11 years ago(when I was 8 years old) I had an unprovoked seizure. I have been off meds for almost 10 years now. I never had another seizure. Since that night all EEG’s I had done have detected 0 seizure activity and I had an MRI done that showed nothing wrong with my brain. Is it possible for me to get my 1st class medical or special issuance?

  • $\begingroup$ Were you diagnosed with epilepsy? If not, was a cause of the seizure determined? If a cause was determined, and it was not epilepsy, you may not even need an SI. faa.gov/faq/… $\endgroup$
    – Someone
    Jun 25, 2023 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ Nope no epilepsy at all. A cause wasn’t 100% determined that’s the issue here. The doctors were pretty certain that it was caused by heat exhaustion and dehydration because it was the middle of July $\endgroup$
    – ryguy_004
    Jun 25, 2023 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ The FAA might consider that a "satisfactory explanation of cause"; I don't know what their standard for a "satisfactory" explanation is. If they don't consider that satisfactory, a special issuance may still be an option. $\endgroup$
    – Someone
    Jun 25, 2023 at 23:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Find an AME who routinely deals with tricky medical issues and schedule a consultation. DO NOT schedule your exam. He/she can tell you with more confidence what your chances are. $\endgroup$
    – RetiredATC
    Jun 25, 2023 at 23:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I’ve been emailing an ame back and forth and he thinks I should be able to get it. I have an exam with him soon. $\endgroup$
    – ryguy_004
    Jun 26, 2023 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


Nobody can say without knowing your full medical history, but it is possible if this is your only medical issue.

The FAA's guidance to AMEs on seizures can be found here. From what you've said, you would fit into row B or C (it doesn't really matter which, since they want the same information either way). The documents the FAA will want to see are listed in that document. Make sure you have all of them, and at the correct time periods before your AME exam is scheduled.

Seizures are also mentioned in this Federal Air Surgeon's Medical Bulletin. It mentions that they have a 3rd class medical certificate to an airman with a history of six seizures, so a single seizure is definitely not a deal-breaker.

You are very likely to be deferred, and to may need to undergo additional monitoring for a period of time. But if all the required tests look good you should be able to get a special issuance.

  • $\begingroup$ I am very very healthy. I have 0 other medical conditions. I take no medication. I’m pretty sure the ame has to defer me. I don’t believe he can issue me with the seizure. Do you think I can only get a special issuance medical? $\endgroup$
    – ryguy_004
    Jun 26, 2023 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @ryguy_004 I am also pretty sure that the AME has to defer you. The FAA can decide to issue you a normal medical or an SI. Note that an SI is just as good as a normal medical, you just need to send the FAA some medical information every once in a while to keep them happy. The FAA may decide you no longer need an SI and issue you a normal medical at some point in the future. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Jun 26, 2023 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yea I really hope I can get either. I honestly don’t know what my chances are. $\endgroup$
    – ryguy_004
    Jun 26, 2023 at 23:53

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