Pilots and Asthma

From being an air cadet at fourteen I was well aware a history of asthma prevents you from any tri-servce flying. However, as I didn't want to get to twenty-five and wonder 'what if?' I started my Pilot Officer (Aircrew) application about two years ago, from the earliest opportunity I declared my asthma, at my initial medical I declared it and had to do a one month peak flow diary and then return yet was graded fully fit.

Long story short I passed every stage of selection and was boarded for the January intake at BRNC this year. I had sent all my pre-joining paperwork, personal essay etc and three weeks from reporting at BRNC for day one I received a phone call telling me I wasn't fit to fly, however I could perform any other role I like.

Owing to some address confusion I've only received my confirmation today as to why I'm not fit and of course it's because I had infantile asthma.

My question is what's the point in letting me progress all the way through the process, at a cost to the RN and filling up a spot that an applicant without a history of asthma could well have had, when from day one we've known that I am only applying for the role of pilot and I have a history (albeit one which could well have been misdiagnosed and be proven wrong with a gas challenge test) of asthma?


War Hero
From being an air cadet at fourteen I was well aware a history of asthma prevents you from any tri-servce flying.
The AFCO medical examination is a generic medical for entry into the Naval Service.

The Initial Aviation Medical Examination is, as the name implies, undertaken by aircrew applicants after they pass FATs. Most individuals, particularly Air Cadets are fully aware from the outset that a history of asthma is a no-go for aircrew, but many continue to apply regardless in the hope they slip through. Despite knowing the rules, people continually cry foul.

The sequence of FATs & IAME comes under the auspices of RAF Cranwell who are the lead service on Aviation Medicine. There was a time when the IAME was undertaken at the same time as FATs but doubtless there will be a reason why this subsequently changed.

Since you knew from the outset it was a no-go, it is difficult to understand how the you thought it would be different for you.

Nevertheless, best of luck in your quest.

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