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Compliance with pilot medical requirements can be issue in aircraft crash cases, P.2

Previously, we began discussing the topic of medical certification of pilots, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration, the federal agency responsible for regulating civil aviation. As we noted, medical certification can be barred on the basis of certain conditions, though the primary objective is to ensure pilots are healthy enough to safely operate an aircraft.

The medical standards a pilot must meet to be certified differ depending on the type of license at issue. The standards are, in several respects, stricter for first-class airline transport pilots and second-class commercial pilots than they are for third-class private pilots. Distant and immediate vision standards are less strict for private pilots, and there is currently no routine requirement for electrocardiograms. 

Other medical requirements are the same, including those dealing with near vision, color vision, hearing, mental health, substance abuse, and disqualifying conditions. On certain points of health, such as blood pressure and pulse, there are no standards in place which would disqualify a pilot of certification.

One interesting question to ask in light of these requirements is: what kind of liability exists when a pilot’s medical condition causes injury or death to passengers or other individuals. In many cases, it will primarily be the airline and its insurer that face potential liability because of its responsibility to monitor pilot safety matters. Other responsible individuals may also be involved, particularly if the pilot failed to report medical information to the airline or somehow reported false information in cooperation with other individuals.  

Those who have been harmed by a medical pilot who was unfit to fly deserve to know their options for seeking compensation. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure their rights are protected and that they have advocacy in seeking a just outcome to their case. 

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