August 18, 2010
By AOPA ePublishing staff
The period of amnesty for pilots who failed to disclose their antidepressant use on past airmen medical applications is nearing its end.
Effective April 5, 2010, the FAA began considering individuals for special issuance medical certification who are being treated for depression with one of four SSRI medications. The agency gave pilots who had not reported information about their condition on previous medical applications until Sept. 30 to come forward without fear of prosecution.
“Once the amnesty period ends, pilots who have failed to disclose their use of antidepressants on previous medical applications will once again be subject to prosecution if the FAA becomes aware of the unreported medication usage,” said AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump.
Pilots who apply for any class of medical certificate between April 5, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2010, will be exempt from prosecution for flying with unreported SSRI use if they disclose a history of antidepressant use, the underlying condition for which the medication was prescribed, and visits to health professionals in connection with the antidepressant use or underlying condition.
Applicants may now qualify for special issuance if they take an SSRI for depression and provide the required reports and consultations, which include the results of neurocognitive psychological tests. AOPA provides members with a detailed discussion of the new rule in its subject report.
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The FAA encourages pilots to do a number of things in order to increase safety, but does not require them. Check out these three actions that are recommended.
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