Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The FAA lowers the boom

Five months after my FAA medical renewal exam, and having jumped through all the subsequent hoops, the Federal Aviation Administration sent me a letter today saying my request was denied. My flying days are over.

I can reapply in six months, but there's nothing in the FAA decision that gives me any hope. The FAA surgeon's opinion of not having any underlying medical condition now or in the future extinguishes that. I have Meniere's Disease and although the FAA gave me a medical renewal two years ago knowing that, this time they didn't. There's no cure for Meniere's, you have it. I recently started using a Medtronic device which is said to control symptoms, but from what I gathered from today's letter is that even using the device suggests symptoms and, hence, there's no qualification to fly.

I think I can accept that. I think I can go through with the process of selling N614EF OK, if I can find a buyer. Curiously, the one thing I find most difficult to accept is that me, five or six years from retirement, who's been looking forward to retiring for years, has nothing, really, to look forward to in retirement.

I don't have another recreational passion besides aviation. I guess I need to find one.


11 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear this, Bob. I loved watching your plane come together in your twitter posts. It's a beautiful thing when someone has a hobby that drives their passion and enriches their life in this way. Having watched my parents, now 5 months into retirement, blossom into their new routine and filling time with their separate passions, I truly wish for you a window into something related, or new, that can light that kind of flame for you again.

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear this. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

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  3. Moffitt, here. This sucks.

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  4. Bob, find someone to fly with you and keep at it, never give up. Glenn Brasch

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  5. See, here's the thing with that scenario: Important people get left at home or on the ground, which is contrary to the entire idea of having the plane in the first place. The mission of the plane is gone and the one viable mission that remains isn't appealing to me at all.

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  6. I'm very sorry to hear this, Bob. Although I was pretty late to the party, it's been a lot of fun reading about your building and then getting to fly N614EF. I wish you the best in finding a new home for it.

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  7. Bob, just wanted to touch base on hearing your nasty news. Very sad and yes, it sucks! You've been an important(behind the scenes) part of my building process. You flew 614EF, which is more than I have done to date....(started on 3/17/05 and hoping for mid 2014 first flight). Thanks for sharing, so eloquently, your build and life with all of us. I hope you continue to do so, and good luck in finding a home for 614EF!

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  8. Bob, I don't know you and I'm not a pilot, but I took an introductory flight lesson in Blaine and loved it more than anything else I've ever done. I'm not in great shape and know I would struggle with a class 3 due to high BP, cholesterol, etc. so I've worked hard and lost 40 pounds (now at 185), but my doctor says I'm likely never going to be able to pass a class 3 even if I lose another 20 pounds, so I've given up the dream. Just know that you got to do something that some people only dream of. I wish you the best, and if you need a new hobby, motorcycles are almost as cool as airplanes :)

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  9. I'm sorry to hear this. I can't imagine how crushing this probably feels, having invested so much in building. And then this. Don't give up.. life and love ( even of aviation ) goes on. We're all - most of us - only years away from that last medical.

    One last thought. If you find yourself with $80k to spend on toys... gliders are a lot of fun.

    Sarah



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