Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

Articles written by James D. Lakin

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Oh Say Can You See: Flying with Color Blindness

If you have ever landed at a Class Bravo airport, you know that the runway looks like the Las Vegas Strip. The strobing glide path, PAPI, illuminated runway centerline, side and center line taxi way markers all combine to make a colorful and...

 

Medical Certification - Pilots with Leg Amputations

More than 1.2 million Americans live with the loss or absence of a limb. Each year over 1,000 children are born with limb deficiencies. Over 130,000 amputations are performed annually as a result of trauma or disease, with 86 % of these amputations...

 

Death by Diphenhydramine: The Benadryl Bane

If you look at the autopsy data of pilots killed in aviation accidents the No. 1 drug found in their bloodstreams is diphenhydramine. It is marketed as Benadryl® and a host of other brand names. You would think the most common killer would be...

 

Breast Cancer and Medical Certification

Breast cancer is common. Currently, the average risk for a woman in the United States to develop breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. That’s about a 1 in 8 chance. Fortunately, if it is detected early the outlook is good. That’s the...

 

Aviation Fluids: Put Them in the Plane Not You

To get an airplane off the runway you’ve got to pump a lot of unusual fluids into her…avgas, oil, hydraulic fluid, deicing solvent. And let’s not forget the coffee and pop to pump into the pilot! There are many liquids involved in flying and...

 

COVID-19 Vaccines: Get 'em Before They're Hot!

t is my sincere hope that the day is near when I will not be devoting this column exclusively to Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, more Americans are dead from COVID-19 than died in the entirety of World War II. Pilots are in a unique...

 

Seat Belts and Shoulder Harnesses: Use 'em!

The NHTSA isn't the only federal agency that has fun crashing things! Our own FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City has blasted a number of perfectly good airplanes to smithe...

 

Aeromedical Forum

This spring I received a note from an airman wondering about his odds of getting off a Special Issuance. Five years previously he had a heart artery calcium scan which showed heavy calcification in...

 

Aeromedical Forum

A couple of months ago we talked about the then looming pandemic. Well here it is and it looks like it's going to be around for a while. The good news is that Minnesota has done an effective job of slowing the rate of viral transmission of SARS Cov...

 

Aeromedical Forum

As I sit in my office at Airlake, a King Air is revving up its engines. Good Lord it's loud and I have the benefit of 30 yards separation and a wall between me and it. Pity the lineman that's out...

 

Aeromedical Forum

How many months are we into winter? How many pounds have we put on? Since you can only get so much exercise from throwing around snow, it's hard to avoid the "Late Winter Couch Potato Syndrome"! Lack...

 

Aeromedical Forum

One thing about the aviation community, we get around. We are exposed to many different terrains, population, cultures and, unfortunately infections. If you’re flying under Part 121 or 135 you often cover a lot of territory and come into contact...

 

Aeromedical Forum

What better flying weather than a crisp clear February day in Minnesota. You’d think you were flying a helicopter with the short takeoff runs. The air is smooth and the visibility unlimited in bright sunshine. The reflection from the snow is...

 

Aeromedical Forum

It's winter flying season! Some of the best conditions imaginable can be had on a clear crisp winter morning in Minnesota. You ease the throttle forward and suddenly your C172 feels like a P52...

 

Aeromedical Forum

Aviation training doesn’t come cheap. So, when the FAA offers it for free, you might want to take a hard look. Of course, there’s a catch. Training is done in Oklahoma City, the headquarters of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) which...

 

Aeromedical Forum

The weather is cooling down and you probably are cranking up the cockpit heater more often now. That’s fine. It’s hard to keep her straight and level when your teeth are chattering. But with the comfort of cockpit heat comes the possible...

 

Aeromedical Forum

A couple of months back an older gentleman came in for a flight physical. He’d flown a number of years ago and wanted to “get back in the game” now that all the kids were through college and on...

 

Aeromedical Forum

One thing that endlessly confuses airmen (and occasionally AMEs) is the processing of Special Issuances. First of all what, you might ask, is a Special Issuance (SI)? An SI is granted by the FAA to a...

 

Aeromedical Forum

The days are getting longer. The temperatures edging upward along with the cumulus build ups. It will soon be summer flying time! But before you start buzzing off to all those great pancake breakfast...

 

Medications on the Mind: Flying (or not) with Drugs:111

Over the last two months we’ve been talking about the many problems that can pop up when using medicines while flying. Side effects to watch for in the labeling of over-the-counter medications...

 

Medications on the Mind: Flying (or Not) with Drugs: II

Last month we covered things to think about before taking a medication and hopping into the cockpit. Medications can cause a world of trouble for a pilot including idiosyncratic reactions and...

 

Can Arthritis Ground You?

As we get a little older its par for the course to get a little stiff and have a few aches and pains. If you fall into that silver-hair category, try sitting in a GA cockpit for five hours and then...

 

Aeromedical Forum

It’s been a long time since we’ve talked about the medical issues of high altitude flying. Since then General Aviation pilots have been spending more and more time at higher altitudes. The...

 

Aeromedical Forum

If you've looked out the window recently, you've probably noticed its winter in Minnesota. Thus, it's time to talk about how you can easily loose bits and pieces of your anatomy on the tarmac if you...

 

Flying with Glaucoma: A CACI Condition

I don't know about you but that kind of call from ATC always gives me the willies. Someone is buzzing around out there. They don't have enough sense to turn on their transponder, if they have one,...

 

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