Hey all! I have been taking an SSRI, Citalopram for 10+ years. I just got my letter from the FAA to start the process of getting cleared through a HIMS AME. I talked to one of the doctors, and he mentioned getting cleared takes a minimum of a year??? Does that sound correct? I am so close to getting my PPL and waiting on getting my medical certificate, but need to complete this whole process before they clear me to the FAA. I am just trying to figure out if this is a realistic timeline.
Thanks in advance for any info you can provide on this matter.
Maybe someone can pop in and give some insight on this if they’ve experienced this. As of timeframe, things regarding the FAA and medicals can take some time, I think a year is feasible. This is why we recommend if you have any medical history to reach out to an AME first and start the process ASAP. You might see yourself spending much more money in retraining flights to regain consistency and proficiency to pass the checkride.
I’m going to disagree with Brady here. Whether someone chimes in or not their case has nothing to do with yours. EVERY situation is different and yes the FAA can and does frequently take a year or more.
This is exactly why ATP requires students to have a First Class Medical BEFORE enrolling in the program. Every case is different, not everybody gets approved and yes, it takes a long time. I would stop any and all flight training until you actually have a first class medical.
I agree with Chris. As bleak as it sounds, the wheels of the FAA turn very slowly. It could take as much as a year and the whole time you’re waiting you’re burning more money and flight time. I would stop where you are now… get the paperwork submitted ASAP and once you start to get close to receiving your medical, start flying again to regain proficiency. In the meantime you can work on getting written exams done so it’s not a total loss of time.
Hi Adam! Thanks for the info.
I just read through your background and I have a very similar story. I am 38. I have always dreamed of being a pilot. I got into Car Sales and just got stuck due to making such good money, and I had a knack for it. Then, I tried out a few different Sales types job and finally just decided enough is enough. It’s a little bummer that I will have to pause flying as I am literally waiting for my medical so I can do my Solo. Studying for the exams and flying has been going really well and love every second of this journey.
I will wait and do what I need to do. I am confident I will get my Class 1 as my case isn’t anything crazy. I am hoping to have a success story and be a mentor like you in the future. I appreciate your straight to the point responses and not sugar coating anything.
I love the positivity, it’s just that the FAA takes SSRIs very seriously. As much as it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, they need to make sure you wouldn’t be a risk or future liability for the safety of hundreds of passengers. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but a year could be pretty realistic with all the hoops they will ask you to jump through.
That makes total sense. I think my case is pretty simple and the AME I reached out to is confident. I will do whatever it takes. I am 38, have had this dream since I was 4, waited all this time, what’s another 1 year? Nothing. Hopefully it’ll be faster but will plan for a year and if it’s shorter than that’s amazing. For now, I plan to just study hard and get ahead of curve on my studying and tests. Then once I have my medical I can really hit the skies. Thanks for your honest comments. Not just on this post but on this site. Same as Adam and others, you keep it realistic and don’t sugar coat anything. Appreciate your time in responding.
Hey Andrew! Sorry I’m posting late but I started a very similar process back in August. I have a Hims AME and am slowly getting everything together. My first AME told me a year but in the past two months I’ve gotten my Hims AME, one of my doc visits completed, and other required appointments set over the next month. I’m hoping to have all steps complete and meet with my Hims AME in the next couple of months to finish off and submit everything. Like everyone said, it’s a waiting game. It took the FAA 6 weeks to confirm I sent them my medical records alone and can feel excruciating at times. My big fear is I’ll go to turn everything in and then wait over a month just for them to tell me I gotta do another step that’ll cost a couple extra thousand dollars.
Unlike you I haven’t started flying at all and am trying to be as patient as possible. The best advice I’ve heard to help with the waiting is the understanding of why this happens and to trust the process. It can be so slow and annoying but check off the boxes and you’ll get there.