A big loss for European aviation medicine world

Dear ESAM members, With a heavy heart we inform you that the European aviation medicine community has lost a very experienced member in the person of Col. Dr. Virgil Baloescu. On Saturday 13.03.2021 Dr. Baloescu lost his battle with COVID-19 at the age of 73.

Dr. Baloescu was an esteemed neuro-psychiatrist with great experience working in the Romanian Air Force both as flight surgeon and neuro-psychiatrist in the Romanian Institute of Aviation Medicine (INMAS).

During this period he also supported civil aviation through his work as a civil aero-medical examiner in INMAS. He also acted as medical assessor of the Romanian Civil Aviation Authority and represented Romania in many national and international events and working groups. He was a member of the JAA Medical Subcommittee and one of the main co-authors of the psychiatry chapter of the first edition of the JAA Manual of Aviation Medicine.

He had an exceptional research activity, including in-flight measurements and observations studies, both in the Air Force and in civil aviation which resulted in multiple published articles and presentations during international congresses of aviation medicine, military medicine and psychiatry.

Following his retirement from the Air Force he was one of the first 3 independent AMEs setting up a private AME practice in Romania. During his career he actively supported a great number of pilots, ATCOs and cabin crew, and with his great sense of humour he created a lot of friends among them. He managed to establish a trust-based system with his patients and promoted this approach during the education of younger AMEs.

Dr. Baloescu was one of the founding members and president of the Romanian Civilian Aeromedical Examiners Association (AMERAC) which became a member of ESAM shortly after it was founded. His international work within the JAA system and the early days of ESAM promoted the harmonization and European spirit in aviation medicine.

Besides his professional achievements, Virgil was a devoted and loving husband and father, and a very good friend to many of us in the aviation community. He always found time to listen and provide support and advice.

The European aviation community lost a dear friend, a great colleague and a very experienced professional. But we shall always cherish his exemplary passion and wisdom. We shall remember his tremendous contributions to European aviation medicine and to flight safety.

We will always remember you Virgil! We send to the grieving family and friends our deepest condolences!