“Everyone should feel safe speaking up, getting the mental health care they need, regardless of their profession. Aviation should be no different, and yet it is different,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “Current federal rules incentivize people to either lie about their needs or avoid seeking help in the first place — and that’s not safe for anyone.”
The average age of a pilot who holds a medical certificate is 39.6 years.
“When it comes to your airman medical status, just how honest and thorough are you when filling out that MedExpress or BasicMed form?” FAA officials ask in the video’s introduction. “Are you telling your AME everything he or she needs to know? If you are gaming the system, it’s time to come clean.”
In the latest episode of the Pilot Minute, Federal Air Surgeon Susan Northrup, MD, explains how pilots can make it easier to get documents to the FAA by bringing them with you to your AME appointment. Take a little bit more than a minute to watch the video — it might save you some time and headaches.
General aviation pilots at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023 volunteered to sustain oxygen deprivation, turn blue, and emulate barely-sentient zombies in the interest of flight safety — their own flight safety.
If the FAA puts up too many barriers for pilots wrestling with medical and mental health issues, it can backfire, according to Larsen. He noted a Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine study last year found that 56.1% of pilots reported avoiding health care for fear of being grounded.
Pilots who are on antidepressants don’t have to have routine follow-ups, while the FAA added a new drug, bupropion, to the list of approved antidepressants.
Sidelined after 26 straight seasons as an ag pilot. Mike is back in the cockpit.
Knowing they could be grounded, pilots may not be truthful about their health if there is a chance their employers or the FAA could find out, according to the new study.