Aviation Medical Examiner

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Flying, and buying

Advocacy | Apr 12, 2012

Larry Stencel would love celebrate his 40-plus years as a pilot by buying himself a brand new general aviation airplane - but he won't do it on the two-year plan.

Fly Well

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

We watch David Letterman's Late Show and laugh at his top-10 list. Consider "stupid things pilots do to sabotage their medical." So, like Letterman, let's count backwards from the number 10.

Cleared for takeoff after joint replacement surgery

Article | Feb 07, 2012

Joint replacement surgery is commonplace now, with total knee and hip replacements being among the most frequently performed procedures. Actually, there isn’t a lot required by the FAA when you report the surgery on your next medical application.

Deaf pilot spreads the word: You can fly

Article | Jan 25, 2012

Greg Lawrence's aviation career, logging 3,000 hours over the course of nearly a half century, would be relatively unremarkable by general aviation standards, but for one thing.

MedXPress is mandatory

Article | Jan 10, 2012

Effective Oct. 1, all pilots are required to use the online medical application MedXPress to complete the FAA airman medical prior to visiting an aviation medical examiner (AME).

Fly Well

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

"N-RUDEF, for the third time, descend and maintain three thousand." Sometimes there's too much chatter; sometimes traversing the wild blue one simply misses a call. Sometimes it's something else. I often harp about protecting your health first and dealing with your flying privileges later, but when failure to hear the harp is concerned, the two are intimately entwined. Without hearing well you will not be flying well--if at all--representing a threat to yourself and others. According to the National Institutes of Health, about one-third of folks over age 65 have some hearing loss, rising to 50 percent at 75--after heart disease and arthritis, the most common physical affliction. Given the average pilot is well over age 50, I should not have to shout to get your attention. Or maybe I do.

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

An FAA-designated pilot examiner once told me about the most anxious private pilot candidate he ever experienced on a checkride. Aside from sweating and mumbling during the oral exam (the applicant, not the examiner), the ultimate demonstration of in-flight nerves began when the examiner requested a steep turn.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you're making a judgment call. Are you fit to drive? Have you taken any medications that could impair your performance? Do you have a medical condition that would make you unsafe? Are you too tired to drive?

Affair of the heart

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

My dog Sophie helped save my medical certificate, if not my life. It wasn’t as dramatic as her running home barking out a message that I had fallen down a well.

Answers for Pilots: Arthritis

Article | Jun 01, 2011

For many pilots, as they experience an increase in one kind of mobility (traveling and wide open schedules), they also deal with a decrease of another kind of mobility (flexible knees, hips, and shoulders). Arthritis affects nearly one in five adults, according to the Arthritis Foundation, and more than half of them have not yet reached age 65.

Fly Well

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

"The highest level attainable" is one definition of the word "summit." For pilots, Summit is the pinnacle of aviation information, a concise and collegial meeting, to be held in Hartford, Connecticut, September 22 through 24. In Mark Twain's 1899 classic story, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," character Hank Morgan suffers a blow to the head and is inexplicably transported to medieval England, the land of my birth, to Camelot. In September, hopefully without brain trauma, the reverse will happen and this native Brit will come to the new Camelot, AOPA Summit, to participate in awe-inspiring events.

Answers for Pilots: Blood pressure

Article | Feb 01, 2011

In the United States, 74 million people - one out of three adults - have been diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure). The causes are almost as diverse as the individuals affected: age, race, weight, and lifestyle top the list. Pilots, unfortunately, don't escape the statistics, and an airman with uncontrolled hypertension may have a problem at the next FAA medical exam. Hypertension, however, doesn't have to ground you. Learn what you need to do to keep flying in this month's "Answers for Pilots."

Fly Well

Article | Dec 01, 2010

In 1949 Jerry Lewis, Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh made a short movie titled How to Smuggle a Hernia Across the Border. Why? I have no idea.

Answers for Pilots: Back to school

Article | Sep 01, 2010

As the calendar rolls into September, colleges across the country commence fall classes and students turn their attention to their studies. For pilots, basic and advanced flight training, and proficiency flights traverse the academic calendar, but if you are looking for career opportunities in the aviation industry, there are a variety of opportunities to add an aviation degree to your list of qualifications.

Fly Well

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

"Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you," sang The Hollies in 1972. Nice sentiments, but wrong. You need air - not sometimes, all of the time. Many pilots scuba dive, always descending with a carefully checked tank, but many ascend without oxygen. Federal Aviation Regulation 91.211 states that a pilot of an unpressurized aircraft shall not operate from 12,500 to 14,000 feet for longer than 30 minutes without supplemental oxygen. Above 14,000 feet, oxygen has to be used by the crew, and above 15,000 feet it must be provided for everyone aboard.

Fly Well

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2010

"Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you," sang The Hollies in 1972. Nice sentiments, but wrong. You need air - not sometimes, all of the time. Many pilots scuba dive, always descending with a carefully checked tank, but many ascend without oxygen. Federal Aviation Regulation 91.211 states that a pilot of an unpressurized aircraft shall not operate from 12,500 to 14,000 feet for longer than 30 minutes without supplemental oxygen. Above 14,000 feet, oxygen has to be used by the crew, and above 15,000 feet it must be provided for everyone aboard.

Answers for Pilots: Spring Allergies

Article | Apr 01, 2010

Trees budding, temperatures rising, sunshine stretching into the evening - it must be Spring! It's great being on this side of the summer solstice, enjoying the opportunity to be outdoors, again, especially when it involves doing some flying after work.

Fly Well

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2010

“The heart is the only broken instrument that works,” said T.E. Kalem, former writer for Time magazine, and on Valentine’s Day, surrounded by images of love, we tend to focus on the emotional side of our biological fuel pump.

Fly Well

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2009

You are one in a million. Well, figuratively speaking, anyway.

Dr COPTR

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2009

Residents of Tangier Island don’t need a written schedule to know when the doctor is available. They know it by heart.

The doctor is in

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2009

The shrill sound of the pager pierced the quiet moment of early morning solitude in the office as I attempted to catch up on the necessities of being a flight physician. Reviewing the list of return phone calls to make, studying the upcoming patient visits, and signing electronic medical notes was being interrupted again.

President's Position: The airman medical

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2008

AOPA President Phil Boyer became a private pilot in 1967. What’s the most under-utilized resource AOPA offers its members? Without a doubt, it’s our medical certification services.

Medically Speaking: Never Give Up

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

You sit there in the examining room, blinking your eyes in disbelief at what the doctor in the white coat just told you—even as the words reverberate in your ears. “I’m afraid that you do not meet the requirements for a third class medical certificate.” For many pilots, the aviation medical examiner’s words come as a surprise.

America's Airports: In the Conch Republic

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2008

The week leading up to Christmas is a quiet time in Key West, Florida. “The calm before the storm,” Joshua Pavia calls it.