Lingering Effects

By Richard N. Aarons
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

No company aircraft may be operated on any scheduled passenger flight when the observed weather is at, or forecast to be lower than, the alternate minima for the destination airport.

The airline also instituted changes to the operational control system of scheduled passenger flights to ensure adequate flight following and timely reporting of departure and arrival times to the company System Operations Control Center.

The company has also begun installing Appareo Vision 1000 Systems cockpit imaging and flight data monitoring devices in its Cessna 208B fleet. The data recorded by this equipment can be helpful in incident/accident investigation.

Finally, the company has revised the existing drug and alcohol policy to include random testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions. These positions include pilots, maintenance engineers and dispatch personnel.

Modern Times

The use of marijuana in its various forms is under considerable debate in the U.S. Some states have nullified federal law and are allowing marijuana to be sold legally for medical purposes. Other jurisdictions have decriminalized marijuana held for personal use and, at worse, made its possession a simple violation similar to failing to signal a turn while driving.

It is important for pilots to understand that substances containing THC can reduce cognitive functioning. Not only is physical performance degraded, but judgment can be affected for long periods after THC enters the bloodstream. And, more important, the user may not realize the effects remain more than 24 hr. after its use.

As the general public and even laws become more tolerant of THC-containing substances, pilots must remain especially wary of their use for medical or recreational purposes.

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