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FAA Completes New Medical Rule

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I was at a safety seminar this past weekend where the FAAST guys briefed this, and one thing got my attention even though I had gone through the rules.  They're saying you can't act as a safety pilot under these rules, which seems like a ridiculous legalistic twist when you can act as a pilot under IFR.  

 

 

 

Hilarious:  "You can fly IFR, but you can't monitor another pilot flying IFR."

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I agree, I think that organizational inertia caused the FAA to go for "minimum disruption" to their existing processes.  It probably would have been better if Congress had chosen to "ride herd" with the FAA and given them a complete list of requirements that specifically excluded items like the previous medical and SI requirements.  

 

Oh well, PBOR III anybody?   :D

 

 The law as signed by the president basically required everything the FAA has included in the final rule.

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 The law as signed by the president basically required everything the FAA has included in the final rule.

 

Understood, but I don't think meeting the bare minimum letter of the law is what the bill's authors intended.

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Remind me, what does NPR, the NEA, the TPP, and abortion have to do with flying, CT aircraft, or medical examinations?

 

Right, nothing.  

 

The thing I can't stand about this web site is that the more things change, the more they stay exactly the same.

 

Tom Baker, on 23 Jan 2017 - 1:51 PM, said:snapback.png

And it may not go in effect then, due to one of Trump's executive orders.

 

Ask Tom what this means then.

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One thing folks with skittish doctors can try, is to include with the form a letter signed by the pilot (and their spouse) relieving the doctor of liability in the case of a medical condition causing a problem with flight.

 

No letter from a patient can override the FAA form signoff.  If a guy crashes and the blame placed on a restricted medical condition then the doctor can and will be held liable.

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Hilarious:  "You can fly IFR, but you can't monitor another pilot flying IFR."

 

You can only fly IFR as a PIC up to 18k feet and not in an aircraft over 6k pounds or one that can fly faster than 250kts speed and not outside the USA .  Safety pilots have no such restrictions.

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And more!

Brings to mind, an NFL term . . . called "piling on."

 

What do you think the FAA piled on that was not included in the original act submitted by congress?

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No letter from a patient can override the FAA form signoff.  If a guy crashes and the blame placed on a restricted medical condition then the doctor can and will be held liable.

 

You can remove liability from the doctor for legal actions taken by you.  For example, your medical is good, the doc signs, you die, and your spouse sues claiming the doc did something wrong.  You can never remove liability for another party.  No person can take away FAA liability.  But the FAA is very unlikely to ever come after a family doctor.  After all, he's not an AME. 

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What do you think the FAA piled on that was not included in the original act submitted by congress?

I stand corrected regarding the FAA "piling on," regarding the medical exam. I deleted that post.

After a more rigorous comparison, I see the FAA final rule on the medical exam checklist mirrored the original act passed by Congress.

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You can remove liability from the doctor for legal actions taken by you.  For example, your medical is good, the doc signs, you die, and your spouse sues claiming the doc did something wrong.  You can never remove liability for another party.  No person can take away FAA liability.  But the FAA is very unlikely to ever come after a family doctor.  After all, he's not an AME. 

 

Let's establish the basics:

 

1. exam must be performed by a “state-licensed physician.”  - no nurse, assistant, or other non MD specialist can do it

2. physician completes a physical examination and affirm the absence of any medical condition that could interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft - an Affirmation is an Oath and places the doctor under full liability

3. regulations do not permit individuals with select mental health, neurological and cardiovascular conditions to participate in BasicMed without first obtaining a special issuance medical certificate from the FAA - the doctor must not Affirm and the pilot must apply for and get an SI before proceeding.

 

You can sign away your rights as a patient in regard to malpractice, it's called a waiver.  But a doctor cannot sign away risk/responsibility in regard to malpractice or in regard to the Affirmation of fitness on the FAA form.

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I was at a safety seminar this past weekend where the FAAST guys briefed this, and one thing got my attention even though I had gone through the rules.  They're saying you can't act as a safety pilot under these rules, which seems like a ridiculous legalistic twist when you can act as a pilot under IFR.  

 

 

 

The rule clearly states that you can be a safety pilot IF you are PIC. Ridiculous but workable.

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You can sign away your rights as a patient in regard to malpractice, it's called a waiver.  But a doctor cannot sign away risk/responsibility in regard to malpractice or in regard to the Affirmation of fitness on the FAA form.

 

I never said anything about the affirmation of fitness.  I merely said you could write a letter to your doctor stating you and your family would not sue him in the event he signed your forms and there was an accident.  In no way did I say you could write a letter to a doctor authorizing him to do anything contrary to law.   

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I never said anything about the affirmation of fitness.  I merely said you could write a letter to your doctor stating you and your family would not sue him in the event he signed your forms and there was an accident.  In no way did I say you could write a letter to a doctor authorizing him to do anything contrary to law.   

 

And I said that you can give up your rights to sue...its called a waiver (and this is ill-advised btw).   But that is a non sequeter in the case of an aircraft crash in which the NTSB says pilot error and it's traced back to an improper affirmation by an MD on flight suitability.  Any passenger or CFI can sue the doctor.  Anyone on the ground hurt or killed can sue the doctor.  And the doctor can lose their license if the FAA chooses to take action against them.  

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And I said that you can give up your rights to sue...its called a waiver (and this is ill-advised btw).   But that is a non sequeter in the case of an aircraft crash in which the NTSB says pilot error and it's traced back to an improper affirmation by an MD on flight suitability.  Any passenger or CFI can sue the doctor.  Anyone on the ground hurt or killed can sue the doctor.  And the doctor can lose their license if the FAA chooses to take action against them.  

 

I'm not talking about NTSB/FAA action taken based on an improper affirmation.  I'm talking about a proper affirmation where the doc just doesn't want to sign without a piece of paper to cover his ass.

 

On another topic, I wonder if the terms of some malpractice policies forbid doctors from signing documents like what the FAA is proposing.  If so, there is a poison pill that will keep a lot of pilots in the medical system.

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Andy, one problem is that no matter what release of physician liability the pilot choses to sign, he/she can't prevent passengers, people in other planes, etc. from suing the doc for malpractice if the pilot crashes and those people are injured.  

 

Regarding malpractice insurance restrictions, malpractice policies typically restrict the scope of medical procedures a physician can perform.  So, under the terms of my malpractice policy, I am not covered if I perform surgery (I'm not a surgeon).  However, I am not aware of any malpractice policies that restrict an examination of the kind required by BasicMed nor the completion of a document of the kind required by BasicMed.  

 

If the insurance companies experience big losses from completing BasicMed forms, they may start to write such restrictions into their policies.  

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Andy, one problem is that no matter what release of physician liability the pilot choses to sign, he/she can't prevent passengers, people in other planes, etc. from suing the doc for malpractice if the pilot crashes and those people are injured.  

 

Regarding malpractice insurance restrictions, malpractice policies typically restrict the scope of medical procedures a physician can perform.  So, under the terms of my malpractice policy, I am not covered if I perform surgery (I'm not a surgeon).  However, I am not aware of any malpractice policies that restrict an examination of the kind required by BasicMed nor the completion of a document of the kind required by BasicMed.  

 

If the insurance companies experience big losses from completing BasicMed forms, they may start to write such restrictions into their policies.  

 

This is what I said above.  Andy doesn't seem to want to accept it.

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"The rule clearly states that you can be a safety pilot IF you are PIC. Ridiculous but workable."- John Horn

 

That is true.  The rub comes in if you're acting as a "required crewmember".

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This is what I said above.  Andy doesn't seem to want to accept it.

Oh brother. I said that you can waive your right to sue, but not another party's. What won't I accept, exactly?

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