January 2001 Issue

Psycho Killers

Incapacitation can come from seemingly innocent sources

Pilot incapacitation? Who me? I’m in great shape!

Though the greatest threats to pilots still remain alcohol, hypoxia, carbon monoxide and likely side effects of medication, these are conditions over which the pilot essentially has good control.

Among causes in the “other” category, are vertigo and anxiety. Vertigo is among the most frightening and most completely incapacitating sensations a pilot can experience. Though relatively rare, it is regarded with such seriousness that some types of recurrent vertigo are grounds for denial even of a special issuance medical. Anxiety attacks are subtler but are equally incapacitating. Neither of these conditions gets much press and misinformat...

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