How to Prevent a FAA Medical Denial?

  • ON Nov 14, 2020
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

How to prevent a FAA medical denial is a question frequently asked of The Ison Law Firm by airmen. What is the most critical step to preventing a FAA medical denial? Preparation. Time and time again, airmen will complete their Form 8500-8, get examined by their Aviation Medical Examiner (“AME”), pay their fee to the AME, and then learn that their medical history requires “deferral” to and evaluation by the FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine in Oklahoma City. Then ensues the FAA’s evaluation of the airman’s eligibility for medical certification, including requests for records and, at times, a requirement to undergo testing, evaluation, monitoring, or even a requirement for the airman to provide a written statement. After months and months of waiting for a decision from the FAA, the airman is unfortunately denied medical certification. Was there a way to prevent the denial?

Airmen have a better (albeit not guaranteed) chance of avoiding FAA medical denial, if they are carefully prepared before their shadow darkens the AME’s door. Doing so puts the airman in the driver’s seat, or rather (hopefully), the left seat of an airplane. How so? Well, evaluation of the medical history and understanding what the FAA’s concerns are likely to be, can allow the airman to prepare necessary documentation ahead of time (rather than working on the FAA’s timetable and supposed needs) – including preparing appropriate statements from your doctors and, to an appropriate extent, developing an argument as to your eligibility for the FAA early in the process.

By doing so, the airman can then provide a compelling argument to the FAA for eligibility at the same time as the Form 8500-8/application is submitted. Instead of the FAA telling the airman what medical records they want to review, the airman can potentially make the argument for medical eligibility before the FAA feels the need to ask for anything. This way will cutdown on unnecessary “back and forth” with the FAA and potentially reduce the time it takes to get through the process (sometimes it takes the FAA up to two months before an airman even receives a letter after a deferred application). Learn more about the FAA’s deferral process, here:

Ultimately, if an airman is prepared with a compelling argument as to eligibility at the time of application, the airman stands a much better chance of preventing a FAA medical denial. The airman’s ability to control the argument, rather than trying to keep up with the FAA’s requests can make the difference between being certified or not.

If you are wondering how to prevent a FAA medical denial, call an aviation attorney at The Ison Law Firm before you schedule an appointment with your AME. Through carefully preparing your case with an attorney, you may very well have a good shot at preventing a FAA medical denial. Look for more information from The Ison Law Firm, here: 

Three Steps to Avoid a FAA Medical Denial

  • ON Jan 18, 2020
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

There are three steps to avoid a FAA medical denial, whether you’ve been flying for years or this is your first FAA medical application. As you probably already know, a pilot’s license is only as good as the medical certificate that you hold. If you’re an ATP, student pilot, or just interested in getting into aviation, the common denominator is the need for a valid FAA medical certificate. Beyond that, the FAA’s new “BasicMed” certificate requires that your most recent medical application not have been denied. So, the impact of a FAA medical denial is becoming more consequential in the airman certification process, overall.


Before you submit an application to the FAA for medical certification, you hold all the power. Once you submit your application or medical records to the FAA, the FAA takes charge. Anything and everything that is submitted will be scrutinized by the FAA medical officers and considered in a light most favorable to aviation safety. This does not mean you should fabricate, falsify, or redact any information or documents. Instead, you should review all records and documentation prior to submission to the FAA in order to avoid a FAA medical denial. Doing so, gives you an opportunity to consider obtaining potential second opinions, more complete medical records, and developing additional evidence to support your eligibility in light of your condition. Addressing problematic conditions or records prior to submission to the FAA can work to alleviate the FAA’s concerns and help avoid a FAA medical denial.


Not all medical conditions are treated the same by the FAA. Some medical conditions require simple document review by the FAA, which can ultimately result in issuance of a FAA medical certificate. However, Part 67, the body of regulations which identify criteria for medical certification, identifies certain disqualifying medical conditions. If you have an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of one of these “specifically disqualifying” conditions, as outlined in Part 67, you will always end up with a FAA medical denial. Nevertheless, even if you received a FAA medical denial due to one of these disqualifying conditions, you may be eligible for a special issuance authorization (essentially a waiver). The various conditions requiring special issuance authorization require medical evidence specific to that condition to establish eligibility for issuance. Knowing what conditions require special issuance authorization can prevent a FAA medical denial and ultimately preserve your opportunity to fly under Sport Pilot rules.


Do not expect your aviation medical examiner or “AME” to necessarily understand how the FAA will treat your medical condition. Clinically, you may appear eligible for medical certification, which might support your AME trying to issue your medical certificate. However, certain conditions require the FAA to review your medical records, whether your AME believes you are eligible, or not. Ultimately, even if your AME issues you a medical certificate, the FAA can still deny your FAA medical application.

As you can see, there are ways to avoid a FAA medical denial. These tips can be broken down into more nuanced procedures and have been refined by the aviation attorney at The Ison Law Firm. If you are facing a FAA denial, help is only a phone call away: 1-855-FAA-1215.

Check out more, here:

The information contained in this web-site is intended for the education and benefit of those visiting this site. The information should not be relied upon as advice to help you with your specific issue. Each case is unique and must be analyzed by an attorney licensed to practice in your area with respect to the particular facts and applicable current law before any advice can be given.


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