Trustee Story Captain Wayne Jericho
CAPTAIN WAYNE JERICHO
Have you ever been driving home from a day of flying and asked the question, “what if something happened to my medical and that was my last flight? What would I do?”
I have had this happen twice during my career. The first occasion was during a medical renewal with a DAME, who required me to visit a specialist for further treatment, after which I was able to regain my Class I medical. On the second occasion, I had not been feeling well for a period of time. My GP sent me to visit another specialist. While waiting for the test results, I wondered whether I would be ever able to fly again, and if I had already completed my last flight! Armed with test results and a medication treatment plan, I was then able to visit a DAME who confirmed that I was grounded. He forwarded the medical test results to CASA who in turn, sent me a advice that I was unable to exercise the “privilege of my License” until cleared by the DAME. After six weeks of medication (which I still take on a daily basis) and further testing to prove that my medical condition was under control, the DAME was able to clear me to return to flying duties.
As per the rules of the AAPMBF, I did notify the fund (MBF) of the loss of my medical and joined a list of “Notifications”. This is required within 90 days under the Fund Rules. Those of us who are employed by Virgin Australia are fortunate as the Company tends to pool short-term sick leave to help pilots. Others are less fortunate. Once all of their sick and annual leave had been used up, they then have to make claim upon the MBF. We spend our flying time dealing with contingencies, and the loss of a “Medical” is one contingency we need to bear in mind. This is where membership of the MBF can ease the stress on a person’s life in the event of illness or injury, either short term or permanently, that’s leads to the loss of medical. As a Trustee of the MBF, where we meet monthly to review notifications (of loss of medicals), benefit payments and other membership issues, I see the various medical conditions which cause the loss of a Medical. Some are accidental and sometimes the result of recreational sports and the remainder are general health issues.
Flying is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things that I do. It is a sad day when the Trustees approve a capital benefit payment for the permanent loss of Medical, because I know that someone has had to give up flying. But at least the financial mpact on their life will be eased as a result of MBF membership.
Stay fit and well.