INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MILITARY FLIGHT SURGEON PILOTS
P.O. Box 21792 Roanoke, VA 24018
IAMSFP NEWSLETTER WINTER 1999
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN (February, 1999)
Greetings from the National Defense University, Washington DC. I am pleased to report that the International Association of Military Flight Surgeon Pilots (IAMSFP) is strong and thriving (sounds like the State of the Union address...well, not really). The middle of winter is when there is usually the least going on in our business. But, thanks to some energetic members, our lines of communication and prospects for another successful scientific panel at the AsMA meeting are better than ever.
First, Harry Hoffman has done a brilliant job in getting us up and running on the e-list. This has been a significant milestone in the Association's history. For the first time, we can communicate throughout the year in an almost real-time fashion. Harry has also taken on the task of updating our new web site a long overdue facelift to our interface with the rest of the world. There are links to AsMA and even the meeting site hotel in Detroit. If you have not seen it lately, go to: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/2265 and take a look. Many folks have updated their information - I encourage you to do the same. We get plenty of hits on this site. It is our expertise list and an advertisement for what we can do for the aerospace community! It works! There is also a new e-mail link that will forward directly to an officer of the Association so that he or she may direct the inquiry to an appropriate member (another reason to have your info up-to-date!). This makes our expertise even more accessible - a long-time goal. Thanks, Harry!
Speaking of accessible, and leading into some of the update discussions further down in this newsletter, the USAF Pilot Physician Program has a new page on the AFIT web site. The information there was provided by the USAF PP program and we get a number of e-mail requests from interested candidates on a regular basis. There is a link to AsMA, USAFSAM, and the IAMFSP web site (I have e-mailed the webmaster with our new address and also told him to ditch or replace the cheesy airplane at the top!). The USAF PP site is http://ci.afit.af.mil/cim/cimj/flying%20physician%20program.htm.
Bob Munson (now a Colonel-select!! - Congrats, Bob!) has done a great job putting together our panel this year. This will be a double panel session regarding military flight helmets (many very interesting topics here). The abstracts are posted on our web site (go look!) and are discussed below. The panel will be in our usual Tuesday afternoon slots (beginning at 1400), and I have requested a room for our business meeting that afternoon after the panel. Details on that to follow before May!
Speaking of business, as most of you know, Eric Schindler has given up the reins on the Secretary/Treasurer's job. He was just too busy with his other taskings to give it the time it requires. I appreciate all the work he has done for us, and am sorry he had to relinquish the job. But, Dwight Holland has volunteered to take over until we elect a new Secretary/ Treasurer in May, and is responsible for getting this newsletter out. He is very energetic and the transition has been seamless so far. Thanks, Dwight! Incidentally, we will need to elect a new VP/ President-elect and Secretary/Treasurer (Dwight?) in May. Energetic volunteers required!
Finally, it is now certain that I will not be with you in Detroit. My course here requires some international travel (darn!). I will be in Warsaw, Brussels and Madrid doing an NATO study while you fine folks are meeting in Detroit. Obvious qualitative comparison of destinations aside, I am very sorry that there is a conflict and that I will not be there for the fine scientific panel or the business meeting. However, Malcolm Braithwaite and I are already working on the transition. He will represent us at the AsMA Executive Council on the Sunday of the meeting week, and he will have the gavel firmly in hand in Detroit, taking over as President for the next two years. I am excited that more good things will happen during his tenure. In the meantime, I wish you well!
Col Tom Travis
(Note: Having looked at this newsletter right before it went to press, all I can say is WOW!! Thanks to a great response to Dwight's solicitation for electronic contributions since Christmas, we not only have the longest, but perhaps the most informative newsletter I have seen in my 8 years as a member. This is an outstanding summary of what our members are accomplishing. I am impressed! I am sure you will agree - there is a lot here!! Thanks to all who contributed! TT)
VICE PRESIDENT'S COLUMN
Greetings from the UK and a Happy New Year to all. News from this side of the pond:
ARMY AVIATION MEDICINE:
We continue to have a thriving band of Specialists in Aviation Medicine (SAMs). A few notes about some of the things that have been going on since the last newsletter.
Winds of change: In common with most of you - things don't sit still. The UK had its Strategic Defence Review (SDR) in Autumn last year. The result for the things that we are interested in are summarised as follows:
Army Aviation: A growth "industry" while the rest of the Army is getting smaller - mainly because the UK is committed to buying 67 Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters. The first has flown at Mesa, Arizona (with Rolls Royce engines - which the TP's are quoted as "adoring" - lots more power. Some of the Avn Med Issues are mentioned below.
Defence Medical Services: After a catastrophic wide and deep cut a few years ago, the UK Ministry of Defence has realised that it went "too far". The game plan now is to try and recover. The main areas of weakness are in the hospital clinical specialities and a study team has just formed up to implement the recommendations to improve matters. Fortunately, Occupational and Aviation medicine are not too affected.
The Apache: Apache continues to concentrate the mind on Avn Med issues. The human factor wasn't given a very high weighting in the procurement process (familiar statement!) and so there are alot of issues that we are trying to get straight before the In-service date. A few examples are:
a. contact lenses for visually challenged aviators (spectacles don't integrate well with the helmet display unit) - the optician (optopmetrist) contract is imminent and as we are just about to start sending instructors to the USA.
b. underwater escape - Allison Eke is heading up a research team from the DERA Centre for Human Sciences to look into the requirements and methods of training.
c. Minimum and maximum body weight for the stroking seat. It's the first time that the Army has had a crash worthy aircraft and so we need to be more selective in who we allow to fly in the aircraft.
Personalities: To bring you up to speed, this is who we currently have in the speciality:
Col Malcolm Braithwaite. Consultant Adviser (the Director's doc and trying to keep those below under control!)
Lt Col Allison Eke. Consultant in Avn Med to DERA Centre for Human Sciences. Allison is doing a lot of research work on Apache, PLUS extending her expertise into the rarified high altitude arena - e.g. training record attempting high altitude parachutists and balloonists!
Lt Col Paul Cain. Consultant to LAND Command. Paul achieved his consultant status in April 98. He will be the first incumbent of a new post (when his present one disappears) - SO1 Avn Med of the Joint Helicopter Command which incorporates all Battlefield helicopters of the Navy, Army and Air Force under single Operational Control - due to form up by Sep 99. Paul has just left for a 3 month tour in Bosnia as SO1 Med for the Multinational Division - we wish him fun and satisfaction in the job and a safe return.
Lt Col Mark Adams. Mark is the senior Avn Med doc at the Army's two Regiment airfield at Wattisham, Suffolk. He's now finished his Specialist Registrar training and we anticipate that he will be appointed as a Consultant in the near future.
Lt Col Phil Johnson. Phil is our man at Fort Rucker (USAARL) where he's branching out from Spatial Disorientation into impact stuff - helmets and air bags and so on (and getting to see some of the USA as well).
Major Ian Curry. Ian has just started an 8 month attachment to DERA CHS before he attends a course for his MSc in Occupational Medicine.
Major Mike Harrigan. Mike is the Specialist Registrar at the School of Army Aviation, Middle Wallop where he keeps the students and instructors alike fit for the job. Mike is due to present the preliminary findings of an audit of medical selection at AsMA in Detroit.
Major Andy Manton. Andy looks after 1 Regt AAC in Gutersloh, Germany. He won the Diploma in Avn Med prize on last year's Farnborough Course - well done. Regrettably (for us) , he has chosen to leave the Army next year and will be looking for a job - offers!
Major Mark Rooms. Mark is just about to complete his operational conversion onto Gazelle having gained his wings last December (and a clean sweep of ALL the prizes on the pilot's course!). He takes over from Andy after some consolidation flying next summer.
Major Alaistair Bushby. Alaistair is currently on the operational training phase of his pilot's course and doing extremely well.
Major Paul Richards. Paul is our newest recruit and has just started the Diploma in Aviation medicine Course at Kings College London (see below).
You may remember some ex-SAMs: Col Simon Durnford retired from the Army last Spring and is happily ensconced in his 112 acre farm in Devon whilst doing some part-time Occupational Medicine to help ends meet. Col Rob Thornton works for the Surgeon General in London where he is Assistant Director Medical Policy. Col Mike von Bertele has just started working for the Defence Medical Services team that will study and then implement the enhancements referred to above.
ROYAL AIR FORCE AVIATION MEDICINE:
There are two significant changes to mention:
1. The RAF School of Aviation Medicine (previously RAF IAM) has now moved from Farnbough to be incorporated in a multi-disciplinary RAF Centre for Aviation Medicine (RAF CAM) at RAF Henlow. This facility (which will include the new RAF centrifuge) also houses the Aviation Medicine Training Wing, Medical Board, Accident Investigation section (and a few others I am sure I have forgotten!) and is well worth a visit if you're over this way.
2. The Diploma in Aviation Medicine course is now being run jointly by Kings College, London and RAF CAM. The Course Director is one Professor John Ernsting! Details of course applications for this 7 month course can be provided - this year the fee is 10,000 pounds (c. $16.5K).
ROYAL NAVY AVIATION MEDICINE:
Commander Chris Stoot heads a small but dedicate band of RN doctors who are strategically placed around the UK. VP can provide contact details if anyone requires.
Col Malcolm Braithewaite
Hello to all from California! Just a few notes to catch everyone up with the work on the IAMFSP Website that has occurred.
E-MAIL LIST: Since mid-September 1998 IAMFSP has had an e-mail list. As of January 1999, we have over 50 members subscribed. For those not familiar with the way an e-mail list works, it's like an electronic online bulletin board: any message sent to a central address by any subscriber is "broadcast" to all other subscribers. Replies to these messages are also sent to all other subscribers. The system we have chosen for this service is free (sponsored by somewhat unobtrusive text advertisements that appear at the bottom of most messages). The system also offers online web-based archives of the messages which can be read only by subscribers (our list is private and only IAMFSP members are approved). The eGroups list offers features such as selection of a daily "digest" of messages or reading only on the web, etc. More detail will be available on the list for subscribers.
The list is not for everyone, but it has definitely already helped disseminate information and tracking among the subscribers. The volume of messages is light: about a dozen or so every month. Our hopes are that with increased communication we will not have a void of information and contact between annual IAMFSP meetings at AsMA. We even have had an electronic version of the Newsletter distributed via the list and also posted on the Website.
Joining the list is simple. Send a blank e-mail FROM THE ACCOUNT YOU WANT AFFECTED to either subscribe or unsubscribe as follows:
If you prefer, just send e-mail to me (Harry Hoffman) and I will subscribe you and assist in setting up your preferences.
WEB SITE: Several problems have become apparent with the maintenance of the IAMFSP AOL Account and Website. First, it costs money (not that much, but why spend it if you don't have to?). Second, with each change of responsibility for the site, the new person would have to learn the procedures for updating the site and authoring web pages in HTML code. Added to the already overtasked existence of most Physician/Pilots, this resulted in the site not being updated regularly.
With the concurrence of the present Staff, yours truly offered to assist and also make some changes: First, we will discontinue the AOL account and website in the near future. It will be replaced by another "free" system: Geocities (which has just been acquired by Yahoo). Like eGroups, the site is supported by advertising - but the ads are again unobtrusive, and appear at the bottom of site pages, so the tradeoff is probably worth the advantages (a "permanent" and free 10 Megabyte site that can be easily maintained by FTP or web-based editing, plus a free e-mail address). The new site is basically a carbon-copy of the old design, and has some more bells and whistles: (1) A search feature, (2) A Guestbook, (3) Page Ranking, (4) Chat, and (5) an E-mail Link. It also has a page counter which will be re-set to the value of the last AOL page visit. Maintenance of the website can now be accomplished via web browser, name and password.
There will be a referral page placed at the old AOL site which will then "auto-transfer" visitors to the new site 10 seconds after arriving.
The URL (web address) of the new IAMFSP Site is:
The new e-mail address is: IAMFSP (click on link to send e-mail)
The e-mail address appears on the site and has a forwarding feature so that mail sent to it can be automatically forwarded to any other e-mail address. Tom Travis has "volunteered" for the first round of this duty. :-)
We will maintain the flexibility to move the site to any location, but for now this seems like the best plan. Meanwhile, please visit the site and feel free to offer any comments, criticisms or suggestions. While you're there, check out the existing biographies and please take the time to send us an update of your own info so that we can post it along with the others (info on how to do this is at the site).
Thanks and Best Wishes,
Harry Hoffman, MD, MPH
PROGRAM CHAIR REPORT
Col (sel) Bob Munson has an excellent program for us again this year with help from all of his panelists. The individual abstracts can be found on the Web Site. The following papers will be presented during two sessions in a discussion panel format on 18 May 99 from 1400 - 1530, and from 1600 - 1730.
DISCUSSION PANEL: Military Flight Helmets-- Is Head Protection Still Important?
Helmet Trends: Upsetting the Balance of Capability and Protection. R. Munson.
Why the Lights Go Out: The Current Understanding of Concussion. S. Archer.
Review of Head Injury Impact Criteria. L. Obergefell and C. Perry.
A Comparison of U.S. and British Testing Methodologies by Testing Helmets Against the Alternative Standard. A. Foreman and N. Eastaugh.
UK Approach to Standardization of Aviation Helmet Impact Requirements. A. Foremen and N. Eastaugh.
Head Injuries Caused by the Headbox of the Aces II Seat. G. Peters and R. Munson.
Integrating Aircrew Protection and Man-Mounted Display Technology-- The Eurofighter Solution. R. Craft.
Development of a Virtual Head-Mounted Analysis and Development System. C. White.
We hope that you will be able to attend at least one of these two sessions.
INTERIM SECRETARY/TREASURER REPORT
Greetings from the academic ivory towers of VA TECH (Human Factors/Systems Engineering) and University of Virginia (Medicine) in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. As a personal note, the research has been fascinating, and the flying quite good given that I am a full-time Ph.D./M.D. Candidate between these two programs (Citation II and V jets on occasion, Sierra, Sundowner props).
Eric Schindler has graciously handed off the purse and secretarial duties to me due to having a busier and more hectic schedule as this year went on. As I write this letter (12 Feb 99), we are doing very well in the area of finances. The IAMSFP balances are as follows before this Winter 1999 mailing:
Checking-- $ 9.59 Savings-- $ 499.10 Money market-- $ 3867.65
The dues statuses of each member are being worked out between Eric and me and will be prepared and reported in the next IAMFSP Newsletter, which will likely be out just before the AsMA Meeting in Detroit.
On the membership side of the house, we are rapidly accelerating our ability to communicate with each other between newsletter s and meetings through an expanded Email capability that Harry Hoffman has been so hard at work on. We currently have 50 of our members using this service, with recent changes as noted to some individuals addresses.
* = Recent additions or corrections
[The following are "mailto:" links (click on name to send
e-mail). This is an attempt to minimize the ability of "Spammers"
to harvest e-mail addresses directly off our web page(s). - webmaster sends]
"Michael Adams" *
"William D. Agerton"
"Frank H. Austin"
"James C. Baker"
"David M. Brown" *
"William T. Busch" *
"Yehezkel G. Caine"
"John T. Chambers"
"Harold D. Dillon"
"Allison Eke" *
"Edmond F. Feeks" *
"David B. Gillis" (Personal)
"John F. Hall"
"Wilbur Hallier" *
"Lee H. Harvis"
"T Arthur Hawley"
"David R. Jones"
"Warren B. Klein"
"James L. Laub"
"Geoffrey W. McCarthy"
"William F. Miller"
"Gerald L. Muehlberger"
"David E. Root" *
"William J. Tarver"
"Rodger Vanderbeek" *
If your email address is incorrect, or changes, please let us know ASAP.
Also, please make sure that I have a current address for you, or that you let the organizational leadership know of your new address when you have a change of station. Remember to call AsMA HQ (703) 739-2240 with updated email, phone and physical location information as a backup.
If you, or a colleague that you know is in our organization and does not get this newsletter, please advise them to contact me as soon as possible so that I may forward them one to the correct address. Currently, we have nearly 100 members that are either active, or have been so in the past several years. Let's get those inactive members moving and back on board! It is a team effort and takes all of us to do it. If everyone were to get together, it is possible that we might achieve Constituent Status (instead of just affiliate) in the not-to-distant future.
As a matter of information, we are providing the newletters by internet to those on the web, and mailing out newsletters to those that we do not have an email address for. We will also mail out newsletters by "snail mail" to those electronic mail members that specifically request it. This will save on postage costs since this newletter alone runs 15 pages and the cost of sending it to everyone by "snail mail" would be significant. We will do so as is needed, however.
Lastly, thanks to the folks that wrote in or followed up to some of my email or phone messages. I hope that those additions to this newsletter make this a more informative and interesting bit of reading.
Dwight Holland, Interim SEC/TREAS IAMFSP
540 772 0193
540 774 3465
540 772 6367 (fax)
NEWS FROM MEMBERS/ORGANIZATIONS
Of the original IAMFSP members from Canada, I am the only one left in the CF. This past summer I was promoted to Colonel and posted as the CO of CFEME and the Deputy Director General of DCIEM in Toronto. There is no flying other than airliner type associated with this assignment. However, I am back in the thick of research in support of the operations of the Canadian Forces (air, land and sea). Our lab has been subject to some of the same axe swinging budget attacks that all of us have suffered around the world, however we seem to have maintained our core capability. We have very active research going on in simulation and training, G protection including the "push-pull" phenomenon, cold water immersion protection, the human in Command and Control and medical selection standards issues. I miss flying, but I love the intellectual stimulation of being at this place. It is fun to come to work. Pat Ceresia left the CF in the spring and now works for the Canadian Medical Protective Association in Ottawa. As most of you know, Bob Banks left the CF to work for Biodynamics Research Corp. in San Antonio. Rumour has it he is a new dad. Cheers from the Great White North.
Col Dave Salisbury
Report from the Commander of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine
I'm the commander of the Air Force's School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM); took over the school in early August 98. Not flying as a pilot any more, last flying the MC-130P Combat Shadow with AFSOC special ops at Hurlburt Field, FL. Am still deeply engaged in the development of aeromedical science and technology requirements, in solutions to those deficiencies, and in proposing studies from the School to the Air Force Surgeon General to close the gaps in knowledge in our ability to make fact-based aeromedical dispositions and determinations. See you all in Detroit!!
Col Beek Vanderbeek
Commander, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM)
FAX DSN 240-2216
Editoral Note: Please see the Air Force Times for an article on the Air Force Pilot-Physician Program where Col Vanderbeek is extensively quoted (Feb 22, 1999 issue).
Air Education and Training Command
The pilot-physician slot at AETC was created and funded by MG Buck Marr (AETC/DO) and Col Martinelli (Former AETC/ADO). Manpower limitations on the headquarters staff during the pilot shortage require that no more than 85 line pilots be assigned. As people in priority slots below 85 are lost, they will not be replaced, so the size of the rated force on the staff is dwindling significantly. Pilot-physicians do not count against the 85 authorized pilots, since we are medical corps assets, so we are seen not only as force extenders but also as a way to preserve rated expertise on the headquarters staff at no line expense. I suspect that the job at AETC will become a permanent PP position in the future, at least until the next pilot glut.
Aside from this purely administrative reason, AETC is interested in PP expertise because it is bringing a new aircraft into the inventory (Pilatus PC-9, (T-6A) "Texan II") and upgrading the T-38A/B fleet to the glass cockpit T-38C. While it is too late to have much design input in either project, PPs can provide sage advice, as unforeseen eventualities arise, to help smooth the integration of these new systems into the fleet.
Other duties include serving as the Command representative for Crew/Cockpit Resource Management and the POC for T-1A issues. Somehow I got identified as the congressional/IG complaint person for the Initial Flying Training Branch in the Operations Directorate and that business seems to be prettyconstant. I am currently enrolled in Pilot Instructor Training (PIT) for the T-37B and am about a week away from my basic qualification checkride. The Tweet hasn't changed much over the years with the exception of better restraints and an improved DME. It is still min fuel when the gear go into the well on initial takeoff and it does a spectacular job of converting jet fuel to noise. The major limitation of the Tweet, besides the fact that it is pretty old, is that when the weather goes down, it doesn't have the legs to fly a training mission and go to an alternate. The T-6A will be able to do just that and will drastically decrease syllabus deviations for IMC weather at Randolph and Columbus. The T-6A will also bring state-of-the-art avionics, including GPS, to primary training as well as spectacular climb performance so much less time will be spent climbing to altitude in the areas to perform syllabus manuevers. Everyone in the Command is pretty excited about the capabilities that the T-6A will bring to the initial training syllabus. Look for more on this subject later.
If anyone gets by Randolph AFB, feel free to look me up. My office is one the first floor of building 902, East Wing and my duty phone is DSN 487-6341. The address is:
HQ AETC/DOFI 1 F Street, Suite 2 Randolph AFB, Texas 78150
I'm attached to the 559th FTS for flying so I am frequently found on their turf. I'm working with great people both in the Operations Directorate and the 559th FTS. Both organizations are super.
PETER B. MAPES, LtCol, USAF, MC, SFS
Pilot-Physician, Initial Training Branch
Directorate of Operations
Headquarters, Air Education And Training Command
Former USAF Pilot-Physician Assumes AMA Executive Vice-President Office
L/G E.R. "Andy" Anderson, USAF (Ret) has been selected as the Executive VP of the AMA after a national search. The former USAF Surgeon General was a Pilot-Physician and long-time supporter of the role of Pilot-Physicians as force-enhancers. We all wish Dr. Anderson the best of luck in his challenging new job.
Report from NASA-JSC (Astronaut Office Member)
I arrived in Houston in August of 1996 as part of "Group 16." As we are the biggest class selected to date we were nicknamed the Sardines. Given the quality of most callsigns offered to new guys, we were happy to take this one. We've got "one of each" in this group. Of course, there is the expected group of U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine test pilots. The Mission Specialists, however, were born in 10 different countries and have 8 native languages. We've got engineers, physicists, physicians, materials scientists, etc. There aren't many subjects that someone in my class doesn't have significant experience with.
The first 6 months we were full time students learning Shuttle systems. What makes the vehicle challenging, is that a single system is about as complicated as a whole airplane. You then have to figure out how they interact with each other, particularly if things in the simulator aren't going well. The training starts in the classroom, moves to two students and one instructor in a "Single System Trainer", three students and 6 instructors in a stand-alone "Shuttle Motion Simulator" (SMS), and culminates with 4 crew and 8 instructors in an integrated SMS tied in with 20 flight controllers (who are being "taught" by 8 of their own instructors).
Our Shuttle training continued in the second sixth months but we were given collateral technical assignments in addition. I started working in the Payload Branch, supporting Space Station hardware. Some of the programs included software, an ultrasound machine, a portable continuous blood pressure device, a mass measurement device, animal, plant and insect habitats, glovebox workstations, egg incubators, and exercise equipment. A partial list some of my activities includes: About six KC-135 reduced gravity flights for hardware evaluations, participation in numerous formal design reviews, coordination of formal crew hardware evaluations, and travel around the States, Spain and Japan.
In the middle of our second year we were graduated from our "Astronaut Candidate" status.
Lest I forget, I also get to fly (airplanes). The current policy is that current fixed wing military pilots get to fly the T-38 front seat. I'm flying 15 hours a month (180/yr). This is more than I ever was able to do after finishing training in the Navy. The most "tactical" flying I do here is formation. The visibility of our tail flash makes our use of the airplane quite conservative. This is not a complaint, however, as the quality of our instructors and maintenance is the best I've ever seen. We have a 1959 model T-38, and except for the serial number, you would never know it.
It is fun as a Navy A-6 guy to learn this airplane. It used to be that I worked quite hard until several seconds before landing and then I was mostly a passenger until impact. The T-38 needs to be flown all the way through the flare and doesn't want to either fly or roll well for the first 30 knots on the deck.
I've just transferred from the Payloads Branch to be an Astronaut Support Person (how's that for a government acronym). This job involves setting up the Shuttle cockpit prior to launch and then strapping the crew in. We also get them out after landing. Since we fly down to the Cape a lot, we will also support an ever-increasing amount of Station hardware testing. I walked out of the office after a hard day at work in December and realized that I was standing beside the Shuttle at the 195 foot level on the pad.
No word on a flight assignment yet. The program delays for the Station have slowed this down for everyone, not just me. I expect it to be another 2-3 years by the time I get assigned, train and fly.
At the 2 1/2 year mark I would say that what I appreciate the most about this job is the opportunity to contribute in a substantial way to a worthy cause. I get to do this with a team of great people. Lastly, I'm personally rewarded with some phenomenal new experiences and skills.
Dave Brown (NASA Mission Specialist)
AIRLINE MEDICINE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
It will not have escaped you that topic of the moment is the Good Samaritan assisting the sick passenger on board commercial airliners. To remunerate or not remunerate - that is the multi-dollar question.
For some years British Airways (BA) has provided unlimited professional indemnity to any medical professional assisting in response to a request from a crew member. The crew are generally astute in identifying the genuine professional rather than the keen first aider and we don't demand to see a registration certificate! BA has a telemedicine link with MedAire and we prefer the crew to make contact with the MedLink physician rather than calling for a travelling doctor to come forward (who may be a paediatric psychiatrist with little knowledge of emergency or aviation medicine).
BA does not believe that remuneration is appropriate, although we are always extremely grateful for Good Samaritan help and make appropriate alcoholic thanks and a follow-up letter, perhaps with a travel voucher or additional Air Miles. Trouble is, we run into all sorts of tax problems so can only offer Air Miles to a UK citizen for example. Similarly, appropriate remuneration would alter the whole status of the relationship and raise issues of professional registration, competence and liability.
A bit different from flight testing OBOGS or night vision goggles!
News From Fred Kelly (via Dwight Holland)
Fred Kelly and I have developed a warm friendship and exchanged many letters over the past several years. I bumped into Fred at the First International Mars Society Conference in Boulder, CO last August when we were both giving a couple of papers there. He mentioned that he had just completed his THIRD book, entitled the "MARS JOURNAL" and asked me to peruse a copy before it goes to press (which I am now doing in my infinite spare time). Looks like a good read, Fred! Fred has been flying back and forth across the country depending upon various events and weather, and even attended an "Elderhostel on Genealogy" in Provo, UT last Fall. Fred wrote in part, "After Christmas, I want to go to Bend, OR anyway and see if I can still ski before I head East. You know that if you do not use it you lose it." The good Dr. Kelly seems to be keeping his mind and body quite busy these days.
Fred Kelly can be reached at: PO Box 2040 Roseburg, OR 974790 Email,
untested, but reported as: (Fred
Aviation Safety Committee Report (Chaired by our own Geff McCarthy)
1. At this year's Scientific Assembly in Seattle, the Safety Committee met first as a whole. Later the Military, Civil, and Occupational/Environmental subcommittees met to work on topics delegated by the committee.
2. In attendance were:
GW McCarthy, Chairperson
J Neubauer, Chairperson, Mil Av Subcommittee
C Dejohn, Chairperson, Civil Subcommittee
JC Balouet, Chairperson, Occ/Env Subcommittee
* not ASMA members
3. At the general meeting, the four highest priority topics from 1997 were reviewed for relevance. No work had been done on these, but the committee agreed that three still merited consideration:
Organizational Factors in Accident Causation
Common Safety Investigation Classification of Causes
Substituting Simulation for Fighter Flying.
Further discussion, requested by two airline cabin crew members (* above) and supported by the subcommittee chairperson, resulted in a consensus that the Occ/Env subcommittee would accept two action items:
1. Compile a list of Occ/env safety factors in air transport flight.
2. Research likely cabin contaminant fluids, e.g., hydraulic, organophosphates., organics, etc.
We agreed that state-of-knowledge panels at the next Scientific Assembly would be ideal starting points in the research and advocacy process of the committee. Responsibility for assembling a panel for 3.1 above was delegated to the Civil Aviation Subcommittee, and 3.2 to the Military Aviation Subcommittee. The chairman asked the IAMFSP to assemble a panel on 3.3, and the pilot-physicians agreed to discuss the need for such a session.
Early tasks to organize these panels was agreed upon by the committee, and a preliminary list of known topic experts was assembled. Committee members will communicate, largely by e-mail, to prepare the panels and abstracts.
The Occ/Env and Civil subcommittee chairpersons promptly submitted minutes of their meetings and details of their plans. Let me publicly thank them for their enthusiastic efforts!
While writing these minutes, I reviewed available minutes of past meetings and attempted to analyze the work and effectiveness of this committee. Since 1991 only four topics resulted in published ASMA resolutions. I remember a few other issues about which the committee formed an expert opinion, either for the Executive Committee, or for other committees. Records do not indicate the outcome of discussions on the other topics and perhaps no research or advocacy was necessary on these.
Discussions also ensued with regard to the issue of wearing clothing that is more fire-resistant since two recent aircraft crashes seem to have had this as a compounding factor. It was mentioned that since AsMA HQ is next door to these "hot" issues in the DC area, that perhaps some clear guidance from AsMA HQ with regard to whether to further examine such issues quickly might be of some benefit.
It would also be useful to more narrowly define the responsibilities of the Safety Committee, the Air Transport Committee, and the Aerospace Human Factors committees, as there is considerable overlap in expertise and philosophy among these three.
Geoffrey W. McCarthy, MD, DAvMed
Chairperson, ASMA Safety Committee
IAMSFP Historical Notes (from Jim Baker, Dwight Holland, and others)
"History and events not recorded, but simply remembered, eventually become lost."
Since the famous old "NAVY BOX" of Historic IAMFSP Documents was accidently thrown away more than a few years ago now, we thought it might be a good time to ask members to recall the Charter Meeting of IAMFSP in Nashville, TN before the memories become too faded. The year was 1985, I believe. It was my first AsMA Meeting (as a scruffy 24 year old youngster) and I recall that my sponsor to AsMA, Dr. Jim Baker (then a NAVY CAPT) organized and chaired the Charter Meeting. The people thought to be in attendance at the Charter Meeting were (as a fading recollection of Jim Baker and Dwight):
Mike Adams (?)
Bob Banks (?)
R. Bendixen (?)
Roger Bisson (?)
Harry Hoffman (?)
Geff McCarthy (?)
Tom McNish (?)
(?) means we believe that this individual was present, but are not 100% sure. Please feel to comment. Others not mentioned by omission... please speak up.
As Dave Salisbury briefly wrote on 1/28/99 to several of us, "As I recall I was at the initial meeting along with Pat Ceresia and possibly Bob Banks. I don't remember much about the meeting other than the amazement at what some people were actually getting to do in conjunction with being a flight surgeon. I also remember the famous admonition from Jim Baker to keep our heads down in the foxhole."
Frank Austin also wrote on 1/16/99, "Jim did a great job of it with much help from all, and is to be commended for the effort. The IAMFSP was a much better forum for the NAVY (NA/FS) group which I had been arranging to meet with, often in a 'Stealth Mode,' to keep a low profile... The IAMFSP members have done an outstanding job of making the mission of the Dual Designated Types more understood, and I believe appreciated by the community. The meeting presentations are the most visible of these efforts, and have been OUTSTANDING!! Keep up the great work troops!! Warm Regards, Frank (703) 471-1769.
Dwight Holland wrote on 1/20/99: "I distinctly recall the energy in the room as Jim Baker asked every pilot-physician and the pilot-physician wannabees to go around the room and introduce themselves, while also saying a few words about what they had been doing in their professional lives. I, like Dave Salisbury, was astounded at the talent and diversity of the individuals represented in that room on that May day in Nashville. The other thing that became very clear in the various discussions among each other after the formal part of the meeting was over and the informal networking began-- was how very difficult had been for many of the pilot-physicians in that room to keep flying in even a minimal role as a pilot. It was the rule rather than the exception of nearly everyone in that room who wanted to serve as a pilot-physician that they brought to the table an incredible set of stories of frustration, tenacity, ability, often failure-- with sometimes brilliant successes-- if they wanted to serve their organization(s) as a pilot-physician. Only 24 years old at that time and a civilian pilot/graduate student (getting in line to go to USAF Pilot Training), those guys simply amazed me with all of the science/flying gifts they brought together on that day both then, and now. There were many small administrative details that were worked out such as making a roster of interested parties that Jim Baker forwarded to everyone after the meeting with the other attendees' names, addresses and phone numbers on it. I also distinctly remember a foreshadowing of the long debate to come with regard to the membership status of NFOs, or in the USAF the rated 'backseaters'-- i.e. those rated aircrew with medical degrees-- as coming up very early in the discussion since they had some responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight. Other issues discussed at the first meeting along the same vein included membership status of pilot-physicians not simultaneously designated as such, as well as the flight surgeons that were also civilian pilots. Various forms of this debate about membership the status of these various types of people (full or associate) continued for over ten more years. Despite all of this, the organization grew very rapidly and was soon sponsoring the interesting very well-attended scientific sessions to which we have all become accustomed ."
CAPT (Dr) Jim Baker, USN (Ret) recalled (2/15/99) that he was elected President for the first year of IAMFSP's existence. Soon thereafter, IAMFSP began to sponsor its yearly panel on "Operational Concerns in Military Aviation Medicine" at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association. The application for affiliate status within AsMA was also soon submitted, and the life of IAMFSP as a part of the Aerospace Medical Association began.
If you have more specific news for the historical section of IAMSFP, or any recollections that you would like to share and pass on to the membership, please feel free to write in and let us know about them. Also, if there are any members out there not listed that were at the Nashville Charter Meeting, please feel free to write in with your name and any impressions of the meeting that you might have had.
Impressions and recollections of other important meetings/discussions are also welcome.
Let us hear from you by email or letter.
Best Wishes to all for a great spring... your IAMFSP Officers.