To someone that is passionate about aviation that single word is both daunting and alien. And yet that is my current reality.
Following my annual pilot’s medical, a condition was detected that called for me to undergo major surgery. Now, two weeks on, I sit recuperating at home and contemplating the implications of the diagnosis and the impact on my future plans. Plans that won’t even be possible to consider until the condition is reviewed in six months by the aviation regulator.
The concept that my days of flying may have come to an abrupt end is devastating and so enormous that I sincerely doubt that I have fully grasped the significance at this time. Even so, there is a positive aspect to be drawn from this.
Without regular medical examinations, the condition may have remained undetected with a less than ideal outcome at a future date. I was asymptomatic and living life to the full – recently undertaking a huge hike in Darwin in blistering heat. Fortunately, the prognosis is that my state of health will return, if not my capacity to fly. And the greatest priority is to have a long life with my wife and kids. For my fellow aviators, the dreaded pilot’s medical should be embraced, not feared, as it provides the possibility for early intervention when issues arise.
For now, I will rehabilitate and write. And while my flying future may look somewhat different, my broader future is bright. Still, I am determined to once again watch the earth fall away from my wheels. When? I’m not sure but regardless, life is good.