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