Practice for your FAA Medical?
A few years back David Hale, a pilot and Exercise Physiologist who practices in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, realized he might be able to help out a friend and fellow Bonanza pilot. The friend had recently undergone quadruple bypass surgery and had contemplated quitting flying altogether in the face of what he figured were impossible odds against passing an FAA medical exam. Hale didn’t believe the odds; he evaluated his friend’s health and put him on a strict exercise regime.
After a couple of months, his buddy went into the AME armed with treadmill tapes showing his good state of heart-health, and a relatively short time later, he was back in the left seat.
As it turned out, it wasn’t an isolated case; Hale found that many of his pilot friends were struggling with FAA medical issues, so he expanded his practice and started Pilot Medical Solutions, a program with the dual objectives of helping pilots get in shape and assisting them in negotiating the medical process.
Hale says that while there’s little one can do for pilots with permanently disqualifying medical conditions, he’s found such cases to be the exception, and that many pilots can regain their FAA medical certificate simply by tackling the problem with an appropriate plan of action. In some cases, Hale says, the solution might be as simple as helping a client find a medication the FAA approves of. In other cases, it might require the client to start a serious fitness program and begin eating right.
To get things started, Hale gives the client an extensive, confidential fitness evaluation, including electrocardiograph analysis, blood work, exercise stress testing, and metabolic function evaluation. The case is then reviewed by an AME without knowledge of the client’s identity. If necessary, Hale refers his client to an aviation lawyer specializing in medical matters.
For more information, call 800/699-4457.
FLYING/FEBRUARY 1997 31 Other Trade Publication News