I want to become a pilot, but need advice

Hello everybody, my name is Connor I’m 19 and I want to become a airline pilot. I have been reading all topics to try to gather information but still need help getting advice.

  1. My main concern is that I will not be able to obtain a first class medical to even be able to become a pilot. I am currently weigh 272 lbs but I have been going to the gym and have lost 10 pounds in the past month and I am trying to be consistently going to the gym. My real big concern is my ADHD, every since I can remember I have been taking medication for ADHD. I am still prescribed it but have not taken it for the last year and feel that I have no side affects someone with ADHD would feel while off there medication. It scares me that the test and extra steps I would have to go through to get my first class medical.

  2. I have just got done with my first year of college/university and I have decided I am going to drop out because of I have lost interest in my major and my grades have dropped because of it. I do believe that if I where to go down this career that my passion for aviation and becoming pilot could would lead me to success. I do not know weather I should work a job at the airport for 2 years as equivalent work experience(as one of the qualifications to be accepted into ATP) or I should go to community college and get an associates degree. Since I will have about $4,000 to pay back from university and community college would be about another $4,000 I have to pay back I am leaning towards a full-time job at the airport to get work experience and pay pack college loans.

Any advice or help anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Connor,

Welcome to the forum. None of us are doctors here, but I can tell you that ATP has a maximum wight limit of 250 lbs and that the the FAA can take a very dim view of ADHD medicines. You will need to schedule an appointment with a FAA medical examiner to see if you are able to obtain a first class medical certificate.

As for your second question. I will be honest with you, not all of aviation is fun, exciting, or engaging. Much of it involves pure memorization of things like regulations. What is going to happen of you lose interest in this part of your flight training? All of it is important, whether you find it interesting or not.

Which route you go down really is up to you. You can certainly never go wrong with education, but the same can be said for paying down bills. You will need to think about what is important for you and decide from there.

Chris

Connor,

You’re right, getting your medical will be the biggest challenge. Since you are being prescribed and have taken ADHD medications its automatically going to need an enhanced screening. Unfortunately that process takes time and money. Not sure how quickly the wheels of the FAA are currently turning but typically the process can take months. If thats the case, it will be an extra hurdle. However, it could give you time to work on losing weight. Make sure you are making good lifestyle changes not just a temporary drop in the scale. A First Class medical is something you need to be able to obtain every year for the rest of your career.

I think you should use the time you have while waiting for the medical to go back to college and complete your associates. A huge part in completing a degree is just showing that you can commit to something and successfully complete it. Plus having a degree is a big addition to your application for the majors. If you didn’t like the major you were in, change it and find something that interests you. It’s always good to have a degree so that you can use it to fall back on in case of future airline furloughs.

Hannah