FAA announces Com Balloon medical requirement (and BasicMed Easter egg)

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Brad Z, Nov 2, 2021.

  1. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    Not allowed to do what? Did they say why?
     
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  2. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’m pretty sure it was @Brad Z . He should get free access to POA as a thank you! ;)
     
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  3. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    The pilot would not have been able to obtain a medical. So the reasoning is apparently that if the regs had required a medical and he couldn't obtain one, he would not have conducted the flight. Because, of course, his actions demonstrated his deep and abiding desire to comply with regulations in every other way.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
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  4. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Got it.

    No evidence that his past medical issues were present the day of the accident and contributed to his bad decision making.

    Kind of like making a rule that anyone with his last name can’t fly. And that would have prevented the accident as well with the same level of causality.
     
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  5. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Perfect analogy. New rule also has the potential to kill part of the lighter-than-air segment.
     
  6. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    this rule had nothing to do with evidence of anything. It was mandated by the Reauthorization Act in 2018. Congress required it so the FAA is implementing it. It's clear in the NPRM and Draft rule and the discussion of the comments that while some valid points are made, the FAA is required to implement this rule.
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Here's the TLDR summary: The guy had ADHD and fibromyalgia and was taking quite a cocktail of prescription drugs, including bupropion, Prozac, diazepam, methylphenidate, oxycodone, diphenhydramine, dextromethorphan, and others. In addition, he had numerous DWI arrests and one drug bust in his rap sheet. By all appearances, he was also ill at the time of the flight. Every aspect of his decision making from preflight to impact was scrutinized and found to be lacking due to the drugs and the underlying conditions.
     
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  8. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Their view was that since BasicMed was created by Congress, the FAA was powerless to make any changes at all. Saw the legislation as an absolute not as a minimum the FAA could liberalize.
     
  9. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The rationale is a little deeper than that.

    1, Without a medical, he could not have been employed as a commercial balloon pilot.
    2, Without a qualified commercial balloon pilot, the company would not have been able to get insurance.
    3, Without insurance, the company would not be to meet requirements of various states and thus would not exist.

    There are still ways around this, but the idea seems to be provide smaller loophones.


    Not quite, per the NPRM, section E
    https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...n-standards-for-commercial-balloon-operations

    So yeah, the medication being in his system shows he was still dealing with his past medical issues.

    If you read over the incident, we have a guy who royally screwed up in this case. I see no way to claim he was an innocent protagonist and was fine until the big mean NTSB / FAA showed up.

    As to whether the response was appropriate, I don't really have a dog in that fight as I am not a balloonist nor do I see becoming a commercial one in my future.
     
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  10. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    The biggest loophole of all is that the operator just doesn't GAS. I have a second-class medical because my employer's insurance requires it even though I only exercise third-class privileges. So the flow above did not require this regulation.

    Regardless, this wasn't a situation where the accident's cause wasn't already illegal. The pilot was medically unfit under the existing regulations, and the operation would have been illegal with any pilot. This is just another example of the FAA being pushed to "do something."
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
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  11. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    It makes sense if you don't think about it, lol.
     
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  13. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not even then. There's no way,
    The rules require more but my employer insists on less, so I break the rules​
    makes sense.
    :D
     
  14. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    I mean if you exchange first-class privileges with first-class services it makes more sense.
     
  15. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Were his past medical issues present that day at the time he made the bad decisions?

    If they were, and as well if he was taking medications but they didn't get him to an appropriate cognitive level, then you have a persuasive argument that a medical would have been helpful.

    Did the prescriptions he had in his system have a side effect of cognitive impairment? If so, then maybe a medical would have prevented the accident, as he would have been more aware of "do not take" drugs. (Assuming he wasn't going to just ignore the rules completely anyway).
     
  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The law passed by Congress (FESSA) commanded the FAA to make a certain regulation. To fast-track that through the system, they weren't going to make any changes. Now, after the fact, they can make their own changes to it as the FAA is empowered by the various enabling legislation to make such things and FESSA didn't make any restrictions on the FAA changing things later on.
     
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yes, and then some. And it wasn't as argued earlier that he didn't see the power lines.

    I'm tired of regurgitating the NTSB report. Brad linked it above. Go ahead and read this. There's no way this guy would have even gotten a 3rd class, and for good reason. His own doctors concluded that the drugs were not effectively controlling the symptoms of both his ADHD and depression. Further, any one of the drugs he was taking was likely to be imparing when taken while flying.
     
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  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of course.
     
  19. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Appreciate you risking acid reflux for the POA.
     
  20. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    What's notable about this particular finding was that the NTSB specifically called out the FAA's lack of a requirement for a medical certificate as a contributing factor in the accident. Safety recommendations from accidents are commonplace but it's unusual to see a lack of regulation cited in the probable cause discussion.
     
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  21. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    That should have been "third-class privileges."
     
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  22. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I figured, but with all the crap you give people for not being precise and articulate, I couldn't let it slide.
     
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  23. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    Your crap was entirely appropriate.
     
  24. Todd82

    Todd82 Line Up and Wait

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    With all the rules we face about we can't even let someone pay for the whole tank of gas without being on a 135 cert and 2nd class med, it's amazing balloon rides for hire were allowed to exist basically as the wild wild west all this long, not even requiring a basic med.
     
  25. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    Wait till they find out you don't need a medical even to be an instructor in gliders.
     
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  26. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did you have to go there?.....this is why we can't have anything nice around here. :D
     
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  27. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Would it be fair to summarize the language of the legislation as requiring the FAA to permit certain privileges, but not prohibiting the FAA from permitting additional privileges?

    I suppose that one exception to my summary would be that the FAA might not be allowed to do away with the requirement for a doctor's exam altogether. :dunno:
     
  28. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe not, but the FAA could make the class 3 match Basic and allow any state-licensed physician to perform it.

    Hold not thy breath.
     
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  29. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Weren't both those pilots ATPs?
     
  30. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    They were both ATPs with over 1500 hours.
     
  31. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Congress. Like giving a machine gun to a monkey. . .
     
  32. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would not add that exception. I don't see anything in the Congressional language for BasicMed that requires the FAA to require anything.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue or revise regulations to ensure that an individual may operate as pilot in command of a covered aircraft if—​

    (think, sport pilot rule)

    OTOH, there might be other legislation that sets minimum standards for medical qualification for certain activities.
     
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  33. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There we go. I was too lazy to look it up, but that wording quashes the idea that the FAA couldn't make the rules more permissive that the statute.
     
  34. Todd82

    Todd82 Line Up and Wait

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    IMHO taking a load of general public paying passengers owes the public more regulations / less risk than giving a lesson to a single student pilot who is already assuming some of the risks.
     
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  35. 40YearDream

    40YearDream Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From the FAA NPRM page 26 (r/e Basic Med safety pilot):

    "The FAA encourages pilots to seek opportunities to increase proficiency through operations, such as simulated instrument flying. As such, the FAA proposes to alleviate the current burden on safety pilots by allowing persons to operate under BasicMed while serving as required pilot flightcrew members." [(footnote: A safety pilot is a person who occupies a control seat in an aircraft and maintains a visual watch when the pilot manipulating the flight controls of the aircraft is using a view-limiting device to simulate flight by reference to instruments. See 14 CFR 91.109.]

    Sounds like a good change!
     
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  36. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    Balloons can certainly carry more people at a time, but plenty of non-students pay for glider rides. And have no idea whether their pilot has a medical certificate.
     
  37. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup.

    § 61.113 Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.
    * * * * *
    (i) A private pilot may act as pilot in command or serve as a required flightcrew member of an aircraft without holding a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter provided the pilot holds a valid U.S. driver's license, meets the requirements of § 61.23(c)(3), and complies with this section and all of the following conditions and limitations:...

    This takes effect 30 days after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
  38. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And many of those have no idea that medical requirements exist for anyone.

    bottom line, though, is as long as no incidents/accidents happen that can be tied this closely to medical condition, the glider medical requirements won’t be looked at any closer than anything else.
     
  39. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    Or no incidents/accidents that cause public outcry and get the attention of the local Congressman...
     
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  40. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The Final Rule was officially published today.

    The safety pilot fix goes into effect December 22.

    (the commercial balloon class 2 requirement takes effect in May)
     
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