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Class 1 medical - post seizure. Any chance?

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Class 1 medical - post seizure. Any chance?

Old 25th Sep 2022, 08:27
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Class 1 medical - post seizure. Any chance?

Hi all
As the title suggests, I had an "episode" a few years back, very much hit out of the blue.
I haven't flown commercially for 9 years but when I left flying (not due to medical reasons), it was only meant to be a temporary measure and I have always yearned to return.
What do you think my chances are of attaining a class 1 medical?? In my life I've had 2 LOCs and 1 seizure.

I have an AUS and NZ CPL hence the reason for posting here and not in the medical forum.

Cheers
B_P
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Old 25th Sep 2022, 12:10
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Originally Posted by Beryllium Erbium View Post
Anything neurological is tough to come back from, not impossible but it's gunna cost you a lot of coin. Class 2 may be easier.
Is this first hand experience?
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Old 25th Sep 2022, 13:31
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Think if they know why and it can be treated thereís a better chance . If not then needs to be monitored for long time while not flying and then itís a maybe . Each authority is different , only share as Iíve observed a few deal with this issue .
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Old 26th Sep 2022, 02:59
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The possibility of gaining a Class 1 or 2 medical will depend on:
(i) the initial diagnosis;
(ii) the prognosis/treatment; and
(iii) the assessed risk.
The first two of are diagnositic and treatment based.
Assuming that the issue was clearly identified and a medical solution was applied, the issue is then (iii) assessing the risk of any future episode.
This will depend partially on the expert medical reports and the position of CASA or the relevant regulator.
There have definitely been some successes in the past, but it is very hard to convince CASA that the risk of a neurological / brain issue is not singificant.
With some successes the solution is usually "as, or with, co-pilot", which is common in heart ablation and other generic neurological/cardiac conditions.
Anything to do with the brain is a step up for risk, as it is considered more unpredicable and unstable.
Medical reports need to establish that the cause was identified, the problem was successfully treated and the risk of any future adverse outcomes is negligible or the same as a healthy person.
Don't like CASA's decision? They will want to protect themselves from people asking why they gave a Class (X) medical to a pilot that put a burning hole in the ground with fatalities.
You can go to the AAT but that will be even more difficult in my experience.
So, to prepare yourself, the process would be:
1. Engage a lawyer or your union (AFAP / AIPA) for advice and representation. I would assume that you are not a current union member, so getting long term access to services might be difficult, but they may provide some services.
Legal services will be costly, so be prepared to pay $$$.
1.1 Get fit and healthy. Don;t have any other medical issues. Otherwise present as a perfect physical speciman.
2. Get all your medical history. You will need full disclosure for the regulator, including all medical records, (PBS) medication records and hospital records.
3. Get reports from your specialists - including the ones you have been treating you and an independent expert. Try and go for the highest level, such as the "professor" in the given field of the neurological problem.
You will liekly need to reference research reports on the problem and the effectiveness or treatment.
4. Prepare a detailed submission of all the material and propose an outcome.
5. Expect that any positive outcome will contain conditions ("as or with co-pilot" as noted above) and you should be prepared to accept them;
6. Focus on a process of "graduated return" to Class 1 over a period of time to demonstrate that there is no repetiton or increased risk.
7. Understand that the process might not be economically viable due to the cost.
8. Understand that employers may become aware of the issue (given that conditions may be stated on the medical) and they may be wary of employing you without a detailed explanation.
It is very uncertain territory and the key is providing enough evidence to convince the regulator.
Other issues to consider are:
- How old you are and how muich career do you have left.
- What kind of flying roles are you looking at?
- What kind of alternative non-flying roles would you accept? (i.e. flight ops, simulator and ground training??)
- How much money you have to pour into it.
- If you get a Class 2, would you be happy hiring/buying an aircraft and then flying for pleasure?
Good luck.
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Old 27th Sep 2022, 09:13
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The only thing to add there is that if you do get the condition 'with or as co-pilot' it will inevitably affect your class 2 similarly 'with safety pilot'. Which would make private flying a task as well, having to organise a suitable, available buddy to fly with you. I see a lot of airline pilots these days with the co-pilot stipulation, it really doesn't affect career airline guys that much, that is if it happens once you are in a multi-crew environment. Getting an unrestricted medical after any health event to do with heart or brain is going to be tough.
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Old 28th Sep 2022, 03:39
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
The only thing to add there is that if you do get the condition 'with or as co-pilot' it will inevitably affect your class 2 similarly 'with safety pilot'. Which would make private flying a task as well, having to organise a suitable, available buddy to fly with you. I see a lot of airline pilots these days with the co-pilot stipulation, it really doesn't affect career airline guys that much, that is if it happens once you are in a multi-crew environment. Getting an unrestricted medical after any health event to do with heart or brain is going to be tough.
Yes, thats a good point. The as or woth co-pilot or safety pilot condition (if applied) will most likely apply to private flying as well as commercial.
You are right, flying in multi crew mightbe easier, as private will depend on your buddy where seats and circumstaces are probably limited.
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Old 28th Sep 2022, 12:33
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Another issue for B_P is what has been the effect on your drivers licence. Heart issues generally are ok post a certain period with cardiologist consent, but seizures and random pass-outs usually disqualify normal driving licences as well without having a medical waiver. As drivers licences are self reported it may only come up if you have an accident and they investigate it, then it could be nasty if somebody is injured and you were aware of the condition but did not notify your state issuer.
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Old 29th Sep 2022, 00:09
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B-P. Fully understand and sympathise with your desire to keep flying. But ask yourself how your paying passengers would feel.
That you may never have another episode until you’re 97 years old isn’t the point. The point is can you or anyone ever rule out the possibility of having another such episode while you’re still working.

Agreed, it isn’t fair to you. But then, fairness isn’t the issue.
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Old 29th Sep 2022, 04:50
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Originally Posted by Beryllium Erbium View Post
In my experience CASA completely ignore expert (specialist) medical advice and make a biased, non-evidence based decision.

And yes Fathom, this is also actual experience.
And unfortunately that's not just your experience either ...but then CASA are (apparently) a Safety Authority so one must expect such 'err-on-the-side-of-safety-regardless' behaviour I suppose.
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Old 4th Oct 2022, 03:19
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Just like to thank everyone that has contributed to this thread.
You have all provided me with plenty of advice, which in turn requires me to give some MORE serious thought to whether or not i pursue my class 1 medical.

If i do chase this, I will post the outcome on this thread.

Cheers

B_P
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Old 4th Oct 2022, 04:22
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Originally Posted by Boy_phantom View Post
Just like to thank everyone that has contributed to this thread.
You have all provided me with plenty of advice, which in turn requires me to give some MORE serious thought to whether or not i pursue my class 1 medical.

If i do chase this, I will post the outcome on this thread.

Cheers

B_P
Good luck with it all, hope for the best.
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Old 4th Oct 2022, 06:35
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Originally Posted by Beryllium Erbium View Post
In my experience CASA completely ignore expert (specialist) medical advice and make a biased, non-evidence based decision.

And yes Fathom, this is also actual experience.
Unfortunately, 100% accurate
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