Author of the award winning Nick Grant Adventures Series,
I was finally able to listen to the Airplane Geeks #362 last night on my way home from the airport after spending the second of two long days stripping the old paint off of my airplane. Unfortunately, listening to this podcast and others where you attempt to discuss aeromedical certification requirements and standards among yourselves and occasionally with your guests, was not relaxing. I find myself attempting to correct you during your discussions of aeromedical certification issues. Silly me. I am listening to a pod cast that is weeks old and the damage to the aviation community is done. I do not expect the non-pilot hosts to know any of the medical certification requirements but the CFI airman host Max West, should really know better. I will keep this short and limit it to a topic brought up frequently in your pod casts is the topic of the third class medical exemption. I personally believe that it is a bad idea. The airman who are most adamant about flying under the Sport Pilot umbrella are the ones who really should be paying more attention to their health. One last comment before I close, The FAA has the most liberal policy when it comes to allowing someone with diabetes, any type of diabetes, to fly or control air traffic. Type I or Type II which requires the use of insulin are limited to Third Class medical certificate. There are ATP rated Type II diabetics with first class medical certificates in their wallets over head as I write. If you have any questions, I can be found through the website I posted.