overweight pilotsFAA has now revised its policy for pilots who now will be allowed to keep flying while being evaluated for the sleep apnea disorder.Facing a backlash from pilots and aviation lobbying groups, the FAA has reversed course on a controversial medical policy that would have grounded overweight pilots until they underwent screening for obstructive sleep apnea.
The FAA’s new medical screening guidance follows more than a year of lobbying efforts on behalf of several aviation organizations, including AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association. As first revealed by the agency late in 2013, the FAA’s chief federal air surgeon sought to require that any pilot with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, and a neck size of 17 inches or greater, undergo obstructive sleep apnea screening prior to receiving a medical certificate.
The new policy, which takes effect March 2, will require overweight pilots who are diagnosed with OSA to receive treatment to continue flying.
AOPA President Mark Baker and NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen both applauded the policy change, calling the revised guidelines a “common-sense approach” to medical certification.

Sleep Deprived Pilots Plunged in to Atlantic

air france flight crash 2009On a storm-hit night in the month of June 2009 an Air France flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean and 228 lives were lost when the Airbus was on its regular overnight flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

The flight data recorder reveals that the pilots were all dangerously sleep deprived. Captain of the flight could get barely one hour’s sleep the night before.

A new report obtained by the French news magazine Le Point reveals that the 58-year-old captain, Marc Debois, can be heard on a black box recording saying, “I didn’t sleep enough last night. Read the rest of this entry

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