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65 year old pilot strokes out inflight!

luckytohaveajob

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Blinded pilot guided safely to ground

  • By JENNIFER QUINN, Associated Press Writer Jennifer Quinn, Associated Press Writer – Fri Nov 7, 7:42 pm ET
LONDON – A British pilot who was suddenly blinded by a stroke during a solo flight was talked safely down by a military pilot, the Royal Air Force said Friday.
Jim O'Neill asked for help after he was went blind 40 minutes into a flight from Scotland to southeastern England last week. The BBC reported that O'Neill, flying a small Cessna aircraft, lost his sight 5,500 feet in the air.
"It was terrifying," O'Neill said. "Suddenly, I couldn't see the dials in front of me."
The air force said in a news release that O'Neill initially believed he'd been "dazzled" by bright sunlight, and made an emergency call for help. He then realized that something more serious was happening, and said, "I want to land, ASAP."
RAF Wing Commander Paul Gerrard was just finishing a training flight nearby and was drafted in to help the stricken pilot.
Gerrard located the plane, began flying close to it and radioed directions.
"For me, I was just glad to help a fellow aviator in distress," he said.
"Landing an aircraft literally blind needs someone to be right there to say 'Left a bit, right a bit, stop, down,'" Gerrard said. "On the crucial final approach, even with radar assistance, you need to take over visually. That's when having a fellow pilot there was so important.
O'Neill's son, Douglas, said his father is an experienced pilot who has flown for nearly two decades. The 65-year-old is recovering in hospital where he is beginning to regain his sight.
"The doctors have confirmed that he suffered a stroke from a blood clot, but he doesn't seem to have suffered any other ill-effects apart from losing his sight," Douglas O'Neill said. "He says he went blind very suddenly and then, once he'd got over the shock, was able to distinguish a bit of darkness and light."
In a recording posted to the BBC's news Web site, Gerrard gives O'Neill instructions — "a gentle right hand turn, please," is called for at one point — and he can be heard apologizing.
"You could hear the apprehension in his voice over the radio and the frustration he was experiencing," said radar controller Richard Eggleton. "I kept saying 'Are you visual?' and he would reply 'No sir, negative, I'm sorry sir.' He kept on apologizing.
With Gerrard talking him down, O'Neill's plane hit the runway and bounced up again, the RAF said. It did the same on the second touchdown. On the third, O'Neill was able to keep his plane on the ground.
"It's one of those things you might hear about happening in some sort of all-action film but it's hard to believe what they did," Douglas O'Neill said of the RAF. "They were just tremendous."
 

Fubijaakr

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Good thing we'll have young co-pilots aboard to land the jet!
 

Dan Roman

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It sounds like you are trying to suggest that his age was a problem(65 year old pilot).
Obviously a pilot at any age can become incapacitated. I saw somewhere that the 40's and early 50's are the statisticaly most likely age for sudden incapacitation.
One RATIONAL conclusion you could draw though, is perhaps his age had something to do with the fact that he did an amazing job landing "blind".
Perhaps his many years of experience had something to do with that!
 

Poahi

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It sounds like you are trying to suggest that his age was a problem(65 year old pilot)....

Well, perhaps it was.....

Stroke risk increases with age. For each decade after age 55, the risk of stroke doubles.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability among adults in the U.S.

Worldwide, stroke is the second leading cause of death, responsible for 4.4 million (9 percent) of the total 50.5 million deaths each year.
Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease (with which it is closely linked) and cancer.
Stroke affects more than 700,000 individuals annually in the United States (approximately one person every 45 seconds). About 500,000 of these are first attacks, and 200,000 are recurrent attacks.
http://www.theuniversityhospital.com/stroke/stats.htm

I'm out at 60.
 
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Flopgut

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It sounds like you are trying to suggest that his age was a problem(65 year old pilot).
Obviously a pilot at any age can become incapacitated. I saw somewhere that the 40's and early 50's are the statisticaly most likely age for sudden incapacitation.
One RATIONAL conclusion you could draw though, is perhaps his age had something to do with the fact that he did an amazing job landing "blind".
Perhaps his many years of experience had something to do with that!

You are full of crap. Utterly brimming with poo poo.

No sir, the difference now is: when the unfortunate incapacitation befalls your proverbial "40's and early 50's" pilot the remaining heartbeat is going to be in a 65 year old's chest. And if you knew how close the guy in CAL's 757 last year was to cardiac arrest you would have a hard time holding on to this unsafe opinion you've allowed yourself to believe. (Actually, it's you WALLET that's allowed you to believe it)
 

luckytohaveajob

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Age 65 still under review

You guys do know age 65 is still under review?

It has a two year trial period which the GAO is going to do an unbiased study of whether or not this is safe.

If incapacitation events occurs in 60-65 year old part 121 population it will be flagged as a failure of the law and addressed. Plus if the six month line checks start leading to unsafe conditions those too will be flagged. And a lot depends on the pass/fail rate of the six month medicals for the 60-65 crowd.

If those statistics don't prove the superior health claims of the geezers, the law will be changed after the GAO releases its findings.

Two years and counting.
 
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Dumb Pilot

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And a lot depends on the pass/fail rate of the six month medicals for the 60-65 crowd.

With our stringent medical standards? good luck with that.
 

relief tube

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It sounds like you are trying to suggest that his age was a problem(65 year old pilot).
Obviously a pilot at any age can become incapacitated.

True, Doctor.....but we all know the older you are the higher the chance. There's not many 30 year olds that get strokes a lot.

I bet that fella shat in his depends.
 

list2002

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As others have said, as long as the under 60 crew member gets compensated for his/her "necessary" presence it's all good. Scale down after 60 pay by year and tag it on to the pay of those who have to fly with them. Perfect balance.
 

luckytohaveajob

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As others have said, as long as the under 60 crew member gets compensated for his/her "necessary" presence it's all good. Scale down after 60 pay by year and tag it on to the pay of those who have to fly with them. Perfect balance.

I agree a pay scale such as that would be fair. But the age 65 pay needs to equal first year pay.

$200k
$150k
$100k
$50k
$25k

ALPA pay tables max out after 12 years as the level of productivity and proficiency is marginal to non-existent after 12 years. Therefore, as productivity and efficiency wanes in the last five years of slacker geezers career so should his respective pay.
 

Flopgut

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At the very least, I think the membership needs to oversee how these guys bid. Monthly line value AND equipment. We probably should also ban them from the new Mercedes and bubba mansion.
 

Amish RakeFight

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Back to the article, that was pretty amazing. It's horrifying enough to lose one's vision, let alone by yourself at altitude. This was certainly a one in a million chance surviving such an event.
 

Tweaker

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I hope this GAO review is something more than their garden variety oversight. If they just publish their findings and the gubment is free to totally disregard them, then it is for naught.

They GAO and the NTSB are at the top of a very short list of gubment entities that I feel are totally accurate and unbiased. They share a common limitation in that their efforts and products are ASOLUTELY IGNORED AND HAVE NO ABILITY TO CHANGE the entities they oversee. The elected idiot ruling class (mis)handles that job.

If the GAO had actual power then gubment efficiency and strategy would approach that of the business world. It is instead a crock of crooks and a den of incompetents.

The NTSB's ability to improve or limit the failings of the FAA and our careers do not need restating to this audience.

Sad and scary all at once.
 

Fubijaakr

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You guys crack me up with this reduced payscale talk.

Have at it. Everyone deserves a dream.
 

Flopgut

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"You could hear the apprehension in his voice over the radio and the frustration he was experiencing," said radar controller Richard Eggleton. "I kept saying 'Are you visual?' and he would reply 'No sir, negative, I'm sorry sir.' He kept on apologizing."

Profusely apologizing suggests he knew he was symptomatic. Seems clear he regrets being in that position and perhaps knew better.

Of course, I would expect no less than the same from anybody who desperately has to fly to 65. You know, the same clowns who got this rule changed.
 

Andy Neill

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I agree a pay scale such as that would be fair. But the age 65 pay needs to equal first year pay.

$200k
$150k
$100k
$50k
$25k

ALPA pay tables max out after 12 years as the level of productivity and proficiency is marginal to non-existent after 12 years. Therefore, as productivity and efficiency wanes in the last five years of slacker geezers career so should his respective pay.
Hard to believe you would support your pay being cut after 12 years at the company or age 60 whichever comes first. That's really quite generous of you but your comrades on the flight deck might not agree.
 

FoxHunter

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Profusely apologizing suggests he knew he was symptomatic. Seems clear he regrets being in that position and perhaps knew better.

Of course, I would expect no less than the same from anybody who desperately has to fly to 65. You know, the same clowns who got this rule changed.

I don't think he had to fly. ;) The rules never were changed for him in any case. The fact is that you are talking about a guy flying a C-182.
http://www.pprune.org/d-g-general-aviation-questions/350128-lucky-chap-indeed.html

I hope you are a little better informed when you're doing your F/O duties, but reading your posts over the last few years I have my doubts.
 

Flopgut

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I don't think he had to fly. ;) The rules never were changed for him in any case. The fact is that you are talking about a guy flying a C-182.
http://www.pprune.org/d-g-general-aviation-questions/350128-lucky-chap-indeed.html

I hope you are a little better informed when you're doing your F/O duties, but reading your posts over the last few years I have my doubts.

"I don't think he had to fly"? Is that really how you want to word that? Doesn't matter if it's a Cessna or your widebody, no one has to fly. You can't nurture a proper safety culture and leverage a more likely incapacitation against ones need for money.

If you think things like this don't eventually come to bear on us simply because it was a Cessna you are incorrect.

It's Captain Flopgut.
 
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