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China Pilot Medical Failures

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China Pilot Medical Failures

Old 28th Nov 2011, 03:53
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China Pilot Medical Failures

Has anyone out there on PPRuNe failed their Chinese initial or renewal medicals, if so, were they justified reasons, how long did it take to get it back, did you get your medical back.

I have talked to pilots working in China and have heard foreign pilots regularly fail their medical renewals. If they fail they burn up their sick leave and then annual leave until its sorted, assuming it is finally renewed. In many cases its not a valid failure as extra medicals tests done at home country prove the failures were unfounded.

Has any pilot pulled them up on it, eg: Just return to home country until its sorted or refused to use up their sick / annual leave, or unnessary extra medical tests.

Apparently its a fairly regular power trip by the CAAC towards foreign pilots.

Any comments from those in the know?
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 12:11
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Apparently its a fairly regular power trip by the CAAC towards foreign pilots.
It's usually a collaboration between a company and the CAAC to get rid of troublesome pilots before their contract is due to expire without having to pay them out. Most expat contracts have a clause whereby the contract becomes void when you fail the medical.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 13:29
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Thus... bye bye bonus.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 20:46
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Well sh**. Iīm going down there for a rotary gig i march. Are you telling me this is common practice? Btw, how long is this annual leave you are talking about? Seems to me the pilots down there work almost everyday throughout the year (offshore work).
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Old 29th Nov 2011, 00:51
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It's usually a collaboration between a company and the CAAC to get rid of troublesome pilots before their contract is due to expire without having to pay them out. Most expat contracts have a clause whereby the contract becomes void when you fail the medical.
I hadnt heard that from the guys Ive been in contact with. Appaliing if true.
I thought most got their medical back, albeit once they used all their sick leave and annual leave, maybe more time off (unpaid) as these things do not happen quickly in China.

Well sh**. Iīm going down there for a rotary gig i march. Are you telling me this is common practice? Btw, how long is this annual leave you are talking about? Seems to me the pilots down there work almost everyday throughout the year (offshore work).
Most airline jobs offer between 30-42 days annual leave. So if you have to use them up hanging around in China while grounded due medical, awaiting extra tests or a decision from CAAC, this would be a HUGE issue to many who relied on those days to go back to their home country.
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Old 29th Nov 2011, 13:08
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Already passed 4 medical checks, still here and got my bonus(es) ohhh yeah and few pay rises already..oh yeah
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Old 29th Nov 2011, 14:36
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de facto...Would you mind letting us know what airline you're flying for?
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Old 29th Nov 2011, 22:03
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I barely survived 6 or 7 Astronaut medicals in China! Got bonuses and quit...
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Old 30th Nov 2011, 04:15
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I barely survived 6 or 7 Astronaut medicals in China! Got bonuses and quit...
That is also part my concern. I am not an 18 yo cadet.

From my sources, the Chinese medical is way over the top compared to the real world. I havnt heard of Captains dying in flight there, but youd think there are many based on the medicals.
Many of the Chinese pilots are chain smokers, with many smoking in flight. Are the locals subjected to the same medical standards.
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Old 30th Nov 2011, 04:24
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The local are subject to the same medical standards but those standards are established based on historical Chinese health stats IE low BMI low BP and as such westerns are on average have higher BMI and BP. It takes a while to get both down if you are older 40+
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Old 30th Nov 2011, 08:42
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Fatbus,

You must have read my CV.
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Old 30th Nov 2011, 12:07
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What about vision then? Last time I checked I had -0,25 on one eye. Hardly impaired vision or anything, and I donīt use glasses, but if this "Astronaut" medical is as heavy as you say...
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Old 30th Nov 2011, 23:58
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The Eye exams are surprisingly easy in China. The big problems are BP, EKG, Blood/Urine tests, Color ultrasound in the abdominal area for kidney stones and other internal organ anomalies. The Foreign pilots have a substantially higher failure rate than Chinese Captains. The check is also every 6 months. The CAAC docs expect pilots to be astronauts. Don't come to China if you have any health problems and don't expect much job security here. We are simply short term paid mercenaries. If the economy burps in China Ex Pats will be the first to sent packing. Internal politics, tedious ATC flow control and lack of social life make China EXTREMELY difficult for most Ex Pat pilots.
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 08:35
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Wyoming P,

How many expats have failed their CAAC medicals and of those failures how many got their medical back after further checks or medication etc.

Whats the normal and max BP they accept, I assume its lower than the Western reqts.
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 09:48
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In the end maybe it doesnīt matter. Maybe Iīll have to pay off the doctor. However, the general manager at where Iīm gonna work is a friend of mine, so as far as I know itīs all arranged already. When I visited last july I managed to toast a full glass of wine to all of the 8 leaders, including 1 high ranking Party official, I was told I gained massive respect for that. I was told to not underestimate the cultural etiquette.
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 11:21
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DD,
Yes you have discovered the truth that connections are everything here. Unfortunately, doing a toast at a dinner buys you squat in China other than 100 smiles. But they would have smiled anyway.

Everyone here has connections, some forged over several family generations. Any that we expats have here mean absolutely squat.

I am not sure why so many fail the physical, but I believe they are just as hard on the local pilots. A few months ago I was told that we had 39 local Captains on medical leave, and we have less than 200 captains TOTAL. We are a 3 year old airline, and the average age of a captain is probably early 30's. Stark numbers.....

Why? TIC. That means "This is China", which really means who the F#[email protected] knows, and 5 years from now, the answer will be the same.

I collect my paycheck on the 25th of every month, and look forward to the next 25th, and have as much fun as I can in between.

If you cannot do that, China is definitely not for you!!!! LOL

And I just got back from CAN for a visit to the doctor for my 3rd case of Guardia (Travelers diahrea) in 18 months. I have been to over 90 countries, and have never had it before in my life until I got here.

Happy flying!!!!!
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 11:46
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Thanks Probe. I got the diarrhea when I visited as well. I donīt know if it was swimming in a public pool or the fried jellyfish

My situation is probably quite different than yours though. I am a low-timer. The company will provide me with type rating and living quarters. If I "fail" the medical after 2 years, I will still have earned quite a few hours, which is everything that counts at the moment.

Off course family ties are the strongest, but as I am a friend of the family and even lived at my future bossīs home during my first visit, I feel pretty good about the whole thing.

Last edited by DauphinDude; 9th Feb 2012 at 05:20.
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 12:12
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china pilot medical failures

I have had medicals done in many juridsictins, and China's are the absolute most thorough. You get them done in a special hospital.\
Goes something like this. General body check, blood and urine tests, ECG, sonagram, stress test, chest X-ray, hearing and eyes, EEG, internal medicine check. Yes they find problems.. Things like gallstones appear on the sonagram. But as the doctors performing the examination pretty much all work for the airlines, I have never seen any power tripping. I had a false positive on a blood test. Gave another sample two days later, and had it resolved the next day.
Many of the new expats are older and about 15% I have been told have some problem initially. I dont believe the power trip thing for a minute, and at my age having one every six months is very stressful. Most of the new expats I have seen there have been in country just a few days.

If you are healthy you will have no problems, but their limits for things like blood pressure are a bit more stringent than those in other places.

You should worry more about the exams written in Chinglish.
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 13:27
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My situation is probably quite different than yours though. I am a low-timer. I have 185 hours piston and I am 22 years old.
I wouldnt expect you to worry about the medicals if your 22.
But for the airline Captain positions advertised, by the time you are getting the experience they want, your not a cadet anymore, or a cadets age.

I have had medicals done in many juridsictins, and China's are the absolute most thorough. You get them done in a special hospital.\
Goes something like this. General body check, blood and urine tests, ECG, sonagram, stress test, chest X-ray, hearing and eyes, EEG, internal medicine check. Yes they find problems.. Things like gallstones appear on the sonagram. But as the doctors performing the examination pretty much all work for the airlines, I have never seen any power tripping. I had a false positive on a blood test. Gave another sample two days later, and had it resolved the next day.
Many of the new expats are older and about 15% I have been told have some problem initially. I dont believe the power trip thing for a minute, and at my age having one every six months is very stressful. Most of the new expats I have seen there have been in country just a few days.
I didnt realise the doctors work for the airline, thought they must have worked for the CAAC. Perhaps that varies with different airlines
You would think the airline would get p%%s off with the doctors grounding their pilots for 'problems'???? that would not affect the safety of the flight.

I am not sure why so many fail the physical, but I believe they are just as hard on the local pilots. A few months ago I was told that we had 39 local Captains on medical leave, and we have less than 200 captains TOTAL. We are a 3 year old airline, and the average age of a captain is probably early 30's. Stark numbers.....
I think that sums up the stupidity of the situation, they are unrealistic on what medical standard is required.

Not surprising they are advertising for pilots, they have enough already, but only if 20% arnt on medical leave.

How many Captains have died or become incapacitated on Chinese Airliner flights.

Last edited by Soab; 2nd Dec 2011 at 14:08.
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 16:08
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Originally Posted by USMCProbe
And I just got back from CAN for a visit to the doctor for my 3rd case of Guardia (traveler's diarrea)
Giardia. It's a bug we used to be able to tolerate; at least it wasn't as bothersome 100+ years ago; once we started ingesting purified water we eliminated whatever was inside of us the protected (many of) us. You might have just one extended case - the bug is difficult to kill off. You can get it anywhere you drink unpurified water. I expect the rural locals in China all have it but can tolerate it much better than you or I.
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