EAAAirVenture OshkoshShopJoin
1  2  3  4  5  …  7  Next Page >

Time to get rid of class three medical!

Posted By:
Robert Prior
39
Posts
28
#1 Posted: 4/6/2010 13:49:11

I think that with all the advances in health care and the longevity of our population, I think it's time to get rid of the class 3 medical certificate for private pilots! What good is it? My yearly checkup with my general practitioner is on equal par.

If I have a valid driver's license and can drive a fire truck in an emergency situation,... I should be able to put-put around the patch in a two seater,... right?

Sport pilot ticket not an option,..... no Light Sport Planes for rent within 50 miles of where I live.

What do you think?



Ralph King
437
Posts
50
#2 Posted: 4/6/2010 13:54:22

Robert count me in on that.  I'd even mail the doctor a check every 2 years just so the doctor does not starve, ha.

 

Ralph



Jim Baumann
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America Member
62
Posts
40
#3 Posted: 4/6/2010 15:29:16

I'm in.....   No third class medical would bring a lot of people back into the fold and help the local Flight Schools and the Aviation economy as a whole.



"I Fly because it releases my mind from they tyranny of petty things" ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Ried Jacobsen
194
Posts
26
#4 Posted: 4/6/2010 23:15:01 Modified: 4/6/2010 23:16:25

For the sake of argument, I will disagree and take up the opposing viewpoint.

Most pilots I have seen (myself included) could definitely stand to shed some calories and eat healthier.  I am starting to work on my cholestoral levels.  Without some sort of medical review, I could have been a heart attack in the air, landing somewhere that the (un-educated) press will blow out of proportion and call for some hare brained scheme like banning private flight within 500 miles of anyplace!

I am not suggesting that the current process and procedures should not be improved, because a lot of limiting conditions really are under much better control than they were 25 years ago.  But let's not toss the baby out with the dirty bath water.  Improve the process, do not eliminate it.

 



Bernard Pawlowski
23
Posts
11
#5 Posted: 4/7/2010 08:54:39

In the scheme of things, the third class medical does seem out of date.  If one can zip down a busy highway at 70 miles an hour or fly LSA with a valid driver's license as sole evidence of medical fitness, then why not allow all non commercial operations to fly the same way?

Realistically, the purpose of any medical is to insure public safety, not the pilot's.  Does issuance of a driver's license provide a realistic measure of physical fitness?  Obviously not since drivers are not mandated to undergo a physical.  So does it make sense to require non LSA pilots get a medical?  Logic would tell us no.  Driving a machine that is heavier, larger or faster then another should not be of any consequence, since that is a matter of proficiency not medical fitness.

With the exception of commercial operations perhaps, it would seem that the value of a third class medical has eroded from the passage of LSA rules, and is no longer of great value to the GA pilot.



Joe LaMantia
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
175
Posts
69
#6 Posted: 4/7/2010 10:10:24

Hi guys!

Check out the LSA thread this subject comes up there also.  I have been on Special Issuance with my 3rd class since 1996, having had a mild heart attack in 1994 and angioplasty.  My condition has been stable ever since and my blood numbers are way better than most of the country thanks to medication.  I get a nuclear stress test every year and my performance is very good since I do get exercise regularly.  I have a Commercial Drivers License and worked as an over-the-road truck driver for about 4 years.  I was required to get a medical for that but the requirements are not very difficult compared to our 3rd class.  We need to call attention to the disparity that exists between recreational flying in GA and commercial operations of vehicles and aircraft.  The Dept of Transportation should be looking at the whole range of public safety across the board.  We've got millions of people out on the highways that haven't had any proficiency testing since they got their license, no serious age limitations or physical exams just pay the fee.  We kill thousands of people in accidents and millions of dollars in damages each year.   The politics of this will be very difficult to overcome, but we need to keep pointing the finger at the highway deaths and the lack of regulations as compared to aviation safety.  We are clearly over-regulated and "they" are clearly under regulated!  When we have an airliner crash and lose a couple of hundred it's all over the news.  We lose about 50,000 people a year to highway crashes and it's a back page news event most of the time.  


It's will take years to overcome the politics of this but it's a case that should be made!


Joe



Joanne Palmer
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
276
Posts
68
#7 Posted: 4/7/2010 10:32:37

one of the purposes of the LSA category is to OBTAIN the data to support this very concept.  Unfortunately there isn't the penetration of the market YET for Sport Pilots operating without a medical.  Even if you include glider and motor glider operators there isn't the number of hours.  We will get there, we just don't know what the outcome will be and we don't want what happened in the "Catch 22". 

We also have to somehow shield the FAA and the AME from lawsuits when or if some pilot does fly and get incapacitated.  That is the fundamental reason we have medicals. 



Ralph King
437
Posts
50
#8 Posted: 4/7/2010 13:53:18

Joanne:

It will be interesting to see the 1st accident for the the LSA class, and if a lack of a physical was at fault, or bad judgement, or flying beyond the pilots ability in relationship with his total flight hours to date.

There are alot of smart people that are in good health, but some can not hit their a-s with both hands at the same time.  I do feel the CFI can play a big part and he does by being a finally doctor if you will, making judgement before signing off on a student to go burn up the sky.

 

Ralph



Grant Smith
Homebuilder or Craftsman
135
Posts
7
#9 Posted: 4/7/2010 14:16:18
Ried Jacobsen wrote:

 

For the sake of argument, I will disagree and take up the opposing viewpoint.

Most pilots I have seen (myself included) could definitely stand to shed some calories and eat healthier.  I am starting to work on my cholestoral levels.  Without some sort of medical review, I could have been a heart attack in the air, landing somewhere that the (un-educated) press will blow out of proportion and call for some hare brained scheme like banning private flight within 500 miles of anyplace!

I am not suggesting that the current process and procedures should not be improved, because a lot of limiting conditions really are under much better control than they were 25 years ago.  But let's not toss the baby out with the dirty bath water.  Improve the process, do not eliminate it.

 

 

So since when does the third class physical require a cholesterol level evaluation or disqualification? I fail to see the logic in you statement. Neither is there a weight limit for pilots, only for the aircraft.

I would like to point out that gliders and balloons have never had a FAA medical exam requirement and have heard that both categories have fewer medical incidents with pilots than airplane pilots with a medical have.



Grant Smith CFI
Robert Prior
39
Posts
28
#10 Posted: 4/7/2010 15:34:42

I'm in the same boat as Joe, I had a heart attack, triple bypass and now flying with a Special Issuance Class 3 cert.

My heart attack happened while puttering around in my shop,... not while flying or driving a fire truck to an emergency,... which is very stressful! BTW, I have been driving fire trucks, fighting fires, and doing EMS calls for over 40 years,... no medical needed!

AND,.. it happened 3 months after I passed a 3rd class medical exam with flying colors!

Therefore, my conclusion is that the 3rd class medical exam is worthless!

It is time for the EAA and AOPA to push the FAA to re-examine the issue!

So,... which has more risk for public safety,... driving a 13 ton fire truck and crew down the highway or putt-putting around the patch in an airplane?

BTW,... I have over $13,000 invested in Nuclear Stress Tests just to jump through the FAA's hoops and keep my Special Issuance 3rd Class ticket.

I would much rather spend that money on a week at AirVenture 2010!



Ried Jacobsen
194
Posts
26
#11 Posted: 4/7/2010 22:24:03 Modified: 4/7/2010 22:29:01

Grant, you got me on that one.  I discovered the cholesterol level independent of the 3rd class medical.  I did use a bad example to put out my argument and you caught me using bad logic.  However, I will stand by the argument to retain some medical qualification to fly, depending on the potential risks involved.

I am not saying to leave the current system unchanged.  The requirements and rational for license rejections are stuck in the medical knowledge of the mid 20th century, and must be changed to reflect what the medical community knows and understands in the 20th century.

Limited medical for LSA (drivers license) makes sense because the 1320 lb weight limit reduces the public risk involved.  A private license has potential for more risk, based on pilot's ability to fly in larger aircraft (within various individual budgetary constraints.  A 172 is more risky than an LSA in a crash, but not as dangerous as Cessna Caravan!  All can be flown with a private ticket and log book endorsement.)  Commercial and airline flying impose even more risk, and should be held to a higher medical standard.

Joe, I agree with your point that auto drivers licensing is under regulated in terms of individual driver's health and capabilities, while aviation pilot licensing is poorly over regulated.  Both systems need fixing.  You hit that nail squarely on the head!  But both are hot potatoes that few people want to get actively involved with trying to push for measures to correct the problems.  Flying and driving are priveledges, but most Americans treat them like divine rights we are entitled to.

 



Christopher Carlson
IAC MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
81
Posts
21
#12 Posted: 4/8/2010 00:07:50 Modified: 4/11/2010 21:53:55

 Posted by Reid;

Limited medical for LSA (drivers license) makes sense because the 1320 lb weight limit reduces the public risk involved.  A private license has potential for more risk, based on pilot's ability to fly in larger aircraft (within various individual budgetary constraints.  A 172 is more risky than an LSA in a crash, but not as dangerous as Cessna Caravan!  All can be flown with a private ticket and log book endorsement.)  Commercial and airline flying impose even more risk, and should be held to a higher medical standard

I don't understand the logic (?) of this argument.

The only thing all the aircraft you named have in common is that they all have flamables aboard and they all drop in from the sky.

Public Risk is less with light aircraft...how? How much fuel does it take to consune a structure? How much energy does it take to breach a fuel tank?

The Cooligan in the  Bflo crash consumed two freestanding buildings. (Heavy)

An entire apartment building in Kaliforinia was destroyed by a Cessna 150. (Light)

While I agree with the risks that come with increased fuel involvment (larger aircraft) I don't see a corollation to safety stats.

IMPO; anything falling out of the air more flammable than Bird Poop is going to cause destruction. It depends on what it actually hits as to the actual loss/damage.

 

Any Medical (any Class) is much like an Annual Inspection. At that time, at that place and in that persons educated opinion everything within the Scope of the Inspection was just fine.

If the motor blows a jug 2 hours after Annual it will be "it was fine 2 hours ago...

Same thing if you walk out of your 1st Class Medical and have a Heart Attack before you get to your car...

 

I believe Medicals are at best Symbolic, a way to keep pilots honest (those that care anyway) keeping their Health at the top of their thoughts.

At least I have a real reason to go to my Doc...(I'm a guy...we don't go to a Doc unless sumptin' important falls off..)

 

                                                                                  JMOP

 

                                                                                            Chris

 



Ried Jacobsen
194
Posts
26
#13 Posted: 4/8/2010 08:22:14

Chris, if I understand your logic correctly in addition to eliminating all medical exam requirements we should also work to eliminate all aircraft inspection requirements?  And if I decide baling wire and bubble gum are a good enough patch for a short flight in my Whiz-Bang special flivver over Manhatten, then look out below?

I beg to disagree.  Some degree of regulation is required to protect public health and safety.  The question we need to discuss and convince the regulators is how much regulation is required and how to enforce it.

With knowledge, I believe less regulation is a better path.  I think most of the posters agree the current regulations need improvement.

I will confess that I do not have a ton of statistical analysis to back up my intuition that a smaller vehicle has a lower safety rist than a larger vehicle.  Under average crash conditions, a Yugo will intuitively cause less damage than an 18 wheeler.  Therefore state DMVs have somewhat stricter driver licensing requirements for large commercial vehicles than for smaller personal vehicles. 

Aircraft are similar.  An LSA, with smaller mass and fuel load, will normally leave a smaller crash impact than a Piper Comanche.  Intuitively, under average conditions, the 1300 lb LSA will cause less damage than a 3000+ lb higher performance aircraft.

Of course, with special conditions, an LSA flying into the right building with a high combustible load can cause more damage than a 747 crashing on a dry lake bed in the middle of Nowhare, Nevada.

A bigger question is should people be completely unregulated,  should we let the gov't over-regulate, do we continue to live with antiquated regulations, or should we lobby to make regulations more sensible as our knowledge and expertise increases.  First three options are simple because we don't have to do anything for these conditions, but unacceptable due to the problems they can create for individuals.  The last option is a tone of work, but in my opiniion are the best way to increase the usefulness and joy of flying.  I am thankful for organizations like EAA, AOPA, and others working to try to make the 4th option happen inspite of the difficulties the govt and public imposes due to the lack of awareness of how flying really works.

Joe LaMantia
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
175
Posts
69
#14 Posted: 4/8/2010 10:01:06

Still a great discussion!

What I'm hearing is some good thought on both sides.  My point on regulations was and still is that it's tough politics to get the right balance.  As both a pilot and a driver I don't want to be regulated but I know the other guys who fly and drive need close watching.  It always comes down to some comprises if anything positive is going to happen.  Moving regulations to the 21st century means taking a hard look at what worked and keeping it in place, then getting rid of what isn't needed, and finally putting some kind of "continuous improvement" in place to deal with future needs and changes. 

Clearly the bigger the aircraft or vehicle the higher the possible damage.  Gliders, balloons, ultralights, and LSA's have a shorter range, slower speed, and require better weather to operate in than heavier, faster, more capable aircraft.  It's not just the "what" but the "how" and the "who" that determine the safety of an operation. 


Joe



Bernard Pawlowski
23
Posts
11
#15 Posted: 4/8/2010 11:30:18

Ried, the requirement for a medical should not be based on whether one flies a Light or Heavy aircraft, which is an issue of proficiency not medical fitness.  Whether a heavy or light aircraft hits the ground makes no difference, in all cases it is a public safety issue.

If public safety is to be the fundamental criteria for mandating medicals, and there is substantiating evidence that physical fitness is a factor, then all active pilots should have a current medical, not just some.  Allowing LSA pilots to go without a physical and use their driver's license in lieu of a medical, constitutes a violation of the original premise, and creates a significant discrepancy in the regulations.  Either do away with the 3rd class medical or require that all pilots have one.  Furthermore, the same requirements should apply to car , truck and bus drivers.  Now I'm not suggesting that every active pilot or driver submit to a medical, just that there is an outrageous discrepancy in the current regulations, a fact that I believe we all agree on.



Ried Jacobsen
194
Posts
26
#16 Posted: 4/8/2010 12:04:38

Bernard wrote "Furthermore, the same requirements should apply to car , truck and bus drivers.  Now I'm not suggesting that every active pilot or driver submit to a medical, just that there is an outrageous discrepancy in the current regulations, a fact that I believe we all agree on."

I agree with both statements.  There should be medical requirements beyond an eye test for drivers licenses that will vary based on vehicle type.  Just because an individual can ambulate into a facility does not mean they should get a license.

And I agree there are defeciencies with the current regulations.  And not just medical regulations, judging by the LSA rules discussion on another post on this forum.

Hopefully, these are the same discussions and points that the powers that be at the FAA can listen to, and hopefully try to fix and simplify the FARs.  (how is that for being an optimist!)

Keep the complaints and comment coming!

Joe has the right idea, we need just enough regulation to keep the "other guy" from being a problem.  No more and no less.


wink

 



Robert Prior
39
Posts
28
#17 Posted: 4/8/2010 13:07:20

Ried,

Does anyone know how the FAA came up with a weight limit of 1320 lbs? In my humble opinion, it is a clear attempt to benefit the manufacturers, not the public. There are more C-150's and Tomahawks out there than LSA aircraft, which are still great training aircraft and AFFORDABLE! Not so with LSA machines! They are expensive and out of reach of many. Isn't that the reason for the light sport program,.... to get new people in to aviation?

What ever the answer is, we need to be consistent and reasonable with all classes!

Many great opinions in this thread,... thanks all!



Ried Jacobsen
194
Posts
26
#18 Posted: 4/8/2010 13:15:57

Robert, Check Joe Norris' comment #22 under the post

 In some respects the FAA promotes unsafe issues with the LSA aircraft.

Joe was there, I think, and has great insights into how the negotiations took place.

Ried



Tom Snider
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
1
Post
2
#19 Posted: 4/8/2010 20:14:46

I'm so glad to hear this discussion and hope that both EAA and AOPA will take notice. I have been flying for over 45 years and have never understood the need for a 3rd class medical. I currently am going thru the hoops for a Special Issue after having a couple of stints put in about 6 months after passing my 3rd class physical. No heart attack, just discovered upon having my regular annual physical. According to the FAA, I was okay to fly although I obviously had a problem, now that the problem is fixed, I am not okay and have to have a "special issuance". As mentioned by someone else, even a commercial balloonist needs no physical!  An 80 year old with triple by-pass can drive a 40' diesel pusher down the highway at 75mph without a physical!  I can skipper a 40' twin engine boat or a 70 mph skiboat or jetski on a crowded lake without a physical!  I can buy a new $130,000 Cessna LSA and fly it without a physicl! But I can't fly a Cessna 150 or Cessna 172 without a physical!  Show me a statistic that shows the lack of a physical or even a medical condition has caused accidents. I believe if we had spent as much time and money on removing this requirement as we did on getting LSA through we would have seen a much greater increase in aviation than we have seen with LSA.



David Bailey
1
Post
1
#20 Posted: 4/9/2010 04:34:08

I just wanted to reply to the comment above regarding CDL activity (40' semi reference). You are required to have a DOT physical every two years along with a valid License.  HOWEVER I know from personal experence this is easily circumvented with forms available at almost any truckstop and drivers will forge signatures and "take a chance" they wont have an accident!!!!!!! I didn't mean to digress from Aviation............



1  2  3  4  5  …  7  Next Page >