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Steven Messenger

Diabetic Pilot PPL

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Steven Messenger

As some of you may know, I've been doing my PPL from Glasgow (EGPF), but I have been in a seemingly never-ending battle with the CAA to get a medical, due to me having type 1 diabetes. Today, I took solo command of a PA38 from Prestwick(EGPK) for the first time as the CAA allow me into a very small privileged group.20638956_1759953084044958_839254716032733308_n.jpg.0397f4006255e40955bda800b06b8c4a.jpg20643446_1759852307388369_3994906456903916038_o.jpg.730dbdbae398c8ad56b50411d521affc.jpg

Edited by Steven Messenger

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Trevor Hannant

That first solo is a great feeling!  Well done Steven, enjoy!

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Simon Irvine

Well done Steven, great achievement. 

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Layth Al-Wakil

Nice one Steven, best of luck with the rest of your PPL training, keep us updated!

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Bill Casey

Well done Steven! As a Type 1 meself I know what you're up against. At the time when I wanted to do a PPL it was so restrictive for us that I decided it wasn't worth the time, effort and money to do it. I'm delighted it's more achievable now but  of course it'll only take one idiot to crash due to a hypo and we're in the dog house again. I'll be fascinated to watch how things go for you now.

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Fraser Cooper

Well done.

You will always remember your first solo!

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Stuart Duncan

Excellent news. Hope you enjoyed your first solo. It's something that you'll never forget!

Just out of interest, have the Campaign Against Aviation placed any restrictions on you/your future licence?

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Steven Messenger
2 hours ago, Stuart Duncan said:

Excellent news. Hope you enjoyed your first solo. It's something that you'll never forget!

Just out of interest, have the Campaign Against Aviation placed any restrictions on you/your future licence?

Thanks everyone! I had to jump through every hoop they had, and took 12 months total to get my medical. It has various restrictions, but all related to preflight and inflight blood test regimes. I had an OSL limitation which was removed after a medical flight test with my CFI - allowing me to fly completely solo.

On 8/10/2017 at 09:25, Bill Casey said:

Well done Steven! As a Type 1 meself I know what you're up against. At the time when I wanted to do a PPL it was so restrictive for us that I decided it wasn't worth the time, effort and money to do it. I'm delighted it's more achievable now but  of course it'll only take one idiot to crash due to a hypo and we're in the dog house again. I'll be fascinated to watch how things go for you now.

I was given a very stern warning from the CAA to not *mess* it up for future T1Ds.

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Stuart Duncan

Just noticed what's written on your t-shirt!   :lol::lol:

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Bill Casey
18 hours ago, Steven Messenger said:

Thanks everyone! I had to jump through every hoop they had, and took 12 months total to get my medical. It has various restrictions, but all related to preflight and inflight blood test regimes. I had an OSL limitation which was removed after a medical flight test with my CFI - allowing me to fly completely solo.

I was given a very stern warning from the CAA to not *mess* it up for future T1Ds.

Do you have to provide records of in flight blood tests or is it a trust thing? How often do you have to do tests in flight? I can imagine that'll be fun when flying in turbulent conditions! I've done them in the most inhospitable conditions like in blizzards while skiing but hand flying in rough wx would be a whole new challenge. One finds a way though!

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Steven Messenger
3 hours ago, Bill Casey said:

Do you have to provide records of in flight blood tests or is it a trust thing? How often do you have to do tests in flight? I can imagine that'll be fun when flying in turbulent conditions! I've done them in the most inhospitable conditions like in blizzards while skiing but hand flying in rough wx would be a whole new challenge. One finds a way though!

You need to log your reading in your log book after every flight, and the CAA take a copy of every single page every 12 months and they also take your meter readings too. You need to test 2 hours before reporting or 1 hour before flight, 30m before t/o then hourly in flight and 30m before landing. It is rather difficult, but you just got to do it as quick as you can!

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Bill Casey
On 8/12/2017 at 12:51, Steven Messenger said:

You need to log your reading in your log book after every flight, and the CAA take a copy of every single page every 12 months and they also take your meter readings too. You need to test 2 hours before reporting or 1 hour before flight, 30m before t/o then hourly in flight and 30m before landing.

Good grief! Those rules suggest that whoever wrote them simply doesn't understand how it works :rolleyes:  What do they expect? 7 mmol/L +/- 1  for the whole flight including 2 hours beforehand?! I can see why they're jumpy but that does seem a bit extreme.

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Steven Messenger
6 minutes ago, Bill Casey said:

Good grief! Those rules suggest that whoever wrote them simply doesn't understand how it works :rolleyes:  What do they expect? 7 mmol/L +/- 1  for the whole flight including 2 hours beforehand?! I can see why they're jumpy but that does seem a bit extreme.

They're actually fairly decent with their range. You're Green limits are 5-15mm/l - this is clearly in a ketotic range, but that's what they accept, they'd rather you had an unsympotmatic high than a hypo, judging from my meetings with the CAA, their main concern is a incapacitating hypo.

You also need to compete an exercise ECG every 5 years along with glowing reports from your local specialist, 6 monthly a1c etc....

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Bill Casey
12 hours ago, Steven Messenger said:

You're Green limits are 5-15mm/l - this is clearly in a ketotic range, but that's what they accept, they'd rather you had an unsympotmatic high than a hypo, judging from my meetings with the CAA, their main concern is a incapacitating hypo.

That does seem fair allowing up to 15 although it's way beyond what I'd deem acceptable for myself! But accepting a 5 as ok seems a tad low to me when some people start showing hypo symptoms between 4 and 5. Still, that range is sensibly achievable. I still don't get why they want a test 2 hours before flying though since it's not really indicative of anything relevant to the flight.

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Steven Messenger
8 minutes ago, Bill Casey said:

That does seem fair allowing up to 15 although it's way beyond what I'd deem acceptable for myself! But accepting a 5 as ok seems a tad low to me when some people start showing hypo symptoms between 4 and 5. Still, that range is sensibly achievable. I still don't get why they want a test 2 hours before flying though since it's not really indicative of anything relevant to the flight.

It's to give you time to fix it if it's a tad off:)

 

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Steve Riley

Reading all this has been interesting, as Bill said 5 seems a bit low but I'm sure the CAA has taken their information from the Diabetic society and medical sources.

Now, my concern is from the testing inflight of your BGM. 

Blood spills in the cockpit , on the yoke and instruments is a possibility, so HEP A B and C infection could be a possibility and this should be said to the CFI and flying club you use aircraft from. 

I see this even day when i take BGM readings when my patients don't stop bleeding from that pesky little scratch in their little pinky, claret  everywhere.

Just a thought.:unsure:

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Steven Messenger
1 minute ago, Steve Riley said:

Reading all this has been interesting, as Bill said 5 seems a bit low but I'm sure the CAA has taken their information from the Diabetic society and medical sources.

Now, my concern is from the testing inflight of your BGM. 

Blood spills in the cockpit , on the yoke and instruments is a possibility, so HEP A B and C infection could be a possibility and this should be said to the CFI and flying club you use aircraft from. 

I see this even day when i take BGM readings when my patients don't stop bleeding from that pesky little scratch in their little pinky, claret  everywhere.

Just a thought.:unsure:

Personally I don't get symptoms at 5, but their main rule is if you feel something, test! 

I carry disinfectant wipes in my BM kit when flying and give everything a wipe down once brakes on:).

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