The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has published three new reports that will help members reduce delays in receiving their medical certification. The reports are part of the extensive library of medical certification information available on the AOPA Web site.
"The most important point is that if you even think you may have a problem with your medical, contact AOPA long before your examination," said Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification. "Reporting anything new on your medical application without advance preparation can cause problems."
AOPA's "Medical Certification Tips to Know Before You Go" suggests choosing an aviation medical examiner who will be the pilot's advocate.
"In many cases, an activist AME can pick up the phone and get approval to issue a medical certificate on the spot, rather than deferring everything to FAA's Oklahoma City office," said Crump.
The report suggests that pilots should be familiar with the 8500-8 medical application form (available on the AOPA Web site) and have all necessary supporting medical documentation when they report for the examination. AOPA subject reports on specific medical conditions (also on the Web site) include checklists to confirm that the pilot has all the information that the FAA will require.
For pilots flying with a "special issuance authorization" medical certificate, "Status Reports: What Are They?" explains exactly what information the doctor needs to provide to the FAA so that the pilot can continue flying.
Another new report, "Special Issuance Authorization Letter of Interpretation," provides a "plain language" explanation of the FAA's standard authorization letter and what it really means to the pilot.
Crump noted that the FAA's Aeromedical Certification Division is still experiencing processing delays for special issuance medical certificates. However, AOPA's information and advice can reduce the frustration for pilots.
"The delays are due, in part, because the FAA is doing a good job," Crump said. "The federal air surgeon has been 'stretching the envelope' to allow more pilots to fly under a special issuance authorization."
The 365,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest pilot organization. Advocacy and information on medical certification are among AOPA's initiatives to reduce the regulatory burden and cost of flying for all general aviation pilots.