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Aerospace medicine pioneer Stanley Mohler has died

Stanley R. Mohler, physician, pilot, educator, author, and former member of AOPA’s Medical Advisory Board, died Sept. 15 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He was 86.

Mohler’s work in the aerospace medical field made him "one of the pioneers of civil aviation regulatory medicine," and helped shape certification policies that continue to benefit pilots, said Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification.

Relaxed and reserved in manner, Mohler exerted a calm, constructive presence during complex discussions of medical certification policy, Crump said, adding, "He never seemed to get too wound up about what went on."

Mohler was born in Amarillo, Texas, on Sept. 30, 1927. He served for two years in the U.S. Army, and graduated in 1956 from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, according to an obituary published in The Oklahoman newspaper. Mohler went on to serve as an intern with the U.S. Public Health Service, and as a medical officer at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, it said.

'Two great passions'

Later his career allowed him to combine "his two great passions, airplanes and medicine," as director of the FAA’s Civil Aeromedical Institute, and then as chief of the FAA’s Aeromedical Applications Division. Mohler subsequently directed Wright State University’s Aerospace Medicine Residency Program in Dayton, Ohio. Recently he held the title of professor emeritus at Wright State, said the obituary.

Mohler held airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He served for several years as a member of AOPA’s Medical Advisory Board, as well as on a medical panel of the Experimental Aircraft Association. His service on other aeromedical panels included NASA’s Aerospace Medicine Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Aerospace Medical Association, according to the obituary.

He was the author of books including Wiley Post, His Winnie Mae, and the World’s First Pressure Suit (with Bobby H. Johnson) and Medication and Flying: A Pilot’s Guide.

Mohler is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ursula; a daughter; two sons; and three grandchildren.

"Stan Mohler was a true icon in the evolution of aviation and aerospace medicine," said Crump, a fellow native of Amarillo who relished opportunities to share hometown memories with Mohler. "He had a brilliant intellect and an encyclopedic knowledge on many areas of aviation and medicine."

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: People, Pilot Health and Medical Certification, Experimental

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