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SQUAWK 7700-Pilot Incapacitations are Increasing
The Unsettling Reality: Pilots as Security Risks and the Shattering of the Aviation Industry
In the world of aviation, we communicate in a language of codes and call signs, whispers of data that speak volumes about what's happening in the sky. There is one code, however, that every pilot dreads to broadcast—Squawk 7700. It's a code that can make hearts race faster than Mach 0.9. It signals an emergency—a declaration that something has gone terribly wrong on board.
“Squawk 7700,” when spoken or keyed into the transponder, signals a general emergency to air traffic control and all surrounding aircraft. It's a cry for help, a beacon that cuts through the chatter of the airwaves to state, unequivocally, that assistance is needed. It's a plea that we, as pilots, never want to make, and one that everyone on the ground never wants to hear.
Over the past two year, however, this dreaded code has been uttered more often than ever before. The frequency at which “Squawk 7700” has been declared is not only shocking but deeply troubling. It is as if our skies have become a stormy sea, and we, the pilots, find ourselves navigating the tempest that has us crying out for aid with a frequency that is ringing alarm bells on the ground.
The number of emergencies that require us to use this signal is an indication of a problem, one that is becoming impossible to ignore. This is a distress call—not just from the planes we are flying, but from the entire aviation industry. The increasing use of Squawk 7700 points to an unsettling pattern that needs immediate attention. The high-flying world we inhabit is under duress, and it's time we confront these turbulent winds head-on."
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Severe chest discomfort, inflammation of the heart and its surrounding layers—myocarditis and pericarditis, incidents of heart attacks, cerebral vascular mishaps leading to loss of vision—these are just some alarming side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine. This isn't merely hearsay or unverified information circulating in the ether, but first-hand accounts shared by my fellow pilots.
The airline I work for, like many others in the industry, has been grappling with an acute staff shortage. The problem has escalated to such an extent that we've found ourselves compelled to outsource certain routes to Air Baltic. This is an unusual step, and one that has sparked conversations and raised eyebrows within the aviation community.
What adds a layer of complexity to this issue is the air of secrecy that seems to shroud the root cause of this sudden depletion in our pilot ranks. Rather than openly addressing the matter and fostering a transparent dialogue about potential concerns related to the COVID-19 vaccine—which have been voiced not only by our personnel but also by a growing number of advocacy groups championing the rights and safety of aviation workers—the airline seems to prefer maintaining a veil of silence, pushing the issue into the shadows.
This lack of transparency not only fuels speculation and uncertainty, but it also stifles the potential for addressing the root causes and finding viable solutions. It's a challenging time for those of us in the aviation industry, and we must ensure that all facts are brought to light and all voices are heard to navigate through these turbulent skies.
The tally of pilots publicly acknowledging their vaccine-related health complications is significantly overshadowed by those who continue to navigate the skies, despite battling alarming symptoms. The reason for their silence, as per their description, is an oppressive atmosphere within the aviation industry that dissuades open discussion.
These individuals harbor concerns about potential retaliation, which may include job loss and consequently, an upheaval of their livelihood, if they chose to share their symptoms or stories in the public domain.
Nonetheless, there's a slow but steady shift in the winds, with an increasing number of pilots stepping up to share their experiences.
Several pilots who have experienced adverse events related to the vaccine, including a heartrending account from the widow of a pilot whose demise was attributed to a vaccine-induced complication.
Subsequently, the chorus of voices sharing their experiences has grown, now including my own, as an active pilot for a commercial airline. I was specifically recruited due to my unvaccinated status, thereby eliminating the frequent risks of falling ill. However, the narratives I've come across detailing medical emergencies involving both crew members and passengers have been deeply unsettling.
This wave of candid revelations is not limited to just pilots. A rising number of advocacy groups, representing aviation industry workers spanning countless nations, are joining the crusade in voicing their concerns and experiences.
During my short tenure as a commercial airline pilot, I've been confronted with an alarming array of experiences. On five separate occasions, I've had to respond to medical emergencies concerning passengers, all of which were serious cardiac-related incidents. Each of these emergencies necessitated unscheduled medical emergency landings, disrupting our original flight plans and creating additional complications.
These disruptions not only jeopardize our flight schedules, but also add intense pressure on the already overstretched operations planning and dispatch systems. Dealing with such serious heart-related emergencies in-flight, coupled with the need for immediate course deviations, significantly intensifies the operational challenges that we are currently grappling with.
In addition to passenger emergencies, I've noticed an unsettling pattern of last-minute crew adjustments due to heart-related health issues. These abrupt changes to flight personnel have added another layer of complexity to the overall operation.
One incident that particularly stands out involves a captain declaring himself unfit to fly at the very last moment, even after the airplane doors had been secured. Such a late-stage decision is not taken lightly and only underscores the gravity of the situation we're dealing with.
Perhaps the most chilling incident happened on a flight from Dubai to Zurich, where we had a 34-year-old passenger tragically pass away mid-flight. With respect and dignity, the passenger was carefully moved from his seat in accordance with routine procedures by the cabin crew. We proceeded with the remainder of the flight, which was about 2 hours, as per our original schedule. Throughout this period, the cabin was enveloped in an unusual silence, with not a single word spoken.
However, you needn't rely solely on my account. Here's a compilation of emergency incidents from just the past few months, instances that most are hesitant to discuss openly:
March 3, 2023: First Officer suffered a heart attack during a Virgin Australia flight from Adelaide to Perth, forcing an emergency landing.
March 5, 2023: Reports of pilots and flight attendants experiencing cardiac arrests and "sudden deaths" in-flight.
March 11, 2023: United Airlines Flight 2007 from Guatemala to Chicago was diverted due to an “incapacitated pilot” experiencing chest pains.
March 12, 2023: A British Airways pilot collapsed and died of a heart attack shortly before he was set to captain an Airbus A321 from Cairo to London.
March 13, 2023: Emirates Flight EK205 from Milan was diverted due to pilot illness, and returned to Milan for an emergency landing.
March 14, 2023: Another pilot, this time on a HiSky flight from Dublin to Chisinau, became "unable to act", causing the plane to divert to Manchester.
March 17, 2023: A Canadian pilot died after suffering a heart attack; additionally, a 39-year-old Alberta pilot for WestJet Airlines died suddenly while on active duty.
March 18, 2023: Air Transat Flight TS739 from Fort-de-France to Montreal experienced a pilot incapacitation in-flight.
March 22, 2023: Southwest Airlines WN6013 flight from Las Vegas to CMH was diverted as the pilot collapsed shortly after takeoff.
March 25, 2023: TAROM Flight RO-7673 from Timisoara (Romania) to Hurghada (Egypt) was diverted after the pilot had chest pain and collapsed.
April 10, 2023: Young pilot Phil Thomas died suddenly.
April 11, 2023: A pilot had a cardiac arrest and collapsed at Richmond International Airport (Richmond, VA), saved by two TSA officers.
May 3, 2023: Air Transat and former Air Canada pilot Eddy Vorperian, age 48, from Montreal, Canada, died suddenly.
May 4, 2023: British Charter TUI Airways Flight BY-1424 from Newcastle to Las Palmas Spain was diverted back after the pilot became ill.
May 9, 2023: United Airlines and US Air Force Pilot Lt. Col. Michael Fugett, age 46, dies unexpectedly at his home.
All these incidents, in aggregate, create a worrying trend that's impossible to ignore and calls for immediate attention and open discussion.
As the safety of pilots becomes compromised to a level at which the pilot itself becomes a security risk, it serves as a clear indication that vaccines “really do work,” by leading to a profound upheaval and destabilization of the aviation industry in alignment with the strategies outlined by the World Economic Forum's playbook. I discussed this here and here.
Organizations like the Global Aviation Advocacy Coalition and Free To Fly serve as crucial platforms, providing support and solidarity to those who have experienced the chilling effects of silencing and intimidation within the aviation industry. They serve as advocates, fighting for transparency, accountability, and the right to share these narratives without fear of retribution.
In a world where the skies were once symbols of freedom and exhilaration, a dark and unsettling storm has begun to brew. Behind the curtain of silence, a series of harrowing incidents has unfolded, evading the spotlight of public awareness. Pilots have fallen victim to sudden incapacitations, untimely deaths, and perplexing health crises mid-flight. Passengers, once soaring through the clouds with dreams of their destinations in mind, have become unsuspecting witnesses to these grim spectacles and the worry about their pilots’ health.
Yet, the most haunting aspect lies not only in the events themselves, but in the eerie silence that shrouds them. A culture of intimidation and fear has veiled the truth, forcing those affected to carry their burdens silently, their voices stifled by the specter of retaliation. The aviation industry, once a symbol of trust and security, now teeters on the precipice of a grave revelation.
As the number of untold stories continues to mount, the call for transparency grows louder. It is a cry that echoes through the turbulence, demanding answers, accountability, and above all, a restoration of safety. The skies, once a sanctuary of soaring dreams, now seem to whisper tales of uncertainty and hidden dangers.
In this dramatic backdrop, we find ourselves at a critical juncture. Will we succumb to the darkness that cloaks these untold events, or will we rise together, courageous and unyielding, to unveil the truth that lies within the turbulent skies? The choice is ours to make, for the skies hold secrets that must no longer be silenced.
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