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Losing my 1st class medical

Old 08-27-2006, 12:47 PM
  #1  
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Default Losing my 1st class medical

I had lasik done in 1999. I went from 20-60 to 20-20 in two days. The doctor assured me that I wouldn't have to worry about glasses for at least 20 years. (I was twenty at the time) As the years went on my vision slowly got worse and worse. Today my vision is right back to 20-60. To make it worse, glasses can no longer correct my vision to 20-20 because of the scar tissue and the jagged line across my eye lense from the incision. When I began flight school I passed my first class medical, three years later (yesterday) I am only correctable to 20-25. I now have a degree in commercial aviation. I am an instructor with 400 total time, and I will not be able to pass the vision portion for a class one or class two medical. Do I have any aviation options other than to keep flight instructing for the rest of my life? If I do have to flight instructor forever, where is the best pay.QOL etc... I was thinking flight safety, or delta connection academy, maybe a place that does type ratings as well as primary training so I can work my way up and eventually fly the big jets in the sim. Anything positive would be helpful. It has been a really bad week for me.

Thanks, UNDGUY
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:48 PM
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Really sorry to hear this, it seems very very unfortunate. I'm sure there are others on here that can give you a better answer, but if instructing is where you'll be, look for someone with benefits, lots of students, and high pay.

If it were me, i'd also look into the education field, get the master's degree, and go teach at your aviation university. Not sure how pay is at yours, but, it could be rewarding to help get others through your program. Best of luck to you, sorry to hear about the misfortune. Just keep your head in the game, and on track, sounds like you've got the right mindset already.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:58 AM
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UNDGUY,

If you haven't stopped by and talked to Doc Jensen, be sure to do so! He might have some insight on some avenues that you can take to regain a medical certificate. (Waiver, alternative procedure, etc).

Sorry to hear about your situation. There are options out there, but you're going to have to beat the bushes pretty hard to find something that isn't a desk job, and many of them will probably require some additional school. That said, I'm more than happy to discuss your situation, if you want. PM me with a phone number.

~Josh
UND class of '00
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by UNDGUY
I had lasik done in 1999. I went from 20-60 to 20-20 in two days. The doctor assured me that I wouldn't have to worry about glasses for at least 20 years. (I was twenty at the time) As the years went on my vision slowly got worse and worse. Today my vision is right back to 20-60. To make it worse, glasses can no longer correct my vision to 20-20 because of the scar tissue and the jagged line across my eye lense from the incision. When I began flight school I passed my first class medical, three years later (yesterday) I am only correctable to 20-25. I now have a degree in commercial aviation. I am an instructor with 400 total time, and I will not be able to pass the vision portion for a class one or class two medical. Do I have any aviation options other than to keep flight instructing for the rest of my life? If I do have to flight instructor forever, where is the best pay.QOL etc... I was thinking flight safety, or delta connection academy, maybe a place that does type ratings as well as primary training so I can work my way up and eventually fly the big jets in the sim. Anything positive would be helpful. It has been a really bad week for me.

Thanks, UNDGUY
Sorry to hear about this...Full time instruction is going to be a killer as a job / QOL. I would transition into another career and CFI on the weekends / after work...Most of the big foreign academies that have ab intro training require a class 1 medical...Again, not being callous to your situation but if you can't hold a class 1 I would look into another career sooner than later.

V/r,
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:33 AM
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I used to work in the HAU (korean) program that was taken over by Pan Am International Flight Acadamy and later moved to Phoenix. I dont think they require a class 1 to work for them. Starting pay is $30,000, monday-friday 8-5 with benefits. The minimums used to be higher than what the regionals are hiring at now (1000 tt) but they may have gone down since then. If that is what you are interested in I can get you some contact info for over there. They also have a program there with the chineese that has lower minimums. Don't know the detail on the pay or benefits for that though.

A better bet would be to get on as a ground school instructor at an airline. The guy who did my last recurrent only had a private but had studied his ass off to learn the airplane. I think you might get burnt out less with this option and it might even be able to lead to a sim instructor position.

Getting a masters at teaching at a university or flight instructing at a university may even be a good option. If you are still at UND (or even recently graduated) go talk to your academic advisor. He will be able to offer you the most help.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:36 AM
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Good to know - thanks for correcting my faulty assumptions.


-LAFF
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Old 08-28-2006, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KZ1000Shaft
I used to work in the HAU (korean) program that was taken over by Pan Am International Flight Acadamy and later moved to Phoenix. I dont think they require a class 1 to work for them. Starting pay is $30,000, monday-friday 8-5 with benefits. The minimums used to be higher than what the regionals are hiring at now (1000 tt) but they may have gone down since then. If that is what you are interested in I can get you some contact info for over there. They also have a program there with the chineese that has lower minimums. Don't know the detail on the pay or benefits for that though.

A better bet would be to get on as a ground school instructor at an airline. The guy who did my last recurrent only had a private but had studied his ass off to learn the airplane. I think you might get burnt out less with this option and it might even be able to lead to a sim instructor position.

Getting a masters at teaching at a university or flight instructing at a university may even be a good option. If you are still at UND (or even recently graduated) go talk to your academic advisor. He will be able to offer you the most help.
That would be great if you could get me the information on the place in phoenix. I am instructing now at an FBO, so I could continue instructing there until I meet whatever their minimums are.
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:56 AM
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UNDGUY,

Have you talked with Doc Jensen? I'd really highly suggest that you give him a call (since you can't stop by if you're down in PHX). I know that he's helped out other UND students/grads before that have had some medical issues. He can certainly help talk you through some alternatives and probably help put you in touch with some other options if you do ultimately end up losing your medical.

PM me if you don't have his number.
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by UNDGUY
That would be great if you could get me the information on the place in phoenix. I am instructing now at an FBO, so I could continue instructing there until I meet whatever their minimums are.
Check your PM
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by UNDGUY
I had lasik done in 1999. I went from 20-60 to 20-20 in two days. The doctor assured me that I wouldn't have to worry about glasses for at least 20 years. (I was twenty at the time) As the years went on my vision slowly got worse and worse. Today my vision is right back to 20-60. To make it worse, glasses can no longer correct my vision to 20-20 because of the scar tissue and the jagged line across my eye lense from the incision. When I began flight school I passed my first class medical, three years later (yesterday) I am only correctable to 20-25. I now have a degree in commercial aviation. I am an instructor with 400 total time, and I will not be able to pass the vision portion for a class one or class two medical. Do I have any aviation options other than to keep flight instructing for the rest of my life? If I do have to flight instructor forever, where is the best pay.QOL etc... I was thinking flight safety, or delta connection academy, maybe a place that does type ratings as well as primary training so I can work my way up and eventually fly the big jets in the sim. Anything positive would be helpful. It has been a really bad week for me.

Thanks, UNDGUY
That's a bit frightening to hear, since I've actually been considering the surgery....
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