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  #11  
Old 08-08-2019, 01:17 PM
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RV7A Flyer RV7A Flyer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by DaleB View Post
AOPA, EAA, and the FAA are better resources to answer this question than a bunch of fellow pilots on VAF who may or may not know the correct answer.
Yeah, but it's not my problem in the first place...think of it as a barroom discussion amongst pilots. The affected persons will no doubt be contacting one of the alphabet organizations and hopefully an aviation attorney, but until then, it's just a topic to kick around amongst fellow pilots.
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2019, 01:20 PM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Originally Posted by DaleB View Post
With all due respect, I don't think that's correct. I think "deferred" means "cannot fly until a medical certificate is issued". An AME should be able to tell you for sure. AOPA, EAA, and the FAA are better resources to answer this question than a bunch of fellow pilots on VAF who may or may not know the correct answer.

In this case, the hypothetical pilot's most recent application for a medical certificate was deferred. Pretty sure said pilot is grounded until a medical is issued.

Yet another reinforcement of my long standing advice: never, ever submit an application for an FAA medical certificate unless and until you and your doctor are absolutely 100.0% certain it can be issued.

Note, for full disclosure: Competing opinion can be found here. And I'm not an AME, a lawyer, or an FAA wonk. You shouldn't take my opinion as fact.
I think you would be correct if this applicant did not have a valid 3rd class medical in hand. He would not however be able to exercise the privileges of a second class medical until it is "approved".

Think about this:

If you walk into an AME with no valid medical certificate of any kind, you complete the exam and get deferred by the AME, then you still have no valid medical certificate. Can't fly where a 3rd class is required. Bummer!

If you walk into an AME with a valid 3rd class medical certificate, you complete the exam for a 3rd class medical and get deferred by the AME, does that automatically invalidate your existing 3rd class medical certificate?

If you walk into an AME with a valid 3rd class medical certificate, you complete the exam for a 1st or 2nd class medical and get deferred by the AME (higher standards for 1st and 2nd vs 3rd), does that automatically invalidate your existing 3rd class medical certificate?
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Last edited by Brantel : 08-08-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2019, 08:01 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Brantel View Post
If you walk into an AME with a valid 3rd class medical certificate, you complete the exam for a 3rd class medical and get deferred by the AME, does that automatically invalidate your existing 3rd class medical certificate?
I think the way the rules were intended, yes, it does invalidate your current medical. But in practise, I think it's a grey enough area that it's left to the discretion of the doctor. I went through a similar situation in Canada with my medical this year as my BP read higher than the doctor was happy with... Still within the *medicated* limits as per the evaluation standard, and i'm *not* medicated, but higher than he wanted to see. So my medical was sent "for further review" with the regional director.

My doctor explicitly said that I could still fly on my existing medical, but he would not sign my medical to renew it. This being the first time this came up for me, I didn't want to push the issue and risk him saying "okay, we'll just deny your medical and you can turn in your license now." It took a month to get through to someone at Transport Canada to confirm that they had reviewed my file, there were no issues, and that my doctor *should have signed off my medical*.

Next time i'm going to be a little more assertive, now that i'm better educated on the requirements and the process.
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2019, 11:48 AM
tcbetka tcbetka is offline
 
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I'm a retired physician, but was never an AME. However I know some and could certain ask this question. Also, while in training, one of my attending physicians (ie; bosses) was an AME...and I was a pilot. So we certainly talked about things like this, and I was even present for doing FAA physicals with that AME. His exam was the "important" one, but while you're in training you also do these and then tell your boss(es) what you found. Stuff like that.

That being said, my opinion on this is that it is quite possible that the deferral of his 2nd class medical COULD in fact negate his 3rd class medical. It depends upon *why* the deferral was made.

For example, as pointed out in a previous post in the thread, a certain criteria for a class 3 medical might be less strenuous than that for a class 2 medical. Visual acuity was the example cited, and that's probably a good example. However if a person is 55 years old with a class 3 medical, but presents with an EKG finding consistent with an undiagnosed cardiac issue...then I think the gig is up. But in such a case, the AME should in fact have told the candidate what the medical concern was--and should have also told them whether or not it would have resulted in a deferment if the applicant was looking for a class 3 medical. If it indeed would have been a deal-breaker for that level too, then I think the FAA is basically going to expect the pilot to stop flying, due to the whole FAR 61.53 "Operating with a known medical deficiency" thing.

So in summary: From my recollection (and this was 20 years ago now), the AME deferring to OKC should have told the pilot applicant whether in fact there IS a "known medical deficiency." If that's the case, then I think the pilot is out of luck. If that statement/declaration wasn't made, and if the pilot applicant isn't themselves a physician (and therefore not qualified to make a "medical diagnosis"), then I believe the pilot can continue to fly until told otherwise from OKC.

Again, keep in mind that 1) although I'm a physician...I never attended the AME certification course in OKC, and 2) my opinions are made from spending 35 years as a pilot, and working with AMEs while in my medical residency (training). But I feel very strongly, and of this I'm certain, that if there is in fact a finding that the AME would deem to be a "medical deficiency," then the AME has to inform the pilot applicant as such. I know this because I discussed it with my ex-boss while in training, and I witnessed it done on several occasions. Maybe other AMEs did it differently, but that's not the way this (non-pilot)AME worked. He was 100% "by-the-book."

Hope this helps.

TB
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  #15  
Old 08-09-2019, 11:58 AM
tcbetka tcbetka is offline
 
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By the way...

I also saw instances where the AME wasn't certain how the OKC people would view a certain condition, and in some cases did not issue...while in other cases (in the absence of other disqualifying findings) did issue the medical. And in follow up he would get a letter from OKC as to whether or not he made the right determination. Most of the time he did, but there were one or two times when the OKC medical people over-ruled him. So it was a bit like the new NFL video-review referees go: The on-field guys do what they think is best, until they're overruled by the guys at NFL headquarters.

I was also a flight instructor during this time, and gave medical lectures to pilots who saw that AME--so I would get feedback from many of them. He (the AME I worked for) wasn't always a very popular guy as you might imagine, and there were a couple of pilots who later told me the OKC sent them letters telling them that even though the local AME gave them the medical, they couldn't fly until they had further medical evaluation(s). And these were largely at their own expense, by the way, because often the FAA required testing not deemed as "medically necessary" by the pilot's health insurance provider.

So guess who got to pay for that stuff?

TB
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