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Help getting my aviation career back - medical/aviation related Statistician sought.

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  • 23 Apr 2023 8:32 PM
    Reply # 13177496 on 13167509

    Duncan, a very considered post, thank you for making the effort, and i understand very much the observation and frustration you detail I have to say it is refreshing to be participating in this Forum. Normally exposing personal details online invites trolling and nastiness. Goes to show such a niche community of intelligent 'thinkers' and professionals as you are fosters helpful responses. Thank you.

    Duncan, I struggle to reconcile the lazy convenience of large Regulators to adopt a black and white rules based approach to the needs of individuals. They expect open and honest self reporting from those they regulate, but offer nothing in return.  This promotes the very opposite of what they expect. You tell them as little as you can.  They help you as little as they can.

    Evidence of this? The chain of brick walls i am facing to get someone to own the 2% rule, i have spoken of, is ridiculous. The Australian Regulator said they take it from the British Regulator. The British Regulator has told me they take it from the European Regulator. The European Regulator has told me they only produce guidelines for local bodies to formalise Regulations.

    I also contacted the manufacturer of the medication i have to take. I have no side effects at all from it. Thought it a great idea to get their clinical support on their own product to back up my lack of side effect capability.  But nope - not prepared to help me, and suggested i speak to their complaints dept.

    Have emailed a recommended Actuary as suggested below, provided by the Actuaries Institute of Australia. No response.

    In the meantime my GP and Neurologist (a highly regarded Professor) have both formally stated i should be returned to work.

    This is why i see my only avenue is to shut down this 2% statistic, to force them to substantiate its application, and in doing so expose that no-one really knows what it means.

    Sorry to be so long winded.  

  • 22 Apr 2023 12:29 PM
    Reply # 13176670 on 13167509


    I am following your thread with interest since it highlights some major issues in such matters that I am facing in another health related area with many large cumbersome (with respect) bureaucratic agencies involved

    From my experience often published studies and risks based on large studies, unless well presented by an expert who can highlight the individual nature of clinical issues (also with respect) can be brutal to individuals who have ever been on the receiving end of decisions which may be based on evidence but are very brutal to individuals

    I was denied many insurances for most of my career due to matters like that. The disclosures I had to make were actually based on wide-spread clinical error (with respect) based on large scale evidence that took no account of individuals. I couldn't even get special clauses written in to exclude some of those risks. I worked as a self-employed consultant with no insurance to back up any loss of income or death or disability etc - due to rather questionable risk assessments - and in my view a lifetime of being on the receiving end of alleged evidence based error (with respect). Be careful on your choice of expertise (with due respect of course)

    Many of us would face the same issue with house insurance (with due respect). I can unfortunately see the other side too of major risk considerations. But some surely deserve highly individual and personal consideration

    One final comment and personally informed observation. With all due respect to our large bureaucracies and the scale of decision making they need to engage in, trying to fix serious or possibly serious error, unfairness, or injustice in process at an individual level seems cruelly impossible or complex and burdensome. Something that to all appearances should be fairly easy - clinical expert, maybe legal, other experts. Short process. It is ridiculous and unfair in my view that access to such fair and due process is so hard. It is of life-determining importance for those on each side of the issue. Important you would think. Sadly also so many of the experts we need also have their own serious risk considerations

    Just thinking about the 2% question. I would seriously hope that figure is based on something substantial. Who knows what it means. Its brutal from both sides is it not when you think about it

    I wish you well

    Last modified: 22 Apr 2023 1:13 PM | Duncan Lowes
  • 19 Apr 2023 8:56 PM
    Reply # 13173117 on 13167509

    Richard, i appreciate your post very much and am intrigued to know more. Poor process at CASA's end can be used as an advantage if a solid case is put together - i'm inclined to feel.

    Would you consider allowing me to speak directly with you about your experience?


  • 19 Apr 2023 12:03 PM
    Reply # 13172875 on 13172800


    I had the misfortune a few years ago to be involved in helping someone in dealing with CASA over a medical issue. Despite being able to provide research evidence related to the issue we got nowhere. We are still awaiting their reply! At the time CASA was going through a difficult time finding suitably qualified medicos to deal with these issues and there were long delays for existing pilots to get medically recertified. The medical certification process had at that time had become completely dysfunctional and I had serious concerns about its ability to provide its other basic functions of  ensuring aviation safety.  I wish you better luck in dealing with them.


  • 19 Apr 2023 9:59 AM
    Reply # 13172800 on 13167509

    Louise, thank you for the advice! I have never been aware of Actuaries but a brief search suggests you are absolutely correct. I will try that avenue. Very nice of you to help. David

  • 19 Apr 2023 9:31 AM
    Reply # 13172793 on 13167509

    I would have thought you would need an actuary rather than a general statistician, since that field is all about quantifying risks for individuals or corporations. And it would be a service not a research area so you wouldn't need to worry about them wanting to publish any findings etc.

  • 18 Apr 2023 2:34 PM
    Reply # 13171700 on 13167509

    John (and any others), the Regulator's risk assessment is based on what they call 'an acceptable risk' and that they quantify this level to be 2% per annum. ie an acceptable risk of sudden incapacitation should be at or below 2% PER ANNUM for a particular condition to be acceptable.

    i will keep digging.

  • 18 Apr 2023 11:04 AM
    Reply # 13171525 on 13167509

    John, thank you for your thoughts and what you say makes complete sense. I will work further on the Regulator for further detail and return to the Forum.



  • 17 Apr 2023 1:23 PM
    Reply # 13170202 on 13167509

    Hello David

    I am a statistician with no particular aviation expertise or neurological experience but I have advised on numerous legal matters.  It strikes me that procedural fairness on the part of CASA demands that they give the details of how they make their decision.  This means explaining what they mean by the risks and giving the appropriate expert references.  I assume that you have asked for that.  If you have and they have refused then it becomes a legal case in which information has to be given over, either through Freedom of Information or through legal discovery.  I cannot offer legal advice, but I advise talking to a lawyer, possibly one who deals with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  Once you have that information then a statistician and possibly other experts may be able to help.

  • 17 Apr 2023 11:19 AM
    Reply # 13170063 on 13167509

    Just adding to my last post, Ken's comments relating to accessing data, and publishing (findings) for peer review, i am not after a thesis nor ground breaking findings in need of publishing. The most basic outcome could be, from a statistical point of view,  creating doubt about the broad 2% requirement. How do they come up with 2%? What does 2% mean - 2% of the days over the last year free of incidents? 2% of one's whole life spent in a state of debilitation? The Regulator to whom i wish to argue are not statisticians. They would have no idea how to apply this 2% they quote. If data is required here then please advise what data and i'll do the ground work to try and get it. Thanks Ken for kicking this off.

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