Aviation Medical Examiner

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FAA drafts new sleep apnea guidelines

Advocacy | Apr 01, 2014

The FAA has drafted new guidelines for dealing with sleep apnea after AOPA and others objected to a sudden policy change announced last year.

Could John Silver get a third class medical certificate?

Members only | Jan 29, 2014

Should an airman have a condition that requires a modification to the aircraft--let's say the loss of a leg--the pilot will need to have the aircraft modified to FAA specifications and learn to fly that particular aircraft.

Letters: Mighty Seabird

Pilot Magazine | Jan 17, 2014

Barry Schiff’s story on the Grumman HU–16B Albatross and his reflections on “A Bygone Era” had readers flying down memory lane.

You need it and you need it now

Members only | Dec 27, 2013

A medical condition that brings the FAA machinery to bear down on you can be baffling. The best thing you can do is prepare.

Waypoints: Last day to fly

Pilot Magazine | Dec 18, 2013

Today there’s a pilot flying his Piper Super Cub low over a farm field, enjoying the view.

Collateral damage, part 2

Members only | Dec 09, 2013

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.

Too sweet to fly

Members only | Nov 11, 2013

Diabetes mellitus that is diet and exercise controlled does not require a special issuance, so your AME may issue a medical certificate without approval from the FAA. However, you will need some documentation for your AME at the time of your next FAA physical examination.

Some FAA online applications unavailable during weekend

Article | Sep 13, 2013

The FAA is making upgrades and enhancements that will affect the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) and MedXpress from 6 p.m. Central time Sept. 13 through 15.

Quiz Me: August 9, 2013

Article | Aug 09, 2013

After cutting a flight short because of progressive numbness in your limbs, you're told that the doctors could find nothing wrong. Are you legal to fly?

Top five dumb aviation medical examiner (AME) tricks

Article | Aug 06, 2013

Not all aviation medical examiners are created equal, and some do not act in the best interests of their pilots.

A grief-stricken father’s mission

Article | Jun 25, 2013

A Wyoming father whose daughter died in the Utah mountains after surviving a crash wants every pilot to prepare for the worst.

Wind Beneath Their Wings

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

The robust young pilot who stands with his father and their aircraft in this photo is not as he seems. Although he is an extremely healthy 18-year-old, Jim Rollison has a genetic heart defect and, without the attention of some doctors throughout his life, he might not be here.

Conditions AMEs can issue: Detailed requirements

Article | May 31, 2013

Your aviation medical examiner can issue a medical certificate in the office if you have certain conditions.

What is a CACI?

Article | Apr 22, 2013

The FAA physicians in Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C., amended the certification policy for a group of "low risk" medical conditions to eliminate the special issuance requirement.

New medical certification policy for heart valves, pacemakers

Article | Apr 12, 2013

Warren Silberman Former Manager, FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Expert in Aerospace/Preventive Medicine Pilot since 1986 PPS participants-only:Article archives >> New medical certification policy for heart valves, pacemakers In a prior article I discussed some of the recent FAA protocol changes for heart attacks (myocardial infarction) and coronary artery disease. In this article I shall discuss changes with heart valve replacement and pacemakers.

MedXPress to be unavailable March 14 to 17

Advocacy | Mar 13, 2013

The FAA online medical application, MedXPress, will be unavailable from 5 p.m. Eastern on March 14 through 8 p.m. Eastern on March 17 while work is done to convert the current server-based medical records system to a Web-based product.

The FAA sent a letter about my medical. Now what?

Article | Jan 28, 2013

Occasionally, a pilot who walked out of the aviation medical examiner's (AME's) office with a medical in hand will receive a letter from the FAA months later questioning the pilot's eligibility to hold a medical certificate.

Can I fly after a stroke?

Article | Jan 03, 2013

The three terms one hears when dealing with a “stroke” are cerebrovascular accident, stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA). In a TIA, a person has neurological symptoms lasting for several minutes up to several hours.

Answers for Pilots: Vision

Article | Jan 01, 2013

Like most aspects of our health, we take our vision for granted until something affects it. Pilots’ eyes, unfortunately, are not immune to the effects of aging. Cataracts and the ensuing surgery, and lens implants are often part of the golden years. And for all of us, even something as simple as getting new contact lenses could have an impact on airman medical certification if the lenses are tinted, bifocal, or multifocal. Find out how different vision issues impact your airman medical certification.

The ABCs of EKGs

Article | Dec 28, 2012

If you require an electrocardiogram for your aviation medical certificate, it is the AME’s responsibility to interpret the EKG and if it is abnormal to have you undergo certain testing and evaluations. Find out how to ensure the doctor does the job properly.

Diabetes mellitus on oral medications

Article | Oct 26, 2012

Diet-controlled diabetes mellitus is one of the five medical conditions that your aviation medical examiner may grant issuance if you come to your examination with the proper documentation.

Six tips to get your medical faster

Article | Oct 12, 2012

Based on our frequent interactions with the FAA's Aerospace Medical Certification Division, AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump shares six tips you can do to hasten the process of wresting your medical certificate from the FAA.

The Big C: Medical certification of prostate or breast cancer

Article | Oct 10, 2012

Dr. Warren Silberman, the former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification, offers insight into how the FAA views the particular treatments for prostate and breast cancer, and what you can expect when you present medical records to the agency.

Webinar: How to Pick a 'Good' AME

Article | Sep 12, 2012

Nothing is more critical to getting your medical than having a "good" Aviation Medical Examiner. It can make the difference between an in–office issuance with no hassle or a delayed issuance with you stuck on the ground. Dr. Warren Silberman, formerly the Manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification from 1997-2011, will share his insights into what makes a "good" AME.

FAA requires EKG for first-class airmen, certain conditions

Article | Sep 07, 2012

The main policy where electrocardiograms (EKGs) are required is in first-class airmen. An EKG is required when a first-class airman turns age 35 and then each year after one turns age 40.

What is 'reportable' medical history?

Article | Aug 31, 2012

Since we will soon be completing our medical applications online with the mandatory utilization of the FAA's MedXpress, I would like to spend some time on individual items on the medical history part of the application. We often get calls about just what needs to be reported or not.

Tips to survive life-or-death situations

Article | Aug 28, 2012

Learning how to manage risks, mitigate in-flight emergencies, prepare for an emergency landing, and exit the aircraft safely can mean the difference between life and death in emergency situations.

Flow control and gate holds: Managing kidney stones

Article | Aug 27, 2012

One of the consequences of inadequate regular hydration is an increased risk of forming kidney stones, and although there are many reasons why "renal calculi" form, one contributing factor is a lack of water in the body to dilute the mineral compounds that are by-products of the manufacture of urine. Especially in the hot, muggy summer months when we lose so much fluid content when we sweat, failure to maintain an adequate "inflow" of H2O further depletes our water reserves and, over time, a tiny grain of mineral gets a foothold and begins to form in the kidney.

Tragedy in Mexico

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

Humanitarian group suffers fatal accident

Australia offers new medical option for private flying

Advocacy | Jun 27, 2012

Pilots flying many aircraft privately can obtain their medical certificate from any general practitioner under a new system announced in Australia.

Should you refuse to take a breathalyzer?

Article | May 30, 2012

Don't believe the rumors: Pilots should not refuse a breathalyzer test if they are suspected of an alcohol- or drug-related offense while operating a motor vehicle.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2012

A recent decision of the National Transportation Safety Board came across my desk that assessed a $5,000 fine against a pilot for failing to surrender his medical certificate to the FAA. The case illustrates one of the few circumstances in which the FAA can make such a demand without affording the pilot all of the legal protections I have written about in this column over the years.

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.