Welcome to Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2015

Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2015 is a formation flight of general aviation airplanes flown by pilots with type 1 diabetes which will fly in formation over a circuit course starting at Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday September 18th, with stops at Rapid City, South Dakota, Boulder, Colorado, and Grand Island, Nebraska before returning to Council Bluffs on Sunday Septermber 20th.

Until 1997, piloting by individuals with insulin treated diabetes was completely prohibited throughout the world due to concerns of the dangers of low blood sugar during flight. With the advances in easy to use, portable blood sugar monitoring devices, and an intensive pre and in-flight blood sugar monitoring regimen, in 1997 pilots with well controlled insulin treated diabetes were allowed by the FAA to obtain medical certificates for private piloting.

Several other countries also allow piloting by individuals with tightly controlled insulin treated diabetes including Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. Canada has even allowed some pilots with insulin treated diabetes to fly commercially when using a rigorous blood sugar monitoring procedure, and the United Kingdom has recently updated its regulations to allow this as well.

The DFFUSA 2015 flight has several goals:

  • To raise diabetes awareness and funds for JDRF to support diabetes research.
  • To provide a venue for pilots with diabetes to get together and share their distinct experience.
  • To set an example for people with diabetes that tight management of their condition using a sensible management plan and modern diabetes management tools can allow them to safely do things they may have been told or assumed were out of reach, and to encourage them to tightly manage their diabetes.
  • To demonstrate that pilots with diabetes can safely fly challenging flights using the FAA’s protocol for private flying with insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • To illustrate how advances in diabetes monitoring and management make management of diabetes in flight a straightforward, safe, and simple part of flight operations.

Diabetes need not limit the scope of people’s dreams and ambitions.