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Monday, April 5, 2010

FAA Will Allow Pilots on Antidepressants to Fly

I made a brief post regarding this news the other day. Since the announcement I have been getting emails and phone calls from friends and supporters worldwide. I actually first heard the news on Friday April 2 when a friend of mine called me from the Bahamas and told me he had seen it on the news there.

Thank you to everyone who have given me moral support. I have made some calls to the FAA regarding the procedure I will have to go through. It looks as if it is not going to be an easy process and could take some time. All applications that go to Oklahoma City will be redirected to Washington D.C. for review.

I was not sure what I would do with this blog if the FAA were to ever approve the use of antidepressants. However, since the announcement was made last week I have been contacted by CNN. I may be doing an interview with CNN later this week. If this happens this website may get a great deal of attention. I feel I can use this blog as a tool to reach out even more to people in my position. This site can still be useful to help other pilots in my position.

I shall continue to post on Prozac Pilot as I go through the process. I would like to use this as an outlet for others to tell their stories and encourage pilots to "come out."

I am sure that there will still be many people who will be uncertain of what to do. Due to the policy of having to be on the medication for one year prior to being approved by the FAA many people will be uncertain about being able to be laid off for that amount of time and if their jobs will still be there when they are ready to return to work.

This will not be an easy transition for anyone. But hopefully if the pilots, companies and the FAA will work together we can make it worthwhile for everyone.

Keep and eye on the sky!

Prozac Pilot

2 comments:

  1. Prozac Pilot, thanks you for sharing your fight for flight. I too suffer with depression and it took me several years to "come out of the bag." Now that I'm out, I realize how many don't understand. Its just one in many ways people discriminate, a sad commentary to our society.

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  2. I was an FAA aviation medical examiner, and also one of those who had "minor depression" which I probably would have treated medically if it were one of my patients, but considering the cost, felt it "wasn't bad enough to mention." A regular running regimen seemed to keep it in good control. Attending an FAA recert meeting some years ago, I pressed Dr. Silverman with a question on the anti-depressant policy, knowing as a physician the very good track record of the SSRI med's -- both efficacy and safety for activities requiring alertness and good judgment. However, I was "more than" disappointed to hear, essentially, "If you're crazy enough to take an anti-depressant, you're too crazy to fly." I'd like to believe the FAA is moving away from this archaic viewpoint.

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