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pilots license, FAA and warfarin

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brunoandbear

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Feb 18, 2009
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Atlanta, GA
Well, right now I have to choose between a mechanical and possibly a tissue valve if the doctors can not repair mine. According to the TEE yesterday, the leakage was very mild. I have had one surgeon tell me the valve could last me another 10 - 20 years, and another told me that in young people like myself (I am 33), they might last 5 - 10 years.

Here is my dilemma - I want to fly. I have always dreamt of having a private pilots license - and, taking it to the next level, flying in vintage WW I and WW II aircraft, performing aerobatics, which, could incur g forces of up to 5 or 6 g's. I never could get into the air force because of my bicuspid valve and my bad vision (20/60), so I've always wanted to enjoy the skies on my own.

I am also going to have a graft put in my ascending aorta, which, by itself, does not require warfarin. So, my question is, does anyone here fly that is on this stuff, or know if the FAA will issue a certificate. My biggest concern of course is the effects that g-forces will have on the brain and body of someone that is taking this.
 

Philip B

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Casa Grande, Arizona
Flying

Flying

I used to pilot airplanes without a license years before my AVR surgery (I couldn't pass the required physical with my heart murmur) and asked my cardiologist if I could pursue a license not that my valve has been replaced. He told me he didn't think I'd have any problems pursuing a license, but I haven't. It would be interesting to visit with a doctor who does the FAA physicals to see if he would agree with my cardiologist's assessment (my cardiologist is a pilot).

-Philip
 

Ross

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It's possible if you have lots of money. The FAA is going to put you through the wringer with having 3rd class medicals most likely every 3 months. I wouldn't plan on doing aerobatic flying. I'm certain they'll say no way to that. You might PM Buzz Lanning and talk with him. He's been through the whole maze with the FAA and can better inform you.

http://www.valvereplacement.com/forums/member.php?u=875

§ 67.401 Special issuance of medical certificates.
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(a) At the discretion of the Federal Air Surgeon, an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate (Authorization), valid for a specified period, may be granted to a person who does not meet the provisions of subparts B, C, or D of this part if the person shows to the satisfaction of the Federal Air Surgeon that the duties authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for can be performed without endangering public safety during the period in which the Authorization would be in force. The Federal Air Surgeon may authorize a special medical flight test, practical test, or medical evaluation for this purpose. A medical certificate of the appropriate class may be issued to a person who does not meet the provisions of subparts B, C, or D of this part if that person possesses a valid Authorization and is otherwise eligible. An airman medical certificate issued in accordance with this section shall expire no later than the end of the validity period or upon the withdrawal of the Authorization upon which it is based. At the end of its specified validity period, for grant of a new Authorization, the person must again show to the satisfaction of the Federal Air Surgeon that the duties authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for can be performed without endangering public safety during the period in which the Authorization would be in force.

(b) At the discretion of the Federal Air Surgeon, a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) may be granted, instead of an Authorization, to a person whose disqualifying condition is static or nonprogressive and who has been found capable of performing airman duties without endangering public safety. A SODA does not expire and authorizes a designated aviation medical examiner to issue a medical certificate of a specified class if the examiner finds that the condition described on its face has not adversely changed.

(c) In granting an Authorization or SODA, the Federal Air Surgeon may consider the person's operational experience and any medical facts that may affect the ability of the person to perform airman duties including—

(1) The combined effect on the person of failure to meet more than one requirement of this part; and

(2) The prognosis derived from professional consideration of all available information regarding the person.

(d) In granting an Authorization or SODA under this section, the Federal Air Surgeon specifies the class of medical certificate authorized to be issued and may do any or all of the following:

(1) Limit the duration of an Authorization;

(2) Condition the granting of a new Authorization on the results of subsequent medical tests, examinations, or evaluations;

(3) State on the Authorization or SODA, and any medical certificate based upon it, any operational limitation needed for safety; or

(4) Condition the continued effect of an Authorization or SODA, and any second- or third-class medical certificate based upon it, on compliance with a statement of functional limitations issued to the person in coordination with the Director of Flight Standards or the Director's designee.

(e) In determining whether an Authorization or SODA should be granted to an applicant for a third-class medical certificate, the Federal Air Surgeon considers the freedom of an airman, exercising the privileges of a private pilot certificate, to accept reasonable risks to his or her person and property that are not acceptable in the exercise of commercial or airline transport pilot privileges, and, at the same time, considers the need to protect the safety of persons and property in other aircraft and on the ground.

(f) An Authorization or SODA granted under the provisions of this section to a person who does not meet the applicable provisions of subparts B, C, or D of this part may be withdrawn, at the discretion of the Federal Air Surgeon, at any time if—

(1) There is adverse change in the holder's medical condition;

(2) The holder fails to comply with a statement of functional limitations or operational limitations issued as a condition of certification under this section;

(3) Public safety would be endangered by the holder's exercise of airman privileges;

(4) The holder fails to provide medical information reasonably needed by the Federal Air Surgeon for certification under this section; or

(5) The holder makes or causes to be made a statement or entry that is the basis for withdrawal of an Authorization or SODA under §67.403.

(g) A person who has been granted an Authorization or SODA under this section based on a special medical flight or practical test need not take the test again during later physical examinations unless the Federal Air Surgeon determines or has reason to believe that the physical deficiency has or may have degraded to a degree to require another special medical flight test or practical test.

(h) The authority of the Federal Air Surgeon under this section is also exercised by the Manager, Aeromedical Certification Division, and each Regional Flight Surgeon.

(i) If an Authorization or SODA is withdrawn under paragraph (f) of this section the following procedures apply:

(1) The holder of the Authorization or SODA will be served a letter of withdrawal, stating the reason for the action;

(2) By not later than 60 days after the service of the letter of withdrawal, the holder of the Authorization or SODA may request, in writing, that the Federal Air Surgeon provide for review of the decision to withdraw. The request for review may be accompanied by supporting medical evidence;

(3) Within 60 days of receipt of a request for review, a written final decision either affirming or reversing the decision to withdraw will be issued; and

(4) A medical certificate rendered invalid pursuant to a withdrawal, in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, shall be surrendered to the Administrator upon request.

(j) An Authorization or SODA granted under the provisions of this section to a person who does not meet the applicable provisions of subparts B, C, or D of this part must be in that person's physical possession or readily accessible in the aircraft.

[Docket No. 27940, 61 FR 11256, Mar. 19, 1996, as amended by Amdt. 67–20, 73 FR 43066, July 24, 2008]
 

fabyan64

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Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
51
Location
Lake Forest, Illinois
Faa

Faa

Hi, I just joined yesterday. I had an aortic valvotomy in 1978, and received a STJ Nr. 25 in 1991 at the Hirslanden Heart Clinic in Switzerland. Unfortunately, my valve has developed a severe leak, and my aortic root may have balooned - waiting for cat scan results. Grrrr. Anyway, I have special issuance 3rd. class certificate from the FAA. It was not difficult at all to obtain. First of all, you must wait at least 6 months after surgery before applying. You may have to wear a holter monitor for 24 hours to rule out any oddities, such as atrial fib., arrythmia, etc. Have an echo (2-dimensional and m-mode), EKG, blood work (INR over a 6-month period), triglycerides, etc.) and a current write up and diagnosis from your doctor. The FAA reviews this and in most cases will send you a certicate (after visiting the qualified aviation examiner). My certificate is good for 2 years, but I have to submit the above information annually. Good luck if you do decide to pursue your license. There is another aspect to consider. If you have not visited an FAA doctor and still wish to fly, you should look into a recreational or sport license - which does not require a medical. The only stipulation is that this will not work if you were ever denied a medical.
 

Ross

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I'm bummed all the way around. I want to fly so bad, but it would not be safe for me or anyone one the ground if I did. No more medical certs for me. I'm a Microsoft Flight Simulator Pilot now. As real as it gets.
 
M

mikeb85

Guest
Bruno,
You dont need a medical to fly! The recent Sport Pilot class of aircraft do not require a medical at all. All you need is a valid drivers license and self certify that you are fit for flying There are some restrictions on the speed and weight of the aircraft such as 2 seats max, max gross weight of 1320 lbs andmax speed of 125kts in level flight but what do ya want to go that fast for anyway. I have 7 of these type aircraft and they are the most fun you can have with your clothes on! contact me if you need further information
Mikeb85
President of EAA chapter UL62 and soon to be aortic valve replacement veteran
 

brunoandbear

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Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
78
Location
Atlanta, GA
Hmm, so I could fly a Sopwith Camel and be okay but anything faster and it is out... Doh. I would have the biggest grin on earth owning and flying my own Sopwith though. I've always had a dream to fly a P-40 or a Spitfire (assuming I gather the assets to make the purchase and rebuild) - and both of those go 220 kts to 350+ kts respectively. That also rules out the Extra 300 - but, I wonder if I could get away with a Super Decathalon?

I'm a big time flight simulator pilot as is - I own a HOTAS that on its own costs over 1000 dollars (I had gimbals custom machined from a guy in Australia and I put in Hall-effect sensors), have head tracking and a homebuilt 3D-Fresnel display plus pedals. You could say flying is one of my passions, however, it is primarily WW1/WW2 and modern Jet Fighter simulators (Falcon 4.0, IL-2 Sturmovik, EECH and DCS: Black Shark for helocopters), heck, I own tons of simulators, been flying them since 1983.

I'm not sure how content I would be flying straight and level - I have been up in Cessnas before and had a good time, but a little part of me wants to be able to do a loop here and there, a hammerhead and some knife edge passes. What are these planes like Mike and how do they handle?

My biggest concern is my family and children as we plan on having them. I do not want to put them through the worries of having a second surgery if we can fix everything in the first one, as I know the stress on them is soooo much. If it comes down to it, I suppose I'll pour all that extra money into building a full scale cockpit for simulators like the guys here do:

http://www.viperpits.org

And perhaps explore some full motion ones. We all have our hobbies I guess. :) If I can at least get up in the air in something small and fun for real, that'd be great too.
 

Ross

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This stinks. I have always dreamed of getting my pilot's license but I guess it is out.
Matt if you can go for the Sport license, hey man, do it. You may still be able to get a private certificate too. Speed isn't so much the issue with flying as it is the G force you can encounter during aerobatics.

I was 4 cross country solo hours and a check ride away from my private cert when I started having babies. There went my flying money, then my health went down the toilet before I could finish.
 

Natanni

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Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
580
Location
Northern Minnesota
Well, right now I have to choose between a mechanical and possibly a tissue valve if the doctors can not repair mine. According to the TEE yesterday, the leakage was very mild. I have had one surgeon tell me the valve could last me another 10 - 20 years, and another told me that in young people like myself (I am 33), they might last 5 - 10 years.

Here is my dilemma - I want to fly. I have always dreamt of having a private pilots license - and, taking it to the next level, flying in vintage WW I and WW II aircraft, performing aerobatics, which, could incur g forces of up to 5 or 6 g's. I never could get into the air force because of my bicuspid valve and my bad vision (20/60), so I've always wanted to enjoy the skies on my own.

I am also going to have a graft put in my ascending aorta, which, by itself, does not require warfarin. So, my question is, does anyone here fly that is on this stuff, or know if the FAA will issue a certificate. My biggest concern of course is the effects that g-forces will have on the brain and body of someone that is taking this.
Hello

I am speaking for my husband who had AVR with a mechanical in 2005 and passed a 3rd class airman (yes, anticoagulated!) medical I believe in 2006 sometime. He had to jump through many hoops and the paperwork was incredible. Please check back in the archieves under my name for posts posts on the subject. He has not flown since getting his medical however, as our son started to fly helicopters and passed his private oral/check ride 2/28/09 (Yay! At 17 years old!! Details are in our blog below) :) Now we are hoping Dad can go back to fixed wing, lol. It can happen, and Nathan did need to be in a very specific INR range to pass his medical.

And additional note-my brother worked on/flew in the China Doll several years ago at a few airshows, including Osh Kosh! We totally understand the passion for vintage aircraft.

Can't offer much with the G's....but best of wishes!
 

brunoandbear

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Messages
78
Location
Atlanta, GA
It is a passion that few can understand unless they have it. I try and tell my wife that and she sorta tries to but she doesn't. Once you have the flying bug, it doesn't go away, ever. Anyone who I've ever talked to that is into aircraft totally understands.

That is good news Natanni - thank you for that info. I wish your son the best in his rotorhead pursuits. Be sure to pass on to him for me that Chopper pilots don't just fly, they beat the air into submission. :) It takes a special kind of person to fly those birds, hats off to him for living his dream! :)
 

Ross

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It is a passion that few can understand unless they have it. Once you have the flying bug, it doesn't go away, ever. Anyone who I've ever talked to that is into aircraft totally understands.

Tell me about it. I was flying at the end of highschool. I ate, slept, drempt, breathed everything about flying. Spent my study halls marking and plotting my next solo flights on sectional charts, studied every detail of every aircraft I could get an owners manual for, and well, I need not say anything more. I spent more time at the airport being a pain in some instructors butt, bumming rides as a sand bag with other students, flew as much as I possibly could with what money I had. Dual time in a Cessna 152 back then was $22 an hour and $18 for solo an hour. Then I went and let my testosterone get out of check and ended up getting my then girl friend, now wife, pregnant and that was the end of my flying. Always thought, one day, I'll get back in, but then my health took a nose dive into the ground. That bites, but you know what? I can at least say that I did it!
 

brunoandbear

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Messages
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Atlanta, GA
:)

I bet those kids (is it more than one?) put a smile on your face every day too. We're trying to start our family ourselves soon, could happen any time.

I tell myself, if we are blessed with them, maybe I'll be lucky enough to have one interested in racing so I can get them into KART racing as a start. We'll see. :) Now, if one of them wanted to get into the Navy or Airforce as an aviator... that would be icing on the cake.
 

Ross

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Yes, 3 of them. My oldest is going to make me grandpa in Sept and my Youngest made me a Grandpa on our wedding anniversary last year. My middle son is now dating a girl that I still think is a Government Spook. I keep telling him to check her neck for a wire or an earphone in her ear. In other words, they aren't exactly babies or kids anymore.

The hard part about getting them to be military pilots is keeping there nose clean though life. That's a hard challenge in todays world.
 

brunoandbear

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Messages
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Location
Atlanta, GA
Thanks for the link. :)

I keep reading that if you already have a license, you can get a provision, but what if you don't? I know the sport license is possible but I wonder if a class 1 or 2 is?

I met with a nice lady last weekend and she mentioned that she ski's while on coumadin - that definitely gives me some hope of being able to do a few loops and barrel rolls while on it.
 

Ross

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Thanks for the link. :)

I keep reading that if you already have a license, you can get a provision, but what if you don't? I know the sport license is possible but I wonder if a class 1 or 2 is?

I met with a nice lady last weekend and she mentioned that she ski's while on coumadin - that definitely gives me some hope of being able to do a few loops and barrel rolls while on it.
If you only want a private certificate, 3rd class is all you need. Are you saying you want to be a corporate or commericial airline pilot?

1st class medical standards= http://flightphysical.com/part67/Class1/67subb_67111.htm Airline Transport Pilot

2nd class= http://flightphysical.com/part67/Class2/67subc_67211.htm Commericial Pilot

3rd class= http://flightphysical.com/part67/Class3/67subd_67311.htm Private Pilot
 

brunoandbear

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Atlanta, GA
Oh no, not at all - the wife would go crazy if I traveled all the time. I'm looking for a 3rd then I suppose, Private Pilot.

If I were to actually work around airports, large ones that is, I'd want to be an ATC (air traffic controller). Unfortunately, I have missed the cutoff age, as they only allow people 31 or younger to become one. :(

Thanks for the links Ross. :) I do notice that it says "no history of cardiac valve replacement" ... Hmm, I am going to give them a call.
 

Ross

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Oh no, not at all - the wife would go crazy if I traveled all the time. I'm looking for a 3rd then I suppose, Private Pilot.

If I were to actually work around airports, large ones that is, I'd want to be an ATC (air traffic controller). Unfortunately, I have missed the cutoff age, as they only allow people 31 or younger to become one. :(

Thanks for the links Ross. :) I do notice that it says "no history of cardiac valve replacement" ... Hmm, I am going to give them a call.
I too, wanted to be an ATC. Back then (This is before the ATC strike) they mandated 2 years of college and 2 of military or 4 years of one or the other to even be a candidate on top of being at least a private pilot. When I look at it now, no way would I have been able to handle the stress. These poor people are severly overworked and underpaid.
 

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