Level 1 Medical Certificate Question

I’m pursuing a career as a pilot; I’m looking forward to attending ATP! I’m 53-year-old female retired from the medical field after 26 years. My concern is currently the level 1 medical certification. I’ve had Carpal Tunnel surgery on both wrists, and also Cubital Tunnel surgery on both Elbows. So, my question is there any hope for me passing the medical exam?
Thank You


Welcome to the forum! Glad to hear you’re thinking of pursuing aviation.

First things first, securing a first class medical. We are just pilots here, the only way you’ll know is to visit an AME (aviation medical examiner) and see how it goes. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, you first need to fill out the brief application online at MedXpress.


To find the nearest AME, follow this link.

Then take the confirmation number to your appointment.

I wouldn’t pursue any flight training until you secure that first class medical. That is required for a career as an airline pilot.

Second, at your age I just want to make sure you’re aware of the current retirement age. Right now it’s 65 with lots of conversations on Capitol Hill of extending it. If you start training soon, you would be 55 by the time you’re qualified for the regionals. 10 years doing something you love isn’t something to be minimized. However, might not be long enough financially to pay off the loan required for training. Now there are opportunities in the part 135 world (corporate and charter airlines) that you could continue flying past age 65 as long as you can continually hold a first class medical. Just something I wanted to make sure you were aware of and thinking about. Of course, I support you regardless! This industry needs more women :slight_smile:


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Welcome to the forum. None of us are medical doctors, so we really cannot answer your questions. What I can tell you is that I have had extensive orthopedic work and the FAA has never really cared about it or even asked questions. Of course your results may vary. You need to make an appointment with an FAA AME to discuss your specific history.


I just received mine and they were not concerned about my hands at all. I would assume if you can drive and use a steering wheel, then you will have no problem steering in the air either.

I greatly appreciate all of your input!!!
I have registered with the FAA and currently looking for a Aviation AME to get my exam done!:raised_hands:t4::crossed_fingers:t4:
Thank You!!!

Good Morning!!!
Yesterday, I received my Level 1 Medical Certificate!!!

Congrats Marie!

I know this was a concern so I’m very happy for you. Now that you have it I have one tiny request. Can you please refer to it as a First Class Medical as there is no such thing a Level 1 Medical (at least not in US aviation).

While this may seem petty, if you truly aspire to be a pilot you need to start using correct terminology. It’s important.


Roger That! :joy:
Thank You :pray:t4:

Yesterday I received my LEVEL 1 MEDICAL CERTIFICATE!!!
Next step heading to San Diego for a tour with ATP!

First class medical :wink:

Let us know how your tour goes!