Arguing For The End Of The Third Class Medical

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Following up on a health-related pilot story, AVweb contacted senior aviation medical examiner Dr. Brent Blue, who said, "I think the FAA is actually starting to float the idea of either dropping or relaxing third class medicals." Blue pointed out the limitations of aviation medical certification standards, and the risk factors that aviation medical examinations are not equipped (or regulated) to detect. In spite of that, Blue says medical issues are cited as causal factors in fewer than 1 percent of aircraft accidents. He notes that the FAA has relaxed regulations regarding the frequency of certain pilot health examinations and believes money (and safety statistics) may push the FAA to further relax, or remove, third class medical requirements.

AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke to Dr. Blue in this week's podcast. Click through to listen.

A note to listeners:
Blue mistakenly states that medical frequency requirements are triggered at the age of 35. It's actually 40.