Attention Deficit Disorder Meds

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Tarheel Pilot, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    So I've been without my ADD meds since High School (I'm 29 now) and I'm currently flying under sport pilot rules. Recently I've been contemplating taking ADD meds again because I'm tired of having a mind that has 500 browser tabs open and I'm trying to view all the tabs at once.


    However, I know that if I take ADD meds, I can't fly anymore since the FAA prohibits the meds that I'd most likely need.



    Is there any hope for a pilot like me aside from keeping my ADD meds a secret from the FAA, which I wouldn't do anyway because that'd land me in hot water.
     
  2. AdamZ

    AdamZ Touchdown! Greaser!

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    To be frank I'm not even sure you are legal to fly sport, knowing what you know about your Dx. Others with more knowlege will have to opine however. That said ADD and ADHD meds are DQ as is the condition from what I understand. I also think the FAA considers ADD/HD a life long condition, so not sure you can get around that.

    From what I recall from Bruce a while back the issue is that the FAA can't be assured that you would take your meds, which while I think is somewhat lame because I know folks with ADD who are incredibly focused on their meds and would not consider not taking them, but hey I don't write the regs.

    I hope there is a way around it for your sake as I'd venture a guess being on the meds would make you a safer pilot. But if there is a way my belief is that the psych tests would be outrageously expensive. I guess there is always ultralites. Good luck.
     
  3. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    Eh, Sport Pilot kinda killed the ultralights in this country, which is a shame.
     
  4. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What Adam said, plus I would have been posting this question as an unregistered, at least until you knew where you stand.
     
  5. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Without saying it is good or bad to seek treatment for what you precieve as an issue and wether or not you should be flying under the sport pilot rules - the FAA will not give you a medical due to an ADD diagnosis - treated or not, but you don't have or need one for flying under sport pilot rules.

    The FAA has a several tier medical requirement system based on their precption of risk to others. Under part 103 or in a glider you need nothing. For sport pilot (with limits on aircraft capacity and speed) you need a drivers licence. For a private pilot you need a third class medical. If you get paid, you need a second class. If you are air transporting you need a first class. Now, there are those who will claim that not meeting the requirements for a third class medical means that you "have a medical deficiency" and can't fly as a S.P. But, those same people rarely argue that since they possibly can't get a first class medical that they have a "deficiency" and shouldn't be flying under their third class either. And, the FAA aeromedical web site basically says - talk to your doctor.

    So, consult with your doctor. Not with POA. And, don't read things into the regulations that aren't there.
     
  6. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    Joe Farrell, yeah, him
    Have you even thought of doing a search on this forum? You are not the first person to be in this situation . . . take 5 minutes - do a search - read the topics and maybe you'll learn something . . . open another browser tab . .
     
  7. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Confused. If you are flying sport pilot and you have a valid drivers license and your drivers license says nothing about taking ADD medication and you consider yourself fit to fly how is the FAA involved? :dunno:
     
  8. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    That's the key. Since you know you have a medical condition which would prevent routine issuance of a medical certificate of any class, you can exercise Sport Pilot privileges only after consultation with your personal physician to confirm that you can safely exercise Sport Pilot privileges. That's straight out of the Federal Air Surgeon's guidance on point.
    http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/sportpilots/

    Correct -- and if you haven't done so already, do so before you again exercise Sport Pilot privileges.
     
  9. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Because you "know or have reason to know" that you have a medical condition which might make you unfit to fly (i.e., one which would disqualify you from a medical certificate). The fact that you yourself think you are fit to fly is not sufficient -- you need your personal physician to concur in your decision. See 14 CFR 61.53(c) and the FAA guidance on point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    That is not law it is guidance and it says you "should" consult your physician (which I completely agree with by the way). The way I read that however is that if there is an issue and his physician says take the meds and you are OK to fly he is good to go.

    My point was he said something about keeping it a "secret" from the FAA and again I ask how is the FAA involved in this? :dunno:
     
  11. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Yes, it is guidance -- on how to comply with the law. Ignore this guidance at your own legal peril.

    I agree, but I also believe the FAA's position is that without that consultation, you are not complying with the regulation.

    They're not, unless something bad happens. Then, if the pilot has not obtained that consultation, the pilot will be in serious legal trouble with the FAA and, if someone else got hurt as a result, the civil courts (noncompliance with the regulations on point being "negligence per se").
     
  12. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    does it need to be your 'personal physician. . . ' meaning a doc you have a multiple year relationship with? Or can you go to urgent care and ask?

    Docs are like lawyers - there are whores everywhere. And you can find to testify to just about anything - so does the FAA reserve the right to hold the doc to a generally accepted medical practice and opinion standard? Or can a schizophrenic fly sport pilot because a doc they paid $200 to writes them a letter saying it is ok to fly. . . .
     
  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    If the airman's doctor says, "okay to fly", and then something serious happens pulling in the FAA and NTSB inspectors, will this doctor have any liability? :dunno:
     
  14. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

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    Possibly from the FAA, or NTSB(though not sure of the jurisdiction), definitely from the plaintiff's lawyer!
     
  15. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Here is the problem I have with all this. As a pilot it is my responsibility to know the LAWS that apply to operating within my license. I would argue that it is not my reponsibility to read every FAQ page that the FAA puts out on their website that provides "guidance" to how a particular bureaucrat believes a law should be complied with. If that was the case that should be specifically spelled out in the law. The problem with your "negligence per se" comment is it must first be established that they violated the statute. The statute mentions nothing about a physician. So unless the law says that you must be in compliance with all laws, regulations, everything else the FAA posts on their website, and the opinions of high ranking government officials I don't see how this stands up in court. (I know the law doesn't always matter in court anymore)

    Perhaps the real question is what would the insurance company and your policy say? Because the fact is if you damage person and/or property you will be sued and then it just boils down to who is going to pay.
     
  16. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    This is correct. Completely correct.
     
  17. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    If you'd followed the link above, you'd see the FAS's exact words were "your private physician." Interpret that as you wish, Counselor. However, based on what several doctors I know have said about things like this, it is not likely a physician who barely knows you is going to agree to such if they are fully informed of the facts, including that your condition disqualifies you for a regular FAA medical, without a lot more than the usual quick in-and-out visit you get with those "urgent care" places. A bad event out of that could make them uninsurable forever, and doctors really do understand their need for malpractice insurance. But, as you say, there are lawyers, doctors, mechanics, and even pilots who'll do just about anything for a buck, so :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  18. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    It's entirely possible (and, I think, even likely) that the doctor involved will be a defendant in any civil suit brought by anyone injured if "something serious happens" and there is any hint of a medical issue being a contributing factor -- regardless of FAA or NTSB involvement. Like the lawyers say, "Sue 'em all and let the court sort it out."
     
  19. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    On what grounds could the FAA take action? They have no regulatory power over what a non-AME does.

    Ayup.
     
  20. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    :dunno:If you are flying under Sport Pilot rules, you have no issues. As long as you aren't denied a medical and your state allows you to hold a drivers license, you are good to go.
     
  21. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    As an aviation attorney if you want a more official answer than I can give, but based on FAA enforcement action case law I've read, I think you'd lose that argument before an ALJ, the NTSB, or the US Court of Appeals. But feel free to ignore that guidance if you can accept the consequences if you're wrong -- just realize those consequences could be financially devastating.
     
  22. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

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    Thus the term possibly and not sure what jurisdiction they have. However, it is probably not to difficult for them to make an official complaint to a state licensing board, and that will cause said doctor more issues than anything a plaintiff's lawyer can dream of.
     
  23. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    That's Henning's personal opinion. The FAA says otherwise. Choose wisely on whether to follow Henning's personal opinion or the FAA's written guidance linked above.
     
  24. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Where does the FAA state otherwise?
     
  25. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I don't think that's on the FAA's list of things they do. In any event, if there is an injury involved, and the doctor gets sued, I'm pretty sure the state licensing board will know about that without the FAA telling them.
     
  26. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    On their web site, among other places. Read the link I provided above.
     
  27. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I did, I read this:

    You should consult your private physician to determine whether you have a medical deficiency that would interfere with the safe performance of sport piloting duties. You may exercise sport pilot privileges provided you are in good health, your medical condition is under control, you adhere to your physician�s recommended treatment, and you feel satisfied that you are able to conduct safe flight operations.
     
  28. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

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    Possibly, depending on the outcome of the suit. Personally, however, I never try to underestimate the ability of the government to make life difficult on someone when they decide to.
     
  29. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You missed boding a critical word there...

    Legally, "should" is a very important word. Specifically when contrasted with other potential words like "shall" or "must".
     
  30. Henning

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    Correct, "should" is not a requirement, just a suggestion.
     
  31. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Nice of you to include the first sentence which you appear to be ignoring.
     
  32. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I'm not ignoring it, "should" is not a mandate. When the FAA mandates something the say "shall" or "must". Should is an option like Service Bulletin that is not a Mandatory Service Bulletin. It's a good thing to do, but unless you want to operate commercially, you don't have to.
     
  33. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Just like the AIM isn't regulatory, but pilots have been violated and the violations sustained when they don't follow it. Y'all want to believe Henning and rely entirely on your own unqualified medical judgment (or even qualified medical judgment -- see Administrator v. Rose, in which a cardiologist attempted to rely on his own medical judgment regarding a heart condition and lost before the NTSB when the FAA disagreed with his judgment), go right ahead, but don't expect Henning's testimony before the ALJ as to what the regulations require to be availing if the FAA disagrees.
     
  34. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Lol, see what Bruce has to say on this.
     
  35. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    You don't care what the FAA says, you don't care what the NTSB says, and now you say you'll believe what Bruce says? :rofl:
     
  36. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not relevant to the discussion. That's a medical certification ruling, where you are required (ie. "shall" or "must") report conditions.

    The FAA said "should" in their guidance, not "shall" or "must".
     
  37. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    As the case also involved 61.53 regarding flights made after the condition arose but before a new medical, the issue was the "knows or has reason to know" in 61.53, and that's what we're talking about. From the FAA's perspective, if you know you have the condition, you cannot self-certify without proper medical advice, and in this case, the OP knows.

    As I said, good luck making that argument before the ALJ or NTSB.
     
  38. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I care, I just think that you misinterpret this as with many things, in an overly restrictive manner. By construction in this country we legally interpret things in the permissive.
     
  39. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    Well, I'll make an appointment with my private doctor and go from there, thanks for the help guys.
     
  40. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tarheel Pilot, the way to do this with surety is to engage the HIMS certified Neuropsychologist for a cognitive profile. This is a whole day of testing, and it is exhausting. It engages the whole staff of the office for 8 hours. It's not cheap. Think $2,500, and it isn't healthcare. It's occupational medicine= "claim denied".

    When your 12 areas of function are scored against the 29 -something norms, if your deficits in visual and verbal attention are not MARKED, and are better than ~50th percentile, you can be certified. That also requires a reasonable executive function score.

    Why? ADD is though to be permanent, but as one matures beyond age 25, as smart person with these weaknesses, devises personality tools to work around the weaknesses and present the information to oneself in a manner that is useful. All this working around, however, slows the executive function score. that's why we "appear" to outgrow ADD -we don't we just get good on the workaround, if the deficit isn't too awful.

    If that evaluation is favorable (and I would only go to a HIMS certified Neuropsych), then and only then I would apply. At that point you would be issueable.

    I have about half a dozen individual, including a Airport authority director who sometimes posts here, who have been acquitted in this manner. He has a medical certificate.

    Meds are totally off limits. FAA cannot control if you took the meds on the day you had the accident or not. A negative urine is REQUIRED on the day you do the testing. If you have any subsequent Rxs for simulants the whole thing goes down the drain. Remember, with a third class you can fly a 737.

    Think carefully about this one. The first question is, "Am I better on meds than not on meds?" It's a "bridge of no return". The fellow I mentioned above, can function without the meds, but preparing for meetings is MUCH tougher for him without the meds.

    Maybe he'll speak up.