Welcome to Flying with Diabetes USA

Flying with Diabetes USA (FWDUSA) is a group for pilots with diabetes that provides a venue for them to collaborate, fly together, share their distinct experiences, and support others with diabetes who want to fly.

This year's annual get together and Diabetes Flight will take place on the west coast between Friday, September 16th and Sunday, September 18th 2016. The flight will begin in Camarillo, California (KCMA), and will fly south along the coast to southern Los Angeles before heading to Las Vegas, Nevada (KHND) and then returning to Camarillo.

Until 1997, piloting by individuals with insulin treated diabetes was completely prohibited throughout the world due to concerns of the dangers of low blood sugar during flight. With the advances in easy to use, portable blood sugar monitoring devices, and an intensive pre and in-flight blood sugar monitoring regimen, in 1997 pilots with well controlled insulin treated diabetes were allowed by the FAA to obtain medical certificates for private piloting.

Several other countries also allow piloting by individuals with tightly controlled insulin treated diabetes including Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. Canada has even allowed some pilots with insulin treated diabetes to fly commercially when using a rigorous blood sugar monitoring procedure, and the United Kingdom has recently updated its regulations to allow this as well.

Recent News: In July 2016, third class medical reform was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Under these regulations, which must take full effect by July 2017, there should be substantial easing on the ongoing regulatory requirements for non-commercial flying with diabetes and other medical conditions. Please stay tuned for additional information that affects flying with diabetes.

FWDUSA has several goals:

  • To provide a venue for pilots with diabetes to collaborate and share their distinct experience.
  • To raise diabetes awareness and funds for JDRF to support diabetes research.
  • To set an example for people with diabetes that tight management of their condition using a sensible management plan and modern diabetes management tools can allow them to safely do things they may have been told or assumed were out of reach, and to encourage them to tightly manage their diabetes.
  • To demonstrate that pilots with diabetes can safely fly challenging flights using the FAA’s protocol for private flying with insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • To illustrate how advances in diabetes monitoring and management make management of diabetes in flight a straightforward, safe, and simple part of flight operations.

Diabetes need not limit the scope of people’s dreams and ambitions.