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Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

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Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby jjbaker » Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:26 am

Those who have read the bill, whats your take on what exactly was accomplished?
Other than shifting liability to the pilots healthcare provider, the steps involved to get a medical look like they're still the same.

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Here's my list:

Here's the list of changes I perceive as accomplished through PBOR2 Medical Reform:

    1. We gots our medical reform. Not what we wanted, not anything close to what we wanted, but there was a reform.

    2. AOPA/ EAA got to sell a lot of memberships and lots of memberships got renewed to join the fight.

    3. Politicians got to show their concerned (minority group) voters that they truly care and act when called upon.

    4. 3 years went by during which people actually collectively hoped for one and the same thing. People learned about having to take effort.

    5. We met and got to know our true enemies and those who would regulate us "amateurs" clear out of the sky, if given the chance

    6. Now we get to wait until its signed into law, before the FAA fails to implement it within given deadlines.

    7. The next three to five years of "If we had gotten.... " discussions can be had.

With a little luck, we'll still have SP Rules 5 years from now. I doubt it, until I get schooled or educated on this.
IIRC, the goal was to put general aviation recreational pilots equal with millions of motorists.

Should we not be preparing for a invasion of new flight students and buy and build airplanes for the masses of people?
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:56 am

I am still a believer that there needs to be some medical oversight of people operating complicated things that can hurt other people. If implemented, at least this allows more latitude for medical professionals to have input rather than edits by the FAA especially when it comes to the true extent of a persons particular amount of any certain medical deficiency. Not perfect, but if implemented , better than what we had and now my insurance will cover my exams that I take anyway. There is still soaring and LSA.

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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby jjbaker » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:09 am

+1

Special issuance candidates will possibly have less of a bureaucratic hassle in obtaining flight status. For the rest of us, it doesn't do much.
What I wonder about is how many primary healthcare providers will sign their name and how they will mitigate the liability arising from this.
I can't see how a tit for tat medical exam procedure will increase the number of pilots or aircraft sold. There is still potential for the healthcare provider to refer to specialists for expensive further testing to cross all the t's and dot all the i's. Most will find that those examinations may not be covered by their health insurance - due to not being medically necessary.
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:26 pm

I had no problem getting my four doctors to sign letters stating that my conditions were not life threatening and that they believed that I was medically fit to fly as a commercial pilot. They also suggested tests that they believed were better than what the FAA wanted for reviewing a possible waiver and these were tests covered by my insurance company, while the FAA required tests, being antiquated were not. Lets not short change this too soon until we see what it brings. I pulled out my last medical and it was in effect until 10/22/2010 so I feel good about that regarding the 10 year issue.

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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby widgeon5 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:47 pm

When I saw the parameters of the proposed legislation, I assumed that it was an intentional overreach by its congressional sponsors in order to prod the FAA into relaxing the medical requirements in a reasonable way. In my view, allowing 6000 pounds, multi-engine, 250 knots and 5 passengers takes it way too far. IFR is a stretch also. For whatever reason the FAA did not adequately respond and yet again, another piece of really bad legislation becomes law. I would have been okay with 3000 pounds, single-engine, 3 passengers (or better yet one) and VFR.
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:59 pm

I too would have been happy with something more restricted. I thought that the House Bill would push the FAA to at least enact what the AOPA / EAA had suggested which was basically LSA without the weight limit, but with 180 HP as the upper limit. Would have added a lot of Cessna's and Piper's to the list of flyable aircraft with the other basic LSA regs the same, one passenger, daytime VFR below 10,000 feet only, which would at least allow people to have a plane that they could take one passenger and some luggage and fuel a reasonable distance at a reasonable speed and be more stable in higher wind for take-offs and landings. I would postulate that the average low time pilot with a PPL looking to move to LSA so as not to have to go through the Class III medical process, would be safer in a Cessna 172 than in a 60 year old tail dragger with a slab wing, that will spin much easier and certainly ground loop much easier.

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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby jjbaker » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:05 pm

Must admit I am slowly getting a bit confused on what people think about this.
There seem to be three camps out there on PBOR2.

    1. Those who say it doesn't go far enough
    2. Those who say it goes to far
    3. Those who think you can now fly without a medical, just a drivers license

Some Feedback:

  • Some do as they are told and give standing ovations. (Happy People)
  • Some think its a first step and can be expanded, modified or eased later. (Optimistic People)
  • Few think its a pile of crap and should be voted against. (Tinfoil Hat People)
  • One person is "joint venturing" with the FAA to see psychological testing be added to all medicals. (intentionally left blank)

I got bored and participated on two topics on two other forums about this.

Someone asked me if a drivers license was mentioned and if Class III medicals would continue to exist.

I stated: "AFAIK there are no provisions for a DL as the basis for determining medical fitness to fly..."
I also stated that I believe that people will eventually end up with a choice, to either do Class III Medicals or go with the new way.
My prediction that this all will affect and eradicate Sport Pilot medical rules hasn't been offset. Maybe people don't like to think about it.

Instead of telling me that I am an idiot, someone quoted the part of the bill that includes the word driver-license...

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—

(1)the individual possesses a valid driver’s license issued by a State, territory, or possession of the United States and complies with all medical requirements or restrictions associated with that license;...


If my regulatory English skills haven't degraded to dung yet, I do not see who and how, other than special issuance candidates, benefit.
Someone slap me if I am wrong - but the initial goal was to get as close as possible to the current Sport Pilot rules, yes?

Because we had shown for a decade that medical impairment is rarely the cause of accidents and that our Light Sport friends have flown certifying their health status themselves, for the longest time. Glider pilots don't need no medical at all - yet they can fly a thousand miles, high enough to need oxygen, and technically they can fly instruments, plus move at speeds well beyond our 172's.

What do Class II & I Medical holders think, to whom all of this doesn't apply, but who still helped to make Class III medical reform a priority?
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby RKittine » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:00 pm

I am of the camp that there should be some medical requirement for something you can not pull over to the side of the road and stop easily. The First Class Medical Exam was never very exhaustive and I know that I would pass the exam with no problems - I have recently done a successful dry run. If they would just allow doctors (specialists for the field that there are historical issues that applicants have) make the determination of how fit someone is, then I would for sure support that. Second, if they make the exam so that it will qualify as a normal OBAMA CARE insurance lever plan will cover it, it takes the so-called expensive out of it if couple to the lack of a need for special tests if the qualified doctor can determine again how fit an applicant is. My fear is that people that should really not be flying because of severe medical issues that are life threatening QUICKLY would fly just because they have a drivers license. I am not even sure that is such a great idea for LSA and it certainly has not gotten a big increase in student starts.

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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby KlausNW » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:22 pm

Put me in the wacko camp, I'm nobodies babysitter, If you want to go kill yourself have at it. Why do we need big brother protecting us from ourselves? If you are going to say to keep insurance rates down.... well, obamacare blew that out the window. When was the last time the insurance company lowered everyone's rates and said it was because of the seatbelt and helmet laws???

If I wrote the medical reform rules it would have a 'passengers understanding clause'. Just like the warning placard on an experimental aircraft there should be warning to the passengers explaining that big brother has given me the minimal level health examination and I must use my own judgement to keep you alive. If you think you're going to die at my hand do not enter this private aircraft.

Every time I turn around some bureaucrat wants to stick something up my @$$. I must be the only one that don't like being poked and prodded. They poke and pod my finances, communications, home, belongings and person. How did our ancestors ever get though the centuries without a politician holding their hand all day?

Commercial operations require the highest mitigated level of accident prevention that the aviation community can provide. The passenger ticket price is a balance between safety and availability. 100 percent safe is only accomplished by eliminating all air travel period. All transportation has risk, more people die in crosswalks then aircraft but society mitigated the risk and decided not to outlawed all cars because of the potential risk.

Sorry if my opinion is offensive, It can be taken down if I have cause someone to cry.
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby RKittine » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Although I am totally against laws that only protect you against yourself, flying when medically impaired can effect not only the pilot and the passengers, but other aircraft, people on the ground as well as property. Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles and other modes of transport, including aircraft are required to show that they meet minimum condition standards, Annual Inspection etc. Should people be allowed to drink and drive? Drink and fly? Unfortunately Klaus a lot of people don't have the common sense to not do things when they should not and flying in many cases is just one of those.

I have been in IMC when some clown with no instrument rating flys into IMC and calls center asking for a let down, one of which I watched depart from my home airport in a D-55 Baron and take off under a low overcast sky, which was not even legal VFR then so up on the approach into East Hampton, while I had just completed the procedure turn inbound.

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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby KlausNW » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:41 am

I'm with you but, let's play the percentages. The number of times that people go suicidal compared to the number of times that the individual plays it right....

We will never stop stupid. Money people will break every rule in the book and cause politicians to put restrictions on the rare low percentage and that effects the overall high percentage that wants to play by the rules.
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby KlausNW » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:44 am

Let's look at JFK jr.... He broke a dozen rules... why should the rest of us be punished?
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby jjbaker » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:03 am

It appears, we are simply not qualified or allowed to speak with our rulers and regulators and ask them what the purpose of the currently issued medical exams may be. There is no indication that medical exams accomplish anything, they don't prevent in-flight medical emergencies. There are no sport pilots flying on their driver license, popping a fuse and crashing into kindergartens. Just like no "gun loving Trump follower" has gone to shoot a bunch of Muslims on a hunch, most reasonable people use some common sense. Aviation and particularly general aviation is treated like an exotic pet and under current doctrine, not everyone is allowed to own a exotic pet. The associations (or cliques) do some stuff, no question - but there is no effort to force regulators to use common sense and pound them when rules and regulations are discriminatory and highly arbitrary.

The average pilot isn't mentally or physically ill and doesn't need counseling prior to every flight. Thinking the currently existing "safety culture" of BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY! to its end, we would need to fly hooked up to a battery of medical monitors and be accompanied by another certificated pilot, with a passenger shrink in the rear seat. Same with cars, motorcycles, buses or anything. Statistically, something bad can happen 99.99% of the time. Lets install brain monitors in gun owners, and lock their guns when they get angry. Lets ignore the fact that if you get a person mad enough, they'll kill you with a paper clip.

I guess big brother is here, protecting us from ourselves and our goal should be to get common sense and equality restored. Since the FAA isn't going to get run out of town and crooks will remain crooks, at least we can work towards relaxing some of the draconian and often unneeded rules. Our founding fathers in aviation weren't extremely special. One jumped off the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in front of EVERYONE (!) trying to prove the concept of flight.



We should not forget that PBOR was born because one of the rulers had an ax to grind. Imhofe landed on a NOTAM'd closed airport and experienced the bureaucracy and treatment firsthand. Probably quite a shock for someone in power. So, he armed up and went to battle, showing these guys at the FAA what happens when you screw with a Senator. As a result, the FAA now has to do more homework to change someones life or destroy a persons livelihood.

I'll be happy if my prediction doesn't happen. At this point I see Sport Pilot rules in danger and before we know it, this legislation will apply to them.
Meanwhile, psychological evaluation will enter the picture for everyone getting involved with flying. There is always a story behind the story. Our home secretary Demeziere was recently asked why a certain decision was made. His answer: "Please understand that I will not answer this question." When asked for his reason to remain silent, he smiled and said: "My answers may very well cause some civil unrest and be very unsettling to our citizens."

I think something like this is going on with this medical reform "deal". Maybe the concessions were made to avoid the complete opposite outcome.
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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:38 am

Sorry Klaus,

Not trying to be argumentative, but exactly what rules and regulations did JFK Jr break. And how were the rest of us punished?

John kept his (first his 182) plane five hangers down from me. He was a regular around the airport and almost always flew with his instructor who that night happened to be in France.

I had to fly from Caldwell to East Hampton that night and was prudent and filed IFR though the conditions were LEGAL for VFR. 6 Miles Visibility with a 20,000 ceiling. I filed as the ceiling was overcast, so there were no stars and 6 miles visibility over open water means you can't see where you are that easily, but it is totally legal for VFR. John was licensed, though no instrument rating yet and though he had hurt his foot, was physically fine.

If he had flown the coast line to Hyannis as he originally planned, he would have had ground lights along the coast and would have almost for sure made it fine. A combination of the weather, a new higher performance plane that he was not as experienced with but fully checked out in, his issues with his wife and than having to drop his sister-in-law (a last minute passenger) on an off shore island 6 miles out to see and some 30 miles over open water from Block Island to MV, led to this disaster. I do not know of one new rule or regulation that followed as a result of this accident. He did not file a VFR flight plan, but that too is legal as they are not mandatory and from Caldwell to Martha's Vineyard you can fly without talking to anyone except tower at Caldwell and tower at MV if he had made it that far. Caldwell - Direct Carmel - Direct Calverton - Direct Block Island - Direct MV. Never in anyone's airspace except at the start and finish.

When I landed at East Hampton that evening I was immediately called in as I fly S&R for the Coast Guard and we were fueled and out 20 minutes later. The only thing that I resented about that whole incident is the amount of government money that was spent on tracking him down. That would not have happened for a normal private pilot. We did not file IFR to go looking, but for sure kept the AH in the scan at all times.

Surprisingly after 9/11 they did re-open the VFR Corridor down the Hudson River along the Manhattan skyline and around the Statue of Liberty and the east river corridor is still open with minor restrictions even after the sports celebrity turned the wrong way and crashed into the 41st floor of a residential portion of a building killing the pilot and his California instructor who did not know the area or the regulations and for sure did not take into account the wind over the East River.

With regard to psychological review, maybe if they had more of that in the police department, we would have less police shootings and in this state a review of state mental institutions records is required for obtaining a pistol permit, which I understand. I know they can go too far on this and that it is a knee jerk to only a handful of cases of problems, so I am not a big fan of that being a widespread requirement, but I can understand how Joe Traveler might feel a little safer even if it will not fully work.


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Re: Medical Reform - What was accomplished?

Unread postby KlausNW » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:57 pm

Over the years I have attended a number of the FAA seminars that aim to eliminate the "Pilot Error" accident.

I did not directly mean that JFK jr. was contrary to FAA FAR's. The word 'rule' was not necessarily the right word to use.

I'm starting a new thread in the 'Safety' child board that will put a light on this new third class medical reform bi-annual training course.

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