Pilot living with type 1 taking action for others


(Johnhm) #1

Hello everyone, my name is John McCarthy, I am a 20 year old college student living in St.  Louis, MO. Last November (2008) when I was 19, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. My major in college is flight operations management, it basically means that I fly airplanes and run corporate flight departments. I am not going into my whole story here. I just had a God given dream, and inspiration from a young man by the name of Nick Jonas. No I have not met him yet, although I would love to becuase he has the stage, and I have the ideas on how we can reach millions of people. The main reason I am making this post is becuase I fly airplanes and when I found out I was diabetic it had immediately voided my medical with the FAA After battling for 8 months with the FAA on getting my medical cleared for me to fly again, I finally won. I am now starting a Diabetic Pilot's Association. I am making a wesbite/forum, for pilot's who are wanting to regain their medicals. This will also be for anyone who is looking for support, inspiration, or a place to be a pressure relief valve. I am currently working on getting a link for the website (which isn't completed yet) for the JDRF to raise money and awareness for a cure!


(system) #2

congratulations and nice work! i also know someone who continued to take private flying lessons after diagnosis. way to be awesome :o)


(Johnhm) #3

thanks, please let them know that I will be putting this together soon.


(Matt R.) #4

Hi john. I'm glad to hear that you got your medical cleared and are now able to fly again. I had taken a few flight lessons in my hometown before i was diagnosed and loved flying, but after my diagnoses I gave it up assuming that flying was no longer an option for me. You said that it took 8 months? how were you able to persuade the people at the FAA?


(Brittany) #5

Wow! That is so awesome! I think it would be so cool to be able to fly an airplane! I've never been on one though. Good luck with the website!


(Anonymous) #6

Congratulations to you John. I think it is wonderful that you stuck with your dream, and now want to help others do the same :)


(Johnhm) #7

well at first, I wasn't so sure that I wanted to fly anymore, but I knew I wouldn't let being Diabetic slow me down. So I made the decision to fight it, fast and hard. I worked with a company called pilot medical solutions. http://www.leftseat.com/ The person I worked with is Amanda. She just told me exactly what I needed, I paid a fee, and she sped up all the paperwork through the FAA. Pilot medical is actually in the same building as the FAA in Oklahoma City. So they just hand deliver all the paperwork.


(Johnhm) #8

Don't be discouraged by the time it took for me to get this, I just had a lot of miscommunications between myself and my endocrinologist. As soon as they recieve all the paperwork, it shouldnt take more than 2 weeks for a reply


(h8cldwx) #9

Hi, John... curious... are you looking to fly commercial or just private?  I am assuming there is a difference in what they look for in a medical.  I have been a flight attendant for about 8 years and have heard comments that if they end up on shots, they can't fly commerical anymore.  Basically part 121.  part 91 might be different too.. corporate.  Just curious and good for you and all you've done.  I'll pass the info along if I run into anyone who may need it!


(Johnhm) #10

Thank you.  Yes there is a difference, a first class medical is basically perfect health which is what I did have when I orignally started flying. The first class is basically needed to get a job as an airline pilot, although the FAA only mandates a second class medical to be compensated (that may be free flight time, or actual money) A second class medical is needed for most flight instructor positions, and some corporate flying. Since the market is so competitive right now, you pretty much need a first class for any type of flying position. Originally I was going to fly corporate through a fractional ownership company. The FAA is not letting anyone on shots acquire a second class or better, because they are scared of something happening to a pilot in flight. As you may know we do have 2 pilots becuase of all the things going on inside the aircraft, not just as a back up. I am looking into this situation, and pushing for a change on the ruling. This is a specific point that I will be advocating. Please pass on the information!


(Johnhm) #11

Hey guys, thank you so much for all of the love and support! The website should be up by the end of this month. I will post the link on here so keep an eye out!


(marige) #12

Keep plugging on.  This is a great cause and is supported.  Anxious to see the website.  This will break through across all spectrums of employment.  You are a pioneer


(Johnhm) #13

Hey everyone here is the Facebook group for the Diabetic Aviation Association! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=134551484816&ref=mf