This post was written by Sally Beck.
PILOT deaths are in the news again as three more have ‘died suddenly’ this month. IndiGo Captain Manoj Subramanyam, 40, suffered a cardiac arrest boarding at the gate at Nagpur airport. He died on his way to hospital. Qatar airlines lost a ‘very fit’ senior pilot aged 51 who died while travelling as a passenger on flight QR579 flight from Delhi to Doha. LATAM Flight LA505 from Miami to Santiago, Chile, was diverted to Panama after Captain Ivan Andaur, 56, collapsed and died in the toilet. In Alabama, a student pilot suffered a cardiac arrest and received CPR mid-flight. He was revived on the ground. Meanwhile there are reports of 15 other incidents involving pilot collapses and deaths. One caused a crash that killed everyone on board, including a two-year-old girl.
In March alone we reported on five pilots who either collapsed or died. Canadian physician Dr William Makis, author of more than 100 peer-reviewed medical publications, has also been tracking pilot deaths with numerous articles on his Substack page like this one from June 2023 that detailed four Singapore Airlines pilots who died suddenly, or with cancer.
Many think Covid vaccines, rolled out at the end of 2020, are to blame. Between 2021 and 2022, the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) ‘unfit to fly’ numbers showed a 75 per cent increase, while the RAF said that 27 per cent of their pilots were medically downgraded. All pilots need to demonstrate a less than one per cent chance of developing serious illness to pass their annual medical, which makes these numbers unusual.
Recent freedom of information (FOI) requests to the CAA and the RAF show an alarming increase in the number of commercial and armed forces pilots registered unfit to fly post the vaccination rollout.
Here are the CAA’s numbers from the last five years of all medically grounded commercial and private pilots:
· 2018 – 1,550 – normal year
· 2019 – 1,663 – first covid cases reported in December 2019
· 2020 – 851 – air travel restricted because of lockdowns, covid infections at their worst, no vaccine until December
· 2021 – 1,594 – vaccine widely available from January and mandated for US and Australian pilots in November but not for British, the majority of whom would have taken the vaccine or faced restrictions flying to countries with vaccine mandates
· 2022 – 2,784 – post vaccination, huge increase in failed medicals – 75 per cent.
More than 25 per cent is an unusual increase for RAF pilots, but what about the 75 per cent increase in commercial pilot groundings? The correspondence on this issue has been long and arduous but it seems that Brexit is partly to blame.
When we exited the European Union (EU), British pilots were registered with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). They had to de-register with EASA then re-register with the CAA. A CAA spokesman claimed this process accounted for the increased numbers, saying: ‘Around 8,000 pilots transferred their European licences to other EU countries and then applied for a UK licence in 2022. During this period there may have been applicants returning to the UK whose application was given a temporary “unfit” status whilst we obtained relevant medical information relating to declared medical conditions. This status would have been mostly recorded for administrative reasons.
‘One applicant could be made unfit and then fit on a number of occasions within a year and each of those instances will be counted in our reports. So, the same applicant can appear more than once on a report if they have multiple transactions with an aeromedical examiner, multiple limitations on their certificate, or indeed if they take several medications.’
I found this confusing, inconclusive and unconvincing, so I submitted a further FOI request on Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MORs), which are compulsory reports to the CAA about anything that might happen during a flight to endanger aircraft, crew, or passengers. The CAA would not confirm nor deny whether they held the information.
So I contacted their Safety Intelligence department last month in the hope that they would share MOR details. They said that EU Regulation 376/2014 meant that they could not reveal MOR information to the public or media; it was only for the purpose of maintaining or improving aviation safety. They said: ‘Our medical team have sight and regularly review MORs, and they initiate appropriate regulatory actions.’
A brick wall, but what about the RAF’s numbers? In January 2023, US Airforce Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Long, a board-certified aerospace medicine doctor and Army Brigade flight surgeon, raised the alarm for service personnel. She said: ‘I saw unusual diagnoses and alarming trends only after the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccinations.’ Dr Long testified in court that in just one afternoon she had heard from four pilots whose MRI scans showed they had myocarditis.
The US mandated Covid vaccines for their military in August 2021 even though Lt Col Long said that immunity gained from infection was superior to vaccination, and that ‘less that 20 active-duty personnel out of 1.4million died of the underlying SARs-CoV-2.’
RAF pilot numbers are registered on two levels: temporarily medically downgraded because of failed medicals but still allowed to fly depending on illness, for example a twisted ankle, and permanently medically downgraded because of failed medicals, though they can fly again if they recover.
Vaccination was not mandated, but a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that 97 per cent per cent of defence personnel accepted first jabs and 95 per cent accepted second jabs.
Here are the RAF figures:
2018 – 220
2019 – 220
2020 – 230
2021 – 240
2022 – 280
2018 – 60
2019 – 70
2020 – 90 – Covid-19 infections at their worst
2021 – 100 – armed forces offered jab in July
2022 – 90 – MoD confirmed 97 per cent of defence personnel vaccinated, though not pilot numbers
What does that mean to air safety and our country’s air security? Pilot activists US Freedom Flyers and Aussie Freedom Flyers say vaccine side-effects, known to cause heart inflammation, blood clots and strokes, are a factor in pilot incapacitations.
Former Virgin Australia captain Glen Waters from the pilot support group Aussie Freedom Flyers revealed disturbing information: ‘Heart attacks and strokes in our industry are extremely rare.
One specialised GP with aeromedical qualifications known as a Designated Medical Examiner (DAME) said he had seen a significant increase in the heart condition myocarditis (that can be fatal), and pericarditis. I thought it was one in a hundred but the DAME said no, it’s more like one in ten. He did say that a lot of the symptoms he’d seen were treatable and transient.
‘Privately, I’ve spoken to pilots who know they’re vaccine injured. One pilot hardly made it home from his second shot. It took him three and a half hours to drive an 80-minute journey. He had to keep pulling over because he was fainting and sweating. He thought he was going to die. He ended up with pericarditis and leukaemia.
‘Another pilot had myocarditis post vaccination and had six months off work. He was hoping to get paid off through his insurance. After eight months his cardiologist said “I think you’re over it, you can go back to work”, and his DAME was prepared to give his medical [permission to fly] back. He said: “I don’t know why because I can hardly function. I wouldn’t survive a 12-hour day at work, and I don’t want to try.” He never got a payoff.
‘A third pilot in that situation got his medical back and did one day at work and it almost killed him. He resigned the next day. Now he has a carpet cleaning business.’
Pilot warns of airline industry disaster due to Covid vaccines
CAPTAIN Shane Murdock says the air industry is ‘poised on the precipice of disaster’. A pilot for more than 40 years and a qualified air accident investigator, he has found official data that back up his claim of impending global catastrophe. He adds: ‘When correlated, the data indicate there is an enormous problem that is having, and will have, a significant impact on aviation safety worldwide. There is enough evidence to be sending out red flags.’
There have been many tragedies this year. Phil Thomas, a young graduate of the Cadiz, Spain, flight training academy, fell ill and died suddenly in April. There were five pilot incapacitations in March including a British Airways pilot who collapsed and died in Cairo, Egypt not long before he was due to fly.
Pilots are super-fit, so why are so many dying suddenly or collapsing? Cpt Murdock concludes they are suffering severe adverse reactions to the Covid-19 vaccinations, which has myocarditis (heart inflammation), brain fog, insomnia, blood clots and anaphylaxis as side effects.
He thinks some pilots are ticking timebombs and claims many are not declaring ill-health. He said: ‘They are not reporting brain fog, heart flutters and dizzy spells because they don’t want to lose their jobs.’
Aviators have comprehensive annual health checks, or six-monthly if they have been ill. Rules state they can pass only with a less than 1 per cent chance of suffering an illness that could incapacitate them.
How are they passing medicals if they are suffering serious adverse reactions? Last year the global aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), changed the electrocardiogram (ECG) markers that measure the ‘PR interval’. This is the time it takes for an electrical impulse to travel from one part of heart to another and is an indicator of heart health. The new limit is 50 per cent longer than the previous limit, and means that if a pilot has developed a heart condition, it could slip past.
It was November 15, 2021, when Australian airlines mandated Covid-19 vaccines for 900 pilots, and all air and ground crew. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna were available in Australia.
Today is the third anniversary of that mandate and Cpt Murdock is one of 12 pilots who refused. He was sacked of course, accused of serious professional misconduct, a charge generally reserved for inappropriate sexual behaviour or reckless and dangerous behaviour.
Mr Murdock, 60, who lives near Sydney, Australia, flew as Captain for Virgin Australia for 20 years, and has held a licence since 1984. He also has an MSc in Aviation Human Factors, the science behind how humans interface with machines. He said: ‘Somewhere on the international network daily, you will find a plane has been turned back because of a health emergency. Either a passenger health emergency or crew health emergency.’
When pilots put out a mayday radio call to air traffic control, it is nicknamed a ‘squawk’. They use the code 7700 for all mayday calls which are reserved for serious incidents like pilot incapacitation or an uncontained fire on board. Few scenarios warrant a mayday; passengers and crew must face genuine peril.
There has been an unprecedented rise in the numbers of mayday calls as tracked by a bot set up by the X account @GCFlightAlerts. It posts when a pilot squawks 7700 anywhere in the world.
Between 2018, and 2019, the mayday average was 29.1 per cent of all distress calls. During 2022, mayday calls increased by 272 per cent. In the first three months of 2023, the increase was 386 per cent. The graph shows there was an instant, steep increase when the vaccines were mandated to pilots.
The average age of death in Australia during the pandemic was 85.3 years. The figures did not justify mandating vaccination to healthy, fit, pilots and implementing a no jab, no job policy. It even violated their own guidance: according to FAA rules, no pilot is allowed to take any type of medicine unless it has been approved and in use in the general population for 12 months. Pilots are forbidden to take part in drug trials and all Covid-19 vaccines were allowed under emergency use authorisation. The final phase of the trial finishes this year.
Cpt Murdock also looked at the number of multi-crew licences issued by Australia’s regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). They have the authority to impose restrictions on Airline Transport Pilot’s Licences (APTL). A multi-crew licence restricts pilots to operating with multiple crew members and is issued when their medical status shows a possibility that they may become incapacitated whilst flying. CASA monitors and administers medical certification and licensing for all Australian pilots. Freedom of information data shows there has been an unprecedented increase of 126 per cent on limitations.
You would think this would prompt a major review by CASA, but they will do nothing while Australia’s drug watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), still endorse Covid-19 vaccination for all. It is a revolving door avoiding responsibility that is familiar to those of us investigating vaccine issues.
Cpt Murdock thinks lack of action can have only one result, and bear in mind we have seen many planes make emergency landings because of pilot incapacitations. He is unequivocal and said: ‘Disasters will occur and both aircrew and the traveling public will die unnecessarily.’
This post was originally written in two parts by Sally Beck Aug – Nov 2023 at conservativewoman.co.uk