Real Answers from Real Pilots

Class 1 Medical - Hypertension

Hello,
I am planning to start at ATP as soon as possible for their airline program, so I went for my Class 1 medical 2 weeks ago and was not given a passing certificate nor a fail. My AME said I will pass with flying colors since I have nothing else wrong with me besides taking a single low dose of blood pressure medication, but that the FAA would possibly want to see more records on my blood pressure medication before passing me. Has anyone else ever been in this situation or had friends with this situation?
My pressure was perfect at 120/62 in the AME’s office and I have never had any symptoms from the medications or any recent changes in dosage, etc. I passed the vision test, provided the urine specimen, etc. as well.
According to the CACI - Hypertension Worksheet on the FAA website, without any symptoms, changes, or on substantial medications that are listed as disqualifiers, the AME is able to give the Certificate immediately. So this had me confused?
I am overly eager to begin the ATP program but I have seen online that I cannot begin their program until I have the Class 1 Medical Certificate in my hand.
My AME said that the FAA can take around a month or two to get back with me about my situation. Is this about accurate or is there any way to check on the status or speed up the process?
I have taken steps in the last 3 months to lose a decent amount of weight, eating healthier, and also going to the gym a few days per week. My goal is to get completely off the blood pressure medication be the end of the year if possible. I have kept a log and showed the AME my log of blood pressures I take at home, my wife checks mine and has been a nurse as well as myself for 8+ years.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to see if anyone has some advice?

Thanks again!!

Cody,

I know this isn’t the answer you want, but we are not able to offer any sort of medical advice on this forum. It is best to work with your AME to resolve the issue.

You will not be able to start the program until you have the medical certificate. ATP does this to prevent you from unnecessarily spending money on training.

Chris

Thanks Chris, I totally understand.

Cody,

I’d be interested to hear what happens. I actually just made my appointment for December and have this issue but it’s been under control for 3+ years. If you don’t mind letting me know what happens that’s be great.

Cody,

I’m slightly confused? Of course the AME will not accept records from your wife (nurse or otherwise) but is your BP not managed and regulated by your regular dr? I had high BP for years and was on a prescription as well. When I went for my First Class the AME asked if I could simply get a letter from my Primary doctor who prescribed the RX showing my BP history, it had been monitored etc and that was that.

Adam

Chris E,

Will for sure do that! Hoping its fairly easy and the FAA just wants some added documentation from my old PCP. Best of luck to you!

-Cody

Adam,
I brought in my old PCP’s physical I had done earlier this year in March which had 1 BP reading. I just recently moved to Nevada from Texas in July of this year, so have not found a new PCP out here, but the AME said he is able to be my PCP as well. My BP has been within normal limits since being on the medication since 2015, never had any elevated readings. The AME acts like I may just have to provide the added documentation to the FAA before they will give me my certificate. I can definitely get my records from my PCP and send them into whoever needs them but the AME made it seem that he is done, and it will be up to the FAA from here on out?
It just didn’t make sense to me that the AME is making me go through this when I see tons of info online stating that if I have no other issues and the BP is controlled for a long period of time there can be a certificate issued? I am thinking of calling the AME’s office again tomorrow and asking some questions and found a phone number for the FAA as well to see if they could clarify?

-Cody

Cody,

The FAA is going to defer to their AME and I really wouldn’t push to hard with him by telling him “well the FAA said bla bla bla”. I would get records going back at least 2 yrs and have them ready as I’m fairly certain they’ll be asked for. It can be a process the first time so just try and be patient.

Adam

Adam,

That makes sense. I will begin working on having my PCP round up the records so they are ready. Thanks again for the input, I appreciate it!

-Cody

Cody,

AMEs are not actually the final word on medical certificates, the FAA is. Your AME knows what the FAA will reject a certificate for and is saving you the grief of having your medical certificate suspended. The AME isn’t “making you go through” anything, he is following his procedures. Your word is simply not good enough for the FAA when they are issuing you a certificate that lets you have people’s lives in your hands. He also isn’t saying that you can’t have a certificate issued, he is saying that you both need to follow certain protocols before one can be. I would trust an FAA certified, medical doctor before I trusted the internet, but that is just me.

Chris

Chris,

That makes sense. I have not followed up with anyone and just decided to let the FAA get back to me and go about the process when I get their response. Hoping their response arrives soon, as it has been 3 weeks this Thursday from my AME appointment. I’ve heard the average wait time is 1-2 months to hear back from the FAA on similar situations.

Thanks again,
Cody