Recent News on Pilots: Co-pilots Dying Suddenly Is Now “Normal,” Top EU Court Rules

Recent News on Pilots: Co-pilots Dying Suddenly Is Now “Normal,” Top EU Court Ruled

Artificial Intelligence Could Co-pilot Planes Reveals Emirates Airline President; Massive Pilot Shortages in US & Canada


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NEWS: Did the co-pilot die before your flight? You can be compensated, EU’s top court rules (click here)

Airlines should be forced to pay compensation for a canceled flight when a co-pilot dies, the EU’s top court ruled Thursday, May 11, 2023.


Under previous EU rules, airlines could refuse to pay compensation to travelers if a flight was canceled due to “extraordinary circumstances.

The case in question involves a 2019 flight to Lisbon which was due to take off from Stuttgart at 6:05am, but at 4:15am the co-pilot was found dead in his hotel bed and the flight was cancelled. The airline refused to pay compensation, arguing that the co-pilot’s unexpected death qualified as an “extraordinary” circumstance.

But the EU top court disagreed, saying that “whilst tragic,” the death was not extraordinary “since any person may, at any time, unexpectedly fall ill or die.”

NEWS: Brace yourselves: AI could co-pilot planes, reveals Emirates Airline president (click here)

With the rising sophistication of artificial intelligence (AI), airlines are exploring the possibility of computing prowess replacing at least one of the humans in the cockpit. Doing so would allow them to overcome crew shortages and lower expenditures.

Artificial intelligence is set to have a big impact on the aviation industry, with one-pilot planes a possibility,” according to Emirates President Tim Clark, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

The two-pilot mandate in flights is crucial for bringing redundancy into the flying operation in case one of the pilots becomes incapacitated to fly the plane. With improving technology, though, artificial intelligence could be used to even land the plane at a preselected airport in case of an emergency.

The U.S. military trialed AI-piloted flights earlier this year.

NEWS: American Airlines CEO says it can’t deploy 150 regional jets because of pilot shortage (click here)

American Airlines can’t fly about 150 of its regional aircraft because of the ongoing pilot shortage, the Fort Worth-based carrier’s CEO said Wednesday.

“We would deploy properly to markets that aren’t being served,” Robert Isom, CEO of American Airlines said. “We would do that today. It’s just we don’t have the pilots.

The shortage of pilots and parked planes comes as airlines are facing record demand for travel this summer without the capacity to take advantage of high ticket prices. That’s even more jets on the ground than a year ago.

The airline industry faces an ongoing shortage of pilots, which will grow to a shortfall of nearly 80,000 by 2032 worldwide.

NEWS: Southwest CEO Bob Jordan believes pilot shortage will last for three years (click here)

The CEO of the world’s largest low-cost carrier, Southwest Airlines, expects the global pilot shortage to drag on for at least another three years.

With current staffing shortages, Southwest Airlines has had to ground 40 of its aircraft until they have additional pilots to fly them. This equals around 200 flights a day or 8% of operations the airline currently has paused.

Analysts have estimated that the United States of America is short of at least 10,000 pilots, and with post-pandemic travel in full swing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that number rise.

Before the pandemic, there was already a widespread pilot shortage in the United States; however, with the pandemic pulling up the handbrake on aviation, many veteran pilots decided to retire early.

American Airlines has parked around 50 mainline jets and 150 regional aircraft while limping through the pilot shortage.

Australia is another nation feeling the pinch of a pilot shortage.

NEWS: ‘Enough is enough’: Canadian pilots weigh in on the shortage, wages, and FDT regulations (click here)

The Canadian aviation industry is going through a painful, but necessary, reset. A number of factors are coming together to create today’s pilot shortage.

Students are struggling to afford their pilot training, the lack of funding is another contributor to the pilot shortage – people simply can’t afford their training anymore.

He compared being a pilot to being a lawyer. While lawyers see a return on their education relatively promptly, pilots can spend $100,000 on their training only to be stuck on a dock, making poverty-level wages. There’s just no sense in that, he said.

Experience is the quality that’s lacking in the Canadian pilot pool right now.

“There are a lot of individuals like myself trying to get out of Canada because of how horrendous the pay scale is here,” he said. “The vast majority of us want to go somewhere where we can get paid well and have a good lifestyle.”

To work in the U.S., Canadian pilots must have a high level of experience and be sponsored by an American employer. It’s not an easy feat, so other Canadian pilots opt to work with recruitment agencies that help them find employment in the Middle East or Asia.

Pilots are out there, but they simply want to be paid what they are worth.

My Take…

I find it interesting that EU’s top court has just ruled, two weeks ago, that co-pilot sudden deaths are now considered “normal” because “any person may, at any time, unexpectedly fall ill or die.” That’s quite the legal argument from EU’s top judges.

In the past three months there have been at least ten pilot incapacitations inflight and at least five pilot deaths. The timing of this court decision is very suspect, as it normalizes the sudden deaths of co-pilots just as these deaths are skyrocketing.

The push for artificial intelligence to co-pilot planes is new and the idea of AI “replacing at least one of the humans in the cockpit” is frightening and not something that I’m looking forward to.

I also find it curious that the US Army has already been testing AI flights earlier this year.

Pilot shortages are not surprising, especially since COVID-19 vaccinated pilots are collapsing with heart attacks inflight, in airports or in hotel rooms between flights. Pilots who were mandated COVID-19 vaccines are also likely suffering from all kinds of other post-vaccination injuries we are seeing in the broader population.

Southwest Airlines has had to ground 40 of its aircraft and American Airlines has parked around 50 mainline jets and 150 regional aircraft, due to lack of pilots. The United States currently has a shortage of over 10,000 pilots.

Each of the mainstream media stories on pilot shortages avoids any mention of the elephant in the room, which is pilot cardiac damage or other injuries caused by COVID-19 vaccine mandates that were forced on them by the airlines.



Dr. William Makis is a Canadian physician with expertise in Radiology, Oncology and Immunology. Governor General’s Medal, University of Toronto Scholar. Author of 100+ peer-reviewed medical publications.



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