3rd Class medical Reform
The NY Times published an OpEd piece, A Holiday Treat From Congress, about the Pilots Bill of Rights 2.
The author has this to say about the 3rd Class Medical Reform:
However, I think I speak for most of America when I say that we ought to continue being a little picky about the people we let up there.
Personally, I’m a whole lot more worried about the person driving 70MPH, 3 feet away from me, on the highway that is texting, hasn’t seen a doctor in 2 years and is working on their 1st or 2nd heart attack.
Pilots self-certify every time they fly an airplane. Just because you were OK to fly 3 years ago doesn’t mean you are fit to fly today, and pilots understand that.
I believe that once 3rd class medical reform goes through we will see a healthier pilot community. Today there are many factors that can disqualify you from a medical. Some of them can be worked around, but it requires expensive additional tests. As a result some pilots will ignore symptoms so that when they fill out the paperwork they don’t have to disclose it as being diagnosed.
If we can get past the artificial need for the 3rd class medical, hopefully these pilots will seek the treatment that they need and be healthier and safer.
Pilots that currently fly smaller 2 seat “Light Sport” airplanes already enjoy flying without a medical, and have done so safely for years. There are many instances of Airline (ATP) and Commercial pilots that have much more stringent 1st class medical requirements than private pilots, and have had medical complications while flying.
Flying used to be looked at with marvel and wonder. Today people seem to regard it as nuisance. General aviation provides considerable economic opportunities for cities with airports.