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Psychotropic Drugs And Piloting  
User currently offlineDr.DTW From United States of America, joined May 2000, 290 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5542 times:

Hello everyone:

I'm a psychiatrist in Michigan, and I'm giving a brief presentation tomorrow on the the FAA's position regarding the use of psychotropic (psychiatric) drugs in prospective pilots.

Its my understanding the FAA essentially does not permit the use of any psychoactive medications, including anti-depressants. If an applicant lists such medications on his application, this is enough reason for denial.

I'm hoping that some of you can shed additional light on this topic, and possibly share some stories, that may be of interest and help. Your personal viewpoints will be appreciated.

Also, other than Egypt Air 990, have there been any other instances of pilot suicide-homicide??

Thanks!!!
Dr.DTW

72 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5518 times:

Your a doctor and are giving a presentation tomorrow and haven't done any research yet? Your now going to use information gleamed on A-Net in a medical presentation? I am sorry but I have to raise my bullshit flag on this one, but I will play along anyway because I have nothing better to do.


A Russian Air Force engineer stole the aircraft at the Kubinka AFB to commit suicide. The pilot kept circling the city at 300-2000 feet altitude. The aircraft crashed when there was no more fuel left.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19940713-0


The accident was said to have been caused by the captain disconnecting the autopilot and directing the aircraft to the ground deliberately.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19940821-1


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3152 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5494 times:

There was the kid in Miami a couple years ago that was on one of the psychotropic drugs that are on the banned list, but I can't recall which one. It was pretty highly publisized because he put a cessna in an office building and the cops found letters pledging his alegiance to Bin Ladin.

As an instructor, I'm seeing more and more kids start training and have to stop when it comes time to get their medical because they were placed on ridalin. Getting a medical when this happens usually takes a battery of psychological tests, a lengthy "dry" time off the drug and over a year of beaurocratic red tape.



DMI
User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5482 times:

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 2):
There was the kid in Miami a couple years ago that was on one of the psychotropic drugs that are on the banned list, but I can't recall which one. It was pretty highly publisized because he put a cessna in an office building and the cops found letters pledging his alegiance to Bin Ladin.

I think this happened in Tampa. IIRC, the pilot was an A.net member.

Edit: The pilot was 15-year-old Charles Bishop, and he flew a Cessna into the Bank of America Plaza in Tampa. He was on Accutane for acne, which can cause psychological side effects.

Tampa Crash Pilot "a Bin Laden Supporter" (by Jiml1126 Jan 6 2002 in Civil Aviation)
Cessna Skyscraper Crash - Pilot Was Member (by Administrator Jan 8 2002 in Civil Aviation)
Tampa Cessna Crash Caused By Acne Medication? (by B744 Apr 16 2002 in Civil Aviation)

[Edited 2007-05-30 02:24:24]

User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5450 times:
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Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 2):
. It was pretty highly publisized because he put a cessna in an office building and the cops found letters pledging his alegiance to Bin Ladin.

That guy was looney to begin with. Drugs like Prozac and Ritilin don't make you want to do things like that, they keep people from doing things like that! What if the person was just off his rocker and never took even so much as an asprin. Would that make it ok?

I was denied a medical because I had been on Prozac at one point in my life and I was honest about it. I should have lied and I would not have been denied. I was no longer taking the drug at the time of the exam. The FAA still made me wait. I was given prozac because when I stopped smoking I started to suffer from anxiety attacks. I just kept taking it because I never felt I had a reason to stop. I have been off of it for a long while now and I have not had any anxiety attacks and I don't want to smoke either.

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 2):
when it comes time to get their medical because they were placed on ridalin

The FAA really needs to lighten up some of its medication restrictions. Today there are more and more pills treating us that years ago there was no treatment for. Also many conditions today that once required being hospitalized (I am not talking about a mental hospital) can be treated with a variety of medications.

Example. Lets say some guy is suffering from depression. A doctor gives said person an antidepressant. The person feels fantastic and his life is all roses. If he tried to get a medical he would be denied. However if that same person never got treatment for his depression and able to pass his physical he could get his medical no problem. I would think the FAA would rather have a person in the cockpit who is being medicated and is ok than the mystery of wondering if that person is going without treatment just so they can continue to fly.

The FAA should not have a blanket policy on any drug and they should talk with the prescribing doctor as to what is really going. Many drugs today are used for things that are "off label" My ground school instructor told me many stories about pilots he knows ( some of whom are ATPs) who avoid going to the doctor at all costs and will only go under an assumed name and pay cash. When pilots have to do things like that to keep flying something needs to be done at the FAA.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5445 times:
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Quoting OB1504 (Reply 3):
He was on Accutane for acne, which can cause psychological side effects.

That stuff can be harsh. I had a friend in college who suffered liver damage from Accutane.

Nothing like clearing up a bad case of zits by killing your liver and wrecking your mind.  Yeah sure



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineSkibum9 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1229 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5427 times:

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 2):
As an instructor, I'm seeing more and more kids start training and have to stop when it comes time to get their medical because they were placed on ridalin. Getting a medical when this happens usually takes a battery of psychological tests, a lengthy "dry" time off the drug and over a year of beaurocratic red tape.

It is not only kids, but adults who have been or are being treated for conditions such as ADD or ADHD. I know of one person who is in his thirties who has been dry for some time now and who has completed the tests and he still is not getting a straight answer from the FAA. Everyone he talks to gives him a different response. One even told him that being diagnosed with an issue like ADD is reason enough to deny a medical, which 1) is not in the F.A.R.s, and 2) there are different degrees of ADD, ranging from very mild to severe. The FARs only state that the medicine is banned, not the condition. The FAA needs to not only get its act together so that everyone conforms and can exlain the policy to applicants, but also should re-evaluate the policy. Pilots in other countries can use some of the drugs and they have been deemed safe by organizations like the JAA.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):
The FAA should not have a blanket policy on any drug and they should talk with the prescribing doctor as to what is really going. Many drugs today are used for things that are "off label" My ground school instructor told me many stories about pilots he knows ( some of whom are ATPs) who avoid going to the doctor at all costs and will only go under an assumed name and pay cash. When pilots have to do things like that to keep flying something needs to be done at the FAA.

There are also many pilots that go to one doctor to get their prescriptions filled and then lie to their AME to continue flying. I have heard many stories of pilots flying around on Ridilin or Concerta, even airline guy.



Tailwinds!!!
User currently offlineDr.DTW From United States of America, joined May 2000, 290 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5407 times:

Airfoilsguy:

I can assure you I'm not B-S'ing you. I'm a senior psychiatry resident at the University of Michigan Medical Center, in Ann Arbor. We're doing informal "talks" tomorrow in a group format. This is not a primary research paper, which is what you may have been thinking. The purpose of the discussion is just to stimulate ideas, and introduce people to the issue, not to formally present data or give recommendations.

Thanks for your info, nonetheless.

Ed.


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5393 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 5):
Nothing like clearing up a bad case of zits by killing your liver and wrecking your mind.

For some its the only thing that will help, and Acne can cause severe emotional strain on people. Its not just an aesthetics thing, it affects self esteem.


User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1000 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5375 times:

I have to agree with airfoilsguy on this one. Be that as it may, and professional courtesy being what it is, any and all psychotropic meds are forbidden. Period. They are semi-automatic disqualifications, and all warrent deferral to Ok City for approval for medical certification. This includes Zyban/bupropion for smoking cessation, SSRIs, anti psychotics, etc.

You can fly with a psychiatric HISTORY, BUT, and it is one very big but, the FAA wants total and complete psychiatric records (not the easiest things to obtain), regarding the patient's history, family history, diagnosis, drugs used in the past, side effects, benefits, prognosis. Psychiatric history includes ADD or ADHD and any history of Ritalin/stratera usage. The use of SSRIs to treat PMS is equally disqualifying. The use of trazadone for sleep is disqualifying. I think you get the point. In order to be considered for possible issuance of a medical certificate, the FAA will want complete, current psychological testing of the patient. And it doesn't matter if the problem is fully resolved on a diagnosis made 10 years earlier, they will want the old records, plus a full current evaluation.

At that point they may issue a medical certificate.



"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineGraphic From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5360 times:

How can pilots not be depressed when the official FAA policy is "we're not happy until you're not happy?"

User currently offlinePu752 From Uruguay, joined Mar 2005, 584 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5346 times:

Quoting Dr.DTW (Thread starter):
Also, other than Egypt Air 990, have there been any other instances of pilot suicide-homicide??

Silk Air 185 was similar to Egypt Air 990, but we may never know exactly what happend, if pilot suicide or mechanical problems.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8764 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5330 times:

This is kind of funny since the US military issues amphetamines like Ritalin to its longhaul pilots to help them fly SAFER.

User currently offlineYHMYYZspotter From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5285 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):
Example. Lets say some guy is suffering from depression. A doctor gives said person an antidepressant. The person feels fantastic and his life is all roses. If he tried to get a medical he would be denied. However if that same person never got treatment for his depression and able to pass his physical he could get his medical no problem. I would think the FAA would rather have a person in the cockpit who is being medicated and is ok than the mystery of wondering if that person is going without treatment just so they can continue to fly.

I've always wondered this too. If you loved to fly and wanted to learn but knew you may be feeling depressed and need treatment. Why go get treatment if it is going to ruin your dream of flying.

Doesnt make sense. Wouldnt they want depressed pilots flying that ARE getting treatments rather than pilots flying around all depressed just because they can pass the medical? Is there nothing controlling this?


User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5280 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 12):
This is kind of funny since the US military issues amphetamines like Ritalin to its longhaul pilots to help them fly SAFER.

So can pilots (or anyone else) issued Go Pills ever get medicals after they leave the military? If the FAA is consistent with their logic, the answer should be no.

Go Pills (not Ritalin, but, until recently, dextroamphetamine, IIRC) are only approved to treat ADHD & narcolepsy. Therefore anyone issued these pills must have one of those conditions, and will have them forever, and therefore must be denied a medical. This is the FAA's logic with civilians, so shouldn't it apply to ex-military people too? (please note that this post may contain trace amounts of sarcasm)


User currently offlineN710PS From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5276 times:

I think the point that the poster is trying to get across is what is YOUR stance on these things. I am sure that he has plenty of reserch and data to back up his presentation.


There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
User currently offlineN710PS From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5272 times:

And also to add to this being a pilot. I agree with the F.A.A. ban FOR THE MOST PARTbecause there are too many chemichal diffrences and variables to deal with from person to person on medications. Medications are for chem imbalance issues and because of this the reaction and such will be variable from person to person. It is smarter to just make a blanket rule and than based on research and development grandfather certain ones in.

[Edited 2007-05-30 06:04:09]


There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5242 times:

Quoting N710PS (Reply 16):
And also to add to this being a pilot. I agree with the F.A.A. ban FOR THE MOST PARTbecause there are too many chemichal diffrences and variables to deal with from person to person on medications. Medications are for chemichal imbalance issues and because of this the reaction and such will be variable from person to person. It is smarter to just make a blanket rule and than based on research and development grandfather certain ones in.

The problem with this point of view is that it encourages pilots to let psychological conditions go untreated, as seeking treatment would mean loss of a career (not just a job). This is the reality. I'd rather have a pilot be treated and be able to regain his/her medical after an independent evaluation.

Why does the FAA allow ethanol use? Unlike many banned drugs, ethanol is a purely recreational drug. It has lots of negative psychological & physical effects that last longer than the drug itself. There have been many incidents of pilots operating and attempting to operate aircraft while impaired by alcohol. Therefore, shouldn't ethanol use of any kind be grounds for denial of a medical? To me this makes about as much sense as a blanket rule that's not based on research.

How about we screen all pilots for a family history of mental illness, regardless of whether or not they have taken any psychotropic drugs? A family history would be grounds for denial of a medical. To me this makes more sense than denial of a medical for use of Prozac for PMS a decade ago.

I'm not necessarily advocating the two above ideas, just pointing out that they make a lot of sense in comparison to the FAA's current policy.


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5242 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):
Drugs like Prozac and Ritilin don't make you want to do things like that, they keep people from doing things like that!

That's not entirely true. There are "black box" labels on SSRIs like Prozac - especially with regards to teens. It can make them homicidal or suicidal. Also, if there is a co-morbid diagnosis of bipolar, SSRIs (and SNRIs) can induce mania as well. Manic pilots would not be pleasant at all. Ritalin stimulates dopamine (low dopamine and norepinephrine are suspected causes of ADD/ADHD). Elevated dopamine in the thinking areas of the brain is what causes schizophrenia - including auditory and visual halucinations. So, in theory, if someone was on Ritalin (et al) and didn't need to be (which often happens) it can cause psychotic symptoms.

While I do agree that the FAA rule is a little draconian, I just wanted to clear up your generalized misrepresentation.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):
What if the person was just off his rocker and never took even so much as an asprin. Would that make it ok?

Amen to that. "We would rather you be nuts than medicated."  sarcastic 

Quoting N710PS (Reply 16):
And also to add to this being a pilot. I agree with the F.A.A. ban FOR THE MOST PARTbecause there are too many chemichal diffrences and variables to deal with from person to person on medications. Medications are for chemichal imbalance issues and because of this the reaction and such will be variable from person to person.

By that same token, there are too many chemical differences between people that CAUSE the illness, etc. in the first place... even without medications. Are we to come up with a standard, narrow profile of what your neurotransmitter levels (which we can't directly measure anyway) are before you pass you medical?

The bottom line is, can you operate a freakin' plane without dizziness, blackouts, halucinations, somnolence, etc.?



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5221 times:

Quoting N710PS (Reply 16):
And also to add to this being a pilot. I agree with the F.A.A. ban FOR THE MOST PARTbecause there are too many chemichal diffrences and variables to deal with from person to person on medications. Medications are for chem imbalance issues and because of this the reaction and such will be variable from person to person.

I totally agree with you saying medicines are different from person to person, in psychiatry especially.

However, how many depressed pilots are flying around not doing anything about it because they know they'll have to stop flying if they take some Zoloft? As a passenger, which would you prefer? Would you like a depressed pilot taking a Zoloft, a safe drug, and having periodic appointments with a psychiatrist or would you rather have some depressed and anxious guy flying around with no treatment?

These mental health stigmas run too deep in society and getting rid of archaic policies like this one prevent people from getting the care they need and embarrass them when they do.


User currently offlineN186BD From United States of America, joined May 2007, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5168 times:

First of all, this is my first anutters.net post - I have been following this site for ages and it's been a great help!

As someone who is heavily medicated, I am worried about applying to be a pilot. Physically, I am in great health (vision, hearing, etc). Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with moderate depression my first year of high school. Since then I've taken a plethora of medication, and eventually found out that the depression was caused by anxiety. To me, feeling “compressed” and pressured during many everyday situations (as in eating in a cafeteria) was completely normal. However, as I’ve talked to my doctor, I have noticed a huge difference.

Not to get too personal, but atm I'm on 40mg of Prozac once daily and 1.5 mg of Ativan/Temesta (generic: Lorazepam) three times daily.

To tell you the truth, I link all of this anxiety to being at college/university. I feel that if I were in an environment such as pilot training, I would not need these medicines, as I would be concentrating on such a specific goal.
What I’m trying to say… would it be possible for me to be eligible for flight training? I have been talking to my doctors about the meds, and they do not think I will need them by the time I finish uni/ share the same opinions as me (that I will not need the medication after university).

I would love any feedback that you may have; all these years have made me pretty thick skinned.

regards,
wmb



"To be a sober, plodding, industrious youth was to incur the ridicule of the mass of the students." - James Buchanan
User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2661 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5090 times:

Holy Crap!

After reading this thread......I have decided to NEVER fly again. Seriously...thanks for the warning.

Words of advise (to all), quit going to doctors and quit doing all these drugs. Kids never need prozac....it's Dista Products (manufacturer) the doctors that get rich prescribing it who need prozac. Parents - quit sacrificing your kids on the alter of chemicals, be a respectable and honourable parent for God's sake. People get depressed sometimes, and they get acne sometimes.....nothing worth jumping off a building over, or killing your liver or brain. Make a change in your lives and for heaven's sake....wash your face.

 scared 


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5085 times:
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Quoting Luisca (Reply 8):
For some its the only thing that will help, and Acne can cause severe emotional strain on people. Its not just an aesthetics thing, it affects self esteem.

I am not saying acne isn't a problem I had problems with it too, when I was a teen. However it is a shame that someone who tried to treat their acne came out with something worse.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5054 times:

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 21):
Words of advise (to all), quit going to doctors and quit doing all these drugs. Kids never need prozac...

The problem is that when parents/doctors decide that their kids need any psychotropic drug, they are essentially denying their child the chance to become a pilot, forever. (That's the impression I get).

That being said, I highly disagree with your post, but that's for another thread/board. BTW: Prozac is now off patent and available as a generic.

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 21):

After reading this thread......I have decided to NEVER fly again. Seriously...thanks for the warning.

What's the logic behind that decision?


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5004 times:

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 21):
Words of advise (to all), quit going to doctors and quit doing all these drugs. Kids never need prozac

Diabetics never need insulin...
People with a faulty thyroid never need synthetic thyroid hormones...
Hemophiliacs never need blood clotting agents...
Schizophrenics never need anti-psychotics...
Parkinson's patients never need L-DOPA...

Do you realize that your statement is completely ridiculous? While it IS over diagnosed/prescribed, ADD is, indeed, a measurable malfunction in the bodies creation or absorption of a chemical... just like the above problems - and many others. It is exactly this sort if advise advice that causes incidents like the VaTech massacre to happen. Obviously, someone needed a little tweaking to his malfunctioning chemicals, eh?



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
25 Falstaff : Sometimes getting rid of acne isn't all that easy. I am 31 and still have zits on occasion. My dad is 59 and still has zit trouble now and then. Lots
26 LTBEWR : Perhaps their needs to be a through review of current rules to better balance the use or banning of these and other drugs with certain side affects an
27 Analog : I agree. I am very much opposed to the FAA's policy on meds for two reasons: 1. It's arbitrary and unfair to potential pilots. People will argue that
28 Adopim88 : I'm just curious, are these kids or adults that are currently on the medication or those that were on it in the past?
29 YHMYYZspotter : That is insulting to anyone who had acne growing up including me. Wash your face? Do you think it is that easy? If you do you are a bloody IDIOT. I a
30 Post contains images Jycarlisle : Doesn't everyone else in the world? Being that I work with developmentally disabled individuals (to use the politically correct terminology even thou
31 Falstaff : What scares me is the pilots who have issues and are going untreated. That could be the same a bomb waiting to go off. A friend of mine was given Zol
32 GeorgiaAME : Nothing could be further from the truth. It is neither arbitrary, unfair, nor does it encourage denial. A history of depression does not exclude you
33 Analog : So what happens to an airline pilot who goes to a doc, gets a diagnosis of depression, gets a 'script for an SSRI? Does he/she continue to get paid?
34 YHMYYZspotter : So you tell me what my options are then? I am done flying for life? You telling me out of the thousands of pilots out there NONE have mental disorder
35 InnocuousFox : And there are probably a bunch of people you deal with every day that are on various meds... and you have no freakin' clue that they are! THAT is the
36 YHMYYZspotter : Of course I agree with you 100%, think about all the people you trust your lives with daily. Your doctor, surgeon, taxi driver, limo driver, bus/coac
37 Flyboy1108 : The FAA and their rules on medications and mental illness I think do have some value, but like has been said numerous times in this thread just becaus
38 Analog : If I recall correctly, if you take Adderall or another stimulant, the FAA takes that as proof that you have narcolepsy (I think an AME told me this a
39 GeorgiaAME : He is grounded. Where he stands on disability is up to his employer, not the FAA. Those are the rules. Let me give you a small story, true story. Abo
40 Post contains images Analog : Your story confirms what I've been saying; in this case the rules were contrary to safety. I have to give you a for making the tough choice to not re
41 Cdsstlcop : Hey guys, just thought I'd share my personal experience, I am a pharmacist in St Louis, and we have numerous pilots who use my pharmacy. Just like wit
42 Analog : Why am I not surprised? Thanks, and welcome!
43 N353SK : Say a pilot is diagnosed with depression and treated for it. Does he have a reasonable chance of passing a physical sometime down the road? If so, how
44 Analog : I'd love to know the answer. Plus, what are the airlines' policies (typically) regarding disability pay, insurance, rehiring, & seniority in this typ
45 Post contains images UAL777 : I will give my opinion. I am 6 classes from finished my BS degree and I will be taking my instrument check-ride next month. I will say this: Pilot tr
46 Flybyguy : Apparently, even though there are depressed pilots not seeking treatment, planes are not making suicidal spirals to the ground on a regular basis, so
47 Aa757first : Seems rational. Could you please back that up with some scientific studies? I definitely agree with you saying you have to follow them now, but when
48 Analog : I realize you're being sarcastic, but why not then allow pilots to seek treatment? Another oddity is the FAA's odd interpretation of meds. You take d
49 N353SK : Any airline pilot needs to have a first class medical certificate, which must be renewed (IE flight physical) every six months.
50 UAL777 : Yes they are. What if they run out of pills on a layover or just stop taking them. Further, a surgeon cannot drive a hospital into the ground. In the
51 Graphic : No but one surgeon could kill someone alot faster by himself than one pilot fighting against another. Remember how the rest of the flight crew regain
52 Analog : Then they are fools incapable of planning who would never have been able to make it as a commercial pilot, or they're no better off than they would b
53 Graphic : Ever heard of a waiver? You can get a class 1 medical even while on all kinds of prescription drugs, for example insulin, and get a waiver from the F
54 UAL777 : Yes after they had been bludgened with a sledgehammer, required multiple surguries, and never flew again.
55 Pilotaydin : it's fun reading some of what you FAA only experienced guys write on here about medical requirements.....i gurantee you, if you came for a JAA medical
56 Post contains links ABpositive : I don't want to speculate, but after reading some of the evidence it really makes you wonder how it could be anything but suicide. Experts still divi
57 Chase : Neither of these was a commercial pilot, but: 1) On one of the St. Louis TV channels (KSDK?) the sports and weather guys were known as "Bob and Mike".
58 Aa757first : There's your answer right there. If that's your argument, you have to ban pilots on any medication treating chronic illness. I'd much, much rather ha
59 Falstaff : It was Bob Richards and it was not the station's helicopter he crashed. It was his own private plane and crashed near KSUS. He was loaded with alcoho
60 Analog : Again, only half sarcastically: given the low BAC limits for pilots, why are pilots even allowed to drink alcohol at all? Alcohol use certainly seems
61 Post contains images Graphic : I'm not entirely certain that our pilotless technology is quite ready for that just yet
62 Falstaff : Alcohol is too far ingrained in the world's culture for that to ever happen. Drinking some drinks on your day off and then flying a few days later wo
63 SkyexRamper : Well heck, there is a too young to be flying for midwest "kid" 717 FO that went off his medication and resorted to heavy drinking cause he was depress
64 Falstaff : How did he get his medical? If the FAA gave me a hard time about formerly taking prozac and I was getting a class 3 medical I would assume they would
65 Falstaff : How did that go? What did you talk about?
66 N353SK : Wasn't he riding in the jumpseat anyways? Totally off topic, but is there any open container law regarding aircraft?
67 SkyexRamper : Yes. He was put on meds after his last medical...probably never told anyone but the company.
68 Aa757first : How do they check for psychiatric medications? If they don't do objective testing, there's no way to tell someone is on Prozac. Its almost like we're
69 SkyexRamper : And when the stop taking them with all those people in back, who knows what is going to happen if and when they snap. Guess we should let pilots fly
70 Aa757first : What about when they don't take them at all?
71 Post contains images Falstaff : What is really shocking is that the company has disregarded FAA rules. If they are ignoring this rule, what others are being ignored. Prozac is gener
72 Graphic : Nah, then all the corporate guys couldn't drink in the back of their Learjet. Probably just "no drinky for the guy at the wheel."
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