March 27, 2007
On March 27, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) charged the FAA with developing a system to identify fraud and to periodically spot-check medical applications for false information. He also called for a hearing on the subject later this spring.
"AOPA does not condone pilots who make false statements or omit known disqualifying medical conditions on their medical application," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But we do want to ensure that pilots who make unintentional omissions on the application do not face FAA enforcement actions or criminal charges."
This action comes from a 2005 investigation in which the Inspector General's Office cracked down on Northern California pilots who had allegedly provided false information on their FAA medical certificate application. The pilots were being investigated for possibly covering up the fact that they were receiving disability checks for disqualifying medical conditions. This resulted in the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecuting more than 40 cases.
The report says that pilots who are physically or mentally unfit pose a danger to themselves, other pilots in the air, and those on the ground.
"Pilot incapacitation is very rare," said Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification, "not only because the FAA has rigorous medical standards, but also because diligent pilots ground themselves if they feel that they cannot safely act as pilot in command."
According to statistics from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, medical incapacitation accounted for .25 percent of general aviation accidents and 1.03 percent of fatal GA accidents from 1995 to 2004.
"AOPA offers many resources to help pilots understand the FAA's medical requirements, including issues associated with disqualifying conditions," said Crump.
AOPA medical certification experts are available weekdays to help members successfully through the medical process. Simply call 800/872-2672 or e-mail email@example.com. AOPA's interactive TurboMedical online form is an important tool available for pilots to comply with the FAA's safety medical standards.
"Nevertheless, there is no excuse for pilots who falsify their medical applications," Boyer said.
March 27, 2007
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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