First Class Medical Age


Mr. Warmkessel is incorrect when he states that the FAA will not issue a First Class medical certificate after the age of 65. There is no age limit for any class of medical.

I quote from the FAA’s website: “There is no age restriction or aviation experience requirement for medical certification. Any applicant who qualifies medically may be issued a Medical Certificate regardless of age.”

An AME may issue any class of medical certificate without regard to age to any applicant who meets the appropriate medical standards.

There is a maximum age requirement for certain air carrier pilots. That’s an operational requirement, not a medical certification requirement.

Bob Hartmaier – Monroe Township, N.J.

You’re absolutely right. This is something we caught in the editing process but it didn’t get fixed before going to press. Thanks for highlighting it, and our apologies to readers for the error.

‘Hidden Gem’

Thank you for the wonderful article “Preflight Weather Resources” in the August 2023 issue. I would love to share an additional, spectacular hidden gem of which few pilots take advantage. Weather expert Scott Dennstaedt publishes a free, 15-minute daily weather briefing on YouTube, called the EZWxDaily Brief. Not only does he do a great job of summarizing the national weather, it’s also a magnificent learning opportunity. Did I mention that it’s free?

Dr. James M. Wood – Via email

Thanks for the vector! We’ll add it to our list. Meanwhile, author Jim Wolper’s second installment in that series begins on page 10 of this issue.

One-Way Airports

I fly into Los Alamos (KLAM) fairly often, bordered by precipitous dropoffs on three sides and a noise-intolerant neighborhood on the other. Not to mention R-5101 for the national laboratory across the street.

So I appreciated Jim Wolper’s article on one-way airports. My favorite, though, is Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, Nepal, the jumping-off (pun intended?) point for Mt. Everest expeditions. The 1729-foot-long runway sits at 9334 feet msl and has an 11.7-degree gradient. Runway 6 ends in a rock wall at the base of a mountain, and 24 points at empty space above a deep canyon. I experienced it as a tourist inbound in a helicopter and outbound in a Dornier Do-228, the latter a maximum-performance takeoff for sure. 

John Graham – Via web

Thanks, John! We ran an image of that airport on our cover back in 2012:

Of DNRs And RATs

I recently came across Robert Wright’s helpful assessment of risk analyses and flight-risk assessment tools (FRATs) (“Using A Flight-Risk Assessment Tool,” May 2013) and I’m seeking your guidance. I am searching for information on risk analysis tools relating to aircraft certification. I have seen the term “DNR” used as one engineering approach to demonstrating safety of an aircraft. Do you know where I can learn more about the types of engineering analyses preferred by regulatory bodies?

Julia Norsetter – Via Web

First, “DNR” stands for “durability and reliability,” and is mostly focused on UAS, or drones. The European Union’s EASA regulatory body also has examined DNR as a certification tool. At the FAA, you should look into the safety management system concept (SMS) as it applies to aircraft certification. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here