From the rocky road to the frightening skies

 - 
09/04/2009

In March 2008, both the pilot AND first officer on a Mesa Airlines flight nodded off at the—ahem— wheel. They actually flew past their destination—Hawaii! That's right, they flew past Hawaii.

The cause, at least for the pilot: undiagnosed sleep apnea.

As a result, the National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended the FAA to change pilot medical applications so that they will ask pilots about "any previous diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea and about the presence of specific risk factors for that disorder."

Honestly. We have been hearing plenty about tired truckers and steps being taken to combat OSA on the open road. Why is the aviation industry always so far behind (remember the drunken pilots from a few years back? Years after drunk driving became a dirty word?).

People, if you drive/fly/pilot in a professional capacity, don't you have licensure requirements and medical standards? They exist for a reason.

Hop to it! And have a safe trip.

Theresa Flaherty

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How long do you spend a day coming up with stuff like this?