FAA Third Class Medical

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

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TimTaylor
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FAA Third Class Medical

Postby TimTaylor » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:25 pm

What is the "look back" time for an FAA Third Class Medical certificate? In other words, when applying for a third class medical now, how far back do they ask on the application regarding previous medical conditions and/or previous doctor visits? I'm asking about a third class, not Basic Med. Thanks.
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TimTaylor
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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby TimTaylor » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:52 pm

Well, to answer my own question, looking at the on-line forms, etc. It looks like they look back 3 years for doctor visits, but the look back for past medical issues doesn't appear to have a time limit. At least, that's how I interpret what the forms are asking for.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

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MrMorden
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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby MrMorden » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:01 am

TimTaylor wrote:Well, to answer my own question, looking at the on-line forms, etc. It looks like they look back 3 years for doctor visits, but the look back for past medical issues doesn't appear to have a time limit. At least, that's how I interpret what the forms are asking for.


I believe that is correct. If you've *ever* had a medical condition like a heart condition, surgery, or other issue, you must report those going back your entire life, but they only ask about relatively recent medical visits.
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Wm.Ince
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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby Wm.Ince » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:11 am

MrMorden wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:Well, to answer my own question, looking at the on-line forms, etc. It looks like they look back 3 years for doctor visits, but the look back for past medical issues doesn't appear to have a time limit. At least, that's how I interpret what the forms are asking for.

I believe that is correct. If you've *ever* had a medical condition like a heart condition, surgery, or other issue, you must report those going back your entire life, but they only ask about relatively recent medical visits.

If any of the applicable boxes (on the FAA Form) are checked, it is supposed to be followed up with more information or explanation in the "Remarks" section.
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Scooper
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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby Scooper » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:19 am

My experience with the hassle and expense of keeping my third class special issuance is what led me to let the SI lapse and fly LSAs as a sport pilot using a valid drivers license in lieu of a medical certificate. Depending on the severity of the condition requiring the special issuance, maintaining it may be relatively inexpensive, but for me the geniuses in OKC wanted a letter from my physician every six months with lots of bloodwork and the CogScreen-AE exam every two years. It wasn't worth the hassle and the ~$1500 a year since 95% of the kind of flying I do can be done as a sport pilot. My PCP had no problem signing off on BasicMed in May, 2017, and he knows a lot more about my health than the folks in Oklahoma City. For me the big advantage of BasicMed is that I can fly at night and can occasionally fly 172s and 182s if I need to carry more than one passenger.
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FlyAgain
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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby FlyAgain » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:00 pm

I think what traps some of us (especially us older guys) is the the "Other Conditions" question on the form (barring any of the obviously disqualifying conditions spelled out by the FAA). When you hit 50+ years old and did a career in the military you get a health history that's pretty thick. This opens pandoras box. Most of the denials for past health history, according to the FAA, is because the "applicant didn't provide enough information to the FAA to make a decision." A cop out in my opinion...when in doubt, deny. What I wish they would consider are some other options:

1. Eliminate the Third Class Medical for VFR only private pilots as they did for Light Sport. Just get rid of it. I looked though over 200 LSA accident reports and didn't any that pointed to a medical issue as the cause of the accident (I saw a one where age was insinuated as contributing, the guy was old big deal, and another where a guy's autopsy showed benadryl in his system. But I think he ran out of gas. It doesn't appear as though sport pilots are augering in due to medical issues that a Third Class would have prevented. Plenty of PPL incidents on the other hand with medical issues so doesn't appear as though the sacrosanct medical is a silver bullet.

2. Get rid of the research project on the "other" past health history. Figure what "other things" you are worried about and ask specifically about them. You should pass a physical exam, not a health history questionnaire. If you are fit to fly right now you are good to go. It's not like active duty military where the Flight Doc is following you around like the KGB...scores of PPLs get medical issues between physical exams and deal with it, they don't run to see the AME.

3. Expand Basic Med to eliminate the magical and totally meaningless 2006 date restriction.

OK I'm thinking out loud, none of that is ever going to happen but maybe the LSA restrictions will evolve to encompass the piston engine singles at some point.

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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:25 pm

I missed Basic Med by 45 days. I think the 10 year look-back is fair and reasonable. If you're going to get back into flying, it's best to do it with a good attitude and not bad-mouthing the FAA from the get-go.
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MrMorden
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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby MrMorden » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:02 pm

TimTaylor wrote:I missed Basic Med by 45 days. I think the 10 year look-back is fair and reasonable. If you're going to get back into flying, it's best to do it with a good attitude and not bad-mouthing the FAA from the get-go.


I've literally never met a pilot in person that I exchanged more than a single conversation with didn't bad-mouth *something* about the FAA.

The good news is the FAA seems to be changing, and has a much less adversarial stance with pilots than in past years.
Andy Walker
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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MrMorden
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Re: FAA Third Class Medical

Postby MrMorden » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:08 pm

FlyAgain wrote:1. Eliminate the Third Class Medical for VFR only private pilots as they did for Light Sport. Just get rid of it. I looked though over 200 LSA accident reports and didn't any that pointed to a medical issue as the cause of the accident (I saw a one where age was insinuated as contributing, the guy was old big deal, and another where a guy's autopsy showed benadryl in his system. But I think he ran out of gas. It doesn't appear as though sport pilots are augering in due to medical issues that a Third Class would have prevented. Plenty of PPL incidents on the other hand with medical issues so doesn't appear as though the sacrosanct medical is a silver bullet.


I honestly believe that elimination of the 3rd class medical is the goal for pilots that possess a normal driver's license. But the FAA is a conservative organization, and they will creep up to that in baby steps. The combination of Basic Med and the proposed LSA rules change might mean that there will be relatively few non-commercial pilots flying on a medical. If a few years of that show no significant decrease in safety, then I could see the third class medical going away.

The situation would be similar to ground vehicles; you'd only need a medical for commercial privileges, like the way a commercial driver's license works. I think that is what we should be working toward, and I thing that looks to be the direction FAA is slowly moving.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA


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