Obtaining a Special Issuance of an FAA Medical with Sleep Apnea
- Dan Boedigheimer
My AME said the easiest thing to do was issue me a new medical. He’s awesome and was able to call OKC with my data and get a Special Issuance within a day. The FAA is a lot more accepting of sleep apnea as long as it’s treated. It’s the waiting for all the appointments that seemed to take forever.
Because flying is my livelihood, I was pretty pushy with the sleep study folks on the rapidness of the appointments. If I had to do it over again, I’d be even more aggressive. Since I knew I had apnea I should have scheduled my Titration Study (the second overnight visit) when I scheduled the first overnight study. That would have saved me about a week. I also would have pushed them harder to order my CPAP machine as fast as possible during the first visit. Another week saved.
There are some AME’s who think you need this torture test called the MWT (Maintenance of Wakefulness Test) after you show compliance with your device. You don’t need this test and it hasn’t been done by my sleep clinic in more than 10 years. If your AME says you need the test after you show compliance, what you do at that point is up to you, but I asked him to call OKC and they said no. Look up the MWT on the Internet...you don’t want to go there.
I hate my CPAP machine. I have to carry it in my bag, and find a place to plug it in on every overnight. But I know it’s saving my life in the long run.