June 14, 2007
First class medical: Good for a year. Third class medical: Good for five years.
Sound too good to be true? It's in the works.
AOPA is supporting an FAA proposal to extend the first class and third class medical certificates to pilots under age 40. But the association is going a step further. In formal comments to the FAA, AOPA requested additional research to possibly grant that extension to pilots over 40 as well.
"Research might indicate that the age for an extension can be increased beyond 40 without negatively impacting general aviation pilots' safety," said Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs.
According to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's accident and incident database, medical factors contribute to only 1.9 percent of accidents.
In 2005, there were only three pilot medical incapacitation accidents (two heart attacks and one carbon monoxide poisoning), according to the foundation's 2006 Joseph T. Nall Report .
"A strong argument may be made that these accidents were not attributable to conditions that could have been identified or predicted by a periodic FAA physical examination," Hackman wrote.
In its comments, AOPA also requested that the FAA grant "driver's license" medicals to recreational pilots. The association has advocated for this for decades, and it would allow pilots to self-certify that they were fit to fly. This is the same method the FAA currently allows for sport pilots.
June 14, 2007
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
Mexico has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third party provider to file advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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