First Class Medical Question

Hi Everyone,

I am 43 years old and currently hold a 3rd class medical. I am considering a career change to the airlines in the next 2-3 years…of course, this will depend on the market and other factors. I am currently at 700 hours and working on my commercial. That’s the background information.

Now, I am doing my regular yearly check ups and have been found with elevated sugar levels (136 latest)…so far, no medication has been prescribed. My exams back in Oct 2018 showed very good progress in the right direction after losing 8 pounds (I’m 5’8’ and was at 189 lbs) and starting an exercise routine, my numbers fell back into pre-diabetic levels and the hope was I’d keep lowering them. Of course, I dropped the ball on the exercise part and numbers are still holding in the low end of diabetes and pre-diabetes.

My question is, would I be able to obtain a 1st class medical given my only issue is glucose level? (all other numbers are normal). Is my dream to become an airline pilot gone? Would I still be able to fly part 135 with a 2nd class?

All that said, my doctor strongly believes that diet and exercise is all i need to get back to actual normal range, in other words, it appears as though I can reverse them…but, I do have a family history of diabetes (mom is type 2) so I don’t want to embark in a career change knowing that it won’t be attainable. I know I can still fly GA and I LOVE to do so but flying professionally is a dream of mine.


First off none of us are AMEs so you should always talk to them to be certain, but elevated levels without a diagnosis of diabetes or any prescribed meds is not a disqualifier. That said there’s always the risk of things going in the wrong direction so that could be an issue. Pick the ball back up and get on controlling your weight.

If this is truly a “dream”, hitting the gym and giving up Twinkies is a small price to pay :wink:



None of us are qualified to give out medical advice. Your best bet is to consult with your AME about this issue.


Thanks Adam, I’ve given up sodas, juice and have made changes to my overall diet, the numbers were moving in the right direction until I stopped exercising and yes, you’re right, hitting the gym and giving up sweets is a small price to pay to at least give me the best possible chance, appreciate your response :slight_smile:


I went from 200 lbs to 141 by changing the way I eat. No sugar, ever. No processed foods, no alcohol, and plenty of patience. You can get there, too.