Here at Wingman Med, our goal is to eliminate the need for your application for medical certification to be deferred, or at least significantly reduce the amount of time spent in the deferral process. Still, some cases are required to be deferred to the FAA for disposition and some clients don’t find us until after they have already been deferred to the FAA.
In our experience, a typical deferral without our assistance can last between 4 and 8 months, with more complicated cases taking upwards of a year. With our help, a case that requires deferral can still take 2 to 3 months. Part of this is due to the antiquated systems used by the FAA where pilots are generally submitting actual paper records through the mail system. Combined with the FAA’s primary method of communication with the pilots and Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) also being paper letters through the mail, it just takes time.
If you wanted a status update on your case, you had to call the Aeromedical Certification Division of the FAA in Oklahoma City. As of April 20, 2022, you now have an easier way to do this; simply log into your MedXPress. We have a client who was in the deferral process. As soon as I saw this announcement, I informed him and requested he logs in to check. A most welcome surprise was that he found out his first-class medical had been issued and was in the process of being sent to him.
The FAA Federal Air Surgeon, Dr. Susan Northrup, is on record as wanting to improve the process and it appears she is starting to make good on her statements. Understanding that she is dealing with a massive bureaucracy, this is a welcome change and, we hope, just the beginning of making things easier and more transparent for pilots.
This capability is still new, but we anticipate the best way to use this is to confirm if documents sent have actually been received, early anticipation of new record requests and, as above, early notification of certification.
If you are currently in a deferred status, log into your MedXPress and look for an update.
 “Pilots Now Able to Track Medical Applications in Real-Time | Federal Aviation Administration.” https://www.faa.gov/newsroom/pilots-now-able-track-medical-applications-real-time (accessed May 01, 2022).
 “AOPA, FAA medical leaders meet,” Feb. 18, 2021. https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2021/february/18/aopa-faa-medical-leaders-meet (accessed May 01, 2022).
Also see MedXPress Simulator