Government Shutdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/4/2018

Although the FAA medical certification branch is virtually closed, many pilots are receiving answers to their aeromedical questions from Pilot Medical Solutions. Due to the government shutdown and furloughs, a large portion of the FAA is shut down including many parts of the Aeromedical Certification Division. The FAA Customer Service line for pilots is unavailable but contrary to some reports, the FAA Medical certification division is not completely shut down. It is true that only “essential” FAA personnel are on duty. We estimate that the backlog of medical appeal cases is accruing at a rate of 50-60 cases per day. The holidays and weather have also caused closure. Ice and snow in OKC forced a complete closure of the aeronautical campus for multiple days. While FAA Medexpress is not shutdown, unfortunately several pilots have chosen to submit an application hoping to determine their eligibility. We do not recommend this. Pilots who wish to know if their condition or medication are acceptable to the FAA should take a confidential practice FAA medical exam at: leftseat.com/evaluations or send an email to info@leftseat.com. If you have questions concerning your case or your FAA medical certification eligibility contact us at 405-787-0303.

16 replies
  1. Matt J
    Matt J says:

    I tried calling the FAA to find out when I would get my medical. No answer!
    When I called Pilot Medical they told me I did not have to wait for the FAA.
    They helped me work with my local doctor to get what I need to satisfy the FAA and also to fly under basic medical rules.
    That’s service-Thank you!

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Glad you received what you needed Matt. Many pilots are waiting to hear from the FAA that don’t need to be waiting. In some cases, we can guide them through options for flying immediately.
      In other cases, pilots are advised of documents which they failed to submit.
      Most importantly, in almost every call we have received concerning the shutdown, we find that waiting isn’t the only option. There is usually something that the pilot can do immediately to improve their outcome.

      Reply
  2. Rick K
    Rick K says:

    Here’s what is really bad. My AME just deferred my case to OKC. I told him there is no OKC right now! I have 3 conditions: diabetes, kidney stone and a minor heart problem, all of which the FAA website says my AME can issue.
    But when I talked to the AME, he tells me he has to defer the file to the real FAA. What’s the story?

    Reply
    • Matt J
      Matt J says:

      Good luck Matt- I have heard of deferrals for the smallest things. I was deferred for my blood pressure one time and later found out it was lower than the FAA’s numbers. I still had to wait for Oklahoma to “serve” me. I have found that I should see my private GP before the FAA exam so I don’t get any surprises. When he finds something, I get him to write it up and take that to the AME.

      Reply
        • admin
          admin says:

          Unfortunately this is a relatively short wait as far as deferred FAA medical certificates are concerned. You don’t have to wait to learn what will happen next. Call us and we can discuss your options in detail.

          Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Mark,

      Thanks for your comment. There are many short-cuts to FAA medical certification but each case is fact dependent. Many times you don’t actually have to wait for the FAA. If you can send us your last FAA Special Issuance authorization, or a summary of the issues you have, to info@leftseat.com we will respond directly to you.

      Reply
  3. Nicholas
    Nicholas says:

    I was just taken off a special issuance and was waiting for them to mail my certificate just as the government shutdown, how do I know if they mailed it?

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      The FAA does not have a system which identifies an airman queue, case disposition or mailing status.
      The shutdown closed the FAA’s “customer service” line. You can call us at 405-787-0303 to discuss your eligibility for certification.

      Reply
  4. Rajiv S
    Rajiv S says:

    Hello,

    I am starting my private pilot training next week, I applied for 3rd class medical via local AME before Christmas but he said that FAA has to issue first medical certificate as I have type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism. My documents were sent to FAA on 1/2 but it looks like it will take several weeks to months to hear back from FAA. What are my options?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      There may be an alternative flight training option if you just started flying. There are many variables to establish FAA medical certification eligibility for these two conditions. The most important thing for you to establish is that you sent in enough information for the FAA to approve you. You don’t want to wait for several months only to receive a letter asking for more information. We can review your records and tell you if the FAA is likely to certify you. Call us at 405-787-0303 to discuss your case in detail.

      Reply
  5. Mike
    Mike says:

    We have a pilot whose Special Issuance Medical will expire 31 Jan 2019. We’re a small Part 121 airline.

    Are there any options for a reissueance, besides the folks in OKC?

    Reply
  6. Camilo
    Camilo says:

    Hello, thanks in advance for your attention, I am trying to get a license in other country, and they need to verify the medical certificate is valid, I tried to ask to certification branch but nobody reply, also i tried to call medical division but the line is not working. Do you know where i can find that information. Thank you.

    Reply

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