We are closer than ever, please contact your representative

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Todd Copeland, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Todd Copeland

    Todd Copeland Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Glasair pilot
    Get rid of the third class medical requirement.

    govt.eaa.orghttp://govt.eaa.org/

    Ask your representative to pass the bill!
     
  2. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    6,929
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Check_my_Six
    ya....we did that over at the red board. :)
     
  3. Kiddo's Driver

    Kiddo's Driver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,400
    Location:
    Fayetteville, TN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim
  4. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    San Diego
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dallas
    Ok, I will admit that I haven't been part of the aviation community very long, so I don't really understand this issue at all. Why do we want to get rid of the 3rd class medical? Seems to me that people should have a certain level of fitness in order to fly, and after getting my medical I'm surprised the bar is so low. Someone explain how getting rid of this will make aviation better or safer in any way, cause I dont get it.
     
  5. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,394
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    I will take a swing at that.

    The 3rd class medical is a make-work requirement for the AMA. Here are the four things about it that make NO sense:

    1. Do you need a medical to drive a van-load of family members on an 8-lane freeway at rush hour? What is the relative risk of flying a 2-place Cezzna in a wide-open sky, versus driving an E-350 in close formation with 25 perfect strangers on I-35?

    2. Have they ever checked anything relevant in your medical "exam"? For mine, I've been declared color blind on one exam, only to have the diagnosis reversed on the next exam. They do no blood work, take no urine samples. No turn your head an cough, even. It's a complete joke.

    3. Did you happen to notice the requirement to pay CASH for this exam? Does it seem just a wee-bit suspicious, that this is completely unreportable income?

    4. Just because you passed this faux physical yesterday, doesn't mean you're fit to fly today. Each one of us self-certifies ourselves to fly, on every, single flight. Do we really need an M.D. to do this?

    Those are the four biggies, in my mind. Others will add more, I'm sure.

    For commercial pilots, responsible for hundreds of lives, sure, you betcha. Examine them to death. Make sure they are in tip-top condition, and are the ace of the base. But for Joe Weekend Pilot flying a Piper BugSmasher VFR on every other Saturday? The 3rd class medical is a waste of money, and the fear of "failure" is keeping too many good people from pursuing their pilot's license.
     
  6. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,188
    Location:
    Jackson Hole Wy
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FBH

    Hundreds of times more people are killed on the highways by truckers who have CDL licenses and their medical is the same as a 3rd class... Medicals don't make transportation safer...:no::nonod:

    In aviation, gravity will weed out the dumb and sick...;)
     
  7. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Peerless, Montana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John C Saubak
    Yup, I just e-mailed both my Senators and thanked them for co-sponsoring S.571 & my Congressman (Montana at large) and asked him to support H.R.1062 as well.
    Don't forget to thank these guys when they do right, everbody could use a little positive feedback once in awhile :wink2:
     
  8. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Peerless, Montana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John C Saubak
    Ahh, ...to be young and naive again, you'll change your mind when you get older and sweat it everytime your medical comes due.
     
  9. pilot1956

    pilot1956 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Midwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SierraRomeo
    "Someone explain how getting rid of this will make aviation better or safer in any way, cause I dont get it."

    Wrong question. Rather, what is the evidence that the third class medical is effective at preventing crashes due to health events? I've never seen any. The experience with Sport Pilot "driver license medical" strongly suggests that the third class medical is without benefit.

    As far as making aviation better, I think that those pilots who are restricted or prevented from flying for reasons unrelated to safety of flight might think the proposal makes aviation better.
     
  10. Tom-D

    Tom-D Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,631
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    The fact is, this exam does nothing for the safety of GA. If the FAA really want to add safety to the industry, the exam would be much tougher.
    It does nothing, so why mess with it.
     
  11. Bonanza

    Bonanza Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    N California & New Zealand
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bonanza
    I am surprised that Bruce didn't ban you for that.
    Stephen.
     
  12. QuiQuog

    QuiQuog Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    145
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Hobo Djoe
    If you're surprise the bar is so low, then you're starting to answer your own question. If you start with that premise, shouldn't your question be, why do we need the 3rd class medical?
     
  13. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    San Diego
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dallas
    I think auto licensing should be more strict. I also see a huge difference in the risks here. People wreck cars all the time and don't die. In fact in most cases they don't die. Auto fatalities happen, but in comparison to how many survive crashes they are quite rare. Say that for flying.

    Have a heart attack in your E-350 with your family in traffic and you're probably gonna end up with a little bent sheetmetal....and a heart attack. Do the same thing in your GA aircraft and your whole family is dead.

    I had to turn my head and cough. That said, I do agree with this point. The exam is a joke. However IMHO that's an argument for making it more stringent, not getting rid of it.

    Sounds like your ME might be skimming. Mine took a credit card.

    I don't disagree with this sentiment, but at the same time it would be impossible to have someone check every pilot before every flight. Even the airlines don't do that. I think you're reaching a bit. And lets be real here, how much do you really trust everyone to simply promise that they are fit to fly? Pinky swear? Scouts honor?

    That might be YOUR question. MINE was "why the F was this so easy?"

    I get that none of us really like going to the doctor to get checked out, and I agree that it's BS that some people have trouble getting a medical for non flight related issues. The current system certainly needs work, but so far I'm just not seeing how getting rid of it entirely is the solution.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  14. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,394
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    I think you've got this backwards. If you have a heart attack while piloting your E-350, you might kill someone else's family, as well as your own.

    If you have a heart attack while flying a Cessna 150, you kill yourself and perhaps one other. The risk of killing someone on the ground is remote.

    Given the number of people driving versus flying, the risks in the E-350 are many times greater -- yet no one checks anyone's health before issuing a driver's license.

    As I said, for commercial pilots flying A-380s, concern over the pilot's health are valid. For me, flying my homebuilt airplane, the medical exam is nothing but an easy $120 for a guy who doesn't need the money.
     
  15. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    San Diego
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dallas
    The example given was driving in rush hour traffic. I dont know about where you live, but around here thats under 20mph. Unlikely to kill anyone at that speed.

    I used a plane with your whole family in it, because that's a closer comparison to the E350, and just as legal on a 3rd class medical. And again, I dont know where you fly, but where I fly I could take out a lot of people on the ground very easily with any aircraft. Southern CA doesn't have a lot of land without people on it.

    You seem to think driving a car is really dangerous, but there are a hell of a lot of statistics on the books that show that you're wrong. The only reason so many people die in cars in comparison to planes is because there are exponentially more people driving them.

    EDIT: to show my point, this census data shows 10.8 MILLION motor vehicle crashes in 2009, but only about 36,000 fatalities. That's a fatality only 0.3% of the time. I don't think that any of us needs to look at GA statistics to know cars are safer statistically speaking.

    https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  16. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,394
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    Most of my flying is over the South Texas gulf coast. It would be exceedingly unlucky for me to hit anyone on the ground, in the event of an accident. :wink2:

    That said, even when I fly over major metro areas like Houston, killing someone on the ground would be amazingly bad luck. I suspect my little plane would bounce off most structures.

    And, of course, we are talking about an event that is vanishingly rare. In fact, I can't even think of a single fatality on the ground caused by a GA pilot who was incapacitated in flight. Can you?
     
  17. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    San Diego
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dallas
    I cant pull a GA incident out of my head, but I know of several crashes of small planes that have resulted in deaths on the ground. Didn't a charter just go down a few months ago and take out someones house?


    For the record, the reason I'm taking the opposite side of the argument is to find out what the real reason would be for getting rid of the 3rd class requirement. Somehow I just don't see calling up our representatives and asking them to make changes "because it would be more convenient" as a real good argument. I'd like to know what the real reasoning is, and why the changes should be made.

    I can also see a whole slew of bad press coming from every accident that happens afterwards. If you think reporters are horrible with the "no flight plan" and "uncontrolled" reports, how do you think it's gonna be when they start talking about people flying with no medical? GA already gets a lot of bad PR from people that dont know anything, this certainly wouldn't help. "Next at 11, man flying small plane with undiagnosed medical condition crashes into school. Why was he allowed to fly?"
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  18. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,394
    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jay Honeck
    I don't think anyone is advocating removal of the medical requirement for commercial pilots.
     
  19. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    San Diego
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dallas
    No, we're not. But the fact is that small planes have killed people on the ground. Rare, yes. Impossible, no. Just in the last few months there were 2 planes that went flying along on their own for hundreds of miles with incapacitated pilots, IIRC a cirrus and a malibu. Both ended up in the ocean after running out of fuel, but there's nothing saying they couldn't have ended up in a city. Both of those flights were over long distances where they could have made it to many different population centers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  20. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    San Diego
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dallas
  21. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    11,056
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    Just sent the EMail to my Senators,being from Mass. ,not sure what help they will be.
     
  22. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
    A passenger farting and causing the pilot to divert his attention is about as likely to kill someone in the ground.

    We should make it a felony to fart in a plane.
     
  23. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    933
    Location:
    New Bern, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Reno
    In the malibu, I think that hypoxia was the culprit. Or, both the husband and wife had a stroke/heart attack at the same time.
     
  24. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    933
    Location:
    New Bern, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Reno
    I posed this question recently to my AME and he felt that the third class was a waste. In that with enough paperwork and money, a heart transplant recipient can get a 3rd class. So what is the point? 97% of all 3rd class medicals are reissued under a special issuance. So again, what is the point?
     
  25. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    13,177
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bob Noel

    Before comparing driving and flying, you should learn about safety, risks, and how risks are mitigated.

    Fatality % of total accidents is an interesting bit of data, but not a useful metric for comparing flying and driving. For example, the driving % could be so low because the total number of accidents is so high. Another reason driving fatalities can be a lower percentage of accidents is the basic nature of the vehicle design and the number of accidents at speeds lower than 30mph. Try comparing fatality percentages when the vehicles involved are going 60mph.
     
  26. DFH65

    DFH65 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,374
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DFH65
    My guess based on reading this is that you are relatively young and that your political views lean more left than right.

    Why do you want more government control over your life in an attempt to solve a problem that doesn't exist? :dunno:
     
  27. Marauder

    Marauder Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,462
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Marauder

    The majority of accidents with small planes injuring or killing people on the ground have not been health related. And even the two you mention have high likelihood of being oxygen deprivation and not caused by a pre-existing medical condition.

    Come back after your medical has been denied and then let's talk. Many of us had to go through extraordinary testing and expense to prove we were fit to fly. And heaven forbid you are asked to take a medication not on the "approved" list.

    Considering the great safety record of the LSA community as it relates to accidents caused by health issues, most of us feel that approach can be extended to non commercial general aviation with the same result.

    One of the challenges with flying versus driving comparison is that every one treats driving as your right while our government believes flying is a privilege. Do you really think the American people would stand for the same of level of medical scrutiny being required to get a driver's license?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  28. pilot1956

    pilot1956 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Midwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SierraRomeo
    Marauder nailed it. The only change to his post I would make is to say that "virtually all" rather than "the majority".

    There is no evidence that the Third Class Medical results in fewer GA crashes. There is evidence that it keeps pilots who want to fly from actually flying.

    There is evidence that a driver's license medical system (now used for Sport Pilots) is safe and effective.

    BTW, doctors are actually pretty bad at predicting who is going to have a heart attack while flying an airplane. The idea that the examination actually accomplishes what its supporters think it accomplishes is likely false.

    Want to know if a medical problem (e.g., past use of an antidepressant) makes a person unable to fly safely? Hint - actually observing them fly is a better indicator of their ability to fly than observing their medical records.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  29. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    3,645
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    write-stuff
    Jay, my AME takes credit cards. You might ask why yours demands cash. I don't think it's universal.
     
  30. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6,652
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    And more significantly: there is high likelihood that it keeps many pilots with undiagnosed, serious medical conditions from visiting their doctors and getting the treatment that could extend their lives, or at least their flying "careers" (using the term loosely, since we're talking about recreational and personal transportation flyers here).

    If you don't understand how that could be, then you're *definitely* too young to appreciate where many folks are coming from in this conversation. The 3rd class exam is NOT just a physical exam. It's an inquisition into every aspect of your health, including not only the reasons for and outcomes of all doctor's visits within the last few years, but also every medical condition that you've ever been diagnosed with, perhaps falsely, even tentatively -- since the diagnosis codes are now visible to the government. False and tentative diagnoses need to be overturned with convincing (and expen$ive) medical testing, since once a doctor has entered something into your record, it is there forever, and lots of questions on the 8500-8 are of the form "have you ever in your life...?" False diagnoses that are made purely clinically, for which no test exists to rule them out... well, you can see where this is going. Even for those who are ultimately cleared, this often takes many weeks because of the backlog in OKC. Many pilots who fly on a 1-year special issuance are actually only legal to fly for 9 months or less of every year.

    The tests that are done during the exam proper are just the tip of the iceberg. If that's all there were to it, I think most of us would agree with the OP, that this is much ado about nothing, and maybe it should even be a little harder to pass. The hoops that the FAA makes many pilots jump through to stay in the air are difficult to imagine for those who haven't been through it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  31. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8,496
    Location:
    Other side of the world
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rotor&Wing
    :nonod: :rolleyes2:
     
  32. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8,496
    Location:
    Other side of the world
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rotor&Wing
    Capt Hyperbole adds that to make his post more dramatic. Old newspaper habits never die. :rolleyes:
     
  33. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    11,408
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    X
    The FAA boys tell me that the banned list applies to all pilots...from a "drivers' license medical" to a first class medical. So the latest proposals don't provide any relief. Sure you can try lying, but you could always do that.

    I was also told that active database cross referencing has been made a priority for the coming year. Starting with obvious disqualifiers like cialis.
     
  34. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    11,408
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    X
    Just like when he said there's no urine test. I've never taken a flight physical with no urine sample involved. Maybe Guido is his AME.
     
  35. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Peerless, Montana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John C Saubak
    That's certainly a valid point. Older pilots especially would be more willing to see the doctor about their medical concerns if they didn't have to be concerned about how might this effect my flying privileges.
     
  36. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,188
    Location:
    Jackson Hole Wy
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FBH
    I use DR Brent Blue, the AeroMedix guy... http://www.aeromedix.com/

    He lives here, is a good guy and flys more then anyone in the valley so he loves aviation.... Once every 2 years ain't bad and it is good to chew the fat with him... I am not sure it's worth 175.00, but as it stands now.. I need him for a 3rd class....

    I am due here pretty soon too..
     
  37. Paul Hamilton

    Paul Hamilton Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    162
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Paul H
    On the other hand, the medical also gives pilots motivation to work with their doctors to fix these conditions. It may enhance public health to some extent.
     
  38. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6,652
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    A couple of counter points to that:

    1. They can only fix something once it's diagnosed, which obviously won't happen if the pilot avoids seeing the doctor.

    2. Many if not most conditions that the FAA considers disqualifying are not curable -- they can at best only be managed. Most of these can qualify for special issuances, but the tests the FAA requires to keep renewing the SI are often way beyond what the treating physician would consider medically justifiable, and usually beyond what is covered by insurance.

    I think the question isn't so much whether the medical provides an incentive for pilots to stay healthy (it does) as whether the overall effect is to promote the health of pilots (I know of no study that says it does, and suspect its net effect is the opposite).
     
  39. shoprat

    shoprat Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    twin cities mn
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    jeff
    Hi,just joined last week and would like to weigh in on this even though I haven't even got a physical or taken my first ride.

    At 5 9 y/o and finally able to have a flying fund built up(not huge!) I had decided to look into finally pursueing a long held dream to fly. I knew I would have to have the physical(have one every year with reg dr) but had no idea they would be dragging my past to see if at "any time in my life" have I ever been anxious enough to see my Dr about it (YES!) or that I have hypothyroidism, not exatly sure how that relates to flying(but Yes) pre-diabetic(guilty!)

    I am probably going to schedule an exam and probably fail because of these
    terrible conditions although I pass my DOT physical every time!

    Now I will have to decide what to do with my flying fund! I will let you know the outcome
     
  40. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,188
    Location:
    Jackson Hole Wy
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FBH
    One word....

    LSA....:yes: