Medically Disqualifying Conditions Among Aircrew Candidates

Orr Groner*, Yael Frenkel-Nir, Yifat Erlich-Shoham, Gal Shoval, Barak Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Medical selection criteria for Israeli Air Force (IAF) Flight Academy candidates are strict due to the extreme physiological stressors during military flight. In various air forces the causes for medical disqualification of Flight Academy candidates are different, mainly due to differences in the selection process and criteria. In the present study, we examined the medical conditions leading to disqualification of candidates for the IAF Flight Academy. METHODS: We reviewed the medical records of 3281 military Flight Academy candidates who underwent medical evaluation in the IAF Aeromedical Center between June 2016 and March 2018. For each disqualified candidate, we examined the cause or causes for disqualification divided into categories. RESULTS: Out of 3281 Flight Academy candidates, 519 candidates (15.8%) were disqualified. The most prevalent cause for disqualification were ophthalmological conditions, which constituted more than half of the disqualifications (55.0%). Among the ophthalmological conditions, nonsatisfactory visual acuity constituted more than half (57.4%). The following most prevalent causes were asthma (7.9%), allergic rhinitis (7.3%), renal and urinary conditions, and otolaryngologic conditions (5.2% each). DISCUSSION: T he leading cause for disqualification of Flight Academy candidates was ophthalmological conditions, similar to other air forces. Our findings warrant an ongoing review of criteria for disqualification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-389
Number of pages6
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Disqualification
  • Flight academy
  • Medical criteria
  • Medical selection
  • Military pilots


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