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Old 10-16-2018, 04:03 PM   #1  
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Default FAA Medical deferred due to past anxiety

I'm a student pilot currently enrolled in an accredited ground school. I have had 2 one-on-one ground lessons, and about 2 hrs of flight time with my instructor. I'm fairly new to flying, but I'm already pretty well financially involved between school and lessons.

I went for my AME exam today and came out deferred. The doctor very nice and told me my physical health is perfect, but there were 2 red flags on my form he wanted to discuss- motion sickness and anxiety. I do occasionally get motion sick, and I fully understand FAA rules about not taking meds to prevent motion sickness as PIC. As I've only gone up in the air twice, I did take it both times (first time I felt queasy the last 15 min, second time with sea-bands added in, I felt great!). All pilots I've chatted with including my instructor have told me this eventually subsides with more air time, so my goal is to discontinue the meclizine in the near future, prior to solo/PIC time.

The second red flag was my listing of anxiety when asked on the form. I have had issues with generalized anxiety since middle school. When I have an episode, I get a little shaky and lose my appetite. I have never been hospitalized, and these episodes are so rare, even when they do occur, they never interfere with daily life nor prevent me from doing whatever I need to do. 2 summers ago, in 2016, I was prescribed a low dose of buspirone by a PA. It was prior to starting clinical rotations (veterinary school) and I was a bit nervous, so she recommended I try it. I took the meds for about 2 months and never refilled the prescription. I've not been on meds since, and since my anxiety issues were so few and far between it was hard to really evaluate effectiveness. I explained all of this to my AME and he told me he wished I had contacted him prior to filling out my history form because he wouldn't have recommended I list any of it, but that he admires my honesty. I'm so bummed out and feel like I shot myself in the foot. He deferred and now I'm waiting to hear from FAA in Oklahoma.

I asked the doctor what my chances were and he said <10% get denied and the FAA typically makes behavioral deferrals jump thru hoops and makes you get cleared by a psychiatrist or counselor. I don't mind doing this, but I just don't want to waste more money on flying lessons if it's a lost cause. The doctor told me he thinks I have my life pretty well together (made it thru vet school, now practicing veterinarian) and apologized for this turning into a lengthy process. I just don't know what to think at this point. Do I have a chance? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:54 PM   #2  
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You'll get over the motion sickness with experience, almost everyone does.

If you can stay off meds, and the anxiety is resolved you can get a medical, very good odds for third class. They will want some additional evaluations.

If the anxiety is not resolved, even with very rare and minor episodes, you cannot get a medical. If you get denied for that, you can try again in a year or two IF your condition is resolved.

It might be possible to get a medical with medications if the condition is perfectly controlled, but that's a long road.
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