Deferral Risk Analysis

Discover Mike Alpha: Your AI Guide

For initial inquiries and general information based on the AME Guide and FARs, Mike Alpha, our AI assistant, is ready to help. Please note, for more complex or nuanced inquiries, our certified Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) are available to provide general guidance.

Mike Alpha: Your AI Assistant
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Your first step to getting answers. Mike Alpha is here to provide automated answers based on training on the AME Guide and FARs.

Note: For complex queries or edge cases requiring an AME's expertise, direct consultation with a professional is advised.

Key Features:
  • Affordable access to quality information.
  • Detailed understanding of FAA AME Guidelines
  • Human-in-the-Loop Support: While Mike Alpha offers automated expertise, our human specialists are always on standby for additional support, ensuring a moderated and assisted conversation whenever necessary. Some cases may be too complex and require knowledge of an experienced AME.

Cost: $5

What are the possible outcomes of an FAA medical examination or flight physical?

There are three outcomes from an FAA Aviation Medical Exam or “flight physical” visit:

  1. Issuance
  2. Deferral
  3. Denial

A vast majority will result in an issuance during the medical visit. However, the FAA can respond within 60 days to reverse the decision made during the flight physical. It is rare for the AME to issue a denial and they are much more likely to issue a deferral. The deferral process will take longer than 90 days to resolve and in some instances you may expect 6-12 months before you can act as pilot in command again.

Is it possible to get an FAA medical if I take medication or have a medical condition?

Absolutely! Every year there are approximately 450,000 FAA medical exams performed. In 2020 there were 546,503 medically certified airmen. Out of those, 5.8% required a special issuance (~32,000). The most common cause of a special issuance was hypertension (high blood pressure) requiring medication.

Keep in mind that your AME has 14 days to submit your application. If you have a medical condition and present to the AME without any supporting information, your application is likely to result in a deferral. You will have a very difficult time obtaining all required documentation in that 14 day window and the AME will be forced to submit your application to the FAA with a deferral. If you are issued a deferral the processing time by the FAA is well over 90 days.

Disqualifying Diseases

The following issues are disqualifying at your FAA medical and otherwise require a Special Issuance from the FAA:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cardiac valve replacement
  • Coronary heart disease that has required treatment or, if untreated, that has been symptomatic or clinically significant
  • Diabetes mellitus requiring insulin or other hypoglycemic medication
  • Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart replacement
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Permanent cardiac pacemaker
  • Personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts
  • Psychosis
  • Substance abuse and dependence
  • Transient loss of control of nervous system function(s) without satisfactory medical explanation of cause