16 year old interested in becoming a pilot, need advice

Hi! I’m Felicia, I’ve always wanted to be a pilot since I first got on a plane when I was little. I’ve looked at similar posts to get more insight into what I can do for my future. I’m currently a junior in highschool, planning to major in business or comp sci in college as a backup plan. I’ve already got an ok from a doctor for my medical certificate since I have depression. After high school I plan on either going to epic flight school (FL) or performance aircraft (NE). I’m fully prepared to put time and effort into becoming a pilot. I’m very open-minded to any advice from anyone. :slight_smile:


We recommend you complete college after graduating high school and then pursue flight training. The degree is important for your future with majors and needs your full dedication and focus. Then pursue an accelerated program like ATP.

Don’t try and mix flight training with college, one will undoubtedly suffer. At your age, you shouldn’t be in a huge rush. You can’t even get a R-ATP until you’re 21 years old anyway.

I am skeptical about the “ok” from your doctor. First of all, nothing is assured unless you have the medical in hand. Any history of depression with medications will flag your medical and require extra attention from a HIMS AME. That process takes quite a bit of time and attention and a medical isn’t assured.



A couple of things.

If you’re on any type of medication for your depression it’s going to be a process to get your medical and unless you’re Dr is an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) frankly they don’t know what’s “ok” and what isn’t.

Beyond that your don’t mention any actual flight experience? While you may have loved flying in the back of a Boeing, sitting in the front of a Cessna is a very different experience. Before your invest a whole lot of time and money into a career, I strongly recommend you take an intro or discovery flight. It’s kind of like going to a football game and saying wow I really like to do that. Until you get tackled you really don’t know.


Hannah !!!

Hi I’m a big fan and I read a lot of your posts and you’re an icon and inspiration to me. Other than that, I looked into a specific doctor from flightphysical.com She says as of now I meet all the medical requirements. My antidepressent is acceptable by the FAA. I understand that nothing is set in stone and I appreciate your advice. I’ll probably get my bachelors then pursue my flight training like you said :slight_smile:

your admirer,

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Hi Adam,

Thank you for the advice :slight_smile: I’ve read a lot of your posts and your analogies always make me smile. I understand what you mean and I’ve taken that into consideration. I’ll be getting my first real experience in the summer and I’ll tell you my experience if you’d like to hear. My neighbor is a retired pilot (he spends summer in nj where I am and the rest of the year in his other houses in fl and tx). He’s offered his time to teach me some basic knowledge and give me some flight experience. I also replied to Hannah about my doctor.

Felicia :slight_smile:


Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad to be able to help aspiring aviators like you.

I checked out the website you linked. Looks like it does link you to AMEs in your area so you’re headed to the right place. My concern for you, the AME you spoke to was giving you simplified background knowledge. You may be able to secure a first class medical, but it will be a more complex process than the average applicant. I’ll add a link below to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of the elongated process when an anti-depressants are involved:




I recommend you spend some serious time on the FAQ section of this page and on ATP’s Mann webpage, there is a ton of great information on both.


Hi Hannah,

Thank you I will. Thank you for all the advice.

your big fan,


Thank you for the advice, I like to spend all my free time at school and at home browsing posts here. I’ve also looked and taken into consideration the advice you give to others too.