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FAA Granted Medical Clearance to Pilot With ‘Possible’ Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis

Editor’s Note: This article is Part 1 in a two-part series on the impact of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates on airline safety in the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a first-class medical clearance to a pilot whose medical history includes “possible” vaccine-induced myocarditis, according to a letter leaked anonymously by a pilot.

This letter was leaked amid recent revelations the FAA is prioritizing keeping pilots in the air at the expense of the safety of pilots, passengers and the general public.

FAA data indicate the number of medical flight diversions increased in 2021 and 2022, compared to 2019 and prior.

Other documents reveal that in 2021, the FAA strongly recommended, in writing, pilots receive the COVID-19 vaccines issued under an emergency use authorization (EUA), despite the agency’s own regulations prohibiting pilots from taking medications or therapeutics that have been on the market for 12 months or less.

Pilot cleared to fly despite ‘possible’ vaccine-induced myocarditis

The leaked letter — with names and dates redacted — issuing a first-class medical certificate to a pilot with a history of “possible” vaccine-induced myocarditis — originated from the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute in Oklahoma City.

According to the letter:

“You are cautioned to abide by Title 14 of the CFR’s, Section 61.53, relating to operations during medical deficiency.

“Because of your history of possible Vaccine induced Myocarditis, Hyperlipidemia, Ganglion Cyst removal Left Hand, and Knee pain, operation of aircraft is prohibited at any time new symptoms or adverse changes occur in your health status.”

According to WebMD, “Myocarditis often has no symptoms.” Johns Hopkins Medicine states that acute myocarditis can develop “suddenly,” while according to Empendium, the onset of myocarditis may be “sudden,” with “factors causing autoimmune reactions to allergens” — such as vaccines — listed as a common cause of this condition.

Yet despite this, and despite the pilot’s other medical issues, the FAA said: “Our review of your medical records has established that you are eligible for a first-class medical certificate.”

A November 2022 University of Basel study that examined individuals who had received a COVID-19 booster shot found “elevated cardiac troponin levels in a higher percentage of vaccinated individuals than expected,” and “evidence of temporary mild damage [myocarditis] to cardiac cells” in 2.8% of the patients — “instead of the anticipated 0.0035%.”

According to cardiologist Dr. Christian Müller, one of the study’s authors, even such mild damage could potentially become more serious with time, especially with the administration of annual COVID-19 boosters:

“So there’s slight damage to heart muscle cells in almost 3% of the cases, which shouldn’t be overestimated, but also not ignored. …

“According to current knowledge, the cardiac muscle can’t regenerate, or only to a very limited degree at best. So it’s possible that repeated booster vaccinations every year could cause moderate damage to the heart muscle cells.”

According to the FAA, a first-class medical certificate generally “is designed for the airline transport pilot,” while “second-class [is] for the commercial pilot, and third-class for the student, recreational and private pilot.”

This clearance may be the first time the FAA openly acknowledged a vaccine injury, such as vaccine-induced myocarditis, in a pilot.

In a Jan. 24 report, Federal Air Surgeon Susan Northrup, M.D., M.P.H., said the FAA has seen “no evidence” of COVID-19 vaccine injuries that led to “aircraft accidents or pilot incapacitations.”

And in February, Northrup told The Epoch Times she was “aware of only four potentially vaccine-related adverse events in active pilots.” Of these, “only one [pilot] has provided medical documentation through the normal process,” according to Northrup. She did not describe what the “normal process” is.

However, in April 2022, the FAA and Northrup were made aware of several incidences of vaccine injury in pilots that occurred as early as December 2021, via a hand-delivered letter to the FAA and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, from the California-based Advocates for Citizens’ Rights.

The letter included data showing pilots across the aviation industry — including commercial, military and general aviation pilots — face increased health risks from the COVID-19 vaccines due to the unique nature of their profession.

The letter referred to specific incidents, including the case of an agricultural pilot, Cody Flint, who nearly blacked out while flying but managed to land his plane safely — although he has no recollection of how he did it.

In an interview with The Defender in May 2022, Flint said the incident occurred two days after he received his first and only dose of the primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in February 2021.

He was diagnosed with left and right perilymphatic fistulas (a lesion in the inner ear), and highly elevated intracranial pressure due to swelling in his brainstem.

“My intracranial pressure had risen so high that it caused both of my inner ears to ‘blow out,’” Flint said. Doctors told him this is usually caused by major head trauma.

A Jan. 27 letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to Northrup listed four pilots, including Flint and an air traffic controller who suffered severe adverse events soon after receivin a Covid vaccine.


‘Keeping pilots in the air’ — at the expense of safety?

An August 2021 interview with Courtney Scott, D.O., M.P.H., published in the Federal Air Surgeon’s Medical Bulletin, may shed light on why the FAA may be brushing off vaccine-related adverse events in pilots and issuing medical certificates despite a pilots’ histories of vaccine injury.

Scott, who worked with the FAA for over a decade and is acting manager in the agency’s Aerospace Medical Certification Division, said at the time, the goal was to keep pilots in the air instead of grounding them when medical risks were identified, as long as the agency could “do so safely.”


It’s unclear if this is official FAA policy. However, recent actions by the agency, ranging from the loosening of its electrocardiorgram (EKG) limits to the granting of a first-class medical certificate to a pilot with “possible” vaccine-induced myocarditis, suggest a willingness on the part of the FAA to accept loosened medical standards in allowing pilots to fly.

COVID vaccine injuries contributing to more flight diversions, pilot shortage?

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed Feb. 24 by the US Freedom Flyers, an advocacy organization that opposes vaccine mandates for pilots, the FAA provided data regarding “the number of airplanes that had to divert for medical emergencies from 2017 through the present.”

The raw data provided by the FAA indicate a decrease in 2021 and 2022, compared to the years 2017 through 2019, as flight activity was ramped up following the strong restrictions of 2020. Between 2017 and 2019, annual diversions for medical reasons ranged from 630 to 641. The figure was 510 in 2021, and 589 in 2022.

However, when calculated as a proportion of the number of flights and number of passengers carried in the U.S. annually, the figures tell a different story. The FAA did not provide these data, but the Bureau of Transportation Statistics does.

The data show that pre-pandemic, in 2018 and 2019, domestic and international passenger traffic in the U.S. exceeded 1 billion. In 2021, that number barely exceeded 700 million, and reached 935.4 million in 2022.

Flight movements similarly decreased compared to pre-2020 levels. Total domestic and international flights in the U.S. exceeded 10 million in 2018 and 2019. They totaled 7.6 million in 2021 and 8.7 million in 2022.

As a result, the data show that, on a per-flight basis, the percentage of flights diverted for medical reasons increased in both 2021 and 2022 compared to pre-2020 levels. Similarly, the percentage of diversions as a percentage of total passenger movements sharply increased in 2021, while the 2022 figure exceeded that of 2018 and 2019.

Notably, 2021 and 2022 were the years the COVID-19 vaccine was made available and widely distributed to the public.



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