Medical certificate: 3rd class: Should I continue?


New Member
Hi All,
Just a quick question on medical certificates for 3rd class - I'm hoping to start my PPL helicopter training, but I've been hanging out for my medical to pass before starting.
On the original application, I reported 3 instances of head trauma in my life - once a result of swinging on a stool as a child and falling off and hitting a heavy object, once from crashing my race car in to a wall about 10 years ago (only brief if I was unconscious, but gave myself temporary BPPV), and once last year at my sisters wedding where I had drunk _a lot_ across the day's festivities and accidentally collided with solid column on the dance floor - knocking myself unconscious.

The FAA required details of the head trauma from last year, which I provided, but that also showed up a BAC of 216mg (no kidding... definitely drunk), and rightly they are now asking for further details.
Reading around it seems that the FAA might consider this evidence of alcohol abuse? I would say that my drinking habits are not problematic, and I have a healthy respect for drinking and driving - I grew up in the UK where this is not socially acceptable, but I guess how do I prove that?

The FAA have asked for a psychiatric and neurophysiological evaluation - my question is should I persist with spending money on this? If the FAA will continue to hold up my medical, then I'll probably go learn something else instead.

Cloud Surfer

All Roads lead to Trantor
Try to see whether a first-class is obtainable, first of all. Continue onwards if yes, make sure to spare your cranium further trauma, nor become inebriated. If you could get a first-class, the career is worth it.


Well-Known Member
Your best bet in situations like this is to consult with a Senior AME who is not the one who did your medical, but who knows the ropes and can guide you in the process. Many people with a medical issue have gotten caught up in a revolving door of being asked for information or to do tests, submitting the information and test results, , being asked for more information or tests and, by the time getting those done, found the earlier results and timed out and needed to be redone. That's something a consulting AME can help you avoid. They will also be able to answer your question of whether you will be able to get a certificate at all or a higher level one.

Bruce Chien at is known for helping pilots through the quagmire, although you might be able to find someone local in your area as well.
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