Flight Training - February 2014 - 15

NEWS

New bill would expand driver's license medical
AOPA/EAA third class medical petition now with Congress
AFTER NEARLY TWO years of
FAA inaction on the AOPA/
EAA third class medical
petition, Congress has taken
matters into its own hands,
offering up legislation that
would vastly expand the
number of pilots who could
fly without going through
the expensive and timeconsuming third class medical
certification process. Reps.
Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), a
member of the House General
Aviation Caucus, and GA
Caucus Co-Chair Sam Graves
(R-Mo.) on December 11
introduced the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act. The
legislation would dramatically
expand the parameters for flying under the driver's license
medical standard. Rokita and
Graves are both AOPA members and active pilots.
"We have waited far too
long for the FAA to expand the
third-class medical exemption to more pilots and more
aircraft," said AOPA President
Mark Baker. "Congressmen
Rokita and Graves stepped
forward to take decisive action
in the best interests of general
aviation when the FAA refused
to act. We appreciate their
outstanding leadership on this

issue and look forward to seeing this bill move forward."
The General Aviation Pilot
Protection Act would allow
pilots to use the driver's
license medical standard for
noncommercial VFR flights in
aircraft weighing up to 6,000
pounds with no more than six
seats. That includes virtually
all single-engine airplanes
with six or fewer seats, including Beech Bonanzas, as well as
many light twins like the Piper
Aztec, Beech Baron 55 and
58, and Cessna 310. By way of
comparison, most large SUVs
on the roads today weigh more
than 6,000 pounds and can
carry six to seven passengers,
making them larger than the
aircraft that would be operated
with proof of a valid driver's
license under the new bill.
Pilots would be allowed to
carry up to five passengers,
fly at altitudes below 14,000
feet msl, and fly no faster than
250 knots. The bill also would
require the FAA to report on
the safety consequences of the
new rule after five years.
"As a pilot, I am pleased
to introduce this important
legislation with my colleagues
and fellow pilots," said Rokita.
"This bill eliminates a duplica-

tive and therefore unnecessary
medical certification regulation that drives up costs for
pilots and prevents the general
aviation industry from fulfilling its economic potential."
"For many recreational
pilots, the FAA's third class
medical certification process is nothing more than a
bureaucratic hoop to jump
through," said Graves. "It
discourages new pilots and
does not truly improve safety.
As a pilot, I have gone through
this process several times.
However, like all pilots, I am
responsible for determining
whether I am medically fit to
fly during the time between
my mandated medical certifications. Expanding the
current exemption makes
sense and will promote
greater recreational aviation
activity across the U.S. without an impact on safety."
The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Collin
Peterson (D-Minn.), Bill Flores
(R-Texas), Richard Hanna
(R-N.Y.), and Mike Pompeo
(R-Kan.). They are members of
the GA Caucus.
The legislative action comes
after the FAA has repeatedly
declined to rule on a March

2012 petition filed by AOPA
and EAA. That petition asked
the FAA to expand the driver's
license medical standard used
by sport pilots for nearly a
decade. Under the petition,
pilots would be able to operate
noncommercial VFR flights
in single-engine aircraft with
180 horsepower or less, four
or fewer seats, fixed gear, and
a maximum of one passenger.
To participate, pilots would
need a valid driver's license
and would be required to take
recurrent safety training to
help them accurately assess
their fitness to fly.
More than 16,000 overwhelmingly favorable
comments were filed during
the public comment period
on the petition. But despite
strong support from the
aviation community and solid
evidence that the exemption
would maintain or improve
safety, the FAA failed to act, so
AOPA turned to supporters in
Congress for help.
Building support for the
General Aviation Pilot Protection Act will be critical to
its passage, and AOPA will
be calling on its members
to show their support at the
appropriate time.

ABEAM THE NUMBERS
465 miles

New private pilot Greg Kaiser's
cross-country distance to attend a
reunion (page 24).

1929

Year of the first instrument flight
(page 44).

30 knots

The crosswind component one Alaskan
pilot unsuccessfully tried to land in
(page 23).

FEBRUARY 2014 FLIGHT TRAINING

/ 15



Flight Training - February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - February 2014

Flight Training - February 2014
Contents
Member Benefits
Right Seat
Letters
Fun on the Water
Success Story News
How It Works
After the Checkride
News Abeam the Numbers
Training Products
News Final Exam
Asi News
News
Flight Lesson
Accident Report
Around the Patch
Flying Carpet
Flight Training Excellence Awards
Awards Recipients
All for You
Dream Maker
Weather
Career Pilot
Instructor Report
CFI to CFI
Career Advisor
Accident Report
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training - February 2014
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover2
Flight Training - February 2014 - Contents
Flight Training - February 2014 - 2
Flight Training - February 2014 - 3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Member Benefits
Flight Training - February 2014 - 5
Flight Training - February 2014 - Right Seat
Flight Training - February 2014 - 7
Flight Training - February 2014 - Letters
Flight Training - February 2014 - 9
Flight Training - February 2014 - Fun on the Water
Flight Training - February 2014 - 11
Flight Training - February 2014 - Success Story News
Flight Training - February 2014 - How It Works
Flight Training - February 2014 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Abeam the Numbers
Flight Training - February 2014 - Training Products
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Final Exam
Flight Training - February 2014 - Asi News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 19
Flight Training - February 2014 - News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 21
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - Around the Patch
Flight Training - February 2014 - 25
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - February 2014 - 27
Flight Training - February 2014 - 28
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training Excellence Awards
Flight Training - February 2014 - 30
Flight Training - February 2014 - 31
Flight Training - February 2014 - Awards Recipients
Flight Training - February 2014 - 33
Flight Training - February 2014 - All for You
Flight Training - February 2014 - 35
Flight Training - February 2014 - 36
Flight Training - February 2014 - 37
Flight Training - February 2014 - 38
Flight Training - February 2014 - 39
Flight Training - February 2014 - Dream Maker
Flight Training - February 2014 - 41
Flight Training - February 2014 - 42
Flight Training - February 2014 - 43
Flight Training - February 2014 - Weather
Flight Training - February 2014 - 45
Flight Training - February 2014 - 46
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Pilot
Flight Training - February 2014 - 48
Flight Training - February 2014 - Instructor Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - CFI to CFI
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - 53
Flight Training - February 2014 - 54
Flight Training - February 2014 - 55
Flight Training - February 2014 - Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover4
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