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View Full Version : Stomach Issues Anyone?

03-14-2007, 12:22 PM

I am just a young guy about to rap up my private and move along with my training. While I am excited non the less to begin making a living off of my passion, I have a medical issue looming over my future career. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease (its an inflammatory bowel disease for those who don't know). While for many it can be a crippling disease, I am lucky beacause I live a normal life without it effecting me despite the fact that I am not on medication which is why I had no problem receiving a First Class medical Waiver. While my case is very mild, there is a good possibility that I will need to have another surgery (a Colan Resection) before I reach 40.

Is anyone here dealing with an Inflammatory Bowl Disease or know someone who is and can share their experiences with keeping their first class medical waiver and how lenient different companys can be with a pilot whos out for lets say a month recovering from a surgery?


03-14-2007, 02:43 PM
These guys do consulting for these sorts of issues, many professional pilots use them. They can probably address your chances of keeping your first class in the long run:

Unfortunately, I think you can expect trouble getting hired at most major airlines and some regionals.

Some majors and maybe one regional do an extensive medical exam as part of their interview. They normally apply HIGHER standards than the FAA (illegal in my opinion). My best guess is that you would not be able to get hired at one of these companies.

Other companies specify that you must have an FAA first class with no would probably have difficulty here too.

Some companies may just want a first class...I would suggest looking on various airline web pages for their hiring requirements. If they do not require a waiver-free medical you may have a shot. However, even if they do not specifically require a waiver-free medical, they may evaluate waivers on a case-by-case basis.

This is a tricky issue, so I'm guesing without hard facts. The airlines DO NOT publicize their detailed policies (liability) so if anyone else can offer an informed opinion that would be great.

03-14-2007, 04:35 PM
You don't have to be an airline pilot to be a pro-pilot btw. There's the charter market, and eventually corporate if you're lucky. Good luck though, I think you'll be able to achieve your goals, but it might be some hassle when it comes to that issue. As long as you can provide a "history" you should be fine.

03-14-2007, 05:19 PM
Thanks fore the info. I've been trying to find some companies that specify a waiver-free first class but I havn't been successful. Know any off the top of your head so I can get an idea. What was the one regional you were thinking of? Right now my history is clean besides the one episode 5 years ago so we'll see how that lasts. Corporate is no problem for me it actually seems to be my cup of tea. If the industry doesn't change too much by the time I get there id actually love to be with the fractionals. They would probably give me the same trouble as the airlines though right? Whats your take on it?

03-14-2007, 06:24 PM
American eagle is the regional with the serious medical exam, and many majors also do this.

I don't recall which airlines specified a "clean" first class, but I know I have seen that requirement before. Maybe they don't publicly state that anymore, but like I said above their medical screening policies are often borderline illegal, so they may not let you know what they are thinking. The good news is that I think in the long term such restrictions will become more lenient as the courts chip away at some of the liberties airlines have always taken when employing pilots.

Most corporate jobs just want to see a first class, so that should not be an issue.

03-18-2007, 07:55 PM
Sorry for a somewhat off-topic post here, but was wondering if anyone had any information about the pre-hire medical exams performed by the majors. Any basic information, or specifics about how the requirements are more stringent than the FAA?