Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

What do I need to report to the regulator?

Andy Pender, Medical and Welfare Director discusses the answer to one of the most common queries – ‘what medical events do I need to report to CAA/CASA?’ 

Without guidance this obligation can sometimes be a daunting requirement, where members are unsure whether or not to call their medical examiner.  

It’s encouraged that if members are unsure whether an event triggers a reportable medical event or not, to make me their first port of call.  

A call to Civil Aviation Authority/Civil Aviation Safety Authority or your medical examiner can be daunting, and often expensive. A call to me comes at no cost, is non-judgemental and confidential (while observing the reporting obligations as mentioned below).

In an easy phone call we can discuss whether your event is reportable or not, and the best next steps to send you in the right direction. 

For your own reading, CAA has a set of Medical Information Sheets (MIS) on its website, including the ‘You Must Advise The CAA’ MIS. Read HERE

More often than not, we will have seen members with the same or similar condition. I have access to a confidential medical database made up of other members who have agreed to share the details of their medical events to assist other NZALPA members presenting with the same condition. Mutual support is in NZALPA’s DNA, and our database is a practical demonstration of members willing to support other members. 

In terms of medications, if you’re taking anything more than paracetamol it is recommended you seek guidance from an aviation medicine professional (your medical examiner, the CAA medical unit or your company doctor).

Or pick up the phone and give me a call, or drop me an email. Ninety percent of the Medical and Welfare Director’s work stems from assisting members through medical speed bumps. Cases that start with good advice, more often than not result in a smooth recovery and return to the flight deck, tower or radar console. 

We have the benefit of having Dr. Anton Wiles (CAA, CASA, FAA Medical Examiner) in the position of Aviation Medicine Consultant to NZALPA. Anton assists me in our more complex cases requiring professional oversight. He is also available to answer queries around any aviation medicine topic, such as: stand down or reporting requirements around medications; guidance on medical suspensions and disqualifications; or education on tests you are presented with on your routine medicals. 

Anton is not in the position to circumnavigate the system. If he, like me, is advised of a reportable condition we are obliged like any certificate holder, to report it. That said, a little guidance from someone who is regularly dealing with the regulator’s medical framework can make a return to flying or controlling that little bit easier. 

You can find me at medical@nzalpa.org.nz or 021 904 277. A referral through to Anton is available by contacting me in the first instance.



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