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3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

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3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby jjbaker » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:51 am

AOPA says it's endorsing an amendment to a highway bill that will include measures to relax third class medical requirements for private pilots. The language mirrors that of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 but has been proposed as an amendment to the Senate highway bill now before the chamber. It was put forth by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR). “We very much want to see third-class medical reform enacted by any means possible, and we appreciate the leadership of Senators Manchin and Boozman in bringing this issue forward and working to have it added to the highway bill,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Both these senators understand just how important this issue is to the general aviation community and have demonstrated that they’re willing to act to give pilots relief from the outdated and cumbersome third-class medical process.” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told media at AirVenture Oshkosh that other opinions must also be considered.

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He said that despite the widely held belief among the pilot community that safety won't suffer with the absence of the third class medical, the agency also hears from those who hold the opposite view. The highway bill, as amended, is now under consideration by Congress and Baker is urging pilots to make their opinions known. “Thanks to all of you who have contacted your legislators. If you have or haven’t already been in touch with your senators or your member of Congress, I urge you to contact them now to support this amendment. Every voice counts,” Baker said.


Source: AVweb
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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby RKittine » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:32 am

I for one am sick of waiting. Looks like the FAA gave some unfounded hope to stay off the more liberal House and Senate Bills, but we are still nowhere.

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Re: ALPA Butts In On Medical Reform

Unread postby jjbaker » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:56 am

With AMA & ALPA as friends, General Aviation in the U.S. needs no further enemies...
ALPA's continued need to butt in on issues indicates its desperation to remain in the headlines.
If need be, this will be accomplished by any means necessary, even by creating and disseminating utter and complete bullshit.

Unfortunately, strong resistance from GA is probably unrealistic to expect.

Letter from ALPA (Airline Pilots Association, International:

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 52,000 pilots at 31 passenger and cargo airlines represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), I want to make you aware of ALPA’s opposition to S.Amdt.2267, filed by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to H.R. 22. ALPA disagrees with the process and is fundamentally opposed to the dangerous policy shift proposed in the Manchin amendment. We do not believe a complex issue such as this should be attached to a surface transportation bill—especially in a year when both chambers must take up an FAA reauthorization bill that deals directly with issues such as this.

The amendment is a modified version of S. 571, the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. Specifically, ALPA has grave concerns with how this amendment addresses the 3rd class medical requirement for general aviation pilots.

This legislation has the potential to allow medically unfit pilots unfettered access to the national airspace at altitudes up to 18,000 feet, which also includes commercial airline traffic carrying passengers and cargo. The amendment would eliminate the requirement that these pilots see an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) at regular intervals for mental and physical evaluation in order to show medical fitness to operate an aircraft. It also reduces the number of medical conditions that could disqualify a pilot from receiving a medical certificate and relies on the pilot to self-report when a disqualifying condition is identified. Even if a pilot develops and discloses a serious medical condition that creates risk in the national airspace, the amendment could prevent the FAA from ensuring that the pilot seek treatment.

ALPA has engaged with stakeholders to address concerns about medical evaluation processes for pilots who hold a 3rd class medical and intends to continue collaboration to ensure aviation safety for all pilots and passengers; however, we cannot allow bad policy to be forced through on an unrelated bill. A common-sense solution is within reach, but the amendment as written introduces a level of risk within the national airspace, which we cannot support.

We urge you to vote no on the Manchin amendment.

Sincerely,

Tim Canoll, President


For Reference, here's the letter from AMA (Aerospace Medical Association) from sometime in April:

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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:44 am

I am sure there will be more of this coming if things get closer.

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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby jjbaker » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:31 pm

If anyone has the style and class to respond to ALPA's self-destructing bullshit, its Pelton. Listen to the soundbite!

EAA Leadership Fuming and for good reason, it seems. Only few take ALPA's declaration of war against "amateur pilots" serious. I am one of those who do - because I have often seen Airline Pilots hack and destroy the very nest they hatched from. Piss poor situation and we should be united, no matter what bridges we need to cross to do so. If I was a poor ALPA member, I'd tell my president to rest his pen, shortly before cancelling my membership. I hope Canoll gets all the FLAK a human can get for pulling a incredibly dumb PR stunt like this.
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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby RKittine » Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:46 am

All those fledgling pilots who left the nest and made it into Part 121 operated cockpits, did so with the same medical requirements that are currently in force at the moment. Although I do not like that, they have a right to their opinion as to what the elimination of the 3rd class medical would mean and I hate to admit that they make some valid points. I do not remember the exact 16 question recommended self medical evaluation, but when you consider that things like Hypertension, can be more dangerous when flying (can't pull over to the side of the road) then when driving, it makes sense that just holding a drivers license and saying your ok doesn't really cut it. Example, a couple of years ago, never having had any high blood pressure issues, I was in a drug store, did not feel very good and checked by BP on the store machine. 218 / 108. Had never been higher than about 130 / 72. If I had not checked it and it got any worse, I could have had a stroke etc. They still can not figure out why this happened, I have no blockage and every possible cause was checked including having a monitor tethered to me for 30 days. I now have a home monitor and have to check my BP twice a day. Under the FAA guidelines there is actually a pretty good high end allowance on BP even corrected with a number of approved drugs.

I believe that the Medical Exam cost issue is :B.S.: especially for those under 40 that only require a medical once every 3 years. I personally know pilots that are flying that should self ground and do not and have to admit that this is one of the problems that the opponents of the elimination of the 3rd class are afraid of. I would support another form of Third Class Medical where you go to your primary care physician with an FAA form, which shows the auto failure medical items (Remember even under LSA you are required to ground yourself if you get certain conditions etc.) shows the allowed conditions drugs etc. and then allows your doctor (who is probably covered under your medical insurance) to sign you off. This would make sure that you did get checked, but not denied because of some over restrictive interpretation of conditions by someone in another state reviewing your form. This would defuse those who believe that the elimination of the 3rd Class is too risky and insure at least to some extent that people are not just ignoring things so as to be able to fly.

When I was still flying I carried letters from 4 of my doctors each stating that in their opinion and based on their examinations and treatment of me, felt that I was fit to fly at the commercial level. I never wanted an issue with my insurance.

Now that it looks like this whole thing is again stalling, after my annual cancer check up on August 10th (they do not scan me anymore annually, but will if I want it or the exam shows I may need it) I am going to bite the bullet and take a 3rd Class Medical, disclose everything that is going on with me medically and see if there is a way to get a waiver. I know it is a big risk, but I have really good insurance and I can get all the tests done that the FAA requires and we will go from there.

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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby jjbaker » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:13 am

Bob, funniest thing all week. Boycott lists are now circulating, trying to get people to stop spending money on ALPA represented airlines.

I don't want to know how many ill- worded letters have been sent to ALPA but all that will accomplish is for ALPA to call for more stringent mental evaluations of General Aviation pilots. And it would seem reasonable. Especially people who hold ATP's are well advised not to get to nasty in their emails. Threats of physical harm never do any good, see §61.153 - 2 (c).

With all the dissent within ALPA ranks, it is painfully clear that nobody in the association has taken a large scale effort to mount a counter-statement.
On one of the "Pull The Ladder Up, We're All Set" email groups I belong to, someone apologized to his fellow GA pilots for Canoll's statement, clearly stating that ALPA's stand on the issue does not appear to represent majority opinion of its membership. Its nothing but a PR stunt. The only way to fix the damage is for ALPA members to come out and explain to their senator that the recent ALPA letter is not representative of the opinion of the majority of members.

This will weaken ALPA in the long run. Rambo tours can backfire and Canoll needs to learn that lesson.
If parts of the membership publicly rescind or invalidate Canoll's letter, ALPA will see this thrown in its face at every turn.

Just like the NGPA's ill-conceived public offense that got the FAGS abbreviation censored out of a Flying Magazine article, there are always groups which will go to any extreme necessary to get or stay in the spotlight. This seems to attract the kind of attention they aim for. Our reaction to such is usually hostile, thereby giving more ammunition to the opponent.

A storm in the waterglass style pitchfork hunter fest won't accomplish a thing. In fact, I think its counterproductive at the very core.
I've shared my email to Capt. Canoll in our supporting member area. He has been responding to people who have written him about this.
The system you propose with the PCH doing an evaluation on behalf of the FAA sounds too good to be true. I'd be surprised if AMA would "allow" that.
We should not forget that the division is large between medical professionals as well. Consensus would be extremely hard to find.

I am 40 years old and stand a higher chance to get fatally hit by a Coconut falling from a Christmas-tree in Germany than I have for seeing reasonable medical reform in my lifetime. One should really wonder how we got the LSA rules on the books and how glider pilots don't need a medical at all. Yet, they seem to elect not to fall out of the sky due to medical impairment... Capt. Canoll's letter is an insult to every single GA pilot out there, as he just blankly declared most of those in favor of medical reform and regulatory relax, a bunch of sick criminals, waiting for the day to endanger the NAS with their little planes again.
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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby jjbaker » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:40 pm

Dear Captain Canoll,

Your recent letter on the Manchin bill positions ALPA in strong opposition of long overdue medical reform in this country. The writing has blind-sighted the community and definitely hit a nerve by insulting a large user-group of our national airspace system. A very safe and responsible group of users, I may add.

While many of us wonder where you may have derived the arguments you make in your letter to the Senator, most of us notice that many of your members are out there, apologizing for this ill-intended letter. Apparently it does not represent majority opinion.

As you know, many of today's airline pilots learned to fly in the ranks of general aviation and weren't born with epaulettes attached to their shoulders. Not all of them are airline training academy graduates and many more enjoy general aviation. The way we evaluate their medical fitness to fly has been outdated and antiquated for decades and it has been so on all three medical classes currently in use.

Allow me to venture a guess: If you currently polled your membership - you would find reason to retract your letter and apologize for your statements. Not a single one of the points holds water in logical debate, it looks more like a political power-play, rather than reasonable argument. Good to impress upon unknowing Senators, though - not at all useful beyond that scope.

You have accomplished the following:

  • Severely damaged the perception of general aviation pilots in the U.S.
  • Weakened ALPA's positioning and power
  • Caused more division amongst aviators

I do have to ask: What does ALPA or its members gain from any of this?

Please keep connected to the very core of people who pay your salary and provide for your income. If you feel the need to hit the press with outrageous letters, do something that actually helps your constituents, instead of deriving your publicity on the backs of people who provide your very industry with the human resources needed to even have airline pilots.

Many argue that even a course reversal at this point will not yield any better situation - but, at the very least you should reach out to the leadership of the largest associations currently tasked in finding medical evaluation solutions which will keep America's skies safe. Please revise your stand and work with the people your members share this airspace with.

Sincerely,
--
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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby RKittine » Thu May 11, 2017 5:04 am

Well, it is here. May 1st has come and all the forms are out there. Since May 1st I have:

1. - Printed the required forms and filled them out.
2. - Provided them to the doctors that have within the last 4 years treated me, who filled out their respective sections.
3. - Took the on line Medical Self Assessment course, passed the exam and printed the certificate.
4. - Put electronic copies on my iPad and printed copies in my Log Book and the Wallet Card in my wallet.

I am now legal as per the FAA. Just waiting to see what the response is from the insurance company for re-insuring me on non-LSA aircraft.

Two things that are interesting.
1. - As far as paperwork. Very easy.
2. - As far as the actual physical, though you can get it from what ever licensed doctor you want and covered by your insurance. It is much more comprehensive a physical then I ever had for an FAA 1st Class physical. It is yet to be seen how many doctors are willing to sign off on the new forms, but since my main doctor is a flight student of mine, it was pretty easy.

Good luck to all that go this route. No problem acting as PIC and giving instruction, including now night, actual IFC etc. Just can't get paid to do the flying.

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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby RKittine » Sun May 14, 2017 8:03 am

So far one of the three insurance carriers I have policies with has provide me, in writing, that they are providing coverage for those using BasicMed as their FAA medical requirement.

Soloed the C340A on Friday. C182 is next, this Tuesday. Maybe I should cut off my shirt tail! :beer:

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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby jjbaker » Sun May 14, 2017 11:16 am

Thats awesome news Captain Kittine!
Congratulations!
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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby RKittine » Sun May 14, 2017 12:40 pm

Thanks JJ,

Tuesday, weather permitting, I am going to fly up toe Argyle and Island Bob's. Need to see what I need to do in order to get the doc in, have to get 10 hours of Make and Model in the Sedan on floats (but not on this trip as it has to be annualed at the moment).

Glenn,

Want to take me to lunch on Tuesday? I could fly over to Cooperstown from Argyle.

Bob
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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby KeithSmith » Sun May 14, 2017 12:44 pm

In reviewing the medical process it has been found that pilots who are taking Viagra and an Iron Supplement medication should refrain from flying.

It appears that the Viagra will bind with the iron in the iron supplement and that this causes the pilots to point north all of the time.
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Re: 3rd Class Medical Reform Progress?

Unread postby RKittine » Sun May 14, 2017 5:27 pm

Thank Heavens that I do not need an Iron Supplement,

Bob
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