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Virgin Australia mental health/insurance issues

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Virgin Australia mental health/insurance issues

Old 31st Aug 2020, 02:31
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Virgin Australia mental health/insurance issues

No special knowledge of this, just happened to stumble across it.

If true, it seems to raise a number of very significant issues.

https://www.theklaxon.com.au/home/su...or-three-years
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 02:44
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I guess the obvious question is, why didn’t he go to an independent DAME?
h

Last edited by KRUSTY 34; 2nd Sep 2020 at 01:02.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 02:58
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Without trivialising this poor man's illness, this situation calls to mind the writing of Joseph Heller:
"You mean there's a catch?"

"Sure there's a catch," Doc Daneeka replied. "Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 04:25
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Why did he not ground himself as required by law ?
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 04:30
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Originally Posted by novice110 View Post
Why did he not ground himself as required by law ?
did you read the article? nah, didn’t think so
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 05:38
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No I did read the article, sorry if I don't understand it correctly.

If he did ground himself and notify CASA, then how did they renew his medical ?
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 05:51
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Would have thought an email to Avmed would have done it.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 06:12
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This must be the first pilot ever to voluntarily ground himself for medical reasons. Everyone else I know lives in a state of terror worrying that they may be grounded for medical reasons.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 06:16
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If you walked into a DAME’s office and said “Doc, I’m not fit fly, I’ve got a lot going on and I’ve got some mental health issues” it seems unlikely that the doc would stamp the extension and send you on your way.

I’m in no way diminishing anyone’s mental health issues, but there’s a fair bit about this that just doesn’t seem right.

There’s a lot that Virgin have done over the years that makes you shake your head in disbelief but from personal experience and anecdotally from several colleagues the care of people when they call their manager with a personal issue has been second to none.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 06:19
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Originally Posted by novice110 View Post
No I did read the article, sorry if I don't understand it correctly.

If he did ground himself and notify CASA, then how did they renew his medical ?
He seems to have done the right thing by refusing to fly.

There does seem to be a gap insomuch as he did not report his concerns directly to the CASA medical department if he was unhappy with the way his company AME was handling it.

But let's also give him the benefit of the doubt - If someone is suffering form significant Mental Health problems then their admin may not be entirely up to scratch. He didn't fly thus fulfilling his professional responsibility not to - anything else is just paperwork.

As for Loss of Licence Insurance - many / most policies do not cover some / any mental health conditions so i'm not surprised to hear that the insurance is refusing to pay out..



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Old 31st Aug 2020, 06:28
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Originally Posted by smiling monkey View Post
Would have thought an email to Avmed would have done it.
But it wouldn't have solved the loss of licence insurance problem though.

It also raises the question of Virgin's liability if, which praise the Lord didn't happen, Captain Boyd's airplane had ended up in a smoking hole. No legally licensed captain in command = no insurance one would have thought.

I wish Captain Boyd all the best in his endeavours to get the situation resolved and hope that he can just hang in there, getting the best possible help that the State can provide.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 06:47
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Originally Posted by Chris2303 View Post
But it wouldn't have solved the loss of licence insurance problem though.

It also raises the question of Virgin's liability if, which praise the Lord didn't happen, Captain Boyd's airplane had ended up in a smoking hole. No legally licensed captain in command = no insurance one would have thought.

I wish Captain Boyd all the best in his endeavours to get the situation resolved and hope that he can just hang in there, getting the best possible help that the State can provide.
I may have missed it, did it say somewhere that he wasn’t legally licensed at some point and still flying?
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 07:12
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Originally Posted by Boeingpilot738 View Post
I may have missed it, did it say somewhere that he wasn’t legally licensed at some point and still flying?
That's how I read it; especially the bit where the second opinion of the psychiatrist was sought

The psychiatrist found that Boyd was “well below the minimum standard of mental health for a pilot” recommending his license be revoked immediately.
So, a specialist tells the Virgin docs to revoke the licence, but Virgin docs tell CASA he's OK. Maybe they (Virgin) should think themselves lucky they aren't dealing with a catastrophe.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 07:18
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Originally Posted by Anti Skid On View Post
That's how I read it; especially the bit where the second opinion of the psychiatrist was sought



So, a specialist tells the Virgin docs to revoke the licence, but Virgin docs tell CASA he's OK. Maybe they (Virgin) should think themselves lucky they aren't dealing with a catastrophe.
So 2 Pshychiatrist’s gave independent advice to Virgin to say that a pilot was medically unfit to fly and they ignored the advice and renewed the medical or simply disappeared the reports? And this is after he’s raised concerns with the VA medical group while renewing his medical?

It seems like there’s a little more to the story.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 07:50
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There is more to the story.

The VA Medical Officer at the time!!
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 07:58
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I'm gonna go conspiracy theory here, he may of been brought in to deal with the high levels of sickness in the company due to all the shafting?

Just a thought ?
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 07:59
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At what age does loss of licence cut out in the VARA award? Not that we would be able to see them but needless to say the Doctor's reports would be interesting on the matter.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 08:24
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I truly hope that the pilot in the story eventually gets a massive payout! There seems to be no doubt at all as to who bears the blame for this situation and it is definitely not the pilot or even the regulator it seems! It seems that Virgin clearly knew what they were doing was wrong by failing to insure pilots in order to save a dollar and then acted accordingly to cover it up.

My question is why is CASA the safety regulator also not actively fighting on behalf of the pilot and what actions have they taken in order to make sure this kind of situation never happens again??
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 09:04
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Originally Posted by mindsneak View Post
I truly hope that the pilot in the story eventually gets a massive payout!
From who? The company is in administration.

If it trades again, any potential insurance payout to him won't currently be on the creditor list. Rotten timing, and the situation stinks.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 09:29
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My question is why is CASA the safety regulator also not actively fighting on behalf of the pilot and what actions have they taken in order to make sure this kind of situation never happens again??
We all know who CASA works for and verifying this gentleman’s situation will decimate an industry who treats humans like a consumable. The response in the aftermath of Germanwings was to target the incumbent pilots and not the cause of the accident. There will be no improvement in managements attitude towards us.
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