Pilots?

I’m curious if there are any pilots on this board who have to maintain a first class medical. I fly professionally and it would be helpful to know if there’s anyone else who’s dealing with PSC as I am.

Thanks.

I have a first class and I got approved with a special issuance. Gave to submit an update once a year.

Are you medicated and what is required in the update?

I was issued a 3rd class medical after disclosing I had PSC, and I listed all 23 meds the doctor put me on. Six months after issuance, I received a letter from Oklahoma City, that after further review, requested me to send my medical back. AOPA told me not to fight it, and I didn't.

Now that I have a transplant, and am in better health than 20 years ago, LeftSeat.com tells me the FAA will require further testing before considering a medical for me, which together with legal fees will cost me $16K to get my 3rd class medical back. This is the kind of stuff that makes an honest pilot think twice about disclosing.

The FAA Flight Surgeon and his staff are not better educated about PSC and your condition than your doctor, and nobody knows how fit you are to fly than you. They muddle up your career. PSC is a chronic disease, one that is unpredictable and affects people differently. No universal rule can be made to apply, yet that is exactly what they do. I would not encourage you to be dishonest, but I will say, use caution. The FAA can box you into a corner that can change your career. Call LeftSeat, AOPA or an aviation attorney and get their take on what your options are.

I know another pilot who received a liver transplant after discovering a cancerous tumor in his liver. Diagnosis and transplant happened between 2nd class medicals in a very short period of time. He voluntarily grounded himself until he recuperated. He applied for a new medical, disclosed his transplant history and received it. The difference was, the FAA had not involved itself in his case, and they issued his new medical without any additional testing.

Hope my examples enable you to develop options and a plan on how you want to proceed.

Paul Hain, Ed.D.

23 medications? That seems a little much given my experience.

I was diagnosed back in October of 2012, and after sending in all my records to the Feds was granted a Special Issuance in April of the following year. I haven’t had any serious issues maintaining that thus far (knock on wood).

Currently, aside from an enlarged spleen due to portal hypertension I’m pretty much asymptomatic, but no bowl involvement (UC, etc) either. I’m hopeful I can stay that way, but one never knows.

I’m currently on Urso, and although the last hepatologist I saw says I don’t need it, from my perspective if it keeps my liver tests in a more normal range that’s one less thing for the Feds to get all up in arms about.

I’m not familiar with Leftseat, but as an ALPA member I’m fortunately to have their aeromedical people as a backstop, and thus far their advice and recommendations have been very good. They’re a group called AMAS, and I’d suggest talking to Dr Parker over there. They know how to get through the hoops with the Feds in OKC, although again, I haven’t had that many hoops to jump through. The first time I had to get my SI I used AOPA (not an ALPA member at the time) and from my perspective they didn’t seem to know much. Just my opinion.

Does anyone know if a colonoscopy or an ERCP procedure must be reported to the FAA.

When they issue the medical, it is always pending approval from CAMI. So it is not unusual that, when they get around to reviewing the AME's records, they disagree and disallow the medical certificate.

CJ said:

23 medications? That seems a little much given my experience.

I was diagnosed back in October of 2012, and after sending in all my records to the Feds was granted a Special Issuance in April of the following year. I haven't had any serious issues maintaining that thus far (knock on wood).

Currently, aside from an enlarged spleen due to portal hypertension I'm pretty much asymptomatic, but no bowl involvement (UC, etc) either. I'm hopeful I can stay that way, but one never knows.

I'm currently on Urso, and although the last hepatologist I saw says I don't need it, from my perspective if it keeps my liver tests in a more normal range that's one less thing for the Feds to get all up in arms about.

I'm not familiar with Leftseat, but as an ALPA member I'm fortunately to have their aeromedical people as a backstop, and thus far their advice and recommendations have been very good. They're a group called AMAS, and I'd suggest talking to Dr Parker over there. They know how to get through the hoops with the Feds in OKC, although again, I haven't had that many hoops to jump through. The first time I had to get my SI I used AOPA (not an ALPA member at the time) and from my perspective they didn't seem to know much. Just my opinion.

Every time you go have a medical done you’ll have to report all visits to a health care provider on the application.

Thanks for your reply. It gives me hope. I am waiting for the 3rd Class Medical to be replaced with a valid driver's license. Then I will not have to jump through FAA hoops to get my medical back.

Paul



CJ said:

23 medications? That seems a little much given my experience.

I was diagnosed back in October of 2012, and after sending in all my records to the Feds was granted a Special Issuance in April of the following year. I haven't had any serious issues maintaining that thus far (knock on wood).

Currently, aside from an enlarged spleen due to portal hypertension I'm pretty much asymptomatic, but no bowl involvement (UC, etc) either. I'm hopeful I can stay that way, but one never knows.

I'm currently on Urso, and although the last hepatologist I saw says I don't need it, from my perspective if it keeps my liver tests in a more normal range that's one less thing for the Feds to get all up in arms about.

I'm not familiar with Leftseat, but as an ALPA member I'm fortunately to have their aeromedical people as a backstop, and thus far their advice and recommendations have been very good. They're a group called AMAS, and I'd suggest talking to Dr Parker over there. They know how to get through the hoops with the Feds in OKC, although again, I haven't had that many hoops to jump through. The first time I had to get my SI I used AOPA (not an ALPA member at the time) and from my perspective they didn't seem to know much. Just my opinion.