Over-the-counter medications played a role in 12 percent of all fatal aviation crashes in last 10 years: study
- Industry executives sent a letter to the country’s 450,000 pilots warning them of the dangers of flying while under the influence of OTC medications
- The letter recommends pilots wait as long as five times past the dosing intervals before flying
- 6 percent of all pilots in fatal crashes between 2004 and 2008 tested positive for drugs like marijuana or morphine
By Daily Mail Reporter PUBLISHED 17 July 2013
Industry and government leaders today issued a letter to the country’s estimated 450,000 general aviation pilots warning them of the dangers associated with flying under the influence of seemingly harmless over-the-counter medications.
The letter warns of medications like pain relievers, cough suppressants and sleep medications as having ingredients that could potentially make a pilot drowsy, or even fall asleep while flying.
The letter notes that ‘pilots might not be aware of the ubiquitous presence of sedating antihistamines in many over-the-counter treatments for common allergies, coughs, colds and sleep aids.’
Additionally, the letter recommends that pilots wait as long as five times past the dosing intervals before flying.
“So if it was an eight-hour medication, you might go as long as 40 hours before you get into an aircraft,” Bruce Landsberg, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation, tells ABC News.
The letter describes the wreck of a small plane in California that killed two children and their grandparents.
According to the letter, the grandfather was flying the small plane when it came in short on the runway at an airport in Visalia in 2006. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that one of the causes of the wreck was the build up of a sedating, over-the-counter sleep aid in the man’s system.
The children who died were only 6 and 3 years old.
The study also found that 42 percent of pilots who died in plane crashes between 2004 and 2005 had some sort of drug or medication in their system at the time of their deaths.
Additionally, the study found that 6 percent of all pilots in fatal crashes between 2004 and 2008 tested positive for drugs like marijuana or morphine.
In addition to the letter issued today, industry officials say they plan to continue to raise awareness about the dangers of flying under the influence of drugs through articles in trade publications, on-line education and other efforts.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2367154/Over-counter-medications-played-role-12-percent-fatal-aviation-crashes-10-years-study.html#ixzz2ZKLJ0LsI
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook