FAA's 15 disqualifying aviation medical conditions for prospective pilots.

Feb 2014

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

Per Federal regulations, the following 15 conditions are disqualifying medical conditions for prospective aviators:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Bipolar disease
  • Cardiac valve replacement
  • Coronary heart disease that has been treated or, if untreated, that has been symptomatic or clinically significant
  • Diabetes mellitus requiring hypoglycemic medications
  • Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory explanation of 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
  • Substance dependence
  • Transient loss of control of nervous system function(s) without satisfactory explanation of cause.

The FAA publishes this starting list, but few things in medicine or aviation are black and white. Your health comes first, so don't deny or ignore your health problems, but if you are diagnosed with one of the above conditions, your immediate despair may be premature.

Unhelpfully, the FAA list is neither inclusive or exclusive. For some, the above conditions will be permanently grounding, but for anyone with one of those conditions who still hopes to fly, a waiver (or special issuance) could be pursued. Many pilots who have had one or more of the conditions listed above, eventually had their medical certificates paritially restored and regained flight privileges. If your conditions is adequately controlled, the FAA may issue medical certification contingent on periodic reports. To find out more, discuss waiver options with your AME.

This page discussed FAA's 15 disqualifying aviation medical conditions for prospective pilots.

Reminder: use FlightPhysical.com 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