November 11, 2009
The federal air surgeon has determined that aviation medical examiners (AMEs) may now accept printouts from AOPA's TurboMedical ®, the first-of-its-kind online medical assistant, as long as the printout is signed in the presence of the AME or AME's staff. Until now, AOPA members who use TurboMedical have had to transcribe the information from their printouts to FAA Form 8500-8.
"This is a tremendous benefit and advantage for our members," said AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump. "Since we created TurboMedical in 2001, more than 75,000 members have used it to prepare for their aviation medical checkups.
"We made some minor changes to our printout, allowing FAA aeromedical officials to accept the printout when it's attached to a Form 8500-8," continued Crump. "This enhancement should really speed up a pilot's visit to his AME and reduce the number of errors caused by faulty transcription."
AOPA created TurboMedical nearly six years ago to simplify the process of applying for an FAA medical certificate. The online member benefit walks pilots through the process, asking questions about their health and helping to identify topics they should discuss with their AMEs.
Since that time, AOPA has pressed the FAA to accept direct electronic submission of TurboMedical information, rather than requiring members to print out and transcribe their results.
The FAA has been developing its own online medical system, known as FAAMedXPress, for several years. After resolving numerous legal and privacy issues, the FAA hopes to launch the site, which will permit pilots to submit information electronically, sometime this spring.
"Once the FAA's system is activated, AOPA intends to renew its push to have TurboMedical information accepted online," said Crump. "Until that happens, though, the new change should make a trip to the doctor's office a lot easier for AOPA members."
With more than 410,000 members, representing more than two-thirds of all pilots in the United States, AOPA is the largest, most influential aviation association in the world. AOPA has achieved its prominent position through effective advocacy, enlightened leadership, technical competence, and hard work. Providing member services that range from representation at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, advice, and other assistance, AOPA has built a service organization that far exceeds any other in the aviation community.
Editors: AOPA provides two important resources for covering general aviation news - an online newsroom and a television studio and uplink. Contact us for more information.
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