A significant number of commercial pilots showing up at the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME) for their initial licencing or licence renewal seem to lose their bearings in the presence of doctors.
At least 30 to 40 per cent of them show signs of ‘white-coat hypertension’, which in medical jargon means blood pressure shooting up in the clinic but being normal outside. Such a condition would have rendered quite a few pilots unfit for flying in the past. But the AFCME, with the help of research and the use of the newest diagnostic tools, has re-flighted almost all such pilots with advice for relaxation exercises and life style modification. The AFCME sees up to 30 civilian pilots everyday.
“Proper evaluation has helped resurrect flying careers. Fewer pilots are being declared unfit now,” Air Commodore RK Ganjoo, Air Officer Commanding, AFCME, told HT on Wednesday.