Authority of Aviation Medical Examiners

Authority of Aviation Medical Examiners

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Jackson Barnett

Principal Attorney

The Aviation Medical Examiner is delegated authority to:
  • Examine applicants for, and holders of, airman medical certificates to determine whether or not they meet the medical standards for the issuance of an airman medical certificate.
  • Issue or deny airman medical certificates to applicants or holders of such certificates based upon whether or not they meet the applicable medical standards.

A medical certificate issued by an Examiner is considered to be affirmed as issued unless, within 60 days after date of issuance (date of examination), it is reversed by the Federal Air Surgeon, a RFS, or the Manager, AMCD. However, if the FAA requests additional information from the applicant within 60 days after the issuance, the above-named officials have 60 days after receipt of the additional information to reverse the issuance.

Designated Examiners are delegated the Administrator’s authority to examine applicants for airman medical certificates and to issue or deny issuance of certificates. Approximately 450,000 applications for airman medical certification are received and processed each year.

The vast majority of medical examinations conducted in connection with these applications are performed by physicians in private practice who have been designated to represent the FAA for this purpose. AME’s operate under a strict duty to report all known and perceived disqualifying conditions to the FAA that are either observed in the course of the examination or otherwise.

It is, therefore, very important that the pilot makes sure that the “conditions” that are truly conditions that have been appropriately diagnosed by a physician with training and experience with that particular “condition”.

Aviation Medical Examiner Evaluation

Aviation Medical Examiners (AME’s) are physicians who are designated and trained by the FAA to perform flight physicals and screen individuals for fitness to perform aviation duties.  The AME’s assessment to identify symptoms or medical conditions requiring further review is highly dependent on the medical history the applicant provides.  The AME will review the pilot’s Medical Application, examine and interview the pilot and arrive at a decision to either issue the pilot a medical certificate or defer issuance of the medical certificate to the FAA.

The AME that the pilot chooses can be very important since the AME may be the pilot’s best advisor who may help minimize or avoid loss of flying status because of health issues. The pilot needs an advocate engaged to support the pilot’s application packet.

Barnett Law Offices will advise the pilot and can provide the pilot with the contact information of specific AME’s that have the appropriate expertise to evaluate and report on sensitive medical issues that affect the pilot.  Barnett Law Offices monitors and works closely both the pilot’s personal physician and with the AME to optimize the pilot’s opportunity to obtain an FAA medical certificate consistent with the FAA’s concerns for flight safety. Contact our pilot lawyers today.