3rd class medical and the FAA

15 Replies

3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Peter Sanville on Jul 26, 2018 8:06 pm

   Hello,
I am having an unbelievable time obtaining my 3rd class medical. I am repeatedly being asked for MORE information and after each submission, I have been waiting weeks. Is there any way I can speed up their response ?
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Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Brennan Callan on Jul 28, 2018 11:24 am

Peter,
find a local flight school that will train you in a LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT (LSA) (1320 lbs or less), and that you focus on the LIGHT SPORT PILOT CERTIFICATE and don't worry about any medical certificates.  The starting point for you to learn about SPORT PILOT is on
https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/aviation-communities-and-interests/light-sport-aircraft/getting-started-in-lsa/become-a-sport-pilot-and-fly-light-sport-aircraft

You only need the 20-hours of instructional time and 5-hours of solo time.  It means you can earn your first rating for 1/3 the cost to build your experience, confidence, and knowledge.  No medicals required!  It means you can walk away from that unnecessary drama, expense, and frustration.

All of that said, finding a quality flight school is a lot like trying to determine WHO SHALL I MARRY because there are too many losers out there.  You need to be seeking recommendations from other folks that geographically live close to you.  If you hear that a flight school is "milking students" it means they are putting their own interests ahead of yours.  They are going to keep saying, "You are making progress, but we need to clean up these issues...."  Then you pay for thousands of more dollars of flight hours.

Many student pilots learn it is easier (if you can afford it), to buy your own plane and then hire an instructor to teach you.  Most people cannot afford that option.  You can get part-ownership too.

Another option is to start out with a two-seater ultralight and you can research that on the www.eaa.org site too.

If you have the money, you could earn your LIGHT SPORT PILOT CERTIFICATE in a couple of weeks and start flying ON YOUR OWN.  You just need your driver's license.

Right now is the time to find a Sport Pilot Instructor in your area so then you can learn who has a Light Sport Airplane you can rent/use for your instruction.

Best wishes,
Brennan Callan
Aeronautical Scientist

 

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jul 28, 2018 2:41 pm

Peter Sanville:
   Hello,
I am having an unbelievable time obtaining my 3rd class medical. I am repeatedly being asked for MORE information and after each submission, I have been waiting weeks. Is there any way I can speed up their response ?

Clearly you have a medical issue which prevents prompt issuance.  Without knowing what that issue is, it's hard to say what you can do or what you should expect.  However, the real expert on difficult medical certifications is Dr. Bruce Chien, whom you can find via his web site http://www.aeromedicaldoc.com.  Contact Bruce, explain your situation in detail, and I'll bet he can at least explain your options and maybe help speed the process.

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jul 28, 2018 2:47 pm

Brennan Callan:
find a local flight school that will train you in a LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT (LSA) (1320 lbs or less), and that you focus on the LIGHT SPORT PILOT CERTIFICATE and don't worry about any medical certificates.

Because he has already applied for a Third Class medical certificate which has not yet been issued, that is not an option for Peter.  See 14 CFR 61.23(c)(ii)(2).  In order to fly as a Sport Pilot on a US driver's license in lieu of medical certificate, he will now have to successfully complete the issuance process for a Third Class or better medical certificate.  After that, he can let that certificate lapse without applying for another medical certificate and continue to fly as a Sport Pilot using his US driver's license in lieu of a medical certificate.

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Brennan Callan on Jul 28, 2018 5:34 pm

Greetings Ron, et al.,
thanks for the link to that doctor.  While I won't need him soon, I am still bookmarking his site because it seems like his site had good information.  Just like you, I was not sure where Peter was on his application process.

Thanks for researching the discussion points.

Best wishes,
Brennan

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Stephen Goetsch on Jul 30, 2018 7:46 am

Back in Oct. 2016 I had to apply for a new Class 3 Medical (this was before BasicMed) and due to T2 Diabetes, I had to get a Special Issuance.  Despite not having any real issues (my T2 Diabetes is well controlled, no insulin, no "lows"), it still took 4 months.  I had to call AOPA, and managed to get a little help from some people despite not having purchased the additional PPS that they sell (I would have at the start, but since I was already so far along when I contacted AOPA I decided it was possibly good money after bad), they did manage to scare up some action (it had been approved and not sent out...wtf???)

Anyway, the first SI always takes a while.  I am about to get another one (because I fly on my FAA license overseas, BasicMed is not a solution), I will soon see whether the second SI is any faster than the first.

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Michael Walpole on Jul 30, 2018 9:44 am

I too am a T2 and a little overweight, so I had an expectation of it taking a while to get a Special Issuance.  However, I got mine in the Drs office after he made a phone call.  Then I got a letter saying the AME could issue in the office until 2020 as long as my meds didn't change and my A1C was controlled.  I had no issues getting another medical last Sept.; however, I have a diabetes worksheet I have to mail to Oklahoma City after the exam.  It's a PIA and I might switch to Basic Med at some point.

My Dr is doing blood work twice a year and my last 2 A1Cs have been 5.9.  Trying to keep it that low and get it lower.
Mike W

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Gary Justus on Jul 30, 2018 9:45 am

I have had several special issuances every year since a 2010 heart attack and it was an expensive, frustrating experience getting them. Without the AOPA Medical Services help in understanding and following the the precise FAA rules for tests for certain conditions, I doubt it would have ever happened.  The expense for just one nuclear stress test far exceeded the small fee for the add-on to AOPA membership. Even when I received the first SI letter, I thought I had been denied until AOPA explained the convoluted statements the FAA Medical Unit sends to applicants. Yes, the FAA is very slow in responding to your application, but now through Basic Med I take a short trip to my doctor and I'm signed off every two years. What a difference!

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Gerard Roy on Jul 30, 2018 12:09 pm

I had the same problem.  It took me over a year of rejections.  Would send them documentation and six weeks latter receive the rejection notice.  Finally contacted my Congressman and provided all the information I had.  Two weeks latter I had my medical.  The FAA moves quickly when Congressional injuries reach their desk.  Good Luck!

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Ronald Herold on Aug 1, 2018 10:03 pm

I would suggest you contact Dr. Greg Pinnell  at airdocs.net.
You many have already done a lot of damage to your application - but if anyone can help you - he can.

Ron Herold
-Ronald L. Herold, Ph.D., NSCA, MEII
Senior Certified Aircraft Appraiser
USPAP Qualified
National Aircraft Appraisers Association (NAAA)
Sustaining Member – Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association
EAA Lifetime Member
AOPA Lifetime Member
http://www.airplane-appraiser.com

Re: 3rd class medical and the FAA

Posted by Dean Fazekas on Aug 6, 2018 8:41 am

I suggest Dr. Ray Steinhauser.  He provides phone consultations at a reasonable price.http://www.ohioame.com/why-ohio-ame/why-choose-dr-steinhauser