Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

Articles written by James D. Lakin

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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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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,... Full story


Flying with High Blood Pressure: A CACI Condition

Back in March of 2013, the FAA started defining “Conditions AMEs Can Issue (CACI).” They realized that many uncomplicated illnesses that had required a decision by the FAA in Oklahoma City could... Full story


Sudden Pilot Incapacitation: Yikes!

March 29 this year, a Boeing 737-300 (AA 1353) was on short final heading into KABQ down in Albuquerque when the First Officer suddenly slumped forward, unconscious. Fortunately, the Captain noticed,... Full story


The FAA's New Approach to Sleep Apnea

It's been almost five years since we talked about sleep apnea (September, 2011) and the FAA's approach to this problem has been updated. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is very common. .It affects... Full story


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