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SANairlineFAN
10-30-2017, 08:55 PM
After reading articles about the GermanWing pilot that was mentally ill and crashed the plane a few years back, I wanted to ask the forum a question.

I have a friend that works for a major regional carrier and he told some of us a few times that he takes bi-polar medication but doesnt want his employer to know. Is that a disqualifying issue? I dont want to have a friend lose his job, but I also dont want to live with the fact that I knew something and did nothing. Any honest advise would be greatly appreciated.

~Concerned Citizen


SANairlineFAN
10-30-2017, 09:05 PM
After reading articles about the GermanWing pilot that was mentally ill and crashed the plane a few years back, I wanted to ask the forum a question.

I have a friend that works for a major regional carrier and he told some of us a few times that he takes bi-polar medication but doesnt want his employer to know. Is that a disqualifying issue? I dont want to have a friend lose his job, but I also dont want to live with the fact that I knew something and did nothing. Any honest advise would be greatly appreciated.

~Concerned Citizen

JamesNoBrakes
10-30-2017, 09:46 PM
After reading articles about the GermanWing pilot that was mentally ill and crashed the plane a few years back, I wanted to ask the forum a question.

I have a friend that works for a major regional carrier and he told some of us a few times that he takes bi-polar medication but doesnt want his employer to know. Is that a disqualifying issue? I dont want to have a friend lose his job, but I also dont want to live with the fact that I knew something and did nothing. Any honest advise would be greatly appreciated.

~Concerned Citizen

It appears to be disqualifying according to this FAA regulation (from 14 CFR Part 67, Medical Standards):

67.107 Mental.

Mental standards for a first-class airman medical certificate are:

(a) No established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:

(1) A personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts.

(2) A psychosis. As used in this section, “psychosis” refers to a mental disorder in which:

(i) The individual has manifested delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of this condition; or

(ii) The individual may reasonably be expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of this condition.

(3) A bipolar disorder.

(4) Substance dependence, except where there is established clinical evidence, satisfactory to the Federal Air Surgeon, of recovery, including sustained total abstinence from the substance(s) for not less than the preceding 2 years. As used in this section—

(i) “Substance” includes: Alcohol; other sedatives and hypnotics; anxiolytics; opioids; central nervous system stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and similarly acting sympathomimetics; hallucinogens; phencyclidine or similarly acting arylcyclohexylamines; cannabis; inhalants; and other psychoactive drugs and chemicals; and

(ii) “Substance dependence” means a condition in which a person is dependent on a substance, other than tobacco or ordinary xanthine-containing (e.g., caffeine) beverages, as evidenced by—

(A) Increased tolerance;

(B) Manifestation of withdrawal symptoms;

(C) Impaired control of use; or

(D) Continued use despite damage to physical health or impairment of social, personal, or occupational functioning.

(b) No substance abuse within the preceding 2 years defined as:

(1) Use of a substance in a situation in which that use was physically hazardous, if there has been at any other time an instance of the use of a substance also in a situation in which that use was physically hazardous;

(2) A verified positive drug test result, an alcohol test result of 0.04 or greater alcohol concentration, or a refusal to submit to a drug or alcohol test required by the U.S. Department of Transportation or an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation; or

(3) Misuse of a substance that the Federal Air Surgeon, based on case history and appropriate, qualified medical judgment relating to the substance involved, finds—

(i) Makes the person unable to safely perform the duties or exercise the privileges of the airman certificate applied for or held; or

(ii) May reasonably be expected, for the maximum duration of the airman medical certificate applied for or held, to make the person unable to perform those duties or exercise those privileges.

(c) No other personality disorder, neurosis, or other mental condition that the Federal Air Surgeon, based on the case history and appropriate, qualified medical judgment relating to the condition involved, finds—

(1) Makes the person unable to safely perform the duties or exercise the privileges of the airman certificate applied for or held; or

(2) May reasonably be expected, for the maximum duration of the airman medical certificate applied for or held, to make the person unable to perform those duties or exercise those privileges.

[Doc. No. 27940, 61 FR 11256, Mar. 19, 1996, as amended by Amdt. 67-19, 71 FR 35764, June 21, 2006]

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You could pose this question to the FAA Regional Flight Surgeon. They ones I've dealt with have been pretty straight up and there's nothing to be lost if you call them and pose the situation hypothetically. They don't have phone-traces or CSI-supercomputers or anything crazy like that and they'd be more than willing to tell you if it is possible to hold the FAA medical certificate with such a disorder or if there's any recourse.


lbfowlerjrmd
10-31-2017, 05:49 AM
yes! (plus 10 characters)

rickair7777
10-31-2017, 09:22 AM
I personally might be inclined to let it slide if someone was managing mild depression with SSRI's (which generally work well).

But bi-polar? No way! Please talk to someone, this a huge potential problem.

I recently had a similar difficult situation come up, and had to make a tough call. Mine was a bit more clear-cut, there are obvious behavioral issues.

Honestly with that condition your friend is probably better off with another career anyway, one where he can manage his health, and not be forced to go fly a big jet full of people at one am when he's really not up to it.

PerfInit
10-31-2017, 09:40 AM
Https://hotline.faa.gov

Hetman
11-09-2017, 01:05 AM
Source:
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/pharm/dni_dnf/

Do Not Issue. AMEs should not issue airmen medical certificates to applicants who are using these classes of medications or medications...

(Various drugs for variouus conditions. Scroll down the list until):

..Psychiatric or Psychotropic medications, (even when used for something other than a mental health condition) including but not limited to:

antidepressants (certain SSRIs may be allowed - see SSRI policy)
antianxiety drugs - e.g.: alprazolam (Xanax)
antipsychotics
attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications
mood stabilizers
sedative-hypnotics
stimulants
tranquilizers