Will the recent Germanwings Flight 9525 tragedy alter requirements for psychological or psychiatric screening by AMEs?

"In the air transport business more than any other, the human element is everything. That big plane in front of the hangar is only as good as the man who flies it, and he is only as good as the people on the ground who work with him."

W. A. (Pat) Patterson, President United Airlines, quoted in the book 'High Horizons,' 1944.

CAMA expresses condolences to families of victims of GermanWings Flight 9525

Leadership of the Civil Aviation Medical Association expressed its condolences to the families of the victims of the Germanwings flight that was apparently intentionally crashed into a mountainside in the French Alps on March 24, 2015. Additional facts are coming to light each day regarding the co-Pilot, Andreas Lubitz, and medical conditions that may have led to this tragedy. Germany will hold a national memorial ceremony and service on April 17 for the victims of Tuesday's disaster, half of whom were German, with Spain accounting for at least 50 and the remainder composed of more than a dozen other nationalities.

FAA Releases New Expectations on Aviation Medical Examiners for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Screening
After carefully reviewing feedback from a variety of pilot advocacy organizations regarding mandatory referra for polysomnography for body mass index readings greater than 40 kg/m2, the FAA has come back with a more structured approach for AMEs to screen for sleep-related disordered breathing.
The new screening requirements, that began the week of March 2 included:
  • No disqualification of pilots based on BMI alone. The risk of OSA is determined by an integrated assessment of history, symptoms, and physical/clinical findings.
  • The OSA screening process must be completed by the AME using the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) guidelines
  • Documentation of the OSA screening can be provided by the AME simply by checking the appropriate block while completing the airman’s Form 8500-8.
  • Pilots determined to be at significant OSA risk will be issued a medical certificate and referred for an evaluation.
  • OSA evaluations may be completed by any physician (including the AME), not just sleep specialists, using the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s guidance.
  • Evaluations do not require a laboratory sleep study or even a home study if the evaluating physician determines the airman does not require it.
  • Results of the evaluations can be given to the AME, forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division (AMCD), or sent to the Regional Flight Surgeon’s (RFS’s) office within 90 days of the FAA exam to satisfy the evaluation requirement. The pilot continues to fly during this period.
  • If the pilot needs additional time beyond 90 days to complete the evaluation, a 30-day extension will be granted by the AMCD or the RFS on request.
  • Pilots diagnosed with OSA can send documentation of effective treatment to the AMCD or the RFS’s office in order to receive consideration for a Special Issuance medical certificate.
  • The FAA will send the pilot a Special Issuance letter documenting the follow-up tests required and timing of the reports.
  • Most follow-up reports will only require usage data from the CPAP machine and a brief statement from a physician.


Accommodation reservations now available for annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas

Book your hotel accommodation now for the CAMA annual scientific meeting in Fort Worth, Texas scheduled for October 8-10, 2015.

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  • half of physicians engaged in the practice of aviation medicine aims to:

    • To promote the best methodology for assessment of the mental and physical requirements for civil aviation pilots.

    • To actively enlarge our scientific knowledge.
    • To

     on be advocate, through continuing education, both basic and advanced civil aeromedical knowledge.

  • To promote professional fellowship among our colleagues from allied scientific disciplines.
  • To bind together all civil aviation medical examiners into an effective, active medical body to promote aviation safety for the good of the public.