Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

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RedAndWhiteBaron
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Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by RedAndWhiteBaron » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:03 am

I got my initial class 1 medical done last week - doc said I should be good to go. He's mildly concerned that I smoke a half pack a day (yeah, I know) and have been for 20 years, and I was honest with my alcohol intake - 10 to 12 a week (essentially, a glass of wine with dinner, sometimes two, and two or three nightcaps a week). It's apparently close to TC's limits.

(Hey now, to be fair to me, I have no other vices, except perhaps coffee)

Other than that he seemed to have no concerns - no hernia, my blood pressure is amazing for a man my age (125/75 even with whitecoat syndrome), and my hearing and vision all checked out. I have a gym membership and get strenuous exercise 3 to 4 times a week (not that TC would know that). Basically he said "you should have no problems, but wait until you hear back from TC".

So the question is - do folks think it's worth risking starting flight training before that medical comes back? He said 6 weeks most likely, but I think TC will take more time than that, and I don't want to sink thousands into training if it turns out I can't fly. But like I said, although Doc didn't foresee any issues, he did recommend waiting until I hear back - but that could take six months currently (if everything I'm reading isn't all bullshit), and my plan is to be flying professionally before summer of 2021. Bear in mind, I'm looking at dropping serious coin on a serious career change.

So far I've signed up for a ground school course, which isn't a huge risk financially, and I figure I can do that while I'm waiting for the medical to come back.

So there it is - Doc isn't anticipating any issues, but I smoke a half pack a day, and I was honest with my 10-12 drinks a week. Everything else looks peachy. Is it worth the risk of starting flight training now, bearing in mind that I'm shooting for a CPL?

P.S. if anyone in/around Brampton is looking for a CAME, Dr. Philip Yu is great. He's in Brampton Mall, 160 Main Street South I think. He's probably going to retire in 5 or 10 years, but he's great. He's also a Professional Engineer (saw that on his brag wall).
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by Pilotdaddy » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:35 am

Hi RaWB,

I was in a similar situation as you months back, although I had a very good reason to be doubtful so I was very careful going "all in" while waiting. What I did was do flight lessons once a month while waiting on my medical. I also enrolled in online ground school while doing so, which is peanuts compared to what you'll spend in the actual training. You can get started now on your ROC, PSTAR and PPAER tests while you wait. That way, if and when you do get your all clear, you can concentrate on flight training.

I'd even say that becuase I did that, some of the concepts brought upon on the actual flight training is no longer something that I was hearing about for the first time, but rather a refinement of what I already learned in ground school. For example, I had no idea what a GFA was and was puzzled the first time I had to look at it, but after ground school, it all made sense.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by Beefitarian » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:24 am

That's a tough one. Part of me thinks, "Go, take lessons and have some fun."

I am almost leaning toward, "Don't get addicted until you have a medical and know it won't be taken away."

For me it is tough to quit flying. I really should, I just can't seem to do it enough to stay current.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by geneticistx » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:51 pm

A couple question.... Do you have your PPL already? Doesn't sound like it. If you are just starting your training why not go for a class 3 medical to start with.

Would you be okay starting your dual training, as you don't really need your medical until you solo. Getting to the solo would depend on how many hours a week/month you intend to fly (I guess that would depend on your class of medical, too). Maybe I'm missing something. I don't think you need a class 1 medical until you are going to do CPL flight test. Im just a PPL, so I defer to those whom know mountains and mountains more than me.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by GoinVertical » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:06 pm

You picked a shitty medical examiner for your first.

Worst case they make you do a stress test because of the smoking.

My bet is you'll be fine. Start training.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by RedAndWhiteBaron » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:58 pm

GoinVertical wrote:You picked a shitty medical examiner for your first.
Sorry - how so?
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by RedAndWhiteBaron » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:09 am

geneticistx wrote:A couple question.... Do you have your PPL already? Doesn't sound like it. If you are just starting your training why not go for a class 3 medical to start with.

Would you be okay starting your dual training, as you don't really need your medical until you solo. Getting to the solo would depend on how many hours a week/month you intend to fly (I guess that would depend on your class of medical, too). Maybe I'm missing something. I don't think you need a class 1 medical until you are going to do CPL flight test. Im just a PPL, so I defer to those whom know mountains and mountains more than me.
No, no PPL yet. I'm just a glider pilot who doesn't do goarounds :smt040 And no point doing a class 3, given that I've already done the class 1 exam.

No, I don't need the medical until I solo, but given what I've learned from the familiarisation flights, I'll probably solo in short order (I already have flight training as a glider pilot). I intend to train full time, between ground school and flight training.

Given that people with with health issues more serious than mine have passed a class 1, I'm thinking perhaps do one flight a week until I hear back?
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by GoinVertical » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:53 am

RedAndWhiteBaron wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:58 pm
GoinVertical wrote:You picked a shitty medical examiner for your first.
Sorry - how so?
Because most I've been to would just tell you to try to quit smoking, stamp the form, and you'd have your medical.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by Pilotdaddy » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:04 am

GoinVertical wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:53 am
RedAndWhiteBaron wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:58 pm
GoinVertical wrote:You picked a shitty medical examiner for your first.
Sorry - how so?
Because most I've been to would just tell you to try to quit smoking, stamp the form, and you'd have your medical.
That would be for renewals only, no? For initial, I believe it still needs to go to the regional person for approval, which is what makes it take so long.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by stephen6ix » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:08 am

always go for a class 1 medical because you need it for your commercial so why not get it now instead of later after investing so much money and finding out you cant hold a class 1.
Two weeks ago the examiner who did my multi ride id have to wait a long time to get my sticker because TC is backlogged and those waiting for medicals have to wait approximately 8 months I'd call TC and ask directly. Good luck in your training!
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by 172_Captain » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:24 am

RedAndWhiteBaron wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:03 am
I don't want to sink thousands into training if it turns out I can't fly.
Isn’t that your answer there? If your goal is to be a commercial pilot by summer 2021, I personally don’t see 6 weeks making much of a difference. Go for it or don’t, there’s no right answer. But personally I think deep down you already have your answer and you’re looking for someone to tell you otherwise.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by trey kule » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:43 pm

Does TC really have a limit on alcohol? I did always wonder about the “ units” question on medicals.

At first blush you sound way to honest to be a pilot. And I think it may have been the first time your medical examiner had ever seen a pilot declare he drank and smoked so much.
Seriously, if your bp, hearing, eyesight, and ecg are all good, I would not expect an issue.

As to your question, I think only you can make that decision.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by RedAndWhiteBaron » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:52 pm

trey kule wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:43 pm
At first blush you sound way to honest to be a pilot.
Yeah, honest to a fault. Too honest to be a fisherman. I'm sure lots of pilots before me have drank and smoked far more than I, and lied about it (and also that many have not). Really I'm just wondering what other people have dealt with in regards to TC with this.

It's hard not to worry about it when this grand plan for my future hangs on the opinion of a random bureaucrat.
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Re: Waiting on my medical from TC - to start or not to start flight training?

Post by AirFrame » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:35 am

RedAndWhiteBaron wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:52 pm
It's hard not to worry about it when this grand plan for my future hangs on the opinion of a random bureaucrat.
Seems like a lot of your grand plan for the future hangs on you alone. Stop smoking, cut back on the drinking, with the other things all as good as they are no medical examiner will ever have a problem with you. And you'll likely live a longer and happier life.
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