My petition (FAA 2009-0481) proposes replacing the third class medical for private-use aircraft under 6,000 lbs with a driver's license. No commerce is involved (remember that interstate commerce clause), and pilots of small family airplanes cannot be any more of a threat to themselves, their passengers, or people on the ground, than driving any SUV along the road. In fact, they are less of a threat in their airplane.
AOPA EAA's recent proposal is really just incrementally expanding the sport pilot medical; and then barely an inch. At least for some, it would appear,a "small step for a man" remains a terrifying leap for the status quo.Who are they trying to please? I thought these guys were supposed to represent their membership!
On one hand I am delighted AOPA and EAA have finally started to move on this but I am sorely disappointed they have started with such a weak and timid position. They stand to miss a great opportunity to really do something beneficial for their members. I've been getting comments from pilots across the U.S. about AOPA EAA's proposal, and frankly, pilots are very angry that these organizations appear so willing to sell them out.
AOPA and EAA's proposed conditions also perpetuate the current illogical situation, the premises including flying behind 200 HP requires super-human skill; medical incapacitation increases the moment the sun goes down; cycling a landing gear handle takes super human strength, and lastly, it's okay to risk the life of one friend or family member in your airplane, but not two.
Where did they come up with this stuff? Where is the leadership?
On a more philosophical level, when you have thousands tied in bureaucratic chains, letting a few go isn't freedom. It's worse, because such a compromise perpetuates ongoing oppression for the many. AOPA and EAA ought to sound out their proposal to their membership; to see if it really reflects their members' interests.
I'd bet a thousand dollars to a doughnut (and I'm talking chocolate glazed here), that pilots are tired of being forced to live (and pay for) half-truths and costly compromises just to keep the inner Washington beltway off their backs.
This is not the moment in history to go silently into the corner. Now is the moment to firmly grasp and break these shackles, once and for all. It's time to go all the way. The truth shall set you free.