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Friday, July 19, 2013

Government, Industry Warn Private Pilots About Prescription Drugs

FAA joined 11 different aviation groups Thursday in sending a heightened warning to general aviation pilots, regarding side effects from certain prescription medications that could affect their performance. 
Michael Huerta, the FAA Administrator, and aviation groups including the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and General Aviation Manufacturer's Association (GAMA) sent a letter to licensed GA pilots. Specifically, FAA wants pilots to be more aware of prescribed medicines and non-prescription drugs containing antihistamines. 
According to the letter, about 12 percent of fatal general aviation accidents over the past decade involved pilots who had taken medication that is currently prohibited by the FAA. 
“In all of my years of practicing aerospace medicine, I am not aware of any time in which so many aviation organizations have collaborated to get out the same message at the same time,” said Dr. James Fraser, the FAA’s Deputy Federal Air Surgeon
Improving general aviation safety was an issue included on the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) 2013 most wanted safety improvements list, as the board continues to investigate about 1,500 GA accidents annually. 


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