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physical demands

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Apr 11, 2002
I recently had a functional capacity evaluation to determine my physical ability due to an injury. The doctor that did my fce has stated that the physical demands to fly a general aviation aircraft(I am a student pilot)exceed my physical abilities. He says the preflight of the aircraft would require an extreme amount of bending twisting and crawling around under the plane. I have my ppl and never had to do any of this except for your normal walk around, check the oil and fuel. He also states that I would be subject to jarring and bouncing around do to the turbulence and small airplanes can't handle turbulence well. Being limited on my experience I have been bounced around worse in my car than any plane I've been in. If anyone could post they're opinion on general aviation and it's physical demands I would greatly appreciate it as I have to prepare a paper for an upcoming worker's compenstation lawsuit.

Thanks to all for replying as I have limited experience!!
It sounds like the doc has zero aviation experience. Flying a plane is no more physically demanding than driving a car. Some turbulence can knock your teeth around pretty good, but so can a washboard road. Preflight does not require an abnormal amount of twisting, bending or any of that. You can get a step if there's something you cannot reach, and a mirror to check the underbelly if that is really necessary. I'd get an opinion from an AME. If you can hold a 3rd class, I think you can make a pretty strong case in your Worker's comp suit.

I'm a Claimants' Workers' Comp paralegal in real life. Drop me a private, if you'd like. Was this doctor the Respondents' doc? If so, it is no surprise to me that he dissed you. Did you get an impairment rating, etc.

I agree with Brian about flying not being physically demanding. I'd say, bottom line, that your medical would govern if you're up to the physical demands of flying.
Thanks for the reply if anyone knows of a website with a job description or the actual physical requirements for each class of medical it would be apprecitated!!
FAA medicals

Just look for 14 CFR 67. Those are the FARs for issuing medical certificates.

Hope that helps a little.
I do and perform FCT's in my office daily, this chump sounds like an IME maggot working for an insurance company. I have no idea why they use them since their opinion carries no weight. All you need to do is see another unbiased physician or an FAA doctor. ONLY your TREATING physicians opinion counts!

Why does your workcomp doctor care about you being a private pilot? How did he even know you were a PP? Why would he even care? Unless you are working for an airline and hurt on the job, it's none of the guys business. Please give me more info so I can refer you to the proper state statute since they differ significantly.
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when the Ime and my company's attorney requested all my medical records they got a copy of my doctor's visit for my 3rd class medical. They are trying to make it sound like I am defrauding my company because I am a ppl. I can't do my old job wich was a lineman for qwest comm. They have denied everything from the beginning and haven't paid a dime. I finally hired an attorney and have a trial date with the Industrial commisioner for the state of Ia on June 4th to determine my rating. I was in a state of serious depression and my wife and sister knew my love of airplanes and paid for me to get my ppl to snap me out of the funk I was in. I cleared it with my treating physican who has been a pilot for many years and saw no problem with me doing this(rich doctors sheesh)now they are trying to crucify my for doing this thing I love!!
Workers' Comp "doctors"

I deal with this same garbage a lot with with my attorney. Workers' Comp docs are whores, generally. They do not look out for the patient but their insurance company patrons.

Check your privates, by the way. I'm relieved to hear that you're represented <whew!>. Take it from someone who knows, the average Joe cannot, and should not, represent himself for Workers' Comp.
Don't sweat it my fellow enthusiast! I live to destroy prick lawyers for workcomp carriers and get paid quite well for it.

Your IME's opinion, if you can call it that, is virtually useless. It would help if you had objective medical findings substantiating your present disability.

An MRI, CT, EMG, PLainfilm x-ray, range of motion deficits or ultrasound would be beneficial. I don't know your present working diagnosis so I can't comment on the definative test that would seal the deal.

Since a 3rd clas medical does not require you to be in ideal health, you can be totally diabled for a particular job and still fly an airplane legally, even without restrictions. I would need to know when you applied for disability vs. when you had your 3rd class to assses any potential deception.

If you would rather PM me I could give you more specifics on both your defense and your future statagy.

BTW: I would be happy to do this probono out of loathing for IME's and Insurance companies:D

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