Aeromedical waiver status in U.S. Naval aviators involved in Class A mishaps.Aviat Space Environ Med. 2002 Aug; 73(8):791-7.AS
U.S. Naval aviators are subject to stringent aeromedical standards. Aeromedic waivers are considered when a naval aviator develops a medical condition that is deemed safe for flight, allowing that aviator to continue in a flying status. No Class A (serious) mishap to date has been directly attributable to an aviator's waivered condition. However, to date no study has been conducted to review the overall mishap rate among aviators who are flying with a waiver. This study evaluated the aeromedical waiver status of naval aviators involved in Class A mishaps from 1992-1999.
Aviation mishaps in the U.S. Navy are investigated by trained personnel, who report their detailed findings to the U.S. Naval Safety Center (NSC). The Navy Operational Medicine Institute (NOMI) maintains a database of all aviation physicals, including the waiver status of individual aviators. A collaborative NSC/NOMI study was done to investigate the prevalence of waivers in mishap and non-mishap aviators. Records were retrieved on 234 naval aviators who were the "pilot at the controls" of Class A mishaps occurring from 1992-1999. This mishap waiver rate was compared with the baseline waiver rate for all pilots in 1994 (midpoint). Odds Ratios were calculated of having a Class A mishap if the aviator had a waiver.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
Analysis failed to find a statistical difference in waiver rates between mishap aviators and the general naval aviator population indicating that the U.S. Naval Aeromedical Service is providing aeromedically safe naval aviators to the fleet.