Fainting Pilot Fighting For Wings ... And Winning
(... So far.) An Air New Zealand pilot who is prone to fainting appears to be winning a legal battle to regain his flying privileges. Geoff Paterson, 52, of Auckland, a Boeing 767 captain, has fainted three times since 1990, although it's not clear whether he was flying at the time. After the first two faints, his medical was renewed on the condition that he always fly with another qualified pilot. After a swoon in 2002, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) pulled his ticket. But a judge in Wellington last week reversed the decision. Paterson isn't polishing up his brass quite yet, however, since the CAA is likely to appeal. Despite his condition, known as neurocardiogenic syncope, most of his fellow pilots support his bid to get back in the left seat, according to Paterson. "Every single pilot I have spoken to has shook [sic] my hand and said 'thank goodness justice prevailed.'" Airline Pilots Association President Paul Lyons said he applauded the judge's decision and hoped there would be no appeal.