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Old 08-08-2008, 06:47 AM   #1  
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Default Hearing loss waiver?

Is it possible to have a first class medical issued with a waiver for hearing impairment? Would the issuance of a waiver be stated on the certificate? Would a SODA be required and would that need to be renewed?

Sorry to be so full of questions for a first post.

Thanks,
Aubrey
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:02 AM   #2  
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You asked a lot of questions. Here's a good place to get started:

Virtual Flight Surgeons Inc. -- Your One Source for FAA Medical Certification Waiver Assistance!
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:07 AM   #3  
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I don't know what the specifics are, but I worked with an airline captain that wore hearing aids on both ears.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:26 AM   #4  
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I have a friend that has a Class1 with a stipulation on his certificate that he wear a hearing a amplification device.

I am just wondering why one person would have the requiement for a hearing aid and another pilot states that he has a waiver but there is no statement on his certificate.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:25 AM   #5  
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There are several ways this could be dealt with...

Restriction: This either limits your use of the certificate (ie daytime only for colorblind) or requires the use of special equipment such as glasses or a hearing aid in order to allow you to meet the standards for your class of medical. This will show up on your medical. Most airlines have no problem with glasses these days, but any other restrictions might be a problem, depending on the airline.

Special Issuance: This is where you do not technically meet the requirements for your class of medical, but the FAA has decided that the deviation is minor and will give you a medical anyway. The SI is indicated on your medical, and historically has been disqualifying at many airlines (especially majors). SI's are used in the case a worsening or potentially variable condition, and will often be valid for a shorter time period than a normal medical.

Waiver: Like an SI, but used for a condition which is not likely to change, and once evaluated should be good indefinately. I'm actually not certain that a waiver is indicated on your medical cert, but I think it might be.

SODA: A Statement of Demonstrated Ability is issued to you when you do not meet the clinical requirements (ie vision, hearing, range-of-motion, etc), but have demonstrated in a real-world test that you can function to the level required. The SODA is a letter, which you keep and present to any future AME when you apply for a medical...the AME will issue you a clean medical even though you don't meet the normal clinical specs for whatever the issue was. The most common SODA is for color vision, based on an airport light-gun test.

A waiver is normally a one time thing...once you get the letter, it's good for life assuming the underlying condition does not change. An SI will usually have an expiration date.

I would rather have a SODA, which does not appear on your medical cert.

If your hearing is bad enough you will need a hearing aid and the restriction. If you can get by without the hearing aid, you might get a waiver, unless you can pass a SODA test.

The good news is that while restrictions and SI's would have kept you out of the best airline jobs ten years ago, the climate is changing and more airlines are simply accepting almost any valid first-class medical. I expect this trend to continue to improve.

Last edited by rickair7777; 08-08-2008 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:51 PM   #6  
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Thanks rickair. Very definitive.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:22 PM   #7  
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Please reread my last post, I changed it to clarify the use of waivers vs. SI.
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