Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chapter Meeting

Just a reminder about our EAA Chapter Meeting coming up on March 8th at 6:00pm.
We will discuss our participation at the Thunder over Utah airshow and the EAA Booth.
The meeting will be held at Art Granger's Hangar @ the Hurricane Airport.
Don't forget to bring a chair!
(For details and a Google Map, scroll down the menu on the left)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

EAA, AOPA Pressing Forward With Third-Class Medical Exemptions

February 28, 2012 – EAA and AOPA are continuing to press forward with their joint effort to expand the use of a driver's license and medical self-certification in lieu of an FAA third-class medical certificate, with a goal of submitting a formal exemption request to the FAA in March.

The GA organizations remain steadfast in their effort, which was formally unveiled at the AOPA Summit last September. EAA and AOPA have petitioned the FAA numerous times over the past 25 years regarding changes to the third-class medical requirements. Those efforts have resulted in the extension of the third-class medical certificate duration for pilots under age 40 and use of a driver's license in lieu of a medical certificate for pilots operating under sport pilot certificate privileges. The FAA, however, has repeatedly failed to act on petitions seeking expansion of the driver’s license/self-certification concept to broader segments of general aviation.

Petitions for similar rulemaking submitted by individuals to FAA have also failed, including the denial earlier this month of a 2009 petition by David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac Airfield of Friendly, Maryland. Wartofsky's petition requested that the driver's license medical certification be expanded to private pilots flying aircraft of 6,000 pounds or less. In its letter of denial to Mr. Wartofsky, the FAA expressed unwillingness to support expansion of driver's license medical certification to complex aircraft, including multiengine, turboprop, turbojet, and helicopters that fall within the 6,000-pound threshold proposed under his petition.

"Mr. Wartofsky's petition did receive more than 1,000 supportive comments, which is very much in line with EAA member input telling us that the expansion of driver's license medical self-certification privileges is a key issue for aviators," said Doug Macnair, EAA's vice president of government relations. "We are working with AOPA to finalize our request for an exemption, which is quite different from a petition for rulemaking, and hope to have it completed and ready to submit in March."

The EAA/AOPA exemption request proposes to expand the driver's license medical beyond the sport pilot certificate to those pilots flying recreationally in fixed-gear aircraft of no more than 180 hp, with a maximum of one passenger in daytime VFR conditions. The request also seeks to boost safety by creating an online educational course addressing medical self-assessment that pilots would be required to complete to qualify for the exemption.

It is estimated that the exemption would encompass more than 50,000 aircraft in the existing fleet. It would allow pilots to fly those aircraft, with which they are most familiar, without the need for a third-class medical certificate provided they meet the requirements and limitations of the exemption. That would maintain GA safety while expanding aeromedical knowledge and resources for pilots.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Paper Forms for Flight Physicals to Disappear October 1

The FAA medical application Form 8500-8 will be eliminated by October 1, 2012, and MedXPress will be used exclusively for medical certificates.

January 30, 2012 – The traditional paper forms completed by many pilots prior to their airman medical exams will completely vanish by October 1, as the FAA moves exclusively to its MedXPress online system for these applications (officially known as FAA Form 8500-8).

Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Fred Tilton reported the change in the Federal Air Surgeon's Medical Bulletin on January 27. He explained that the MedXPress system debuted in 2007, but it was not required to be used by pilots and Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs). Dr. Tilton said that "the paper system allows for too many errors, leads to storage problems, and creates security risks" as reasoning for discontinuing the paper forms. In addition, FAA would save an estimated $150,000 per year by eliminating the paper forms.

Many AMEs already use the MedXPress system exclusively for pilots who apply or renew their medical certification. The change is that all pilots who apply for medical certification or simply have their regular flight physical after October 1 will be required to use the online system.

"EAA supports wise use of FAA funds and more efficient technology, but there are many questions that remain as to this change," said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. "EAA is most notably concerned that a lack of education by the FAA to both pilots and AMEs will lead to confusion. We are willing to do our part to communicate these changes and educate pilots, but it must be an effort by all involved."

In addition, EAA and its Aeromedical Council are seeking solutions and clarification in other areas that may raise concerns among some pilots, including:

  • Unfamiliarity with online technology
  • Worries about online security and access
  • Those AMEs who do fewer medical exams each year may be unfamiliar with the specifics of the online process
  • Point in time where the online application becomes “official,” when the applicant can no longer withdraw the application
  • "EAA has resources that can help pilots who are not yet familiar with the MedXPress system, which is already used by tens of thousands of pilots each year," Elliott said. "We are exploring other local resources, such as EAA chapters, flight instructors and schools, and others who can help educate and assist those who may not have used the MedXPress in the past."

To access the FAA MedXPress website, click here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Can you identify this airplane?

The Chapter Meeting is coming up this Thursday at the museum, St. George Airport.
Please plan to attend and find the proposed agenda:

  • Secretary Report.(Jen)
  • President Report.(Pat)
  • Young Eagles Report (Gary)
  • Airshow report.(Pat)
    • Need for more help. (Pat)
    • Handout posters and brochures.(Pat)
  • Plans for the booth.(Gary)
  • DR-107(Jim and Gary)
    • Go over Gordon's plan?
    • Projected budget for the build.
    • Time schedule for the next 6 months.
    • Location for build: Free hangar at Deseret Lab.
    • (Suggestion: how about the City of  Washington for storage, so it is more central?)

Patrick Carroll
Thunder Over Utah Local Representative
EAA Chapter 936 President
Meeting is the second Thursday of each month.