Hello Esteemed Pilots,
I have not yet been in touch with ATP yet and want to get through an actual medical exam first to see if there is anything in me that would disqualify me from receiving First Class Medical since I have bad vision since childhood, which has improved ever since with corrective lenses. I have read a lot about vision problems and know that you do not have to have perfect vision as long as it can be corrected to 20/20.
Let’s say pilot can pass medical perfectly at this stage in life, but then an event happens, causing health to deteriorate to the point that they could not get First Class Certificate, nor waivers at one of the annual/bi-annual medical exams (e.g. heart attack, stroke, something happens to vision, etc) - what options do these pilots pursue if they do not have any other professional training?
Thank you for your insights!
What you’re asking is a realistic concern. The fact is that some pilots do lose their medicals and for many that means a career change. Some are able to transition to other airline jobs (mgmt., training, etc) but many can’t.
It’s for that reason that I’ve never been a fan of aviation degrees. You can be a pilot with an accounting degree but you can’t be an accountant with a degree in aviation. It’s for that very reason I always encourage pilots to have a Plan B.
Most of the pilots that I’ve met that lost their medical certificates found a position in the training department. These former pilots are a good fit for these kinds of jobs because of their real world experience. The value that they bring to the training department is, well, invaluable.
Of course there a lots of other jobs one could pursue. However, your question is excactly why we encourage people to earn their degrees in something other than aviation to maximize their alternative career opportunities.
@Adam and @Tory,
Thank you for your prompt responses - appreciate your insights!
I would also point out that every airline that I know of offers long term disability insurance that is designed to pay a percentage of your pay in the case that you are unable to keep your medical certificate. In my airline’s case it is about 60% pay, plus you have the ability to work elsewhere without reducing your benefit amount. I suspect that this amount will increase with the next contract.
That is a great insight! Just out of curiosity, do you know if this is only for certain disabilities that happens due to some unexpected accident (e.g. permanently damaging something vital) OR it would suffice even if let’s say you develop some vision issue that can not improved? Of course, I understand every long term disability insurance will have their own exceptions and will be different between companies.
Thank you in advance for your ongoing insights,
In the case of my airline, our disability insurance covers anything that would keep you from flying an airplane.