Pilot's tip of the week

Flying With A Medical Condition


Subscriber question:

What requirements are there to legally fly after major surgery or a medical condition? I did not fly for 6 weeks after some neck surgery and then went up with an instructor. Is this sufficient?" - Kurt


“It depends.

Flying with a medical conditionYou are prohibited from acting as pilot-in-command or as a required pilot flight crew member during any medical deficiency that would be disqualifying or may interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft. FAR 61.53 and related paragraphs pertain to all medically disqualifying situations.

Read a great explanation of FAR 61.53 here

For example, if a pilot were to suffer a fractured arm, he or she could not fly while recovering. However, it would be perfectly acceptable for the pilot to return to flying when completely recovered and not suffering any residual functional problems.

Without knowing the details of your neck surgery my best recommendation is to consult with your Aviation Medical Examiner for specific guidance on your situation. Let the Doc make the call! There might be limiting factors that don’t readily appear to us.”

(NEW) VFR Mastery scenario #67 “A Swift Decision” is now available. A pre-takeoff briefing exists to remove hesitation and doubt from split-second emergency decisions after takeoff. The problem is that most real-world departures present several opportunities to go off script. Some of those improvisations could turn an off-field crash into an uneventful runway landing—or a disaster. Watch the Intro video.

Get the Pilot’s Tip of the Week

Sign up here to receive tips like this every week along with videos, quizzes and more.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.