Sat, Feb. 24, 2007

Medical for Pilots

CK - Washington.   A new anti-discrimination law is in effect in Germany, and a recent decision limiting physicians who perform medical exams on pilots seems inconsistent with it. A report in the Recht und Alltag blog notes that an Arnsberg, Germany court upheld a statutory age limit of 68 years, docket number 7 L 25/07, based on the increasing likelihood of mistakes made by older physicians. A comment states that a similar age limit sets 71 years for real estate appraisers.

The February 14, 2007 ruling arrived in a TRO proceeding. Substantively, the decision appears based on constitutional principles--the right to practice one's trade or profession. Since the medical examiners may continue to perform other medical services, their constitutional right to be physicians is not affected by the age limit that relates only to medicals for pilots, the court held according to the report.

Somehow, I can accept that I may not fly aerobatics over the National Mall, and possibly that I should not perform Hammerhead turns at age 95, but a medical from older doctors has never appeared to be an issue from the perspective of a pilot--despite the fact that I want the medical to be as perfect as my pre-flight check of the aircraft. It will be interesting to see whether the anti-discrimination law will factor into the next round in the Arnsberg case.

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