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How unhealthy is flying/Being a Commercial Pilot?

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How unhealthy is flying/Being a Commercial Pilot?

Old 19th Mar 2018, 10:29
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Radiation

Lufthansa union did a study in the 80s but after the initial results the company stopped it.
Flew with a Swiss guy who had his own meter and we generally flew lower than planned..sod the fuel.
Ifalpa did a study around the same time but management removed the copies within a couple of days.
Later we were restricted on polar flights and number of high altitude crossings.
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Old 19th Mar 2018, 10:44
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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There have been umpteen studies done on radiation, there is ongoing work...there is plenty of stuff out there in the public domain but you need to know the subject to know what to Google.... That said the data and conclusions as to the effects of radiation exposure at cruise levels (mainly derived from the epidemology) can appear somewhat inconvenient to some....which is perhaps you'll often hear stories about results being hidden or buried becasue that suits some narratives...but the truth is "out there".....

If you want to track your own exposure you can, using this...

https://www.faa.gov/data_research/re...biology/cari6/

We can also access our own personal data via our company webiste, and if so minded cross check it by running your own flight profiles through your very own CARI or similar programs....

In the 90s some airlines started issuing radiation exposure badges to the crews, I know Fedex had them, but this has not spread to the other airlines.
As I heard it the reason for the badges was the cargo Fedex (potentially) carried..and on the subject of badges certainly the older film badges didn't really give much of a clue as to total exposure at the sort of levels we get in cruising flight due to Cosmic and other radiation ( hence the development of programs such as CARI in it's various iterations).

I'm sure flying for a living has it's consequences, I suspect mainly due to rostering, sleep patterns, diet, lack of exercise...some of this is down to individual control, some of it goes "with the territory"....some ill health is down to the genes ( been there, done that, got the scars) . Now whether everybody here wants to loose sleep worrying about whether this job is going to let you live forever is down to the individual but beyond avoiding the obvious and lobbying (via a union, if you have one) I don't see the point in fretting about the subject... I'm sure there are health consequences to other jobs, e.g. working at heights as a builder, working as a policeman, or commuting into/out of or around e.g. London on a daily basis....without belittling the possible impact of this job there problems associated with other lines of work and we perhaps need to look at the whole deal and do a bit of cost v. benefits analysis.

Last edited by wiggy; 20th Mar 2018 at 07:59.
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Old 19th Mar 2018, 17:45
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Every career has its health hazard. Even the seamstress getting stabbed by a dirty needle and thread. In the sixties, when pilots had to retire at 60 in the US, there was a study that the average life expectancy after retirement was THREE years. Smoke, drink and have another kilo of beef life style. My first multi crew airplane, I was the only non-smoker. Two guys up front chain smoking from gear up to landing flaps. Walking 50 feet from the aircraft a lighting up and waiting for transport to the hotel for another round of drinks and steaks.


As a side note, I would often entertain myself by cleaning all the glass gauges. Wondered why the little whippy was always coming off yellow. Then, oh, that's the same color coming out the pressure valve back on the tail, yellow nicotine.


As the career progress, I'd always bid trips that departed about 10 in the morning, fly about two or three legs, each day and be home three days latter before dinner.


Actually the most dangerous part was driving on the express way, to and from the airport.
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Old 19th Mar 2018, 21:14
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flash8 View Post
Many of my former colleagues have left flying altogether since, some younger, some older than me, but in the end you only have one life and do you want to spend it all at the pointy end/commuting/down route?
Why the h*ck would you commute ?
The vast majority of people with desk jobs who happen to change their place of work... they move out to their new town and wouldn't even think about commuting several hundreds of kilometers.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 07:56
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Mustangsally - very much agree with your observations about how it was “back in the day”.

My first multi crew airplane, I was the only non-smoker. Two guys up front chain smoking from gear up to landing flaps. Walking 50 feet from the aircraft a lighting up and waiting for transport to the hotel for another round of drinks and steaks
Much the same here....vividly remember on one Africa trip a pair of chain smokers (the captain and the flight engineer) sitting in a cloud of cigarette smoke over a meal, sinking their n’th scotch whilst at the same time being very vocal about the risks of this job and how work was going to impact on their longevity.....and of course as for the radiation worries, well let’s say they weren’t worried enough to wear either hats or sunscreen for their round of golf the next day

Don’t get me wrong, It is good we are better informed these days, but there’s a danger of perhaps being overly obsessive.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 08:30
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I was once given a radiation rule of thumb but cannot recall the exact figure, but for some reason 1 millirem per 1,000 miles comes to mind.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 09:06
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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That might indeed be a “rule of thumb” but it’s coarse at best.

FWIW when I spent a year logging this a typical Europe to Eastern USA flight was “worth” typically 50 -60 micro sieverts, west coast US into Europe over Hudson’s Bay might be 80 plus on a bad day, but it was highly highly dependant on flight levels used , magnetic latitudes and the Sun’s output on the day ( and as an aside FWIW during solar max our exposure to cosmic rays is reduced, though we may be more exposed to the Sun’s own products, so it is all very much non linear).

CARI factors the above in it’s calculations, and a full time, full “spectrum” measuring device might be even more useful.....so it’s fairly straightforward to get a rough handle on the amount we get exposed to....but as for effects on health, well as a doc said to me a while back about the incidence of a particular cancer, and I paraphrase, “like most cancers it’s more than likely down to your relatives rather than your job...”.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 15:45
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vapilot2004 View Post
I was once given a radiation rule of thumb but cannot recall the exact figure, but for some reason 1 millirem per 1,000 miles comes to mind.
That’s a worthless rule of thumb if it doesn’t include latitude and altitude.

The altitude difference to achieve the same exposure rates at the equator and northern hemisphere flights is 10,000 - 15,000’.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 15:58
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by misd-agin View Post
Pilots live longer than their non pilot peers.

Cancer death risk is up slightly. Roughly 1%.

Marrying the wrong person probably is a greater health risk. Worrying about stuff outside of your control probably is a greater health risk.
Wiggy wrote - “There have been umpteen studies done on radiation, there is ongoing work...there is plenty of stuff out there in the public domain but you need to know the subject to know what to Google.... That said the data and conclusions as to the effects of radiation exposure at cruise levels (mainly derived from the epidemology) can appear somewhat inconvenient to some....which is perhaps you'll often hear stories about results being hidden or buried becasue that suits some narratives...but the truth is "out there".....

If you want to track your own exposure you can, using this...

https://www.faa.gov/data_research/re...biology/cari6/

We can also access our own personal data via our company webiste, and if so minded cross check it by running your own flight profiles through your very own CARI or similar programs....”

#######

The radiation risk is relatively low. Study after study shows that. Not zero, but low. And the studies show increased longevity but the possibility of an increased risk of death from 2-3 different cancers. Keep in mind no one gets off the ship alive.

If you want to help your longevity avoid sweating over things beyond your control, worrying about falsehoods, or having people pray for you when you’re sick. But do get a dog, or two.

Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer - The New York Times

Dog ownership = 10% less heart attack risk, better mobility, etc.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 18:21
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Wonder what happened to all those old BAe-146 pilots.. one a/c you'd never find me flying.
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Old 23rd Mar 2018, 00:17
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Mentally and physically, I reckon 36 years flying was less tiring and damaging than , say, 36 years working in a steel mill or down a coal mine....But much more so than 36 years working a 9 to 5 office job, five days every week, no weekends, etc....

Having said that....All 36 years were on TPs and undoubtedly resulted in what is now impaired hearing - not deafness, but my final medical a couple of years ago, the Dr told me that I now have only about 55% hearing levels compared to that 9 to 5 office worker.
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Old 5th Apr 2018, 21:58
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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avherald.com/h?article=4b6eb830&opt=0

aerotoxic incident-coverup
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