says pilots on psych drugs can fly commercial airliners"">Medicated in the cockpit: FAA says pilots onpsych drugs can fly commercial airliners
April 5, 2010
What would happen if the Columbine high school rampage shooters who were psyched out on mind-altering antidepressant drugs had been pilotinga jet airliner instead? On Friday, the FAA issued a new rule that sayspilots taking psychiatric medications are now allowed to pilot passengerairliners while medicated!
This “permission to fly while medicated” decision by the FAA covers pilots taking the antidepressant psychiatric drugs Prozac, Zoloft,Celexa and Lexapro. Not coincidentally, these are the same drugs that,in the minds of many industry observers, are linked to acts ofaggression, suicide and mass murder. People on these drugs may simplylose touch with reality and feel like they’re playing out a video gamerather than acting out in the real world.
It begs the question: Why is the FAA putting medicated pilots in control of jet airliners? What happens if a psych drugmedicated pilot suddenly thinks he’s in a video game and aims his Boeing767 at a civilian target “just for the fun of it?” Or what if he goesraving mad, strangles the copilot and then crashes the jet airlinernose-first into the ground?
While this kind of scenario may seem remote, you have to remember: It only takes one such event to cost the lives of hundreds of airpassengers (and perhaps thousands of people on the ground).
Today, air travel is remarkably safe in terms of the number of fatalities per miles traveled. It’s far safer than traveling in yourcar, in fact, and a fair amount of the credit for that safety belongswith the FAA. So why is the FAA now making a decision that seems, on itssurface, to endanger the lives of air passengers byallowing psychiatric patients to pilot airplanes?
According to the FAA, the answer is because modern psychiatric drugs have fewer side effects. That seems like a political statement, not amedical conclusion, because the side effects that are experienced by avery small number of psychiatric medication users can be so whacked outthat they can pose a very real danger to the lives of those around them.The majority of U.S. school shootings that we’ve seen over the last 15years have been carried out by shooters taking psychiatric medications.
Antidepressants work no better than placebo
The other part of this story that the FAA seems to be missing is that for all but the most extreme cases of depression, antidepressant drugshave been scientifically proven — through multiple clinical trials — towork no better than placebo. These pilots would do just as well takingcapsules filled with olive oil as they do on patented, monopoly-pricedSSRI drugs. Yet despite the scientific reality that antidepressants areno better than placebo for the vast majority of patients, doctorscontinue to prescribe them and now the FAA has allowed these drugs intothe cockpit. Er, excuse me, the “Flight Deck.”
And this makes me wonder whether those pilot-narrated fly-over descriptions — “On the left you can see Mt. St. Helens” — will start toinclude hallucinogenic elements, too. “On the right, I see Santa Clausand his ten reindeer, about to pass under engine number four. Pleasefasten your seat belts while we take evasive action…”
Depression is a sign of another health problem
If a pilot suffers from depression, that’s an indication that there’s some other health problem they’re dealing with: Usually cardiovasculardisease of some kind.
Depression can also be brought on by vitamin D deficiencies or a diet lacking in omega-3 oils. Depression isn’t simply an isolated “chemicalimbalance in the brain,” as the drug companies would like you tobelieve: It’s a symptom of a much larger health challenge thatalmost always includes a cardiovascular component. So if a pilot suffersfrom depression, shouldn’t that mean they need to reform their ownpersonal health from the inside out rather than relying on achemical agent to mask their symptoms?
I actually know a senior pilot for a major U.S. airline; a guy who flies the largest and most technical Boeing aircraft around. He’s amember of the Life Extension Foundation and takes care of his healththrough exercise, fasting and daily nutritional supplementation. He’sthe kind of pilot I want behind the yoke because I believe that pilotshave a special responsibility to be healthy and alert. I wouldnot want to be a passenger on any airplane being piloted by apsychiatric patient medicated on Big Pharma’s dangerous mind-alteringdrugs.
The difficulty, of course, is that you just don’t know which pilot you’re going to get on any given flight, nor what medications thatperson may be on. We’ve all seen the dangers of people who drive on theroads while medicated — they are responsible for as many as one-third ofall traffic accidents today! There’s no question in my mind thatallowing medicated pilots to fly commercial airliners is increasingthe risk of an accident that could harm or kill the crew and passengers.
So I’m going to lay out a prediction here, and even though it may take years for this to come true, there’s little doubt it’s comingunless the FAA reverses its rules: There will be an airplane crash oneof these days where the cause is not merely “pilot error” but actually medication-inducedpilot error. Some pilot who is psyched out on antidepressantdrugs might fly his plane into a building, mountain, ocean or otherlandscape feature, and the NTSB will recover the black boxes only tofind that the pilot had gone stark raving mad minutes before impact. Alittle more investigation will reveal he was on psychiatric prescriptionmedications.
Keep psych drugs out of the flight deck (and out of Congress)
It seems an obvious point: Mind-altering psychotropic drugs should have no place on the flight deck. Most people who do not have ties tothe pharmaceutical industry would agree with that.
At the same time, it’s not just pilots who have responsibility for the lives of the people, is it? Members of the U.S. Congress are alsomaking decisions that impact the lives (and livelihoods) of a fargreater number of people than airline pilots. So why are most members ofCongress doped up, psyched out and mass-medicated with dangerouspharmaceuticals, too?
In a recent video that has become an overnight YouTube sensation, U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson from the 4th district of Georgia actuallyclaimed that putting too many people on the island of Guam would causethe island to tip over and capsize: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZc…
Yes, you read that right: This former court judge who somehow got elected to Congress by Georgian voters, said flatly and without joking:“My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated thatit will tip over and capsize.” To which the steadfast Admiral Willardpaused in disbelief and then replied, without even a hint of sarcasm,“We don’t anticipate that.”
Congressman Hank Johnson is not a stupid person. His bizarre on-camera behavior can best be explained by medication side effects.Watch the video and you can see for yourself how he’s barely able tostumble through an attempted description of the geography of the islandof Guam. He is displaying classic symptoms of anoverly-medicated Congressman!
Now you know how the recent health care reform bill got passed. Many of those who voted for it were so over-medicated with Big Pharma’smind-altering drugs that they had no concept of what they were votingfor. This is especially ironic, given that they were voting forenforcing a monopoly medical system that would ensure even moremind-altering drugs being prescribed for the American people!
This is why I have publicly called for health standards for all members of Congress. Medicated members of Congressshould not be allowed to vote! And that would throw outvirtually all the bastards, wouldn’t it?
I was thinking we could take all those Congresspeople who no longer meet the health standards and ship them off to Guam to see if itactually does tip over.
In fact, why not make a new reality TV show featuring former U.S. Congressmen running wild on the beaches of Guam — and call it “TheTipping Point?”