Former medical certification manager advanced FAA policies

October 27, 2011

Dr. Audie W. Davis, former manager of the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division, died Oct. 25 at the age of 80.

Davis was the manager of the Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City for 36 years and was instrumental in advancing the FAA's airman medical certification policies and procedures. He was recognized internationally as an aerospace medicine authority on civil aviation medical certification, and provided his expertise to aviation regulatory bodies in many countries.

Born in Camden, Ala., Davis graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Alabama where he earned both his bachelor’s and medical degrees. He also received a second degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Mass. He served in the U.S. Air Force, and achieved the rank of colonel.

Davis was a key player in the development during the early 1970s of the Human Intervention and Motivation Study (HIMS), a cooperative effort between the FAA and the Air Line Pilots Association that provided for rehabilitation and return to duty of airline pilots suffering from alcohol abuse and dependence. This highly successful program continues today and has resulted in more than 4,500 pilots being requalified for flight duties after diagnosis and treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence.

He was a member of AOPA, a longtime member of the Aerospace Medical Association, and served for many years on the AOPA Board of Aviation Medical Advisors. He was a frequent lecturer at FAA aviation medical examiner seminars and the National Aircraft Accident Investigation Schools; and received many honors during his career, including the John A. Tamisea Award for contributions "to the advancement of the art and science of aviation medicine in its application to general aviation," and the Booth-Edward Award for "outstanding research and/or clinical practice directed at the promotion of health and prevention of disease in professional airline pilots," both given by the Aerospace Medical Association. Davis was credited with numerous published papers on a wide variety of medical subjects.

Following his retirement from the FAA, Davis served as the medical director for Harvey Watt, a provider of pilot disability insurance.

Services for Davis will be Oct. 29 in Norman, Okla.