Opinions on the FAA medical certification process.

naunga

New Member
So I've read a lot of posts here and on other boards regarding the FAA medical. I've also had first hand experience with the process of having a medical deferred.

Some people say don't tell the FAA anything, so people say be honest with them, and still other people say tell the FAA only certain things.

As of late the AOPA has asked the FAA to accept a divers license as a medical for recreational, private, and student pilots.

This all has lead me to consider doing some research (actual academic research into this issue). As I see it there are a couple of things I'm interested in knowing.

1. As a pilot do you think that the FAA 3rd class medical is even necessary?

2. For you pro pilots: have you ever kept medical information from the FAA?

3. For the pros: do you personally know of any professional pilot who has kept medical information from the FAA?

4. For anyone who has kept info from the FAA: If the process of getting a medical certificate were much faster and the regulations were much more specific as to what may be disqualifying, would you be more willing to share your medical information with the FAA?

These are just some preliminary questions to see what the general feeling is. Obviously once I decide to start the research things will become much more formal.

If you don't feel comfortable answering these in a public forum, please PM me with your answers. Rest assured that I'm not going to share any names (even screen names) with the FAA.

Cheers.

Naunga
 

naunga

New Member
Well, I think that some actually will. Seeing as some of the people on this board have vocally stated: "Don't tell the FAA anything", which most people would see as the poster saying that they don't tell the FAA anything, I don't see why they would have a problem actually answering the questions, and if not answering the questions, at least give their opinion on the process.

If people want the process changed and improved then these questions need to be answered. The problem with the AOPA's petition is that all they had were statistics. They didn't have any pilots saying they wanted this (anonymous or otherwise).

If people don't respond in any way, I'll just assume that people like the medical certification process the way it is, and I'll reconsider starting any sort of effort to start a dialog within the FAA.

As I said before names etc. are not going to be shared with the FAA, and people are more than welcome to PM their opinions to me. As there are those here who haven't had a problem in the past telling the world to keep info from the FAA, I fail to see why they wouldn't answer a few specific questions.

Also if I do decide to do the research needed, the questions etc. will be much more indepth and will NOT be posted here.

Cheers.

Naunga
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
1. As a pilot do you think that the FAA 3rd class medical is even necessary?

[/ QUOTE ]

Necessary? No. Required by regulation? Yes.

[ QUOTE ]
2. For you pro pilots: have you ever kept medical information from the FAA?

[/ QUOTE ]

My time in a Turkish prison!


[ QUOTE ]
3. For the pros: do you personally know of any professional pilot who has kept medical information from the FAA?

[/ QUOTE ]

Not like any would admit it!

[ QUOTE ]
4. For anyone who has kept info from the FAA: If the process of getting a medical certificate were much faster and the regulations were much more specific as to what may be disqualifying, would you be more willing to share your medical information with the FAA?

[/ QUOTE ]

Remember, anything you put on your medical sits on microfiche in Oklahoma City for years and years. The best method if you have a potentially disqualifying medical condition is to slow down, consult professionals and resolve it.

Else if the FAA finds out something that you've been knowingly withholding, they can (and probably will) revoke your medical certificate if it's severe enough. And then you face the embarassing task of reporting on subsequent medical applications and job applications that you've had your medical revoked/suspended.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Couldn't they violate you under 61.59 if they found out that you left something off your medical cert. form?
 

naunga

New Member
See I knew someone would answer.

So let me ask this:

Yes the medicals are required by regulations. Would you support a rule change removing the 3rd class medical requirement from the regs? How about 2nd class?

And just so you know, I don't want to know about your time in a Turkish prision either.


Okay, so yes we all know that everything sits in a file folder in OKC, but should that effect you forever? If I've had a bout of depression when I was 16 and now I'm 26 applying for a medical. No meds and a clean bill of health from my personal psychiatrist etc. why should I have to jump through a mountain of hoops just because of something that happened 10 years prior. The same is true for other things. Say I'm 30 and was 240 lbs when I was in my 20's. Because of that I had a heart attack. Again completely rehabed I'm at my ideal weight, didn't need any heart surgery etc. my personal doc says I'm good to go, but when I apply to the FAA I have to report it, and then it's off to the cardiologist.

Why not allow personal physicans to be more involved. I mean a quick call from my AME to my personal doc could avoid a lot of work on the part of the FAA...if the regs allowed it.

Maybe there needs to be a time limit on things. So instead of reporting everything that you've ever had, you would only be required to report things within the last 10 years.

Again, right now I'm just trying to get a feel for what people think about the regs as they stand.

I mean come on. As much discussion has been going on about the war etc. are not everyone here can think that the FAA regs are perfect. Can they?

Cheers and thanks for the response.

Naunga
 

naunga

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Couldn't they violate you under 61.59 if they found out that you left something off your medical cert. form?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, and the problem is as was pointed out ,by Eagle I believe, your medical records are confidential (although the new Patriot Act(s) could allow the TSA to pull to determine if you're a security risk...I said could). So if you want to keep something from the FAA you can. The FAA just assumes that pilots are being truthful.

I think that someone (perhaps Eagle again) said that the medical was just a formality, count all your fingers and toes etc. So if it's just a formality, why not just dispense with it?

So if a pilot didn't want the FAA to know that he was talking anti-depressants then he wouldn't because it would put his medical and possibly his livihood in jeopardy. It's completely understandable then why a pilot wouldn't want anyone at the FAA to know what was up with him. On the other hand perhaps a pilot is having problems with depression and needs treatment, but won't go get it because he would have to report it to the FAA and ground himself.

So at that point who is the safer pilot? The guy on the meds or the guy who's flying from New York to L.A. and can't find a reason to go on? Maybe neither of them are safe, but until the FAA eases up on things neither of them are going to tell the FAA.

Personally I think that the FAA Medical Branch is under-staffed. I also think that pilots would feel better about the FAA Medical if the pilots were more involved with the process. Instead of just seeing an AME who sends your app to a blackhole in Oklahoma and then you receive a letter asking from the blackhole asking for more stuff (assuming a deferrment, but that's really when the problems occurr). The AME could work with pilot's personal docs instead of having this sort of advisarial relationship (i.e. the personal doc really knows the health of the pilot, and all the AME gets is the 'FAA Approved' version).

It's a complex issue, and I certainly don't expect I'd be able to change it on my own, but I might be able to gather some good information to help others like the EAA or AOPA with their case.

Thanks.

Naunga
 

secretapproach

New Member
Yes, the FAA medicals seem like just a formality - count fingers and toes, etc. (although why would a missing toe disqualify someone?). But if anything I bet it'll get more restrictive. That's just a hunch because the FAA 1st class medical is easier, quicker and cheaper to get than the German 3rd class, for example. And someone posted something on here I think from India saying he had to go through a battery of tests over several days to get his Indian medical. So aside from people with histories of health problems it seems like US pilots have it relatively easy.

Am I wrong?
 
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