Type 1 Diabetes - Class 1 licence protocol

Medicine and other human performance related issues.

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Type 1 Diabetes - Class 1 licence protocol

Unread post by Chopper20 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:01 pm

Hi all,

I was a commercial rotor wing pilot. I had my medical, and ultimately career, revoked in December 2015 when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 22. As a fit and healthy pilot, this was a massive blow. With over 1 000 hrs I was at a point where my career was just starting to gain traction.

Not to make this a "wo is me" chat; at the time of my diagnosis SACAA and AvMed did not have a protocol for Type 1 Diabetics fly commercially. Since then the UK, Canada and more recently the US have allowed Type 1 Diabetics to achieve class 1 medicals. This is as the result of changes in medical advancements like Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allowing T1Ds to monitor glucose levels in "live" time.

I am going to reopen the conversation with the CAA and AvMed and I would like to hear if there are in diabetics interested in joining the conversation or bringing me up to speed with any prior conversations they have had with these bodies.
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Re: Type 1 Diabetes - Class 1 licence protocol

Unread post by PeterM787 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:36 pm

Hi there Chopper20,

Thanks for reaching out. I am in the same shoes - fixed wing ATPL license. Diagnosed just two months ago :cry:

I have also noted with great enthusiasm the recent protocol introduced by the FAA to certify pilots with T1D. Mr. Pietro Marsala @marsala90 was the first FAA pilot to obtain a Medical Certificate "First Class" just this month.

It would appear Transport Canada have had protocols in place for a few years and the UKCAA have made protocols for T1D in recent years.

All thanks to access and advances in CGM. At the moment I'm using a Freestyle Libre CGM with my iPhone 8.

I believe there is merit in approaching the SACAA Medical Board to update Schedule 13 of CATS Part 67 to make provision for this. One could perhaps use the approach of blending international best practise of the FAA, TC and UKCAA to create a proposed protocol for review by the SACAA and adaption by the medical experts.

Private Message me your cell phone number.

All the best,

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Re: Type 1 Diabetes - Class 1 licence protocol

Unread post by Twinjock » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:36 pm

Interesting thread. I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic many years ago, but I have managed to hold on to my class 1 medical in the country where I'm employed. All that is required is a Hba1c check every 3 months.

Unfortunately the SACAA was not that progressive, and it took 16 months to renew my SA ATP. Many emails and frustration eventually lead to a successful renewal.

I'm not sure what the Type 1 protocols are in SA, but I get a feeling you have an uphill battle to convince SACAA as to the merits.

Good luck - would like to hear the eventual outcome.
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