Monthly Archives: March 2019

Flight Safety – Epilogue

Further to my trilogy Flight Safety, Flight Safety – Pilot Error and Flight Safety – Aircraft Accidents of 2015, Flight Safety – Epilogue shows some interesting research which could actually back up the suspicion of aspartame causing neurological and psychiatric problems for pilots.

Pilot depression research

This research particularly concentrates on depression and suicidal thoughts that pilots suffer from. The fact that so many pilots are admitting to these conditions could be a sign that some are in fact ingesting aspartame on a regular basis. This could exacerbate or even cause their conditions.

Research following Germanwings crash

This survey was started soon after the Germanwings flight 9525 tradegy where 150 people were killed, supposedly on purpose, by the co-pilot of the aircraft Andreas Lubitz.  There is no doubt that this young man, who was an accomplished pilot, was in mental turmoil and had been so for some years.  I am not defending this young pilot, what he did was horrendous. But looking for an answer as to why he did it, could possibly avoid this kind of devastation happening again. One thing about a person who wants to commit suicide. They will not want to take others with them. Not caring about killing innocent people, is a person who is suffering from psychotic tendencies.

1837 pilots fill in questionaire
1 in 8
1 in 8 pilots could be depressed.

The Harvard T.H. Chan study goes into how many pilots have depression and other mental problems and comes up with a multitude of statistics.  Perhaps the most worrying of these are the percentages of pilots who admit to having suicidal thoughts.  Out of a potential of 3485, 1837 pilots (52.7%) actually cooperated by filling in questionaires.  75 of those pilots (4.1%) reported having suicidal thoughts within the past 2 weeks and 233 pilots (12.6%) met the depression threshold, that’s 1 in 8 pilots.

140,000 pilots worldwide

There are approximately 140,000 airline pilots around the world with half of them in the United States.  If you relate the figures above of 4.1% of pilots thinking suicidal thoughts, the total number of pilots in the US having these feelings could be as many as 2,870 and worldwide 5,740!

This is a shocking revelation and is something the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and other aviation authorities throughout the world, should be all over this research like a rash, not to mention the commercial airline companies themselves.

diet coke & planeThe popular pilot

Being an airline professional has a kind of celebrity status. Being a pilot is considered, by most, to be a worthy career with pilots considered as being especially gifted and accomplished.  Pilots and crew want to look good and being overweight is not in keeping with their image. Hence many do their best to keep fit and trim and consuming dietary products is deemed to be helpful to that cause.  They probably have no clue that ingesting aspartame laced sodas, hot drinks and food stuffs could actually threaten their career and worse, be the cause of an airline accident, possibly causing loss of life.  This apart from not helping weight loss.  Those using aspartame are more likely to gain weight!

What would you do?

If you were a pilot who had mental health symptoms that could jeopardise your profession, what would you do?  It is only human nature to hide illnesses and conditions that could impact on your career, especially if they are mentally related.  A pilot has to declare any problems he may have which were not obvious to an observer.  It won’t be until someone else observes the problem that it will be reported.  Even then, it is known that pilots will protect their colleagues.  There was an incidence when a pilot has a seizure whilst in the cockpit, but because it only lasted a few minutes, it was not reported.  This event came out in a confidental phone call to Mary Stoddard who set up the Pilot Hotline back in the last century to help pilots with aspartame reactions.

anonymousStudy was confidential

It is admirable that this study was confidential and it explains why so many pilots were willing to participate and answer the questions honestly.  If it had not been an anonymous survey then I suspect those that did fill in any questionaires would have lied about any conditions that would impact on their licence to fly and who could blame them.

No questions on dietary habits

There were many questions about various characteristics of the participants. I found it interesting that a question was asked about ingestion of alcohol and sleep aid medicine.  Not once was there a question about dietary habits in this questionaire.  If only they had asked about ingestion of foods, including diet drinks and other products.  A possible link may have been found.

FAA logoAspartame ban won’t happen

Even if the 92 symptoms I mentioned in my last post was accepted by the FAA, they would ignore it.  This despite 75% of reported side effects of food additves to the FDA concern aspartame.  So why is this?  Because they are politically connected to the FDA who passed this toxin in the first place, under a cloud of fraud and misdemeanour, way back in 1981 and again for carbonated drinks, in 1983.  In other words, its all to do with politics and financial gain.  If aspartame was banned, the loss to those companies that have a vested interest in it would be catastrophic and detrimental to their business and there lies the problem.  No matter that it’s damaging the health of the population.

Public awareness is the only way

As for the health of pilots and crew and the subsequent safety of passengers, the only way to stop consumption of aspartame laced products is for the public to be aware of the dangers. With public awareness of what aspartame can do neurologically and psychologically they will not want those in control of their flights to be ingesting this chemical and thus taking chances with their lives.

If just one pilot is unknowingly being affected by this sweetener, he could be the cause of an aircraft disaster.  It’s a pity that  Andreas Lubitz’s history of consumption of food and drink was not scrutinised as part of the crash investigation.  If it was found that he regularly ingested aspartame and that it could have exacerbated or even been the cause of his psychotic behaviour, the media would have informed the public.  A public outcry is the only way this toxin will be removed from the market.

Jeff VictoroffNeuropsychiatrist talks of Germanwings pilot

Dr. Jeff Victoroff, neuropsychiatrist at USC’s Keck School of Medicine stated “We need to stop talking as if this was a suicidal guy with access to an airplane.  This was a murderous guy who probably had elements of a mood disorder and personality disorders.”

“Unless investigators recognise the toxic role of aggression and hostility in some patients’ depression, such troubled individuals will continue to elude detection – to the public’s peril”.

Aircraft industry ignoring aspartame

The aircraft industry is missing a vital clue to what could be happening with pilot error cases.  This was actually addressed in the late last century by a multitude of aviation magazines and media, so why has it all been forgotten?  If there’s just a chance, that consuming the chemical aspartame could have an effect on a pilot’s mental acuity, then they should be doing something about it.  Not doing so could be just as dangerous as a mechanical failure. In fact you could class it as that, except the machine is biological!

The FAA won’t protect pilots, pilots have to protect themselves.  One of the aircraft industry’s acronyms “I’m Safe” check is one way of looking honestly at your own health.  I’ve added one more letter to make the acronym “AM I SAFE?” which includes the ingestion of Aspartame.  Aspartame Medication Illness Stress don't lose licenceAlcohol Fatigue Emotion.  If you can honestly say you pass each one of these potential problems, IMHO you will be as safe to fly as you can be.  Being fit in all these areas will enable a pilot to do his job to the best of his ability. He will be keeping his passengers and crew safer. He will  be alert and follow procedures in an emergency. He will then not lose his licence.

Andreas Lubitz’ symptoms
  • Vision problems
  • Light sensitivity
  • Bright flashes in the eyes
  • Double vision
  • Psychosis
  • Tinnitus – ringing and buzzing sounds in the ears.
  • Severe depression
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Insomnia

These are known symptoms but how many symptoms did he suffer that we didn’t know about.  He was seeing a large number of doctors and this could certainly be a sign that the medics did not know what he was suffering from, except from the obvious severe depression.  It would be easy for crash investigators to contact family and ask about eating and drinking habits.  It could be enlightening!

Mg glassThe magnesium factor

This website is dedicated to informing the public about the dangers of a magnesium deficiency.  Aspartame is known to deplete magnesium levels at an alarming rate.  Aspartame is an excitotoxin that when consumed in high amounts, reacts with receptors in the brain. This can cause damage to certain types of neurons.  Many neurosurgeons and neurologists now consider that excitotoxins play a vital role in developing many neurological disorders. Those such as headaches, migraines, tremours, seizures, panic attacks, aggression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons’s, Huntington’s, ADHD to name but a few.

Check out this short video

This video explains succinctly what magnesium does at the cellular level.  In high concentrations as in this food additive, excitotoxins constantly stimulate the cells. This can cause a process of cell death known as excitotoxicity, where calcium channels are kept open. This allows excess calcium into the cells, exciting them to death.  If the body has good magnesium levels, the affect of excitotoxicity from free amino acids will be reduced. This is because magnesium is the ‘gatekeeper’ of the calcium channels, closing them to calcium when it’s not needed in the cell.

The side effects and adverse reactions from aspartame are very similar to a magnesium deficiency.  In effect it’s a double whammy.  If you are consuming aspartame, you will be depleting your magnesium levels and it becomes a vicious circle.  Serious problems will ensue if the issues are not addressed.

Studies by the aspartame industry versus independent studies

There have been numerous studies on aspartame.  More than 70 studies done by the aspartame industry concluded there were no side effects from aspartame.  More than 90 studies independently done outside the realms of the aspartame industry, found serious side effects from aspartame.  Which studies would you believe?

Ches PowerI would be pleased to read any comments you have about this Flight Safety trilogy and epilogue.  Thank you for reading and please, please avoid food and drink that contains aspartame.

Ches

Aircraft Accidents of 2015

2015 – 17 of 31 accidents down to pilot/human error
aircraft accident of 2015
Canada Flight 624

The 3rd part of this trilogy deals with a specific year, 2015.  17 of these aircraft accidents were put down to human or pilot error. See Part 1 and Part 2 and the EpilogueLooking at aircraft accidents in 2015

In total, there were 31 aircraft accidents in 2015.  Of those accidents, 17 were put down to human or pilot error, 1 unknown and one is still under investigation.  7 were due to mechanical failure, 3 aircraft were shot down, there was 1 bomb and 1 was due to bad weather.

Listed below are those accidents caused by pilot error whilst flying commercial passenger aircraft as apposed to private or military aircraft.  There are 6 with a 7th still under investigation out of 13 commercial passenger flights for 2015,

Commercial Air Canada Flight 624

From Toronto to Halifax. Landed short of the runway and was severely damaged. Twenty-three people were injured.  The TSB (Transport Safety Board) stated that there were no mechanical or maintenance faults uncovered with the aircraft. Evidently the most common cause of major airline accidents is “controlled flight into terrain” known as CFIT.  Pilots flying perfectly sound aircraft into the ground because of lost spatial awareness and not following protocol. Investigation is ongoing.

Commercial Asiana Airlines Flight 162
aircraft accidents of 2015
Asiana Airlines Flight 162

Regular short-haul flight from Incheon International Airport, South Korea, to Hiroshima Airport, Japan.  Airbus A320-232 touched down short of the runway.  The aircraft suffered substantial damage.  82 people aboard, 27 injured, 1 seriously.

Causes: Pilot error.  PIC (pilot in charge) did not comply with the regulations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Probable that the Crew Resource Management (CRM) did not function appropriately.

Commercial Avia Traffic Company Flight 768

Flight from Bishkek Airport, to Osh Airport.  Touch down hard enough to shear off the left and right main landing gear. The aircraft skidded off the runway with the left engine being torn from its mount.  No fatalities, 14 injured 4 seriously.

aircraft accidents of 2015
Somatogravic Vision

Causes: Pilot error. Failure of the crew to comply with SOP.  Faulty steering inputs by the captain.  Lack of rectification by first officer of captian’s error.  Lack of control of speed when the pitch angle increased.  Somatogravic illusion or nose up illusion, perhaps due to fatigue.  (Somatogravic illusion is a vestibular illusion prevalent during high accelerations/deccelerations when a pilot has no clear visual reference.)  Insufficiently vigorous nose up input in reaction to ground proximity warning.

Commercial Aviastar Flight 7503aircraft accidents of 2015

Scheduled 60-minute passenger charter flight, operated by Aviastar reported that the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft, was missing from air traffic control near Palopo 11 minutes after takeoff. There was no distress call from the plane. 10 dead.

Causes: Pilot error.  The NTSC (National Transportation Safety Committee) concluded the pilots changed the route and did not discuss or consider the environmental conditions that may be ahead or discuss the operational implications of flying another route instead of the one planned, leading to loss of situational awareness.

aircraft accidents of 2015Commercial Delta Air Lines Flight 1086

Delta Air Lines domestic passenger flight between Atlanta and New York’s La Guardia Airport. The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 aircraft veered off the runway shortly after landing at La Guardia Airport. No fatalities, 24 minor injuries.  The aircraft was seriously damaged.

Causes: Pilot error.  NTSC found that the pilot used excessive reverse thrust which degraded the effectiveness of the rudder controlling the aircraft’s heading.

Commercial Germanwings Flight 9525aircraft accidents of 2015

Scheduled international passenger flight operated by Germanwings, from Barcelona to Düsseldorf.  The Airbus A320-211,  crashed into the French Alps.  All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed.

Germanwings PathCauses: Pilot suicide.  The crash was deliberately caused by the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.   After reaching cruising altitude and when the captain was out of the cockpit, Lubitz locked the cockpit door and started a controlled descent.  The aircraft crashed into a mountainside in the French Alps.

Psychosis?

Upon searching his property evidence was found that Lubitz had been declared unfit for work by his doctor. This fact was hidden from his employers.  Lubitz had suffered severe depression for a long time as well as a constant ringing in his ears known as tinnitus.  He was plagued by insomnia and vision problems, complaining that he was seeing stars, halos, flashes of light, streaks, and flying insects. He also had light sensitivity and double vision.  His ophthalmologist said “he was full of fear”.  His family doctor diagnosed an “emergent psychosis“.  He was said to be motivated by fear of losing his licence because of his sight disorder.  With the fear of blindness he started researching ways to commit suicide.  He was prescribed mirtazapine and lorazepam.  Lorazepam should not be taken if a patient has suicidal tendencies.

The conditions I have highlighted are all common side effects of aspartame ingestion. If Lubitz had been using aspartame over the previous years, regularly drinking diet sodas, putting ‘equal’  into hot drinks, consuming diet foods such as yoghurts, puddings and other aspartame sweetened products, he could have succumbed to psychotic tendencies. His obvious suicidal tendencies is further evidence of possible aspartame reactions, apart from the drug lorazepam he was taking.  Suicide is a personal and individual act and committing murder is not normal for those wishing to end their lives which could indicate a psychotic state of mind.

Commercial TransAsia Airways Flight 235aircraft accidents of 2015

A ten-month-old ATR 72-600 aircraft crashed into the Keelung River shortly after takeoff from Taipei Songshan Airport.  The TransAsia Airways flight was flying from Taipei to Kinmen (Quemoy), a Taiwanese island off the coast of mainland Fujian.  38 dead, 15 survivors.

Causes: Pilot error.  There was an uncommanded autofeather of engine No. 2.  The pilot reduced power and subsequently shut down operative engine No. 1.  There was a failure by the flight crew to use SOP which resulted in confusion in identifying the nature of the propulsion system malfunction.

standard operating proceduresWhy are these pilots not following their training?

Whenever there is a pilot error incident, IMHO, because the FDA refuses to take aspartame off the market, other measures need to be put into place.   Apart from considering fatigue and stress during an investigation, consumption of aspartame laced dietary products should also be considered as a possible cause of impaired mental acuity, confusion, anxiety, irrational behaviour and other symptoms that could adversely affect a pilot’s ability to cope with an emergency situation.  Some of these pilot errors are just so obvious! Why would the flight crew fail to use SOPs.  What about CFITs.  Unless there is a serious problem with the aircraft or bad weather why would an experienced pilot fly into terrain and not make the airport runway or shut down the wrong engine?  Since 1984, I have found 11 incidences where the wrong engine was shut down or feathered, killing 204 people in total.

Pilot errors for civilian and military aircraft 2015

Again, the errors often seem quite mundane and you would expect an experienced pilot to cope with these difficulties during a flight, unless there’s something seriously wrong with the aircraft or exceptionally bad weather.

Copter CollisionCivilian Two helicopters collided near Villa Castelli in Northwest Argentina.  All ten people on board the two aircraft were killed. Cause: Pilot error.  A video of the accident appears to show that the lower of the two helicopters climbing at a rate faster than the other one, colliding with it from below.

Civilian An Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 crashed into a car auction site in Hampshire, United Kingdom, killing pilot and three passengers. The pilot overshot the runway during the landing attempt.  Cause: Pilot error.

shorehamAirshow A vintage jet aircraft crashed during a display at Shoreham Airport, England. 11 dead, 16 injured.  Cause: Pilot error, the aircraft was too low to perform the loop.

Air Show Training. A 2015 Červený Kameň mid-air collision occurred when two Let L-410 Turbolet aircraft collided in mid-air over Červený Kameň, Slovakia, and crashed in a forest. The aircraft were carrying 17 parachutists and 2 pilots each. 7 killed, 31 survived. Cause: Pilot error. The agreed distance of 100m apart for these two aircraft was not adhered to with one plane becoming closer to the other lead plane.  The captain, and Pilot Flying, was recording video on his mobile phone. He held the phone in his left hand and the controls in his right hand!

And human errors

aircraft accidents of 2015Commercial Turkish Airlines Flight 1878 from Milan, Italy to Istanbul, Turkey.  A very hard touchdown resulted in substantial damage to the starboard wing and a fire. At a second approach attempt, the plane veered off the runway. All 102 passengers and crew survived. Cause: Human error.  The flight crew claimed the wake turbulence from the plane that landed ahead of them caused the accident.  I’m not sure which human was at fault here, was it ATC, bringing the flight in too close to the plane ahead, or the pilots who may have reacted inappropriately?

Cargo An Antonov An-12 cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Juba International Airport serving South Sudan. 37 dead.  Cause: Human error, overloading of aircraft.

aircraft accidents of 2015Cargo An Airbus A400M Atlas cargo plane on a test flight crashed at La Rinconada, Spain, close to Seville Airport. 4 killed 2 survivors.  Cause: Human error, incorrectly installed engine control software.

Cargo Carson Air Flight 66, was a Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II, on a domestic cargo from Vancouver to Prince George, both in British Columbia, Canada. The aircraft crashed into a mountain en route to Prince George Airport, killing both crew members. Cause: not established.  An autopsy found one of the pilots had a blood alcohol level of 0.24%.

Commercial Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines Flight 71, a Boeing 737-8FB flying from Dakar to Cotonou collided with an air ambulance operated by Senegalair over eastern Senegal. The 737 landed safely, but the air ambulance crashed, killing all 7 on board. Cause: The Air ambulance HS (Hawker Siddeley)125 was asked to fly at a height of FL340 but was actually flying at FL350, the same height the Boeing 737 was given. The HS 125 has never been found but was thought to have gone into the ocean.

Wreckage
Helicopter wreckage Fox Glacier NZ

A sightseeing Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, operated by Alpine Adventures, crashed on Fox Glacier in the South Island of New Zealand. All seven people on board died. Cause: Human error. The helicopter had been involved in three previous crashes before this fatal one.  The CAA advised that the operating licence of James Patrick Scott had been surrendered. Scott and Waterland plead not guilty to the Health and Safety charges. The company’s 15 helicopters were grounded.

Commercial Trigana Air Service Flight 267 by Indonesian domestic airline Trigana Air Service from Sentani to Oksibil eastern Indonesian. The aircraft crashed about 30 minutes after takeoff, killing all 49 passengers and five crew members.  Cause: Human error.  It was found that the flight manifest was from another Trigana flight.

Military and Civilian USAF F-16CJ Fighting Falcon collided with a civilian Cessna in South Carolina, US. Both occupants of the Cessna were killed; the pilot of the F-16 ejected safely. Cause:  human error ATC (air traffic control)

aircraft accidents of 2015Is it possible?

Of all the pilot errors, so many of them seem to be unlikely for a fit and fully trained pilot to make.  There is a possibility that these pilots and crew could have been influenced with something ingested.  A pilot who would not comply with SOP, would seem very unlikely, unless that pilot was experiencing a loss of mental acuity or other problems such as severe headaches, vision problems, confusion, memory loss etc.  Fatigue and stress could also be a contributory factor as a pilot’s schedule is nearly always hectic.

There are 92 known side effects of aspartame.  I’ve listed some below which IMHO could adversely affect and interfere with how a pilot and crew fly their aircraft, especially in an emergency and having to comply with operating procedures and make complex manoeuvres.  Add these side effects to fatigue and stress and you could understand how a pilot may suffer a serious episode, which he would have no control over.

  1. Psychological side effects: acute depression, panic attacks, irritability, aggression, anxiety, personality changes, insomnia, phobias, psychosis.
  2. Neurological side effects: epileptic seizures, severe headaches and migraines, dizziness, tremours, confusion, memory loss.
  3. Eyes: decreased vision, blurring, bright flashes, tunnel vision, decreased night vision, blindness in one or both eyes.
  4. Physical side effects: palpitations, tachycardia, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, skin allergies, respiratory allergies.
And to finish – this will make you proud of our amazing pilots…
This Captain landed the 747 on a VERY short runway, hence the applause!

Are you a pilot or have a pilot in your family?

Whether you’re a pilot or not, do you use aspartame products such as diet coke, diet pepsi, sprite or other diet sodas?  Do you use  NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure, Neotame, NutraSweet.  Have you had any experiences or know of pilots or crew that have had a health problem whilst on board a flight?  It would be great to hear from you, even if it’s Ches Poweranonymously.  Even if you don’t make contact, please, please stop using this chemical concoction.  If you want to know how and why aspartame was passed by the FDA have a look hereIt is a shocking trail of fraud and misdemeanour.

Ches