• NC Software is having a Black Friday Sale Event thru December 4th on Logbook Pro, APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook, Cirrus Elite Binders, and more. Use coupon code BF2020 at checkout to redeem 15% off your purchase. Click here to shop now.
  • NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

Flying with diabetes

MJCEK

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Posts
18
Im interested in an aviation career and I'd like to start going for my PPL in the next couple of months.

My question is...I have type 2 diabetes (dont require insulin).

Assuming I my diabetes is under control, will I be able to obtain and KEEP and Class 1 flight medical???

DO I have any chance of obtaining a job in the future with a regional/major carrier???

HAs anyone else been in my situation? What did you do?

Thanks for all the help!!!
 

TR4A

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Posts
437
Total Time
15000+
Pilots with Diabetes – Special Issuance Medical Certificates

Pilots with diabetes controlled with diet and exercise alone are eligible for medical certification without requiring a Special Issuance Authorization. They must demonstrate adequate control of their diabetes and the absence of any complications. Regular reports from their treating physicians are required with each FAA medical application. The AME may issue a certificate if the pilot is otherwise qualified.

http://www.aviationmedicine.com/diabetes.htm#pilots
 

NCFlyer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Posts
320
Total Time
20000
If you search this forum you will find that diabetes has been discussed in depth in the past.


However the short answers:



MJCEK said:
Assuming I my diabetes is under control, will I be able to obtain and KEEP and Class 1 flight medical???

It depends on how and what meds you may be using to control you blood sugar levels and if you have had any adverse side effects while using those meds. Some meds are approved by the FAA for flying others are specifically prohibited from use while flying.

DO I have any chance of obtaining a job in the future with a regional/major carrier???

Who can say? Personally I would think that your chances of landing a job with any major carrier is remote. Remember you will be applying with a "disqualifying" medical condition. There will be an ample amount of pilots applying for the same job without any serious medical history. Put yourself in the company's shoes, who would you hire? As for a regional job?

Has anyone else been in my situation? What did you do?

Thanks for all the help!!!

NCFlyer
Type 2 diabetes since 6/98
First class medical
 

Yank McCobb

Song and Dance Man
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
538
Total Time
18000
Those responses you just quoted seem in direct conflict with other information here and from other sources.

It claims that you would be applying with a "disqualifying condition", when in fact if you obtain a medical (which can be done for Type 2 diabetes and you have one yourself), then the condition is obviously not "disqualifying".

If you are able to obtain and keep a First Class medical, no company can exclude you for a medical condition. It is against the law. Their medical qualifications cannot be more stringent than that required to obtain a First Class medical. To advise someone that they will most likely be passed over due to a "disqualifying" medical conditon when they hold a First Class certificate is simply bad advice and incorrect.
 

MJCEK

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Posts
18
Yank McCobb said:
Those responses you just quoted seem in direct conflict with other information here and from other sources.

It claims that you would be applying with a "disqualifying condition", when in fact if you obtain a medical (which can be done for Type 2 diabetes and you have one yourself), then the condition is obviously not "disqualifying".

If you are able to obtain and keep a First Class medical, no company can exclude you for a medical condition. It is against the law. Their medical qualifications cannot be more stringent than that required to obtain a First Class medical. To advise someone that they will most likely be passed over due to a "disqualifying" medical conditon when they hold a First Class certificate is simply bad advice and incorrect.


Thats kinda what I was thinking myself...

I dont see how I could be DQ'd for medical if I already posess a class 1 medical....
 

NCFlyer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Posts
320
Total Time
20000
Trust me you can, and will if you are diagnosed with diabetes. The moment you are diagnosed you are illegal to exercise any privileges of your current medical certificate.

My apologies, the FAA uses the term "ineligible" not the term "disqualifying"

I can show you a copy of the letter that I get from the FAA that states "under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 67.113, 67.213, and 67.313 I am ineligible for a first class medical certificate" The next paragraph states the special conditions under which my current medical is issued and under what conditions I will be able to renew my medical. The medical is also issued with an expiration date on it (6 months).

If you have ever completed an Application for Airman Medical Certificate you know that section 18 - Medical History list several conditions and ask "Have you ever in your life been diagnosed with, had, or do you presently have any of the following?" I assure you that if you answer yes to most of those conditions, and that condition has not been previously reported to the FAA, you will be denied a medical certificate. After further review by the FAA you may be able to get your medical issued or reissued which ever the case may be.

You state:
"If you are able to obtain and keep a First Class medical, no company can exclude you for a medical condition. It is against the law. Their medical qualifications cannot be more stringent than that required to obtain a First Class medical. To advise someone that they will most likely be passed over due to a "disqualifying" medical condition when they hold a First Class certificate is simply bad advice and incorrect."

Let me ask, do you know any pilots that have had cardiac problems, lost their medical sometimes for years, then got their medical reinstated? I will bet you dollars to donuts that they will never get another pilot interview. Or what about those pilots that have lost their medical due to alcohol dependency, got cleaned up, and returned to flying? I think it safe to say if that ever comes up on an application or interview there will be no job offer in their future for any major airline even though they hold a current first class medical.

You may disagree and that is fine, each is entitled to their own opinion, but I have been dealing with the FAA about diabetes every 6 months from June 1998 so I at least have some experience in that regards.
 
Last edited:

citdrver

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Posts
124
Total Time
4300
PM me with any questiuons you may have.................I have first hand knowledge. It is getting a bit easier now.
 

dispatchguy

Dad is my favorite title
Joined
Nov 30, 2001
Posts
1,569
Total Time
NIL
I'm a dispatcher. At one time I dispatched with a major. One day I'm on the jumpseat with one of the captains that was on the interview board, and I asked him, as I am also type 2 diabetic.

The question I posed was two applicants, equivalent qualifications (hours, certificates, degrees, etc); but one was diabetic. Who would get the nod?

The non-diabetic would. It makes sense; why would the carrier put themself in a position for a problem? Yes, my NIDDM is also under control thru oral meds, but I still have good diabetes days and bad diabetes days. The bad diabetes days are few and far between; and it usually just manifests itself as being devoid of anything remotely looking like energy. Just like my MS.

Yeah, I could probably hold the Class I medical, but what would the purpose be, if I couldnt fly for a carrier? There are diabetic airline pilots, yes, but I would bet a paycheck that they were diagnosed as diabetic AFTER they were flying for an airline, not before.

Get a dispatcher ticket; its a better job with shorter days (which will become an issue as you get older - just imagine being at work 16 hours, your sugar is all out of whack because youre tired, hungry, and that granola bar in your brain bag is all you can think about while shooting an approach to minima).

Good luck
 

Lrjtcaptain

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Posts
927
Total Time
2000+
Check out http://diabetesworldflight.com/

I had the opportunity to do some flying and drinking with Doug when he was doing all his prep work back in Council Bluffs. His webpage would have alot of info on the subject.
 

citdrver

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Posts
124
Total Time
4300
Dispatch guy,


First of all that is discrimination, American with Disabilities act prevents that and it is enforced in the courts. I have a special issuance First class medical for type II Diabetes since 1998. I have been a flight instructor while a diabetic, been a corporate pilot while a diabebtic, been a cargo pilot while a diabetic, and been an airline pilot while a diabetic. I have interviewed at 5 airlines, and not one did they ever ask why my medical was a special issuance first class, I worked at a large well regarded regional airline and I was never asked by anyone what it was for, and I never told or made mention of it. The airlines, like many large companies have to walk a prickly path with these issue. If they ask in an interview and you tell them, and now you dont get the job, what are you going to think, I would assume the same thing.

Dont get me wrong, many times I almost gave in to that line of thinking and gave up, but the more I pushed the boundries of what I thought I could do I found I could do much more. I will admit, flying for the airlines was the largest Diabetic challenge I have ever faced! Long days, way too much terminal food and many odd hours. A diabetic can get the job, but keeping it is the challenge. At a major airline, maybe it isnt as bad, but the regionals work ya hard when your a junior FO, and it is hard to manage diabetes in that enviroment. I have since been offered a job in corporate with less flying, more money and more days off, and it has helped greatly.

OK...my rant is over...........ahh I feel better now
 

dispatchguy

Dad is my favorite title
Joined
Nov 30, 2001
Posts
1,569
Total Time
NIL
citdrver said:
Dispatch guy,


First of all that is discrimination, American with Disabilities act prevents that and it is enforced in the courts.

I asked the same thing - his answer, and he showed me something from their MEC legal eagle, is that the fundamental job qualification could be compromised, so the discrimination was ok.

I have both NIDDM and relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (not just one disease trying to kill me, but now two). Sometimes you just gotta find something else to do.
 
Top