Heading Bug: The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act

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The issue of medical certification for private pilots is a deeply personal one for me, which makes the creating of this column even more self-reflective than most of the writing I do—and those of you who follow this space know that much of what I publish has involved looking deeply into the mirror over the years.

It’s been so personal because I have never had a “normal” third-class medical. From the day in the 1980s that I first soloed, even my student pilot certificate had a Special Issuance Medical associated with it. Therefore I have some real-world experience about the FAA’s medical certification process garnered over several decades of flying—legally—after jumping through the various hoops established by the Aerospace Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City.

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