Captain Simon Brownscombe
MBF Trustee Spotlight
MBF Director Simon Brownscombe shares his experience as a claimant.
In my 35 years of flying, I have experienced two separate medical conditions leaving me temporarily unable to fly.
First experience: 1994
At 33 years old and with no prior medical history, my eyesight standard started failing, resulting in the suspension of my medical. At the time I had recently joined Skywest Aviation and had no other source of income, no sick leave and no accessible savings once I had paid for my medical costs.
With no prior symptoms or warning about the medical condition I found myself without an income and a young family to support. Luckily I had been a member of the MBF for five years and they supported me financially throughout my treatment and time off work.
It took nine months of treatment before I could resume flying and it wasn’t until many years later that cause of the illness was diagnosed.
Second experience: 2007
9 years ago I had a significant fall from a roof, breaking my left arm in 8 places, requiring two operations and five months in plaster. The accident occurred after 13 years with Qantas, and this time I had substantial annual and sick leave accrued. However, this ran out after six months into my recovery and once again I required financial assistance to get me through a total of nine months of rehabilitation.
This also proved to me how important it is for pilots to maintain adequate financial protection throughout their aviation career. I have learnt the hard (and painful!) way that you can never anticipate when you may find yourself unable to work and struggling to pay your bills.
The MBF has continuously provided me with comprehensive protection and unwavering personal support. As the organisation is run purely by pilots, for its members, it offers a unique life line for pilots. When you call to make a claim they understand your predicament and ensure you are financially supported to help you to get back into the air.