Third-class medical reform caught in government maze

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It started two-and-a-half years ago and there is still no clear end in sight. It’s another example of apparent government slow — or no — action.

In March 2012, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) petitioned the FAA to reduce the requirements for a third-class medical certificate and permit certain types of flying with a valid automobile drivers’ license, much like the Sport Pilot license.

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Old Coot pilots come up with ideas for a new medical

JohnChristiansen
Guest Editorial By John Christensen

I recently attended my 50th high school reunion. I had a wonderful time reminiscing with classmates. As one would expect, the rather large crowd quickly organized itself into small groups, according to interests, past and present. I found myself embedded in a pod of old coot pilots.

After the hangar stories, lies and exaggerations were dutifully processed, the conversation topic switched to the Class 3 medical and our collective assortment of various health issues keeping us grounded. Many colleagues are aircraft owners and pilots. Tickets ran the gambit from ATP to private. All had one common interest: To somehow legally get back into the air, as seniors.

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No more paper medical applications

Starting Oct. 1, the FAA will stop using the paper version of FAA Form 8500-8, the form used to apply for FAA medical certification. That means pilots must use the FAA’s online MedXpress to apply for medical certification, according to Kathy Dondzila in a post on AOPA.org. She takes us through her first experience using MedXpress, offering some tips to make the process a bit easier.

Time running out to support medical exemption

The FAA opened its official comment period June 12 for an exemption to third class medical certificate regulations filed jointly by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Supporters have only 20 days — until July 2 — to submit comments, according to a report at AOPA.org. “We urge those who have not commented on our exemption request to do so within the 20-day timeframe, because this request opens an important discussion about creating more possibilities to participate in aviation while maintaining a high safety standard,” said Robert Hackman, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. “Now is the time to make your voice heard on this important initiative.”

EAA, AOPA file 3rd Class Medical exemption

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) today jointly filed a request for an exemption with the FAA that, if granted, would give pilots who fly recreationally the option of getting a 3rd class medical or, instead, participating in a recurrent online education program that will teach them how to self-asses their fitness to fly.

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FAA denies petition to replace 3rd class medical

Bid may have been undone by passage of FAA bill, AOPA/EAA plan

A bid by David Wartofsky, the owner of Potomac Airfield, closest of the Maryland Three airports to downtown Washington D.C., to get the FAA to replace the FAA’s third class medical with a driver’s license for private-use aircraft under 6,000 pounds has been denied.

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