Multiple Sclerosis

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Anonymous, Sep 10, 2019 at 11:26 AM.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    What is the FAA's take on MS and getting a 3rd class medical? I currently hold PPL but have been flying as a sport pilot for quite a few years as both planes I fly fit under the LSA regs and there was no reason for me to bother with a medical. After having blurred/double vision for two weeks I saw my GP who sent me to a neurologist. An MRI and lumbar puncture later I was given a dx of MS. The blurred vision resolved with IV steroid infusions and the next steps are to get into the MS clinic and start discussing long term meds to keep things under control. Of course there has been no flying during all of this and I don't plan on flying again until I feel like everything is back to normal but now that I am starting to look into medications I am wondering what the FAA's take is on MS. Is it at all possible to get a 3rd class medical in the future or am I stuck flying light sport aircraft? There are 17 different medications for MS. Any I should specifically stay away from assuming I have options?
     
  2. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I’m sorry to read about your diagnosis. Medicine for MS has come a long way.

    I looked deeply into this about 10-years back following a few abnormal scans and worked briefly with Dr Bruce.

    There is a path to special issuance. I don’t know those details, but it is possible (and there was at least one guy on the AOPA forums who was flying a twin with a SI for MS).

    Here is an article with a link to the disqualifying medications. I’d check with a difficult case AME like Bruce on the details, or enjoy your LSA.

    I hope your path forward is smooth.

    https://pilot-protection-services.a...as-list-of-faa-allowed-disallowed-medications
     
  3. evapilotaz

    evapilotaz En-Route

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    You didn’t mentioned why you want 3rd class.
    Anyway I hope it all works out for you. Don’t get a medical denial where you can no longer fly LSA.
     
  4. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Entire diagnosis package (records)
    Current neurologist assessment
    Imaging within six months ago- brain+spine
    6 months of stability
    Passable neurocognitive profile
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thanks for all the replies. I looked through the medicine database and it seems that most of the options available are at least allowed with a special issuance. Not many are a straight out denial. It's also good to know that there is a path if I ever choose to go down it (assuming at least 6+ months with no issues). Having just has my first relapse and not knowing if or when I will have another I am going to just stick with the LSA option for now and see how things go. The only reason I wanted to look into a 3rd class medical was to be able to build and fly a supercub clone. It isn't worth risking the ability to fly at all to chase that dream at this point. I can at least still get in the air in my Sonex and many other capable LSA aircraft.
     
  6. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    When was the last time your 3rd class was valid? You might qualify for Basic Med.
     
  7. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    As a home builder couldn’t you placard it to a maximum weight and airspeed (I think the constraints to be LSA).

    Also with potential changes to the LSA certification coming . . . Sometime, by the time you’re done building you might not need a placard.

    When you say “relapse” this was a 1st episode, right? Meds can hopefully extend the period between any relapse.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I had dismissed basic med thinking that my medical was too old but after checking I last passed a 3rd class medical in April of 2007 which is new enough to qualify. It isn't as cut and dry as just that though. The requirements mention needing a one time special issuance for the following:

    A neurological disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:
    A transient loss of control of nervous system functions without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause

    I'm not sure what would be considered a satisfactory medical explanation of the cause. The visual issues I had were neurological and attributed to MS. They for at least now have resolved with steroid infusions. I'm not sure things are a a point where they can point to a specific brain lesion causing the issue or if that level of detail is even needed. This may be a good question for Dr. Bruce as to what constitutes a "satisfactory medical explanation".

    Just to clarify I don't plan on flying as PIC in the near future until things are stable and I'm sure I'm on a DMT drug that is working. I can always get my fix flying right seat with a friend or left seat with a CFI. There is no rush to try and figure this all out. I also have a great GP doc who my wife worked for 20+ years and I have seen for 18 of those years. He is a good family friend and I am sure he is not going to go sign me off for basic med unless he is positive that whatever I have going on isn't going to affect my ability to fly safely.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's not the date you had the last examination, it's the date you last held a valid medical. If you passed the exam in April 2007, your third class was likely good until April 2009 (or later depending on how old you are). You qualify (at least in that regard) for Basic Med.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I just turned 40 this year so when I last passed my medical in 2007 it was good for 5 years. In either case it looks like I am well within the basic med window. If I go that route in the future I will just have to make figure out the transient loss of control question in the regs and see if it makes it so I am good to go or if I need just one special issuance before exercising basic med as an option. In either case it is good to know that i have options. Thanks for all the help and advice