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Thread: 3rd class medical

  1. #1

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    3rd class medical

    If I am not interested in becoming a commercial pilot why do I have to pass a medical test to fly an airplane?

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmurphy View Post
    If I am not interested in becoming a commercial pilot why do I have to pass a medical test to fly an airplane?
    Lot of people have asked that question, over the years. The answer for the past ~18 years is, "You don't have to." Aircraft meeting the FAA's definition of Light Sport can be flown without an FAA medical. A driver's license is considered sufficient. I haven't taken an FAA medical since 2003.

    EAA, AOPA, and FAA are working together to expand these relaxed medical standards, expanding them to larger, more capable aircraft. Stay tuned to the MOSAIC program.

    As to *why* medicals are required, folks have been asking that question for years. The way I heard it...with no references or ways of telling whether it's true or not...the CAA (predecessor of the FAA) implemented medical requirements in the 20s/30s as a way of establishing a known "reserve" of trained pilots that the Army and Navy could draft in case of a war. Pilots with a First Class medical could be put in military cockpits with minimal training. It may have made sense in an era where there were little difference between civilian and military aircraft (the Beech Staggerwing was faster that the military's airplanes) but made less sense by the end of the '30s.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    And of course if you’re willing to get a CL III at least once you can then revert to BasicMed and enjoy pretty much the same privileges as a Private Pilot with a CL III.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the reply Ron. I have always been of the opinion that there was no rational need for a medical test to become a private pilot. You don't need to pass a medical to drive a car, or a 40 foot motorhome. In most states you don't need to have a license to operate a boat, much less pass a medical test. I think the Light Sport category has shown that flying with a drivers license is just as safe as flying with a 3rd class medical. In fact many Light Sport pilots are flying with medical conditions that would disqualify them from being able to get a 3rd class medical, and yet I haven't heard of any increase in accidents due to medical issues.

  5. #5
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Since Sport Pilot began, there has not been a noticeable increase in pilot incapacitation accidents.

    https://www.kitplanes.com/homebuilt-...ots-condition/

    Ron Wanttaja

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    The difficult takes time, the impossible takes money, but to REALLY screw things up takes a government agency. I don't expect reason or logic from most government regs any more than I expect sanity in a nuthouse.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

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