House Examines False FAA Medicals

 - July 17, 2007, 11:38 AM

A hearing held today by the House transportation and infrastructure subcommittee on aviation sought to examine ways to reduce the level of falsifications and omissions on FAA medical applications. The hearing stemmed from an exercise a few years ago in which the FAA randomly selected 40,000 medical certificate applications and found that more than 3,200 people granted a medical certificate were also receiving social security disability benefits. According to the Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG), there have been 128 accidents in the past 11 years directly related to medical incapacitation. The IG recommended that the FAA work with the Social Security Administration to crosscheck records and ensure those on disability are not granted a medical certificate. AOPA said in its testimony that it agreed with the recommendation. Both also agreed that proper education about what constitutes a reportable condition and medication was also needed. Finally, the IG and AOPA recommended a grace period whereby pilots could report past medical conditions and medications without fear of retribution.