Gregory J. Hanker, M.D. - Aviation Medical Examiner

Dr. Gregory Hanker has recently been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Aviation Medical Examiner - AME. This enables him to perform “flight physicals” for applicant airmen so that they may obtain their Airman Medical Certificate. Approximately 450,000 applications for airman medical certification are processed each year by the FAA. As an AME, Dr. Hanker is a designated representative of the FAA allowing him to examine applicants for and pilot holders of medical certificates; and to issue this medical certificate to qualified airmen who meet the FAA flight standards to operate an airplane as pilot in command.

Dr. Hanker is uniquely qualified to perform this important medical evaluation for our local airmen as he is also a pilot, and has personally been through this medical certification process multiple times. Dr. Hanker started flying in 1968 while in college at Saint Louis University in the USAF ROTC program. After he received his Private Pilot Certificate, and was commissioned an officer in the USAF Reserve, he continued to fly while in Graduate School in Arizona. In 1973 he then entered active duty and received his Air Force wings after completing Undergraduate Pilot Training in Texas flying the T-37 and the T-38 (F-5) jet trainers.

He was assigned to the Military Airlift Command/55th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron in West Germany flying the C-9A transport aircraft especially equipped for air evacuation. The C-9A airplane, better know as the “Nightingale”, transported patients to medical facilities throughout the European theater. His exposure to medical evacuations spurred his interest in medicine; and after five years of active duty he received an honorable discharge from the USAF and transitioned to medical school in Ohio. His 2500 hours of flying experience with the military enabled him to receive his Commercial Pilot Certificate with an Instrument Rating.

While attending Case Western Reserve University he continued to serve in the military by flying with the Ohio USAF Reserve unit as a transport C-123 pilot. After medical school graduation in 1981 the Hanker Family moved to California where he trained as an Orthopedic Surgery Resident at UCLA, and subsequently as a Hand Surgical Fellow at USC.

In 1987 Dr. Hanker joined the Southern California Orthopedic Institute where he has been in private practice for over 30 years.

Dr. Hanker never lost his enthusiasm for flying. He has always had a special interest in Aerospace Medicine and has just recently completed several training programs with the FAA in aviation physiology and aviation medicine which has enabled him to be designated by the FAA as their representative - an AME.

Dr. Hanker’s goal is to return to active general aviation flying in Southern California; especially the Van Nuys area. As a pilot, a physician and a military veteran he fully understands the medical needs of our flying community and is committed to personally work with all airmen to successfully complete their “flight physical” and medical certification.

Safe flying!