In reply to Bob Mackey’s letter and the others which claimed I missed the point in my initial letter (Could medical kill Sport Pilot, Dec. 2, 2005, issue): You apparently didn’t read the original article (Pilots still frustrated by Sport Pilot medical, Oct. 21, 2005, issue). The intent of the original article was clearly to steer pilots and instruct them how to subvert the requirements of the Light Sport Rule and specifically its medical requirement with respect to not allowing your medical to be (rightfully) denied and the self certification requirement. The article clearly indicated that one should not talk to an AME if they became aware of a condition which they knew or suspected of being a disqualifier. It should be clear to anyone with a 6th grade or higher education that is not the intent of the self certification rule. If self certification for Light Sport is viewed in this manner, how does self certification for private, commercial and Airline Transport Pilots differ? The wording of self certification is exactly the same for each.
If I asserted anything in my previous letters to the editor, it was that the vast majority of the calls we’ve received about light sport over the past several years have started with pilots telling us that they have a medical condition which they know would keep them from getting a medical, so they intend to fly under light sport. You’re saying that the calls you and your office get have not been starting that way. Apparently, the article has worked, and well. Pilots must have realized that perhaps they shouldn’t even talk about these things to their insurance agent. In my opinion, that attitude espoused by the original article and which you claim is now prevalent will ultimately hurt the pricing and availability of insurance for light sport aircraft and pilots. It may take a year or two, but in my opinion, the insurance companies will not be happy when they discover medical issues which were swept under the proverbial carpet.
In response to Larry Steensry (Missing the point, Feb. 3 issue): I think you missed my point. Of course, the sport pilot medical requirement is less stringent (you don’t have to see an AME). However, it still carries with it the same self certification which all pilot medicals require. Neither I nor you (I’m assuming you’re not an AME) are qualified to decide whether or not a condition is allowable or not, that is why there is a list of conditions.
To all: I am not against light sport. I am very much in support of it. I do not want to see a handful of pilots wreck the availability of insurance coverage for those planes and pilots who might want it.
John “JT” Helms
NationAir Insurance Agencies, Inc.
Editor’s Note: In no way did the original article advocate circumventing FAA rules for self-certification. The intent of the article was to report the continuing frustration of pilots over the Sport Pilot medical.