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Monday, November 19, 2012

Honesty Is The Best Policy

I get emails on a regular basis from people who have been on medications in the past, on meds now or who have had bouts of depression somewhere in their medical history. The wording varies from person to person, but the question is always the same. "Should I not reveal the truth about my depression when going to the FAA Medical Examiner when applying for my FAA Medical?"

My answer is simple. TELL THE TRUTH! Honesty is always the best policy. Some people are worried that if they tell the truth they will not be able to obtain the medical certificate. In some cases this may be true. It is going to vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances. If someone is denied the medical then that is what will have to happen for now. There are just far too many risks in not being honest.

There are a couple of big risks that a person will take by not being honest on the application. First, the application is a federal document. If it is not answered properly there could be huge legal ramifications to face. I do not think anyone wants to go to court facing federal criminal charges. Secondly, there are liability issues that could come to light for not being truthful. Let me give an example of what I am referring to regarding liability issues. Lets say that someone is taking medications that are not authorized by the FAA and does not reveal that on the application. These could be meds that do not affect the person's ability to operate an aircraft. If there was an accident, even if this person is not at fault, the fact that this person was on medications is going to surface. If there was anyone else injured in this accident the surviving family members of the pilot will be facing lawsuits. These liability issues would be the same for any falsification on the application, even if the person was not on meds.

I have gone over legal arguments as to why the form should be filled out honestly, now lets look at other reasons. It is always easier to back up the truth than it is a lie. Anytime someone lies they will have to tell another lie to back up the fist lie if they are caught. Where does it end? Telling the truth is the right thing to do.

Some people would argue that they will not be able to obtain their FAA Medical Certificate if they tell the truth. I say to them, "Then so be it." If you do not get your medical then you do not get your medical.

I know there are many people who have dreamed their entire lives of being a pilot. I am one of those people. I was faced with a very difficult decision in 2008 myself when I went on medications. I could not renew my medical and be grounded or I cold lie on the application. I chose not to fly. Was this a difficult decision? Yes and no. Yes because I knew I would be out of a job. I was a pilot by profession. Losing my medical meant I would be unemployed. Also, I loved flying and I would no longer be able to fly.

On the other hand this was an easy decision for me because it was the right thing to do. My integrity is worth far more to me than any job or flying. I could bear being grounded and unemployed. But it would be unbearable to lose the respect of my wife and others who see me as an honest man.

Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Location:Farm Rd,Las Vegas,United States

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Farewell To Those Who Are Gone

It has been far too long since I have posted anything on my blog. However, I do not look forward to writing this post today. This is not an easy post to write because I was impressed to do so after hearing about the passing of a young man who took his own life. I did not know this young man. I only noticed the news of his passing due to a Facebook friend of mine posted something on this young man's wall, which showed up in my newsfeed.

Out of curiosity I looked at this young man's Facebook account. His name was Jack-Jack Williams. I am guessing that Jack -Jack might be a nickname given to him by friends or family. Jack Jack and I shared a common interest. We both have a love for the sport of rodeo. He has some pretty good pictures of him riding bulls. That is something I did in my younger days as well.

I am not sure why I feel compelled to write about the passing of Jack Jack. Possibly because of a comment by a young lady who seems to be very close to him. She posted something blaming herself for his death. My heart went out to this young lady. I guess I just want her and others like her who might find themselves in a similar situation that it is never anyone's fault in this type of situation.

Often times we never know why a person commits suicide. But it is never the fault of anyone close to that person. When a person gets to the point that they are willing to take their own life they feel there is no other way to escape what ever it is that is troubling them. Everyone has troubles in their lives. Some people just deal with problems better than others.

Sometimes people who are ready to take their own lives do show behaviors that could give suspicion that something is wrong. However, if you are not trained to know these signs you would not know what the person is planning.

Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. The people who truly suffer are the ones that are left behind after a loved one is gone. Many questions go through the minds of the loved ones. People will question if they had been there more for that person or paid more attention to that person when he or she needed attention. But if someone is in a deep enough state of depression that he or she is ready to end it all, there is nothing that anyone could have done unless they had direct knowledge of the upcoming event. The only way it could be stopped is to have that person committed to the hospital if you knew there was a plan in place.

Even if someone close to you is determined to commit suicide and you get them help, there is no saying that the plans will not be carried out at a later date. Sometimes too it is someone that you would never expect to take their own life. I knew someone I graduated high school with that was one of the most positive people I can remember during school who took his own life a few years ago. Kevin was active in sports. He went to the Iowa state finals wrestling tournament. He went on to college and graduated with honors. He had a family and was successful in his career. Kevin had all the things going in life that many people just dream of. But for some reason he took his own life.

I mourn for the people who knew Jack Jack. I am sad that they will spend time wondering what they could have done to save his life. I wish I could be there to comfort them. I wish I knew the exact words to tell them that it is NOT their fault.

The best thing I can tell those close to Jack Jack at this time is to remember his life and honor his memory with your love. Talk to each other of fun times you shared with him. Talk about fond memories that you cherish. Any attempt to blame yourselves will only make this time more difficult for you. But I also plead with you to not handle your pain alone. Reach out and get professional help. I know in the rodeo world we use terms like "cowboy up" or "be tough." But sometimes to follow those old cowboy adages also means knowing when to get help.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who loved Jack Jack Williams. I hope you can find peace in your hearts soon after this tragic event. Remember him. Honor him. And keep him in your heart always. My faith teaches me that you will have the opportunity to see him again in the next life. But please just do not try to rush that reunion.

Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Friday, May 11, 2012

Attitude Is Everything

I have never been one to contemplate if I am a glass half full or empty kind of person. I just always thought that was kind of a silly analogy. However, I do believe that the proper attitude is important in everything that a person does each day.

I remember when I was flying charter and waiting for passengers at various FBO's around the country and hearing some pilots do nothing but complain about their jobs. I knew the companies they worked for and had talked with many other pilots who loved these companies. However, there will always be people who do nothing but complain no matter how good they have things. I have often wondered what makes people complain so much and for very little reason.

I started to think of attitudes after reading my scriptures the other day. Even if you are not religious you can see how important attitude is from what I am about to share.

After Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt he sent scouts ahead to the promised land. The scouts returned and reported a land that flowed with "milk and honey." However, all but one of the scouts, Caleb, complained about other things that were found in the land they saw. Caleb looked at things with "another spirit" and claimed that these obstacles could be easily overcome. The others continued to complain. The Lord was so disappointed with their complaints after all he had done for them that he did not allow them to enter the promised land. The Israelites were allowed to enter this bountiful land only after all of those with Caleb and that generation had passed away.

This instance makes me think about when we complain. How much do we annoy the people around us with our complaints? Do we irritate others so much that are ready to ban us from their lives? What if two people with a propensity to complain we're married to each other, what type of relationship would that be?

I think that most people see where I am going with this. Complaining is counterproductive. Instead of looking for the bad in all that we do it would be much better to look for the good things in life. If you have a job that has many problems stop pointing out the problems and look for solutions to improve the situation.

The next time you see something you do not like about your life, think about what you do like. If you still see things in a negative light, think about what you can do to change or improve the situation. Life is filled with choices. It is entirely up to you whether or not you choose to be positive or sit back, complain and do nothing.

Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Creates Lift?

Whether you are certificated pilot, student pilot or an aviation enthusiast you have all thought of the question regarding what creates lift. Lift is what allows an airplane to fly. Without lift even the lightest of airplanes would be grounded. Therefore, all aviators must know what factors go into the causation of lift.
I would like to take a spin the the topic of lift today. Not everyone who reads my words are aviators. But we all need lift in our lives. Without lift in our lives we metaphorically remain on the ground.
Everyone I know has the desire to better themselves. Even someone with the deepest depression or a person who seems to have little to no motivation wants to get ahead in life. Lift in life is not being rich or famous. Even some of the most rich and famous people have not found their lift in life.
Lift in life is what makes us happy. Lift in life is what brings us feelings of contentment and peace. Lift in life are the things that bring simplistic joy. I think we all need to reevaluate our lives and decide what is our lift in life.
All to often we see people whose lives are in shambles because they have the wrong idea of what lift is. If you cannot understand the simple aerodynamics of life you cannot expect to fly. If you try to climb without knowing the proper procedure or speeds to use you then run the risk of stalling. Recovering from a stall in an airplane can be much easier than recovering from a stall in life. By the time a student pilot is taught stall recovery in an airplane he or she has already learned the fundamentals that go into what causes an airplane to stall and how to recover from that stall.
Very few people have been taught the proper procedures for recovering from a life stall. It would be so much easier to find lift in life if we could just sit down with an instructor and learn the proper procedures. However, most of us learn from the school of trial and error. Sometimes using this method we are able to fly strait and level without incident, but all to often many people crash and burn.
The objective of finding the lift of life though should not be to simply fly strait and level. If we find the proper lift we can soar to great heights. So then what is it that causes such a great lifting power in life that we can rise so far above the drudgery of daily life?
Using the proper procedure is the key to any good flight. Let's start with the pre-taxi checklist.
1. Get out of bed with the proper attitude.
2. Look forward to the flight (day)
3. Check to see that you have an appropriate amount of fuel for the flight.
Number three could actually go into a variety of things. Did you eat a proper breakfast? Did you exercise? If you are religious, did you say your prayers? I think you get the idea.
4. Do you have your clearance from air traffic control? In other words, do you have a flight plan for the day that you have thought out and cleared with yourself of whoever else may be involved that plan?
Now lets skip right to the takeoff checklist.
1. Power full forward. Do you have enough power or energy for the flight today? In other words, leave the doubts behind. If it is a difficult task in front of you go at it with full power and do not hold back.
2. Airspeed alive. Notice when you are rolling down that runway of life in a positive manner and give yourself credit for the positive things you have accomplished.
3. 70 knots cross check. Double check the things you are doing and that you are on path for success.
4. V1 (speed at which if you are committed to taking off even if something goes wrong). Now you are committed to flight. No matter if anything goes wrong you are still going to takeoff. If any problems arise you will simply handle them in the air.
5. Rotate. Now we add the back pressure and we are flying.
Lift in life can be simple. We just need to know what to put on our checklist for life. I think there needs to be some very simple items to do on this metaphorical checklist. Below I have listed some things that should be on everyone's checklist.
1. Tell those close to you that you love them.
2. Smile as you pass strangers throughout the day.
3. Go out of your way to be nice to those you know and to some you do not know.
4. Treat others with respect and kindness.
5. Be kind to yourself.
7. Forgive those who have wronged you. Holding a grudge only hurts the one who holds the animosity towards the other. In most cases the other person has forgotten all about what he or she has done to wrong you to begin with.
Those are some simple, well mostly simple, things that we can do to help generate lift in life and be on our way to soaring to new heights. I hope you had enjoyed the post for today.
Until next time,
Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Getting Back In The Air

I love the old country song entitled "Back In The Saddle Again." That is what came to mind as I was pushing the throttle forward for my takeoff roll in a Cessna 172 the other day. Even though I have had my medical back for a few months now I have not been flying for other reasons since I did my flight review last August. Therefore, I opted to go with one of the instructors I work with just to get a feel for things again. Even though I was tempted to sing the lyrics to that old country song as we taxied out for takeoff I held my tongue. I did not want my coworker to think I was crazy and report me to the FAA.

I must admit I sure felt the rust. My first landing was not bad at all though. We had some cross winds. I nailed the landing, but eased up on the back pressure shortly after touchdown and did not keep the proper crosswind correction in, thus causing us to get a little out of line. However, Erik, my fellow instructor, reminded me calmly of the proper technique and the following landings were greatly improved. Being rather proud of myself after a few good landings I declared I wanted one last landing before i was to fly some discovery flights with potential new students for our school. On my final approach the winds were gusting. Therefore, I carried a little extra speed. In doing so, I had in a little extra power. Anyone see where this is going? As I crossed the runway threshold I did not reduce the power as I should have. When I attempted to flare there was too much forward energy moving us down the runway. In my attempt to land the airplane I demonstrated to Erik how to get three or four or perhaps even five landings out of one. Yes that is right, I bounced the daylights out of the last landing.

Now instead of thinking of the old country song I was thinking of the saying about pride cometh before the fall, or in my case before the bounce. I was a little frustrated with my landing to say the least. Erik and I laughed about it a little bit. Then Erik went into instructor mode and shared with me the reason for my bad landing. I took his instruction to heart and greased the three landings with the discovery flights that I had.

In the instruction I received after my bounced landing I was able to remember some simple, but important factors about flying. But I also reflected upon an important life lesson as well. I think that if we stop and think about things that happen to us in our daily lives we can learn much about ourselves. For example, I was not as focused on the small details of my last landing as I could have been. Due to this I missed some simple but important tasks that go into a good landing. My other landings were good; therefore, I assumed the last landing would just turn out that way as well.

Good landings, just like positive outcomes in anything we do in life, require actions and reactions. The way things turn out in our lives are all dependent upon our own choices and actions that we make every moment of our lives. If we choose to make a bad choice (just as I chose to leave extra in power) our lives (or our landings) will be rough.

The way to live a healthy life all boils down to making positive choices. For example, a young person who decides to hang out with the kids that are making wrong choices is going to be influenced by his or her friends and most likely start making the same bad decisions that the friends are making. Then after making all of these bad choices the child will have no idea why his or her parents are being so harsh and the young life will start to tumble out of control towards an unhappy existence.

I am not saying that by making positive choices each and every time we make a decision that life will be without bounced landings. There will always be a bounce here and there that are simply out of our control. However, by paying attention to detail and putting in the proper and positive corrections on the flight controls of life the flight path will most certainly have less turbulence and more frequent smoother landings.

Well, that is enough preaching for the day.

Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Testing the new ap.

I just downloaded the new blogger ap from iTunes. Of course I wanted to test it out to see how much I like it. So far so good. I know that everyone is excited about reading me ramble on about my new application on my iPad. Oh, I have not mentioned the iPad before this? Thanks to my wonderful wife I now have an iPad. It was a Christmas present.

Speaking of my wife I feel I need to mention something. The loved ones in our lives are important. Those close to us are the ones that we turn to for support when this look dim. We need to recognize and appreciate all that our loved ones do for us. We should constantly tell them how much we care for them. We should not just tell them, but we need to show it by how we treat them.

Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Today is the day.

Today is the day that I work on being happy from this day forward. Tomorrow will be the day that I work on being happy from that day forward. Each day we get up in the morning is a great day. I think all too often we focus on what is going wrong in life instead of looking for positive solutions to our problems. Often times we even create problems in our minds worrying about what might go wrong when all we need to do is go forward and make the best of whatever comes along.

Being positive takes work for some people. Those who have negative outlooks on life may often feel that those with a positive outlook do not have problems. However, everyone has problems and stumbling blocks in life. It is how we handle those times that defines who we are.

I love the following quote.

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

According to MJ it is not the wins that helped him be successful, but the losses. How many times do we look at negative results and beat ourselves up? Did MJ feel badly when these things occurred? I am sure that he did. However, he used those feelings of disappointment to improve his game.

We too can take a closer look at our shortcomings and turn those things into strengths. Do not let your failures hold you back. Do not let the struggles in life become an anchor that drowns you. Life is meant to be lived with joy and happiness. However, we must put our best selves forward in order for that greatness to come into our lives. Do not hide yourself under the proverbial basket. Step forward into life. Let today be the day that you achieve greatness.

Keep and eye on the sky!

Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Monday, April 2, 2012

Statement From Captain Clayton Osbon's Wife.

I have put a link to a site that contains a statement from the family of Captain Clayton Osbon, the pilot on the JetBlue flight that has created such a stir in the media. But first, I have a couple things I would like to say on the matter.

There have been many sources indicating that Captain Osbon was on medications at the time of his episode. Let me go on record as saying THERE IS NO EVIDENCE HE WAS ON MEDICATIONS OF ANY KIND. There are several medical conditions that could have caused this situation. No one with a record like Captain Osbon goes to work and has something like this happen without provocation.

There have been way too many assumptions as to what happened that caused Captain Osbon to act the way he did. I just hope that he is allowed to get the medical treatment he needs.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Captain Osbon and his family. I am sure that the stress placed upon his family at this time is horrible. I would hope that people will be kind enough to leave his family alone. Let's wait for the facts to come out as to what really happened. Jumping to conclusions simply causes more damage.

Here is the link to the statement from Captain Osbon's family.

If this link does not work you can find this by going to JetBlue's website and doing to the media section.

Keep an eye on the sky.

Collin Hughes

The Prozac Pilot

Friday, March 30, 2012

CNN Responce

I have been getting some responce to the CNN interview. I am working on answering these as I can. I have posted some of these. Most have the responses have been positive. The comments from people have been on various posts I have on the blog. I plan to combine them into one post so these are easy to find. I will also comment on these posts as well. I am publishing both positive and negative posts. The only comments that I will not publish are rude comments. Please be patient if you have posted something and I have not commented yet. I got home late last night and did not even have a chance to spend much time with my wife after being gone for a few days. Tonight my sweetheart and I are going on a date. Therefore, it may be a day or two before I can get to the comments. Keep an eye on the sky! Collin Hughes The Prozac Pilot

CNN Interview

I just got home from Washington DC and my second CNN interview. I am tired, but have noticed that the blog has received a little bit of attention since the interview aired. I just wanted to post a link to the interview here before I go to bed.

Keep an eye on the sky!

Collin Hughes

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Inside Edition Jet Blue Comments

I noticed today that I was quoted in a story on Inside Edition regarding the situation with the Jet Blue pilot. First, I need to say that that quote came from an interview I did with Inside Edition in April of 2010 when the FAA changed its policy regarding antidepressants. Secondly, I need to say that I do not know the pilot in the Jet Blue incident or anything about his circumstances. I cannot say anything regarding this man. All I can say is that my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. I hope that whatever caused him to do what he did that he is treated fairly and receives the help he needs to allow him to cope with whatever situation he may find himself in. I have been asked by media outlets to comment on this situation. I was hesitant at first because I did not know how this could be twisted. However, I have consented to an interview with CNN and will be in Washington DC for an interview. My interview is going to be a general topic interview and a follow up to the 2010 story that CNN did on me when the FAA changed its policies. I have told CNN by phone that I cannot speak directly about the Jet Blue story. Keep an eye on the sky. Collin Hughes

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I am back!

It has been way too long since my last post. I have been focused on work and home lately. Being back in aviation is great. However, since I am not doing much flying right now I feel I have much work to do in getting my skills to where they need to be. I am getting back in the air little by little. My main focus at work is aircraft sales right now. I am doing some instruction, but mostly ground school at this point. But people did not come here to read about me rambling about my flying. I have discovered that I have let the past hold me back too much. There have been many things happen to me in life that cause me to grieve. Due to these events I have not allowed myself to experience the many joys of life. One day when I was walking into the office I asked myself if I was happy. My answer was no. I then pondered why I felt this way. To my surprise, I could not find a single reason as to why I should not be happy. The only thing causing me not to be happy is that I simply did not try to be. Now that I have discovered why I do not feel happiness each day I must overcome this fault within myself and allow myself to be happy. How do I accomplish this great task? Simple, I just do it. Instead of thinking negatively, I need to look at things with a positive outlook. Instead of looking at the dark side of things I just need to look for the light. Finding joy in life is really simple if we try. If we but find positive and joyful things to say to others and feel those words are true, then joy will come our way. Life is great. Stand up and enjoy life. Do not live in fear. If we let fear run our lives we will miss out on the many things that make life great. Life is meant to be filled with joy and happiness. Do not allow yourselves to be brought down by the grind of your daily activities that seem negative. If you are faced with a bad situation find the good in what is going on. Even in the worst situation there can be something positive. Life is good, enjoy it. Keep an eye on the sky. Collin Hughes The Prozac Pilot