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Is the FAA giving in?

Mountain Pilot

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Apr 13, 2010
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May be a good sign of things to come.... :p

Sept. 24, 2011, Hartford, Conn. - The Experimental Aircraft Association
(EAA) and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) today unveiled plans
that, if successful, could greatly expand the number of pilots who could use
the driver's license medical standard currently available only to sport
pilots.
>
> Delivering the keynote address on the final day of the AOPA Aviation
Summit, the presidents of AOPA and EAA, Craig L. Fuller and Rod Hightower,
respectively, said the two groups are working together to finalize a request
to create an exemption allowing pilots flying recreationally to use the
driver's license medical standard. In order to ensure and even enhance
safety, pilots would be required to complete a comprehensive course on
aeromedical factors and self-certification.
>
> "We have more than five years' experience now with the Sport Pilot
certificate and the driver's license medical standard," said Hightower. "In
that time, we have not had a single medical incapacitation accident. The
standard works."
>
> "Furthermore, our petition would enhance safety by requiring initial and
recurrent training about health awareness and medical self-certification for
any pilot choosing to use the driver's license standard," added Fuller. "It
will provide data that can be used to continually refine and evaluate the
effectiveness of the standard."
>
> EAA and AOPA plan to file their request for exemption after the first of
the year. Under the proposed exemption, pilots holding recreational,
private, commercial, or airline transport pilot certificates who only fly
recreationally could use the same driver's license medical
self-certification standard currently available to sport pilots.
>
> In addition to holding a driver's license as proof of adequate health, a
pilot would also be required to participate in a recurring online education
program that would reinforce and expand a pilot's understanding of
aeromedical factors and self-certification requirements. EAA and AOPA
believe such an education program, developed by the Air Safety Institute in
consultation with AOPA's Board of Aeromedical Advisors and EAA's Aeromedical
Advisory Council, would provide an equivalent level of safety as a third
class medical.
>
> As envisioned, the exemption would be limited by aircraft size and type
of operations - for example, a single engine aircraft, with 180 hp or less,
4 seats, and fixed gear and operations limited to day, VFR, with one
passenger. That would greatly expand the number of aircraft a pilot might
fly while operating under a driver's license medical standard.
>
> EAA and AOPA estimate that the exemption could save pilots who currently
fly with medical certificates nearly $250 million over 10 years, and save
the federal government $11 million over the same period.
>
> EAA and AOPA believe the exemption they plan to request is the next
logical step in the journey begun when the FAA permitted sport pilots to use
the driver's license medical standard. Further, the associations believe the
exemption will maintain or enhance aviation safety by improving knowledge
and awareness of aeromedical factors through recurrent education for all
pilots utilizing the exemption, and by encouraging pilots to continue flying
familiar aircraft.
 

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