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Continental 61 Captain dies en route

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Continental 61 Captain dies en route

Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:19
  #41 (permalink)  
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It's a whole load of B.S. that age 65 came about due to any thing other than greed. It's amazing that this law just "popped" up over a weekend. It's the greed of the companies and the greed of those old fart captains sitting in my seat. I think this just goes to show that age 65 was too much -- law should be repealed and age 60 should return as the norm.
It's not the age of the body but its condition that's important.

Note the age of the doctor

A Belgian cardiologist, Dr. Julien Struyven, 72, checked the pilotís vital signs and declared him dead.
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:34
  #42 (permalink)  
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What happens when there are only two pilots on the flight deck (third is in the loo)and the disabled pilot collapses on the yoke. Flight deck door is locked on flight deck side (as per FAA and other requirements)?
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:35
  #43 (permalink)  
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Actually, I would expect you would declare an emergency even if the person wasn't crew. You want to get any possible medical assistance on arrival in case any vital signs can be revived.
If a doc or paramedic pronounces somebody dead ressucitation attempts cease so to keep the passengers calm I guess they just continued to Newark. They did get priority though didn't they?
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:46
  #44 (permalink)  
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Haven't read the whole thread (apologies but it's past my bedtime ) but a lot of outwardly healthy individuals drop dead in their forties from heart attacks. I don't think therefore there is much mileage in dwelling on the upping of the retiral age, if the guy had been 59 (not unlikely, we are talking 24 mths max here ) this wouldn't even have been part of the discussion. Hell, I have seen some trim healthy guys in their sixties who I really aspire to look like in 10-15 yrs or so, and some 30 or 40 something lard-asses that I am amazed are still capable of walking to the aircraft , all of the above were resplendent in a uniform. Lets not over-generalise please.

If you must die in flight though, better in the crew rest area entwined with someone young and foxy, well you have to go sometime, wouldn't that be the "way to go" ? bit unnerving for her I guess, so how about a cardiac arrest 5 mins after she went back to her post ?

Sorry, serious post devalued by late -eve facetious ponderings.
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:52
  #45 (permalink)  
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Well, in my perspective, the whole incident just shows that the system works!

Whatever any age limit, we will have pilots below this limit go lump while on duty sooner or later. So the crucial point is to have a system of safety-barriers that can absorb this. And we have just seen proof that we have!

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Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:53
  #46 (permalink)  
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Anyway, I'm not 60 or 65 yet but perhaps someday I will be. Or not, we'll see.

Don't know how Continental does the augmented crew on the 777. I believe they have two captains and two FO's on the EWR-PEK run but for Europe it appears they have a captain and two typed FO's.

I've been one of two FO's on an Atlantic crossing with an incapacitated captain years ago. Technically, as the right seat FO I was second in command although the relief FO was senior to me. All of our FO's were type rated except for a couple who couldn't pass the ride. The captain was having an apparent kidney stone attack and was in too much pain to fly or even sit in his seat.

We agreed that I would land the aircraft from the right seat since that was where I was proficient, with the relief pilot in the left seat. The aircraft had steering tillers on both sides so taxi was not an issue. A couple of hours out the captain's condition improved dramatically and he was able to sit in his seat while I made an uneventful landing.

I've seen and heard of almost every permutation of the three pilot augmented crew, sometimes everyone type rated, sometimes two captains, sometimes two FO's, sometimes the relief pilot is second in command sometimes he or she is not.
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:54
  #47 (permalink)  
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So, if they are all so fit to fly, and there are no greater risk with 60-65 year old pilots, why don't they allow two of them in the same cockpit?
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 22:59
  #48 (permalink)  
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Just for the reason referred to in my last post. Please be real.
Risk management - ok?
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 23:14
  #49 (permalink)  
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60 years old the problem?

Last July I went to the doctors and happened to mention the occasional pain across my shoulder in the mornings. Nothing bad but was irritating me more than anything.

I was sent for a routine cardiac stress test to eliminate any cardiac problem. I was gob-smacked when, having done the 15 mins of hell, it showed up something the medics didn't like. So, off to have an angiogram. End result I was immediately admitted and four days later I underwent an emergency quadruple bypass. Never had a clue - no high blood pressure, cholesterol within norms, non-smoker, basically no risk factors. I provided a very interesting case for the Professor at the local medical school cardiology dept. who oversaw my treatment.

Apparently the narrowing of the most important artery (that later splits into two) was 60% leaving me at an unacceptably high risk of sudden death syndrome at anytime without warning. Cause? More than likely stress.

My point here is, talking to this Professor later, he said that nowadays the average age of guys suffering from heart disease requiring intervention is now heading to the low 50s, having fell 10 years over the last 20. Joking he said if you've made 60 then the probability is you're OK!

So sorry, I don't run with this 60 is too old lark, just sounds like jealousy to me. Age is becoming more irrelevant with heart disease; it is being overtaken by lifestyle...

My age? 45.

Guys don't ignore anything.

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Old 18th Jun 2009, 23:15
  #50 (permalink)  
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Making this an age 60 debate is like pissing into the wind. Pilots of all ages have a chance they will die on duty. This aircraft had three qualified pilots on board so losing one doesn't diminish the safety of that flight at all. The third pilot is only to allow a rest period during the 8 plus hr flight. One or both of the pilots might have flown a few minutes over 8 hrs but it did not compromise safety of flight. All had type ratings in the 777.
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 23:36
  #51 (permalink)  
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Very odd post...........

Yes, a non-event, but:

Would I be happy if the captain died and I had to land the aeroplane? No.
Could I do it? Yes
Would I have checked if any other crew were on board before calling on cabin crew to read checklist etc? Yes
Would I have declared an emergency? Hell, yes.
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 00:09
  #52 (permalink)  
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Reaching age 60 soon, I wish you could be my FO, because you haven't learned anything in Life, as my last downgraded over 61 FO said, come On over 70 regulation. Us older Pilots have seen more than the new generation aircraft can do for you, especially the loss of the remote control !!!!!, to fly that bird. Cheers!!!! I hope you make to the ripe old age of 60+, I will Pray for You.
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 00:13
  #53 (permalink)  
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Hypothetical question then....

If it was just you as F/O when your Capt dropped dead next to you, would you / your SOPs ask for any other Company pilots on board / military pilots / any other ATPLs etc.... even if only to keep a second set of eyes on things / help with checklists in view of the extra stresses?
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 00:44
  #54 (permalink)  
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You are talking tosh. The retirement age WAS 65 and both the FAA and the UK CAA arbitrarily reduced it to sixty with no medical evidence to go on whatsoever, it has now gone back to it's correct position, 65, a wrong has been righted, that is all. You are probably too young to remember any of that, judging by your childish post.
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 00:44
  #55 (permalink)  
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er340790, no need to hypothesize, I recall something like that happened in the last year or so - can anyone remember ?

Age has nothing to do with it. At our FTO, a fit & healthy girl (only 21) who'd just gained her FI rating last week is now all of a sudden in hospital being fitted with a heart pacemaker. It's getting younger all the time.
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 01:07
  #56 (permalink)  
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A Belgian cardiologist, Dr. Julien Struyven, 72, checked the pilotís vital signs and declared him dead.


Would the doctor have been given access to the cockpit to check the pilot's vital signs? Since passengers are strictly forbidden from entering the cockpit, I am wondering about what happens in a medical emergency situation such as this ...
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 01:13
  #57 (permalink)  
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I'm not far off 60 myself, but I fly longhaul with some f/o's who are nearly 70.
It's not the possibility of death in flight that worries me it's what happening between their ears.
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 01:32
  #58 (permalink)  
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The doctor (or doctors) were apparently allowed access into the cockpit. The deceased pilot apparently died in his cockpit seat. He received CPR and attempts to defribrillate and after the doctor(s) decided that he was gone, reports say that he was moved to the crew rest area right behind the cockpit.

There were clearly cockpit security issues raised during this incident. I do not know how else it could be handled, though. Nonetheless, the thought of passengers in the cockpit with electrical paddles from the cardiac defribrillator does raise some issues. There is a high probability of FAMs being aboard this flight. And I wonder what considerations were given to cockpit security during this life and death emergency from the FAs and FAMs (if aboard).
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 01:57
  #59 (permalink)  
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Two things bother me about this thread:

Re; over 60's : I am not concerned about the LAW and age but more about life outside the job! My airline has 65 longhaul and open ended shorthaul [some 69 year old Captains] - I intend retiring before 60 to enjoy my retirement!

The biggest issue is that some american carriers have NON-TYPERATED co-pilots!!!!! [from airbubba]
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Old 19th Jun 2009, 02:18
  #60 (permalink)  
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And that matters how? They have the same initial ground school and do the same initial checkride, minus the steep turns, no flap landing and second engine failure on 3 or 4 engine planes. The F/O's paperwork goes to the company, the Captain's paperwork goes to the company and the Captain's FAA 8710 goes to OKC.
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