11 years Epileptic Free - FAA Medical Exam

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by TVProducer, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. TVProducer

    TVProducer Guest

    Hello All,

    I would like to begin to obtain my Private Pilots License but I know that I have a red flag on my medical history that will
    Certainly raise questions. When I was a child I was diagnosed with Childhood Seizure Disorder. My last seizure was in July of 2007 - almost 11 years ago. I stopped seeing my neurologist years ago and haven’t been on medication since. Will the FAA require I be signed off officially by my old Neurologist or will
    They consider an 11 year seizure clean history enough? Thanks! Calm
    Skies!
     
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  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Not an AME, but conservative enough to say "Better Safe Than Sorry" and expect that providing a "clean bill of neurological health" from the proper doctors will be in your future and part of the process.

    The system is often one of "the timebomb still exists until you can prove it is permanently diffused". So it is in the applicant to submit the information that not only fits the tabs and slots properly, but answers all the questions.

    To get started read the following: https://tinyurl.com/ame-consult

    By going for a consult to the right senior "difficult case" AME who has helped others with histories such as yours, you will not only know what documentation the FAA wants, but will find a doc who can be your advocate as your submission winds it's way through the review and approval process.

    PS. Whatever reports and documentation is needed, it needs to be recent, as in within 90 days of your application or submission. So older items from years ago can be provided, but only as supporting evidence to the very recent examination, evaluation, and physician report.
     
  3. TVProducer

    TVProducer Guest

    Just scheduled a consult with a Senior AME for Tomorrow. Luckily, Consults are covered by PPO Insurance according to the office - I'll tell you guys what they require to help anyone else in my boat
     
  4. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Consult is good, but hopefully you checked with other pilots to make sure your Senior AME actually has experience with difficult cases. Senior AME, as I recall, just means the AME is authorized to conduct exams for 1st class med certs. My first AME was a Senior AME, but he had no idea how to deal with anything out of the ordinary, besides defer, defer, defer.
     
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  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Good on you for the consult.

    And like Azure mentions, double check the AME you chose is also well known for resolving difficult cases, not just senior. So ask him good questions about what the steps of the process are AFTER you bring him the required labs, reports, doctor letters, etc. and he conducts the live exam.

    Make sure to take a pad and pen and take notes.

    And it might not hurt to reach out to Dr. Bruce Chien (@bbchien on this board) via his website, http://www.aeromedicaldoc.com/ to compare the guidance he offers to what this AME is going to tell you.

    If it's the same, then the local guy could be the right one for you. If there are significant differences, then the local guy might not be the right one for you.
     
  6. TVProducer

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    The office asked me what the consult was regarding and I explained and they said, Absolutely, he can handle this. So We will see what he says. I'm assuming they will probably want me to go get an EEG to prove my Brain is operating properly. We will see how it goes. I don't plan on starting flight school for a year or two and being that the Medical Sign off is good for 5 years i have plenty of time.
     
  7. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I'm jealous of you youngsters and your 5 years.... A solid tip is that when you are age 39, go back for another 5 year renewal even if your prior one hasn't timed out.

    But for prior epilepsy, don't be too surprised that what's known is as a "Special issuance" is in your future.

    SI's are for pilots who's history doesn't pass the initial standards and the FAA says additional care and reporting is required. And some SI's have a shorter issuance period than the normal 5-years (when less than 40 years old) or 2 years (when older than 40)

    From the AME guide:

    Special Issuance.
    At his discretion, the Federal Air Surgeon may grant an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate (Authorization), with a specified validity period, to an applicant who does not meet the established medical standards. The applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Federal Air Surgeon that the duties authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for can be performed without endangering public safety for the validity period of the Authorization. The Federal Air Surgeon may authorize a special medical flight test, practical test, or medical evaluation for this purpose.

    An airman medical certificate issued under the provisions of an Authorization expires no later than the Authorization expiration date or upon its withdrawal. An airman must again show to the satisfaction of the Federal Air Surgeon that the duties authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for can be performed without endangering public safety in order to obtain a new airman medical certificate/Authorization under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 67.401.​
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    An important reminder....

    You will likely be asked to complete the online MedXpress form.

    Print this out and bring with you. But cut off the confirmation number that appears at the bottom of each page.

    DO NOT hand the confirmation number over to the doctor or his staff if they ask for it. Remind them this is a consultation, not a live exam, and the confirmation number isn't required for a consultation.
     
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  9. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    The office did not tell me explicitly that I would have to fill this out, maybe I’ll have to do it at the office? The Doctors name is John Dellorso and his office is at Newark Airort Medical Office. Not sure if anyone knows of him.
     
  10. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I doubt they would make you do it at the office since it is an online form. Most likely they are on board with what you want to do, though you might have to remind them when you walk in.
     
  11. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Hopefully so - I know it’s an uphill battle but I know it’s achievable. If a pilot with one eye can fly - so can I!
     
  12. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    You might fill it out in advance and bring it with you, sans the conf #.

    1) it provides all the information he is wanting to see anyhow in a format he is used to seeing it in
    2) it familiarizes you with the process.
    3) saves you time in case they do ask you to fill out the form.
     
  13. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Is there any reason I should NOT fill it out?
     
  14. N3368K

    N3368K Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had a local AME refuse to make an appointment without providing the MedEx confirmation number. I found a different AME...quickly. Ending up using a local AME who does nothing but Aeromedical Certifications. Most the FedEx guys based here use him. Thorough and detailed. Even after gathering up a 1" thick stack of paper he asked for, the FAA still asked for more. Ended up with a Special Issuance. Renewed once. No doing BasicMed.
     
  15. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Privacy? If it's not entered online, it's not possible to mistakenly make the exam go live.

    You can always find examples of the FAA Form 8500-8 online, print off a blank, fill it in with pen/pencil, and bring that.
     
  16. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Just called the office. They said 'Are you coming in for a physical?' I said, 'No, I am coming in just for a consult.' Their Response, 'Then No, you do not need to fill out MedXPress.'
     
  17. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Depending on what was in your medical history background, getting asked for more and then an SI as a result isn't out of the ordinary.

    And Dr. Bruce has many stories of airmen receiving SI's at first, being good flyboys/girls and remaining healthy, then being kicked back into the standard issuance pool after proving over time that the medical condition is not a threat to safety of flight.

    Your story should be that you found an AME that was very helpful, got you issued with minimal requests for additional info, and you're now a happy aviator.
     
  18. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Good on you to find out.

    Might still be worth bringing any copies of current charts/info your existing primary care provider has.

    You may not be asked for anything contained therein. But if you are, you have it handy to provide the answer and reduce delays and confusion.
     
  19. N3368K

    N3368K Cleared for Takeoff

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    I guess I worded that poorly. We both knew I was going to end up with a SI, but thought we had covered all the bases. Even with request for additional information, it was 67 days from initial exam to issue. Ironically, what the FAA asked for more info on wasn't anything related to what caused the SI. My AME did a pretty comprehensive and good job. He did admit he didn't know if we had been able to answer every question the FAA might ask. Apparently we missed one minor point. A quick letter from another treating physician answered the mail and I was soon in business.

    It was definitely a successful outcome and repeatable should I want to go back to a Class III medical.
     
  20. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Yeah, I haven't seen my Neurologist in a few years, but I'm sure I'll be seeing him soon for this. Need to get a new PCP as well. I know that My BMI will be of concern as well, but I'm on a diet and losing weight fast now, so really trying to get ahead of this so I know what will need to be done and approved come time for the actual exam
     
  21. TVProducer

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    Submitted my case to Dr. Bruce, It doesn't give a confirmation page, so I may have inadvertently sent it 3 times! Oops. Sorry!
     
  22. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I've been watching this thread, didn't want to chime in as the others are steering you straight. Glad to hear you're going to talk to Dr. Bruce. If it were me, I would not consider submitting anything to the FAA without Bruce's opinion. But as the others say, if your guy is aligned with Bruce, you'll be golden.

    Here's a great overview of childhood seizure disorder.

    http://www.childneurologyfoundation.org/disorders/epilepsy/

    It says 50-60% of children will outgrow it and never have them again, and if after you stop meds you are seizure free for two years, you are likely to remain so. This is great news, but of course, the AMEs and the FAA will want to know much more detail about your case. I thought it was a special issuance but maybe due to your long time seizure free it won't. Best of luck to you!
     
  23. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Yup - That's the one. Stopped meds (sort of on my own accord and lazy in college around sophomore year) - Last seizure was in July 2007, Stopped meds in May 2013. So Seizure free for 11 years, meds free for 5 years. Hopefully the FAA will be clearing me without a lot of fuss. I am sure an EEG to date will be required. Does anyone know if when you press submit to Dr. Bruce if it actually sends or if a confirmation page pops up? No confirm page popped up for me I want to make sure he sees my case
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  24. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Pinging @bbchien so he can answer directly.

    But as you saw, the site is pretty basic. And it don't need fancy since you want him focusing on aeromedical plus airman advocacy (when poking or prodding airmen and on the phone to OKC, he is known to make trips to the Hill and FAA HQ to speak on behalf of all airmen).

    Likely your request was logged. He should be answering in 72-96 hours of not sooner.
     
  25. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I think I recall others saying the same thing about no confirmation page but not sure. He is on this forum these days so will see this thread by and by if your submit didn't go through. If he doesn't respond until after your appointment tomorrow, no worries. Just don't let the doc submit anything yet - keep it "consult only" and talk to Bruce after.
     
  26. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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  27. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    See the asterisked notes on the page you linked to. It sounds like this all depends on the specific details. Apparently Rolandic epilepsy (a form of childhood epilepsy) is issuable under certain circumstances. They also mention that sometimes an SI is possible for childhood seizure disorders (presumably other types) where the person is seizure free and off meds for a number of years.

    Bottom line: we don't know what kind of epilepsy the OP had. This one is for the experts.
     
  28. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Agree and I did not want to write all that out, which is why I linked the page. Epilipsy is a bad condition and one that requires very specific exceptions to pass on.
     
  29. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    And, in the meantime, the O.P. is driving his car inches away from others at closing rates exceeding 100 miles per hour, near pedestrians, cyclists, and the public in general.

    No worries.

    (Good luck with your medical, btw.)
     
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  30. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Yep. And just to be clear: in both Michigan and Vermont, and probably in most states, an active seizure disorder is one of the conditions you have to affirm that you DON'T have in order to renew your DL, and that can get your driving privileges pulled by a doctor.

    In the OP's case, the point I was trying to make is that, yes, epilepsy is a very bad thing to have, and one that is rightfully disqualifying - IF IT IS ACTIVE. The FAA has wisely seen fit to carve out exceptions based on that "if". Does the OP fit into one of the exceptions? We don't know, but since it was a childhood form, since he is seizure free, and since the FAA specifically mentions childhood forms of epilepsy in their list of exceptions, I wouldn't be too pessimistic about the OP's chances. I'd rather point him to the experts and keep some cautious optimism that maybe, just maybe, his case will fit one of their conditions for at least a SI.
     
  31. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    So I just met with the Senior AME today for my consult. He was on the exact same lines as Dr. Bruce. In fact, he even called Oklahoma City and asked what the FAA requires for a Pilot with a Seizure Disorder. O.K.C Told him I need to fill out the FAA Airman Seizure Survey PDF Form, get a letter from my Neurologist stating that I have been seizure free for 10 years and medication free for 5 years, with exact dates. Told him I will need to include any test results (EEG) as well. The AME said he has dealt with Medical cases much harder than my own and the fact that I had Childhood Seizure Disorder and it ceased in 2007 is very good for me. He said the process will be long and I'll need to persevere with the FAA and the time it takes, but he expects I'll most likely get an SI that would be valid for 1 or 2 years at most with required renewal to always include a letter from my Neurologist.
     
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  32. TVProducer

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    Furthermore, he said the waiting period may take longer as he is sure as soon as the FAA Receives this it will be forwarded to the FAA Neurologist in charge of reviewing cases such as my own. I have read a few peoples posts about my condition and to be clear, my epilepsy is no longer active. I agree if it was I would have a much harder time getting through but I believe that after 10 years seizure free that medical fact stands on its own merit. Also I have had my D.L. in the State of NJ since i was 16 which would be 2008. Long story short much like @azure said, as my case is Childhood and last seizure occured when I was 14 years old and I am now 25 I am not sweating it as much as I was before my meeting with the AME.
     
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  33. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    It does sound like you found the right AME for your case. And that he was willing to call OKC on your behalf at this stage also shows he is an A-numbah-one doc.

    Do you mind sharing his name?

    Since one of the requirements will be a status letter from the neurologist, ask this AME if he has a boilerplate template for this letter. And if no template, what are the simple bullet point questions the neurologist must address.

    The point here is to help the neurologist keep his letter short, sweet, and to the point, providing all the information required, without getting wordy or sounding like he swallowed the medical thesaurus. The bullet point questions mentioned above will be the items the front line reviewer will be looking for/at and comparing against the standard he/she pulled up on their screen. Keeping the letter simple and answering all the questions could aid in your chances that approval is handled in OKC versus being sent to DC for the FAA Neurologist. And even if it must go to DC, then simple/short/sweet may speed things by not tying up the Big Guy's time unthreading a wordy letter.

    ---------------------------------

    Another tip. ANYTHING you send to the FAA needs to have every page tagged with your full legal name, birth date, and once issued, your PI#. This information identifies you to them and the documentation system. Having all of this on each of the pages will ensure nothing gets separated and lost.
     
  34. TVProducer

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    Sure, His name is Dr. John Dellorso. He is based out of the New Jersey Newark Airport Medical Office literally right across from the KEWR 22 Runway Approaches. (You can see aircraft on 1-2mile finals from his office). I will ask him for a template but he did mention to me that exact dates must be on the letter. The date i stopped having seizures the exact date i stopped taking the medicine, what his treatment was when i had seizures, how he weened me off the medication(and what the medication was), what the exact dosage changes were, and how my test results improved as I got older. I will be sure to Tag all my documents with my Name, and DOB.
     
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  35. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Huh. I've been licensed to drive, and renewed those licenses, in four states. Don't recall ever being asked about this . . . . .

    For the curious: GA Learner; NC Learner; GA License, then AL, renew, GA, renew, NC, OH, renew, renew, AL, and upcoming renewal this fall.
     
  36. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    You're not asked, as such. As I recall you sign something on the application form that says you haven't had an unexplained LOC or seizure in the past 6 months. It's been a couple of years since I got my license here in VT so I'd have to make a trip to the DMV to be sure of exactly what it says.

    Of course, it's always possible that MI and VT are unusual in this regard.
     
  37. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Assuming that private is your ultimate goal, please look into the sport pilot rating. You do not need a medical. But if you take the exam and are denied it's off the table. So you should seriously consider whether it would meet your needs before you go in for the medical.
     
  38. TVProducer

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    I spoke with my AME. He has dealt with much harder cases than mine. He said as long as my neurologist signs off he has seen people seizure free for 5 years get an SI. I have been seizure free for 10. The Sport would not meet my needs as I already looked into it. I have a neurologist appointment next month so I’ll update the thread once I go in for my physical
     
  39. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    And while your working to get your medical sorted, go find some the PoA members in the greater NYC area and get some right seat time. That will help you with context as you study the ground school materials, and teach you how to fly in the busy airspace you got up there.

    And if you find yourself in the DFW area, ping me and we plan some flying.
     
  40. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Mike, Luckily enough I already hold my Part 107 from the FAA, which is Commercial UAS pilot. So I would say probably 30-40% I have understood already as the Part 107 test made me be able to read and decrypt Sectional Charts, Understand Airspace, Understand and translate METARS, Understand Airport Patterns and reading taxiways/Runways, Being able to identify weather and how it affects flight, and much more. The part 107 was probably a nice intro into a Private Pilot written as it covered most things outside of the actual aircraft and communicating on Frequency. But then again, knowing that I was going to get into this, I became a member of VATSIM so I understand how to communicate on frequency with ATC and Unicomm. I think I have a pretty good head start! If I ever find myself down in DFW i'll be sure to ping you!

    Thanks! Joe