Why you don’t need Wingman Med

Why you don’t need Wingman Med

Look around on a forum, Reddit or Facebook group when people ask about what they should do about their medical and a common response is “save your money. You don’t need a lawyer or medical consulting service. The FAA puts their information on the internet and if you don’t understand it just go to the exam anyway. You’ll get deferred and then the FAA will tell you exactly what you need.” And this is absolutely true. 

Do it yourself

You don’t need an architect to design your home and you don’t need a general contractor to build it. Easy to use CAD software is available for purchase that is much cheaper than hiring an architect. Your state publishes the building code for anyone to reference. With all these available and cheap resources, why would you hire someone to do it for you? Your house will have to be inspected anyway. If it fails you can simply fix the issues that failed. 

If you buy a big enough piece of land you can make a large garden. You can even build a greenhouse to use during the winter and set up special grow lights to keep your crops growing year round. Why not get some chickens, pigs and cows while you are at it? With all the resources about homesteading, why not skip that weekly trip to the grocery store slaving away over your shopping list? You can provide all of your own food easily enough.

How good are you and how much time do you have?

While you can build your own house and grow and raise your own food, the question is: how much time do you have to dedicate to doing these things? How good of a job will you do? What happens if the building inspector says that you misread the code and your main support beam for your home is the wrong size? How much time and money will it take to tear the entire house down to replace the beam? What if your crops catch a bug or in a particularly bad winter your animals all die because you didn’t have a shelter? How will you feed your family? 

What is your time worth to you?

We all have to decide what our time is worth. Modern civilization allows us to specialize in a particular thing to maximize our individual compensation or profitability. Most people are better off focusing on their job for compensation rather than trying to be able to do everything in their complex modern life. 

Each person needs to evaluate their own individual situation. Perhaps you are willing to change the oil in your car. Maybe it is easy enough and can be done with simple tools in your garage before the kids get up on the weekend. But are you going to do the timing belt and water pump replacement? Do you have the tools? Do you have the skills? Do you want to spend the time to figure out how to do the job, find the tools, find the parts and then actually perform the work? 

Do you get your own mail? Do you drive your own car? Do you mow your own lawn? Do you weed your own garden? Do you paint your own rooms? Do you remodel your own bathroom? Do you re-pave your own driveway? Do you re-roof your own home? Do you do your own taxes? Do you represent yourself in court? Do you diagnose and treat your own medical conditions? 

You probably do some of these things, but you probably don’t do all of them. We can trade our time for money and then use the money to pay for other things, like a home and groceries. This is why most people hire general contractors to build their house or buy an existing home. This is why most people buy food at a grocery store. And why most people hire a lawyer to defend them in court or a doctor to diagnose and treat their diseases. 

DIY FAA Medical Certification

Sure, you can DIY your FAA medical certification. And if you don’t actually have any issues then it shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have medical issues then you need to decide how much time and money your medical is worth. The FAA publishes their Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners for anyone to read. After reading it, you may be able to navigate the FAA medical certification process yourself. Unfortunately, the Guide only covers the most common situations so it may not have information on your specific issue and not all interim changes are published online.

At a low level of medical complexity you may be both comfortable and successful in handling your own medical certification with a local AME. But as things get more complex you may find that you can still do it, but now you have to start deciding how much time and energy is it worth. And at some point, which will be different for everyone, it just might be worth hiring a pro

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