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Articles written by James D Lakin

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  • The Blues in the Wild Blue: Minor Depression

    James D Lakin|Nov 1, 2022

    Everybody gets “down in the dumps” now and then. Marital or financial problems, a death in the family, job stress, change of location…you name it. Life can be darn hard and get the best of you for a while. Fortunately, the FAA realizes this. They recently gave guidance to us Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) as to how to handle an airman who honestly reports depression arising from a challenging situation--- minor or situational depression ( com/watch?v=FebHBtwezwE). Minor de...

  • Alcohol and Aviation: They Don't Mix

    James D Lakin PhD MD FACP CFI CFII MEI|Dec 1, 2020

    OK, "tis the season to be jolly." Don't get me wrong. I'm really big on jolly. Problem is I'm also really big on making it through the holiday season alive and with my pilot's license intact. An important part of achieving that noble goal is knowing where, when and how much of Christmas cheer to consume. You know as well as I do that the successful outcome of any flight depends upon the ability of the pilot to make myriad decisions rapidly and correctly, to see and avoid, to communicate...

  • Aeromedical Forum

    James D Lakin PhD MD FACP CFI CFII MEI, Airline Transport Pilot FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner|Nov 1, 2020

    Headaches and aviation are frequent companions. Anyone who has made a long cross country flight knows why. Hours of engine noise and vibration, traffic, buildups, headwinds that make your fuel consumption jump…any and all are headache generators. That’s just part of flying. So why would the FAA care about something that’s pretty much built in to aeronautical endeavors? Well, there are headaches and there are headaches. What I’ve been talking about is what are referred to as tension headaches, that achy feeling in your temples, sometimes the fee...

  • Jet lag: Is this Brussels or Bangkok?

    James D Lakin, Minnesota Flyer|Oct 1, 2013

    PhD, MD, FACP CFI, CFII, MEI FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner An alarm clock is something I rarely need. That good ol’ internal ticker goes off just about sunrise. Likewise, I need a good reason to stay up long after it gets dark. “Sorry Honey. It’s my bedtime.” In other words, I have a strong circadian rhythm. That puts me in the company of most living creatures. Plants, animals, even single-cell organisms follow a relentless daily activity pattern linked to the light-dark cycle. Why thi... Full story