Becoming an airline pilot after having one seizure

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Guest, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have been considering becoming a pilot for a long time and have been looking into it more seriously lately after getting my bachelor's. 2 years ago I had a seizure while on vacation and this was the only seizure I have had. After some tests the doctors said I didn't have epilepsy or any condition that would cause me to have another seizure and said this was probably some sort of freak incident that could have been related to heat stroke and dehydration. I am wondering if this could prevent me from getting my pilot's license or getting a job at an airline.
     
  2. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  4. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Nobody here can answer you accurately. Some may try.

    Contact Dr Chien, linked in mscard's post above, for a consult. Tell him exactly what you know and you'll need to have your doctor's records and reports.

    If the answer is no, there's a reason.
     
  5. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Judging from what happened to John King (very similar story, uncannily so in fact), I strongly suspect that the answer will be no unless you have solid medical evidence as to the cause of the seizure. Testimony from your personal physician that he "thinks" it was caused by heat stroke or dehydration will probably not sway the FAA.

    Now Mr. King has connections and semi-won his battle after more than two years of repeated denials. "Semi-won" because the FAA allows him to be a crew member in a business jet (Citation?) requiring two pilots, but he cannot be sole PIC.

    I suspect most of us would not be able to afford to keep at it the way King did, and even that outcome would not help a student pilot seeking a first medical.

    Because of a rather different circumstance but on the same principle (not a seizure, but a disqualifying event for which there is no solid medical evidence of the cause), I opted for Basic Med. Unfortunately, someone who has not held a medical before can't go that route. :(

    That said, the best advice is as others have said, to contact Dr. Chien. But don't get your hopes up. :(
     
  6. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I don't know what Dr. Chien is going to conclude but I'm betting it will start with "Get a copy of everything and see what it says." I think the first relevant thing is going to be whether or not the incident was in fact documented as a seizure. My mom fainted and flailed her arms so my sister said "seizure!" But it wasn't. The doctors at the ER diagnosed dehydration, I don't think her ER visit record even mentions seizure.
     
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  7. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Good point! I assumed the event had been dx'd as a seizure. If not, if the only thing in the record is heat stroke or dehydration, that could certainly lead to a whole different (and much more favorable) outcome, FAA-wise.
     
  8. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    Yep, but it sounds like he was investigated for seizure since they apparently tested him for epilepsy? But what did they code to pay for the tests, what tests were they? Assuming EEG and/or MRI, which if the doctor coded that he had a seizure to justify the tests then OP is back at square one. That's why, get all the paperwork, send it to Dr. Bruce.
     
  9. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did not see this until now.

    The difficulty with a single seizure is to prove that is it single. The person himself cannot testify to this as his consciousness of the event is at times, nil.

    For a single seizure in which biologic cause is known (and they mean really, "known") the standard is one year down. If no cause is satisfactorily determined (and not by exclusion) they want 4 years without a event and the last 2 off of all medication.

    The question is always, was what was observed really the mild "tonic-clonic" activity that accompanies a "faint". They look for evidence such as the report of the first responders, soiling or wetting of the clothes, rapidity of the return to lucidity, presence of a post-ictal period, etc.
     
  10. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Pre-takeoff checklist

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    rare ... but can happen. apply ... and ready your records!