Diabetes and Flying: Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2015

If you are in the Midwest, you’ll want to keep your eyes to the skies this September to see if you spot the Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2015.

The flight will cover a circuit course, beginning in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on September 18, with stops in Rapid City, South Dakota, Boulder, Colorado, and Grand Island, Nebraska, before touching down again in Council Bluffs on September 20. The event will feature a number of pilots with Type 1 diabetes piloting general aviation airplanes, which, until 1997, was completely prohibited throughout the world over concerns of in-flight low blood sugar episodes.

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According to the event website, in 1997 people “with well-controlled insulin-treated diabetes were allowed by the FAA to obtain medical certificates for private piloting” in the United States. Australia, Great Britain, and Canada also allow pilots with well-controlled diabetes to fly, with the latter two countries allowing some pilots with rigorous blood sugar monitoring procedures to fly commercially.

The goals of the event include raising awareness and funds for JDRF to support diabetes research, providing a venue for pilots with diabetes to get together, and setting an example for people with diabetes to demonstrate that careful management of the condition can allow them to do things they may have assumed were out of reach.

As the official event website notes, “Diabetes need not limit the scope of people’s dreams and ambitions.”

To learn more about Diabetes Formation Flight USA, including finding out how you can participate, click here.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.