Lapsed medical problem eased by AOPA
When Lance Anderson of Waterville, Maine, developed some fears over whether he could pass his FAA medical, he let his medical lapse. He came up with a solution, at least a temporary one. He started flying light sport airplanes, specifically an X-Air, an 85-horsepower aircraft which he describes as “a good little airplane.” He was happy flying the X-Air, flying low and slow around his home base early in the morning.
But then, he became a grandfather for the first time. His daughter Lisa presented him with his first grandchild, Nicholas Giovanni Constanzo, and he started thinking how nice it would be to jump in an airplane to go visit them in their home outside of Boston. That’s when he started thinking in earnest about getting his medical back.
He had joined AOPA’s Medical Services Program previously, but had not used any of its services. Motivated by his desire to be able to fly to visit his grandson, and later take him flying, he gathered up his courage and called AOPA about his medical.
“My expectations were not high,” he says. “I was expecting one of those automated operators where you press 2 for this and press 3 for that.” Instead, a human being answered the phone. That person was AOPA’s Jacquie Brown. Lance explained his situation and Jacquie told him that she wanted to check with the FAA, but she didn’t think he had anything to worry about.
Sure enough, the next day, Jacquie called him back, told him she had discussed his situation with the FAA and told him to go get the medical exam done. Lance says, “I did and I passed, and to say she took a load off my mind is an understatement. She knew what was what backward and forward. I will never forget her or AOPA.”
More than the good news about his medical was Jacquie’s kindness and courtesy. Lance says, “I wasn’t talking to a computer or a bureaucrat. I felt as if I were talking to a real person who cared about me. She is a super-nice woman, and I think she thoroughly enjoys her job. She has a lot of compassion.” Having carried the burden of worrying about his medical for so long, Lance says, “It’s hard to describe how much what she did meant to me. I now have a valid medical, and had been told all these horror stories of what would happen if I didn’t pass the exam. I am indebted to her. I even sent her a photo of my grandson.”
Now Lance is in the market to buy a Cessna 172 for the 40-minute flight to his daughter’s home. He says he’s a firm believer in AOPA and the services the association provides. In short he says, “I know Jacquie was just doing her job, but I think of her now as a friend.”
To learn more on how the AOPA Medical Services Program can keep you keep you healthy and flying, go online or call 1-800/872-2672.
July 26, 2010