3rd Class SI renewal and CPAP useage

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by gatorjesse, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. gatorjesse

    gatorjesse Guest

    I though I'd share my story and get feedback from anyone that may have gone through this before. I've had a long and confusing process trying to obtain my 3rd class medical for PPL. It all started with being deferred in April 2020 due to medicine I took for anxiety. I found a HIMS AME and discontinued the medicine. After 3 months of discontinuing the medicine, my doctor wrote a letter saying that I was fine off the medicine and have shown no anxiety symptoms. I then submitted all the forms including a complete medical history for 5+ years. I stopped flying in July since there was no way I could solo until I got the medical.

    The FAA found a sleep study I had done years ago that showed minor sleep apnea (8 events per hour). My sleep specialist said it was so minor that simply sleeping on my stomach or side would alleviate it and that a cpap wouldn't improve anything since it was so minor. However, the FAA saw it differently and required me to get a cpap in November. I've never had any OSA symptoms and am completely alert all day (I never get tired until bed time) so wearing an horribly uncomfortable mask all night is absurd to me. After using the cpap for around 2 weeks I submitted the forms, doctor statements, and cpap data to the FAA. To my surprise they issued me a 3rd class medical at the beginning of January. HOWEVER, the 3rd class medical is only good until April 30th. So after only having the medical for a month I now have to schedule an appointment with my AME for another medical.

    Now my concern is with this cpap compliance. In December I got really sick with covid and did not use the CPAP for about three weeks to a month. I could barely breath without the CPAP on let alone try and fall asleep using it. I started using the CPAP again in early January after I was better and have been using it most every night since. I just started flying again in late January and am hoping to solo soon.

    So I have 2 questions:
    1) Do I simply go to my AME for reissuance of the 3rd class or do I have to submit everything to the FAA. The letter from the FAA is confusing because it basically says to submit cpap data to them 60 days before the medical expires. However, my AME says they can reissue the SI. SO this is the cause of my confusion.
    2) Are they going to say I wasn't in compliance because I didn't use the CPAP while I was sick even though I was not flying?
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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  3. gatorjesse

    gatorjesse Guest

    Basic med would be great if its something I can get.
     
  4. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

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    If everything is as you described and the feds didn't make a mistake in issuing the SI I would go BasicMed and never look back. Finding a MD to do the physical and sign the form will be the hardest part, but you my find your PHP will do this with no problem. Best wishes!
     
  5. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    1) You can do either: If you send your data to FAA, they are letting you know to do it at least 60 days in advance because of the time it will take them to process it. If you go to the AME, the AME can re-issue while you wait (for whatever the AME charges for the visit.) You'll need the same information either way, and the AME will eventually send it all to FAA if you go the "issue in office" route. I choose to go to the AME vs taking the chance on a long delay at FAA.

    2) I don't know what they are going to say about that gap. They do have a requirement to show compliance, and a gap that large is going to be a problem. I don't know how to work around that, so an expert will have to let you know.
     
  6. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    You have held a medical. When that medical expires, it sounds to me like you should be eligible for basicmed. Any SIs you hold expire with the medical and have zero impact on basicmed.
     
  7. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    You do not have to wait for a medical certificate to expire for basic med. You can hold both.
     
  8. Gatorj31

    Gatorj31 Filing Flight Plan

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    (OP Here - new username) I'll look for a doctor to get basic med. I was thinking SI meant I had to stay in the nightmare of annual 3rd class renewals, but now I see that isn't true. Thanks everyone
     
  9. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Basic Med is the answer you seek. I had an SI for cpap and went basic med now the compliance numbers don't matter. I still use my cpap every night but I don't have to report to anyone. My doctor and I discuss it at my physical.
     
  10. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What the AME can do and what the FAA will Sustain are different. If you ever had a prior special issuance for sleep apnea you need at least the last 90 day to meet stds. (75% of nights >6 hrs usage). If it’s your first time you only need 30 days.

    Good to heat you survived Covid 19!

    (2) since the give you 25% of nights you can be out of spec, remember the criteria is 75% of nights have to show 6 hours’ usage.
     
  11. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Technically true, but it does no good. While the medical is live, you are still required to comply with SIs. If you fail to do so, your medical will be pulled and then Basicmed is off the table too.
     
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  12. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    I don’t believe that is true, but if that is a concern surrender the medical certificate.


    61.53 Prohibition on operations during medical deficiency.
    (a) Operations that require a medical certificate. Except as provided for in paragraph (b) of this section, no person who holds a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter may act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person:

    (1) Knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation; or

    (2) Is taking medication or receiving other treatment for a medical condition that results in the person being unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation.

    (b) Operations that do not require a medical certificate. For operations provided for in §61.23(b) of this part, a person shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.
     
  13. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    If you are allowed to surrender it is covered in FAA order 2150.3c, which states:

    Chapter 7, section 7.b. Voluntary Surrender of Medical Certificates.
    (1) If the FAA determines that an airman medical certificate holder does not meet the qualification requirements of 14 C.F.R. part 67 after the vesting of the certificate, i.e., beyond the period within which the FAA can deny issuance of the certificate, and the certificate holder attempts to surrender his or her airman medical certificate, FAA personnel refuse the voluntary surrender of the certificate.

    so, if you would not meet the requirements to hold a medical, they won’t let you give it up. My reading of this is that it directly addresses SIs because without the SI, you would have a denial. So they’re saying that you must wait for your medical to expire naturally, you cannot surrender it. They must monitor you.