Whether you are a pilot, co-pilot, or the average person, it is important to exercise due diligence with your health.There are many people who depend on each one of us, from our spouse and kids to strangers on the street. Our health and overall fitness affects everyone around us.There is an old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Preventing health problems and disease is our responsibility.
What was the 3rd Class Medical Reform ruling and how does it apply to me?
According to the AOPA article, "Medical Reform Becomes Law, " Under the reforms, pilots who have held a valid medical certificate any time in the decade prior to July 15, 2016, may not need to take another FAA medical exam. The 10-year lookback period applies to both regular and special issuance medicals. Pilots whose most recent medical certificate was revoked, suspended, withdrawn, or denied will need to obtain a new medical certificate before they can operate under the reforms. Pilots who have never held an FAA medical certificate, including student pilots, will need to go through the process one time only." First-time pilots must go through the medical certification process once. Pilots who have held a valid medical certificate 10 years prior to July 15, 2016 might not need to take another medical exam through the FAA. Light sport pilots still only need a valid driver's license to fly a light sport airplane.
I don't have to worry about losing my pilot's license-- or do I?
This bill makes it so you can keep your license regardless of health conditions. However, your primary care physician could deem your health to be a hazard to others in flight or in your land vehicle by ordering you to not fly (or drive) and putting this in your medical records. If you were to fly and have an accident, those notes in your file could cost you your license plus any other penalty a judge in a court of law deems appropriate for your violation of medical restrictions. It would not be any different than someone who continues to have epileptic seizures being told by their physician to not drive until they are deemed safe to drive by that doctor. If this person, while driving, has a seizure and causes an accident, he or she could face stiff fines, jail time,and permanent suspension of driver's license. It can be the same for pilots.
What good physical fitness and health management does for you as a pilot/co-pilot:
We want to help you make your health and fitness a priority. If you are a pilot, co-pilot, or aviation enthusiast, sign up now for our Guts 2 Gallons weight loss challenge! This challenge runs from September 15, 2016 to December 15, 2016.We would love to get a healthy weight loss competition among airport groups to cheer and challenge each other!
Many blessings to you!
Pictures from Unsplash. 1) by Rob Schreckheis, 2) by Blake Richard Vandoorn, 3) by Conrad Wojciechowski.
Resource: AOPA Magazine, "Medical Reform Becomes Law" https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/july/15/medical-reform-becomes-law