Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
12 Aug 2015
5:00 am

Grounded pilot lands in court

Ilse de Lange

An airline pilot who suffered a head injury in a road-rage incident five years ago has taken the Civil Aviation Authority and SAA to court in a bid to get his career back.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons (Joe Ravi)

Captain Brian Ruiter was initially booked off from work because of a significant head injury in 2010, but went back to work two months later. He then captained passenger aircraft to various destinations in South Africa and Mauritius without incident.

However, in November 2010 he was put on sick leave after a neuropsychologist said he was incapable of flying an aircraft. When he applied for a renewal of his medical certificate in 2011, he was told he was medically unfit because of a “very severe head injury”.

Although he submitted a report by a psychologist who said his executive functioning was at an excellent level, he had still suffered a “severe head injury” and so was regarded as medically unfit.

He re-applied for a medical certificate in 2012 but was again turned down. He appealed and in 2013 was informed the decision declaring him medically unfit had been confirmed.

He took the latest decision on review in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, but withdrew his application after reaching a settlement in terms of which a new independent panel of medical specialists will be appointed to review his case. – ilsedl@citizen.co.za