MED­I­CAL RE­FORM

Flying - - INBOX -

I read with great in­ter­est Martha King’s ar­ti­cle about the path to FAA med­i­cal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion re­form [July]. I hope it will soon be true that the FAA is tak­ing a new ap­proach, but I am sad to say that at present the Aero­space Med­i­cal Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Divi­sion has not changed.

I am 65 years old and have flown for 53 years. I am par­tially hand­i­capped from child­hood po­lio, but this has not been an im­ped­i­ment to my fly­ing. In March of this year, my right leg gave out and I fell in my bath­room, strain­ing my foot. At no time did I lose con­scious­ness. It healed in four weeks, and I went on a week­long sail­boat race at the end of April with no prob­lems. My girl­friend pre­vailed on me to go to my doc­tor a week af­ter the fall as she was con­cerned it was some­thing se­ri­ous. My doc­tor had me see a car­di­ol­o­gist and a neu­rol­o­gist, both of whom de­clared me fit. I sub­mit­ted my ap­pli­ca­tion for a third-class med­i­cal via MedXPress on July 28. I dis­closed as re­quired all of the above doc­tor vis­its. I went to my lo­cal AME the fol­low­ing Mon­day, July 31. He pulled up my ap­pli­ca­tion, and on the MedXPress form on his com­puter it said in red let­ters, “AME shall not is­sue med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate.” There was no ex­pla­na­tion of this state­ment. My med­i­cal ex­pired on July 31, and for the past six weeks I have been un­able to fly by my­self.

I con­tacted AOPA, and they in­di­cated that they could not do any­thing un­til I re­ceived a let­ter from the FAA. I’m still wait­ing.

I am deeply dis­ap­pointed in the FAA AMCD. They cer­tainly do not view me as a cus­tomer. I am happy to have any ad­di­tional tests that they deem nec­es­sary. I hope the cul­ture change that Ms. King de­scribes hap­pens quickly at the AMCD, but it has ob­vi­ously not hap­pened yet. Dr. Ge­orge Pavlath via email

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