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Q&A: Light Sport Medical Requirements

Source:, By Penny Giovanetti, D.O. Manager, Aerospace Medical Specialties Division

Q. I recently encountered a medical condition that required me to receive a Special Issuance of my third-class medical. I have a light sport aircraft and was wondering if I can abandon the medical exam process and just meet the light sport medical requirements.

A. Pilots flying under the light sport rules are still required to abide by the provisions of 14 CFR section 61.53, “... a person shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.” While you legally may abandon the medical exam process, the fact that you are on a special issuance means that you have a condition which potentially makes you unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner. We recommend that you continue with the medical exam process to assure that your medical condition is followed up on properly from an aerospace medicine standpoint and that you remain in compliance with 14 CFR section 61.53.

Send your questions to They will be forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division, without your name, and the answer will be published in an upcoming issue of FAA Safety Briefing.

Penny Giovanetti, D.O., received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, a master’s in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine from the University of Iowa and a doctorate from Des Moines University. She completed a 27-year career as an Air Force flight surgeon. She is board certified in aerospace medicine, occupational medicine, and physical medicine/rehabilitation. She is also a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association and a private pilot.

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