Soda flight test

Hi there.
I am scheduled to take a SODA evaluation with the FAA, due to a slight loss in vision in my left eye.
If anyone took such evaluation, your feedback would be really appreciated regarding the following as the FAA did not answered my question when I asked what to expect for such evaluation!
Can you do it in a S/E?
What questions were asked? any technical question on the A/C or on the FAR’s ?
Which maneuvers were you asked to perform?
How long was the evaluation?
Any additional feedback which you feel may be helpful …

Thanks guys.


I had a student that went through a similar process. I can’t recall the details of his SODA flight, but I do remember him saying that he essentially had to prepare himself for the PPL check ride. So, I would do the same. That way all of your bases are covered.


Hi Tori,

Many thanks for your input.
I am actually ex-Continental Airlines and have been away from flying light A/C so I am now learning again how to fly !

Take care



This is a SODA ride for a Special Issuance on your medical, not a BFR or IPC. Don’t quote me on this, but I think the flight is more about the SODA than it is about renewing any certificates you’ve previously held so I still think the FSDO will be more focused on your ability to spot planes and airports, differentiate between green and red, and fly the plane unassisted by the examiner. I can’t imagine the examiner needing to see you demonstrate more than a private pilot level of skill for the SODA. Again, don’t quote me on that. Just saying that this is more about the FAA issuing you a 1st Class Medical with the Special Issuance. Perhaps there’s a way for you to get in touch with the FSDO beforehand?


Hi Tory

Just received from the FAA in OK City the letter to give me the OK to take the soda flight test, asking me to contact the local FSDO. Already mailed the letter with the request for an appointment with the copy of the letter from OK city and now waiting for the date…I tried to contact the number shown for the local FDSO but it is connected to a voice mail, and you need an appointment to walk in !
I cannot emphasize enough to any pilot on active duty to subscribe to a loss of License Insurance ! the job of an airline pilot / corporate pilot is on the line each time he/she renew his/her medical !
Who do you fly for? I am ex Continental, left in 2000 and have been recruiting pilots for oversea’s jobs for the past 27 years…then last January we lost all of our contracts since our activities were mainly in China/ Korea and Vietnam !



Is it? I thought that once you receive your medical with your SODA, all subsequent medical renewals are no different than one for a pilot without a SODA so long as the “Examiner finds that the condition described on the SODA has not adversely changed.”

Sounds like you’re making progress.
I fly for Horizon.


That is if your deficiency does not get worst from what it was initially described…

And that’s not anything we already know. I know it’s not a fun process but it’s there for good reason. The FAA has always had a reputation of being slow and the pandemic has only made it slower.


So I am now waiting for my appointment date for the SODA flight test…I suppose they want o make sure that I can see the vasi lights and make sure I don’t land on the highway instead of the runway…I also heard that most FAA examiners are not current and are now performing with a waiver !!

Jean Mark,

It’s not really a waiver. The FAA has granted a number of extensions for medical, landing currency, line checks and pretty much anything else you can think of.