EAA Provides Update On New Medical Rules


The FAA is working to comply with new legislation, passed in July, that will make it possible sometime next year for private pilots to fly without a medical — but right now, until new rules are in place, the current rules remain in force, and that has created some confusion. One examiner advised some pilots who had special issuances that they should surrender their medicals, rather than wait for them to lapse, but that’s never a good idea, according to Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president for advocacy and safety. “An airman should never surrender their certificate,” he told AVweb in an interview this week. In some cases, he added, it might be a good idea to “just let it lapse.”

The misguided advice to surrender the medical was an “isolated incident,” Elliot said, and “just a misunderstanding,” but it could have resulted in a pilot losing their flight privileges. “The decision to surrender should never be made lightly or without consultation with an aviation attorney,” EAA said in a statement. As far as the new rules are concerned, Elliot said, “We are hoping to see something [from FAA] in the early part of 2017.” He advised EAA members to call EAA if they have questions about their medical or the pending new rules. AOPA and other member groups provide similar services to their members.