Transportation Safety Board urges better medical screening guidelines for pilots

EDMONTON — The Transportation Safety Board says pilots in Canada need better guidelines for screening heart-related conditions.

The independent federal agency says at least eight crashes since the early 2000s have been linked to heart attacks or other cardiovascular diseases among pilots.

The recommendation follows the 2021 crash of an amateur-built plane in central Alberta that killed the pilot.

An investigation into the crash in Lacombe, Alta., found evidence the pilot had a heart attack, but it was impossible to determine exactly when.

The safety board is asking Transport Canada to routinely review and improve its guidelines to ensure they include the most effective medical screening methods.

It says such a move would make it less likely for pilots to become incapacitated while flying and reduce the risk of future crashes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2023.

The Canadian Press