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CASA Class 1 and childhood asthma

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CASA Class 1 and childhood asthma

Old 7th Feb 2014, 00:20
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Age: 34
Posts: 2
CASA Class 1 and childhood asthma

Hey guys, I have some questions on the CASA Class 1 Medical and any help will be much appreciated.

When I did my initial CASA medical, the DAME asked if I had any issues with regards to asthma. I don't know if I was being naive, but wanting to be honest to a governmental auditing body, I told him I had childhood asthma despite the fact that I have never been experiencing breathing difficulties or asthma attacks in more than ten years.

He put that down submitted that to CASA and they requested for a spirometry report. I went for a spirometry test and failed the peak flow graph by 1% (I'm not exaggerating. I actually failed by THAT little), they requested that I see a doctor, undergo treatment and produce another spirometry report.

So I did that and my doctor prescribed me the Seretide puffer. After using it for a couple of weeks, I went for another spirometry test and passed this time. I submitted the report to CASA and they FINALLY issued my Class 1 medical. It came with conditions though. The Class 2 part of the cert lasted only one year and they required an another spirometry report for the following medical checkup.

So when it was up for renewal, I did everything as requested - I took my seretide puffer again as prescribed by my doctor and did another spirometry as requested by CASA. Results were all good and I submitted that when I went for my medical checkup for renewal.

I thought it was finally over but I just received my Class 1 medical certificate and it is still requesting that I produce a spirometry report on the next renewal. On top of that, the Class 2 expiration is also still within a year instead of four. I hope that I will not have to go through this ordeal annually. My pilot and doctor friends tell me I did the right thing by declaring my condition but now I'm thinking otherwise as this is starting to tick me off. Is there any way I can get them to stop requesting for these audits? Thanks in advanced!

Last edited by aweeasean; 7th Feb 2014 at 03:21.
aweeasean is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2014, 17:25
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Kiwiland
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Aweeasean

Yes you did the right thing by telling the truth. If you had not done so you would have committed a criminal offence and be flying illegally and thus be uninsured etc etc etc.

This isnt an audit. It may be nit picking, but this is a medical examination and assessment. As you had asthma as a child it isnt surprising they did a spirometry. Sadly you failed. Not sure you can measure 1%, but you did in fact fail. Whatever the reason, the regulator cant just pass you when you fail, hence the need to see a doctor, and then you passed.

The worry must be that you have a degree of asthma even if you have no symptoms. If you havent got any condition you wouldnt have failed! Asthma is by definition a reversible condition so some days you have it and other days you dont. As a result of its variability it isnt unreasonable to keep a closer eye on you.

I understand your frustration, but the test is simple and either cheap or free. Hopefully in a few years time they will have the confidence to lengthen your licensing validity.
Radgirl is offline  
Old 9th Feb 2014, 14:40
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Thanks Radgirl. Much appreciated!
aweeasean is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2014, 10:58
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Australia
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As Radgirl said, you did the right thing.

One thing that may make life a bit easier for you - when I get my medical renewed, my DAME does the spirometry test as part of the examination. You should ask CASA and/or your DAME to see if they can do the same for you.

You should ask CASA directly to see under what conditions they'll extend the expiration of your medical.
mnehpets is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2015, 08:47
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sydney
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I'm in almost exactly the same position as aweeasean at the moment; I also was naive but honest and listed mild asthma as a childhood medical condition despite not having to use relievers (Ventolin) for many years (although I did sometimes use steroid puffers [Symbicort] to treat asthma-related coughs). CASA then requested a full report of my asthma condition, to which my GP provided which dated back to 2010. CASA however requested a more recent spirometry test, so I went to a hospital to do the test. According to that test, there were significant changes between pre- and post-bronchodilator use, indicating that my asthma was still active to an extent. Being naive again, I sent that test's results to CASA immediately, to which CASA may or may not accept.
If they don't accept, I guess I will have to undergo the same process as aweeasean and take puffer treatment for a few weeks before undergoing another spirometry test.

Family and friends keep berating me for even writing asthma down as a condition, seeing that I haven't needed treatment for so long. They berated me further for sending the poor spirometry test results to CASA - they say I should have taken treatment first to produce good spirometry test results, and then only send the good results to CASA. But I think this is dishonest and may have consequences and risks to my health (e.g. what if my asthma kicks in in the skies and I don't have mandatory treatment with me?) Any thoughts? Was I right to send the poor spirometry test results first?
EpaX is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2015, 09:35
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Aotearoa
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There are plenty of virtues to live by in life, and being honest is one of those. You did the right thing by declaring your history. Never listen to someone say to you to Not Declare!! That is not the way you should go. It's not their life it's yours. In my mind that doesn't fit a good aviators code of ethics! Anyway you are not alone in your asthma issues, there are plenty of pilots with a class 1 medical who has or has had issues with asthma. I am one of those. I have found the best thing to do is to talk to someone at CASA who is in the know and ask for clarification on your case as it is an individual thing.

There is no set rule with being an asthma sufferer. You can have lungs of an Olympian swimmer but yet have asthma, you could even on a spirometry test out perform someone who has not got asthma. I seem to be able to go over and above what I need to in terms of requirements, but yet because I have history and from time to time have slight and I mean slight symptoms, I am monitored and restricted in accordance with CAA requirements. No big deal, and it doesn't affect my ability to fly planes, I have to carry an inhaler in my flight bag, but that is not a problem for me.

All the best!
Naki Boy is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2015, 14:07
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 24
CAA Initial Class 1

Seems like the CASA are a lot more strict than the CAA. I noted on my class 1 initial medical form that I had suffered from a mild form of childhood asthma. So before I went down to Gatwick I went to my local GP and got copies of all my doctors notes/appointments etc ready for the exam.

On the day of the exam I went through all the tests including the peak flow devices and passed all them without them asking about my Asthma.

I then finally met the medical examiner and he didn't even look at the records even though I told him about the Asthma. I thought It was a little strange but just thought they deemed me okay as I passed all the respiratory tests.
Liam_Mulholalnd is offline  

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