I have a friend who wants to be a pilot and he has metal implant in his hand. It doesn’t affect his hand movement at all. I know that he will need to check it out with a Civil Aviation medical examiner first before it can certainly be okay. The problem is he is going to have to travel to Canada or USA to study aviation and do his medical. He just wants to know if in general metal implants are a no go in aviation before he travels to start his process of becoming a pilot.

( yes it’s not a question for me it’s really for a friend... I am already a pilot)

  • $\begingroup$ I have never had a doctor pass a metal detector over my body during a flight physical, nor have any of the health history questions asked about metal implants. Just sayin... $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2020 at 4:50
  • $\begingroup$ There are two constants in aviation medicine. #1 Almost anything and everything could cause you to lose or be denied a medical certificate. #2 Almost anything and everything can be waived given enough time, money, and determination. Google Sgt. First Class (Ret.) Dana Bowman, a double amputee commercial helicopter pilot and CFI. $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Aug 27, 2020 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


The simplest way to answer this is to have your friend call an AME in the city they intend on training and ask them if they feel they will pass the required medical for a CPL. AME's are pretty forthcoming about this kind of stuff and they will often give you an idea over the phone if they feel there is a real issue. AME's are also the ONLY people that can definitively answer this question for your friend as they are the only people that can issue medical certificates.

Generally if the desired applicant has no practically limiting factors (in this case full use of their hand) the worst I would foresee needing is a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) which basically means they can show that they can execute the required actions of a pilot.

Under the Musculoskeletal section of the AME guidelines it states:

(b) No other organic, functional, or structural disease, defect, or limitation that the Federal Air Surgeon, based on the case history and appropriate, qualified medical judgment relating to the condition involved finds

(1) Makes the person unable to safely perform the duties or exercise the privileges of the airman certificate applied for or held; or

(2) May reasonably be expected, for the maximum duration of the airman medical certificate applied for or held, to make the person unable to perform those duties or exercise those privileges.

If your friend can perform the duties of a pilot he should be ok.


There are no AME's who post here (as far as we know... maybe one posts incognito, but that's no help either).

The best you're likely to get is, "I know a guy who..." and whatever his result was. Will that match what happens with your friend? Who knows.

The question is different, but the answer is the same as on this thread. (I hate closing "as duplicate" questions that are different than the 'duplicate,' even if the answer is the same.)

For what it's worth, pilots routinely continue to fly after hip replacement, so by itself, having metal inside you isn't remotely a big deal.

Good luck to your friend! (And, I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Better a comment than answer... $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2020 at 4:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Pilots continue to fly after hip replacement" sounds like an answer to me. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2020 at 14:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is even one famous pilot/CFI double amputee. Sgt. First Class (Ret.) Dana Bowman. $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Aug 27, 2020 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ I ment to up vote this one. Oops. My bad. $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2020 at 22:46

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