Muskoka To-DAILY

Pilots address air safety, including the possible use of marijuana when flying

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com

GRAVENHURST — Flight safety has been forefront the minds of a lot of flyers recently.

Muskoka Flying Club president Earle Robinson, left, and Dr. Paff listen to a question.

Muskoka Flying Club president Earle Robinson, left, and Dr. Gary McGee listen to a question.

Dr. Gary McGee

Not the least of reasons because of the passenger treatment onboard and a impaired pilots.

The same could be said of some 75 pilots who attended a Transport Canada-approved and certified safety seminar on Saturday, April 22 at Lake Central Airways at the Muskoka Airport (CYQA) in Gravenhurst.

The Muskoka Flying Club hosted the event that saw a dozen or more pilots who were able to fly in, while some were stranded on the ground and had to drive due to a low ceiling that morning.

Among the topics discussed, including technical and mechanical requirements of the planes, was the health of the pilots.

More than 60 pilots took part in the day-long Transport Canada-accredited saftey day.

More than 60 pilots took part in the day-long Transport Canada-accredited saftey day.

Dr. Gary McGee, a pilot himself, took questions during a lunch break.

He addressed a number of concerns, from sudden heart attacks or medical emergencies, to things like sleep apnea, stress and diabetes, which he said was more of a concern if its too high than too low.

Age was another question, to which he responded to the older crowd that that shouldn’t really be problem if the pilot is relatively healthy.

He cited a couple of pilots he know flying well into their 90s.

A couple of special planes, including this sleek Piper, were part of a static display at the Muskoka Airport event.

A couple of special planes, including this sleek Piper, were part of a static display at the Muskoka Airport event.

But it was on the topic of the future of marijuana that drew special interest.

He said it’s just like alcohol — zero tolerance.

He credited the Toronto Transit System for instituting mandatory drug testing, which right now is not a requirement for a pilot’s licence.

He said getting high and flying even a day or more later can be dangerous.

“It depends on how long it stays in your system.”

Different people metabolize it differently, he said. It could even be a month for some.

Pilots from across Central Ontario, a dozen or more who fliew in, attended the safety seminar at Lake Central Airways in Gravenhurst.

Pilots from across Central Ontario, a dozen or more who fliew in, attended the safety seminar at Lake Central Airways in Gravenhurst.

Someone mentioned second-hand smoke that could affect a pilot who is tested.

He also said people can report impaired flyers to Transport Canada.

Another topic McGee spoke to was colour-blindness (“a misnomer”) and how over the years the test for it has changed from lights on the runway to the “dot test.”

Former Lake Central Air Services owner Elton Townsen, who retired and sold last year and is still flying, was onhand for the morning sessions.

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=27500

Posted by on May 6 2017. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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