AOPA, EAA medical staff meet to keep pilots flying

August 6, 2009

If two is better than one, then having two aviation groups working to help you get your medical certificate is a good thing. That was the intent behind a meeting between AOPA’s Board of Aviation Medical Advisors, EAA’s Aeromedical Advisory Council, and each association’s medical staff last week during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.

The meeting, a first in many years, came shortly after the two general aviation organizations signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on advocacy issues for their members. Aviation medical examiners and the association’s dedicated medical teams discussed a broad range of medical certification topics that affect pilots, including the success of the FAA’s AME-Assisted Special Issuance (AASI) program. The program allows AMEs to reissue medical certificates to pilots who require special-issuance medicals and has reduced the number of cases that require review by the FAA’s Aerospace Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City, Okla. This frees up the FAA’s medical staff to focus on more complex medical appeals cases.

“The FAA’s aeromedical certification process works most efficiently when pilots and their AMEs have a thorough knowledge of what medical records the agency needs in order to make a timely certification decision,” said Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification, who attended the meeting. “Because of that, we agreed to work together to better reach out to pilots with information about the medical certification process.”

Both organizations have medical certification specialists who work with members experiencing medical certificate challenges.