Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
"Someone" I know has a Zenith 750 STOL and since it is LSA qualified, flies with a "driver's license medical." He is contemplating cataract surgery involving multifocal intraocular lens implants. As "someone" understands it, the FAA says that pilots with a FAA third class medical having this surgery are grounded for 90 days to allow their vision to stabilize. The regs seem to be silent, however, as far as the "driver's license medical." My friend's ophthalmologist says that most patients' vision is fine after a couple of weeks max. Therefore, it would seem reasonable that rather than an arbitrary 90-day grounding, it would be OK to resume flying as soon as the doc says one's vision is stable and it's safe to drive and vision is within state driver's license standards.
Since a substantial fraction of our forum member's demographics fortunately and unfortunately coincide with that time of life when many have cataract surgery, perhaps there's someone with a "driver's license medical" who has "been there/done that" could confirm if the above assumption was true?
Mine (CrystaLens) were done in November of 2012. At that time the limitation was 90 days. Limitation is the same for "BasicMed" and "3rd class".
I guess "drivers license" medical would be up to the Dr.
In accordance with 61.53, 61.23 and 61.303, his private physician makes the determination if he can safely fly (not just drive). But he is still required to exercise due diligence and assess his own fitness to fly as well.
If it were me, I'd wait the 90 days. Just to be certain my eyes were healed and able to withstand a "firm" landing. Sight is more important than flight...
As I understand it, the full recovery is much shorter than 90 days! The normal medical advice is that even weight lifting, jogging, cycling, etc. can be resumed after only 2 weeks! The odds of a "hard landing" being more violent to the eye than a tumble off a bicycle or falling flat on your face jogging seems to me to be slim to none. If the "hard landing" was more violent, then you probably really crashed and your eyes may be the least of your worries ... if you survived! Worst case, a displaced implant is removeable and replaceable - not that one would want to go there!
As is typical of the FAA, I suspect the "90 days" is just a number they pulled out of the air - pun intended! LOL!
Seriously, my "friend's" eye doc is a nationally prominent eye surgeon and an extremely active pilot. (He flies all over the country teaching surgery.) I seriously doubt he would release anyone to drive or fly if there was any question of stability of either the lens or vision.
What I'm looking for is information from someone who actually is on a "driver's license medical" and had the polyfocal intraocular lens implants and what they were advised.
Not a doctor, and never had the surgery, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once. Absent anything compelling to the contrary, I would go with your approach. You're legal if the doctor has cleared you to resume flying. If he hasn't mentioned flying specifically, a clearance to resume normal activity would appear to meet the self assessment criteria. The only possible way I could see flying to represent anything different from any other 'normal activity' would be if there's a pressure issue. But I assume a doctor would warn of that if it was the case, and also prohibit you from commercial flights since they typically pressurize the cabin to 8,000 feet. Besides, a 750 STOL isn't exactly known for being a high altitude machine. I think you're okay.
"Stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Once" LOL
Jan had his lenses replaced before cataracts happened. I can't say what the legality is behind it because it was at a time we were making mods to the SD, so flying wasn't really happening all that often. I will tell you - he was perfect and back to normal in 1-2 weeks. I'm not sure if that is of any help. Obviously everything medical can be individual. I am surprised there is a full 90 days on the subject... it seems very excessive. -Alissa
Excessive for sure! However, I "think" that only applies to multifocal implant lenses? and only if you have third class medical or higher.