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Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) exam process

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I have one important question, I'm a CFI and I have a student that has unfortunately lost his entire left arm from the shoulder. Long story short he has a glove and it has straps tied around the yoke to have more grip. 

I have been flying with him doing the required maneuvers and ground work and he is getting really close for his solo flight. My question is, what is the process like when he needs to go for his (SODA) what are they going to ask him, look at? Are they going to ask him questions to see if he is ready for his solo flight (Which I highly doubt since they are "Medical Examiners" not "Pilot Examiners". Should I just go and ask a "Medical Examiner" ? Any feedback would be appreciated thanks.


1 Answers

  1. Kris Kortokrax on Dec 29, 2013

    The process is described in Order 8900.1, Volume 5, Chapter 8, Section 1, Paragraph 5-1526 E 3.

    A Medical Examiner is a doctor who issues a medical certificate. The test will be conducted by an FAA Inspector. The Inspector will be primarily looking at his ability to operate any and all controls that might require the use of his left arm. It is a medical evaluation. At this point, the pilot has no privileges which could be suspended or revoked. If the Inspector has any comments concerning piloting abilities (not medically related), he will quite likely pass them on.

    Have you talked with any pilots who have the same situation? If there is any chance that the SODA might not be issued, then Sport Pilot might be an option you would want to explore. Jessica Cox was issued a Sport Pilot certificate and was born with no arms.

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