I have an admissions flight scheduled for next weekend and I am super excited for the experience.
However, when I started researching FAA class 1 medical requirements I learned that the FAA is onerous even when it comes to its “approved” SSRI medications (ie. zoloft).
I have taken zoloft consistently for 6 years for situational social anxiety. Should I even bother trying to pursue my dreams of flying for airlines? Has anyone in my situation been able to attend ATP without going through months and months of examinations and waiting for the FAA?
If I am admitted to ATP, will the offer of admission expire before the FAA approves a medical certificate?
The Admission flight is good for a year. I’d find an AME and start working on that ASAP.
I would apply for the First Class Medical before taking the admissions flight. I am afraid that you might have a lengthy review process in front of you. That being said, I am certainly not an MD and I could be easily wrong. Only an FAA approved doctor can answer your questions.
I agree with Chris. Schedule an appointment with an AME before the intro flight. Get a firm answer from a doctor on this before you proceed any further.
It’s a process, but is doable. I jumped through all of the FAA’s hoops for special issuance on a situation similar to yours and was successful. The review and ultimate approval/denial is done by the Federal Air Surgeon in DC, and it takes time. Mine took 7 months to be approved, and that was with every "t crossed and i dotted.’ Since the initial approval, I’ve had no problems with subsequent renewals and my AME can issue.
As you search for an AME, make sure he/she is HIMS certified. If you haven’t already, take a look at this and follow it to the letter.
I’d be happy to answer any other questions you have about the process and my experience. Shoot me an email if you’d like - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Justin, this is very helpful.