The Pilots of Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2013
In 1989, Douglas Cairns was a British Royal Air Force jet pilot at the age of 25 when he was
diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and consequently lost his flying career. In 2000 he regained
the freedom to fly in the USA as a licenced private pilot, and then went on to complete
"Diabetes World Flight" in 2003,
the first round-the-world flight by a pilot with type 1 diabetes.
After completing his world flight Douglas wrote a book on his experiences (Dare to Dream:
Flying Solo With Diabetes) and spent three years in the USA giving sponsored motivational talks
to the diabetes community. During this time he set five world speed records and two transcontinental
speed records in the USA using the Diabetes World Flight "Beech Baron," and broke the
existing record to land in all 48 contiguous states of the USA
(www.diabetesflight48.com) before smashing the old
record to land in all 50 USA states in 5 days and 15 hours in 2010. In April 2011 he set a world
speed record between Barrow, Alaska and the North Pole, followed by the first ever landing in a
light twin-engine aircraft on the polar ice
(www.diabetespolarflight.org). Douglas is a
founder member of Pilots With Diabetes and is
passionate about raising awareness of diabetes, and gives regular talks to conferences &
meetings, highlighting that diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions.
Douglas is based in London as an Investment Specialist with Threadneedle Investment Management,
covering Asia & Global Emerging Markets equities.
During Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2013, Douglas will be flying a Piper Arrow.
Jason Harmon made his first solo flight in 1988 at the age of 16, and earned his private pilot's
license the following year. While in college, he was diagnosed with type 1
diabetes, ending his pursuit of a flying career as well as his ability to fly privately.
Early in 1997, the FAA made the special protocol available to allow individuals with
insulin dependent diabetes to obtain the class 3 medical certification required for private piloting.
Jason applied for this program and in the spring of 2007 became one of the first group of insulin
dependent diabetic pilots to get their wings back. After regaining the ability to fly privately,
he obtained instrument and multi-engine ratings. Jason is the US contact for
Pilots With Diabetes.
Outside of flying, Jason has put his knowledge of diabetes to work as a founder and Chief
Technology Officer of Get Real Health,
where he designs software to help empower individuals to manage the health of themselves and their families.
Jason's systems are in use in numerous organizations, hospitals, and governments in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Jason lives with his wife Mandela and daughter Alice in Maryland.
Jason will be flying a Diamond DA-40XLS for the flight.
Taylor grew up dreaming of a career in military aviation and took his first step towards flying for the
military when he was accepted into the class of 2010 at the United States Air Force Academy. While
attending the Air Force Academy he majored in Computer Science - Cyber Warfare and was fortunate enough
to participate in many of the extracurricular aviation programs at his disposal including flying and
instructing in gliders, flying the Diamond DA-40 and even free-fall parachuting. Upon graduation Taylor
received his commission in the U.S. Air Force and attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Laughlin
Air Force Base in Del Rio, TX. While at pilot training Taylor flew the T-6 Texan II and went on to fly
the T-1A, the military version of the BeechJet 400A.
After graduation from pilot training Taylor was excited to be selected to fly his dream aircraft, the
KC-10 “Extender”. Shortly after arriving for KC-10 initial training however, Taylor’s dream was cut short
when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the Fall of 2012. Although Taylor wished to continue
serving in the Air Force in a different career he was medically retired from the Air Force and is now
pursuing a career in the field of aviation technology and software or computer and network security.
Taylor holds a Commercial Pilot’s License with single, multi-engine and instrument certifications. He
is currently in the process of applying for his Special Issuance Third Class Medical from the FAA and
is enjoying fulfilling his love for flying through private aviation. When he’s not flying or working
Taylor enjoys woodworking and playing golf.
Taylor currently lives in Southern New Jersey with his wife Mary.
Taylor will be flying a Diamond DA-40XLS for the flight.
Chris's love for aviation came early on. The son of a United States Navy aircraft carrier pilot turned commercial
pilot for Western Airlines, he was always in and around the airport and aircraft. He began flying around the
age of 13 in his family's Cessna 152 based in Torrance, California, and had always thought one summer he'd get his private
pilot license. It turns out during those years the beach was more of a draw.
Twenty-five years later at the age 40, Chris had been living with type one diabetes first diagnosed at age 28. He had been driving
past the airport where a large hanger had been flying a banner that read "Learn to Fly!!" for several years. On every
passing he'd say to himself "one day". One day and some 35 years after his first dream of flight he spun a
U turn and pulled into that flight school. He asked a few questions and an instructor that was standing by gave
him an overview and the requirements. He remembers being very excited and handed the woman at the counter his credit
card and asked her to charge the entire package at once so he'd never have an excuse. At that moment the
Instructor spoke out and said, "There was one more thing. You'll need an aviation medical, but you look fit.
You don't have heart disease or DIABETES, do you?" His heart sank.
Chris figured something would work out.
Chris's flight training began immediately and he flew through it right up until it was time to have his first solo.
His instructor told him he was ready and asked if he had gotten medical, a requirement for solo flight. He hadn't
until that point spoken much about having diabetes. So with a bit of concern, off he went to research how to
obtain what he learned was called a "special issuance medical". For anyone who doesn't know, it's a bit of work,
but very doable, if your diabetes is well controlled. It took about 4 months to get
everything required done, put together, and sent to the FAA. The longest part was waiting for review and approval
by the FAA. After all the work Chris was back on track and weeks away from his practical test, having completed
all he could and then some prior to his solo requirements.
Today three years and over 200 hours later, Chris is seeking an Instrument rating and loving owning his 172SP.
Chris will be piloting a Cessna 172 for Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2013.
David Malone grew up in the southest and was first introduced to flying when his older cousin took
him up in a 1947 Bonanza. He went on to attend Vanderbilt University and graduated with a degree
in math and physics. After landing his first job as a Systems Engineer for EDS, he finally had the
opportunity to pursue his dream of flying lessons. Over the years, as his love for aviation grew,
David pursued his flight instructor ratings including glider instructor. In 1986, he purchased an
older Cessna 310. Still quite busy in his software career, he started teaching multi engine students
on the weekends.
In 1995, David and his partners sold a small software company in Long Beach. Now, with 20 years of
software experience, he switched careers and took a job flying an MU-2 turboprop for a Los Angeles
based charter company. Today, he is a Captain and IOE instructor on a Gulfstream.
David is 59 years old and was diagnosed with type II diabetes in his early 50's. So far, David
maintains his 1st class medical via a special issuance. He is an avid cyclist and loves all outdoor
activities. He's also a member of the traveling team: teamNorvoNordisk (teamtype2). On his days
at home, he trains 50 to 60 miles on his road bike.
David lives with his wife Palmira in Phoenix. His son Fletcher attends Rutgers in the NE.
David will be flying his red and white P-35 Bonanza for the flight.