7/21 Elk Grove police introduce aerial drones as first responders. How will the program work? - HERE    7/16 FAA Investigates Close Call Between Regional Jets - HERE    7/15 GE Announces New Dual-Mode Hypersonic Ramjet Test Article - HERE    7/15 SpaceX failure grounds Falcon 9 rockets. When will launches resume at Cape Canaveral? - HERE    7/15 Southwest Airlines And Archer Aviation Partner On Electric Air Taxi Service In California - HERE     ICAO Launches Probe Of U.S. Aviation Safety Infrastructure - HERE    7/13 City of Watsonville discusses a three-year lease for Joby Aviation College - HERE     7/13 Joby Stretches The Legs Of Its Hydrogen-Electric Variant To 523 Miles - HERE    7/9 Boeing Plea Deal Brings Defense Contract Scrutiny - HERE    Firefighters use aircraft to battle wildfire outside airport in California - HERE    7/4 American Airlines Eyes Hydrogen-Powered CRJ700s - HERE    7/1 DOJ Tells Boeing It Will Be Charged With Fraud, Crash Victims Respond - HERE     6/30 Lyondell Temporarily Withdraws Unleaded Fuel ASTM Test Specification - Clarification: Lyonell continues to pursue their unleaded fuel testing in the PAFI program, this only relates to their ASTM pursuit where they will review and resubmit. -HERE    6/28 GKN Aerospace to expand California plant -HERE    6/21 Van Nuys Airport tenants lead the way in sustainable aviation - HERE    6/19 Archer Aviation signs landmark deal to operate eVTOL air taxis out of airports around the US - HERE

AMEPilot logo first edition spring 2019The Original AMEPilot with Dr. Hanker (still found below) has unfortunately ended. SCAUWG wants to extend a big. "Thank You" to Dr. Hanker for his invaluable contributions to this page.

Going Forward, this page will be devoted to those articles whose topics concern

Medical Information for Pilots.



          Aviation Medical Examiner Information Links:

Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) portal (GO AME)

AME Seminar Schedule & Registration

AME Online Training Information

AMCS Online Support

Regional Flight Surgeon Contact Info

Aeromedical Safety Brochures

Medical Certification Information

MedXPress Login & Help

AME Minute Playlist

Pilot Minute Playlist

CAMI Library Services

          Sleep Apnea Information:

OSA Protocol

OSA Information Brochure


Let's Begin:

07/15/2024   From NBAA - The FAA recently issued new guidelines indicating that the agency is changing its criteria for evaluating pilots’ mental wellness, giving medical examiners greater autonomy in evaluations. Listen as a panel of mental-wellness experts takes listeners behind the headlines to discuss ways the changes might impact aviators’ readiness for flight. - In this episode of NBAA’s “Flight Plan,” host Rob Finfrock speaks with:

* Dr. Clayton Cowl, chief of the section of transportation medicine for Mayo Clinic
* Mark Larsen, CAM, NBAA director of safety and flight operations
* Matthew McNeil, president, clinical director and director of human performance at LiftAffect
               Listen to the Podcast HERE.

07/13/2024  Latest Pilot Minute Video Covers Weight Loss Medications - Pilots may wonder, “Can I take a weight loss drug and still fly?” The FAA allows multiple medications for weight loss, including some available over the counter and some categories of prescription diabetic drugs. In the latest episode of the Pilot Minute video series, Federal Air surgeon Dr. Susan Northrop explains how weight loss medication can be approved by your AME. If you have concerns about weight management, talk to your AME and visit the links in the video description. Go to to watch this and other Pilot Minute videos.

07/09/2024   Microlearning for Aviation Medical Examiners - VIDEO - FAA - In this microlearning lesson, Dr. Warren Silberman, DO, MPH answers a question posed during a recent Grand Rounds session regarding online access to most recent and historical medical certification policy updates. (Running time: 57 seconds) - View it Here.  - The AME Minute is presented by FAA Aviation Safety's Aerospace Medical Education Division of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, in association with FAA Media Solutions.

6/30/2024   Aeromedical Summit, an ARC, and Grand Rounds - By Susan Northrup, MD, MPH - Federal Air Surgeon - Welcome to the June 2024 Federal Air Surgeon’s Medical Bulletin! A LOT has happened in the last six months. My thanks to each of you for taking this journey with us as we update the medical standards and IT infrastructure. I appreciate your patience as we introduced double authentication for AMEs accessing our medical subsystems. For most people, it was seamless, but not for all. You can expect further enhancements and improvements in our system moving forward.

The Mental Health and Medical Clearance Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). In December 2023, the FAA Administrator announced the formation of the ARC to evaluate the barriers to pilots seeking mental health support and treatment and reporting it to the FAA. The ARC was made up of people from industry, academia, pilot advocacy groups, unions, peer support organizations, flight training organizations, and aerospace medicine mental health experts. Observers and subject matter experts included international partners, representatives from the NTSB and FAA, and other interested parties. In less than four months from inception, the ARC produced a report discussing the barriers and providing 24 recommendations. The Office of Aerospace Medicine did not wait for the final report to begin implementing new ideas and accelerating efforts already in progress. As a result, we approved three new medications (SNRIs) in April and updated mental health policy in May to allow AMEs to issue Certificates to more pilots and air traffic controllers who meet certain criteria. For more information see Item 47. Psychiatric Conditions in the AME Guide.

To that end, we continue to encourage everyone to help spread mental health awareness to the entire aviation community. Our efforts have three main themes. I call them the 3-Es.

  1. Educate all people in the aviation community to reduce stigma and fear regarding FAA processes and policy.
  2. Early Intervention is key through education, peer support networks, outreach, and if required treatment.
  3. Evolve medical standards as new science develops.

One of the outcomes from both our Aeromedical Certification Summit and the ARC was a recommendation to provide AMEs more frequent training and education, particularly when we make major changes in policy. In May, we stood up Grand Rounds -- notifications were sent out through AMCS and emails. Approximately 20% of the AMEs attended. The feedback was uniformly positive. And, we provided one hour of CME. Please understand, these sessions are not to discuss specific cases. The design is to provide current policy updates or items generating a lot of interest or questions. We will accept recommendations for future topics.

The Grand Rounds will be scheduled the last week of each month. Information and the virtual meeting link will be send to AMEs via email. - Finally, thank you for all you do to keep the National Air Space safe.  - Susan

06/30/2024  - Medical Certification Policy Updates - By Judith Frazier, MD, MBA - The Policy and Standards branch continues to focus on helping Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) more easily obtain the information needed to make a medical certification decision. This version highlights policy changes and updates published between November 2023 and May 2024. The full list of changes is hyperlinked in the Archives and Updates section of the AME Guide.

Psychiatry/Behavioral Health - Anxiety, Depression and Related Conditions – introduced new disposition table and a new Decision Tool for the AME. Using this tool, AMEs may be able to issue a combination of up to two (2) behavioral health diagnoses when uncomplicated, treated with a single medication 2 years ago or longer.

If currently in psychotherapy and no medication, may also be issued using the Decision Tool.  Remember to put the specific wording from the dispo table in Block 60 so we know you used the Decision Tool!

Expanded acceptable antidepressant medications (previous known as the SSRI protocol) to include EIGHT (8) medications of various classes (SSRI, SNRI, and NDRI).

 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  – revised the disposition table to allow ongoing psychotherapy. - Need to reach an FAA psychiatrist with a question? Use the new Branch email


Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) – Expanded disposition table added listing out initial certification requirements by class.  Corresponding Protocol page added.

Recertification. Simplified the AASI for CHD requirements for recertification for all classes by removing the annual stress test. If currently on an AASI for CHD/CAD, the RECERTIFICATION evaluation data is based on control of risk factors. Have the treating cardiologist complete the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)/ Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Recertification Status Summary.  Please let your pilots know about this new change as we started to update their authorization letters!

If risk factors are not controlled, a stress test may be required.  If currently on a SI, the CHD/CAD Recertification Status Summary should also be submitted to expedite recertification along with any stress testing requested per the authorization letter.

Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib)/A-Flutter   Simplified Status Summary to use for both Initial and Recertification. Rember to send in the clinic notes showing how the A-Fib/Flutter was diagnosed for INITIAL certification consideration.

Chest Pain/Angina – New disposition table.

ECG/EKG – Clarified a full 12-lead ECG is required.  (1,2, or 6 leads are not acceptable). Must be 25mm/sec at 10 mV.

Hemoglobin A1c replaces a fasting blood sugar on multiple cardiac pages and protocols.

Pacemaker – Status Summary expands recertification based on Estimated Replacement Interval.  Pilots can be issued an annual SI until the month prior to the ERI expiration which is typically 3-4 month of battery life remaining.

Valve repair  and  Valve replacement – simplified. Removed requirements for stress testing for all classes.

Otolaryngology (ENT)

ENT – Section updated. Expanded and updated disposition tables for both Middle Ear and Outer Ear.

Cochlear implant – new disposition table.

Vertigo – New or expanded disposition tables for vertigo conditions such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)Labyrinthitis (Vestibular Neuritis, Viral labyrinthitis, Epidemic Vertigo, Acute Vestibulopathy)Meniere’s DiseasePerilymph Fistula (PLF)Persistent postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD or 3PD) and Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SSCDS).

Other Systems/Miscellaneous

GI – Cholelithiasis.  Updated disposition table.

Medical Certificate Limitations  –  Added reference to limitations by system.

Neurology – Syncope. Expanded disposition table. New Chiari Malformation Disposition Table. Added caffeine use to social history the FAA Specifications for Neurologic Evaluation.

Ophthalmology –  Lattice Degeneration. New disposition table.


Pharmaceuticals – Weight Loss Management Medications added as CACI. New Weight Loss Management Status Report (to use with CACI or SI).  Clarified Loperamide should not be used for acute illness.

Help us improve the AME guide! Send you comments or suggestions to: (This mailbox does not answer case questions.)

  • Dr. Frazier is the Manager of the Policy and Standards Branch in the Office of Aerospace Medicine.

6/28/2024    Drug Abatement Program's Latest News - FAA - The Department of Transportation (DOT) published three notices in the Federal Register on June 21, 2024 that pertain to its final rule that authorized employers to use oral fluid drug testing as an alternative testing methodology to urine drug testing. For more information and a link to the DOT’s notices, please visit If you have any questions, you may contact the DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance at 202-366-3784 or

Remember to visit the FAA’s website at often for updated resources, new or updated FAQs and Q&As, a copy of our latest inspection guide, and other useful materials. Webmaster: Please be aware that at times links to pages sunset and are updated to different locations. Should that become the case, please inform the webmaster at Thank You!

06/28/2024   FAA Removes Check Pilot Medical Requirement - Rule also eliminates FAA regulatory inconsistencies - The FAA has finalized the substantive relief proposed five years ago that removes a requirement for check pilots, check flight engineers, and flight instructors to Part 135 and 121 operations to hold an FAA medical certificate when performing in-flight duties. This move also eliminates Part 135 and 121 regulatory inconsistencies.

“Removing the conflicting medical certificate requirement enables the utilization of pilots who are otherwise qualified to function as check pilots, check flight engineers, and flight instructors in aircraft,” according to the agency. This relief “would increase the number of experienced pilots who would be able to qualify as Part 135 check pilots on aircraft.” Similar clarifying changes were also made to Part 121.  More Here.

06/28/2024   New Pilot Minute Video: How Being Hot and Thirsty Can Affect Flying - In the latest episode of the FAA’s Pilot Minute video series, Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Susan Northrup explains the physiological impacts of dehydration on flying and suggestions for mitigation. See this and past Pilot Minute videos here:

06/27/2024   Microlearning for Aviation Medical Examiners - VIDEO - In this microlearning lesson, Dr. Warren Silberman, DO, MPH explains the importance of reviewing ECG lead placements for common errors before uploading to the FAA. (Running time: 1:20)  View The Video Here



The original AMEPilot Data is found here:

Welcome to AMEPilot, a new feature of SCAUWG.ORG presented by Aviation Medical Examiner - Gregory J. Hanker, M.D. – Dr. Hanker is an orthopedic surgeon practicing at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys.

AMEPilot logo first edition spring 2019

Dr. Hanker’s primary goal as an Aviation Medical Examiner and the author of AMEPilot is to assist the local aviation community in obtaining their medical certification, especially complex cases where FAA special authorization may be necessary.
AMEPilot is a quarterly authored contribution written exclusively for SCAUWG.ORG.

The FIRST EDITION - SPRING - addresses the behind the scenes, rarely known items about how to prepare for and what YOU CAN DO to make your Medical proceed easy and fast!  Underlying medical issues can be addressed successfully.  When properly prepared and with the proper documentation, only a very small percentage of applications for a medical certificate are denied.  Dr. Hanker details how you can mobilize your application for success within the best possible timeframe.  The editions that follow continue to provide you with the important data that will help you facilitate your medical application as well as stay in the best possible health and professionally prepare for safe flight.


  • NEWSWORTHY NOTE From AOPA:  03/29/2021   AME GUIDANCE RELEASED FOR PILOTS WHO HAVE HAD COVID-19 - INFORMATION - From AOPA - "The FAA on March 26 released much-anticipated guidance to aviation medical examiners about how to handle medical certificate applications from pilots and air traffic control specialists who have had confirmed cases of COVID-19." Review it HERE.


Make your selection here:  

EXTRA Feature WINTER Dec. 2023  - AOPA- HERE












Dr. Gregory J Hanker M.D., AME author of AMEPilot

Aviation Medical Examiner Gregory J. Hanker, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon practicing at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys. Tel.  (818) 901-6600

Dr. Hanker is a former USAF transport pilot who flew the C-9A Nightingale on aero- medical evacuation missions in Europe; an Ohio USAF Reservist flying the C-123 Provider while attending medical school;
and currently a general aviation pilot flying out of Van Nuys Airport.

Dr. Hanker’s primary goal as an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) is to assist the local aviation community in obtaining their medical certification, especially complex cases where FAA special authorization may be necessary.