Editorial: New Third Class Medical Provisions

By Ed Downs

It is now official, as of May 1, 2017, the FAR’s will contain provisions that allow an individual to exercise the privileges of a private pilot without the need for a third class medical certificate. But, let me quickly add, there are a number of conditions and caveats in the new rule. Those looking for specific details must review the “Final Rule,” www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/final_rule_faa_2016_9157.pdf, and Advisory Circular 68-1, www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory Circular/AC_68-1.pdf. These two fun-filled documents total 112 pages of legal language that needs to be read several times in order to get a full grasp on what is going on.

It had been the intent of this writer to summarize this final ruling, but space will simply not allow this. Instead, allow the opinions of this writer to set the stage and then take a look at the FAQ’s that are included directly from Advisory Circular 68-1. This is probably the fastest way to get some idea of what this ruling entails.

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