Funds for Diabetes Research
Activities this year include:
Great news after a tumultuous few months for Pilots with Diabetes (PWD)!! An agreement was reached in March 2013 between the UK CAA and the new European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) for the CAA to continue issuing Medicals for commercial and full private flying for pilots with insulin treated diabetes. It is also understood that other European countries may be able to introduce similar policy by 2014. Details of this exciting development will be covered during a talk given by Douglas at the Children With Dabetes Friends For Life conference in Glasgow in April.
On Saturday we have our next event, the 2012 Flying With Diabetes Day - an inspirational and educational day at Duxford Imperial War Museum on 20th October, for children and adults, families and friends with diabetes. Speakers include three pilots with type 1 diabetes, a marathon runner & Olympic Torch bearer (Colin Roland) plus a cyclist (Melissa Ford) also with type 1 diabetes, and a leading Endocrinologist and Senior Lecturer at Bristol University, Dr. Rob Andrews. A number of companies will be exhibiting along with JDRF (www.jdrf.org.uk). We are up to our maximum capacity of 200 but you can still register for the wait list below – for those unable to attend please note we have two FWD Day events planned for next year.
Sanofi Diabetes, Dexcom and Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd are Gold Sponsors, and Medtronic Diabetes is a Silver Sponsor for the event.
Attendees will be able to peruse some of the UK's most historic aircraft at Duxford Imperial War Museum both before and after the event. We look forward to seeing you there.
Flying With Diabetes (FWD) is a series of diabetes awareness-raising and fund-raising flying projects to convey the message that diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions, while raising funds for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Previous projects include a round-the-world flight in 2003 and a world speed record to the North Pole by Douglas Cairns in 2011 (www.diabetespolarflight.org) plus a national speed record in 2011 around Britain's coastline by Douglas and Karl Beetson. FWD activities also include Flying With Diabetes Days, with inspiring talks and flights by pilots with diabetes for children, families and friends with diabetes.
UK Diabetes Formation Flight - a very successful day!
Six of us set a new national formation speed record on 1st September between Derby and Southampton in 1 hour 22 minutes and 38 seconds - subject to ratification. Huge thanks to Solent Radar who cleared us directly to Southampton Airport's overhead and to both Derby Airfield and Solent Radar for recording our start and finish times. Also to Nottingham Airport for hosting us for the launch. A very enjoyable day had by us all - Douglas, George, Damian, James, Karl and Matt flying the aircraft, and Charlie, Malcolm, Tim and Thomas as passengers, all with diabetes! BBC covered the launch, interviewing Damian, which was much appreciated.
|UK Diabetes Formation Flight||James D'Arcy, Damian Fessey, Douglas Cairns,
Karl Beetson, Matt Ponsford and George Duncan.
LATEST NEWS (13 August 2012) – COMMERCIAL & PRIVATE FLYING IN THE UK!
On 13 August 2012, the UK Civil Aviation Authority announced the introduction of flying with insulin treated diabetes for commercial flying and also private flying. (The link is included below.) This is terrific news!!! Our Pilots With Diabetes group has been communicating for almost five years with the UK CAA and we are very, very appreciative of the changes that have been made. A few finer details around the announcement still need to be clarified - hopefully this development can help efforts elsewhere including the USA and Australia!
Please see the announcement below.
CAA to issue medical certificates to pilots and air traffic controllers with insulin-treated diabetes.
I'm delighted to report that last week's flying project across the USA by two twin-engine aircraft flown by three pilots with diabetes in formation was a resounding success, raising over $27,000 for diabetes research so far and setting a new simultaneous transcontinental USA world speed record.
Please see a one-minute "taster" video below for a 15 minute documentary being released in two months' time.
We departed Daytona Beach, Florida at 0857 Hours local on Tuesday 26th June in close formation, initially working hard in cloud as we steered though some of Tropical Storm Debby's downpours and out over the Gulf of Mexico to avoid thunderstorms before returning to the planned mainland track.
We took 12 hours & 37 minutes to cross from Florida to California, mostly in blissfully clear conditions and tailwinds after Florida. Two refuelling stops were made in eastern Texas and El Paso, western Texas before making a high-speed low-level arrival at a San Diego airfield where we were met by CBS and Fox News for interviews.
So far we've raised $27,000 (approx. £17,000) for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (www.jdrf.org), and we now have a US-based foundation matching any subsequent donations up to the total target of $50,000 raised. Please do make a donation (using the link below for UK tax payers) – we would be very grateful indeed, with donations going directly to JDRF to help to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, with 70% of research projects supported benefiting people with type 2 diabetes also.
Some perspectives on Diabetes Formation Flight USA:
Overall it has been terrific to work with Butch and Jason on this team project, and I very much look forward to doing more together. Our team gelled together in so many respects. Huge thanks go to Jason in creating an excellent website (www.dffusa.org), and to Butch for absolutely brilliant route planning and re-planning for Tropical Storm Debby, and leading the formation extremely well during challenging conditions in Florida and also into San Diego for the final leg, and hosting us for training over Easter in Colorado. We all put much effort into the administrative elements of setting a world speed record, and also organizing refuelling en-route, with great follow-up from Butch on the latter. Personally it has been a great pleasure to put some of my old RAF formation flying & instructing experience to good use. It has also been great to work with Butch and Jason on fund-raising, with great support from Butch and his Foundation contacts. The USA is a truly magnificent country to cross by air, with amazingly diverse and powerful scenery. This experience was made all the more enjoyable by flying in formation with Butch and Jason, and Butch's son David who is making the documentary, with fun banter flying across the airwaves. I look forward to more!
Discovery TV's "Flying Wild Alaska" featured Diabetes Polar Flight on 16, 17 and 18 December 2011 in the USA titled "Top of the World." We will let you know when dates are set for viewing in Europe and elsewhere.
This is our first UK speed record attempt; a 14-hour & 17-minute whirlwind 3,500 km flight around Britain's coastline between dawn and dusk in a tiny Vans RV8 two-seater single-engine aircraft. It was an early 5.30 a.m. start from Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey, from where we flew to Worthing Pier for Emanuel Carriero to witness the start (a huge thanks to Emanuel for doing this plus officially witnessing the finish). With a low pressure system spinning off the far north west coast of Scotland, we set off east to Land's End on a clockwise route, seeking out south westerly tailwinds up the west coast, and weaker headwinds/possibly tailwinds down the east coast. Much to our pleasure (and relief) this plan worked well along with five very quick refuelling stops - Cardiff, Carlisle, Stornoway, Kirkwall and Durham-Teesside Airports. Huge thanks go to each airport (including the Club at Southside, Cardiff Airport, and Teesside's Western handling services) who expedited refuelling - a vital component of this dawn to dusk flight. A huge thanks also goes to Dunsfold Aerodrome for hosting us the night before and facilitating a very early start.
It was such a terrific way to see our beautiful country; low-flying along Devon's coastline, Wales' lush countryside, over (thought-provoking) water across to the Outer Hebrides and around the far north of Scotland. Strong crosswinds made for a bouncy landing at Stornoway, and yet just an hour later we were in beautifully peaceful conditions over the Orkney Islands. Much of the flight was spent below 2,000 feet with clouds keeping us low around England's south coast until mid-Wales, after which sunny spells dominated, and it was good to watch heavy rain showers move eastwards and away from our course as we progressed north towards Cumbria and Scotland. Also en-route we were very grateful for London & Scottish Information plus a number of airports giving basic air traffic services en-route. It was definitely good being in radio contact as we flew over open water between Scotland's western Isles.
Meantime the RV8 coped admirably with squeezing two life rafts plus other survival equipment & food and liquids into limited space, as she cruised at an average speed of around 180 mph. Another factor that worked extremely well was splitting the flying between the two of us, and with Karl also stamping away on his iPAD for weather and GPS information while en-route. Overall it was a very enjoyable if not gruelling record attempt as we made our way around, and a good endurance flight to do here in the UK to help demonstrate how well the system for flying with diabetes works. Once again hourly blood sugar tests become an integral part of regular cockpit checks while continuous glucose monitoring helped give us a clear picture of where blood sugars are trending and take action accordingly.