When a passenger is not a passenger....


#1

Even the FAA dodged the answer on this one!

ipilot.com/learn/article.aspx?ArticleID=433

Allen


#2

Membership required. Copy/Paste?


#3

You can type in ANYTHING. After you fill-in the information, it’ll take you right to the story without having to log-in and all that.


#4

The Case of the Pregnant Student Pilot
By Paul A. Craig
Published: 2/4/2002
This is a true story and like most true stories that end up in print, it doesn’t read like one. Last year one of my student pilots, told me that she and her husband were expecting. A pregnant student pilot? That really got me thinking…

My student wanted to know if she could continue her flying lessons while pregnant, at least up to the solo flight. I told her that if her doctor said it was okay, then it was okay with me – but then I remembered the student pilot limitations of regulation 61.89 and I decided to have a little fun.

I have a friend who is an FAA inspector. This particular inspector has always been fair and even handed, but he is also known for his extremely strict interpretations of the regulations. He likes to take a regulation apart and dissect the meaning of each and every word. I consider him to be very thorough, but some call him ‘picky.’ I decided this guy would be just the right character to introduce to my unfolding story. I called him up and posed the following scenario. I told him that I had a student pilot who was pregnant. I told him that in the next couple of weeks I believed that I would be signing her off for her first solo flight despite the fact that she was pregnant.

Then I said to the FAA inspector, ‘now I don’t want to be violating any rules here so I want you to tell me, if she flies solo while pregnant will she be violating the no-passenger rule? [FAR 61.89(a)(1)]’ He did not respond. I hit him again. ‘I know the US Supreme Court has never been able to determine once and for all when life begins, so I think you guys at the FAA ought to in this case. Because if ‘life has begun’ for my student’s baby and then I let her fly solo, it seems to me that she would be carrying a passenger, which, of course, is not a legal thing for a student pilot to do… What do you think I should do?’ I rather expected he would laugh this off. He didn’t.

Note to self: Never underestimate the seriousness with which an FAA man approaches his work.

A few weeks went by and the FAA inspector forwarded me the response from the FAA’s legal council in Atlanta. The legal council beat around the bush a little concerning the definition of a passenger, but when it came to the pregnancy question the FAA’s official response was – and I’m quoting, ‘We won’t touch that one with a 10-foot pole.’

Case closed.

The student later did fly solo in an airplane that had two seats. After the solo I found out that she was in fact pregnant… with twins! So… did that mean she also violated the rule that requires all passengers to be in a seat or berth? [FAR 91.107(a)(3)]. After all, she flew solo with two passengers in an airplane with only two seats! The passengers have not reached their second birthdays (let alone their original birthdays!) but would the FAA consider the womb as ‘proper restraint’? Don’t worry, I learned my lesson the first time and did not call my FAA inspector friend back to find out.

BOTTOM LINE: Women can fly while pregnant either as a student pilot, a private pilot, or even an airline pilot. If you are pregnant you, of course, should consult your doctor before continuing flight activity. People talk, play music, and sing to their unborn babies – why not bring them more good vibrations? Why not get them started – early – in flying!


#5

In the JAR-FCL rule, you loose your JAR-FCL Medical when you are pregnant, so she could not go for solo flight over here.

Seems to be you don’t have that rule over there, that means that pilots can be pregnant ? Strange…


#6

As long as she’s not within 4-5 weeks of her expected delivery date and a doctor okays it, there’s nothing wrong with a pregnant woman flying, especially in the first 2-3 months of pregnancy.


#7

JAR-FCL 3.040 Decrease in medical fitness. .(a) Holders of medical certificates shall not exercise the privileges of their licences, related ratings or authorisations at any time when they are aware of any decrease in their medical fitness which might render them unable to safely exercise those privileges… … . (d) Holders of medical certificates who are aware of . .( 1)] any significant personal injury involving incapacity to function as a member of a flight crew; or. . (2)] any illness involving incapacity to function as a member of a flight crew throughout a period of 2 1 days or more;. . or. .(3)] being pregnant,. … .shall inform the Authority in writing of such injury or pregnancy, and as soon as the period of 21 days has elapsed in the case of illness. The medical certificate shall be deemed to be suspended upon the occurrence of such injury or the elapse of such period of illness or the confirmation of the pregnancy, and:. … .(5)] in the case of pregnancy, the suspension may be lifted by the Authority for such period and subject to such conditions as it thinks fit (see JAR-FCL 3.195© and 3.3 15©) and shall cease upon the holder being medically examined under arrangements made by the Authority after the pregnancy has ended and being pronounced fit to resume her functions as a member of the flight crew… .Amdt. 1, 01.12.00l. .01.12.00 1 4-6 Amendment 1. … .Appendix 8 to Subparts B and C. .Gynaecology and obstetrics. .(See JAR-FCL 3.195 and 3.315). .1 The AMS may approve certification of pregnant aircrew during the first 26 weeks of gestation following review of the obstetric evaluation. The AMS shall provide written advice to the applicant and the supervising physician regarding potentially significant complications of pregnancy (see Manual). Class 1 certificate holders shall be restricted to multi-pilot operations (Class 1 OML).

i personally find it dangerous to be PIC when pregnant: (Possibility of miscarriage during flight, which would become a flight safety hazard as a risk by possibly being unable to get a suitable medical help, It has been reported that pregnancy affects brain-power,…)


#8

The above contains incorrect information… And jeeez, I went into websites that probably not too many men go into :smiley:

pregnancy-info.net/wellbeing_flying.html

From the above website (emphasis mine)

However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends women dont fly after their 36th week of pregnancy.
Airlines have their own flight restrictions for pregnant women, which can vary according to whether you are flying domestically or internationally and which airline you will be flying. Some airlines wont allow you to travel for 30 days before your due date, while others wont let you on board if your due date is less than seven days away.

36 weeks is nine months based on my simple math.

AOPA sez differently also for General Aviation planes. The following links will require an AOPA membership

aopa.org/members/ftmag/artic … ticle=2890 deals with pilots and based on what I read from this article, pregnancy **BY ITSELF **is not a grounding item on a medical review.

aopa.org/members/files/topic … icle1.html is for pregnant passengers on a GA plane. Excerpt from this article is below my name (not sure if I am allowed to copy it in it’s entirety due to redistribution copy right issues and emphasis mine again)

Allen

Once the doctor has determined that mother and baby are in good health then you can begin planning for your trip. The first thing to consider is when the best time to travel will be. Most doctors and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) agree that the best time for flying is during the second trimester or the 4th through the 6th months. The main reason for this is that flight will be more comfortable than during the 1st and 3rd trimesters. By the 2nd trimester your body has had time to adjust to being pregnant. The initial fatigue of the lst trimester has tapered off some, leaving you with more energy and morning sickness is usually no longer a problem. Also, during the 2nd trimester you are still small enough that comfort won’t be as big of an issue as it would be during the 3rd trimester. Also the risk of preterm labor during the 3rd trimester is greater than during the 2nd. Keep in mind however that this risk is not increased because of flight. Labor is simply unpredictable and flying too close to your due date could result in your baby being born somewhere other than where you planned. Once you and your doctor have determined when the best time is for you to fly, there are a few things that can be done to make the flight as comfortable and safe as possible.

When planning a trip it is necessary to schedule as many stops as possible even if this means increasing the length of the trip. Flying in a small aircraft does not offer the luxury of bathrooms and walking space that airlines do. You must keep in mind that pregnancy greatly increases how often you need to use the bathroom. Therefore, it is important to schedule as many bathroom stops as possible, not only for comfort but also to decrease the risk of a bladder infection. Another important reason to schedule frequent stops is to allow time for walking and a small amount of exercise. Sitting anywhere for long periods of time can make your feet and ankles swell and cause your legs to cramp. Walking and stretching regularly will keep your blood circulating which will help to keep this from happening. Exercise will also help you to avoid cramps and back pain as well as lower your risk for blood clots. When you are sitting in the aircraft you can do some simple stretches that will also help. Begin by moving your foot first forward then backward to stretch out your leg and your calf, then rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes to help keep the blood flowing.


#9

A normal pregnancy is 9 months. Each month has 4.2 weeks in it, more or less. So 9 times 4.2 is 37.8 weeks. So, in other words, a woman could fly, according to the ACOG, up to 1.8 weeks before she’s due. The site you quote, by the way, is for airline travel and not piloting.

And, by the way, DO I HAVE TO SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT IT IS MY FRIGGING OPINION, ALLEN? Anybody with an IQ greater than the number of eyes he has should be able to tell that I was giving an opinion.

You really do love that word “INCORRECT,” don’t you. I’m so glad you are here because I really need someone to tell me how stupid I am.

I was just wondering a few minutes ago how long it would be before you decided to show your great intelligence again by abusing mine.


#10

Not trying to pile on here Dami, but you don’t have your facts right (again). The standard dating for pregnancy in ACOG is to start counting from the date of the last menstrual cycle. Therefore, using the current medical standard, pregnancy is 40 weeks. So when ACOG says that women should not fly after their 36th week of pregnancy, that means they should stop 4 weeks before their due date.


#11

Somewhat incorrect or at least not science
(emphasis below are mine)

the 280-day cycle works on the typical 266-day gestation period plus 14 days, which would be the time from when you had your first day of your period, until the time when you would have more than likely ovulated. So you see this is not exact science. Why? Well, because this method assumes you would have ovulated exactly 14 days after you started your period and it **assumes **fertilization took place on that exact day.

There are other methods of calculating your due date of course. If you had been keeping track of your basal body temperature or your LH surge, you would know when ovulation occured, when you had intercourse and the date of conception. If you know this exact date for sure, then you would simply add the 266-day typical gestation period, and you would have your due date. Alternatively, you could use software which will not only track your ovulation cycle but also give you an estimated due date once you are pregnant.

Unfortunately there is no exactly perfect way of determining when your little bundle of joy will arrive.

It assumes that pregnancy occurred exactly 14 days after the woman’s last period.

In other words, they are using 280 as a standard, not as a hard-and-fast rule.

Re-read what I said:

As long as she’s not within 4-5 weeks of her expected delivery date and a doctor okays it, there’s nothing wrong with a pregnant woman flying, especially in the first 2-3 months of pregnancy.

Regardless of the length of pregnancy, I pretty much said what the college said - no flyng within 4 or 5 weeks.


#12

I wasn’t going to chime in at all, but I think both of you are looking at the wrong date of the pregnancy as a reference point.

I **REALLY believe **the references I provided are looking at the DUE date.

I am surely the last person to be talking about the pregnancy business having no kids myself so take this for what it’s worth, but I’d suspect airlines don’t ask for the date of conception, they ask for the due date, and clearly in my reference, it says it varies from one week to four weeks before the due date that airlines prohibit flying. The one week rule before the due date makes Dami incorrect, giving the benefit of the doubt for the four weeks marginally correct.

For GA, there is absolutely no date of reference on the last day which a pregnant lady can fly and this makes Dami’s opinion incorrect. My AOPA references above support my statement.

Like I said, 36 weeks is in general sense 9 months and I don’t think any reference or guide will go down to the conception date in deterimining a fly or no fly decision, and I doubt ACOG will worry about the couple of weeks on the front end, when it’s the due date that seems to be the mitigating factor on deciding if a pregnant lady can fly on an airline.

For a GA plane per my reference above, she can fly on the due date as a pilot or passenger as long as she has her doctors blessings (common sense anyway!). You can fly her to the hospital from all I read, just make sure you get the appropriate clearances on that rooftop for that short field landing :smiley: Heck, she can fly herself if she has a pilots license.

Allen


#13

Not being able to confirm or deny your AOPA references, I won’t address them. However, I was referring to the due date in my original statement:

Here’s what the pilot contract, chapter 9, with ASA says (Chapter 15 mentioned below deals with physical standards, examinations, and standards):

G. Maternity Leave

  1.     Maternity leave for pilots shall be handled in accordance with applicable law.
    
  1.     A pilot shall notify the Company immediately upon confirmation of her pregnancy.
    
  1.     A pregnant pilot shall be permitted to continue in service until her physician determines that she is no longer able to perform pilot duties. Any disagreement as to her fitness to continue in service shall be resolved in accordance with Section 15.
    
  1.     A pilot who ceases to perform pilot duties shall be placed on sick leave. Following exhaustion of sick leave benefits, the pilot shall be placed on medical leave.
    
  1.     A pilot shall return to active service following termination of pregnancy on the later of the expiration of her leave or  her physicians certification of her fitness to return, but no later than permitted in paragraph B.2., above.
    

Pilot Medical Solutions:

One-third of pregnant women will deliver prior to their due date and 100% will be completely disabled at some point during pregnancy, yet the FAA’s only regulatory guidance is FAR 61.53. When paraphrased FAR 61.53 essentially says pilots must ground themselves if they know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would make them unable to meet the requirements or if they are taking medication or receiving treatment for a medical condition that renders them unable to meet the requirements. There is a wide range of interpretations of FAR 61.53 for pregnant pilots and while some believe these pilots should be grounded in the first trimester, others believe moms-to-be can fly two weeks beyond their due date.


#14

[quote=“damiross”]
Not being able to confirm or deny your AOPA references, I won’t address them. However, I was referring to the due date in my original statement:

[quote=“damiross”]
As long as she’s **not **[/quote]

within 4-5 weeks of her expected delivery date and a doctor okays it, there’s nothing wrong with a pregnant woman flying, especially in the first 2-3 months of pregnancy.

Here’s what the pilot contract, chapter 9, with ASA says (Chapter 15 mentioned below deals with physical standards, examinations, and standards):

G. Maternity Leave

  1.     Maternity leave for pilots shall be handled in accordance with applicable law.
    
  1.     A pilot shall notify the Company immediately upon confirmation of her pregnancy.
    
  1.    ** A pregnant pilot shall be permitted to continue in service until her physician determines that she is no longer able to perform pilot duties**
    

. Any disagreement as to her fitness to continue in service shall be resolved in accordance with Section 15.

  1.     A pilot who ceases to perform pilot duties shall be placed on sick leave. Following exhaustion of sick leave benefits, the pilot shall be placed on medical leave.
    
  2.     A pilot shall return to active service following termination of pregnancy on the later of the expiration of her leave or  her physician’s certification of her fitness to return, but no later than permitted in paragraph B.2., above.
    

Pilot Medical Solutions:

One-third of pregnant women will deliver prior to their due date and 100% will be completely disabled at some point during pregnancy, yet the FAA’s only regulatory guidance is FAR 61.53. When paraphrased FAR 61.53 essentially says pilots must ground themselves if they know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would make them unable to meet the requirements or if they are taking medication or receiving treatment for a medical condition that renders them unable to meet the requirements. There is a wide range of interpretations of FAR 61.53

/b] for pregnant pilots and while some believe these pilots should be grounded in the first trimester, others believe moms-to-be can fly two weeks beyond their due date.

Please note what I bolded.

None of these support your opinion that you originally posted that a pregnant lady cannot fly 4 to 5 weeks or closer to her due date… In fact, you only further support my position.

As stated earlier, pregnancy on it’s own is not a condition that prohibits piloting a plane. That is clearly stated in the AOPA reference.

Other related conditions that pregnancy bring, such as kidney stones can ground a pilot, but a lady with only the condition of pregnacy can pilot a plane, can be a passenger in a GA plane.

Airlines as discussed above set their own rules and clearly indicate your opinion is inccorect especially for those airliners that permit pregnant ladies fly within one week of their due date

Allen[/quote]


#15

For those non AOPA members, an excerpt not provided in my earlier post from the members only link aopa.org/members/ftmag/artic … ticle=2890 is below my name.

Again, really nothing to hide on my part, any AOPA member can check out what I am reading, but for respect of copyrights and not wanting to cause troubles in that front, I don’t want to publish the whole article. Emphasis is mine.

Allen


Remarkably, the FAA has stayed completely out of the pregnancy issue up to this point. As long as a woman does not have any medical condition or take any medication that is listed as a grounding item, there is no reason why she cannot fly when pregnant. As an added assurance, however, many women time their visits to the Airman Medical Examiner (AME) so that they are not pregnant the day they receive their medical certificate or renewal. By doing so-as long as no other disqualifying conditions pop up during the course of the pregnancy-they avoid dealing directly with the issue. That’s a little tricky if you hold a first class medical, which must be renewed every six months. Unless the FAA decides that pregnancy poses a safety of flight problem, however, it is a non-issue.


#16

I’m not sure how this post turned so serious, but I thought it was pretty dang funny Allen.


#17

It still is… :smiley:

I’d say a whole lot more, but will reserve those thoughts for the banter thread and keep this on topic from its conception :blush:

Sorry couldn’t resist the choice of words! :smiley:

Allen


#18

It hasn’t drifted from the topic of pregnancy and flying. And I do concede that 40 weeks instead of 36 or 37 weeks is now considered normal term.

Many airlines do prohibit women from flying within the last 4-5 weeks or so of their due dates, although some do allow no restrictions up until 7 days prior. more than 7 days prior to the due date.
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines - interesting, no restrictions, although there’s a warning about penalties for changing flight aren’t waived
Air France
Qantas
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Southwest Airlines
Norhtweest Only airline that I found that specifically states "(w)omen in labor will be denied boarding for safety reasons."
Air Jamica

The below is a drift. It’s my opinion.

I think Allen and CAFlier are two reasons why there seems to be fewer people posting then in the past. People are afraid that if they post their opinions or say the least little thing wrong, they are going to have these two “intellects” jump down their throats.

Remember, new posters: If you express an opinion and either or both of these two don’t agree with it, they will express their “supreme intellect” and run you down.


#19

Yep, that is exactly what I said, we use it as a standard. I know it isn’t exact, which is why I said twice that it is just the medical standard measurement.

Instant replay:

You said in your top quote above

.

I pointed out that it is incorrect for you to interpret the ACOG statement to say that it is ok to fly up until 1.8 weeks before pregnancy.

So that you could understand why that is wrong, I then pointed out that the standard way of measuring pregnancy timing is from the last menses. I did not say that it was precisely the correct date, just that it is the standard way that we count it. I agree that can be off by a day or so, but that is a NIT. You were just complaining about people nit-picking, yet there you go again. Even your nit does not change the outcome to say that women can fly safely 1.8 weeks before they are due. That is an incorrect, and medically dangerous, statement.

BTW, I just called a gynecologist friend. He advises his patients not to fly after the 7th month of pregnancy. A commercial pilot friend just told me that they tell the crew members not to fly after the 7th month of pregnancy.


#20

Well that’s a new one. When were you deputized by the opinion police?

David didn’t say that women cannot fly within 4-5 weeks of their due date. He said that there’s nothing wrong with it outside of that period (pending doctor approval…he did pretty much cover all the bases here). Inside 4-5 weeks before the due date is a pretty common guideline to avoid flying, backed up by the data posted earlier from the ACOG, regardless of what the airlines come up with for ‘rules’.

I’m with Damiross on this one, at least on his original statement. (he mistakenly used the commonly misconception (giggity) that a pregnancy is 9 months. As has been pointed out, the standard is 40 weeks, counted from the suspected time of conception.)