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Medical Troubles – How Choosing The Right AME Can Make The Difference


Just like with flying an aircraft, flying through an airman medical exam is usually pretty routine. However, when the warning indicators come on, its important to 1. not panic – remain calm, 2. identify the problem and then 3. take positive action to employ the appropriate solution. Unlike flying my aircraft, I run into rough situations with pilots almost every day! Emergencies, according to the pilot (I won’t be able to fly and earn a living) occur with great regularity. A change from a previous EKG , for instance, can set off alarms. In a recent case, the FAA requested a current EKG on an pilot with a cardiac Special Issuance. I noticed that the EKG had changed in a non-specific way from the previous one performed earlier in the year. I gave the pilot a “heads up” that the EKG would be flagged. The pilot was asymptomatic. Rather than just sending the requested EKG, and sending the pilot on his way – we were “proactive” and sent the old and new and identified the change. An FAA physician was called and reviewed the two EKG’s. Upon review, he verbally “pulled” the pilots SI pending a full CV workup. In this case the pilot was “along for the ride”. Fortunately, we were able to advocate for the airman and push the file for an immediate cardiac review. His SI was reinstated within 1 day! Disaster avoided. Remain calm, identify the problem, employ the solution.


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