Medicals and the "virus"
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Answered By AOPA
Here's a strange question - but for me a very relevant one.

I am British (I also have a Irish passport), I live in Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean (NOT the Dominican Republic) - have an FAA PPL and fly an Archer out of Canefield - this is a small place and I use my airplane like a car to get around the islands.

Now here's the thing, this is no FAA Flight Medical Examiner here or on the neigbouring islands - most of which have in any case closed their borders.

I had booked to go up to the US in two weeks time - yup, US closed to me (technically, I have not been to Europe since last August, but good luck to explaining that to the armed high school drop out that greets you on arrival!!) 

The plan was to get my medical renewed (my last Class 3 was 9th April 2018) and also get my flight review (last one May 2018) - after that a couple of days at Sun n Fun and then back home sorted out for the next couple of years.

Seems I will not be able to get to the US (doubt if I'll be getting my flight costs, car hire costs, insurance and hotels refunded).

It is a very unusual situation - does anyone have any idea if during the virus outbreak whether the FAA are maybe going to allow any "wiggle room" on the medicals and flight reviews?

Thinking this could be relevant to those in the US very soon if doctors are taken away from these things to help with the virus and or if non-essential visits to medical doctors are restricted.

Being outside the US BasicMed does not offer me a way out besides which if one doesn't have a US drivers licence one cannot access it anyway. 
17 Replies
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AOPA Staff Answer
Good news. The FAA has suspended enforcement action on medical certificates expiring on or after March 31, 2020 until June 30, 2020. Check out the home page of AOPA.org for the full story.
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1169 Posts
Thomas Stein:
Suspending enforcement action on expired medical certificates is not the same thing as extending the expiration date. Many aviation insurance policies are written that state that the pilot must have a valid medical certificate for the policy to be in force. Check with your insurance agent before flying with an expired medical to make sure your aircraft is still covered.

AOPA has expanded guidance on this issue here:

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2020/march/31/faa-cannot-waive-insurance-requirements
 

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Suspending enforcement action on expired medical certificates is not the same thing as extending the expiration date. Many aviation insurance policies are written that state that the pilot must have a valid medical certificate for the policy to be in force. Check with your insurance agent before flying with an expired medical to make sure your aircraft is still covered.
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Please be advised, just because the FAA is suspending enforcement action for expired medicals, that does not mean the medical itself is extended. A lot of airplane insurance policies state that a valid medical is required for the policy to be in force. Before you fly your airplane with an expired medical, check with your insurance agent to make sure that you are covered
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NO relief for the airlines....
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1169 Posts
I also note that there is no mention of equivalent amnesty for operators (121, 135, 141, etc) who utilize the services of pilots whose medicals have expired.  I see other issues of insurance, contract, and liability law which arise from the way this is written.  It appears to me that someone wanted something real bad and that's the way they got it -- just like the gap in the PBOR 2 legislation establishing Basic Med, which failed to account for 91.109(c) safety pilots not acting as PIC.