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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:1351] Re: more on John Denver


Thread: [IAC-L:1351] Re: more on John Denver

Message: [IAC-L:1351] Re: more on John Denver

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)


Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 22:39:29 UTC


 The FAA instituted a change in process for medical certificates around the
time that there were some air carrier episodes involving alcohol and one in
which cocaine was involved, I believe.  That was a long time ago and my
memory may be at fault.  However, we who did medical exams were required to
request information from pilots (form 8500) regarding convictions for use of
drugs of all kinds.  We were not allowed to issue a certificate if the
applicant noted these episode(s).  The case then went to OK City Headquarters
for evaluation.  They in turn tap into the national drivers licence data
base.  When you (re)apply for a medical certificate you provide the FAA with
the right to obtain this information. It is possible for recovered alcoholics
to regain their certificate.  I helped some do so.  It requires good
documentation of the progress in sobriety.  There have been surprisingly few
alcohol or drug related mishaps in aviation considering that fifty percent of
all automobile accidents are substance abuse related.  The only reason for
unequal treatment of aviators is the fear of the public that their airline
captain may be impaired or that an airplane is going to fall out of the sky
upon them.  The public controls congress and the congress controls the FAA.

Dick Rihn
Aviation Medical Examiner, (Ret.) 


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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