Medical A Must For Recreational Pilots

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FAA medicals will continue to be a requirement for recreational pilot certificate holders for the time being. The FAA has turned down requests by both EAA and AOPA to scrap the requirement long enough to see if it's really needed. Both groups proposed gathering detailed data on pilot performance and accidents over a five-year period to see whether the medical requirement enhances safety in recreational aviation. In a letter to EAA, Louis Cusimano of the FAA said the agency is going to use data from the pending Sport Pilot classification, which will use a valid driver's license as proof of medical acceptance, as its database. "FAA is not seeking to obtain information, data or experience beyond what we will get from operations under the sport pilot rule," Cusimano wrote. EAA's Earl Lawrence said the recreational certificate data would have given the FAA a broader base of research for future decisions on medical requirements. "We feel the two studies should have been run concurrently," he said.