Aviation Medical Examiner

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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.

Cross-Country at Record-Setting Speed

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2007

My world record Put yourself in aviation history By Alton K. Marsh Bruce Bohannon, the guy who won 30 world records aboard his Exxon Flyin' Tiger, once told me he had seriously considered breaking my world speed record.

Answers for Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

Controlling your blood pressure Nearly one-third of the adult population in the United States has high blood pressure (properly called hypertension) according to the American Heart Association, and, amazingly, more than half of those afflicted are doing nothing to control it. For pilots, keeping blood pressure controlled is essential in order to qualify for medical certificates.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Into the Abyss

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

"Black hole" approaches describe runways that have no lights surrounding the airport and thus are susceptible to pilot misjudgment on height above the ground. They have been the destination for many an accident flight.

AOPA Project Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2007

Where everyone mentors each other His face probably looks familiar. Is it Dexter Reilly? Jack Burton? Wyatt Earp? Snake Plissken? Captain Ron? Yes, all of the above.

Member Guide

Article | Jan 01, 2007

Refine your radio communication knowledge at free seminar The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's latest safety seminar, Say It Right! Radio Communication in Today's Airspace, will increase your communication know-how with practical tips on communicating in today's airspace. You'll also get straightforward advice on common pitfalls for VFR and IFR operations, communicating in an emergency, and coping with challenges at both towered and nontowered airports.

Answers for Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2007

AOPA's TurboMedical can help The aviation medical certification process can be a foreign concept to most general aviation pilots. With a visit to the aviation medical examiner (AME) occurring only once every few years, it's no wonder pilots get trapped by the process.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2006

Since Phil Boyer became AOPA's president in 1991, membership has grown more than 25 percent, to 408,000 members. I began using AOPA as a resource many years ago, but it wasn't until I took the helm of the association in 1991 that I discovered the extent of knowledge and experience available to me and any member of the association.

- Oshkosh 2006 Other News

Article | Jul 27, 2006

AOPA Online -- Oshkosh 2006 Other News Extended-time medical certificates, GA-friendly FAA funding, administrator promises FAA Administrator Marion Blakey promised pilots longer-running medicals and a new FAA funding system that won't "stifle the GA community," during her annual speech at Oshkosh Wednesday. Blakey said the agency has started rulemaking to extend the duration of third class medicals for pilots under age 40 from three to five years.

Medically Speaking

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2006

Vertigo grounds a seasoned pilot, but he eventually settles back into the captain's seat Frank Kennedy, a 10,000-plus-hour flight instructor, Atlas Air cargo pilot, and former Marine A4 and AV-8 Harrier jock, had always been the consummate practitioner of unusual attitudes. Comfortable in any airborne orientation, he'd never had a problem figuring out how to put the blue side back in its place.

Guide to Member Services

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2006

Member lapel pins AOPA recognizes members who have been with the association and provided continuous support for general aviation for five, 10, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, and 60 years with distinctive lapel pins. (The five-, 25-, and 60-year pins are new this year.) These service pins are mailed each month as AOPA identifies members who have reached these membership milestones.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

AOPA President Phil Boyer is general aviation's spokesman in Washington. Earlier in the year this column discussed the pressure from the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and airlines to change the way our federal air traffic control (ATC) system is financed ("President's Position: FAA Funding," June Pilot).

Hangar Talk

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2005

When longtime pilot and author Richard Axelrod went to a warbird owners awards dinner, he was struck by the diversity of the people present. He decided to find out what, if anything, they had in common.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

Phil Boyer assumed the duties of president of AOPA in January 1991. In this job as president of your association, along with the emotional highs of winning on general aviation issues, there is plenty of frustration, as you might imagine.

Memorial services scheduled for Dr. Robert Poole

Article | Mar 01, 2005

Memorial services scheduled for Dr. Robert Poole GA has lost a dedicated physician and passionate aviator who advocated for thousands of pilots through his work in the Federal Air Surgeon's office.

Sport Pilot Lands

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2004

The Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft initiative means many things to many people. For nearly a decade the FAA and the general aviation community toiled away, trying to make the bricks fit into a complicated regulatory wall.

Having the Heart to Fly

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2004

Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2002, I began to notice that something wasn't quite right. I'd get a pain in my left arm that radiated into my chest whenever I'd begin to exercise.

My Retirement

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2004

Most people, having devoted their adult lives to a vocation, look forward to retirement. Seated in the captain's position of the Boeing 777, at the departure gate for London Heathrow International Airport, I had a multitude of thoughts.

Answers for Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2003

Online is the answer Steeling yourself to come face to face with the FAA's aircraft registration or bill of sale forms? Or resigned to muddling over which boxes to check on your medical form while you wait in the aviation medical examiner's office? Then it's time to visit AOPA Online, where the Aviation Services department has designed several interactive forms to guide members through the process — one that can approach the complexity of completing an income tax return. "This breaks each of these forms into smaller chunks, or sections.

Answers for Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2003

FAA policy for medication usage Did you know that if you are taking an antihistamine or decongestant for a cold, you should not fly for 12 hours after taking the last dose? That if you take Accutane for acne, you cannot fly at night? If you've taken Ambien for sleeplessness, you need to wait 48 hours before flying? Or if you have taken Maxalt or Zomig for your migraine headache, you need to wait 24 hours before flying? These and many other stipulations make up the FAA's guide to medication usage. AOPA's Medical Certification department has compiled an extensive database of more than 200 over-the-counter medications and their FAA approval status.


Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2002

Mark R. Twombly is a writer and editor who has been flying for 35 years.