The value of experience

October 7, 2013

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Gary Crump

Gary Crump

  • Director, AOPA Medical Certification Services 
  • 25 years assisting AOPA members 
  • Former operating room technician and Emergency Medical Technician 
  • Pilot since 1973

Many of you may not be aware that one of the many benefits of AOPA membership is unique to the aviation association world. AOPA is the only general aviation organization with a full-time staff of medical certification specialists in the Pilot Information Center whose primary role is to assist members with medical certification challenges.

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The Pilot Information Center aviation technical staff can answer many of the medical questions that members call in with. For the more difficult and complicated ones, of which there are many, our medical certification specialists do an outstanding job of responding to more than 20,000 phone calls and emails each year. In addition, we review about 1,600-plus Pilot Protection Services members’ medical records each year to determine that the records contain what the FAA requires, and that the information is favorable for the issuance of a medical certificate.

Our medical certification staff is made up of five ladies who have a combined 35-plus years of experience in dealing with the FAA. That kind of longevity and continuity allows us to interact favorably with our FAA counterparts in Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., and the nine FAA regional medical offices.

Jo Ann Wilson is a senior medical certification specialist and has worked in the Pilot Information Center as a medical certification specialist for 20 years. Marianne Hays, a medical certification specialist, joined us in 2007, and Regina Osburn, our medical certification technical assistant, has been with us for a couple of years. Jacquie Brown, also a senior medical certification specialist, has been with us since 2004.

All of these ladies bring with them many years of ancillary health care experience from their previous careers, and their expertise in understanding the federal regulatory certification process is, well, priceless when your medical is at stake. That kind of knowledge really adds value to your AOPA membership, and to your Pilot Protection Services participation as well.

Gary Crump, AOPA's director of medical certification, is a former operating room technician and emergency medical technician who has been assisting AOPA members for more than 25 years. He's also a medical expert for AOPA's Pilot Protection Services and has been flying since 1973.

Gary Crump