Saturday, April 9, 2016

Apps Updated!

Pilot Math
PPSEL Study Guide (Private Pilot Study Guide)
IFR Study (Instrument Rating Study Guide)
CA DMV Driver's License Prep (California Driver's License Written Exam Study Guide)
have ALL been updated with NEW questions for 2016 exams and regulation changes.

iOS version updates in progress.

Medically grounded, now what?

What do I do if I can no longer fly due to a medical issue?


For pay:

NTSB, FAA, DOT, Aviation Insurance Companies, and other like organizations need Accident Investigators. Medicals are not always required for these positions and they can pay very well. They can also require long hours. Not all investigators are field investigators kicking tin. One can be in the human factors or engineering side and work on the various materials analysis or corporate factors side.

One can flight instruct as long as the pilot trainee is PIC, thus no student pilots or IFR students under the hood. IFR student in Actual seems to be fine. Considering your condition, please be capable of getting out of the plane in an emergency for your own sake and that of your client’s.

There are many airlines and other places that need sim and ground instructors. Airline pay seems to be about second year FO pay at regionals, majors and others will vary.

If the pilot has their A&P certificate, it might be time to dust that off and use it. Multiple places need A&Ps, tool control room guys, line maintenance, and others. A&P schools need

The shuttle bus drivers in some places make more than the pilots they drive.

Sometimes a pilot would like to have an experienced pilot “baby-sitter”. You are not the designated PIC, but you can certainly provide advice and feedback.

Outside of aviation, your cockpit experience proves you can be mission-orientated, multi-tasking achiever, with consistent on-time performance. You regularly dealt with high stress, high pressure situations. You don’t give up easily. Businesses in every field can make use of your experience.

There’s always the freelance services, such as Upwork, Freelancer, and others. Do anything for a price. Some folks make their living with these.

For pay/fun:
One can write their stories, writing training manuals, writing political books, or whatever topic makes you happy.

For fun:
If not denied by the FAA nor have a condition that would make you ineligible to fly, and you can still hold a driver’s license, there’s plenty of sport flying for fun and sport instructor work available.

CAP, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Sheriff’s Posse SAR, Aviation Explorers, Flying Doctors, Angel Flight, and other organizations would be happy to have your experience. You can ride right seat providing guidance, be a Mission Scanner, Mission Observer, Ground support, and plenty of other opportunities to remain in aviation plus be and feel useful.

With the above said, there are many paraplegics, amputees, diabetics, and pilots with a variety of conditions in remission that can continue to fly commercially. An AME willing to handle the paperwork, a medical service like AMS, AOPA, or ALPA Aeromedical who can send you to the right consultants and make sure your paperwork is in order, and a personal physician willing to complete paperwork to meet the FAA’s requirement will go a long ways to returning to flight. Waiting periods might be involved, formal denials then reinstatements may have to happen, keep it professional and add lots of patience for dealing with the red tape. You may be able to return to flight sooner than you thought (or far longer than you ever thought possible, it is the FAA we’re dealing with. Your country’s aeromedical certification will vary.)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mayo Clinic Rochester Survival Guide

Here is what I've learned, and what I hope that by posting I'll remember:
  1. Walmart has a FREE hotel shuttle. The Mayo's transportation center has the schedule, and I'm sure Wal-Mart does as well.
  2. The Kahler, Country Inn and Suites South, Best Western Soldier's Field, and several other hotels DO NOT have free hotel shuttles, no matter what the online booking services state. Call the hotel to verify.
  3. Airport Inn @ the KRST airport has an Airport AND a Mayo Shuttle. 
  4. Other hotels have shuttles that go to more than Mayo, they might go to the Mall or other Stores. When you book your reservation, ask the front desk. 
  5. Most hotels in the RST area have reduced rates for Mayo Clinic Patients. If your condition allows, you might want to stay further away from the Clinic, or you might want to stay in a hotel that is directly connected to the Clinic.
  6. MSP to RST transportation providers DO NOT GO to the Airport unless you SPECIFICALLY ask and PAY the additional charge.
  7. Shuttle Service is BEST when the roads are icy or snowy.
  8. Handicap Accessible Shuttle Service is available with certain Shuttles and Taxis, you MUST call first.
  9. Inside the Downtown Rochester Walking Subway/overhead connectors, there are many stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Check hours, they tend to be open when Mayo is open. Maps are available.
  10. Multiple airlines fly to RST, at this time they are American and Delta. MSP to RST is about a 90 minute drive. About a 15 minute flight plus taxi and waiting time.
  11. The taxi service for arriving flights at RST is dismal at best (1-2 hour waits plus). Pre-Arrange a taxi BEFORE arrival to keep wait times down. Do NOT accept the taxi service claiming the airport will arrange transportation, especially if handicapped. Use another provider if they refuse to have a waiting taxi. 
  12. Volunteers are available to push wheelchairs around your appointments. Let any staff member know you need assistance, especially when you first enter the facility. If you find the need for one during your day, simply ask. One will become available shortly. 
  13. Electric wheelchairs and scooters are available for rent from the Mayo Clinic Store. Rental rates are not covered by most insurance coverage and benefits. 
  14. If you derive great benefit from the scooter, ones are available for sale through Craigslist and other providers. Batteries are around $50-$100 each and available at Radio Shack and Batteries Plus. Download the breakdown instructions from the internet, laminate it and keep it in the chair's back pocket. Download the airline's scooter form or have them send you a copy, fill it out, laminate it, and keep it in the chair's back pocket. Know the unit's weight, and check in with the gate agent on arrival. They will note the weight and instructions, and your scooter will arrive in the same condition as you gave it to the airline. If not, then the airline must provide for rental and repair service.
  15. Mayo Clinic is a good answer and can resolve many if not most medical issues. However, if they can not find an answer, or it is very unsatisfactory, remember Mayo Clinic is conservative in their treatment options. While they have many cutting-edge research programs, they don't know everything, nor know everything at one location. You may need to go elsewhere to get a second, third, tenth, or even twentieth opinion. If opinions tend to match, then you're probably stuck with living with whatever issue you have.
  16. If Mayo Clinic did get you on the road to recovery, thank you notes are always appreciated. Fill out any surveys when they arrive.
  17. Mayo Clinic does have several financial assistance programs. If you need it, take the time to apply. You might be surprised. Mayo Clinic will also accept payments, even if they send your account to a collection agency. If you are in collections, Mayo might deny treatment for any new problems, but they usually don't deny treatment for current/Mayo known conditions. 
  18. Exercise, diet, sleep, stress, and environment have a significant impact on your health. If the docs recommend you eat proper like low fat/cholesterol/sugar/carbohydrate diet; perform moderate exercise for 150 minutes a week; get about 8 hours of sleep each night; take control of your finances by paying yourself 10% first; brush your teeth, take prescribed medications and supplements, and perform stress reduction methods such as meditation, journaling, yoga, or breathing, it's probably a great idea and seems to work for many folks. 
  19. The last won't fix a broken bone, cure cancer, reduce halitosis, nor improve flatulence in every case, but it will allow the medical fixes to have a better chance of working. Meet the docs halfway, and they'll appreciate your efforts.

Poorly Trained Pilots

In response to:

Research Discovery!

March 2, 2011 by Bruce Landsberg

Poorly trained pilots are usually the ones that show for a 1.0 BFR, with nothing wrong, they fly perfectly, just ask them. Poor training can stem from a poor instructor, which I've seen at all price levels and instructor experience levels, fortunately less frequency as the instructor's experienced increased. Most likely, though, the poor training comes from a poor attitude, and a deeply embedded desire to do the minimum possible. However, even highly trained pilots can have their hand flying skills deteriorate if they don't hand fly. Review the FAA's accident and incident rate for those pilots that have not flown in 30, 60, or 90 or more days, the 90+ rate increases exponentially, which might be an area for the FAA to further focus. Are these 90+ guys a year out of date, six months, or was the Investigating Inspector too busy to inquire further?

While private pilots were at more risk to show in the 90+ column, I have reviewed both commercial and ATP levels in the incident reports. With the attacks against owning corporate aircraft a few years ago, there are tons of professional pilots out of work. As they lose currency from not working, does their risk level increase as rapidly as a private pilots? On the more experienced professional pilot level, I was honored to observe a sixteen year airline captain perform a near-perfect IPC after having he had been furloughed and not flown for over three years. I had to work hard to find anything that needed improvement.

Thoughts, anyone?