Do the airlines have their own AME's that they use? Are airline pilots allowed to choose what AME they wish to see for their medical every six months? I want to keep a relationship goign with my current AME and wanted to know if this is possible to do at the airlines.
Disclaimer: I'm not an airline pilot, but I can answer your question.
You can choose your own AME when working for an airline. The airline has their dr. that they send you to for your initial hire stuff. Also, I know a Delta pilot that was in a terrible car wreck and was in a coma for several days, that had to be signed off by the airline's medical people before returning to the line. He had one helluva time getting back up, because those dr.'s tended to lean in favor of the airline, rather than the pilot. I'm sure Doug or one of those other guys can get into the specifics of how the medical departments work with the airlines.
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Your 1st class FAA medical does not suffice as evidence that you are medically fit to fly?
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It's definitely evidence, but it doesn't suffice! I guess it's just how they cover their butts. I believe most airlines do the medical after everything else; you go to the doctor with a conditional job offer in hand. So essentially, they want to hire you and they're not necessarily looking for a reason to give you the boot in the hiring process.