|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zzz|
|Controlling Facilities||tower : ilg|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 20|
flight time total : 900
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
My concern and suggestion is for an improvement in the compliance of the medical certificate renewal. I believe that all healthy people, like myself, would never let their medical certificate lapse intentionally. However, I am sure that a lot of people, like myself, have found themselves in just that situation with no way to back up and correct the oversight. Flying has a lot of on-going periodic requirements and activities that all need to be kept on top of, such as: biennial currency check rides, night flight currency, aircraft type currency, IFR currency, medical certificate renewal, 6 month chart replacements, etc. Then a license upgrade or rating addition can change the due dates on any of the above. If he owns an aircraft there are annuals, periodic maintenance, etc. In addition to these, there is another 'special' group of responsibilities, such as annual insurance premiums, monthly hangar rent, annual payments for various flight publications, etc. The thing that makes this group special is that the due dates are almost never missed, accidentally. The reason for this is because the individual receives a bill in the main reminding him to pay for that period. Yes, it's true, the pilot is responsible for seeing that his medical is renewed on time. However, it is also true that the pilot is a human being who cannot remember everything, all the time, for long periods of time. It is humanly impossible to do this west/O something eventually falling through the cracks, regardless of how good his intentions are. Of course flying isn't everything. There are also driver's licenses, business license, income tax, birthdays, etc, to further load a pilot's periodic memory. Then, if you add to this additional factors that can sometimes happen to anyone, like going through a divorce and a job layoff (after 18 yrs), as happened to me, an oversight can happen. Oh I remember the month it was due and was looking forward to it. I also renewed my medical during that month. The problem is, I was 1 yr off. That means that each flight could cost me $1000, or a total for that year of $50000+, and that's really not fair, considering this kind of situation. I might add that my medical certificate has no restrictions and I have no medical problems. I also get a complete physical from my medical doctor annually, which continues to indicate excellent health. So what is the solution? 99% of these problems could be eliminated if the FAA would send out a renewal notice to the pilot in the month prior to the renewal. It's that simple. It would save a lot of anguish and the FAA would get improved compliance. Also, to be fair, an unintentional event like this should be treated as just that, a single event--not piggy-backed onto every flight. No other part of our society's rules are treated this way. A drivers license, for example, is a single event. Thank you for considering my suggestion.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT RECOMMENDATION THAT FAA SEND NOTIFICATION OF MEDICAL CERTIFICATE EXPIRATION. REPORTER FLEW FOR 1 YEAR WITH AN EXPIRED MEDICAL CERTIFICATE.
Narrative: MY CONCERN AND SUGGESTION IS FOR AN IMPROVEMENT IN THE COMPLIANCE OF THE MEDICAL CERTIFICATE RENEWAL. I BELIEVE THAT ALL HEALTHY PEOPLE, LIKE MYSELF, WOULD NEVER LET THEIR MEDICAL CERTIFICATE LAPSE INTENTIONALLY. HOWEVER, I AM SURE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE, LIKE MYSELF, HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES IN JUST THAT SITUATION WITH NO WAY TO BACK UP AND CORRECT THE OVERSIGHT. FLYING HAS A LOT OF ON-GOING PERIODIC REQUIREMENTS AND ACTIVITIES THAT ALL NEED TO BE KEPT ON TOP OF, SUCH AS: BIENNIAL CURRENCY CHK RIDES, NIGHT FLT CURRENCY, ACFT TYPE CURRENCY, IFR CURRENCY, MEDICAL CERTIFICATE RENEWAL, 6 MONTH CHART REPLACEMENTS, ETC. THEN A LICENSE UPGRADE OR RATING ADDITION CAN CHANGE THE DUE DATES ON ANY OF THE ABOVE. IF HE OWNS AN ACFT THERE ARE ANNUALS, PERIODIC MAINT, ETC. IN ADDITION TO THESE, THERE IS ANOTHER 'SPECIAL' GROUP OF RESPONSIBILITIES, SUCH AS ANNUAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS, MONTHLY HANGAR RENT, ANNUAL PAYMENTS FOR VARIOUS FLT PUBLICATIONS, ETC. THE THING THAT MAKES THIS GROUP SPECIAL IS THAT THE DUE DATES ARE ALMOST NEVER MISSED, ACCIDENTALLY. THE REASON FOR THIS IS BECAUSE THE INDIVIDUAL RECEIVES A BILL IN THE MAIN REMINDING HIM TO PAY FOR THAT PERIOD. YES, IT'S TRUE, THE PLT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SEEING THAT HIS MEDICAL IS RENEWED ON TIME. HOWEVER, IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT THE PLT IS A HUMAN BEING WHO CANNOT REMEMBER EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME. IT IS HUMANLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THIS W/O SOMETHING EVENTUALLY FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS, REGARDLESS OF HOW GOOD HIS INTENTIONS ARE. OF COURSE FLYING ISN'T EVERYTHING. THERE ARE ALSO DRIVER'S LICENSES, BUSINESS LICENSE, INCOME TAX, BIRTHDAYS, ETC, TO FURTHER LOAD A PLT'S PERIODIC MEMORY. THEN, IF YOU ADD TO THIS ADDITIONAL FACTORS THAT CAN SOMETIMES HAPPEN TO ANYONE, LIKE GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE AND A JOB LAYOFF (AFTER 18 YRS), AS HAPPENED TO ME, AN OVERSIGHT CAN HAPPEN. OH I REMEMBER THE MONTH IT WAS DUE AND WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. I ALSO RENEWED MY MEDICAL DURING THAT MONTH. THE PROB IS, I WAS 1 YR OFF. THAT MEANS THAT EACH FLT COULD COST ME $1000, OR A TOTAL FOR THAT YEAR OF $50000+, AND THAT'S REALLY NOT FAIR, CONSIDERING THIS KIND OF SITUATION. I MIGHT ADD THAT MY MEDICAL CERTIFICATE HAS NO RESTRICTIONS AND I HAVE NO MEDICAL PROBS. I ALSO GET A COMPLETE PHYSICAL FROM MY MEDICAL DOCTOR ANNUALLY, WHICH CONTINUES TO INDICATE EXCELLENT HEALTH. SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? 99% OF THESE PROBS COULD BE ELIMINATED IF THE FAA WOULD SEND OUT A RENEWAL NOTICE TO THE PLT IN THE MONTH PRIOR TO THE RENEWAL. IT'S THAT SIMPLE. IT WOULD SAVE A LOT OF ANGUISH AND THE FAA WOULD GET IMPROVED COMPLIANCE. ALSO, TO BE FAIR, AN UNINTENTIONAL EVENT LIKE THIS SHOULD BE TREATED AS JUST THAT, A SINGLE EVENT--NOT PIGGY-BACKED ONTO EVERY FLT. NO OTHER PART OF OUR SOCIETY'S RULES ARE TREATED THIS WAY. A DRIVERS LICENSE, FOR EXAMPLE, IS A SINGLE EVENT. THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING MY SUGGESTION.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.