Real Answers from Real Pilots

Medical considerations

What are some deal breakers on the medical exam? I hear you cannot have experienced a heart attack, or have certain heart conditions. Does family history of heart issues effect your chances? If your vision isn’t 20/20 can it be corrected by contacts/glasses/surgery?

Thanks in advance,


As far as vision goes it must be 20/20 corrected meaning glasses or contacts are fine. As for the rest the following is from the FAA’s website:

What medical conditions does the FAA consider disqualifying?
**The following conditions are listed in the regulations as disqualifying medical conditions; however, in many cases when the condition is adequately controlled, the FAA will issue medical certification contingent on periodic reports. **

**Angina pectoris **
**Bipolar disease **
**Cardiac valve replacement **
**Coronary heart disease that has been treated or, if untreated, that has been symptomatic or clinically significant **
**Diabetes mellitus requiring hypoglycemic medications **
**Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory explanation of cause **
**Epilepsy **
**Heart replacement **
**Myocardial infarction **
**Permanent cardiac pacemaker **
**Personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts **
**Psychosis **
**Substance abuse **
**Substance dependence **
**Transient loss of control of nervous system function(s) without satisfactory explanation of cause. **

Other conditions not specifically listed in the regulations are also disqualifying. For further information refer to the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

As always we recommend you contact an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) should you have specific concerns. You can also check out the AOPA ( They have tons of good info.


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I’m not even going to try to answer this one, because I am not a doctor. I
know that there are some things that require further testing, but I don’t
know what the “deal breakers” are. You would have to talk to an Aviation
Medical Examiner (AME) about that one.