Real Answers from Real Pilots

Hypertension Medication


(Benjamin Jackson) #1

Do you know pilots with blood pressure medication? I can see that the FAA approves several of this kind of medication. Is it one of those things where if an airline sees this on your medical record will they hesitate to hire you?


(Tory) #2

Benjamin,

As long as you can obtain a 1st Class Medical that’s good enough in the airlines eyes.

Tory


#3

Ben,

Generally speaking, the airlines will not have access to your medical records. If you are able to obtain a first class medical, you should be fine.

That being said, we are not able to dispense medical advice on this forum, so you will need to seek out a FAA medical examiner to answer those questions.

Chris


#4

Benjamin,

I’ve been on BP meds most of my life. I’m currently a Capt at a Major airline and it’s never been an issue.

Adam


(Benjamin Jackson) #5

Thank you all! I medically qualify otherwise.

Opinion question - I’m currently a school teacher with about $50K in student debt for both my bachelor and master’s degrees (age 24). I’ve completed my private pilot license. Do you think taking the financial investment on ATP is feasible in terms of paying back loans, etc? High risk high reward is how it seems.

I’m on an Air Force track to follow my grandfathers footsteps and am scheduled to take the AFOQT soon. That would obviously be more financially helpful but I’ve read through a lot of discussion on this forum and have always been intrigued. Just wanting your opinions. Thank you all!


#6

Benjamin,

Not knowing what your repayment terms are, your desired standard of living, or what your financial situation is, it is really hard to say what is feasible for you or not. It does sound like a significant amount of debt, I would suspect that you will need a co-signer. As always though, check with the finance department as they can provide better answers in this realm.

As for the Air Force, none of the mentors on here have been in the service, so keep that in mind. Going into the service is a great way to get your training paid for and it might ot might not be a faster path to the airlines (for most people I suspect it is a slower path to the majors as I believe it is a ten year commitment). Just make sure that you are going into the service for the right reason, to serve your country. Those that go in for the free flight training tend to dislike being in the service and not do as well.

I would try to seek out former or current Air Force pilots and see what they think.

Chris


#7

Benjamin,

As Chris said none of us have served but I do have many friends who have. My question for you is do you want to be an “airline pilot” or do you simply want to be a pilot? Money aside, while the Air Force can be an amazing experience it’s definitely not the fastest or most efficient route. If you want to follow in your grandfather’s footsteps and serve your country then by all means but if you’re doing it as a means to get to the airlines without a loan I’d caution you to give it more thought as it’s a huge commitment. Further if we are talking money remember airline pilots have a finite amount of years they can fly. Your time serving will literally take hundreds of thousands of dollars out of your pocket in the long run.

Btw, I’d be more concerned with how the Air Force views your high BP than how the airlines do.

Adam


(Benjamin Jackson) #8

Much appreciated advice, guys!


(Simon) #9

Benjamin,

I was fortunate to serve for 17 years as a military officer, although not on an aviation field. I would advise you to strongly consider your motivation for enlisting as it comes with great responsibility and implications. As well as the return of service commitment which would delay your entry to commercial civilian aviation, there is litttle guarantee you will receive pilot training, and if you do it may be rotary wing or drone vs jet.

Perhaps more importantly consider if you will enjoy the lifestyle and the high likelihood of protracted overseas deployments including to combat zones. I personally loved every aspect of my service from the PT regimen to the camerarderie and the challenges of operations, but if you are motivated only by the possibility of flying the 5.30am PT call or months in an uncomfortable environment may be less easy to embrace.
I am at the other end of your journey, and whilst at age 42 have potentially less opportunity for a career at the Majors I hope I will be able to bring some maturity and leadership skills to wherever I may be fortunate enough to serve as a pilot.

Currently hitting the books hard studying for the written ahead of a 5/6 start date at PDK.

Good luck in your own journey.


(Benjamin Jackson) #10

Simon,

As a current football coach I love the camaraderie that I get to witness in my players. I witnessed that same camaraderie as I watched and learned about my grandfather’s career. I’m aware that it is a high calling and that it is not for the faint of heart. The lifestyle is something my wife and I have given serious thought and sought counsel on.

Good luck to you as well! Thanks very much for your advice.


#11

Benjamin,

I have heard that the Marine Core is currently offering guaranteed pilot slots. Meaning that if you do not qualify for pilot training, you are released from your commitment. Of course helicopters would still be a possibility with this. Something to think about. Whatever you do, make sure that you are speaking with an officer recruiter and not a regular recruiter.

Chris


(Sam Johnson) #12

I have been on BP meds for years. There are several pilots on the line with more significant heart problems. First-class physical is the key. Just make sure whatever medication you are taking is approved. There is a list at: www.leftseat.com/faa-accepted-medications/.


(Benjamin Jackson) #13

Thanks Chris and Sam.

Chris, from my understanding of the Air Force process thus far, I would get accepted into OTS and know what my job assignment is — knowing whether or not I received a pilot slot. I’m glad it’s the same case with the Marine Core.

Sam, thanks for the information. I appreciate it!