Several incidents of airline pilots becoming incapacitated occurred over a period of weeks.
A United Airlines flight from Guatemala City to Chicago was diverted to Houston after the pilot reported chest pain.
A Southwest Airlines flight was rerouted due to pilot incapacitation. Radio communications from the Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio flight indicated the captain reported stomach pain before he “fainted or became incapacitated.” He received medical attention at the rear of the aircraft as the copilot flew it back to Las Vegas.
Similar incidents occurred on British Airways, Emirates, and Virgin Australia flights in March. During the last incident, the pilot suffered a heart attack 30 minutes into the flight, forcing an emergency landing.
Health Care News reported an American Airlines pilot collapsed mid-flight in November and was pronounced dead on arrival at a Chicago hospital.
Unvaccinated Pilots on Demand
Wealthy businessmen and companies are seeking flight crews who have not received COVID-19 shots, due to safety concerns, says Joshua Yoder, a passenger airline pilot and president of US Freedom Flyers, a nonprofit group opposed to air travel vaccine mandates.
“I first started receiving calls from wealthy individuals seeking unvaccinated pilots in the fall of 2021,” said Yoder. “With more information becoming available daily regarding the dangers of the shot, we have also noticed an increase in aircraft owners seeking out unvaccinated pilots. US Freedom Flyers is not an employment agency, but we do utilize our network to assist as able.”
Airline passengers do not have the luxury of being able to choose their pilots, says Yoder.
“Many airlines still have vaccine mandates in place; however, most are accepting religious and medical exemptions for current and new employees who are opposed to the vaccine,” Yoder said. “Unfortunately, the majority of airline employees succumbed to the threats and intimidation that we experienced following President Biden’s illegal vaccine mandates.”
President Joe Biden implemented a mandate for federal contractors, including major airlines, in the fall of 2021 that has been struck down by two federal courts.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not investigated connections between the pilot incidents and the COVID-19 shots, which have been linked to increased myocarditis risk. Last fall, the FAA quietly loosened EKG standards for pilots, making it easier to approve pilots for flight.
“The FAA continues to deny that the recent increase in pilot death and incapacitations may be directly related to the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Yoder. “Susan Northrup, the Federal Air Surgeon, has been contacted directly by pilots and their families who have been affected, and yet she refuses to open an investigation into what we believe is a clear safety signal.”
Yoder said US Freedom Flyers are preparing to file litigation against the FAA, “seeking accountability for their malicious and reckless behavior, which has created a negative impact on aviation safety.”
The FAA has “failed to adhere to the checks and balances which have been set in place for years to ensure public trust,” said Yoder.
Harry Painter (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes from Oklahoma.