The FAA will begin formal rulemaking to consider whether to allow private pilots to use a driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate in some circumstances, the agency announced on April 2. The announcement comes two years after the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) filed a joint petition asking the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption to cover more recreational pilots.
Medical certifications for pilots
As a result of a number of accidents in which the pilots omitted information or lied about substance and/or alcohol dependence during medical evaluations, and the NTSB later determined that the dependency “was relevant to the cause of the accident,” the Safety Board has recommended three policy changes in regard to the evaluation of pilots with dependency issues.
1. Establish a long-term relationship with an aviation medical examiner (AME) so he gets to know you and will be comfortable answering all your questions, even on the phone.
2. Select an AME who is both knowledgeable about aviation medicine and willing to work with you, your treating physician and the FAA regional and national offices to help you retain your medical certificate.