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Pilots in Command
This section is for pilots in command. If you are a pilot who has lost control due to a medical certification issue usually Pilot Medical Solutions can help. If you or someone you know need help to get back in the left seat this blog is for you. Anyone can comment but we definitely want to hear from you if you have lost control or if you have advice to help others.
Ok, I have a mild case of COVID-19 and my doctor says I am fine and can return to flying. I talked with an AME who said I need FAA approval. I read on your website where you say the FAA has extended peoples medical certificates. My AME said that doesn’t apply to me because of FAR 61.53. What does leftseat say about that?
YES, the FAA has stated they will not enforce medical expiration’s until June. This date may also be extended. This means you may be able to continue flying if nothing is new. In other words, if you don’t have a new medical condition or status. The FAA is allowing this because pilots are unable to renew their FAA exam due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. The FAA stated they will not take adverse action against those who continue flying beyond the certificate expiration.
As for airmen who have any new medical conditions, such as having been diagnosed with COVID-19, this could pose at least one problem. First, many people have been found to be contagious with COVID-19 despite any absence of symptoms. It is important to limit exposure and an aircraft cabin is typically a small confined area.
Second, if you have a medical condition not specifically listed as disqualifying in the FAR’s (CV-19 is not listed) you still must satisfy FAR 61.53. That is, you must be certain that you do not know, or have reason to know, of any medical issue which might make you unable to perform essential flight duties (FAR 61.53 paraphrased). So if I have an unexpired medical certificate and my doctor and I believe that I am safe to fly, I would consider myself lawful in doing so. However, at the time of my next FAA medical exam, I would expect the FAA will require evidence which demonstrates that I am fit to fly. See more about that here: http://www.leftseat.com/coronavirus-COVID19.
While the FAA has said it will not enforce expired medical certificates, they have not declared anyone fit to fly without a medical. So if one launches without confidence / evidence of flight fitness and an accident or incident occurs, this may pose a problem.
My advise to pilots who have a new or unreported medical issue is they should make certain their physician has adequately evaluated any pertinent parameters to demonstrate unassailable fitness to fly. If the records are deemed sufficient to demonstrate flight fitness, in most cases that information should then be submitted directly to the FAA. Each case is fact dependent. Contact Pilot Medical Solutions at 405-787-0303 to discuss your case in detail.
The FAA seems to require reporting every time I see a doctor for the slightest thing. This is an abuse of their limited authority and I want to know what I can do to avoid this but stay out of trouble.
Reporting medical visits to the FAA has been a point of contention for years. Practically speaking, the FAA doesn’t get to worked up unless you fail to report something to avoid reporting a disqualifying medical condition. There are also many things which the FAA does expect to be reported simply so they are aware of a condition which will probably get worse in the future and at that time would pose a threat to safety. Obviously, the big problem is that there are many things which the FAA appears to expect pilots to report that are not jeopardizing medical issues. Reporting these out of compliance can cause months or even years of unnecessary bureaucratic delay. If you have something which you believe will only cause an over reaction by the FAA, call 405-787-0303 to confidentially discuss the options.
Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.
Trying to help my husband find guidance for FAA Basic Med. If he has already been approved for Basic Med after coronary bypass, then has another cardiovascular event with a valve, can he keep flying under Basic Med or does he need to get Special Issuance again?
Thank you for the article. Really thank you! It’s great to have support needed to understand the FAA requirements and keep flying. Deerdre
Having read this I thought, how tragic that most pilots incorrectly rely on their AME for guidance and don’t find the truth until the FAA has waisted months or years of good flying time. Good work leftseat!