Special Issuance

DansMom

New Member
My son Dan wants to have a career as a pilot, but he has a special issuance for his third-class medical. We can go ahead and find out if the FAA will give him a first-class, but how can we be sure that his medical history won't keep him from getting hired even if the FAA passes him? I thought maybe he could write to some airlines, but I'm not sure which department to write to or even if they'd give him a straight answer. I know no one could give him any guarantees, but he needs some guidance. He really doesn't want to give up on his career aspirations if he doesn't have to, but we don't want to invest tons of money, time and effort for a dead end, either. One thing we have decided is that even if he pursues being a pilot he won't major in aviation at college, but will pick a very solid back-up career plan.

DansMom
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I think writing the airlines would be a waste of time. Try to find someone who has the same problem as Dan and see how they handled it and how far they have gone as a pilot. Most airlines, now, are pretty happy if you can hold a first class. That's the main requirement. Also, even if he can't hold a first class now, he might be able to get a waiver later on if he can demonstrate, over time, that his condition or history don't cause a problem.
 

aviator

New Member
Well I think it depends on what the condition is. If it something like "must wear corrective lenses" that depends on how bad his vision really is. If it is something more serious like being color blind or having a heart murmor it may be time to consider another career. If your comfortable sharing more info there are some expierenced pilots on this board who should be able offer some helpful advice
 

jtrain609

Anarcho-Bidenist
I didn't quite have a special issuance medical the first time I got one, but I thought I was staring it right in the face.

I'm an asthmatic, one that's on daily meds for maint. of the condition. I checked the asthma/allergy box on the medical form, listed my meds and went into talk with the doc. He said I passed the exam, but he was required to defer my medical to the FAA. That translates to I have to mark for the rest of my life that I was denied for a medical certificate (like your son will I'm sure). When I went to get my first class medical I found out from the AME (who was an allergist, and knows my treating doctor) that he's never defered or denied anyone based soley that they have asthma. I was floored that I've been screwed by an AME who didn't understand my condition and now I might end up paying for it down the road.

Moral of the story; find an AME that understands your son's condition. If he's got asthma, find an allergist. If he's got a heart problem, find a heart surgon. My first AME was a heart surgon and knew nothing about Asthma. My current AME is an allergist and probably knows little about heart conditions.

I'm in the same boat as your son with having a medical history, and I figure that I sohuld be alright with being a mild to moderate asthmatic. I agree with these guys, find someone that has gone through this up through the airlines. But I think it's possible...or at least I'm giving it a try.

Cheers


John Herreshoff


P.S. If your son does happen to have asthma, e-mail or PM me and I can give you the low down on the FAA's opinion on it.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Here are the disqualifying conditions:

Coronary Heart Disease
Angina
Myocardial infarction
Heart replacement
Cardiac valve replacement
Permanent cardiac pacemakers
Diabetes
Phycosis
Bipolar disorder
Severe personality disorder
Substance dependence or abuse
Epilepsy
Disturbance of consciousness
Transient loss of nervous system function

You still may be able to recieve a special issuance medical for these, specifically if

"(a) sufficient time has passed since the medical event that the likelihood of recurrence is minimal, and (b) when appropriate medical testing has been done that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the FAA that the likelihood for recurrence or incapacitation is at an acceptably low level. "Acceptably low" risk is a vague term in itself, but, for aviation medicine purposes, translates to about 1%."

Medical certification is somewhat subjective IMHO - in that people with the same conditions may have different medicals. Another thing you can do is find an AME who is a pilot. Do a search for the AMEs in your area until you find one who understands - from a first person perspective - what flying and medical certification is all about. http://ame.cami.jccbi.gov/

I also suggest joining AOPA - www.aopa.org. Give them a call and you'll be able to speak with someone who has answers.
 

DansMom

New Member
With Dan's OK to tell you all - here is the problem. He had epilepsy when he was small. He has been off medication for 10 years, and seizure-free for about one year longer than that. The FAA requires you to be seizure-free for 10 years in order to even be considered, so we have that hurdle cleared. Our regional FAA office issued his third-class but someone (not the doctor) said over the phone that the only way to know if they would issue a second- or first-class is to go ahead and put in for it. We thought of him as "cured" but I guess it is not that kind of thing. He is at higher risk than the average Joe for a seizure for the rest of his life, so the FAA is going to require him to see a neurologist and have an EEG every time they issue him a medical. On the other hand, lots of people in his situation never do have another seizure.

My originial question - IF the FAA does issue him a first-class (a big IF), will the airlines balk at hiring him and how can I find that out?

New Question: How can we find an AME who is also a neurologist?

New Question: How can we find an airline pilot with a history of epilepsy? Not too many of them out there, and they may not want to talk about it. I know there's at least one other student on these boards, but he is in the same position Dan is.

We have been thinking of signing Dan up with AOPA anyway, so I guess this is a good excuse. Maybe we can get some info there.

Thanks,

DansMom
 

justme

New Member
This thread brought up a question in my mind regarding my medical situation. I initially had difficulty getting my medical certificate because my medical history includes bouts with kidney stones. Apparently the FAA has a bit of a hang up with that. Anyway, they finally sent my second class certificate but with it came a letter that said ".....Should you experience any new symptons or adverse changes in your condition you should stand down and notify the FAA immediately." So my question is, if I have another kidney problem does that letter mean that the FAA will yank my certificate or maybe a temporary revocation or what. Since I've gotten that letter from the FAA I have been able to get a First class certificate but obviously that letter still applies. It scares the crap out of me to think that I may end up spending buttloads of money and time and effort to become a pilot, only to have it all taken away because of a friggin medical condition. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
My originial question - IF the FAA does issue him a first-class (a big IF), will the airlines balk at hiring him and how can I find that out?


[/ QUOTE ]

Dunno about the airlines, but I would venture to guess that if he can get a first class medical, there are a lot of places that would hire him. I was never asked anything but, "what class of medical do you hold?" Granted, I'm only a flight instructor, so take that for what its worth.

[ QUOTE ]
New Question: How can we find an AME who is also a neurologist?


[/ QUOTE ]

By clicking on this link.


[ QUOTE ]
New Question: How can we find an airline pilot with a history of epilepsy?

[/ QUOTE ]

Not sure there...but you may not find one- at least, not a current one. I don't know of any.

[ QUOTE ]
We have been thinking of signing Dan up with AOPA anyway, so I guess this is a good excuse.

[/ QUOTE ]

Very good excuse. AOPA is always a big help with any questions I have.

Best of luck!
 

DansMom

New Member
Thanks for the EXCELLENT link EatSleepFly. After doing some sorts on the list and research on the web, Dr. Hastings in Tulsa sounds like the ultimate authority for Dan's situation. Does anybody know him?

I also stumbled on this list of special issuances by class - now we know that there are 46 pilots with first-class medicals with similar conditions to Dan's. That's somewhat encouraging. (Assuming the data on the page is correct. By the way - I wouldn't pay to use the service of this link's owner.)

DansMom
 

sbav8r

New Member
You don't need to find an AME that is a nuerologist, you will just have to go see one that can write the FAA concerning his current condition. Eatsleep had the best advice. Join AOPA, they are a great resource for this sort of thing.
 

kostcoguy

New Member
I hate to stray off the subject, it is really nice to see someone's mother so interested in their son's future (I am about the same age as Dan, and my parents still think its a passing phase I am going through after about a year if not more.) Good luck to you and Dan.
 

Swabby

New Member
[ QUOTE ]

My originial question - IF the FAA does issue him a first-class (a big IF), will the airlines balk at hiring him and how can I find that out?

[/ QUOTE ]

There was a time when airlines required that applicants exceed FAA medical requirements just to be considered for the job. However, with the passage of the "Americans with Disabilities Act" in the mid 90's I believe those days are over. You may want to research it further, but I believe that it is no longer legal to deny employment to an applicant if he has a demonstrated ability to perform the job. In your sons case, if he has a 1st class medical he has demonstrated that he is medically fit for the job and an airline could not arbitrarily set a different medical standard for employment. An aviation career is a big gamble from the start, there are no sure things, certainly a medical condition could side line any of us at any time. If your son decides to make a career out of this industry, he ought to do it with his eyes wide open knowing that at anytime it could end for a variety of factors, many may not be related to attainment of a 1st class medical.
 

Buzo

Well-Known Member
The only advice I can give is to talk with the Regional Flight Surgeon at your local FSDO. I had some issues getting my medical last year, and they helped me out tremendously.

John--- Your medical wasn't denied, it was deferred. There is a big difference. You don't need to mark anywhere that you had your medical denied. A denial involves not getting a medical and having to appeal the decision. A deferral requires more information to determine your eligibility.

I have a history of kidney stones, and had two existing stones when I got my medical last year. It was deferred for a day or so until the regional fligth doc got the approval from OK city to give me a temporary medical. Four months later I received a permanent medical and letter from OK city saying that I am eligible for the medical and I must self ground myself if I have symptoms. When I got hired at my airline, the only thing I had to do was tell them what class medical I had and give them a photo copy of it. There were no questions about any complications with it, although they do know about the kidney stones.
 

pljenkins

Resident Knucklehead
[ QUOTE ]
I checked the asthma/allergy box on the medical form, listed my meds and went into talk with the doc. He said I passed the exam, but he was required to defer my medical to the FAA. That translates to I have to mark for the rest of my life that I was denied for a medical certificate (like your son will I'm sure).

[/ QUOTE ]

Waidaminnit... Did the FAA subsequently deny your medical? A doctor sending your medical to the FAA for further evaluation doesn't mean you were "denied a medical certificate".

Did you get an actual letter from the AMI stating that you're application has been denied? If not, you were never denied a medical, and need not state as such on subsequent applications.

Paul
 

jtrain609

Anarcho-Bidenist
Heya,


I asked my current AME about it, and he said that I needed to put that I had denied previously on a medical exam on my current medical form. I was not defered for a few days; it took over 5 months to get it.

I did get a letter from the FAA saying that they were looking over my application at about the 2 month mark. I'll have to get the letter back out and look at it to see the actual verbage.

Cheers


John Herreshoff
 

Buzo

Well-Known Member
John,
Talk to your local Flight Surgeon at the FSDO. Mine was officially deferred for four months, but the FSDO helped me fly until I got it. There is a big difference between a deferral and denial and they should be able to tell you which one you got.
 
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