Welcome to Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2013
July 29, 2013:
Completed Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2013 today, setting a
new simultaneous world speed record between Omaha,NE and Madison, WI with four single-engine aircraft,
subject to ratification by the National Aeronautic Association. We then continued on to Oshkosh, WI. A huge thank you to Jackie Vanantwerp
and Tim Ryan at Omaha Tower and Omaha Approach, and also Dennis Vincent at Madison Airport for all the
help with observing & recording our line-abreast formation over flight of the start & finish. At the
start, Douglas, Jason, Taylor, David, Chris just beat heavy coming in from the west of Omaha, and then
at Madison we just beat a four-ship formation of F-16 fighter jets to land! Total time was 2 hours,
41 minutes and 52 seconds with the aircraft in "finger-four" formation while in transit between Omaha
Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2013 is a formation flight of general aviation airplanes
flown by pilots with diabetes which flew in formation from Council Bluffs Municipal Airport (KCBF) in Council Bluffs, Iowa
to the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 29th, 2013.
A goal of DFFUSA 2013 is to allow participation from as many pilots with diabetes as possible. In support of this
goal, it has been planned so that a wide variety of aircraft can participate.
Until 1997, piloting by individuals with insulin treated diabetes was completely prohibited
throughout the world due to concerns of the dangers of low blood sugar during flight. With
the advances in easy to use, portable blood sugar monitoring devices, and an intensive pre and in-flight
blood sugar monitoring regimen, in 1997 pilots with well controlled insulin treated diabetes were allowed
by the FAA to obtain medical certificates for private piloting.
Several other countries have followed and in some ways surpassed the lead of the US including Canada, Great Britain,
and Australia. Canada has even allowed some pilots with insulin treated diabetes to fly commercially when
using a rigorous blood sugar monitoring procedure, and the United Kingdom has recently updated its regulations
to allow this as well.
The DFFUSA 2013 flight has several goals:
- To raise diabetes awareness and funds for diabetes research.
- To demonstrate that pilots with diabetes can safely fly challenging flights using the FAA’s protocol for private flying
with insulin-dependent diabetes.
- To illustrate how advances in diabetes monitoring and management make management
of diabetes in flight a straightforward, safe, and simple part of flight operations.
Diabetes need not limit the scope of people’s dreams and ambitions.