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April 2014 edition

DAME Newsletter - April 2014

Dr Rod Westerman 1931 - 2014

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Dr Rod Westerman. I have known Dr Westerman for over a decade, and have known him closely in my last six years that I have worked in CASA. Dr Westerman has been a DAME since 1966 (this is not a typo!). He was a physiologist with an interest in aviation medicine, and helped commence the Australian Certificate in Civil Aviation medicine at Monash University.  That was over two decades ago. He then also helped to set up an aviation medicine course with Edith Cowan University. 

Rod was an exceptionally focussed person, and also a thorough gentleman, and many (if not most) aviation medicine professionals in Australia have either been his students, or have had some mentoring contact with him. Rod continued his activity as a DAME and his work in neurophysiology and hypoxia until the very end. He was well published, and very well regarded in Australia and overseas, as evidenced by his Honorary Fellowship of the Australasian College of Aerospace Medicine, and Membership of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, an organisation with less than 250 members worldwide.

Dr Westerman’s relationship with CASA of nearly 48 years exemplifies his long and abiding commitment to this discipline. Australian aviation medicine owes much to this man, and it has been a privilege to have known him.

For those who are able to attend, a commemorative function in honour of Dr Westerman will be held at Kew Golf Club Friday 4th April at 4.30pm.

The family has requested that there be no flowers. Any donations be made to  Clinical Research, Peter Mac

DAME 2 Medical Assessments - A New Era

Brisbane and Melbourne were the venues for the initial DAME 2 Regulatory Training sessions which will lead the way towards the introduction of DAME-managed aeromedical assessments of Class 2 pilots – DAME 2 Assessments. This initiative is being progressively rolled out by CASA to enable selected pilots to attend DAME delegates for their Class 2 medicals, and have their Medical Certificates issued by their DAME’s, rather than centrally from CASA. 

Until now, the information has been collected by DAME’s, but the assessment undertaken by CASA. This has enabled a large number of Medical Practitioners to take part in the process, with minimal training and currency obligations. It has also helped provide DAME services to pilots and controllers in rural and remote locations. 

Options for increasing the involvement of DAME’s in the assessment process have been limited, both by the IT infrastructure, and also the challenges of developing further aeromedical assessment skills to a level comparable with other jurisdictions. A replacement Medical Records System and training in regulatory medicine begin to address these limitations.

The start of this new process will require completion of the DAME Regulatory Training course, a delegation from the Director of Aviation Safety,. The training highlights aviation regulation and law, including the role of ICAO and Australian legislation. Understanding the tenets of natural justice - that people are entitled to a hearing, and that the decision-maker must be impartial - is a key foundation (Details available in DAME Handbook, Chapter 12). The framework for decision-making is radically different to clinical decisions. The process is governed by the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998. Actions and decisions must be in accordance with these. Furthermore, the decision-maker is required to demonstrate a transparent, evidence-based and considered process. 

The DAME2 system allowing for issuing of certificates  is only available to users of MRS Online and at this stage is only for Australian based DAMEs.

While the process is becoming established, assessments are limited to Class 2 pilots without specified excluded medical problems, or the certificate endorsements "Do not Renew" and "CASA Audit Required" (Refer to the Best Practice Guide - Decision Making: Natural Justice (Administrative Review Council) for guidance on administrative natural justice). Delegated DAME’s (DAME 2’s) are not obliged to assess anyone, but where there is complexity or uncertainty, or an excluded condition identified, the medical may be submitted to CASA for assessment. Contact the Clinical Governance team for further information by emailing

We are very grateful to the small group of DAMEs who have agreed to assist with the implementation of the DAME2 system.

BP Reading - Always Required

Please ensure that you always record the actual BP reading when submitting an application or report. We have recently received several medicals where the comments reads “Normotensive” We do require the actual reading before we are able to sign off on BP.

Seminar and conference information

Seminar and conference information
Event Date Location
ASAM NSW Regional Meeting 5 April 2014 Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
AMSVIC Warbirds over Wanaka Scientific Meeting 18-21 April 2014 Queenstown, NZ
ASAM WA Regional Meeting May 2014 Western Australia
ASAM Annual Conference 10-13 Sept 2014 Brisbane
ICASM 2014 12-16 Oct 2014   Mexico City, Mexico

DAME 2 Training and information sessions

DAME 2 Training and information sessions
Location Date
Sydney Sunday 6th April 2014
Adelaide Saturday 12th April 2014
Canberra Sunday 13th April 2014
Cairns Saturday 3rd May 2014
Perth/ WA Sunday  8th June 2014