February 13, 2013
AOPA ePublishing staff
As the FAA reviews a petition from AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association that would ease the burden of the third class medical for many pilots, the associations are using every opportunity to bring up the issue in their interactions with the FAA.
The FAA has no required timeline to respond to the petition, which would give pilots who fly recreationally an option to participate in a recurrent online education program in lieu of a medical certificate. The associations filed the request in March 2012. In the ensuing months the FAA received more than 16,000 comments, the overwhelming majority voicing support for the exemption.
The exemption would apply to aircraft in which pilots often have high time and experience—single-engine aircraft with fixed gear and 180 horsepower or less—and would limit participation to day VFR operations. By accepting the proposal, the agency would be applying a more appropriate level of aeromedical certification for this type of flying.
Find out details of the request online.
Advocacy and Legislation,
Pilot Health and Medical
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry fewer than five passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
FAA personnel reallocations, terminated government contracts in an effort to save costs, glitches with progress on the Digital Imaging Workflow System, and the government shutdown have compounded to produce a larger-than-usual backlog of special issuance medicals for tens of thousands of pilots.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.