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Criminal History and Depression Concerns

Hi there, I recently started my ground schooling and flight instruction and my CFI has given me the info to go to an AME and get my Medical Third Class for solo flight and student pilot's license. I filled out FAA Form 8500-8 on MedXPress and got a confirmation number and am now ready to schedule a visit with an AME. But due to some medical and criminal records concerns my CFI advised me to post here about those concerns in order to determine if there's any documentation or information I can have to be prepared in advance to provide my AME to expedite the process of getting my Medical Third Class.

With my medical there are two concerns. The first is that I have sports asthma and carry a Xopenex HFA inhaler with me for emergency use (emergency usually being a mild tightness in my breathing which the inhaler eliminates instantly). I use the inhaler on average about one time every week as needed based on mild attacks. I've never had an asthma attack severe enough to need medical attention. The second concern is that I have had a history of depression in the past, for which I had been treated and then received therapy to learn how to self-manage and control the depression. That was over 7 years ago now and I haven't had a relapse or spiral since, nor have I taken any medication since, however I've been told that the FAA really frowns upon and considers anyone with a history of depression a risk.

Another concern is with my criminal record. I have two violent crime convictions on my record, one of which has been retroactively dropped (but not expunged) after completing community service and a probationary period, and the second which was deferred (but not expunged) again for community service and probation. In addition I've been charged with negligent driving twice due to motorcycle accidents where I was found at-fault (I disagree but that's of course not what the records have to say).

My goal is to obtain a Private Pilot Airman certification and eventually become Instrument Rated. What information, if any, might the AME request in order to make a determination? Or should I have any cause for concern that flying isn't in my future?

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
Staff member
Be prepared to talk to the AME in detail about all of this. If you are no longer depressed and have not been treated for 7 years, the depression shoild not be an issue. Regarding the arrests, tell the AME in detail what the charges were and what happened. He will make a comment in Box 60 to address this for the FAA.


Well-Known Member
Happy New Year Dr. Forred & JC family!:)


The FAA (Office of Aerospace Medicine), can act in some peculiar ways. I've seen some who have a litany of charges and they are explained to the FAA and they are approved. Then, there are others that may have two or three serious charges that are dropped, however, the FAA will leave no stone un-turned in investigating "what caused" you to put yourself in those situations to be charged in the first place. It's all relative my man.

Good luck.

Hello Doc. Happy New Year. New memberhere. I'm a former Army helicopter pilot with Commercial ASEL, AMEL, Helicopterinstrument ratings and now pursuing an Airline Career after retiring from theArmy. I do posses a current 1st Class Medical. I was diagnosed with depressionback in 2013 while on Active Duty and flying with the Army (due to goingthrough a divorce); I self-grounded and got helped by behavioral health. I wasprescribed Prozac but never took a single pill. Anyway, the depression lasted forabout 1 to 2 months and then I got put back on flight status and was evenissued a waiver for the "depression" after an AeromedicalPsychological Evaluation was performed by a certified Army Aviation AeromedicalPsychologist. Being under the impression that I didn't need to report anyconditions, visits, or medications (even when I did not use them) older thanthree years I did not report this past depression episode during my last FAAmedical exam. I have been cleared of depression since October 2013. Myquestions are: Do I need to report this? Am I in trouble? What should I do?Should I lose sleep about it? Leave it as is? Thank you in advance Doc


Dr not here anymore.

FWIW, just the fact you were prescribed antidepressants, whether you took them or even had the prescription filled, was cause for grounding as a controller in the FAA.