Musculoskeletal Evaluation

FAA Protocols for Additional Medical Workup

Apr 2014

Guidance is compiled and interpreted by professional pilots and physicians at from the 2014 AME Guide page 219, FAA and FDA web data ( &, instructions specified in the Aeronautical Information Manual, Federal Air Surgeon Bulletins from 1999-2015, and 14 CFR Part 61 and Part 67 (the FARs).

If Applicant does need meet musculoskeletal standards, the AME will defer issuance of the Airman Medical Certificate.

When seeking a waiver, the applicant with a history of musculoskeletal conditions must submit the following to be considered for medical certification:

  • Current status report
  • Functional status report
  • Degree of impairment as measured by strength, range of motion, pain

FAA Note: If the applicant is otherwise qualified, the FAA may issue a limited certificate. This certificate will permit the applicant to proceed with flight training until ready for a medical flight test. At that time, and at the applicant's request, the FAA (usually the AMCD) will authorize the student pilot to take a medical flight test in conjunction with the regular flight test. The medical flight test and regular private pilot flight test are conducted by an FAA inspector.

This affords the student an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to control the aircraft despite the handicap. The FAA inspector prepares a written report and indicates whether there is a safety problem. A medical certificate and statement of demonstrated ability (SODA), without the student limitation, may be provided to the inspector for issuance to the applicant, or the inspector may be required to send the report to the FAA medical officer who authorized the test.

When prostheses are used or additional control devices are installed in an aircraft to assist the amputee, those found qualified by special certification procedures will have their certificates limited to require that the device(s) (and, if necessary, even the specific aircraft) must always be used when exercising the privileges of the airman certificate.

This page discussed Musculoskeletal Evaluation

Reminder: use to familiarize yourself with aviation medical regulations and guidelines, but always discuss your specific situation with one or more AMEs before dedicating resources toward expensive clinical workups. Find an AME now