Aviation Medical Certification
Many pilots express concern in losing their medical certificate by a FAA physician who finds something that will disqualify them. This is also why pilots will refrain from openly discussing issues, or potential concerns with their AME. Will anything that a pilot brings to the doctor’s attention outside of the actual FAA exam need to be reported?
The answer is “no”. Many FAA Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) wear two hats. One hat is worn while functioning as a contracted designee for the FAA. The other hat is worn as the pilot’s Primary Care Physician (PCP).
As a pilot’s PCP, the physician has no obligation to report any particular health issue. The responsibility and liability for reporting to the FAA resides strinctly with the airman.
One exception would be if the physician became aware of an illegal activity that threatened the safety of the pilot and its passengers.
Generally, however, if something is serious enough to raise the eyebrows of the FAA and a pilot does not report it, they are not only putting themselves at potential legal risk, but they are compromising their own health. Utilizing your AME to help navigate a pilot’s request for certification can considerably minimize collateral damage, and proactively keep pilots healthy and flying.
The FAA encourages AMEs to be user friendly, and to assist pilots when necessary, even when the certification process is not straight forward. However, as in any business, some examiners are more helpful than others.
Don’t be afraid to ask your AME which side of the fence they are on. Trust is a key part of any relationship, and having that trust with an AME goes a long way to having them be your advocate when issues arise, as there surely will.
Meet Dr. Greenblatt, Senior Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)
Dr. Larry Greenblatt is a designated Senior Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) trained and authorized by the FAA to perform all three classes of airman medical examinations and issue medical certificates. In 2011, he was one of a select group who completed the RAMS advanced AME training program in Oklahoma City, providing Dr. Greenblatt the understanding of how the FAA’s medical division evaluates pilots and the tools to assist pilots with challenging certifications.
In addition to his role as an AME, Dr. Larry is passionate about keeping pilots healthy and flying. He provides consultations, assisting pilots with their special issuances and other health related matters, and he advocates for pilots directly with the FAA.
To schedule an appointment or make an inquiry, call our office at the number above or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Classes of Medical Certificates:
Class I: for commercial airline transport pilots
Class II: for commercial pilots
Class III: for student, recreational or private pilots
Length of Certification:
Class I: 12 months if younger than 40 at time of evaluation; 6 months if 40 or older
Class II: 12 calendar months
Class III: 60 months if younger than 40 at time of evaluation; 24 months if 40 or older