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Suicide attempt

Discussion in 'Ask A Flight Surgeon' started by Sapient, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Sapient

    Sapient New Member

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    Hi,

    My son is scheduled to begin aviation school in August at UND with the hopes of becoming a helicopter pilot. He has been on an FAA approved anti-depressant for many years and had been completely stable up until a 6 weeks ago when he reacted very badly to a life event and tried to commit suicide. Is there much hope he could ever pass his medical? Is it foolish to start college in the hopes that the medical will come through?

    Thanks for any insights.
     
  2. Plata

    Plata Well-Known Member

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    We don't have an active AME on this forum, but there is a very good one on supercub.org. You can go to that site and post anonymously, and Dr. Randy Corfman will get back to you, either via PM or in the forum, as appropriate. He's an especially good guy, and you can expect him to give you a knowledgeable and factually correct answer.
     
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  3. gotWXdagain

    gotWXdagain Highly Visible Member

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    FYI, UND will not allow him to start the flight courses until he is able to obtain a medical.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  4. Sapient

    Sapient New Member

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    Thanks all. I'll give supercub a try.
     
  5. trafficinsight

    trafficinsight Well-Known Member

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    Good luck, to you and him.
     
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  6. Cessnaflyer

    Cessnaflyer Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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    Wonder if he could head over here and take up residency?
     
  7. dustoff17

    dustoff17 Well-Known Member

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    If your son is wanting to join the Army-sponsored helicopter program with hopes of joining the Army, you might be fighting an uphill battle. An approved FFA medical won't get you past the medical screening required by the military.

    Sorry for his situation and hopes that the medicines work for him in the future......
     
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  8. rjmore

    rjmore Gastrointestinally Challenged

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    Have him go to an AME now and apply for a first class medical. Disclose everything and let the AME guide the process. Spend a few hundred bucks now instead of starting at UND and not be able to fly. He may want to go to a different school for something else if he can't.
     
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  9. Sapient

    Sapient New Member

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    Thanks all. A local AME advised waiting 6 months to show stability before actually trying for the medical. The timing works out poorly, as he would have about a week before classes start.
     
  10. trafficinsight

    trafficinsight Well-Known Member

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    Probably sound like a broken record at this point but I also highly recommend working with AMAS when you get to that point.

    Aviationmedicine.com
     
  11. Cessnaflyer

    Cessnaflyer Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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    How about waiting a year and getting a private at a local school once the medical clears and then going to UND. It would probably save a boat load of money as well.
     
  12. rjmore

    rjmore Gastrointestinally Challenged

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    I think then the question is whether or not he wants to go to UND if her can't fly. If the answer is yes then no problem, he has plenty of classes he will need to take anyway so he can do a semester of those while waiting. Just have him do the general ed requirements that first semester. If he is not sure about UND if he can't fly then maybe see if he can postpone one semester and start later. It may take a while so be prepared for that. After the German Wings crash they are really scrutinizing mental health issues.
     
  13. gotWXdagain

    gotWXdagain Highly Visible Member

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    Eh, UND is kind of a money grab these days. If he doesn't pass his PPL checkride prior to enrolling at UND he'll have to take the entire PPL course.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  14. Cessnaflyer

    Cessnaflyer Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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    Eww. That really sucks. I had a few students that were able to skip it having a prior private. They couldn't make it much further because of cost of IR and CPL.
     
  15. gotWXdagain

    gotWXdagain Highly Visible Member

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    As long as you have private in hand before enrolling in aviation courses, or something like that. I've heard of cases where people have had everything done but the checkride and UND required them to do the full course.
     
  16. thevideographer

    thevideographer Well-Known Member

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    If he does pass his checkride prior he will spend another $2-3000 on their p141 transition course, and probably fail the stage check for that, ask me how I know.

    Anyway, I would add the advice not to seek any kind of mental health treatment at UND or through student health. That is something to get worked out before starting college. Having to deal with the FAA medical and UND knowing about mental health issues will definitely not be beneficial to solving those problems.
     
  17. ppragman

    ppragman Direct BOOKE

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    While I don't want to be a wet blanket, but he's going to face an uphill battle for this, and I would make sure his depressive and or suicidal tendencies are under control prior to going to school. Leaving the nest, your support network etc are tough things if you're already having a tough time.

    I'd also add that while this career seems rosy right now, it is extremely volatile and treats people like garbage when the economy is less strong. Flying can be a great career - but it eats a lot of people. Tread carefully if your reactions to stress in the home life are less than ideal - because while you may enjoy the job if you're miserable the rest of the time...well that's not good.
     
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  18. srn121

    srn121 Well-Known Member

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    Your son doesn't have to go into aviation. If he's still young it might be best for him to re-evaluate what he wants to do. At 18 I had no idea I wanted to be a pilot and if he's like many if not most Americans does he believe he's found his calling yet? Does he have any time in planes already as I think that would've been the best thing to do before enrolling in an extremely expensive school. Plus is UND the best place for him? I don't put much faith in SADs, but maybe going somewhere warm and sunny might help him out a lot. He could always get his degree somewhere else and then start flight training on the side without the massive expenses of UNDs 141 program.

    It's none of my business, but as much as the aviation world is improving it's still not for everyone. There's a lot of time away from families and keeping a relationship might be tough, not to mention having pets. Are you sure your son would be happy as a pilot? I'm sure your son will be a success no matter what path he pursues. My dad was a pilot and tried to force it on me, but I only found myself getting interested in it when I went out on my own and moved almost a 1000 miles away from home.
     
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  19. trafficinsight

    trafficinsight Well-Known Member

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    Or he could *not* give up and fight for what he wants.

    Maybe let him decide.
     
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  20. srn121

    srn121 Well-Known Member

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    If his hearts in it 100% then great, I wish him the best of luck. It's a ton of student loan debt and if he's already depressed how will he feel with that looming over his head? I've talked to a lot of instructors about their students and if the parents are pushing the kid into flying it's usually tough teaching them as they're not doing their ground.

    I have friends that are pretty down about how much they owe. There's no shame in taking time off as he doesn't have to do everything at 18. He can always fly on the side through local airports at whatever university he'd end up at. It would save him a ton of money and he might have more fun too, taking the plane on trips with weekends.
     

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