Different Rules for OSA SI on Class 2 vs Class 3?
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Joined 02/02/2020 - 2 Posts
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Several years ago I received an SI Class 2 medical after being diagnosed with sleep apnea. (Otherwise completely healthy) The medical came with instructions saying it was not valid after one year and that I would need to submit CPAP logs and a sleep doc's statement at each subsequent medical exam.

The following year (and several years since) I requested only a Class 3 medical, which continued to be only valid for a single year.

Other friends who have the same condition and initially requested via a Class 3 medical seem to have a 2 year validity and only have to mail in the sleep doc & CPAP info to the FAA on the years where there is no exam. Is there a path for me to request something similar? I'd rather avoid having to do a complete new FAA exam annually if it's not necessary.
3 Replies
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Joined 09/19/2019 - 39 Posts
I’m thinking you’re asking if the frequency requirement to see the AME changes with sleep apnea, and it is the same as if you didn’t have the special issuance added documentary requirement....after 40, two years (3rd class)  is all that is needed to see the AME. He can or FAA can reissue you REMOTELY on the off years. Even an AME who is not your AME can do the off year. It is designed that way.

Sadly,  there are two reasons an AME might be requiring you to come in, on the off year:
1. He has no mechanism to charge you for “desk work” only, in the off year, or
2. your PCP letters do not satisfy FAA’s requirements and he is providing supplemental testimony. Honestly I have not encountered a single APRN who even understands the “no  physical exam findings of right heart failure” required statement and I dare say NONE have read nor understood AASMs sentinel 2009 statement as to how to define sleep apnea, and are largely ignorant (and FAA holds them to this standard).
3. Or you use the AME to renew because the FAA document examiner ranks (the nondocs who do most of these), have had turnover and a FAA throughput is poor to terrible (wait, wait, wait).

The single simplest way to explain an SI is you have two sets of requirements to comply with:
4. The frequency of flight physical for you age and class, and
5. the list of annual documentary requirements for the condition on special.

 
Votes
Joined 02/02/2020 - 2 Posts
Thank you! Sounds like just doing the in-person medical annually is the easier approach. I don't mind sending documents in to the FAA in advance, but I assume if they have follow-up questions I could then get stuck in a paperwork loop indefinitely. 
Votes
Joined 09/19/2019 - 39 Posts
Yeah, the problem is "you can't unring a bell".  Hopefully your AME has the same attitude.