AOPA has selected James D. Deimler to oversee its Aging Pilot Study. Deimler, who was the program manager for the FAA's Age 60 Rule Study, has co-authored several research reports for the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) and is an AOPA member, pilot, and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.
"Using knowledge gained during the FAA Age 60 Rule Study, James will provide guidance to AOPA on those aspects of aging and performance that are relevant to general aviation pilots," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "His expertise will also be valuable in preparing the study design, analyzing data, and producing the final report."
AOPA's Aging Pilot Study is a three-pronged effort, which will utilize the extensive research resources of AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation as well as expertise from Deimler. The findings are expected to reveal what kinds of accidents older pilots are having, what causes them, and what actually happens to pilots' skills as they age.
Today, some insurance companies are adding escalating surcharges for pilots over 60. One company, for example, charges 30 percent above its base rate for an age 70 pilot, 95 percent for age 75, and a whopping 160 percent for an octogenarian aviator.
"The results of the study could affect the cost of general aviation flying, which is a primary concern for AOPA members," said Boyer. "Currently, there are no hard, scientific data to justify the way some insurance companies are treating older pilots. We're going to get the facts and we'll go wherever they take us."
May 13, 2005