Tue, Apr 03, 2012
Rachel Carter Had Double Heart Valve Replacement At 19 Years Old
The young girl who at one time was the youngest to fly across the country on her own ... with her father in the right seat ... has been denied the renewal of her pilot certificate due to a double heart valve replacement eight years ago. FARs do not allow persons who have had such surgery to hold pilot certificates.
Rachel Carter was once recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the youngest ... at age 9 ... person to pilot a plane across the country on her own. Her father, a flight instructor accompanied her on the trip. The Guinness organization does not list the record any longer, saying they don't want to encourage flight attempts that might be unsafe.
But Carter, now 27 years old, has been banned from the cockpit by the FAA because of heart surgery she had eight years ago, according to the Ramona (CA) Sentinel. Despite her cardiologist saying she is fine to fly, the pig valve and the cow valve that are keeping her heart beating are the reason the FAA says she is not fit to be a pilot in command.
Carter can't even get a sport pilot license, as she has been denied a PPC by the FAA.
Carter has a degree in aviation management, and is the assistant manager at the Ramona airport where she says she practically grew up. She also works as a flight attendant for a private jet. She has had known heart problems since she was a very young child.
She says she won't dwell on the negative, and will use the upcoming anniversary of her record-setting flight to continue to fight to get her pilot certificate reinstated. "I'm going to do whatever I can to keep flying," she told the paper.
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