David Wartofsky, owner/operator of Potomac Airfield, closest of the Maryland 3 airports to downtown Washington D.C., who has filed petition to replace the FAA’s 3rd class medical with a driver’s license for private flying, passes along this recent comment to his petition from Dr. Donald Senter. You can read the full comment below, but we wanted to highlight Dr. Senter’s closing salvo: “If they are safe to drive in the horrible traffic to get to an airport, they are safe to fly a light aircraft.”
Here is his full comment:
“This comment is in support of David Wartofsky’s excellent petition. I am a practicing physician of 45 years, a pilot for 44 years with private and commercial ratings. I was the Director of Aeromedical Services and Chief Flight Surgeon for the USAF 4th Tac Fighter Wing from 1966 to 1968. For many years was a FAA Senior Flight Medical Examiner. Have done in the past 100’s to thousands of flight medical exams for both civilian and military purposes.
“For private flying, the bureaucratic hassle of flight physicals has always been an burden that is not needed. It is my opinion that it’s a self-serving bureaucracy more interested in prolonging its power and control over citizens and frequently discriminates against pilots and those who want to be pilots. They stay 10 to 20 years behind the current practice of medicine in updating their regulations. Changes in the rules are frequently only after NTSB mandates or lawsuits.
“I wrote a much more lengthy comment but the time out lost all of it, perhaps this is another Washington error.
“Pilots do their own medical certification every time they get in their car or in their plane. This is not like flying a U-2 or SR-71 where a medical exam precedes every flight. If they are safe to drive in the horrible traffic to get to an airport, they are safe to fly a light aircraft.”