Brain injury

I am interested in applying for a flight school to obtain a PPL but have learning difficulties what is the best way I could approach application and the tests

Hi Jason,

The best advice that I can give you is to reach out to an Aviation Medical Examiner to discuss your situation. You can try googling Examiners nearest you or use the FAA’s search function located on the FAA’s website.

Hopefully you find an AME that’s willing to discuss your situation over the phone. Fair warning, you may need to actually apply for a medical certificate to get an official answer.

I wouldn’t advise moving any further towards any flight training until you have a medical in hand.



As Tory said, the first step is making sure you can obtain a medical due to your injury. Provided you can it’s a matter of finding a flight school that’s willing to spend the time to work with you. My concern is flying is expensive and while there may be schools who will take the time, it could get very pricey.



I would call AOPA about this first.
I mentioned having a couple concussions on my medical record. I received my 1st class medical without issue, but about a year later the FAA sent me a letter warning me that any new concussion could lead to it being revoked and neurological testing being required to get it back.
Needless to say, I don’t ride a motorcycle, play hockey hard, or snowboard in terrain parks anymore.

Talking to AOPA now, could give you a better plan how to approach an AME and the FAA, possibly saving money and time in the future.

Chris F


First step is to see a FAA doctor. Beyond that though, it really depends on the severity of ypur learning disability. While flying airplanes is not brain surgery, it is difficult and takes a fair amount of mental aptitude. If you do not catch onto the material quickly, it could cost you a fair amount of money. I think you need to have a honest conversation with yourself about what your abilities and limitations are.