Pilot Incapacitation

  The Australian Safety Bureau has published an interesting report on Pilot Incapacitation from data collected between 2010 and 2014. The data included incidents reported in Australia and on Australian registered aircraft. Pilot incapacitation is when a pilot is unable to continue their duties due to a medical related issue or a change in the working environment. This can range from full incapacitation, being unable to perform any duties, to partial incapacitation where a pilot is able to perform limited duties. Pilot incapacitation is very rare. The Australian report stated that between 2010 and 2014 the number of reported incidents of pilot incapacitation totaled 113, or 1 every 34,000 flights. So what was the largest cause of pilot incapacitation in high capacity transport operations? Gastrointestinal Illnesses Gastrointestinal illness stands far ahead of other causes with a total of 45 reported incidents, followed by laser strikes at just over 10. (Laser strikes can be extremely dangerous as lasers can cause temporary blindness and eye damage.) The report gives a few examples of pilot incapacitation by gastrointestinal illness from causes such as dehydration, food poising and the flu. Why is this important to read? This is an interesting and important report to read. What is most interesting is the various examples of pilot incapacitation, what happened, why, and how the crew dealt with the situation. Crew members should think how they would deal with various situations, and how they would react if something were to happen to them. Read the entire report here: https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2015/ar-2015-096/ My Experience I personally have experienced a pilot incapacitation situation. Although I am not entirely sure what caused the situation, I suspect... read more