The Big C: Medical certification of prostate or breast cancer

October 10, 2012

Warren Silberman

Warren Silberman

  • Former Manager, FAA Aerospace Medical Certification 
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine 
  • Expert in Aerospace/Preventive Medicine 
  • Pilot since 1986

The Big C we all know refers to cancer, and it is bad enough having to deal with that “C.” The last thing one needs after a cancer diagnosis is having to deal with another “C”—medical certification. This is an area where having AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services watching your back is hugely helpful.

First, take note that your aviation medical examiner cannot grant you a special issuance (equivalent to a “waiver”). You must obtain the proper medical records, evaluations, and tests and bring those to your AME. The doctor must obtain verbal or written permission from the FAA’s Aerospace Medical Certification department to grant the special issuance.

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