Polite discussion about EASA, the CAA, the ANO and the delights of aviation regulation.
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By Jackolantern
Good evening all,

I've always wanted to fly (ever since I can remember!) and about 12 months ago I decided that I was in a position to put the money aside and potentially book some lessons.

Now, I don't exactly have a straightforward medical background. In simple terms, a single trauma many years ago (fixed now) has led to me having 12% ectopic beats (Though I didn't know this until latter tests... Read on!). I keep fit, I'm in decent shape and not overweight.

I knew I may struggle to get a licence with my heart issue, but I've never physically had any issues so I thought it was sensible to see an AME and do my medical before I booked any lessons and set my heart on learning to fly. I booked the medical, passed everything apart from my ECG. It raised issues with ectopic beats (the first I'd ever heard of these, but knew it must be related to my medical history). I was advised to see a Cardiologist and have further assessment as per the protocol. I had various tests done including exercise test, echo, ECG etc. Resulted in me finding that I had ectopic beats averaging 12%. I paid for further cardiac CT scans to help explain the reasons for the ectopic beats. As expected, it relates to the old trauma.

Long story short, I got my licence - but with a limitation so I can't fly alone. That, to me, is useless I believe. This was granted in December 2018 and I was gutted but understood. I decided to pursue other hobbies but I haven't been able to get away from wanting to fly and get my licence.

I decided to post here and use the experience of the community to help me make my next step. I don't know any pilots and I haven't received any advice previously.

I have a few opportunities I believe;

1. I am actively considering pursuing more tests to prove I am capable of a licence. This is expensive and may yield nothing.
2. I may consider the use of Beta Blockers to reduce the ectopic beats and get under the 7.5% threshold. Again, this is not straightforward.
3. Look at getting a LAPL, but not sure I can now do this either?
4. Just go up in the skies with a pilot and enjoy pleasure flights when I can.

I am responsible and reasonable enough to understand I just might not be fit to fly. In this case I would accept the outcome - as disappointing as it would be. The rules are there for the safety of everyone and I respect that.

Has anybody had a similar experience (maybe not with the same back story!)? Looking for some inspiration so I can work out what I should do next.

Many thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forums.

Your case clearly is complex and as such nobody will be able to sensibly comment on what would be the medical way forward; only you after discussion with your ANE and cardiologist can see if there is any room to manoeuvre in that respect.

The secondary review and appeal route may be useful if appropriate.

The same applies whether going for a LAPL or PMD (self declaration) or microlight licence are viable options.

In the meantime keep flying with another pilot - although the ability to fly alone is wonderful, but many of us fly with flying mates as a matter of choice.

Good luck in making your decision.
kanga, Jackolantern liked this