Captain Wayne McCone
|Name||Captain Wayne McCone|
|Family||Wife and five grown children|
|Medical Condition||Serous Retinal Detachment of right eye|
Prior to losing my license I flew for 37 years, accumulating over 21,500 hours. I was employed with Emirates Airlines for just under 20 years, almost 16 years of that as a captain. I commanded the A300/A310/A330/A340/A380. I was a TRE/TRI (Examiner/Instructor) on the A330/A340. Before joining EK I flew for Singapore Airlines and prior to that I flew for the domestic carrier Australian Airlines. I spent 7 years flying for "Bush Pilots Airways”(Bushies) before joining the airlines. Like most other pilots I also spent a number of years in General Aviation, both in Australia and NZ, at the start of my flying career. Since losing my medical I have not been involved in aviation.
WHAT WAS YOUR GENERAL HEALTH PRIOR TO YOUR MEDICAL CONDITION?
I never had a medical issue prior to my eye problem. I was grounded immediately after being diagnosed and I never flew commercially again. It had quite an impact.
WHY WERE YOU GROUNDED?
A bit over 2 years ago I was diagnosed with an eye problem. It is known as a Serous Retinal Detachment. It damaged the sight in my right eye, and as a result caused permanent suspension of my Class 1 Medical. Although I still have some vision in my right eye I can no longer meet the required standards to pass a Class 1 Medical Examination. My flying career abruptly ended. I was 57 years of age at the time of my diagnosis.
WHY IS LOSS OF LICENCE COVER SO IMPORTANT?
As a pilot we are continuously concerned about our health. Our jobs are dependent upon it. It doesn’t, in fact, take a lot for us to lose our jobs medically and most pilots are “pretty bloody hopeless” at doing other things. We should, therefore, always have some type of protection to help us should this situation arise. It is for this reason that I had no hesitation in signing up for ‘loss of license’ with the AAPMBF way back in 1976, or there abouts, when I was a GA pilot in Darwin, and I have continued with this medical cover ever since.
I contacted the AAPMBF advising them of my situation. Immediately they became involved on both a personal and professional basis. I can’t over emphasize how helpful this was to us. I dealt mainly with Christine Simpson, and Captain David Harget and others were also involved. The claim process itself was very straightforward, although it did take time as I was an ‘’overseas member”. However, the monthly payments made to us during this time were extremely helpful, and once the decision was made to pay a lump sum it was completed within days.
I would like to give praise to the MBF team. They put in a huge effort to provide this service. They deserve a lot of recognition for their work.