I’m currently working through some anxiety problems. I’m a PPL with about 170 hours.
Due to my circumstances, I will likely have to pursue my medical under a special issuance. Is it difficult to get a Special Issued medical certificate? Do airlines look down on these? Are they difficult to maintain?
Considering going back into aviation as a career, but obviously looking into this situation first. I’ll likely be finding an AME to talk to about this, but any input from anybody with experience or knowledge in this area would be much appreciated.
I’m on an anxiety medication, which is one of the 4 “approved” by the FAA with a SPECIAL ISSUANCE medical certificate. I may be staying on the medication long-term. I understand that there are many hoops to jump through and stipulations before the unlikely event that they even issue me a 1st class medical.
Each case is different. It’s impossible for anyone to guarantee anything.
All I can say is that your medical certificate application will likely be deferred. The FAA will review it and decide if they want to see more before making a decision.
Typically if the FAA decides to issue the certificate then all future renewals are straight forward. There is, however, a possibility that the FAA will want more. Again, each case is different and there is no way for anyone to say how they will handle it.
I will say that any medical deferral could be costly depending on what the FAA wants. So, be aware of that.
Even though your medication is approved, the FAA will want more than just the name of the medication that you are on. They will likely want to see a full medical history along with any tests or evaluations that they deem necessary.
That said, just fill out the application as accurately as you can. If the FAA wants more, they will mail instructions to you after they have received the deferral.
I’m sorry but I do need to ask. While I’m glad you’re working through your problems, and wish you nothing but success, do you honestly feel being in the cockpit of a plane, with 300 lives behind you, is really the best place for you to be? Airline pilot is often listed as one of the top 10 (sometimes 5) most stressful careers.
I’m honestly just curious your thoughts on this?
No need to say sorry.
I completely understand where you’re coming from.
It is a bizarre thing, as during the vast majority of my flight training being the in air, I was at ease. Sure there were standard stresses, as we all experience while flying from time to time, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The major stressors are outside of the cockpit, whether it be the studying, family situations, finances, etc.
So while your concerns (which I have considered too) are well-founded, I’m hoping by getting a handle on things outside of the physical flying itself, I’ll be therefore be fit for flight. I’ve never had any concerns with flying itself, just things outside.
I have heard many times that an airline pilot career is among the most stressful of careers, would you say that’s true? If so,why?
Flying has always been a dream of mine. So while it may not end up being the course i take, I feel I owe it to myself to give it my best shot by getting educated and pursing it as far as it is reasonable.
I am always surprised when I see Airline Pilot on those lists, because it doesn’t fit with the majority of the experiences that I have had.
I have found, however, that people can make the job stressful, rather than the job being inherently stressful.
I’m with Tory on this. Personally I don’t find it stressful at all but I know many who do. Why is beyond me but I can tell you many people seem to want to make this job harder than it needs to be.
I was flying just the other evening. It was the last flight home for the day, we were delayed (only maybe 5min) and on arrival we were slowed and given further delay vectors. My FO was FREAKING! I even asked if maybe his wife was going into labor or something similar? He responded no, he just wanted to be done and he hates being late. Now understand we all do but sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control. It’s part of the job but again this guy was going to give himself a heart attack. I don’t get it?
I am going to add my voice to the chorus here that you might want to really give this some serious consideration in light of your anxiety. I do not perceive flying to be terribly stressful, but there are certainly moments of it that can be, especially emergency situations. Also, outside factors have a way of creeping into the cockpit and can affect your flying.
Just something to think about.