Real Answers from Real Pilots

First Class Medical Certification

Hello! I have started the process of enrolling at ATP and am getting ready to move from MI to TX for it. I’m so excited to begin my journey to being a commercial pilot. I have a concern about getting my first class medical certification however. I didn’t initially think it would be a problem. I have a heart condition that was discovered a little over two years ago and has been successfully treated with medication since then. It is called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Essentially, my heart doesn’t pump enough blood back to my head when standing for prolonged periods. This was discovered when I passed out a few years ago. I assumed I would be alright because it has been treated successfully with no problems for two years now. However, the medication that regulates it is actually an anti-depression medication which I found out is not approved by the faa. I was hoping to get a SI since the medication is not used to treat depression.
I am wondering if anyone has insight for me on how I should go about trying to get certification. I am considering contacting a pilot’s medical certification advocate group for guidance… any suggestions or tips for me? I just can’t accept that this condition would disqualify me! It does not effect my daily life in any way. I don’t want to give up on my dream of flying! :slight_smile:

Renee

Renee,

Before you do anything you really need to talk with an FAA Medical Examiner, you can find one here: https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/ They are the experts on all such things and will be able to guide you through the process of getting a special issuance if need be. Make sure that you apply for a First Class Medical as that is what the airlines will require of you. Good luck with this, let us know how we can help.

Chris

Ok. Thank you!! I found one in my area. I’m hoping he will have good news for me! :slight_smile:

Good, please let us know if there is any way else that we can help you.

Chris

I just scheduled my first class medical for next week!!! One step closer to starting ATP!
Does anyone know about how long it takes to get the certification? Is it right away or does it take some time? And how long is the certification good for?

Thanks in advance
Evelyn

Evelyn,

Provided all goes well, which it should, you will leave the office with your First Class medical in your hand. Depending on your age it will be good for either 1 year (under 40) or 6 mos (over 40). Btw, not sure if it’s required on your first visit? But I’d check and see if the AME wants you to fill out the application prior to you coming in, most do. I’d ask and if so it’s really easy and will save you time at the office. Here’s the link: https://medxpress.faa.gov/medxpress/login.aspx

Adam

Adam,
Yes they informed me that I need to fill out the medxpress at least three days prior to my appointment and that if I didn’t have that done prior, they would cancel the appointment. Thank you for providing the website. That’s was going to be my next question :slightly_smiling_face: