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  1. #1

    Pilot Health Reg Questions

    I am new to flying. I am looking at trying to build my own ultralight aircraft and I have a few questions. I know that medically if I wanted to make flying a career, that I would have to get a medical 3 at least. If I just stick to building the ultralight and flying it, would it hurt to check with my doc to see if flying as a private pilot is even an option before I start looking at spending the money to start in on the adventure?

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    To fly commercially you need at least a class 2 medical. A Private pilot needs at least one class 3 medical before switching to Basicmed. A Sport Pilot needs no medical at all, and for a true ultralight you don't even need a pilot certificate.

  3. #3
    lnuss's Avatar
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    To add to what Dana said, no it probably wouldn't hurt to check with your doctor, and you might find out what you want to know if your doctor knows what the FAA wants for a second class physical, but it takes an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) to give you a definitive word. I might note that a commercial pilot is not an airline pilot, but is the next step beyond the Private and one who may fly for pay.

    Larry N.

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    I would start by reading the instructions and filling out the medical application. It's officially on line now, but you can find PDFs of the old form the online application is based on as well.
    There are three practical sections:

    1. Question 18 (a-w) which ask "Have you ever ..." If you answer YES to any of these, you need to consider things further.
    2. Visits to a physician, etc.. for the past three years. Again, anything other than a regular checkup needs to be investigated.
    3. Any drugs you are taking. You can get an idea of what drugs are going to be an issue by looking at the member section of the AOPA website.

    In addition, you'll get normal vision, "hearing", and bp checks. Those need to be acceptible (20/20 w/correction in each eye, colorblindness test, normal conversational words, and below about 145). In addition, the doctor is obliged under the current rules to inquire about sleep apnea risks, especially if you're obese.

    If you've got YES answers (or drugs or dr. visits), one way to preserve your options is to print the application (either the online one or just fill out the paper one) and take it to the AME for a "consultation." Do not give him the control number from the online application which he needs to start an official examination. Once he starts an official examination, if he finds a problem he's obliged to defer/deny you and that's going to lock you out of things like flying Sport Pilot.

    There's very little difference between the second and third (the third only requires 20/40) vision, unless you have one of the special conditions.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    I would start by reading the instructions and filling out the medical application. It's officially on line now, but you can find PDFs of the old form the online application is based on as well.
    There are three practical sections:

    1. Question 18 (a-w) which ask "Have you ever ..." If you answer YES to any of these, you need to consider things further.
    2. Visits to a physician, etc.. for the past three years. Again, anything other than a regular checkup needs to be investigated.
    3. Any drugs you are taking. You can get an idea of what drugs are going to be an issue by looking at the member section of the AOPA website.

    In addition, you'll get normal vision, "hearing", and bp checks. Those need to be acceptible (20/20 w/correction in each eye, colorblindness test, normal conversational words, and below about 145). In addition, the doctor is obliged under the current rules to inquire about sleep apnea risks, especially if you're obese.

    If you've got YES answers (or drugs or dr. visits), one way to preserve your options is to print the application (either the online one or just fill out the paper one) and take it to the AME for a "consultation." Do not give him the control number from the online application which he needs to start an official examination. Once he starts an official examination, if he finds a problem he's obliged to defer/deny you and that's going to lock you out of things like flying Sport Pilot.

    There's very little difference between the second and third (the third only requires 20/40) vision, unless you have one of the special conditions.
    Some of the possible issues. Examples are hearing, poor vision in one eye, color deficiency or even some amputations can be resolved with a "special issuance" which may involve more expense and paperwork.

    Getting at at least a third class medical will preserve the ability to move up from ultralight for several years. How many years depends on several variables.
    Last edited by jedi; 07-11-2018 at 07:19 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Some of the possible issues. Examples are hearing, poor vision in one eye, color deficiency or even some amputations can be resolved with a "special issuance" which may involve more expense and paperwork.
    lol, yeah, that medical history section is a minefield. Answer yes on the wrong question and it's automatic denial; other yeses can result in a deferral.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    the doctor is obliged under the current rules to inquire about sleep apnea risks
    I'm about to go for my Class 3 Medical to start study for a PPL, and I have sleep apnea that is treated with a CPAP. Will this be a problem for my Medical?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisadviceisworthles View Post
    I'm about to go for my Class 3 Medical to start study for a PPL, and I have sleep apnea that is treated with a CPAP. Will this be a problem for my Medical?
    It may be. You'll have to provide information from the treating physician (is treatment effective, etc) and if there are no major issues the AME can issue an AME Assisted Special issuance or AASI. If your condition is more severe, your medical will be deferred and you'll have to go through special issuance process or SI.

    Sew........before you log into medexpress and fill out your app, talk to the AME or an AME that can advise you on what steps to follow depending on the severity of your condition. Get everything in order so you don't end up with a deferral or denial.

  9. #9
    robert l's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisadviceisworthles View Post
    I'm about to go for my Class 3 Medical to start study for a PPL, and I have sleep apnea that is treated with a CPAP. Will this be a problem for my Medical?
    I also have sleep apnea but I went to the Aeromed Dr. first. Big mistake ! He supposedly looked over my stuff and called me back a few weeks later for the exam. When I said something about getting a new C-PAP machine, he said, you have sleep apnea? Duh ! Did you even look at my paper work? I had to get the SD card from the back of my machine, take it to a place that deals with that kind of stuff and they did a print out for me. Which by the way, was 40 miles away. I also had to get a print out of my stress test from my cardiologist and a letter from my ophthalmologist, (blind in one eye), oh, and a letter from my sleep Dr. And my Aero doc said, I needed to get all this within a couple of weeks because he already started the ball rolling. Well, I got what he ask for and 5 weeks later I got a letter from the FAA, they needed the original print out from the stress test. (that pink, folded sheet that's about 10 ft. long. The cardiologist said they don't keep it, once he makes a digital copy and reads it, they toss it. Also, the ophthalmologist stuff wasn't good enough either and the letter from my sleep Dr. wasn't good enough either. F*&!!#G@^%?M*$#&!!!! Well, I did another stress test, (on my nickel)! another eye exam and another sleep study. All this required weeks and multiple trips even to the hospital to get a CD of my heart cath. I had 60 days in which to complete all this. OK, that's plenty of time, not so ! One Dr. was booked up for 5 weeks, I had a 3 day trip for a funeral and the sleep study was several weeks wait also. I'm making copies of everything as we speak, about 50 pages, not counting the stress test, I'm taking pictures of that ! This will all be mailed out tomorrow, the 19th, has to be there by the 25th and I'm getting delivery confirmation !!! It hasn't been a fun ride but I thought the consultation with the Aeromed Dr. was getting me on the right track. I guess I'll find out in a couple of months.
    Bob

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