September 1, 2004
the FAA released its final regulations with respect to the requirements and
limitations of the Sport Pilot License category. One of the perceived
advantages of flying in this category is that if you have a current and valid drivers
license in general you do not need an airman medical certificate.
However be aware that if your current medical certificate has been denied,
revoked or suspended, or if you have an application that has been
deferred, until your application for a
Airman Medical Certificate has been evaluated by the FAA these situations will
preclude you from using a drivers
license for the Sport Pilot License . If your FAA
Airman Medical Certificate application is ultimately denied you will not be
eligible to fly as a Sport Pilot using a drivers license. One may consider this
the FAA's ultimate "Don't Ask; Don't Tell" rule, however the FAA
appears to take the understandable position that if they are aware of a medical
condition that may adversely impact your flying ability they can not indirectly give you
permission to fly.
The FAA has
a page and brochure which describe the requirements, rights and limitations
of the Sport Pilot Category, and information is also available in
the public portion of the
Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) website.
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