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  • Writer's pictureJosh Stoffer

FAA Amends AME Guidance for Uncomplicated Depression, Sometimes the Best Answer Is No, Avoiding Spatial “D”

FAA Amends AME Guidance on Uncomplicated Anxiety, Depression, and Related Conditions


The FAA has revised its guidance to Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) on “uncomplicated anxiety, depression, and related conditions,” allowing them to issue a medical certificate if a pilot has been off medication for 2 years, there are no issues raised by a questionnaire, and the AME has no concerns. And since it’s common to have more than one mental health condition like anxiety and depression, or anxiety and PTSD, your AME can now issue a medical certificate for any class if you have up to 2 mental health conditions provided certain criteria are met. Review the questionnaire and conditions at  Uncomplicated Anxiety, Depression, and Related Conditions (faa.gov).


There is also a new option for AMEs to issue a medical certificate to pilots who used to be on medication for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) if otherwise qualified. This option requires that pilots be off medication for 4 years, have no symptoms, and not have been diagnosed with any other mental health condition. For more, see the latest Pilot Minute video at bit.ly/PilotMinute or go to faa.gov/ame_guide/media/ADHD_pathway_chart.pdf.


Sometimes the Best Answer is No


Pilots are decision-makers who are go-oriented and focused on completing the task at hand. But, when “no” is the correct answer, it is the only answer. In a new video from The Rotorcraft Collective, FAA Safety Team representative Jessica Meiris outlines the importance of knowing and sticking to personal minimums and limitations. “Your personal minimums are meant to be firm. When you are close to exceeding your personal minimums, Just Say No.” To view this and other videos in the Rotorcraft Collective playlist, go to https://bit.ly/RotorYT.  


Learn How to Avoid Spatial Disorientation


Did you know that between 5 to 10% of all general aviation accidents are attributed to spatial disorientation, and 90% of those are fatal? All pilots are susceptible to the optical illusions caused by spatial “D” that may cause loss of aircraft control at any time. For a closer look at the causes, types, and strategies for preventing spatial “D,” see the article “It’s A Confusing World Up There” at medium.com/faa/its-a-confusing-world-up-there-5070c1e5806b  in the May/June 2024 issue of FAA Safety Briefing. See the entire IFR flying issue at www.faa.gov/safety_briefing.

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