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3 Answers

Flying with a Disibility what are my options

Asked by: 2749 views FAA Regulations, Private Pilot

My current medical synopsis has the VA Veterans Administration has me diagnosed with 90% combat related disability due to TBI Traumatic Brain Injury. This condition manifests in some (not all) short term memory loss, which mostly appears to the outsider as age related moments, just a little more than normal.



I have read CFR 63. 307 and it does not reference my condition as a "disqualifier", but my conscience tells me differently. The last flight for me was 1980 with under with my PPL in hand and I have never have my medical revoked, but again my last class (3) was again in 1980.


I took a flight with an instructor last week and he indicated I have a few rusty areas to clean up, but fundementals looked solid.


So, am I splitting hairs with regaurds to CFR 67 ?


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3 Answers

  1. Carol Karp on Dec 08, 2011

    With the new light sport rules you can fly with your driver’s license (as long as you were never denied a medical, which you stated is the case) to validate your fitness to fly. No medical required. However, if you feel that you are not medically fit to fly then it is your responsibility to ground yourself (as said in regs). I can’t say anything past this because I’m just not qualified! 🙂 Best of luck!

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  2. Matthew Waugh on Dec 08, 2011

    Have you determined if your condition is reportable when you apply for a medical? I assume it is – and if so then you should get serious medical advice from someone familiar with the FAA system (do not just apply for a medical and see what happens).
    If you can’t obtain an FAA medical then you can choose to wrestle with the moral, ethical and legal issues of self-certifying to fly light sport aircraft.

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  3. Bill Trussell on Dec 14, 2011

    This is a two edged sword.  First please see the medical examiners instructions for item 18 on the application under “other conditions, disabilities or surgery in medical history …:
    Application Process for Medical Certification
    Applicant History – Item 18. Medical Historyx. Other illness, disability, or surgery The applicant should describe the nature of these illnesses in the EXPLANATIONS box. If additional records, tests, or specialty reports are necessary in order to make a certification decision, the applicant should so be advised. If the applicant does not wish to provide the information requested by the Examiner, the Examiner should defer issuance.If the applicant wishes to have the FAA review the application and decide what ancillary documentation is needed, the Examiner should defer issuance of the medical certificate and forward the completed FAA Form 8500-8 to the AMCD. If the Examiner proceeds to obtain documentation, but all data will not be received with the 2 weeks, FAA Form 8500-8 should be transmitted immediately to the AMCD with a note that additional documents will be forwarded later under separate cover.
    This would require you to disclose your disability and the conditions surrounding it, including the cause.  If you do not you run the risk of someone accusing you of fraud on your application.
    The other side of this is the impact on any disability benefits or services being received based on your condition.  By applying for, and perhaps being granted a medical certificate, you could run the risk of placing any benefits in jeopardy.  Issuance of a medical certificate could start a firestorm that you will not be able to put out.
    Perhaps the best course of action is to fly under provisions of a sport pilot certificate, where you could use a drivers license as the basis of medical fitness to fly.  This assumes that you have not had any other side effects of your condition like seizures, which are not fully under control.

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