So this is a screen shot taken 12/15/2022 of my son's Application status.
Are the Icons to the left of Final Review supposed to be clickable? We're trying to see how long things have been percolating.
A little back story: I'm a retired 727/A300 captain so I have an idea how all this is supposed to work. My 19 year old son is a sophomore at Averett University where he is on the golf team and is trying to pursue a degree in aviation. His medical was deferred on May of 2021 because he has Cystic Fibrosis.
In June of 2022 he finally received a request for a second set of all the medical items we included the first time. We supposed they wanted a year to year comparison of all the tests and evaluations. We sent the new information in July of 2022 and have been waiting since then. Meanwhile my son is falling behind his classmates in the aviation classes and has become discouraged, contemplating changing his major. I've been successful so far in keeping him engaged, but it is getting harder and harder with a teenager.
It appears other folks are getting more information out of the Status page, so we were wondering if it is due to having started the process before the system when live.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
According to the folks at Pilot Medical Solutions, there are only 113 people with SI's for CF – all at the Third Class level (zero Second/First). At the risk of being a wet blanket, that suggests to me that it's not likely your son will be able to pursue a career as a professional pilot, so continuing in a collegiate Pro Pilot program might be a waste of time and money. Have you been working with a specialist in difficult aeromedical certifications (like the folks linked above or Dr. Bruce Chien) through this process? Are they optimistic about his chances?
Thanks for the response. I appreciate the effort and the sincere words.
I've seen that chart. Those numbers are 3 years old, a year before a new wonder drug came out. For a number of reasons, we think he has a good chance of getting a medical, not the least of which is that he is healthier than 92% of normal kids his age, according to the hospital. And for a kid with lung disease, he has the lung function 134% of the same population.
Also, the following was reposted on another back in September. I haven't been able to find the author though.
Hello all you fellow aviators. Some of you know my story but the majority of you do not so if you dont mind I would like to tell you some amazing news.
I was born with a chronic terminal illness called “Cystic Fibrosis” (CF for short) that left untreated will eventually kill a human being. Ever since I was a little boy, my dream has always been to be an airline pilot. I started working towards that dream in junior high school when I started flight training at the age of 14 years old.
When I turned 16 years old, I went to a local AME to receive my 3rd class medical certificate and student pilot certificate (back in the day the AME would issue your student pilot certificate unlike today) but due to my CF condition, my medical was deferred to the FAA in Oklahoma City for further review. After many grueling months knowing my dream was in the hands of the Bureaucratic Mothership, I finally got that fateful denial letter in the mail. I was crushed and devastated. I didnt know what to do or who to turn to. But i knew one thing… I didnt care who told me no, not even the Government… i WAS going to be an airline pilot one day and no one was going to stop me.
For the next decade to come, I did what many people literally called me crazy and insane for doing… I set out on a path to prove the FAA I can safely fly and receive a medical certificate. Looking back on it it was probably the most insane thing anyone could do but I had the preservance and determination to tell the FAA, “BRING IT ON!”
The cycle was the same… apply for medical, get deferred, get denied, appeal denial, and appeal medical case moved up to the federal air surgeon at FAA Headquarters in Washington DC because its such a rare unique case that Oklahoma City wanted nothing to do with it… and then get that tragic denial letter from FAA Headquarters Federal Air Surgeon… medical certificate request DENIED. 13 years of this on going battle.
After battle after battle, hoop after hoop, rejection after rejection, I almost started to think… is it worth it? Is this an impossible task? What if everyone is right? What if I never can get a medical? But everytime that temptation came to my head I said NO! Get behind me Satan! I will become a Pilot and no one will stop me from doing so!
13 years after that first day i stepped foot in an AME’s office on my 16th birthday for a third class medical certificate but was deferred to the FAA… it finally happened… in November of 2021 I received my first ever First Class Medical Certificate.. in fact, I am the first person in FAA history with Cystic Fibrosis to receive a First Class Medical Certificate. 13 years of heartache and turmoil and not knowing if I would ever accomplish that medical battle victory… imagine that! (I know some of you will say I was crazy for preserving and saying no to all the nay-sayers and being more than determined and thats Ok if you think so but I hope for those who are dealing with medical battles with the FAA of their own that my story gives you a glimer of hope that anything is possible with God and if you want it bad enough it will come!
Fast forward to today:
I started flying again in April of this year but I lost my original logbook from high school so I had to start over from scratch.
I i have been flying regularly once a week since then and i was signed off by my CFI when I hit 40hours and had all requirements met for my private pilot checkride.
As of today, September 5th, 2022 years after the birth of our Lord, it was determined by a DPE that I satisfactorily met the standards within the private pilot ACS and I am officially now a certificated private pilot!
I know that I still have a long way to go to fulfill my dream of becoming the first ever airline pilot with Cystic Fibrosis but God willing, if I was able to clear medical after along and arduous 13 year battle with the FAA, I am more than determined that as long as I stay healthy I WILL become the first ever airline pilot with Cystic Fibrosis in history and no one will stop me from fulfilling that mission!
I hope this helps those struggling with their own medical battles with the FAA to never give up, never surrender, and continue fight the good fight!
That story only ends with a Third Class. Getting a Third Class is one thing. Getting the First Class necessary to fly for the airlines is something else, and apparently has never happened. Spending $100K and four years on a collegiate Pro Pilot program with no apparent chance to fly for the airlines seems ill-advised to me. I would suggest that your son think long and hard about going that route unless he can obtain assurance that a First Class is achievable. You might also use your contacts at your former employer to see if they'd hire someone with CF even if they did get a First Class.
When I was running the aviation program at the university, I had to have that talk with several prospective students who for one reason or another (criminal, medical, substance abuse, etc., in their past) would never get hired by an airline. It was never easy, and their resistance to my guidance was often stiff. University rules prohibited me from denying them admission to the program, but on advice from the university counsel, in order to protect us from future litigation, I told them I could not in good conscience let them continue without a written, signed acknowledgement of the facts I presented – which none ever did.