Acro Image

Aerobatics Server

ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:1370] Re: more on John Denver

[International Aerobatic Club] [Communications] [Aerobatics Images]

Disclaimer: These aerobatics pages are developed by individual IAC members and do not represent official IAC policy or opinion.

[Usage Statistics]

ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:1370] Re: more on John Denver


Thread: [IAC-L:1370] Re: more on John Denver

Message: [IAC-L:1370] Re: more on John Denver

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

From: "Harold J. Hitchcock" <hjhitch at>

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 16:46:02 UTC


 RIHNAIRCO at wrote:
> 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.)

Perhaps you could confirm or deny something for me.  I have been told
that if you allow your medical to lapse that the FAA will think it is
because you have a drug/alcohol problem and can make it difficult to
obtain a new medical.  From what I understand, if you are taking a break
from flying, i.e. financial reasons or building a new plane, keep the
medical current to avoid hassles.  Any truth to this??

Hal Hitchcock


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn