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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Medical Fraud in Aviation

Impacting Airline Pilots

Image result for medical fraud photos

It's been brought to my attention with a sledge hammer as to the worst kind of retaliation a pilot can face when a pilot reports safety, training concerns, or harassment. I'm working on the next non-fiction book, Weaponization of Mental Health, and the stories continue to roll in from pilots who have spoken out about safety concerns, training inadequacies, or females pilots who simply stand up to airline management and say to the effect of, "It's not okay to touch my body, to discuss the fitness of my clothing, or treat me differently in the simulator because I am woman." 

Often these pilots are taken out in training. I know a captain who complained to their pilot's union about inadequate training and they worked with the company and had her removed for alleged mental health concerns. The system kept her out until she turned 65 and it was too late.

Aviation Analyst ABC World News, John Nance, Author of Pandora's Clock, 16 Souls, and 21 others, 737 Captain, retired, is well aware of this situation. When asked if he had ever witnessed the use of simulator training as a retaliatory tool, Captain Nance stated: 

"All too often. And I will say, if permitted to, that that's one of the greatest fears of an airline pilot, because there is no pilot, no matter how good, no matter how experienced, who can't be busted on a check ride if somebody wants him."

However, if the simulator tactic doesn't work, and if the pilots have no performance issues, and management wants them gone, there are doctors who will accept money for negative evaluations. Due to the efforts of a group of pilots, one of these doctors is now under prosecution. His investigation started three years ago. While the doctor who has been evaluating pilots for over 26 years, is continuing to practice through the investigation and now while he's being prosecuted. 

Unlike the pilot who is removed from duty immediately, the doctor is able to continue his unethical practice for years, despite proof of his wrongdoings, waiting for the legal process to complete. The case study in my book will be the doctor I speak of who actually told a pilot if he took legal action he would be found mentally unfit, but if he returned to his evaluation he may be found okay, as well as accepting close to $74,000 for a false bipolar diagnosis of another pilot. 

Unfortunately, there are doctors and FAA professionals alike who are aware this is happening, and will support the pilot. Yet, there are other doctors and FAA professionals who know and condone the behavior. Sadly there are far too many union officials that know this is transpiring and allowing their management to proceed. As I mentioned before, in Aviation And the Law, it's imperative you know your rights, and be aware of your statute of limitations. 

How do the airlines pull this off?

I used as many of the details that I could legally provide from actual emails, medical reports, and behind the scenes conversations in my fiction novel; Flight For Truth. Yes, the events in this novel really did happen. We don't know if Darby Bradshaw will succeed on her own, or if she will require the court system to save her in Flight For Justice (coming soon). However, Flight For Sanity was where the retaliation began, with Darby Bradshaw's concern for safety and the state of the industry and inadequate training. 

If you are a pilot who could never believe this type event could happen to you, you might want to read these books. If you are an aviation advocate and want to support Darby Bradshaw's fight for safety, and the integrity of our aviation jobs... you definitely want to read these novels. If you simply like a really good book, this is for you. 

All proceeds are going to the (real)
Darby Bradshaw's legal fees. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. It is hard to believe this is still going on in 2020, but I know so many women, especially, that this is happening to. Yes male pilots have been sent in for mental health concerns, but far more often it happens to females. 😔Why are only 5% of airline pilots women after 45+ years in the industry? i have my own theories and suppositions.... I loved all the books in this series and can’t wait for more!

    1. Kathy, Thanks for the comment. Yes... I speculate as to why as well. Because, we have insider information. Thanks for your support on the books!


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