AOPA Short Approach

July 2018 Short Approach

Presidents Report

Hi Aviators, not much aviation done this last weekend as our Winter Fly in was postponed.... lets hope for a weather window later in the month. The strips are presently very wet...

I spent a day in Wellington this week at the twice yearly CASA/CAA Medical Departments get together. It was a very good day with interesting presentations and good discussion. The first presentation was from Dr Rod Jackson whose 'Predict' study is now based on 500,000 New Zealanders heart health. This study is internationally acclaimed. Our Aussie brothers have no comparable data and are looking at using this study. In a nut shell the rate of New Zealanders dying of heart disease or stroke has been reduced to about one fifth of the level seen in the 1960's. No one has a satisfactory answer to this decline but it must be due to less smoking, less hard fats, better blood pressure and cholesterol drugs and some other magic. But the rate is drastically down. Cancer kills more of us than heart disease as of last year..... The scary part is though that we are pretty useless at determining who will get heart disease; 8 out of 10 heart episodes affect people with low assessed risk.

There is good evidence that the 70- year old Framingham study which CAA bases its heart risk assessment is inaccurate by 50% - CAA is on the case....

Dr Kathy Ferrier the CAA consultant cardiologist gave one of the best presentation I have heard in years... she is an excellent asset for CAA. Her talk ranged through storys and studies and basically debunked most of the procedures which pilots are put through when heart disease is suspected. She reported a NZ study of Air NZ pilots who had heart or stroke problems and on looking back 7 out of the 15 events happened in pilots with no inkling of problems. Tightening up the tests just takes all the experienced pilots out of the air and who wants that from a risk point of view. No aircraft or people were damaged due to the 15 episodes.

Of special interest was the uselessness of doing exercise ECG's in people with no symptoms - 91% of heart or stroke problems occured in people whose test results were normal in this group... Interestingly there is increasing evidence for the CT Calcium score and CAA do recognise this as a predictor of a good heart.

Dont stop your BP or cholesterol pills though as these are well shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by 25% and 33% cumulatively.....

CAA medical staff were all there all day and did take note..... 

Enough of medicals though: I trust you have all had a good chance to update yourselves on the Met Service presentation changes. The format does look logical and better. I think we will all need to use the graphic presentation a few time for it to become familiar. I think it is a credit to MetService.

Fly plenty and fly safe,







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