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Old Oct 29, 2010, 07:54 PM
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Time To Ditch FAA Medicals?

Seen on the AVWeb site.....

Time To Ditch FAA Medicals?



Does it make sense that pilots need a third-class medical to fly even the smallest GA aircraft, while drivers can get a license to drive vehicles that weigh much more without a checkup? David Wartofsky doesn't think it makes sense at all, and he has petitioned the FAA to reconsider its rule. Wartofsky, the owner of Potomac Airfield, near Washington, D.C., is used to taking on the government bureaucracy and seems ready for a new challenge. He suggests the FARs should be changed to require all pilots to have a valid driver's license, but no medical requirement for piloting an aircraft less than 6,000 pounds max gross weight. "People are in more danger from passing vehicles on the road, than small aircraft passing overhead," says Wartofsky. He has posted his petition to the FAA online, and encourages supporters to submit comments to the FAA docket.



In his petition to the FAA, Wartofsky adds that a comparison of liability insurance premiums for small private aircraft versus automobiles "attests unemotionally and non-politically that the losses, the premiums charged for those losses, and therefore the actual risks, are comparable, if not favoring the small private aircraft." He adds that pilots know their own limitations well enough that they will "hang up their spurs" on their own. "They are not suicidal," he says. "Nor do they have any desire to endanger their passengers or anyone else." To read the full text of Wartofsky's petition, and add your own comments to the FAA, visit his web site.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 09:30 PM
ehx
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Northern Minnesota
Joined Oct 2001
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Medicals for manned aircraft are one thing ...

To bring the discussion back to UAVs and, in particular sUAS, what about the FAA's "April Fools" sUAS ARC document calling for a medical just to fly ~5 pound model aircraft within line-of-sight, below 400 feet, and not over people?

Of course, it was just a "perception" document and may have been an attempt by some in industry to try and keep a new market as profitable (and restricted to them) as possible, but it shows that the FAA can be totally out of touch with reality when it comes to risk analysis.

Again, just pointing out that because the FAA says something is important doesn't make it so in the real world. Make them supply a real analysis of why a regulation is needed and hold them to it.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 10:31 PM
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Near Austin
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April fools?!?!?! You mean that $135 second class medical I got to fly my 4 lb foam airplane was just a joke?!?!?!

Waitaminnut..... it says right here in my COA..... Second class medical!



That's what *I* think!
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 08:55 AM
SlowStick Test Pilot
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It get's even worse...
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 08:58 AM
Aircraft Designer Guy
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Melrose, MA
Joined Jul 2005
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Had to get mine last week so I could fly a 2 pound foam plane. One of our guys got denied, cause he had kidney stones. Wouldn't want him keeling over while observing me fly....

-Adam
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIT KID View Post
Had to get mine last week so I could fly a 2 pound foam plane. One of our guys got denied, cause he had kidney stones. Wouldn't want him keeling over while observing me fly....
Like I said.... just total !!!
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Old Nov 03, 2010, 11:11 PM
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Mel Duval, while drivers can get a license to drive vehicles that weigh much more without a checkup?

I hold a Class A drivers license, All drivers with a class A and B MUST have a medical check up before there can drive the big trucks.
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Old Nov 04, 2010, 08:11 AM
SlowStick Test Pilot
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You can fly a light sport aircraft without a medical cert. It's a loophole for older pilots, "Do no harm"
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Old Nov 05, 2010, 03:02 PM
Resistance is Futile
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United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
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Wow, does this include vision? I have cataracts from refrigerant lubricant chemical burns in one eye but can still see with corrective lenses. And I'm older?

Just kidding, wouldn't want to scare the children thinking there are half-blind old guys flying airplanes.

Rob
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Old Nov 05, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Every FAA certified pilot (or anyone wanting less government for that matter) should take a look at the petition and sign it if they agree. This is an official petition on the government docket and is the process called for by the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946. The chances of success are small but greater than zero if more people support the cause. This has a side benefit of having the potential to cut government expenses. Help us certified guys out and spread the word.

http://www.potomac-airfield.com/dot_petition.htm

Thanks
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Old Nov 05, 2010, 11:18 PM
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Whilst a medical for flying small aircraft does seem excessive, a simple medical is probably a must, since when you are in the air there is no option to stop at the side of the road if you feel you can't continue or have a serious medical problem occur, you must fly to the nearest suitable landing place. If such an incident happened in a car you could stop and call an ambulance, and would be of minimal danger to others. In the air if you lose full control of the aircraft your life and others lives are in real danger. Of course this does just reduce the probabilities by preventing the easiest to find of the accidents waiting to happen, anyone flying an aircraft is at risk of losing control due to a medical condition, even if its extremely unlikely.

Its nice to say people would be responsible and not fly if they felt they weren't medically fit, but most people don't know enough about dianosing medical issue to determine their fitness anyway. Even if they were aware, they may feel they are safe, or that their experience compensates for it, or any number of excuses and would continue to fly. Its not to different from setting a limit on how muich alcohol you can drink before driving, were people allowed to choose how much they can drink before driving I suspect there would be a lot more accidents, though obviously the probability of an accident in this example is far higher than the aforementioned flight example.
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