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FAA Issues General Aviation Medical Rule

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a final rule that allows general aviation pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements outlined in Congressional legislation. (www.faa.gov) More...

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wespark42
Wesley Parker 7
For many years I have been flying with a Special Issuance Medical. Every year they have put me through the wringer for my stent and Type II diabetes. Although I am a runner, and still race motorcycles....The FAA's tests cost me about $2,500 each year and did nothing to predict anything...The medical only tells you how you "were".
A pilot must "self evaluate" before every flight.
dwiggins01
Scott Wiggins 2
Good point addressing the costs involved. I got caught in the special issuance web too. Aside from the costs, there is the incredible amount of wasted time involved. For me, an evaluation by my AME was followed by months waiting on the FAA to turn around a response. Years can and are wasted waiting on bureaucrats to move paperwork through the FAA's byzantine system. In my case, I fully believe that the FAA wanted me to give up. They made the process so onerous that they expected me to do like thousands of others and turn in my ticket. The PBORII will go a long way towards correcting these abuses.
DKESSLER
DAVID KESSLER 1
Months of delay could be avoided if AME's get involved. Delays are often due to understaffing. Thank Congress for underbudgeting. I know many of thephysicians at the FAA and they are not Bureaucrats buthardrking doctors trying to do the right thing for airspace safety.
Your private physician may not want the liability of certifying pilots nor perhaps his insurance compamy. The FAA will defend the AME if he/she followsthe FARS but not the Family physician.
I have worked with AMCS for 43 years. Most issues are resolved quickly, often while the airman is in the office.
Only a few are finally denies. I believe about 65 a year.
wespark42
Wesley Parker 1
I will agree that the months of delay do get shorter in subsequent years, but that is only due to the fact that I now arrive with the Opthamologist report, blood work, stress test, and review by Heart Surgeon each year with everything in hand.
I have leaned to anticipate everything they will ask for.

Yes, the time gets shorter, a good AME, and the AOPA will help you there. But, I had to repeat the tests every year, and they will not accept testing more than 90 days old.
On my first special issuance, it took more than 90 days just to have all the tests scheduled and completed.

If you have any troubles, I highly recommend the AOPA medical services. They really helped get the FAA ball rolling.
wespark42
Wesley Parker 1
One more thing, the date of your special issuance starts on the application date. If it takes the FAA four months to complete your Special Issuance, then your (very expensive) medical is only good for Eight months.
I can certainly see why sooo many pilots simply quit flying.
dwiggins01
Scott Wiggins 1
I will be flying under PBORII. A one time special issuance within the previous ten years is all that's required unless you fall into one of the special categories that require follow-up. Cardiovascular: myocardial infarction (heart attack); coronary heart disease that has been treated by open heart surgery or cardiac valve replacement; and heart replacement.
chrisrobey
CHRIS ROBEY 5
I had a seizure while single pilot IFR at 18,000feet in a B200 Kingair seven years ago and safely got back onto the ground approx 35 mins later...crosswind landing.
wespark42
Wesley Parker 3
Did having a medical ... predict in any way, that you would have a seizure?
wespark42
Wesley Parker 1
By the Way....Congrats on your flying!
chrisrobey
CHRIS ROBEY 1
I had undergone my annual physical with the DAME (Designated Aviation Medical Examiner in the parlance of Australia) not too many months prior to this incident occurring in 2009. A totally routine medical. My very senior neurologist (who I check in with every year)says that I possibly had an infection to the brain which triggered the seizure (at age 53, with absolutely no previous personal history, nor even family history of seizures).
DKESSLER
DAVID KESSLER 1
Want to try it again?
MANBOI
MANBOI 1
That's impressive! Hope you're doing better. In most cases you'd be able to fly the plane and land. This program won't apply to King Air B200 or anything over 6 seats.
MANBOI
MANBOI 4
WTF is a "medical education course"? I googled it and almost applied to Harvard Medical School.
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
AOPA's Air Safety Institute will later be offering an online course to teach about what types of medical symptoms or drugs might be indicative of a disqualifying condition.
JohnDoughy
John Dough 2
The AOPA course will be free
canuck44
canuck44 1
This is the same as legislatures full of lawyers mandating certain Continuing Medical Education courses on politically correct topics be passed by physicians to give those same legislators a false sense of having done something that costs them nothing.
A new industry has been created by those running and selling those courses.
chrisrobey
CHRIS ROBEY 2
I needed to stop driving a vehicle for just slightly more than one year. But I still look up any time an aircraft flies over, especially a Kingair. Guess you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
flypapa
Until the FAA changes their attitude, I don't believe the change in rules will help much.
chairflyer2002
john krull 2
Make it more simple to be a pilot. Just follow these 7 NEW RULES AND REGULATIONS.

SIMPLE!!!
philbenanti
philbenanti 2
I'm certain that there will still be many restrictions for pilots with medical deficiencies.
bentwing60
bentwing60 10
More pilots kill passengers due to poor judgement and lack of knowledge than medical deficiencies.
brianroyal
Brian Royal -2
That's not actually much of an argument for relaxing medical standards. What you're saying, in essence, is that you'd like to see those figures reversed.
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Not exactly!
brianroyal
Brian Royal 2
Yeah, sorry. I read too much into your statement.
Dtetrucking
Jason Jones 1
No one can answer what affect this will have on color deficient pilots. Can my family doctor now give me my color vision test ?
JohnDoughy
John Dough 1
https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/final_rule_faa_2016_9157.pdf Look at page 37

I believe the answer is yes, your family doctor will be able to. At least if you have a current medical now.
JohnDoughy
John Dough 1
To further implement this final rule, the FAA has developed Advisory Circular 68-1, Alternative Pilot Physical Examination and Education Requirements.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_68-1.pdf
JohnDoughy
John Dough 1
Do you have a current medical?
dwiggins01
Scott Wiggins 1
There are more special categories, I just listed the Cardiovascular requirements in case you fall into that category.
JohnDoughy
John Dough 1
Start with a free account at Faa https://www.faasafety.gov/wings It has free courses that can apply to your BFR, Then get an account at

https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/air-safety-institute Set up your free account and start taking the free courses.
canuck44
canuck44 1
For this to work will require a lot of personal responsibility in both the long view and on a daily basis. The male animal tends not to seek medical advise unless they are acutely ill and most men do not do any preventative undertakings while women see their physicians pretty regularly and are more likely to have problems detected early. Many men do not even have a personal physician and may use walk in clinics for needed care.
In the short run medication is dispensed freely and many of these while seemingly innocuous have the same effects as alcohol. Certain antibiotics, migraine medication, muscle relaxants, anxiety medication etc all effect performance and unless the prescribing doctor knows anything about aviation medicine (a rare occurrence) or the patient discloses he/she is a pilot inadvertent impairment may only show up at autopsy.
I predict steps backward over the next few years toward the present system.
dwiggins01
Scott Wiggins 2
Your prediction notwithstanding, we are not going backwards to the present horribly flawed system. It took a good decade or more of work to pass the PBORII in its present form. We didn't need this law until the FAA overstepped their bounds with regard to medical clearances. Their is no accident trail to support the FAA's overbearing medical requirements. A ten year study of GA accidents did not have medical issues in the top ten causes for these accidents. Pilots who are responsible enough to hold a license and pass a bienniel are responsible enough to "not" fly when sick, or otherwise impaired. Private pilots are not flying for hire as you know, so there is no absolute requirement for flying. Who wants to fly when sick? We're not going backwards from here. I passed military flight physicals for over twenty years as a pilot and have several thousand hours flying privately. IMO the third class medical is/was a needless speedbump. It was merely an impediment to private flying that did nothing for reducing accidents.
canuck44
canuck44 1
Unfortunately many of the regulations have been imposed as a government gut reaction to an incident and those regulation applied as a one size fits all. Prior to the Eastern Airlines 401 crash in the Everglades pilots could get their medicals done by their family physician. The autopsy findings on the Captain revealed a large but benign meningioma which probably did not have a causative role. Didn't matter the reaction was a register of authorized physicians for aircrew medicals. This was before CT scans were readily available, coronary angiography and vascular studies were just coming on line so even an FAA examiner it would not be detectable by the technology of the day.
That was probably an overkill and some of it needs to be shed. I do think a baseline needs to be established in the young, updated at 45 and some stratification for follow up created. Most of this can be done remotely. For example a pilot with a BMI of 28 is not the same as one who weighs 350 with a BMI of 44. Put the resources for both regulator and regulated where they will do some good.
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Agreed with all, and in the case of elderly women, the doctors are part of the "social circle" of the well insured. Decidedly "not" the case for males.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Medical management of the sulfa-denial abuser is always challenging.
Todd6368
Todd Witt 1
At one point whilst reading the comments, I thought I was in the middle of a couple of girls fighting! 😱
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
Or maybe a Santa Monica City Council meeting?
canuck44
canuck44 3
The National All Gender Sorority (NAGS) will undoubtedly declare you a sexist for that remark.
kevanski1
kevanski1 -1
Next thing you know, they'll be giving out licenses in cereal boxes. Where is the oversight?
JohnDoughy
John Dough 2
Same place it always resides... In the pilots seat... All the oversight you get each flight.
pclifton
Philip Clifton 2
Precisely. Pilots have been and will continue to be self-certifying on a daily basis; nothing about the new rules changes that.
krs
Bob Poberezny 0
Obviously that's where you got yours.
kevanski1
kevanski1 0
Actually, when I got mine, they were hiding them in CrackerJacks boxes. That was before your time.
krs
Bob Poberezny 1
Doubtful. I had a commercial ASMEL, instrument, CFI, CFII and AGI plus 2 type ratings in 1965. You must be REAL old. Or twelve.

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