ALPA to GA: Screw you

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Jim Logajan, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    a related (and arguably more important) question is: What is the safety improvement provided by the current third class medical process? What hazards are avoided and what is the reduction in probability of mishap?
     
  2. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Pay your employees more than it takes to recruit and retain? How does this work out, intentionally pricing your product higher than your competitions?

    Just so you know, I'm an old white guy flying around VFR, sometimes using Flight Following, sometimes running my mouth at my little GA airport, not really interested in advancing my flying skillset or doing anything other than burning gas, and I really don't care what your opinion is :)
     
  3. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    In another post I noted that one study estimates that about 1.2% of automobile accidents are caused by medical incapacitation of the driver; e.g. stroke or seizure or similar. Assuming that going from a third class medical to the same standards as automobile drivers increases the accident rate proportionally, then one might see an average of 16 extra crashes a year with 3 of those killing about 5 people a year. Assuming further that, unlike automobiles, such incapacitation always yields fatal crashes, then there will be 16 extra fatal crashes a year with about 27 people being killed.

    Data computed using average from 2 years:
    2013: 1222 crashes, of which 221 were fatal that killed 387 people.
    2012: 1471 crashes, of which 273 were fatal that killed 440 people.

    (Obviously there are a bunch of caveats to all the assumptions.)
     
  4. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bad assumption. It's a bit harder to control a car from the passenger seat, and there are numerous examples of a passenger saving the plane. Also, the chances of taking out pedestrians in a plane is much less than in a car.

    So I don't think you can just take the numbers from the cars and apply it to planes.
     
  5. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And yeah, problem is they don't, otherwise we wouldn't hear them whining about a lack of pilots, they would also be able to attract folks who aren't from the bottom of the barrel

    On the P&L, pilot pay is small potatoes, you could pay pilots a much higher wage and pass it on to your customers, doubt t would even raise the price of a ticket but a few dollars.
     
  6. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Interesting calculation, but was one of your assumptions that all crashes due to pilot incapacitation are prevented by possessing a third-class medical?
     
  7. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    The regionals don't set the prices for their ticket. They get paid a flat fee by the mainline for each departure, so they don't have the ability to up the tickets to cover that increase in pay.
     
  8. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    His message is a bit muddled, when defining which private pilots he dislikes.

    At one time he expresses dislike for pilots who fly on the weekend. I suppose those pilots are working, as you suggest, and therefore of a pre-retirement age.

    However, at another time he singles out "old men":
    "A vast majority of GA pilots are just fine, but IMO, the ones that generally are the problem children are the ones most likely to need no medical to keep flying (ie, the old men ..."

    So what's the scope of his dislike of private pilots: Weekend pilots? Old men? Maybe Old men who fly only on weekends? We don't know.

    Anyway, he thinks a medical certificate is useful as a kind of age-selection tool, to get older pilots out of the way. Let them begone from his airspace, from his Class E airports, and from his favorite radio frequencies as well! Let these Old men take their medical exams and fail, so that they don't bother him any more!
     
  9. nddons

    nddons Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oooh. Just ask ALPA. It's going to be "grave"! Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.
     
  10. jimson

    jimson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well I am one who is pursuing SPL partially because of this.

    I do believe I could get a medical with a hell of a bunch of hoops to jump through and probably thousands of extra dollars in tests etc. Sport fits my mission so well, it's the best choice for me.

    Drivers license medical for PPL might tip the balance though, but until then, hell no I'm not submitting to the ridiculous arbitrary medical standards they pull out of their arse.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  11. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It is a UNION. The leadership probably has different ideas than the pilots, and for their own special interests.
     
  12. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Bottom line - it's not his air.
     
  13. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    First, the assumption you bolded was my attempt to see what numbers would result if a critic of elimination of 3rd class medicals would make that claim. I think it useful to anticipate potential arguments to see where they lead.

    Second, the idea of taking incapacitation statistics from car accidents and applying them to aviation accidents is not my idea, but comes from paragraph 4 of this document by the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) that was sent to the FAA opposing PBOR2: http://www.asma.org/asma/media/AsMA...ical-Certification-Legislation-April-2015.pdf

    Their math in paragraph 4 made the egregious mistake of multiplying an incapacitation accident rate per year by number of pilots, which yields a number with units that make no sense. They mistakenly thought the number was a pure "accident" count. The fact that it came out to 2503, twice as large as the last two year's annual average accident rate of ~1347, should have made them realize their math was hosed. My (hopefully correct) math yields about 16 extra crashes per year.

    Interestingly, in paragraph 2 of their document they claim 5 of 180 fatal accidents (~2.8%) are due to pilot incapacitation [they don't provide the source for this number.] This accident rate occurred under the current medical standards, so by their own math and arguments the accident rate due to pilot incapacitation might be expected to rise from 2.8% to 4.0% (2.8 + 1.2).

    Yes, that is one of the assumptions. My assumptions were deliberately chosen to be somewhat pessimistic relative to the position I hold. Since the alleged rate on aviation accidents due to pilot incapacitation is already ~2.8% while the car driver accident rate is ~1.2%, it may be that the third class medicals aren't preventing incapacitation accidents in any measurable way. In fact the AsMA document inadvertently admits that autopsies on pilots who died in accidents but were medically certified as "fit" found that 25% had moderate to severe "medical hazards." That's a large percentage of pilots! Either the autopsies aren't terribly reliable or the general pilot population is pretty dang unhealthy.
     
  14. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Whether you or the AsMA made the assumption, it's still erroneous. Maybe if pilots flying never had passengers.
     
  15. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Medical hazards is a loaded term. A dude 30 pounds overweight is probably assigned as having a medical hazard post-mortem. Guys with high-cholesterol, hang nails, and fat feet. Old dudes have a million things that could be qualified as "medical hazards." Being old in the first place is a medical hazard.

    The real question would be if said "medical hazards" have absolutely anything to do with crashing airplanes There's pretty much no evidence the 3rd class actually prevents accidents.
     
  16. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Exactly. Old guys and overweight guys are at risk for a bunch more maladies. Stroke, heart disease, hi BP, blood clots, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc. The 3rd class is just a way to winnow the population. There is prolly a statistic for the lesser risk, but it's so low as to be almost unmeasureable. Sadly, the FAA is no longer in the biz of promoting aviation, so anything they can and will do to lessen the risk pool, even microscopically they will do. Ergo - sleep apnea.
     
  17. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Many of the ones I know personally do it out of a love of all things aviation.

    Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
     
  18. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    A what you and Mary paid souunds high compared to my experiences.

    Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
     
  19. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    All depends on what issues were involved, how much legwork the AME had to do. My AME charges $120 for the basic 3rd class exam, plus $50 for each SI and $20 for each CACI. Thanks to the FAA crackdown and my medical event during the winter, I would have owed over $300 for my visit last month, but he discounted me down to $260.

    Rereading Jay's post, if both he and Mary went in and paid not $250 each but $250 in all, that's $125 per exam which is actually not too far out of line, even assuming no extra work on the AME's part.
     
  20. vkhosid

    vkhosid Cleared for Takeoff

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    Granted, I've had to deal with an AME only once (last May) since I just got my ticket, but I don't have a single bad thing to say regarding my personal experience. As a bit of background, I was 28 with poor vision in my left eye.

    The AME charged $80 for the visit, and exam lasted about 30-45 minutes. At the end of the visit, he was going to print out the temporary medical for me, but ran into an issue with my vision. He called OKC to try and sort it out, but they required some additional paperwork from both him (the AME) and my optometrist.

    After I got the paperwork in order, and gave it to him, he did his part, and then I faxed it into OKC. He was even nice enough to call and follow up with them 2 or 3 times on how long it was taking them to process. Not only that, he also offered to just fill out one of those old cardboard-type cards that are no longer being issued as a "temporary" medical while the FAA was processing the "real" one.

    Overall, for $80, I can't say a single bad thing about this guy. To say that he went above and beyond to get me up and solo-ing (because the medical was the only thing that was holding me back at that point) is an understatement.

    Just my limited experience with a local AME
     
  21. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've seen Bruce over at the red-board. He is certainly a guy who attacks quickly and I could see why some wouldn't like him.

    With that said, I don't have an issue with AMEs.

    The problem isn't AMEs. It's all the stupid crap the FAA disqualifies people for. If the 3rd class were actually reasonable instead of grounding people for hundreds of things that have zero to do with flying or could possibly lead to an incapacitation, there'd probably be no debate about this. The AMEs could do their tests and everyone would be happy.

    But we know that's not what happens. You've got people disqualified for getting ADHD medicine when they were 12 or because they had a certain cancer. It's just stupid.
     
  22. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    Wasn't it a couple 121ers who fell asleep at the helm years ago?

    Irony.
     
  23. pilot1956

    pilot1956 Pre-Flight

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    KSCessnaDriver wrote: "IMO, everyone should have to pass a medical to fly."

    OK, fine. IMO, everyone like KSCessnaDriver should go to jail. What? It's unfair you say? You have evidence that you don't pose a risk to anyone? So what! My opinion is my opinion and it doesn't have to be based on any empirical reality and nothing you can say will change it.

    See how silly your argument is?
     
  24. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think I found a pilot with Alzheimer's last weekend.

    He was fortunately RIGHT seat (I was PIC), but he was clearly having trouble understanding what was going on. He seemed to be doing everything out of habit, and got really confused when things didn't fit the pattern. He could not do anything with a GPS he claimed proficiency in.

    He's a licensed and current pilot. No way in hell I'd fly with him at the controls. I *may* allow him in the back seat, but his judgment is so bad, I don't want the controls in reach. Stupidly, I let him fly straight and level while I programmed the GPS in flight. He didn't understand simple instructions like "don't cross Hwy 99" (it's an extremely obvious landmark there) and held altitude like a student pilot. I won't make that mistake again.

    Should he have a medical? Should he be required to be evaluated? Or do we just let him crash somewhere?

    Fortunately, he flies around LA, far from me. But lots of potential for collateral damage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  25. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How was he as far as carrying on a conversation before the flight? Could he shoot the **** with an AME? What would be the medically disqualifying condition?

    How does he pass a flight review?

    Which would be more likely to uncover his problem - a flight review or ****ing in a cup?
     
  26. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OTOH. I ride right seat (for PIC purposes) with a guy well into his 80s who lost his medical for sleep apnea after a camping trip where someone claimed he snores. I would ride in the back seat and sleep all the way to Malaysia if he were piloting. Flight reviews are enough.
     
  27. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Without more runways you can make all the time you want in the system but you still won't be able to get there. I'm having a hard time believing GA traffic is soaking up significant IFR bandwidth compared to commercial flights, especially from major hubs where ga doesnt fly. The major airports in upstate New York are dead--they actually welcome practice IFR traffic.
     
  28. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    Excellent point you make there.
     
  29. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How about no medical = yearly flight review?
     
  30. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith En-Route

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  31. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    Id be ok with that. Much cheaper and much less hassle.

    As in the example given above, a flight review would probably catch more issues than a medical would. Screen for the ability to competently operate the aircraft and safe decision making. Of course, that assumes CFIs will do their job and not rubber stamp the pilot.
     
  32. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    I think we're getting closer to the real reason for the ALPA position...get the spam can drivers the **** out of "their" airspace.
     
  33. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    When you get your ATP, do you also get a complimentary admission to the Assclown Society?
     
  34. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  35. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    I know several ATPs personally and not one has the ****ty attitude towards "lesser" aviation shown by that poster a few pages back.
     
  36. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    I know several as well. Some tow gliders on the weekend, some don't even have SE ratings and haven't flown anything resembling GA since initial training. I don't think it's fair to generalize, but of course that's what unions do. Union leadership speaks for the members, notwithstanding the fact that, as we've clearly seen, some members agree and some don't.
     
  37. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What do you think the second A in ALPA stands for? :D
     
  38. NoHeat

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    Yes.

    Recurrent training is a good idea. Flight review or IPC.

    If a flight review sometimes touches upon runway incursion, that alone will improve safety for airlines much more than a third class medical.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  39. pilot1956

    pilot1956 Pre-Flight

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    Of course a flight review is a better measure of a pilot's ability to safely fly an airplane than an examination by a medical doctor. It actually involves flying the airplane.
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Which has more time and money spent on it by FAA: Building a better currency and flight review system for non-Commercial pilots, or the flight medical bureaucracy?