Talk with pilots and usually the last thing on their mind is losing their medical certification. Yet virtually every pilot who wants to continue to fly will face a medical issue which will affect their flight fitness. Remember this article when, it happens to you.
Most of us remember a time we got “behind” the airplane. On my first cross country I discovered how easy it is. Poor planning was the culprit. Between Los Angeles and Palomar Field in San Diego I chose a storage tank for a check point… bad choice! There were dozens of tanks among the somewhat confusing borders of Class B Airspace, Military Restricted Areas, and Mexico! Fortunately in only affected my confidence.
Poor planning is one of the fastest way to become medically grounded too. You can plan a successful FAA medical exam! Receiving advice prior to medical certificate applications is both legal and free.
Pilot Medical Solutions provides advice to pilots free of charge. Having the benefit of a case manager to retrieve, review, organize, and submit medical records required by the FAA is an additional service, available from Pilot Medical Solutions.
Could it really happen to you?
Applications for a medical certificate can be rejected because of medical or clerical problems. Several thousand denial letters are sent each year, and thousands of pilots require Special Issuance medical certificates.
AME’s often discover issues which require extensive documentation and which pilots are not prepared for. Basic pre-certification preparation could have spared many of these folks from the frustration denial and lengthy grounding periods.
Getting pre-certification advice and gathering documentation to substantiate your fitness to fly assures that valuable time once lost to deferred or denied applications is minimized rather than commonplace.
FAA medical standards are quite liberal when compared to other nations. If you want to make a non-pilot friend nervous, tell him there are Insulin Dependant Diabetic pilots right now in the sky above them taking their blood sugars.
Federal Air Surgeon, Doctor Michael Berry, his Deputy, Dr. Stephen Goodman, and the Director of the Civil Aersospace Medical Institute, Dr. Melchor Antuñano, have gone to great lengths to grant exceptions to Federal Standards when fit pilots apply. But make no mistake, preparation and documentation are critical. In 2017 ninety percent of pilots who were denied a medical certificate failed to provide the documentation required to obtain FAA medical approval.
The tenacious do have hope. Few pilots are ultimately denied. Sadly many pilots suffer needlessly because they don’t prepare or take advantage of help which is just a phone call away.
The one person with the greatest interest in you securing medical certification is you, the pilot. Your primary care physician, specialist, and AME may be sympathetic and willing to help, but you must keep the process moving and ensure that all the necessary information is gathered.
REMEMBER THIS: Pre-certification consultations virtually eliminate premature FAA medical applications which often ground pilots.