Fighting For Pilots' Mental Health

I am have not heard much about what is happening with the FAA ruling since it was announced back in April. I had one person write claiming that he took the tests, but that these tests were extremely difficult and not meant to be passed by an average person. I have some people comment that they feel this is a “trap” by the FAA to lure out pilots on medications and destroy their careers. Could this be true or could those people be suffering from more than depression? Paranoid personality disorder perhaps?

I have been so wrapped up in my career change lately and worrying about paying the bills that I have neglected anything having to do with the Prozac Pilot. I did take the time to look at the statistics on my blog tonight. I thought due to my inactivity of posting that the traffic would be down to zero. However, I am actually getting several hits.

I noticed that many hits are coming from areas where the United States has military personnel. I am guessing that these hits are coming from members of the United States Military. If so, thank you to all of the military readers. I thank you not just for reading my blog, but for the unselfish sacrifices you make for your country. I have always admired those who serve our country.

I am hoping that if I am more regular in posting that people will return to this site and the hits will grow in numbers. I would like to hear comments from any view point. I am sure that people would like to hear from anyone who has gone through the process and has received the special issuance on their medical certificate.

It is good to see that there are some companies that are starting to hire again after such a long period of furloughs. XOJet is one of those companies. I have read some great things about XO that shows this company is growing and does not have plans to slow down. What a great thing to see in this economic downturn. American Eagle and a few other regional carriers have also started hiring. I occasionally go to to see what jobs are being posted. For the longest time most of the jobs were in Asia. Now there are more jobs popping up in the U.S. Perhaps we really are coming out of the recession.

Please keep the comments coming. I enjoy reading what people think. I just would ask that there be no vulgarity.

Keep an eye on the sky!

Collin Hughes

The Prozac Pilot

7 Responses

  1. I'm currently in the process of going through psychological tests to obtain my medical. Not sure if I'll ever get it back. I've been planning a future as an airline pilot for years. Just before college graduation I find out my medical is deferred due to an anti-depressant. Horrible situation. My dream of flying for a living has come to a halt. I've been researching this question for weeks trying to find out if anyone has received their medical successfully while taking an anti-depressant.

  2. I understand what it feels like to be stuck on the ground while you wish you were flying. Do not give up on your dreams. You can still make it happen. To answer your question, I have not heard of anyone getting through the testing portion of what the FAA has set up for anyone who takes antidepressants. I have heard of a couple of people who have started the process, but have not heard of the outcome yet. DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE.

    Collin Hughes

    The Prozac Pilot

  3. I am currently being treated for anxiety and depression. I am told that once I am off the meds 90 days I am ok to reapply or if I need to start on antidepressants I have to wait 1 year. I am already an airline pilot, so my career and a masters level education is in jeopardy for doing the "right thing" by grounding myself. Doc/counselor says depression and anxiety are hand and glove, so no surprise to have one with the other. 4 years on the line and 9 years of progress on hold. Almost makes me want to say forget it and find another career.

  4. You have the facts strait on what your options are. You do find yourself in a difficult position. There may be one other thing that you may not considered in your decision process. If anything happens, even if you are not at fault, the facts will most likely come out in an investigation. When this happens the lawsuits will be enormous.

    Work with your doctor and perhaps a lawyer in finding a way to do things the right way. I grounded myself when I went on medications. This was in 2008 before any medications were allowed. I was uncertain if I would ever return to the skies. Being a pilot is something you do, it does not make you who you are. Good luck in what ever choice you make. I have always thought that honesty is the best policy.

    Keep and eye on the sky.


  5. Just was informed by the FAA that I will have to spend thousands of dollars and travel out of state to be tested by the HIMS AME. I am a student pilot and this was my first application for a medical cert. the local AME seems to think I can just go off meds (prozac) for 60 days and reapply. The FAA can't seem to give me the same answer twice. 60 days, 90 days, still have to jump through the test hoops, etc. I am just about at my wit's end and am now sorry I was honest.

  6. I apologize for taking so long to post your comment and reply to you. My new airline job has me pretty busy. In answer to your question if there has been anyone who has completed the process of jumping all the hoops and obtaining an FAA medical while on medications, yes there are several people who have. I do not know the number but there are many people who have.

    I have been in communications with a young lady in Arizona who has obtained her first class medical and is going through Embry Riddle's airline training program.

  7. For some reason I had to do this response in two entries. But I wanted to say something about your sorry that you were honest. Do not be sorry about doing the right thing. Doing what is right may not always be easy, but in the long run it is the best thing to do. Dishonesty will only cause problems down the road somewhere. I applaud your efforts and honesty. Doing what is right may not always get us the outcome we desire, but it is always the right thing to do.

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