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Type 1 Diabetic looking for best way to obtain class 2 medical for PPL.

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by dmacdonald, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. dmacdonald

    dmacdonald Type 1 · Member

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    Hi All,

    I am a type 1 diabetic from the UK, and am turning 16 soon however I need to get my medical before I can take my first solo flight. I have phoned up an aviation doctor and they have said that, because of my type 1 diabetes, I will not be able to fly the aircraft solo without a qualified pilot in the other seat, as well as having to be in a dual controlled aircraft.

    From what I have seen online, I am somewhat confused by this as I have been told by my flight isntructor that I will be able to get my class 2 license, just not my class 1 if i wanted to go for my commercial license.

    Where's best to start, should I phone up the CAA and see what they have to say? Does anyone know of someone with type 1 diabetes who holds an unrestricted class 2 license?

    Thanks in advance,
    Duncan
     
  2. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    @ScottyD this is probably one for you...
     
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  3. CliveT1

    CliveT1 · Member

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    Hi Duncan,

    Look at the CAA website and their medical section. It details fairly well there what type of restrictions you would face and monitoring requirements. See the screenshot of the CAA diabetes protocol below, if you wanted a class 2, you would have an OSL (operational safety pilot) limitation on your medical.

    In the UK, it is possible for medical certification as an insulin dependent diabetic (up to and including class 1). The single pilot/solo requirements to get qualified is the problem of course and clearly the reason is the possibility of incapacity from a hypo.

    I do know people, with a little persistence and patience, who have succeeded gaining their licence by getting agreement to doing their solo flying with a safety pilot who would have no part in the operation, just merely there in the event of incapacity. The CAA medical guys can provide guidance on this. Obviously you would never be able to fly completely solo I’m afraid.

    I am a type 1 and an airline pilot, however the slight difference being I was diagnosed later in life with considerable experience and I only operate in a multi crew environment where a multi crew only restriction presents me no issue.

    If I can say though, if you have a real passion to fly, don’t be put off, go for it. Yes, there’ll be some bigger hurdles along the way than others will face, but the rewards are more than worth it. You are beating the condition in a unique way and have a unique skill, so go for it!

    upload_2019-11-2_16-15-38.jpeg
     
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  4. dmacdonald

    dmacdonald Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you for your help, disappointing news but onwards and upwards is the best way. Thanks again :)
     
  5. CliveT1

    CliveT1 · Member

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    I know it’s disappointing that you can’t completely solo as such, we do have to accept some limitations in a safety critical business with our condition. But turning that on its head, we are lucky that the UK is visionary enough to allow us to fly, and it really isn’t an issue if carefully controlled and monitored (with standby jelly babies in your flight bag ) nothing else need stop us.

    So pursue your dream. I was told when I was your age I couldn’t fly professionally (due to socio economic perceptions), I kinda refused to believe them...you can fly, go all the way professionally too if you want. It’s only a little bit of insulin and relatively minor limitations to live with...
     
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  6. ScottyD

    ScottyD Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Duncan,

    You can fly solo under a Class 2 medical. I have a Class 1 and fly commercially. I was looking into renewing my licence to fly lighter GA aircraft and the solo aspect on my medical raised some questions. When I was at the CAA for my 6 month check in October, I asked the aeromedical doctor. He said I'd simply have to do a medical flight test with the CFI of the flight school. If you look up the CAA Diabetes protocol, the OSL restriction can be lifted if a medical flight test is carried out. See the note regarding the '*' in the above message.
     
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  7. PeteN11

    PeteN11 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @dmacdonald

    I do wish you well with your future plans but just want to let you know that it is not just flying that have such restrictions.

    I am 58 years old and diagnosed 18 moths ago with Type1. Before diagnosis I was Maritime & Coastguard Agency endorsed Yachtmaster Instructor which enabled me to skipper almost any size of sailing vessel worldwide. As well as teaching sailing I was delivering yachts all around the world.

    Unfortunately due to the medical requirements this has had to stop as I cannot now do solo watch keeping, cannot be any further than 20 miles from a safe Port and have to be back in a Port every day.

    It has been "harsh" but I fully understand the reasoning behind the restrictions and would hate to be unable to do my job of keeping my crew and vessel safe if incapacitated.

    Good Luck.
     
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