Airline Pilot Forums

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vanrv36
07-31-2018, 01:09 PM
Hi all,

Currently looking at flying for a regional soon, I don't have any concerns getting there but i'm VERY concerned about one day not being able to get a slot into the majors.

Here's why. About 5 or so years ago when I started college/school I had a major run in with depression. It wasn't college/being away from home that started it, I essentially went in like that from the start. I went to an aviation school and then transferred out after a year because I didn't think it was the best option since I could fly on my own and study something else. My grades suffered badly and barely passed and this went on for about another 3 or so years. Through that point in time I really slowed down my flying. The last two years of school it got so bad there was a point were I was essentially forced to go see a therapist once a week, which went on for about 2 years. Between that point my flying slowed down to about 2-4 hours a week. Sometimes it went down to 2-4 a month.

*Absolutely no anti depressants were prescribed, so I could still fly *legally*.

Have to say, I wish I asked for help sooner because i'm essentially no where near being anything like the person I was two years ago. I'm happy, normal and hard working. So essentially, it's been 5-6 years worth of recovery during the most pivotal time in my career.


Now, once that time comes of being eligible, how would that affect my chances when i'm sat down in an interview, if I even get one? Being that they uncover all those little rocks in your past. I would like to be able to fly for someone like SWA, Delta or American. I don't want to sound like i'm lazy, but just had a nasty run in with mental health issues that is incredibly hard to talk about.

Right now I casually do some volunteering and started some non flying side projects to keep me busy.


rickair7777
07-31-2018, 08:30 PM
Hi all,

Currently looking at flying for a regional soon, I don't have any concerns getting there but i'm VERY concerned about one day not being able to get a slot into the majors.

Here's why. About 5 or so years ago when I started college/school I had a major run in with depression. It wasn't college/being away from home that started it, I essentially went in like that from the start. I went to an aviation school and then transferred out after a year because I didn't think it was the best option since I could fly on my own and study something else. My grades suffered badly and barely passed and this went on for about another 3 or so years. Through that point in time I really slowed down my flying. The last two years of school it got so bad there was a point were I was essentially forced to go see a therapist once a week, which went on for about 2 years. Between that point my flying slowed down to about 2-4 hours a week. Sometimes it went down to 2-4 a month.

*Absolutely no anti depressants were prescribed, so I could still fly *legally*.

Have to say, I wish I asked for help sooner because i'm essentially no where near being anything like the person I was two years ago. I'm happy, normal and hard working. So essentially, it's been 5-6 years worth of recovery during the most pivotal time in my career.


Now, once that time comes of being eligible, how would that affect my chances when i'm sat down in an interview, if I even get one? Being that they uncover all those little rocks in your past. I would like to be able to fly for someone like SWA, Delta or American. I don't want to sound like i'm lazy, but just had a nasty run in with mental health issues that is incredibly hard to talk about.

Right now I casually do some volunteering and started some non flying side projects to keep me busy.

Couple things...

- These days airlines don't have much to do with your medical condition, that's mostly left up to the FAA. So your real concern is getting the FAA to issue you a First Class medical. But you don't need to be too concerned.

- The sort of situational depression you describe is pretty common, especially around that time in life.

- The fact that no meds were used is a plus.

- Since you were treated by a medical professional, you'll have to report the situation when you apply for a medical. They will at least want a written statement from the doc who treated you, and will likely want an recent evaluation. If it was situational depression, and you're fine now, you should have no problem getting a medical.

Worst case, a few top-tier majors might do an FAA 1C exam at the time of interview, and they would have you submit the same form you fill out for the FAA. They should not hold you to higher standards than the FAA they should only verify that you meet FAA standards, which should not be a problem since the FAA should issue a letter to that effect when they clear you.

If you haven't already, do some research on how to avoid and manage that sort of depression so you can manage your lifestyle to stay out of trouble with that sort of thing (but if you do end up in a bad place, get help, don't try to gut it out).

vanrv36
07-31-2018, 08:57 PM
Couple things...

- These days airlines don't have much to do with your medical condition, that's mostly left up to the FAA. So your real concern is getting the FAA to issue you a First Class medical. But you don't need to be too concerned.

- The sort of situational depression you describe is pretty common, especially around that time in life.

- The fact that no meds were used is a plus.

- Since you were treated by a medical professional, you'll have to report the situation when you apply for a medical. They will at least want a written statement from the doc who treated you, and will likely want an recent evaluation. If it was situational depression, and you're fine now, you should have no problem getting a medical.

Worst case, a few top-tier majors might do an FAA 1C exam at the time of interview, and they would have you submit the same form you fill out for the FAA. They should not hold you to higher standards than the FAA they should only verify that you meet FAA standards, which should not be a problem since the FAA should issue a letter to that effect when they clear you.

If you haven't already, do some research on how to avoid and manage that sort of depression so you can manage your lifestyle to stay out of trouble with that sort of thing (but if you do end up in a bad place, get help, don't try to gut it out).



I've got my 1st class and everything, being that i'm a very private person not many people know about it. I just keep my self away from things where people would notice.
At the moment I am still seeing the therapist every now and then to work out strategies and decipher/evaluate how things are going. I've essentially had to 'relearn' all of this social and self worth BS

I'm about 1450TT right now.

Appreciate the feedback though.


rickair7777
08-01-2018, 07:56 AM
I've got my 1st class and everything, being that i'm a very private person not many people know about it. I just keep my self away from things where people would notice.
At the moment I am still seeing the therapist every now and then to work out strategies and decipher/evaluate how things are going. I've essentially had to 'relearn' all of this social and self worth BS

I'm about 1450TT right now.

Appreciate the feedback though.

If you have and can maintain a 1C, you should be fine with most majors (and essentially all regionals) who will just want to see your 1C.

But airline training and lifestyle can be stressful (especially the first year, lots of changes and tough schedules), so be prepared for that and manage your lifestyle well. Exercise, meditation, healthy diet, and alcohol in moderation go a long ways.

Excargodog
08-01-2018, 09:45 PM
I don't know if any of you have been following the seniority merge squabble going on on the Alaska forum, but if you look back a couple of months, the Legacy-Alaska and Virgin-Alaska troops were in great number diagnosable as having major depressive episodes just contemplating seniority they believed they would be "giving up" in the merge of the two lists, which after almost two and a half years is still in arbitration between the two union groups, both of which are ALPA.

You read the postings and a lot of them seem to be going from major depression to damn near homicidal. If the majors can tolerate these guys - and they clearly have - they shouldn't have any problem putting up with the OP. Read back a few months on the seniority negotiations and you'll see what I mean.

:D:D

jumppilot71
08-02-2018, 08:28 PM
I've been through something somewhat similar, but with the military/ptsd and an airline. What I don't understand is how you were still holding any kind of medical while seeking treatment for depression. Secondly, I could be wrong but it sounds like you never reported the depression. I've been through the ringer with this and I'm quite positive the FAA will want you to see a HIMS certified doctor for testing. I may have read things wrong, but I'm just throwing that out there. If you have any questions you're welcome to message me.

vanrv36
08-04-2018, 09:17 PM
I've been through something somewhat similar, but with the military/ptsd and an airline. What I don't understand is how you were still holding any kind of medical while seeking treatment for depression. Secondly, I could be wrong but it sounds like you never reported the depression. I've been through the ringer with this and I'm quite positive the FAA will want you to see a HIMS certified doctor for testing. I may have read things wrong, but I'm just throwing that out there. If you have any questions you're welcome to message me.


You are correct, I never reported it. Also mentioned in there I'm an extremely private person and it went unnoticed by peers and I made choices to refrain from flying (when I felt the lowest) until I could pursue it full throttle. I never asked for help (regretting that). However before the time that I realized that I had felt that way, I was still flying. I could still make normal decisions but I essentially had no emotions whatsoever. But there was an event that happened in that period where I realized that I needed treatment the entire time, I just never realized it.

Anyway, i'm 1000% fine now.

jumppilot71
08-05-2018, 07:37 AM
My point and the way I understood it was that you were in treatment while still continuing to fly and that could potentially come up later. Either way, you were in treatment for it and that does have to be reported at your next physical. Itís at that point that it could become a HIMS issue. I hope it doesnít because that becomes thousands of dollars out of pocket since it seems they donít like insurance.

rickair7777
08-05-2018, 04:40 PM
You are correct, I never reported it. Also mentioned in there I'm an extremely private person and it went unnoticed by peers and I made choices to refrain from flying (when I felt the lowest) until I could pursue it full throttle. I never asked for help (regretting that). However before the time that I realized that I had felt that way, I was still flying. I could still make normal decisions but I essentially had no emotions whatsoever. But there was an event that happened in that period where I realized that I needed treatment the entire time, I just never realized it.

Anyway, i'm 1000% fine now.

My point and the way I understood it was that you were in treatment while still continuing to fly and that could potentially come up later. Either way, you were in treatment for it and that does have to be reported at your next physical. It’s at that point that it could become a HIMS issue. I hope it doesn’t because that becomes thousands of dollars out of pocket since it seems they don’t like insurance.

If you flew while "feeling down", it would be really hard for the FAA to penalize you for that since you did not have a diagnosis and wasn't something obviously wrong (like a broken wrist).

But once you started treatment or were diagnosed by a professional, then you were:

1) Definitely obligated to report it at your next medical.
2) Possibly (probably) required to ground yourself immediately, and stay grounded until cleared by the FAA.

#2 does not always apply, depends on the condition and severity, but if you flew after being diagnsosed/treated for mental health issues, you should talk to a lawyer BEFORE you talk to the FAA or AME, just so you don't hang yourself out to dry.