[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Sept 11, 1967

Physician Reporting of Aircraft Pilot Impairments

JAMA. 1967;201(11):871-872. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130110097027

Rapidly mounting congestion of the nation's airways with aircraft that now frequently carry more than a hundred passengers each steadily increases the need for careful medical screening of aircraft pilots, in the interest of public safety. All air travellers become aware of their utter dependence on the health maintenance of, not only their own pilot, but all pilots in the surrounding air patterns. Abrupt failure of any pilot to function can be potentially disastrous to his life and to those of hundreds of people in the air or on the ground.

The American Medical Association endorsed in 1959 and again in 1960 the following principles: (1) that the privilege of operating aircraft is not an individual's inalienable right, but is a privilege conferred on him in the public interest and (2) that pilot examinations to determine their mental and physical fitness should be done by designated doctors of medicine chosen