Tragedy in the Alps could have been prevented
As a former FAA flight surgeon, I cannot begin to tell you the amount of worry a pilot goes through when attempting to make sure he or she gets through all the red tape in order to fly. Even as I decided to relinquish my private pilots license 10 years ago, I did so with extreme trepidation, but also with great relief. As pilots age, the physical requirements to retain a private and or commercial license becomes a very heavy burden. For 27-year-old Germanwings pilot, Andreas Lubitz, the rigors of maintaining the high standard of aviation qualifications may have been too great. Where did his employer go wrong, where did the physicians go wrong? As disturbing as I have found the case to be, I can see both sides of the fence. Lubitz was obviously worried about his job due to stress and his failing eyesight, which would prevent him from his dream job of flying for Germanwings, parent company, Lufthansa. What needs to happen in future is red flags should be taken into account. Maybe Lubitz could have received counseling for his condition. Instead of deeming him unfit for duty, he should have received care and the company should been on the look out for further warning signs.
My wife, Julia, once said she wouldn’t let me retire, and I almost believed her. That was until she actually brought up the idea to me the other night. Now that we’re both in our late 70s, 79 to be exact, the thought of being able to sit back and retire does have a nice ring to it. The word itself, retirement, always brings to mind a couple in their golden years spending their children’s inheritance and living the good life on a beach in Florida. I enjoyed semi-retirement for a while, but now the thought of full retirement scares me to death. I have never known anything but my profession, and I love working. I don’t have any hobbies. No, you will not find me putting on the green. No, you will not find me fly-fishing on the Tennessee River. Thanks to my profession and my experience, I have been able to see the world and its many wonders. I feel that retiring would be doing my industry a disservice, but even us old fogies need to know when to hand off the baton to a younger generation, right? I graduated from medical school in December 1960, and now more than 50 years later, the time looks right to let the younger generation pick up where I left off.
What the heck does a man with no hobbies do with himself?! HA!
OHA is a private medical and consultation company, specializing in occupational health, patient advocacy, site visitations, and corporate presentations on toxicology, causation and aerospace medicine. For more information contact OHA at 615-556-8349 or visit OccupationalHealthNashville.com