Will the SP Denied Medical Clause ever be removed?

Here's the place to ask all of your medical questions. But don't believe everything you read!

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Will the SP Denied Medical Clause ever be removed?

Postby pilotgary111 » Mon May 03, 2010 7:13 pm

I am a strong advocate to remove the Sport Pilot Denied Medical Clause. I have written to my US Senator, as advised, about this dilemma that many certificated pilots face. We are side by side to current and flying new sport pilots to aviation and have much more experience and flying time and yet we remain grounded. This clause has been with us since the Sport Pilot Ruling became law in 2004. Does EAA even care anymore to push for its removal? Let's develop some strong strategy and have the DOT attorneys that came up with this ridiculous clause at the final hour remove it and be done with it!
former USAF KC-135A pilot..now gliders and a SP wanna-be
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I agree

Postby yozz25 » Mon May 03, 2010 7:45 pm

Gary, sometimes the law can be an ass and to be quite honest, most politicians and officials, really don't give a s--t.

Common sense, which is lacking greatly, would say that guys like you should be able to simply whip out your drivers license and simply fly the sports job. You have tons of experience, and what great damage could you do anyhow that the rest of the geezers taking sports training couldn't do?

Perhaps you should go down to mexico, buy a new identity, sneak back across the border, get amnesty, get a green card, new identity, then go for the sports job. You only live once. Just don't do it in the summer, if you get bit in the ass by a scorpion, it's not good.

best of luck to ya, I feel for ya

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Postby Daidalos » Mon May 03, 2010 9:08 pm

I feel your pain. Basically the government is trying to cover their a$$. With only drivers license a Sport Pilot self certifies that he/she does not have any condition that would make them unsafe to fly. It is not simply the possession of a driver’s license. However one could argue that point.

There are many conditions that would prevent you from getting a medical but you could still obtain a drivers license. The local FBO where I rent made me sign a disclaimer and release, even though they made a copy of my DL.

It’s all about liability. If something happened the claimant could go after all the deep pockets. Some things in life are not fair.
Marcus - WA2DCI
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Daidalos Greek: Δαίδαλος
Remember don't fly too close to the Sun.

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Postby yozz25 » Tue May 04, 2010 2:48 am

If you self certify, this is where the game becomes sticky. I'm not sure what the application for a license says, but for the FBO's purposes, you do sign a waiver.

However, it's a matter of belief/opinion, not fact I would guess. If something were to happens resulting in liability of big bucks, then the lawyers would unravel it, since you may have a condition and not believe it would cause you to be unfit or unsafe to fly. Do liability policies have a list of conditions? Probably not.

The FAA is simply covering it's face in the event a license is issued to someone who was denied and has a mishap killing or injuring others on the ground. You can imagine the talking heads on TV raging about him/her having been denied for ppl but still legal to fly with DL. Blame would be all over the place and the whole thing overblown.

In reality, each day elderly around the country, aside from the usual drunk or drug addicted, enter into their vehicle and either kill or maim probably scores of people while knowing damn well they are not fit to drive anymore. We have all heard many times of the older person who got confused and mixed up the break with accelerator pedal ensuing in an accident.

No state motor vehicle official is brought to task on this one, although the TV talking heads bring up the issue with a question, and it dies down.

But let one incident of a plane crash with sports ticket, and denied medical for ppl, they would make a large case out of it on TV, even though the problem with elderly driving is a much larger issue. Unfair, but this is how the system works.

yozz :shock:

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Postby 3Dreaming » Tue May 04, 2010 8:34 am

I doubt this will ever change. The FAA will not make a wide sweeping new regulation saying someone is OK to self certify when they have already said they are not OK to pass a medical. The FAA did leave a little bit of an out by allowing you to get a special issuance medical. After that you can let it expire and you are good to go. Get with AOPA or EAA aeromedical people and see if you are good to get a special issuance medical. It may cost quite a bit for all the test, but if you qualify it will get you back in the air. Your other choice is to get a glider rating and fly a motor glider. Tom

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it depends

Postby yozz25 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:27 am

I guess it depends on what your medical problem is and how severe.

The best would be to work with an aero medical examiner, speaking to the doc first. It's up to the doc to determine whether they want to put their final touch after all tests are taken certifying you to fly.

If they believe in their professional opinion that you should not be operating a sports job, and they do put their signature their nevertheless to help you out, then they risk the long arm of liability. You can be sure that if something were to happen resulting in harm to others, then your insurer would pay off, and in the case of big bucks would examine the medical documents, and if the tests said no but the doc said yes, then they would look to doc for reimbursement.

All of this goes on behind the scenes.


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Postby Murrell » Wed May 05, 2010 8:40 am

It has been stated quite sometime back by the FAA that they had no intention of permitting those who lost their Medical, to obtain a Sport Pilot Certificate, using only their Drivers Licenses !

I am surprised by the number of complainers continuisly bitching about this.

If they are serious about getting, their Medical reinstated there are number of medical firms, several actually in OKC, who will test you and actually represent you to get a dispensation before the FAA, for a nice price of course.
[ if you fail their evaluation, best buy a rocking chair and watch the world go by ]

I know this is old hat, but I'd say they would have a better chance of passing their medical this way than wishing for something the FAA says isn't going to happen.

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Postby N918KT » Thu May 06, 2010 12:53 pm

I definitely support your decision pilotgary111!!! Yes, I think it is unfair that pilots can't fly SP with denied medicals with their driver licenses. However, I don't know how to help you sir. No, I haven't been denied for a medical before as I never even applied for a medical before either. But I feel bad for pilots like you because they can't fly SP with denied medicals.

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Postby rsteele » Thu May 06, 2010 2:28 pm

I don't ever expect the FAA to change this. You might just as well wait for them to raise the LSA gross weight, allow turbine driven LSA's or Sport Pilots in IMC.

Have you looked into sailplanes/motor gliders or ultralights?

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Postby seastar » Fri May 07, 2010 9:48 am

Where I base my airplane there are many who do not have a medical and fly regular airplanes.

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Postby bryancobb » Fri May 07, 2010 1:15 pm

I have a friend who lives on a farm in south Georgia who owns a turbine Air Tractor. He has been spraying his own crops over his entire farm for over 30 years.
Never had one, never will!! He hates the FAA.
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Postby pilotgary111 » Sun May 16, 2010 11:57 am

I have written to many FAA and DOT top officials and spoken to one. They have NO interest in changing this Catch-22 issue with the SP Denied Medical Clause. I am awaiting a reply from my US Senator in Washington DC with great interest.

EAA and AOPA have effectively given up on this issue altogether in my opinion.

I have flown ultralights, gliders, some light aircraft, many Air Force aircraft, and even did some banner towing, but the FAA says I cannot legally fly a J-3 Cub around the pattern under the Sport Pilot Ruling. How ridiculous is that!

Let's all get much more proactive in writing and even calling our elected US Representatives and Senators.

Our voices collectively could change this Catch-22 dilemma and allow many more certificated pilots back into the air.
former USAF KC-135A pilot..now gliders and a SP wanna-be

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Postby KSCessnaDriver » Sun May 16, 2010 2:58 pm

I really feel for you, since you can't fly an LSA, and hope you figure out someway to fly. But, I think a constant barrage of pushing for the denied medical clause is going to do more damage than it will do good. One accident involving a pilot without a medical, and I've got a feeling the FAA is going to move to a 4th class medical certificate. And quite honestly, it probably needs to be done. Just because someone has a driver's license doesn't mean they are safe to operate an airplane.

Just my 2 cents, and I know its not very popular. But I wish you luck in your endeavor.
KSCessnaDriver (ATP MEL, Commerical LTA-Airship/SEL, Private SES, CFI/CFII)
LSA's flown: Remos G3, Flight Design CTSW, Aeronca L-16, Jabiru J170

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Postby Bill » Sun May 16, 2010 3:44 pm

There are a few work-arounds for getting stick time:

1) There's a guy on our field with a similar problem - but he also has a small airplane (not LSA). Sooo...he took on two non-equity partners who get to fly on the cheap. The trade-off for them is they need to go flying (to act) as PIC when the owner wants to fly. No one is making any unreasonable demands in that situation and they all seem to have a good, working arrangement.

2) We have another gentleman who is now incapable of flying by himself and he knows that. But he is also 1/3 owner of a small plane (that would qualify as LSA). He only goes flying when there is a qualified pilot who is willing to fly the front seat (PIC, solo position).

3) My plane was in the shop for its Annual and it took longer than planned - because I asked to have some cosmetic work done and we had to wait for a part. I wanted to go flying one beautiful afternoon - but my plane is LSA eligible, I fly under Sport rules, and the FBO does not have any LSA planes for rent. So I signed up for an hour of dual in a 172 - basically paid the extra $$ to have a CFI ride along with me. (It also served as a good proficiency check for me).

What's that old saying? Oh yeah, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."

In today's litigious society I can just hear the political AND media AND legal (read that - lawsuit) uproar if an accident was caused by a medical problem OF WHICH THE FAA HAD PRIOR KNOWLEDGE. Sad, I know, but that is likely the main reason there will not be a change.
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Postby 3Dreaming » Sun May 16, 2010 3:46 pm

First off it does not say denied medical in the regs. It says if it was not issued for any reason. Sometimes the FAA wants additional information or test and the applicant does not want to do them for what ever reason. They were not denied, but the medical was not issued. Like I posted earlier if you applied for a medical and it was not issued the FAA has paper work in writing for you that says you can not fly. By issuing a reg saying that you are now safe to fly as a sport pilot they are contradicting them self. If you have an accident for a medical reason they would be held liable. Your only option is to get a special issuance medical, fly ultralights, or motor gliders.

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