Medical Certificate

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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 application = FAA investigation

Article | Sep 11, 2012

Did you know that when you apply for an FAA airman certificate or rating or submit an application for a medical certificate that the FAA is "investigating" your qualifications?

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.

Who's the Boss: Pilot in Command

Article | Sep 07, 2012

If there is a violation of the FARs during a flight, the pilot in command is likely the one in trouble with FAA. It may be good to be the king, but it comes at a price, so you better know who is the king!

AOPA Action

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

Responding to member concerns, AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association will request an exemption that would allow many pilots flying the most common single-engine aircraft recreationally to use a driver's license and self-certification medical standard.

Fly Well: Practice good strokes

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

Stroking a cat soothes him and you, stroking egos beguiles, and doing the breast stroke in the pool exhilarates. And that’s about it for good strokes.

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.

Special issuance authorization update

Article | Aug 31, 2012

For pilots who have a special issuance authorization, if you missed the announcement this summer, you are no longer required to carry your authorization letter with you when you fly.

Medical petition comment period closing

Advocacy | Aug 29, 2012

An extended comment period closes Sept. 14, with thousands of pilots having already made the case for easing the burden of a third-class medical. But AOPA is urging those who haven't yet expressed their support to submit comments soon.

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.

The FAA wants to talk to me . . . now what?

Article | Aug 17, 2012

What should a pilot do when the FAA "wants to talk?" The request for dialogue might come in a letter or a telephone call from an FAA inspector. It could be a controller's question to you over the radio or a request that you telephone the tower after landing. Whenever the FAA wants to initiate a conversation to explain some incident involving your flying activities, you need to be careful as there can be a lot at risk.

Rights notice to be issued with airman, medical apps

Advocacy | Aug 16, 2012

Applicants for airman certificates or ratings, inspection authorizations, and airman medical certificates will soon find a new item in the paperwork for their practical test or medical examination: a Pilot's Bill of Rights Written Notification of Investigation from the FAA.

Broad support for medical petition at AirVenture

Advocacy | Aug 02, 2012

Many pilots and aviation supporters who attended EAA AirVenture took the opportunity to submit comments to the FAA on the AOPA/Experimental Aircraft Association medical petition, which would allow pilots to fly recreationally under certain conditions by completing an online medical awareness course, performing self-assessment before every flight, and using their driver's license in lieu of a third class medical.

Drugs - the legal kind

Article | Jul 31, 2012

Pilots are often asking why a given drug their regular doctor has prescribed does not appear on our list of “approved” medications. Well, here is the truth of the matter: The FAA does not give its approval of an FDA-approved medication until the drug has been available for one year. This is not an arbitrary and deliberately obstructive move on their part; the FAA wants to see how the medication reacts on the body when a large population is exposed, over and above what was established in the clinical trials mandated by that other federal giant, the Food and Drug Administration.

AOPA, EAA brief pilots on medical exemption request

Advocacy | Jul 26, 2012

AOPA and Experimental Aircraft Association staff outlined their efforts to help pilots bypass the "treadmill of bureaucracy" that can accompany the medical certification process in a forum at EAA AirVenture July 24.

NATA names veteran pilot, aviation manager as new CEO

Advocacy | Jul 24, 2012

Tom Hendricks has been named the new CEO of the National Air Transportation Association, an organization of more than 2,000 aviation companies. Hendricks previously served as a senior vice president at Airlines for America, and also as a fighter pilot and instructor in both the Navy and Air Force. AOPA President Craig Fuller welcomed NATA's choice.

House backs Pilot’s Bill of Rights

Advocacy | Jul 23, 2012

Legislation that would guarantee transparency of FAA investigations involving airmen certificate decisions is now headed to the White House, following House approval of the Pilot's Bill of Rights on July 23. The push for this final affirmative vote was made on the opening day of the world's largest airshow, where it was introduced in 2011.

New chance to comment on medical petition

Advocacy | Jul 09, 2012

More than 14,000 pilots made their voices heard under a tight deadline to comment on a joint petition by AOPA and EAA to allow pilots to fly under certain circumstances without being required to hold a third-class medical certificate. The FAA has now granted more time for pilots to speak up, and explain to regulators how medical self-certification informed by knowledge gained from an online course will enhance operational safety while eliminating a significant burden for many pilots.

More time for medical exemption comments sought

Advocacy | Jul 05, 2012

AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association are seeking a 70-day extension to the comment period for the medical exemption request that would allow pilots to complete an online medical awareness course, do a self-assessment before every flight, and use their driver's license in lieu of a third class medical to fly some of the most popular aircraft on the market during day-VFR conditions. The comment period for the medical exemption petition officially ended July 2, and the FAA has not yet granted the request for addition time to comment.

AOPA Action

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2012

Responding to member concerns, AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association will request an exemption that would allow many pilots flying the most common single-engine aircraft recreationally to use a driver's license and self-certification medical standard.

Pilot's Bill of Rights passes Senate

Advocacy | Jun 29, 2012

The Senate on June 29 unanimously passed Sen. James Inhofe's (R-Okla.) Pilot's Bill of Rights that will give aviators more protection when faced with possible FAA enforcement actions, among other assurances.

July 2 deadline looms for driver's license medical effort

Advocacy | Jun 28, 2012

The opportunity to fly venerable aircraft like the Cessna 172 or Piper Archer during day-VFR conditions with one passenger by completing a medical awareness online course and carrying a driver's license in lieu of a medical certificate is motivating thousands of pilots to take action and expand their flying years.

Hot air balloons, the RAF, and D.I.A.B.E.T.E.S

Article | Jun 28, 2012

What do Beaumont, Miss., hot air balloons, the Royal Air Force, and diabetes have in common? Stick around and find out, all will become crystal clear! Diabetes is on the march with millions afflicted, and a couple of pilots are taking the lead in tackling this affliction.

What if I don't report everything on my medical application?

Article | Jun 27, 2012

Question: Since my last medical in 2004, I have had many doctor visits, none involving major medical conditions. My big question: Do I need to list every medical visit since 2004, or is there a 'statute of limitations'? What if I forget one and fail to list it?

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.

Comments make the case for medical petition

Advocacy | Jun 20, 2012

Most pilots know someone who stopped flying out of worry about the time and expense of pursuing an application for a third class medical certificate, or they know someone who is thinking about "letting it go." In the past, all you could do on hearing such a tale was to commiserate. Not anymore. Aviators have the FAA's attention about a way to reinvigorate GA.

Can I fly with a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator?

Article | Jun 15, 2012

These devices are surgically implanted in one's heart after the person suffers some symptom that makes him or her prone to passing out or suffering some mental status changes when the person's heart rhythm is such that the electrical impulse is not proper enough for blood to reach the brain. As of the end of 2010, there were 57 first-class, 59 second-class, and 322 third-class airmen who had been granted medical certification with a permanent pacemaker.

Air Race Classic teams gathering in Arizona

Article | Jun 14, 2012

Teams of women pilots flying 55 aircraft are headed to Arizona to take part in the 2012 Air Race Classic June 19 to 22, continuing a tradition of women's air racing that began in 1929.

Time running out to support medical exemption

Advocacy | Jun 12, 2012

If using medical self-certification and a driver's license to fly single-engine aircraft with 180-horsepower or less, four seats or fewer, and fixed landing gear for recreational purposes is up your alley, now is your chance to make that scenario a reality. With only 20 days to support the AOPA/EAA medical exemption request, submit comments supporting it now.

AOPA helps Congress battle regulatory 'tsunami'

Advocacy | Jun 11, 2012

AOPA, responding to a congressional invitation to identify regulatory drag on jobs and the economy, named six existing or proposed regulations threatening the well-being of the $150 billion general aviation industry.

Silberman, Sackier bring wit, wisdom to health and wellness

Article | Jun 06, 2012

My Medical team and I are thrilled to be a part of the new Pilot Protection Services Program. This new, unique program provides an abundance of expert advice about proactive ways to take control of your health and protect your medical certificate.

AOPA Action

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

Responding to member concerns, AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association will request an exemption that would allow many pilots flying the most common single-engine aircraft recreationally to use a driver's license and self-certification medical standard.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

The number of FAA enforcement cases that come across my desk remind me that Section 61.15(e) of the Federal Aviation Regulations continues to generate an unusually large number of enforcement actions against pilots. This is the regulation that requires pilots to report certain automobile driving infractions to the FAA.

Member Guide

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

About 8 percent of men and one-half percent of women in the United States have problems with color perception. Whether caused by genetics, injury, or disease, color blindness is challenging to live with and presents special hurdles for pilots. The medical standards in FAR Part 67 specify that applicants for all classes of medical certification must have "the ability to perceive those colors necessary for the safe performance of airman duties." Every visit to an AME for renewal of an airman medical certificate involves taking a color vision test. Technically known as a pseudoisochromatic color plate test, it's the one with the pages of different-colored dots.

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.