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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Has anyone on antidepressants successfully received an FAA Medical?

I am have not heard much about what is happening with the FAA ruling since it was announced back in April. I had one person write claiming that he took the tests, but that these tests were extremely difficult and not meant to be passed by an average person. I have some people comment that they feel this is a "trap" by the FAA to lure out pilots on medications and destroy their careers. Could this be true or could those people be suffering from more than depression? Paranoid personality disorder perhaps?

I have been so wrapped up in my career change lately and worrying about paying the bills that I have neglected anything having to do with the Prozac Pilot. I did take the time to look at the statistics on my blog tonight. I thought due to my inactivity of posting that the traffic would be down to zero. However, I am actually getting several hits.

I noticed that many hits are coming from areas where the United States has military personnel. I am guessing that these hits are coming from members of the United States Military. If so, thank you to all of the military readers. I thank you not just for reading my blog, but for the unselfish sacrifices you make for your country. I have always admired those who serve our country.

I am hoping that if I am more regular in posting that people will return to this site and the hits will grow in numbers. I would like to hear comments from any view point. I am sure that people would like to hear from anyone who has gone through the process and has received the special issuance on their medical certificate.

It is good to see that there are some companies that are starting to hire again after such a long period of furloughs. XOJet is one of those companies. I have read some great things about XO that shows this company is growing and does not have plans to slow down. What a great thing to see in this economic downturn. American Eagle and a few other regional carriers have also started hiring. I occasionally go to to see what jobs are being posted. For the longest time most of the jobs were in Asia. Now there are more jobs popping up in the U.S. Perhaps we really are coming out of the recession.

Please keep the comments coming. I enjoy reading what people think. I just would ask that there be no vulgarity.

Keep an eye on the sky!

Collin Hughes

The Prozac Pilot

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Response to a blog that opposes pilots using antidepressants.

The following is a copy of a post that I did on a blog that opposes pilots using antidepressants. This blog was written by an organization that believes the new rules are all to help the pharmaceutical companies make money.

Currently, there are pilots who suffer from depression, but will not seek help due to the fact they will no longer have a job. Even under the FAA’s new mandate a pilot will be grounded for one year after he/she is stable on medication. To me this is more of an issue of honesty. I would not trust someone who lies about their condition to keep a job. I grounded myself over two years ago when I went on antidepressants.
The one year stabilization time is more than enough time to know how a person is going to react on the medications. This decision was made in order to help pilots who need medical attention. I do not know of other jobs that would prohibit workers from taking antidepressants.
Surgeons can take medications. Bus, taxi and truck drivers can take medications too. Aviation is the only area that I know of that has had such a limitation. It is ludicrous to think that this decision was made so pharmaceutical companies could make more money.
I have had my career taken from me. I have found an alternate form of income. But if I am able to safely perform the duties of my chosen profession why should I not be able to do so?
Perhaps everyone on antidepressants should also not be allowed to drive a car. There is more danger on the roads than there is in the air.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Since my CNN interviewed aired I have received emails from all around the world. Most of the communications were basic comments. I have had some people ask for advice and other people have told me about their struggles. One story in particular touched me. A woman wrote to me and told me about the death of someone close to her. I wrote briefly about it in my blog. I titled this particular blog entry, “The Loss of a Brother.”

Writing about such a tragic event has made me reflect on some of the things that are important in life. I have written that the main thing that has helped me through my struggles is my faith in God. That is the most important thing in my life. But I would like to reflect upon other things that sometimes we take for granted.

Until I forced myself to take a good look at life I have not realized all of the wonderful things in this earthly existence. I looked back at my childhood and realized that most of my childhood dreams have come true. I remember as a child there were two things I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be a cowboy and a pilot. For those of you who have followed my blog or this article you know that I flew a CitationJet 2+ before I lost my medical. One thing I have not written much about is my life before flying. Therefore, not many people who have followed my writings know that I rode bulls for eighteen years. Yes, I got to be a cowboy and a pilot.

Recently, I have realized at how important positive memories are to a good attitude.  I was reminded of this when I got together with an old rodeo friend of mine. I had not seen this friend in twenty years. He sent me a message that he would be in Las Vegas and that he would have time to get together. As my friend I talked we remised about other people that we knew and what they were doing. It was great fun to ponder the days of yore.

Since my friend and I talked I have thought much about how many wonderful things there are in this life. When I became too old to ride bulls I felt badly that I was no longer a cowboy. When I was grounded for medical reasons I was sad that I was no longer a pilot. However, in visiting with my friend I realized that the things I have accomplished in life would always be a part of me.

I look back through my life and remember the fun I had when I was traveling down the road with friends going to the next rodeo. I remember the jokes we used to play on each other while we were behind the chutes waiting to compete. The friendships made in those days will last the rest of my life.

Now I also look back at my days of flying. My contact list in my phone and my friends list on Facebook contains people I used to fly with. These also are bonds that will endure throughout my mortality. The bonds that we form with others while on this earth are important. The opportunity to care about others is such a wonderful part of life.

I have also been thinking about the beauty I have seen as a pilot. I remember being in the flight levels and watched as a small cloud grew into a huge thunderstorm. Being able to watch nature develop in such a manner was amazing.

Through all this rambling I have done the thing I want to point out is my hope that I can encourage others to take a stronger look at the wonders of this life. Do not let the downside of life hold you back. Be sure to let the positive side of life have a strong influence on how you live. We are each made to be great. I hope we all can work to be the best that we can be.