Real Answers from Real Pilots

First Class Medical


(Aurora M) #1

Alrght, so I really want to go for being an airline pilot, however, I have one last thing that concerns me. For the medical, it says no mental/personality issues. I have been diagnosed with PTSD from childhood abuse. It never really causes me any problems, just makes me sad if I think too much about it. Will that destroy my chances of becoming a pilot?

Aurora


#2

Aurora,

First I’m very sorry about your condition. I have friends who’ve served in the military and suffer greatly from that. You will be asked about any “psychological” issues before being granted an FAA medical. I don’t believe that’s immediate cause for a denial but I’m also not an expert. Your best bet would be to contact a local AME (aviation medical examiner) and have a conversation with them. It’s definitely something you’re going to want to get resolved prior to beginning training which is why ATP requires you to get a First Class medical first.

Adam


(Aurora M) #3

Adam,

No apologies necessary, I’ve pretty well come to terms with the fact that the past is the past and nothing will ever change it. Like I said it never really causes me any problems! :smile: How do I go about finding an AME? Maybe I can call and ask them. Just want to make sure in advance that it won’t stop my plans in their tracks!

Aurora


#4

Aurora,

If you go on the FAA’s website and look under “Airmen Certification” you can find a link that will help you located an AME. You might want to actually go sit down and talk with them, it will cost you a few dollars but is the best way to really get to the bottom on this. I think your issue is a little to complex to address over the phone. You should bring any medical records that you have that pertain to your condition.

Chris


(Aurora M) #5

Chris,

I actually just got off the phone with an AME, she was pretty sure it would be alright! The only time I freak out os when strangers touch me :joy: I panic, though it doesn’t show, I just get super irritated :roll_eyes: The lady I spoke to also gave me a number to the FAA medical department, so now I am calling them to see what they have to say on the matter! Thanks for all the help! You guys are great!

Aurora


#6

That is great news! I am glad that it is all working out for you.

Chris


(Aurora M) #7

Bam! FAA said I will just have a few hoops to jump through but I should still be able to get my certificate :smiley: What a relief! Thanks again!

Aurora


#8

Really good to hear! Keep us posted and keep the questions coming.

Adam


(Aurora M) #9

Adam,

Alright you said keep the questions coming, sooo… Would anyone get upset if I burst out singing in the cockpit midair? :laughing::laughing: Truly an important question! One of my favorite ways to make the time fly by!

Aurora


#10

Aurora,

I am guessing that you are joking here, the cockpit of an airlines is a serious work environment, singing out loud would not be looked upon very well.

Chris


#11

Aurora,

Fun fact here. There was a aviation safety study done years ago (I forget the source) but they discovered that prior to many aviation accidents/incidents one of the pilots was heard “humming, singing or whistling” which they believe indicated the pilot was nervous or uncomfortable about something but wasn’t comfortable enough to speak up regarding their concern.

Should you bust out in song flying with me you should expect a thorough inquiry as to the status of the flight :wink:

Adam


(Aurora M) #12

Adam,

I think we have a deal :joy: Don’t worry, I just sing because it’s fun and I like to think I’m decent at it! Used to be a lifeguard and was notorious for singing opera on stand :wink: I might add that no one ever drowned in my zone! I was somehow the most attentive lifeguard there. I’m a music person so typically singing means I’m in a good mood!

Aurora


(Aurora M) #13

Chris,

I was indeed NOT joking, I love to sing. I sing everywhere I go. It keeps me awake and alert and in a good mood :hugs:

Aurora


#14

Aurora,

I think you will need to find another way of staying alert, it would really not be looked upon well on the flight deck.

Chris


#15

At least not Chris’! Yikes! :slight_smile:

Adam


(Aurora M) #16

So basically I can safely assume it all depends on the crew I’m working with on each flight? :joy: I feel like the flight would be better with some Phantom of the Opera!

Aurora


#17

Aurora,

Pilots come (like all people) in a wide variety of personality types. While as a group we tend to be Type A (aka Task Oriented) you’ll find every extreme in the cockpit. That said first and foremost we need to work together as a crew to assure the safety of every flight. Some might enjoy some singing and some may not. While I’m not aware of any FAA or any company regs against it, it’s best to tread lightly when in any new crew situation. Eventually you’ll find pilots you mesh well and feel comfortable with and they may even ask you for a full blown aria. Those who don’t it’s important to respect their wishes as it’s not YOUR cockpit to do as you please and create any unnecessary friction or barriers to communication.

Adam