1st class Medical Certificate

I just had my first physical for my 1st class, I got my medical certificate already, but I was wondering if there’s any way the FAA can revoke it or deny it? Don’t want to start getting loans if that’s a possibility, thank you!

Zajetsky,

Absolutely. Get a DUI and the FAA will pull your medical immediately. Discover you have some debilitating disease or condition, have an accident and loose some of your abilities, the FAA discovers you lied on your application, etc etc. All are cause for a loss of your medical. Short of that the answer is no.

Adam

Zajetsky,

You have to be able to secure and retain a first class medical to be an airline pilot. That means, when your under 40 years old going back to an AME every year to get your physical done and keep your medical current. Once you’re 40 and older, it’s every 6 months.

To answer your question, it’s not just a one and done. Staying healthy and staying out of legal trouble (drugs and alcohol) to continually pass a first class medical is vitally important to being an airline pilot.

Hannah

Zajetsky,

Yes, they sure can. Get a DUI, busted for illegal drugs, fail an EKG, decide you are depressed, the list goes on and on. However, that is what airlines have Long Term Disability Insurance for. It usually pays you a percentage of your pay until you are able to return to work, or reach retirement age.

Chris

I have an question. So is it true that you can’t be a pilot if you wear glasses?

Jerome,

That is not true at all. Many pilots require glasses. As long as your vision can be corrected to 20/20 WITH glasses (or contacts) you’re fine.

Adam

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Thank you sir.

Hi Everyone,

This issue about the risk of losing the 1st medical is what has kept me back from finally starting the program. Since I’m 42, I think about the ROI and if it’s worth taking the risk of starting at my age.

If for example you are diagnosed with a common disease like hypertension or Diabetes, but it’s under control because of a treatment, is that a reason to lose the 1st class medical?

Or if you’re diagnosed with Cancer and recover from it, do you lose the medical??

What % of your pay does the Insurance pay in case of losing medical ?? Am I allowed to work while being paid by the insurance?

What’s a $$ estimate for Long term disability insurance at my age and does it get more expensive with age?? Do airlines cover for it ??

I stop now

Thanks

Francisco,

There is always the possibility you could develop a medical condition that could cause you to lose your medical. Most airline paid disability insurance will pay a % of your income depending on the # of years you have vested (at mine you get 50% max after 10yrs). There are additional supplemental plans available but they’re pretty expensive, particularly if you’re starting later in life as you are. The actual cost and terms are something that will vary depending on the airline and how much you’re willing to pay.

Long/short if you were to start and get sick within the first few years you would definitely take a significant hit.

Adam

Thanks Adam you’re right. Probably too risky for people of my age

Jerome,

I wear glasses every waking minute of the day. I could not cut my grass without them, let alone fly an airplane.

Chris

Francisco,

It really depends on what you are diagnosed with. I have hypertension (ex-wife factor), but it is controlled well with meds so there is no issue. Diabetes is a much harder diagnosis to get back to work from. As with cancer, if you come back and are good to go, there should be no issues. Decide you are “depressed”, you are done for. The list goes on.

At my airline, the LTD insurance is $130 per month (the pilot pays it) and pays up to 11k per month, tax free. We are allowed to work while receiving LTD and it does not offset the LTD, unless the work is for my airline. You are prohibited from working for another airline in any capacity.

I have bounced off and on LTD a few times here, the process is smooth and the checks come on time.

Chris

Francisco, I never said nor do I believe that. While I did acknowledge that “IF” you get ill it could be a problem, i would never (nor did I) let fear stop me from doing the things I want to do or living the life I want to live. I didn’t start till I was 39. I’ve been flying professionally for 18yrs and as a Capt at a Major for the last 5+ years so my ROI has been excellent, but that was never a part of the equation or a thought for me. Sure I could wake up tomorrow with something that could derail my career but I’d like to think the fact I take pretty good care of myself has something to do with the fact I haven’t.

You obviously have to do what’s best for you and makes you feel comfortable. For my part I have the greatest job on the planet and it was well worth the risk.

Adam

Thanks Chris,

It’s good to know there’s a way to keep working as long as these common conditions are under control and that using the LTD is a smooth process.

Is your LTD calculated as a % of your pay?

Thanks Adam.

I understand. Every decision in life carries a risk and this one is no different. I just wanted to have an idea of how easy/hard is to lose your medical which would mean losing your career. For your response and Chris now I have a better idea of what to expect

Franciso,

Ours is calculated at 50% of our pay, up to $11k per month max. What helps out though is that we do not pay any income taxes on our benefits as we pay the LTD premiums with after tax money.

Chris

Here I’m sharing a very helpful link that I found about Health Conditions that may affect certification. This is related to a post I made 7 days ago in this thread

https://www.aopa.org/go-fly/medical-resources/health-conditions

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Great resource @Francisco! This will help others with the same questions in the future.

Hannah