Captain Nathan Hildebrand -March 2018

To view Captain Nathan's video testimonial please click this link: https://youtu.be/XGE3oqtP4HY.

I never thought that I will lose my medical, my job and my home.

My wife, my daughter and I moved to Dubai in the summer of 2000. I flew for Emirates for the past 17 years. My son was born in Dubai and both of my kids grew up in Dubai. We settled down in the Nasa Villas in Al Garhoud and had the privilege of a fantastic compound life. In this community we have enjoyed many wonderful years; celebrated birthdays, upgrades and many more occasions together. I never thought that I will end up suffering from several conditions at the same time which accumulated to hospitalization and some quite severe conditions, surgeries and taking very strong medication over the years which finally led to the loss of my medical, job and my home.

My wife, my kids and myself made Dubai our home. We just couldn’t believe that we had to leave Dubai and take our kids suddenly out of their routine, away from their school and friends. You can imagine that this was not an easy path. Long story short, the last year was one of the hardest to overcome for me and my entire family.

Luckily, I have made the right decision to join the API/Lips “Pilots helping Pilots” scheme from the early beginning, even though I never thought that I will be one of the Pilots in need.

I can assure you that it was a very lengthy and in-depth process from the beginning until I got the final good news that my claim has been approved by Harvey Watt and the trustees.

Till today I am not able to generate a regular income as I am still not fit enough to work.

If you lose your health, job and home at the same time, then only do you realize the importance of a lifesaving backup plan like API.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all parties involved like the API Team, Harvey Watt, the trustees and especially a big thank you to all of you who are making such a scheme possible.

It is a nice feeling to know that some how I am still a part of a great community of colleges and friends who are supporting such a great idea in helping colleges in need.

I just don’t know how to find the right words to tell you what that means to me and my family.

“Pilots helping Pilots”

Thanks to all of you.

With kind regards,

Nathan Hildebrand

Alan Lukes - APRIL 2018

The quality of support from API was nothing short of incredible, two phone calls in person from senior API staff apologising for an initial error in the process of my claim which has now been awarded. Yes it takes longer to process that what you would probably like but there's good reason for that, communication with Harvey Watt was slow but API always came back to me within 24hrs. My support has been rewarded by their support, I'm so please I joined API all those years ago never thinking for one moment I would need it, you just don't know what around the corner. I would encourage any new pilot in Emirates to join API and have " Peace of Mind" that you're covered. Thank you API.

Captain Alan Lukes

November 2018

Being a fit and healthy person for a long time I attended the EK clinic for what I thought was a minor issue down to just getting a little older. After shrugging this off initially, things started to deteriorate further. When my medical was initially suspended API was informed and I was contacted by Harvey Watt.

Time went on and after numerous tests I was eventually diagnosed with a Critical Neurological Illnes. Periodical updates  with API and Harvey Watt assured me they were offering full support during this challenging time.

After I received the confirmation of my illness they kicked in to full action and started to gather all my medical records. When the GCAA revoked my medical they were ready to start the final process. 

I received confirmation down the line that my claim has been approved which was a huge relief. I can honestly say that the support was exceptional by Emirates, API and Harvey Watt during this time.

If I could offer any advice to those that are with API or are considering joining, please keep it or join now as you don’t know what is round the corner. 

Once again, thank you to Emirates, API and Harvey Watt and of course my deepest gratitude to my fellow colleagues, whom without them this support would ultimately not be there.

Wishing you good health.


Mike Reincastle - November 2018

I was diagnosed with Colon cancer with spreading to the liver and underwent surgery followed by chemo therapy. Even though have been given the all clear by the doctors, my license was still suspended. I received my Emirates loss of licence payout just after my last day of service. 

API took about three months to go through  their procedures but I was back payed to my last day of service. I was very well looked after by EK during my year of sick leave and the API staff were always friendly and helpful.

I am now living a happy and comfortable retired life back home. Signing up with API was one of the best moves I've ever made.

Mike Reincastle

Martyn Smith, SFO/SFI

Cancer only happens to others.....how wrong could I have been? In the space of one short layover my hopes and dreams were shattered as I went from being fit, loving life and my flying and with my command just about to happen - to being in a desperate fight for that life with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The treatment involved major surgery and prolonged chemotherapy, both of which were to have a profound effect on my life and resulted in the loss of my medical category. Furthermore, the treatment has had long-term effects on my continued employment possibilities - my feet are largely 'dead' and my hands are affected to a lesser degree and I required further major abdominal surgery earlier this year. Chronic fatigue, post chemo, is also a big issue and I require external enzymes to digest my food.

I am so grateful to API in providing a decent and steady income throughout the major part of my trials and tribulations. I had three teenagers going through the latter stages of their education in Dubai during this period (with all of the attendant expenses that this involved) and it was so comforting to know that I could continue to give the kids what they needed whilst being seriously ill at the same time. I simply cannot put a price on what peace of mind this gave me as I lay in a hospital bed contemplating my mortality!

Yes, Emirates were very generous - up to a point; at the 9 month stage in your prolonged sickness, you will be served your three month notice - and you had better get fit or you are out! As simple and as clear cut as that. Imagine having to face that dilemna whilst fighting a potentially terminal disease and with your family relying on your financial support at the same time! It wasnt easy, I can tell you!

Despite a natural scepticism that anybody would pay out, the claim process was actually incredibly straightforward and very succinct; API have proved very helpful throughout this whole process and I cannot commend them highly enough. I would urge any Emirates pilot out there who hasnt thought about their continued financial prospects in the face of a serious illness to really give some serious consideration to API. It is a generous deal and one that I dont think that you can afford not to have! Insurance is dead money, for sure....right up to the point that you need it; then you simply cannot have enough....For me, the winning argument in taking API coverage was 'well, its only the price of a few Dubai beers...'. And yes, I heard all of those flight deck stories about it being a ponzi scheme, run by pilots etc etc but I can tell you that it is very professionally run, they care and it is backed up and is indeed run under the auspices of a Guernsey trust fund with proper financial regulatory oversight.

Martyn Smith

Kamma Lyhne - August 2017

I joined LIPS/ API very early in my 10 year career with Emirates, although I expected to continue in the job until reaching 60 years of age (my contract was 65 year retirement age) At 53 I lost my medical after exhausting my full years sick leave with EK in order to get my medical re instated.. I must say 35 years of flying and being a pilot license holder even so, this came as a shock to have no license after all those years getting one. We found ourselves searching for a new home and country but also with my need for continued medical facilities and now on a strict budget. With out API I don’t know how we could manage as I am not fit for any job! Two and half years on and I am still searching for wellness and am grateful for many things but certainly having the foresight to take out an insurance I really thought would not be necessary for me!

Kamma Lyhne
EK 2007-2017

Kamma Lyhne

Thank you LIPS and API

I must have been one of the first Pilots to join LIPS after flying with Captain Andy Bell who started the scheme. He made a strong case and I signed up straight away never thinking that I’d ever be a beneficiary.

Flying is all I’ve ever known from Military Pilot through to Emirates Captain. I thought I’d never stop flying - perhaps a nice job instructing at a small Flying Club would be the end of my career but it would be my choice when I finally hung up my headset. How wrong I was. I lost my medical, my license, my career and some of my dreams. The moment Fleet Management hand over the Company Termination Letter is one I will never forget.

Every day I’m grateful that Andy persuaded me to join LIPS and the benefits have allowed me a stress free transition into a life without flying. I would urge every Emirates Pilot to join API and support the scheme. You can plan for many of life's events but most of those plans rely on you having a career / income.


Captain Martin Stephens

I'm glad I had API

We all think we are invincible and nothing will happen to us! Our class 1 medical is one of the most fragile things we have, the gets scrutinised every year until 60 then twice a year thereafter. 

I know better than most, 2 years ago whilst at the peak of my physical fitness I was suddenly diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that ended my flying career. It was a terrible time for me & my family not knowing what the future would hold. I went through all the doubts, will the company pay and will API (LIPS at the time) pay? Will they try to wriggle out of paying somehow? But the process was easy, everyone involved were 100% professional with great support from both EK and API throughout and Harvey Watt in the US got involved from an early stage to act as an independent pair of medical eyes.

I can only say I'm glad had API and I don't have to worry about my financial future and would like to thank all the guys at API for holding my hand thru the whole process. 

Don't delay get peace of mind, you don't know what's around the corner especially with the current demanding rosters you all fly. If any of you have any questions about my experience don't hesitate to contact me.

Captain David Gaughan

Thank you API

I lost my medical in July 2015 due to depression after my wife passed away. However hard I tried, the doctors recommended another 6 months of recovery was needed after I had been on sick leave for one year. Management did not want to entertain unpaid leave or any other options so that I could regain my medical and continue flying. So I was terminated with my medical still 'pending' with the GCAA. Depression is one of the conditions that Emirates and API will not pay compensation for, so no loss of licence from Emirates or API.

I did however receive a generous 'death of spouse' payout from API for which I was very thankful. While I accepted this final outcome I was surprised to learn that I did not qualify for LSB from API either. After a phone call to one of the committee members and explaining the situation, the committee all agreed to help me out by reimbursing my entire subscription fee from when I first joined LIPS may years ago.

This was a very generous gesture and will go a long way to assisting me financially when I am back home. Thank you API for your generous consideration.

July 2016

Jeremy Roswell


I was an Emirates captain for over 4 years, joined the company in 2012. I joined API Emirates Pilot Loss of Income Protection Scheme when I first heard about it. I thought I had a healthy lifestyle, I was actively doing sports, I would most probably not need it, but yes, why not.

The accident: In  April, 2016 I was doing a preflight walk-around under the wing of a 777, when a single container truck ran me over. Due to my martial art background I am experienced how to “fall and protect”, but it was not enough this time. The truck hit my head, I fell and I laid unconscious on the tarmac. The accident resulted in a multiple skull fracture, brain contusion and hemorrhage. They took me to ICU then I spent a few weeks in hospital and undergone a long rehabilitation process. It was a naughty one, but I luckily got off with no paralysis or functional deficiency.

The outcome: 8 months later GCAA Medical Board has revoked my medical certificate and Emirates terminated my contract. A long administration process started and to be fair with the company, Emirates was supportive, correctly payed the relevant benefits in line with their Employee Handbook and ERM. 

Claim submitted towards API as well. They have an independent medical expert team in the US, all my medical records were submitted (over 200 pages) to them. It took 3 months to wait for the decision of API Trust.

I called the API Administrators and Committee a few times, during the claim process. Garrie and Peter always responded courteously and with professionalism, I received positive support during the waiting period. Once the claim was accepted, API correctly payed backdated to the eligibility date and I am receiving the monthly benefits correctly.

Dear fellow colleagues,

My case has a lucky outcome medically, but it destroyed a career, a lifestyle and it affected a family life. API benefits now keeps us financially stable, assists us establishing a completely different life.

Thank You API, the Administrator Team and to all fellow pilots contributes the the Plan. I truly recommend API as a good institution to all pilots who plan to protect themselves against loss of income.

The unexpected can happen to anyone, anytime.

With appreciation,

Captain Lajos Szabo

I found myself facing the unthinkable - Parkinson's Disease.

13 January 2018

Previously I have been a professional athlete on the World Juniors Tennis circuit, with a fitness level that encouraged self-belief that I was ‘invincible’.
Last year I suffer from a shoulder pain which, as it transpired, was masking the early stage of an underlying problem; I was eventually diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder. All this I could not have foreseen.

With my aviation career effectively finished I had no alternative but to apply for the API; something you never think you will need but life does these things.
For those embarking on the process of applying for API, I would advise that you let it follow the course that is mandated by the terms and condition of the policy and have patience. Do not believe any rumour, put aside your emotions and follow the instructions like you would with any checklist.

I am not here to give lesson but health is something we often take for granted. 

Remember it can suddenly disappear when you least expected.

I still hope for a cure from foundations such as though sponsored by Michael J Fox and, one day, my dream would be to call API to tell them that a cure had been found and to stop the payments.

A big thanks to API and to my fellow colleagues for their support over the last 15 months.

Sebastien Bertin

API helped me get my GCAA Class 1 Medical reinstated!

In December 2016, while on a trip to Toronto I had the misfortune of being involved in a minor incident. I was at home with friends when I slipped and fell hitting the back of my head on a ledge. It started to bleed a little but it stopped after a while. Since I am on blood thinning medicines after a stent procedure, my friends immediately called the Emergency Services and they responded within 10 minutes. I was taken to a nearby hospital for an examination. An MRI of the head indicated minor hematoma. consequently I reported sick and dead headed to Dubai.

In Dubai, I reported the incident to EK Medical Services and informed API. Further examination confirmed the report from Toronto and my licence was suspended till further notice. Another Examination after 6 months indicated a complete resolution of hematoma, but according to GCAA rules for any head injury, my license was suspended for a period of two years.

This is when I contacted API for assistance. The response was prompt and encouraging. Robin Elliot from H & W remained in touch with me on a regular basis advising on the next course of action. The first Medical Board to reinstate my license rejected my request. Upon further pursuing the matter, I was advised by H & W to get an independent medical review and reapply for license reinstatement. H & W through Robin Elliot was instrumental in getting me an early appointment with DR. Jack Hastings in United States. The review was a satisfactory medical condition for license reinstatement.
Based on a fitness report from Dr Jack Hastings, the next Medical Board accepted my arguments and made a recommendation to GCAA UAE to reinstate my license. My license was reinstated in January 2018.

I would like to place on record my appreciation and gratitude for API and H & W for a very professional and personal handling of my case. I would recommend all pilots in a similar situation to take advantage of API services.

Hamid Faiz

My family will have a secure financial future

If you get a lucky cancer diagnosis it won't take your life but it will destroy it....
It ruins your career,It ruins your family life and relationships,It ruins your hobbies.

Due to my API coverage, one thing that it hasn't affected is my financial stability.  No matter what the future holds I can safely say that my family will have a secure financial future ahead of them.

Robert Brown

Feb 2017 API claim

Have you ever been driving home from a day of flying and asked the question, “what if something happened to my medical and that was my last flight? What would I do?”
I had this happen during my career. This was during a medical renewal with a AME, who sent me to visit another specialist. While I was waiting for the test results, I wondered whether I would be ever able to fly again, and if I had already completed my last flight! Armed with test results and a medication treatment plan, I was then able to visit the AME but who unfortunately confirmed that my medical certificate was suspended. He forwarded the medical test results to the GCAA who in turn, sent me an advice that I was permanently unable to exercise the “privilege of my License” and the AME was unable to clear me back for flying duties. As per the rules of Aircrew Protection International, I did notify the fund (API) of the suspension of my medical and joined a list of “Notifications”. This is required within 30 days under the Fund Rules. Those of us who are employed by Emirates are fortunate as the Company keeps you on sick leave for 12 month to help pilots to regain their medical certificate. Others are less fortunate. Once all of the sick leave had been used up, then I had to make claim upon API. We spend our flying time dealing with contingencies, and the loss of a “Medical” is one contingency we need to bear in mind. This is where a membership of API can ease the stress on a person’s life in the event of illness or injury. The loss of a Medical can be various, some are accidental, some are the result of recreational sports and the remainder are general health conditions which leads to the loss of a medical certificate.

Flying is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things that I did. It is a sad day when I had to give up flying and the Trustees approved benefit payment for the permanent loss of Medical. But at least the financial impact on the life for me and my dependents was & is still be eased as a result of the API membership. This proved to me how important it is for pilots to maintain adequate financial protection throughout their aviation career. API (former LIPS) has continuously provided me with comprehensive protection and unwavering personal support.

As a former Emirates pilot, I strongly recommend to get protected by joining the API scheme with ‘Pilots helping Pilots’!

Stay fit and healthy.

Former Boeing Captain

Frank Bishop - (Emirates Pilot)

I have been a Captain with Emirates for over six years and I joined the Emirates Pilot Loss of Income Protection scheme (API) very soon after I heard about it. My decision to join API (as opposed to other, 'for-profit' schemes) was for two main reasons; First; the annual subscriptions were reasonable. Second; because it is administered by fellow Emirates pilots, I believed (and continue to believe) it's a lot easier communicating directly with fellow Emirates pilot decision-makers, than it would be with a commercial, multi-layered offshore insurance company.

Unfortunately for me and my career as a pilot, in December 2013 it became clear I could lose my pilot medical - permanently. Fortunately API was there for me. As I'd hoped and trusted, any stories I'd heard about API trying to avoid payment at all costs were false - the issue never materialized, at all. After notification from the GCAA on 9th March that I was permanently grounded, I submitted my API claim, along with all the required supporting documentation. Within the timeframe as explained to me, Harvey Watt & Co (the professional API medical claim processor company, located in the USA) had informed me of their findings and subsequent recommendation to API. Again, within the described timeframe, I had heard from the API Directors of their decision to award me API monthly benefits and all that remained was for me to confirm my bank details.

My belief in API that all would be quick and easy to communicate with my fellow-pilot decision makers was indeed correct. ALL my dealings with ALL the people at API have been prompt and professional.As a result of my experiences, it is with pleasure that I recommend API protection to any pilot who may be in any doubt as to whether it is the correct institution with which to protect your Emirates pilot income.

With appreciation - Frank Bishop

What is your plan

Respected Emirates Colleagus,​

One’s career may be likened to a flight. We hope that it will be ultra long range. We plan to make it to our destination at our desired retirement date. Like a well-planned flight, the path of our long-range career may need adjusting. The arc of one’s professional life may be cut short, and we have to manage mid-flight change up to and including relying on our alternate.

LIPS is the alternate. What’s your plan?

Captain Steve Nuttall

Please ensure you have LIPS coverage.

Dear colleagues,

Nobody would like to hear the words from a doctor, “you'll probably never fly again.” With three daughters in either school or university, one of my immediate reactions was “thankfully, I have income protection”. This was quickly followed by “is my coverage in order?”

The LIPS Directors; Garrie, Paulo and Roger, were very quick to assure me that everything in this regard was OK. And Garrie took time to explain coverage and discuss any further queries that I had. He even called me to follow-up, from time to time, to see how I was.

Thankfully, I'm flying again now, following medical attention. I would like to endorse and recommend the LIPS income protection product and their service to every Emirates pilot.

Please ensure you have LIPS coverage. You cannot afford to be without it.

Capt Grayden Thompson

They became involved on both a personal and a professional basis



Wayne McCone

MAY 15, 2015

Dear Emirates Colleagues, For me 2014 began with bad news regarding my health and by November it was confirmed that my license was revoked. My career as a pilot ended!
As I was a member of API (former LIPS) I notified them and submitted a claim. I cannot say anything else than that the claim was processed very professionally, straight forward and humane. If I had a question, within a day I received a reply.
Shortly after all required documents were submitted and reviewed, Garrie contacted me to inform me that my claim was approved. Special thanks to Joe, who was my primary contact and who still keeps in touch to inquire on my situation. Thanks to the fact that I joined API I am now still able to continue offering my family a stable lifestyle. As we do not know what lies on our path, I highly recommend anyone of you to join API to protect yourself against loss of income.

Appreciative API beneficiary

"It won't happen to me!"

In an unusual turn of events late last year, I was diagnosed with a non-lifethreatening medical condition resulting in a Loss of flight medical and therefore my flying license.

One always thinks that it won’t happen to me, but my situation has proven just how fragile a flight medical can be!

Throughout my Professional Life I have always maintained Loss of Income Insurance, as I consider it to be one of the most important Insurance Policies anyone should have. Prior to joining API, I researched other options and I concluded there was no comparative policy available.What sets API apart is that API is Emirates specific and is run by a team of Emirates pilots. The ‘Benefits’ also continue regardless of whether, after your loss of license, you are able to derive another form of income. Most income protection policies will pay only a percentage of your salary and make an adjustment to your benefit once you acquire a new income.

In other words, depending on your new salary, you may very well not receive any income protection at all under a Policy with a different Insurer.From my perspective what the API Policy allows, is the freedom to choose. It affords you the ability to refocus and prioritize your personal life and professional career with the peace of mind knowing that you will continue to have a regular monthly income source up to age 60.

Throughout the claims process, the API Committee and Administrators acted with courtesy, integrity and professionalism, and finalized my claim expeditiously.

As Pilots we always endeavor to mitigate risk. Therefore, I highly recommend Income Protection through the API Policy for the same reason.

Appreciative API Benefits Claimant