Vietnam to check pilots' health following deaths

TN News

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Two Vietnam Airlines pilots' death overseas in December have prompted Vietnam aviation inspectors to conduct health examinations of pilots at all domestic carriers.

The inspectors said the health check will be their first task this year, the Vietnam Economic Forum said Wednesday.

Vietnamese co-pilot Nghiem Dinh Tuan, 52, of Vietnam Airlines did at his hotel after a flight to Paris on December 6, suspected of stroke.

Three weeks later, the carrier's American pilot Randal Kufl, 55, died while on medical leave in Singapore, two months after working for the national carrier.

No official confirmation about the causes of the deaths has been made.

The report said Vietnam Airlines employs at least one other pilot with blood hypertension.

Pilots in Vietnam are required to undergo periodic health checkups at medical clinics appointed by the air carriers.

Those above age 40 must have health checkup twice a year. Pilots under 40 require one annual checkup.

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The pilots have to inform their superiors if they want to take medical leave to have their own checkup.

In 2011, aviation inspectors conducted 10 inspections that uncovered airplane errors and passenger disturbances, such as joking about bombs on flights.

The inspectors said they would increase the number of inspections this year by 30 percent.

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