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  • Ptsd

    Private Pilot but have not flown since 1982. Never been revoked or suspended and medical just lapsed about 1983. Didn't want to fly anymore as It got boring and Instrument wasn't for me. Want to take it up again as a Sport Pilot. PTSD was Viet War and take medications for anxiety/depression. Clonazepam for anxiety (1mg 3 times per day and Cymbalta for depression). Found VFR flight enjoyable and relaxing and would like to do it again. Thoughts??? Thanks much!

  • #2
    Lots of things have changed since 1982--the stick & rudder part will likely come back, but the rules and regs have changed substantially. So regardless of which you decide to pursue, private or sport pilot, you'll need lots of retraining.

    The meds are another issue altogether. Do not get the idea that if you don't take a medical so that you can't fail it, that you're good to go. That is absolutely not true. You still must self-certify, and that includes not being on any disallowed meds. For years, the FAA disallowed any anti-anxiety or anti-depression meds. They've opened the door a little, but not a lot. Some meds in some dosages are now allowed, but there are restrictions.

    I suggest that you might want to consult with a Senior AME and have a good discussion about what is allowed and what is not, and if what you're on is disallowed, if there are as effective meds which are allowed. There must be some inter-consultation between the AME and your own doc, too, because what treatment works for some doesn't work for everyone.

    You definitely have some hurdles to jump, and only you can decide whether they're worth the effort. Good luck!



    • #3
      FWIW, I looked up your meds on the AOPA medical list. Both clonazepam and cymbalta are prohibited drugs. In other words, you cannot be taking either of them and legally fly solo, whether under Sport Pilot rules or Part 91. Again, although you've never had a revoked medical, you still must self-certify (as all pilots must) that you are safe to fly medically and that includes that you are not taking any prohibited medications.

      But there may be alternatives. Review my previous post. In addition, you might get onto the AOPA forum and contact Dr. Bruce Chien, who moderates the medical forum part. He's helped many people with many different issues, and he may be able to help you.