Helmets and head and neck safety

The membership who were able to attend in Seattle will recall (and the rest will now learn) of the request for our organization to put together presentations relating to simulators as a substitute for currency flying. Bob Munson has worked on that and found that none of the membership has anything at present to present. Our topic that Bob is putting together relates to helmets, head protection and future efforts in that direction. Anyone with current or recent work on the current helmet efforts, problems, head safety, neck safety, etc. should contact Bob Munson to assist him with this year's panel. In addition, anyone who has research on, or about, flying simulators and it's utility beyond being a procedural trainer should contact Bob electronically at:
"Munson, Robert"



After approval of theprevious meeting minutes Pete Mapes gave a report of the meeting with the AsMA Executive committee. This included a discussion for the home office to collect constituent organization dues when membership fees are collected and then pay the respective organizations. At present there is no charge for this service. The members present voted to accept this proposal with one dissenting vote.

Treasurer's and membership reports were given. Discussion was made as the possibility of using an amnesty to get all delinquent members current on back dues. The idea was not accepted at that time.

There was discussion of the use of email for delivering the newsletter and what format should be used. Including the information in an email message vice as an attachment was requested to decrease download time.

Bob Munson agreed to honcho next years program committee. Geff McCarthy related a request from the safety committee to present discussion on the use of simulator time verses flight time for maintaining proficiency. The consensus decided to look at that possibility as well as the helmets/head-as-a-platform issue.

National reports of the status of pilot-physician programs followed. Israel's program is presently on the back side of the pendulum swing and is somewhat balanced by the very strong program present in Sweden as presented by Jan Linder with five currently flying and three in the pipeline to start. The UK currently has ten in aviation medicine, most of whom are flying and has one potential trainee. The USAF reports a healthy and growing program with a requirement for 18-21 billets. (USAF report later in this issue). The US Navy now has an instruction that includes Naval Flight Officers and Physiologists with one helo applicant pending. The new pipeline will have all potential pilot-physician completing the aerospace medicine residency as they move toward dual designation. There are four currently flying and one, Dave Brown, who is with NASA.

There was discussion of management of our web page (more to follow) and what information we would like to see there.

Changes to our constitution made at our previous meeting were reviewed with discussion initiated by Dr. Kallman concerning the AsMA membership requirements.

There was a suggesting concerning regional chapters to be discussed next year.

A group photograph was taken to be include on our web page.



I am writing this during my last week at Farnborough. I will be moving to Washington DC in July, where I will be a student for the next year at the National Defense University. I won't be flying during the next year, but it's hard to have any regrets when I look back at all the fine flying I have had in the past 20 years. Some of the most rewarding flying I have done has been here in the UK. During the past two years, in our two modified Hawks, I have been testing USAF equipment in a Test Project Agreement with the UK. I have also been able to test Eurofighter equipment, some new helmets with display visors, and various other items. It has been a perfect job for a Pilot Physician. But, I may be the last in a line that has stretched back to Dave Root almost 25 years ago!

With the reorganization and consolidation of the UK's research organizations under the Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), the RAF School of Aviation Medicine no longer has research and development responsibilities and will relocate to RAF Henlow later this year as a teaching organization. Significantly, the final disposition of the RAF SAM Hawks, modified and instrumented for the aeromedical R&D role and outfitted for Eurofighter human systems support tasks remain unclear beyond next year. The position I have held (Senior Medical Officer Pilot) will be suspended for a year when I leave on 1 July, while the RAF SAM closes and the new Centre for Aviation Medicine establishes itself at Henlow. If during that time it becomes clear that the airborne R&D role will be supported by a well-defined plan, a suitable USAF Pilot Physician candidate will be identified and trained. The USAF position is that if research and development flying will continue in any form, supported by any organization in the UK MoD, it is in both nations' interest to continue the Pilot Physician exchange position. I hope that we will be back to the UK in the near future.

This post has been part of our community for a long time and I knew you would be interested in what is happening to it. Now to some Association business...

Thanks to everyone who attended the scientific panel and business meeting in Seattle! I will leave it to Eric to present the business meeting minutes, but I was very pleased with the level of positive participation among the attendees. I was a bit under-the-weather with a respiratory bug and jet-lag, but you made my job easy. Despite efforts to keep the meeting short, we still went longer than planned, mainly due to the enthusiasm of the members present, and some new business that we discussed. In fact, we didn't get to all of the planned business. I want to comment on a couple of the items we did discuss. I know we say this almost every year (maybe because we keep topping ourselves), but the panel was the best I have seen. Bob Munson, who organized the panel, and all of the authors deserve our gratitude for the quality of the papers presented. There is no doubt that the very sizeable audience benefited from this expertly presented tutorial on laser eye protection. Well-done, Bob! As for next year - we have been asked by the Safety Committee (Geff McCarthy, Chair) to take on the hot topic of using simulators for flying currency. The members present agreed to this, and several members have volunteered to present, or recruit suitable experts. Bob Munson will outline this, and the other important topic we may take on in a second panel next year in Detroit, in his column in this newsletter. Allison Eke has agreed to co-chair the program committee this year to help Bob with the European coordination for papers.

Just before the meeting adjourned, Ben Kallner proposed a new membership category for individuals who wish to be a member of the IAMFSP but cannot afford, or are unwilling to pay, dues to be a member of AsMA. Frank Austin said the Navy Flight Surgeons do this by allowing "corresponding members". Due to the shortage of time, I asked Ben to write to me about this and that we would present this in the newsletter for consideration by the members. He has done so, and in some discussion with him, and with his agreement, I have summarized his proposal as follows:

"Corresponding Members of the IAMFSP (the Association) will meet the same requirements as other members, with the exception that AsMA membership is not required. Corresponding members will receive newsletters, may attend Association business meetings, vote on all Association business, participate in the annual scientific panel, but may not hold office. Members in this category will NOT count toward constituent status on the AsMA Executive Council, but will be listed as a member and be accessible for expert consultation if they submit their information to the IAMFSP web site."

Dr. Kallner feels very strongly that we should preserve a list of the people who do what we do, and never strike them off. In practice, we have agreed numerous times not to drop members, but to make them inactive until they pop up on our screen again and pay dues again (not every year since they disappeared). We reaffirmed that again this year. Dr. Kallner wants to make sure we list and have access to everyone who does or has done what we do for a living, including those who don't belong to AsMA. As requested, I now put this before the membership for consideration for discussion at the business meeting in Detroit next year. Malcolm Braithwaite, who takes over as President next year, has also been included in this discussion.

By the way, our own Col Braithwaite was just named on the Queen's Honors List as recipient of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.)! Outstanding news, Malcolm! We are very proud of you!

That's about it from me. I couldn't be more pleased with how the business has gone this year. Thanks to Malcolm, Eric, Bob and the Association members for another successful year! Please submit or update your information for the web-site with Eric, and send any news or information for our newsletter. If I am allowed to leave DC to come to Detroit (looking doubtful), I will see you there next year. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing of your successes and moves in the newsletter! Cheers from Farnborough!

p.s. My e-mail address will not change: TTravis21@AOL.COM


VP Column

Greetings from the UK (where we now have to carry on without Tom Travis) - but maybe we'll manage somehow!

It was good to meet many of you in Seattle - I note that as I attended the full meeting, I didn't get spammed for any other jobs (there's a moral there somewhere!) Last month I had the honour to be invited to attend an informal dinner of the RAF "Flying Doctors" - most of these fine fellows are now retired from military service, but keep up their interest in matters medical and flying. In recent years they have asked some of the Royal Navy and Army medical flyers to attend - to add some young blood? I had the good fortune to sit next to Sir Geoffrey Dhenin (a famous name in UK Aviation Medicine). There can't be many dual designators with SPITFIRE in their logbooks. He is a truly fascinating man with some wonderful war stories - perhaps we should ask him to relate some to us.

As we ran out of time at the business meeting in Seattle, we were unable to discuss something that I wanted to propose. I will therefore give you some brief details so that you may consider them for discussion the next time we meet: All (or most) of us can realistically only meet annually at the AsMA conference. However, if we formed some "chapters" of IAMFSP around the world, maybe we could enhance our association and interaction. A proposal would be to focus them in the following areas: West Coast (US), East Coast (US), UK (+/- Europe) or various European regions, Australia & New Zealand.

Please give this some thought, and if it sounds a good idea, we can launch straight into the discussion next May.

Very kind regards to all,


From The Secretary Treasurer

My apologies to all for not getting this newsletter out sooner. My travel this summer has been greater than anticipated and I see little abatement until the end of November. As a result I am putting out a request for someone who is willing to assume the duties of Secretary/Treasurer until the elections in May of 1999. If anyone feels they have the time please contact me and we will work out the details as well as conferring with Tom and Malcolm.

Money Accounts as of 31 Aug 98 stand as follows: Savings $491.23 Money Market $3006.74 Checking $250.22

Membership/Dues Status At the meeting we picked up an additional member which, as I count, puts our number at 100. Unfortunately not all are up to date on their dues. Those members in arrears are being contacted individually.

Email I presently have an alphabetical list of the email addresses of 36 of our members. The electronic version of this newsletter will be going to that group. I'll be happy to share this list if someone wants it and no one has any objection.

Web Page I have been unable to get to it all summer so it is unchanged. (Harry, I'll take that help.)


USAF Report

Col Rodger Vanderbeek, the USAF Pilot Physician Program Director, was unable to attend the meeting in Seattle. Col Tom Travis reported for the USAF program and provides the following information:

Name / Position:

Col Rod Vanderbeek (MC-130P) AFSOC/SG, Hurlburt Field FL
Col Tom Travis (British Hawk) RAF Exchange, Farnborough, UK
Lt Col Pete Demitry (ANG A-10) AFIT Occ Med Residency, Boston
LtCol Byron Hepburn ( C-17) C-17 Test Ops/Medical, Charleston AFB SC
LtCol Lex Brown (F-117) AFRL/HE, WPAFB OH
Lt Col Bob Munson HSC/YA, Brooks AFB TX
LtCol Pete Mapes 1AMDS/CC, Langley AFB VA
LtCol Steve Hadley (MH-60) 55 SOS/DO, Hurlburt Field FL
Maj Corky Dillon Ophthalmology Resident, WHMC, Lackland

Program gains: Lt Col Steve Hadley is an Army Ophthalmologist on a 3-yr tour with the Air Force at AFSOC (began Nov 96). One projected gain in CY98.

Some of these Pilot Physicians are on the move this summer:

Rod Vanderbeek - Commander, USAF Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB TX
Tom Travis - Industrial College of the Armed Forces, FtMcNair, Washington, DC
Pete Mapes - Headquarters, Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB TX
Pete Demitry - Headquarters, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB VA
Byron Hepburn - Air War College, Maxwell AFB AL

In the past 18 months we went through a process to devise strategies for training, resourcing, career management, utilization, marketing of value/return on investment, and product enhancement. In this process, we identified our core competencies:

1. Provide Expert Operational Aeromedical Guidance [Synthesize experiences from aviation and medical roles, to assist commanders, researchers, product developers, acquisition processes, etc.]

2. Conduct Research [Operationally focused research and guidance.]

3. Teach [Aerospace medicine to aircrew; aviation /mission to medics.]

4. Perform Operational Analyses [Man, machine, and mission in operational environments, to include mishap analysis.]

Mission: "Pilot Physicians provide integrated operational aeromedical guidance, research, education and analysis to Air Force warfighters, to optimize mission capability, performance, safety and cost."

Vision: "Pilot Physicians fully integrated in the development and employment of aerospace systems, ensuring optimal warfighting effectiveness for the US Air Force."

As part of the process to determine the future of the program, MAJCOMs received briefings on the PPP and were asked to provide their requirements for PPs (or the implicit opportunity to reject the program if no requirements were stated). Out of these briefings last year, the MAJCOMs responded with requirements for between 18 and 21 USAF Pilot Physicians. Formal pipeline strategies will be devised to support the increased need for PPs. Several outstanding candidates are already within a year or two of applying to the program, and some are just entering medical training. We are extremely excited about the prospects for our growing program and the increased demand for our services. More to come...



VP's EMAIL ADDRESS Malcolm Braithwaite:

Secretary/Treasurer's EMAIL ADDRESS Eric Schindler:


Update of Members (from each in their words)

Bill Tarver ( As far as an update about me goes - I moved from Aeromedical Services Flight Commander at Kunsan AB, ROK to Associate Director, Preventive Medicine, School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, TX. Still not a military pilot, don't expect to ever be. I think I'm the only "affiliate" member if I recall the terminology correctly. I run the Air Forces Aircraft Mishap Investigation and Prevention course as well as the tri-service Global Medicine course. As an FYI sort of thing, the School of Aerospace Medicine is starting a General Preventive Medicine residency this next academic year. RAMs may elect to do either Occ Med or GPM in the third year of the Aerospace Medicine program.


MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: For an update of where you are and what you are doing email me at: