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View Full Version : Regional Medical Requirements


airventure
04-10-2007, 09:31 AM
Hey everybody,

I'm a little confused on how medicals work with the airlines, and specifically the regionals. Can you simply get a 1st class medical on your own or are you required to go through an airline's own medical process? I would imagine this probably varies airline to airline. The reason I ask is that my blood pressure has been iffy, but passable. Of course this only happens when I go in for a medical, but it is always fine when I get it checked for other reasons. I'm thinking that if I get poked and prodded by an airline AME I'll be so nervous there is no way I could keep my blood pressure low enough. I have been able to take off 35lbs since my last medical, so hopefully that'll help. However, it's so hard to say how my nerves react when my medical is on the line.

-Brett


BoilerUP
04-10-2007, 09:40 AM
I think the only regional that makes you do their own medical is Eagle. Everybody else just gets a regular 1st Class...

Yzerman
04-10-2007, 09:40 AM
There may be others, but the only regional I've ever heard of doing their own medical is American Eagle.

edit: friggin ninja!


fosters
04-10-2007, 09:56 AM
Compass requires their own medical eval too.

airventure
04-10-2007, 10:13 AM
Thanks guys! Another quick question, off topic but...

When regionals post their minimum multi-engine time is that total time or PIC?

-Brett

BoilerUP
04-10-2007, 10:19 AM
It is total ME...

Roll Inverted and Pull
04-10-2007, 10:31 AM
airventure...there are several blood pressure meds out there that are ok to fly with. Check with an AME, get one and lower the blood pressure.

CL65driver
04-10-2007, 06:54 PM
Eat a couple pounds of salt.... I guarantee your BP will flat line and won't be a problem again :D


Seriously though, I usually drink a few glasses of red wine in the days before my medical (if im not flying) and go real easy on the junk food for about 4 weeks before- makes the BP problem magically disappear! :D

BTW- kung pao master Yzer is right, AE is the only regional that makes you take a medical. It's equivalent to a NASA medical I hear. Heck, I applied for a ramp job with them back in 2000, and was rejected after a medical exam realized that my left knee was weaker than my right- should have told them I blew it out playing football in HS.

⌐ AV8OR WANNABE
04-11-2007, 11:07 PM
Brett

I think Boiler is correct, Eagle is the only regional I know of still using their own medical. Of the majors I think UAL, AA and Delta do their own; others I think just want a 1st class medical (maybe there are some other airlines that I missed?)

As far as your "iffy" BP, don't let it stay "iffy." Remember that FAA of today is very different from the FAA of the past when it comes to medical issues. They are very proactive and want you to take care of your "minor" problem before it becomes a "major" problem. Slightly elevated BP is easily treatable with exercise, diet change and if must with BP meds.

The procedure for that is very simple and they actively encourage you to do whatever you need in order to get your BP to stay low constantly, not just for your medical once or twice a year. My doc says most pilots today still have the "as long as I pass my FAA medical" attitude. He said many, if not most, know that their BP is borderline but they make sure it's just low enough for their next medical, then they forget about it for another 12 months, keep abusing their heart muscle and 4 weeks before their next medical they start worrying about the BP all over again. - Never ending cycle - He said 90% of medical leaves of absence for heart related issues are totally preventable if the pilots were to check their BP regularly and not just when their next medical comes up.

He thinks that medical issues related to heart problems will skyrocket now that the pilots will fly until 65. The sad part is that the fix is so easy yet so many are afraid to approach their doctors because of their past experiences with the FAA when they were much more restrictive.

Btw, my doc is a commercial pilot himself and I have lots of respect for him, anyways my point is - stop worrying about your “iffy” BP now and start thinking about what your heart will look like when you’re 55 or 60 – fix the problem now… It’s easy…

Remember, it's much easier to deal with BP medication (or exercise/diet change, etc) than with an enlarged heart due to high BP (a normal outcome for chronically high BP) In other words, don't sweat your problem, it's no big deal, just get it under control any way you can. Also, if it's "iffy" keep checking it regularly either with your own devise or by going to any health clinic; it only takes a few minutes and they’ll measure your BP for you every day if you want to, and it's always a free service!

airventure
04-12-2007, 05:08 AM
Hey thanks for the great writeup. I'm certainly trying to go the diet/exercise route right now. I check my BP reguarly with a home monitor. A typical reading for me is 130/80 with a pulse of around 75. That isn't too bad, but when I'm at the doctors it often goes up to 160/80 with a pulse close to 90. After a retake, however, it went down to 130/78.

-Brett

BlueMoon
04-12-2007, 05:17 AM
Hey thanks for the great writeup. I'm certainly trying to go the diet/exercise route right now. I check my BP reguarly with a home monitor. A typical reading for me is 130/80 with a pulse of around 75. That isn't too bad, but when I'm at the doctors it often goes up to 160/80 with a pulse close to 90. After a retake, however, it went down to 130/78.

-Brett

Sometiems diet and exercise aren't enough. High BP runs in my dads side of the family. His mom was on BP meds and my dad was on BP med's since he was 30, it didn't have anything to do with weight (my dad is 5'7" and 145lbs. I'm 25 and last year went to the doctor and my BP had jumped 20 points in a year. I immediately went on a diet and exercise program and got minimal results. The doctor put me on the same kinda stuff my dad uses, I have since lost 40 pounds(5'8" and about 150) and still neds the meds to keep the BP where it should be, though the dosage of the drug is going down.

Just bring the letter the FAA wants from your Doctor and the Blood test (if on a diuretic). Fixing the BP now will save you a heart attack or stroke, which will make your medical go bye bye.