Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flying with Diabetes

(Carlos Diaz) #1

Im in the process of trying to get my 1st class medical. I have some abnormal glucose levels in my urine and just sent my blood-work off to the lab. Are you able to work for an airline with type II diabetes? Its my understanding that if your Insulin dependent(type I) you cannot. Just not sure about type II. Would airlines look down upon this while hiring?



Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting! I am by no means a doctor, but I did find an article written by an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner that should be helpful to you. From the article it sounds like you should be good to go with Type II if your blood work comes back alright. I would have a long talk with your AME about what your medical future looks like, especially in regards to diabetes.

As far as the airlines are concerned, I don’t think you should need to disclose it to them. I am pretty sure that United does not ask any medical questions, they just require you to have a First Class Medical. American has been known in the past for giving very in-depth medical exams, so there might be some issues there. Generally speaking though I don’t think you should have to disclose the information to an airline. I will reach out to some contacts I have and see if I can get you any more info on this. Hopefully Adam will jump in here and share his knowledge about what sort of medical exam Hawaiian gives their potential pilots.


Switching careers and, obviously, having questions!
(Carlos Diaz) #3


Thanks for the reply and the link. I know that my urinalysis is going to come back with high glucose, so I had the blood drawn while I was there. Hopefully it comes back clean or at the very least manageable so I can get my certificate.

United has been one of my favorite Airlines! is that who you fly for?




Like I said, just make sure to have an open and honest conversation with your AME about this, he or she will be the expert on this. I reached out to my contact who is very familiar with airline hiring practices and will get back to you as soon as I hear from him.

I do fly for United, I have been with the company since 2007. I am glad to hear that you like flying the friendly skies :slight_smile:




I spoke with a friend who is very familiar with airline hiring practices. He said that type II diabetes will be no concern at all to the airlines as long as you can maintain a first class medical.


(Carlos Diaz) #6

Thanks for the information, Chris!


Anytime. Keep your questions coming!