Fighting For Pilots' Mental Health

I took some time to review what I had posted recently and noticed that I have been getting a few comments from people who have read my blog. I appreciate any and all comments. I followed the links of those who had posted to find out a little about those who have shown an interest in what I have to say. I was honored to find that I had been quoted by Dr. Shock in his studies about pilots and depression. To have been quoted by a medical professional helps me feel my words have validity. Now if I can only get some people in key positions that can make a change read my words and take some action.

I called the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA) today to see if there are any further updates. However, I was told the same thing that I was a year ago, which is that changes are coming soon.
I contacted the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and spoke with Dan Hubbard. The only responce I got from Mr. Hubbard what that he researched it and was being told by his people that a pilot on antidepressants are grounded no matter what the reason for the use of the medication. I have one response for Mr. Hubbard. “DUH” I had told him going into the conversation that I was grounded for this reason and wanted to know if the NBAA was doing anything to stand up for pilots who are affected by this discriminatory regulation. I wrote Mr. Hubbard back for further comment, but received no response.
The main contact for medical questions at the AOPA is out of town this week attending the fun at Oshkosh, WI. The person I talked to in his stead informed me that there were being some questions asked during Oshkosh that could have additional answers. However, this is the same thing that I was told last year. I see these organizations that represent pilots lobby for many other things, but have heard little as to what they are actually doing to stand up for pilots with depression.
Perhaps I will start my own lobbying group. Let me see what could I call it? Depressed Pilots of America (DPOA)….. How about Pilots With Depression Fight Back (PWDFB)…… Pilots For a Hopeful Tomorrow…….(PFHT)….. Well those are just a couple of ideas. Please feel free to shoot me an email with any ideas you might have.
As I am writing this today I am able to hear aircraft passing overhead. My home is a few miles north of a Class C airport and under the final approach for its major runway. I sometimes go out onto my balcony and watch as aircraft pass overhead. I love the days when it is already dark and there is somewhat of an overcast. I can see the lights of aircraft on final approach. I enjoy watching them break out of the clouds. As I watch I imagine myself at the controls shooting an ILS in instrument conditions at night. I always loved breaking out and seeing the runway lit up in front of me.
Another thing I used to enjoy was taking off during the day in instrument conditions. Climbing up through the clouds and being focused on the instruments. Inside the clouds can be dark, but as the aircraft climbs towards the tops the sun starts shining in. Then suddenly breaking through the tops of the clouds the blue sky with all of its glory welcomes you with an invitation of beauty. One of the most incredible views I remember was breaking out of the clouds just as I was reaching an assigned altitude. I had the aircraft on autopilot, which had captured the altitude. The other pilot just then pointed to something above us. I looked up just in time to see the belly of a 737 which was directly overhead 1,000 feet above us. Ahhhh, gotta love RVSM to get those closer views.
I think each day of the fun that I miss out on while I am not able to fly. To me it is not just the flying, but working with the passengers as well. Flying charter gives a pilot a greater opportunity to interact with passengers. A charter pilot gets to meet some interesting individuals. I always enjoyed if a passenger was private pilot and wanted to come up and look around at the fun toys I had up front in my little jet.
Well, I have probably rambled on enough for today. Remember, if you have any ideas for the name for thy lobbying group for depressed pilots let me know. My email is listed on this blog. Also, I welcome your comments. One more thing, please sign up to follow my blog if you like what I have to say. If I can get enough people to follow, then more will want to follow and ect ect ect.
Keep an eye on the sky!
Prozac Pilot

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