Pilots with Diabetes
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USA – Private Flying

The USA offers pilots with diabetes full private pilot privileges. Applicants must pass a Class 3 medical test and supply additional medical records and tests to demonstrate good overall diabetes control. The Class 3 medical is valid only within the US borders and holders must obtain three-monthly check ups to confirm continued good diabetes control and submit on an annual basis to validate the Class 3 Medical.

The Class 3 medical certificate allows solo flying for training and full privileges of a Private Pilot Certificate. To ensure safe flight, the pilot must adhere to pre-flight and in-flight blood sugar testing requirements that include a test half an hour prior to flying, each hour into a flight, and half an hour prior to landing. A pilot with Type 1 Diabetes must keep sugar levels within 100 – 300 mg/dl (5.5 – 16.6 mmol//l). If above 300 pilots must land and bring sugars back within range before flying again. If below 100, pilots must ingest 20 g of readily absorbable carbohydrate (e.g. sweet drink/soda, candy).

Please note that it is understood that the USA currently does allows one commercial use of an IDDM Class 3 Medical when used for the purpose of a Certified Flight Instructor.

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