Pilots have until this Friday, Sept. 14, to respond to the AOPA/EAA petition to the FAA to alter the requirements for third-class medical certificates. The exemption would essentially extend the current Sport Pilot driver’s-license-as-medical privilege to all pilots operating single-engine airplanes under Part 91 with no more than four seats, no more than one passenger on board, and only in day VMC. In addition to a valid driver’s license, pilots would also have to carry a certificate of completion of a special aviation health education course, which would be available online.
While past efforts to do away with the third-class medical have failed to gain FAA support, AOPA and EAA are hopeful that the current petition will succeed because it is backed by a large body of evidence based on the success of the Sport Pilot initiative. “A pilot flying recreationally who has completed the recurrent aeromedical course meets an equivalent or higher level of overall safety compared to the existing medical certification process for similar operations,” AOPA said on its website. “The exemption is tied to a type of flying (recreational) instead of a specific pilot certificate.”