Will the FAA grant me a third class medical?

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Dm1938, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Dm1938

    Dm1938 Filing Flight Plan

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    I currently take Wellbutrin and Cymbalta for depression and anxiety. Will the FAA automatically deny my application, despite the fact these medications really help me? Can they still grant a special issuance?
     
  2. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You won't get certified with two drugs no matter how much help they are for you. There is no path to special issuance for that.
    If you can get well-controlled with one drug, and it is one of the SSRIs the FAA has on the SSRI protocol, you MIGHT get a special issuance. That would take at least six months of the new drug. Right now, neither Cymbalta nor Wellbutrin are on the list (neither are SSRIs and only SSRIs are now approved).

    But Bruce is the one to ask. He was one of the authors of that protocol
     
  4. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well there is your answer - no chance in hell since FAA rules are basically designed for commercial operators.

    If you just want to fly for the love of flying then just go LSA if you feel you are not a danger to yourself and others - no need to beg anyone for permissions or spend ridiculous amounts of money ....
     
  5. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/advocacy-briefs/frequently-asked-questions-about-sport-pilot

    Driver's license and the student pilot certificate:


    • The Sport Pilot rule allows a pilot to fly light-sport aircraft without the need for an FAA medical certificate. However, a sport pilot must hold at least a current and valid U.S. driver's license in order to exercise this privilege. The only exceptions are for operations in a glider or balloon, which does not require a driver's license.
    • A person using a current and valid U.S. driver's license must comply with each restriction and limitation imposed by that person's U.S. driver's license and any judicial or administrative order applying to the operation of a motor vehicle. That person must also meet the requirements of 14 CFR 61.23(c)(2), which states the following:
      • Have been found eligible for the issuance of at least a third class airman medical certificate at the time of his or her most recent application (if the person has applied for a medical certificate);
      • Not have had his or her most recently issued medical certificate (if the person has held a medical certificate) suspended or revoked or most recent Authorization for a Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate withdrawn; and
      • Not know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would make that person unable to operate a light-sport aircraft in a safe manner.
    the first part of the enhanced paragraph would seem to put the kaibosh on LSA but the last part would seem to say otherwise. contact Dr. Bruce.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  6. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  7. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, that is essentially the self-certification part.

    If you feel that you are safe to operate a light sport plane and don’t fell you have a condition that would prevent you from doing so then you are good to go.
    They way I read is that you are the sole arbiter in this matter because otherwise who is ? If something does happen and is related to your health , the FAA would simply state that you were operating the plane with a condition that prevented you from operating it in a safe manner.
     
  8. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They are both verboten meds, so, yes—> denial.

    Also, requiring at any time in your life- dual antidepressives, excludes you from ever doing the single SSRI protocol. And if you have had more than one episode, that is recurrent disease, so if you are ever fortunate to be able to come stably off of all med, recurrent disease untreated and unmonitored, gets denied.

    Your only hope then (single episode) is in eventually coming off the meds stably. However only do that on advice you you doctor...it can be a terrible Life choice and result in a ruined life :( .
     
  9. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    One can try and fail, or one can fail to try.

    The first part keeps the FAA's ass covered. The second part lets you fly if you are actually able to operate an LSA safely.
     
  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    The Sport Pilot kaibosh only happens IF the person has applied for a medical and been denied. If they never applied, we fall to the third bullet point and it becomes self-assessment.

    Now we can quibble (and have quibbled a lot on this board) about whether a pilot on anti-depressives "knows of a medical condition that would make that person unable to operate a light sport aircraft in a safe manner." It seems a case could be made that someone taking two non-SSRIs and knowing that med would preclude issuance of a medical certificate has reason to believe he should not be flying an LSA.

    But it would only come to the FAA's attention in the event of an accident or other investigation, and the worst-case outcome would probably be loss of the Sport Pilot certificate.
     
  11. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I have to wonder (what with me not being a doctor or nu'ttn) - what is it about anti-depresents that makes them "unsafe"?

    https://www.drugs.com
    "Common side effects of Wellbutrin include: insomnia, nausea, pharyngitis, weight loss, constipation, dizziness, headache, and xerostomia. Other side effects include: abdominal pain, agitation, arthralgia, migraine, skin rash, urinary frequency, anxiety, diarrhea, lack of concentration, myalgia, nervousness, palpitations, pruritus, tinnitus, tremor, vomiting, anorexia, diaphoresis, dysgeusia, flushing, and abnormal dreams."

    "Common side effects of Cymbalta include: asthenia, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, hypersomnia, insomnia, nausea, sedated state, headache, and xerostomia. Other side effects include: agitation, erectile dysfunction, nervousness, psychomotor agitation, tension, vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, decreased appetite, decreased libido, hyperhidrosis, loss of libido, and restlessness."

    The risk there would be perhaps the insomnia / drowsiness? But, if that is not an issue in a particular case... Shouldn't this be evaluated on a case by case basis?

    "Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term trials. These trials did not show an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in subjects aged 65 and older.In patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy, monitor closely for worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Advise families and caregivers of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber."

    Is that the problem? Someone taking anti-depressants is going to take their Cub and crash into a high rise (1/5/02 - never forget!)?

    Personally, I suspect that the potential for E.D. is the big reason for dis-allowing these - Pilots need to be square jawed, manly men - God's gift to womankind- ready to rise to the occasion on a moments notice...
     
  12. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Beats me. Good question for @bbchien and @lbfjrmd . I suspect the concern isn't just the side effects, but also how well the underlying condition is actually controlled and what the effect might be of missing a dose or two. It's interesting that the protocol only includes SSRIs, not SNRIs or other meds. Lots of people are taking this stuff and driving big scary vehicles on the interstates every day. (Which might explain a lot, actually....)


    I expect @Everskyward will be along any moment to dispute that one....
     
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  13. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    :rofl: