I am new to the AOPA and am in the process of trying to get a 3rd class medical. I have been asked by the FAA to have a Neuropsychological evaluation for potential neurocognitive impairment as I have MS. My MS is very mild and I have previously submitted documentation to the FAA indicating that. The evaluation they have requested will cost $5,000 and is not covered by insurance. i am looking for some guidance on how i might be able to avoid such a costly evaluation and wondered if anyone here might be able to give me some advice. My health is excellent and I am not limited by the MS in any way.
I am sorry to tell you that for Private Pilot - Airplane, there is no way to avoid this expensive, complex, and uninsured process once you've been diagnosed with MS.
As I have learned (my brother has it), this is a brutal and unrelenting disease with which the best you can hope for is to delay its progression. In the interest of safety, the FAA sees the necessity to establish to their own satisfaction the current state of the disease and its rate of progression. Only the process described in the above link will satisfy them.
The only other options are those aviation activities which do not require medical certification, which are light sport aircraft, gliders, balloons, and ultralight air vehicles. However, if you have already applied for an FAA medical certificate and been denied, then the light sport option is no longer available to you. In theory, if you applied for a medical certificate and been deferred for additional information (i.e., that neuropsychiatric exam), you can go light sport while the FAA considers your application. The problem is when the FAA sent that letter requesting that exam, they gave you a time limit for submission. If you fail to submit the exam results by that deadline, they will summarily deny, and then light sport is out. If you do submit it, but they find it unsatisfactory and deny, then light sport is at that point no longer allowed.