3rd Class Medical with DUI

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by LifeJet, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. LifeJet

    LifeJet Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, yet another topic on this matter...

    3 years ago, I was arrested for DUI at age 22, blew a .22 at the station, but due to evidence of faulty procedural technique, I was charged with DUAC at .08 and I plead guilty. I told my attorney I didn't want to go through with trying to fight it, I was 100% guilty and accepted the consequences of my actions. At the time, I attended a college with a very heavy drinking culture so yes I had a very high tolerance which is not a good thing at all. Shortly after everything settled down, I decided to quit drinking all together & get my life back on track. I went up and took a few hours but after listening to "experts" tell me my dream was now most likely a complete farce, I chose to not pursue flying anymore. Instead, I worked hard at my job, re-took some college classes I didn't do too hot in, and got a nice promotion at work (operations management).

    Fast forward three years later, I decided to change careers, entering public service as a firefighter. I have started flying again with the serious goal of getting my PPL in order to re-attempt at fighting for my goal of being a military flier. I knew it was going to be a very hard fight to convince the powers at be my worthiness for consideration, and that I needed to really prove my determination (hence going for my PPL, then putting in my pilot slot papers). After reading forum after forum on here for the past several months, I have come to the hard reality that the process of getting my PPL is now going to be much harder than I thought. I accept that I will need to do whatever it takes to get that 3rd class medical, I have a very open mindset about this because I feel if anything, I will benefit from the process and learn even more about myself as an individual. I am very understanding that I will need to go through with attending meetings, counselors, doctors etc. to prove to the FAA I am worthy of being in the skies, and that I am a responsible adult who is now on the much better side of a really poor decision. This single event was the wakeup call of a lifetime to get my sh*t together and grow the hell up.

    I am very close to solo, and obviously the only thing standing in my way is a 3rd class medical. I am getting ready to fill out the Medical application and basically I am seeking advice on how to move forward from here. I know that I will need to disclose the event & charges etc. Should I get with my local AME on this matter or do I need to reach out to a HIMS professional before all this? I realize now, soloing is probably going to be a considerable amount of time away...

    I see a lot of people on here get bent out of shape easily for hearing the truth (which is obviously something they don't want to hear). I know what I did, I know it was very wrong, I accept the consequences of my actions, I learned from it, and I am moving forward with life. It honestly has made me a better and much more responsible person. Please do not hold back, I am a realist & accept reality for what it is. Any advice is greatly appreciated...
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Read post #5 on this thread: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/what-to-expect-post-dui.113126/#post-2583579

    You're going to have to wait for the FAA letter on just exactly what they want from you. The problem is at .22%, they are (rightfully) going to know this isn't a single event. You had developed a substantial alcohol tolerance.
    What you can start doing now is to get a copy of all the court paperwork from your conviction and driver history for every state you've been licensed in (ever).

    It will behoove you to have an AME with a clue on this (the HIMS AMEs generally do).
     
  3. LifeJet

    LifeJet Filing Flight Plan

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    flyingron-

    I appreciate the response, per many other posts on this forum, I took it upon myself to reach out to Dr. Bruce. From the sounds of it, going to be a VERY long time before 3rd class issuance. Time to start the clock. Thanks for the advice...
     
  4. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But it can be done.
    0.22 will be in the paperwork which FAA will demand. In this situation unless the airman goes to rehab (160 hours, max of 10 weeks spread), the only option is two years of proven sobriety (urine test program), recovery activities (AA logged), get a sponsor, read the AA big book and learn how to run your own program, favorable review at the end of 2 years by a HIMS psychiatrist ($$s), special issuance 3rd class.

    Agree. Time to start the clock running the O.P.'s favor. Start the "program".
     
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  5. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Cleared for Takeoff

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    If I didn't misunderstand what you wrote there, then I'd say this thread should be more oriented towards that pursuit. Based on the timeline you mentioned, you are 25 years old or so at this point. You have a couple-three years (depending on military service branch) to make that happen before the door shuts on you forever, due to age alone. I know that sounds crazy because that isn't particularly old in the grand scheme of aviation. Age waivers do happen from time to time, but primarily for prior enlisted types. I believe the Army may accept folks a few years beyond the other services.

    So with that all being said, your number one problem getting in the door is going to be overcoming the DUI conviction. It isn't impossible, provided significant time has elapsed and you have a solid application package. The numbers for that vary, but based on your situation and the significant black mark a DUI puts on your record, I'd shoot for as close to a perfect 4.0 as possible. Talk to an officer recruiter in your area. OCS is your ticket provided you have already put a couple years of college under your belt. Destroy the service specific entry test that would apply to you. Do things in the community. Basically do anything you can to demonstrate that you are an upstanding character, who has moved on in life from the error of your past, and are a team player. The military doesn't care about HIMS, though I presume you ask about this in regard to getting your PPL. The military also doesn't really care about a PPL when it comes to pilot selection. I think going through HIMS would probably cast a good light on you, but it is (as I understand), also thousands upon thousands of dollars out of pocket. Said officer recruiter could probably shed better light on this, but at the end of the day, if you are just doing it to get a PPL, in hopes that the PPL will get you in the door of military aviation, you are could be wasting your time. Only you can evaluate how important the PPL is to your goals, and whether the added expense is worth it.

    Anyway, hope that helps. I am in no way saying that you shouldn't continue to take responsibility for your actions, and HIMS is a good way of communicating that you have changed in the civilian aviation world (or really I requirement I should say), but it serves no meaningful function with respect to military applications. They will have their own in-house process to evaluate the state of your drinking, or lack thereof, even if you did participate in HIMS.
     
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  6. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Pre-takeoff checklist

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    no drinking ... unless you abandon your pursuit of flying.
     
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  7. LifeJet

    LifeJet Filing Flight Plan

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    This...

    See, I am only seeking PPL in order to try and "boost" my package due to my DUI. I know I am going to have to answer to that with morality review boards when it comes time for selection boards. I am currently shooting for the USAF, as they seem to need pilots the most right now. I have actively been studying for the AFOQT and as I stated previously, re-took some college classes that I did not do as well as I should have my first time around. I graduated from a military school so I am familiar with the officer recruiters & what they are looking for. From what I have heard around the water cooler, USAF seems to currently like any civ's with PPL training as they can skip what they call IFT, basically a crash course in basic flying skills that is contracted out to a civilian outfit in Pueblo, CO (assuming b/c this ultimately saves the force time & $ in individual training costs). Whether or not this is truly the case, I am not certain as my experience with this matter is from peers who have been successful in obtaining OTS rated pilot slots with reserve & air guard units due to obtaining a PPL in accompaniment to what they thought were rather mediocre packages...

    Anyone else with insight to the military side of all this, please do not hesitate to offer any advice as well. Thanks to all who have already made the efforts to assist.
     
  8. LifeJet

    LifeJet Filing Flight Plan

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    I have accepted this & have no problem living out the rest of my life without a drop. Alcohol does nothing for me at this point.
     
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  9. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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  10. LifeJet

    LifeJet Filing Flight Plan

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    Yea, not proud by any means.
     
  11. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Cleared for Takeoff

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    I went through on the USN side, but you are correct, a PPL or more will waive the IFT (or IFS in USN/USMC lingo) requirement. Not sure about USAF, but when I did it (in the USN), I was also waived from a handful of primary training flights.....that being said, the T-34 was the last time I had anything waived due to previous civilian experience. What I meant was that your PPL is a slight advantage in the USAF (as I understand), basically neutral in the USN/USMC, and won't help you overcome an otherwise lacking application. Also, don't let the headlines confuse you. The USAF and USN are not hurting....I repeat, NOT hurting....for entry level/O-1 pilots. There have been a million fully qualified swinging dicks throwing themselves at that problem since the beginning of time, most all of which don't have a misdemeanor, much less a DUI on their record. The manning issue is mid level/10+ year experienced rated pilots who are hitting the end of their obligated service at the same time that they are expected to be taking on leadership roles in their communities. There will never be a shortage of new blood. Right now there is a shortage of mid grade blood. Don't let that make you think that right now is easier to get in the door, it isn't at all. I don't say that to discourage you. PM me if you want to hear my story (that doesn't involve alcohol but does involve me being an unlikely candidate). I say that to motivate you to put all of your effort into this endeavor. Those of us who do this for a living all gave it our all at some point, and most of us never stopped after that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  12. LifeJet

    LifeJet Filing Flight Plan

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    I appreciate the info, just makes the whole process that much more worth it in my mind. Anything to have an advantage, even if its slight.
     
  13. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    Will a sport pilot certificate bypass the IFS as well? Because SP doesn't require a medical, so you can deal with the FAA somewhere down the road.
     
  14. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    But good on you for owning it. Whatever the future holds for you, living it without alcohol will make it better.
     
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  15. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    You are 25, please check the requirements, but when I was in the AF, maximum age to start flight training was 26 1/2. That means 4 yr degree complete, OTS, complete, commissioned and reported to 1st day of class before 26 1/2. Yes some requirements may have changed. They do need UAS pilots.