Troubador Upon A Trailing Edge

Released: 28/11/2015

eISBN: 9781785893933

Format: eBook

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Upon A Trailing Edge

Risk, the Heart and the Air Pilot


Four out of five fatal aircraft accidents are due to human error. Three out of five are due to pilot error. This book examines technical aspects of the problem from the viewpoint of one of the UK’s most experienced aviation cardiologists. Upon a Trailing Edge is Michael Joy’s story of a life spent in aviation and cardiology. His narrative spans the end of the Second World War to teaching on behalf of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, worldwide. It includes some history of powered flight, experience in the cadet force in the 1950s, learning to fly a Tiger Moth on an RAF scholarship, training as a doctor – later a cardiologist, and the ownership of various aircraft. Also flying the Concorde. Drawing on his personal aviation experience, the author examines the loss in 1972 of the HS Trident aircraft – G-ARPI, 150 seconds after take-off. There were handling issues and the pilot-in-command had suffered a heart attack. As a result of this accident he was appointed cardiologist to the UK Civil Aviation Authority where he remained as a consultant for the next 38 years. He helped evolve a scientific approach to medical fitness determination and co-drafted the European and International fitness standards in the speciality. Human error, risk and aviation accident causation are introduced in the context various fatal hull losses. Upon a Trailing Edge visits many countries and unusual places including the Khyber Pass, the jungle aircraft factory in Bandung, and the slave island of Goree. It will appeal to readers interested in the development of aviation safety, and travel – both as pilot-in-command in Europe, and further afield.

The author was interviewed on BBC Somerset in January 2016 by Ben McGrail and BBC News South East in March 2016. "Upon a Trailing Edge" saw a preliminary launch at Brooklands Museum in September 2015. It is in stock at Blackwells, Oxford, and Foyles, London. It is available through Waterstones, Amazon, Google Books and Kindle. An article on it appeared on 22nd January 2016 in the Somerset County Gazette and in the January edition of the"The Apothecary" - the house journal of the Worship Society of Apothecaries. There was a review in "Flyer" magazine in April 2016.An article is in press in "The College Commentary" of the Royal College of Physicians. Reviews are anticipated in "Aerospace", "Pilot", and AOPA Pilot Magazine.

Profits are being donated to Brooklands Museum Trust.

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Michael Joy


Michael Joy was an NHS Cardiologist, and for 38 years, cardiologist to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).He was travelling professor to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and visiting professor in clinical cardiology at Surrey University. In 2011 – 2012 he was High Sheriff of Surrey. He is a Trustee Emeritus of Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey.

He served on the Medical Advisory Panel to the Civil Aviation Authority for 35 years. For 10 years he contributed to the Secretary of State’s Honorary Advisory Committee on Cardiovascular Fitness to Drive. He also served on the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Medical Advisory Committee and co-drafted the European and United Kingdom flying and driving licence standards in cardiology. He is a fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, an academician of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine and a liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, having served on the Court thereof. He is a Yeoman of the Society of Apothecaries.

He has over 100 publications with research into the neuro-humoral control of the circulation, mechanisms of angina, heart failure and cardiological issues in aviation safety. He is the author of a number of chapters in cardiological textbooks and wrote the International (ICAO) and European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) guidance chapters on cardiology in aviation. He has advised national and international and Airlines as well as governmental regulatory agencies on policy development.

He is a pilot with 1,000 in command, with twin, and instrument ratings. Both his sons are pilots. He was appointed OBE in the 2000 New Year Honours’ List for Services to the Aviation Industry and received the Buchanan Barbour award of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1987 for his contribution to aviation safety.

Michael Joy

The tail section of the HS Trident 1 which crashed in a deep stall, at Staines.
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