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Career pilot with Crohn's disease?

Discussion in 'Ask A Flight Surgeon' started by lifesbeachy, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. lifesbeachy

    lifesbeachy Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone, my question is exactly as stated in the subject line.

    Can I have a career as a pilot if I have Crohn's disease?

    Diagnosed: February 2016

    Surgical history: 2 bowel resections earlier this year.

    Medications: none right now, currently in remission. Was previously on prednisone but tapered off/ended in July 2016.

    Is it worth it for me to pursue a career as a pilot or am I in for a constant uphill battle?

    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. Hacker15e

    Hacker15e Virtue Signaling Intersectional Nonbinary Otherkin

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    I have a buddy I flew F-15Es with who has Crohn's. He is now flying at a major airline, so it can be done.
     
  3. Lawman

    Lawman Well-Known Member

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    I've got two pilots (and a family history that keeps me interested) who have had it.

    One lost his medical, the other is still flying. Seems the level of severity and the medication specifically are the driving factor on it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. pilotmec

    pilotmec Well-Known Member

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    Read the book "The Makers Diet"
    Author had Crohns and changed his diet and had good results to my understanding
     
  5. Cherokee_Cruiser

    Cherokee_Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    Flying Magazine's column "Taking Wing" author Sam Weigel had an article about his Crohn's disease in the August 2016 issue. He's flown for Horizon, Compass, and now Delta.

    Here's the article:

    http://www.flyingmag.com/taking-wing-grounded
     
  6. lifesbeachy

    lifesbeachy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Somewhat encouraging. Just wondering what struggles it may produce in the future and how subjective the special issuance process may be.

    If one were to be flying for a particular company but were then grounded due to the severity of their condition, or were required to undergo surgical intervention, do the airlines typically provide some type of insurance or disability coverage for this while waiting on recertification?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Cherokee_Cruiser

    Cherokee_Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    Once you get to a major, most of them have good contractual provisions for short and long term disability.
     
  8. BobDDuck

    BobDDuck Gone whale watching...

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    Long Term Disability insurance is normally some percentage of your pay based on your longevity at the company. It also normally has a time limit (in years) on it. But it's different at every property. Where I'm at it comes out of a VEBA trust so as long as there is money in the VEBA it will pay out until the pilot is able to get their medical back. It pays a percentage of your pay depending on how many years you've been there. I think it starts at 10% after 1 year and then goes up 5% for every year of longevity, capping at 50% or 60% of your pay. It also doesn't kick in until several months after you go on medical leave. The intent is to cover a pilot until they are able to get their medical back again, but regrettably it sometimes gets used as a dumping ground for pilots who probably won't ever be coming back for various reasons but are still hanging on the seniority list.
     
  9. lifesbeachy

    lifesbeachy Well-Known Member

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    I seriously appreciate all of these replies. Seems I can't win with this medical stuff haha. I seriously hope all of this is worth it to pursue this career.
     
  10. ayavner

    ayavner New Member

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    THATs also subjective... Best of luck on this, and it may also pay to ask around locally for a good AME that will work with you and not add needless hoops to the already bureaucratic nightmare... don't just go to whoever is closest, and if you have any questions on the form, ask before you tick that box!!
     
  11. SKYROCK

    SKYROCK F RAN CO FILE B RAN IFF HI RAM AB IFF

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    I could maintain remission with occasional prednisone and sulfasalazine. It can be done. Be careful with the prednisone though...too much can cause steroid psychosis.
     
  12. lifesbeachy

    lifesbeachy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I've got my appointments set to go and get this process started of getting my medical back. Wish me luck or pray or anything you may believe haha, I really want to get this done so I can move forward again.
     

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