Professional with special issuance?

Good afternoon everyone. I am considering a career change, at 36 years old. I want to start with ATP ASAP, and I have an appointment with an AME for a first class medical in February. I was told I would only be able to get a special issuance, since I have a cardiac stent. With all of the proper testing and documentation showing that I am healthy, will I still be able to peruse this dream and come out as a commercial pilot? Or will I not be able to make this a career because of the special issuance? Thanks for any help.


The airlines obviously will have the final say but in my experience (I’ve participated in hiring) they will generally say if the FAA will issue the First Class that’s good enough for us and you’ll be good to go.

My only concern (and understand I’m not an AME) would be if there’s any chance if your condition worsening or changing and you losing the medical. Not from the airline’s perspective but from your career longevity.


While the airlines are not legally supposed to discriminate if you have a first class medical, human beings are not infallible. If there are two perfectly equal candidates but one has the special issuance, it’s hard to imagine this not being a factor. On the other hand, there are lots of jobs right now. If you keep the faith, I would expect that you will find an opportunity. Also, you might talk with someone to see if you can remove the special issuance. A flying mate of mine worked with a company in Oklahoma and was able to get regular physicals after that.