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Pilots with Attention Deficit Disorder

Asked by: 11620 views FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

Regarding any pilots with once-diagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD). What are the testing and approval requirements for a student looking to get a Class 3 medical?

Although I am no longer medicated, FAA says to "Submit all pertinent medical information and clinical status report to include documenting the period of use, name and dosage of any medication(s) and side-effects." after 90 days. (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/app_process/exam_tech/item47/amd/table/

Does anyone have any experience or advice with this?


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5 Answers

  1. James MacGregor CFI on May 13, 2011

    Wasnt that ADD/ADHD/etc fad just an excuse for poor parenting skills?
     I dont think some poor kid getting tranquilized by their inadequate partents qualifies as medication any more then a girl getting ruffied.

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  2. Best Answer

    John D. Collins on May 13, 2011


    I have excerpted a portion of the writeup on the AOPA site on ADHD.  You may have to be an AOPA member, but you can read the full writeup at: http://www.aopa.org/members/pic/medical/certification/mental/add.html


    Because of the potential for significant underlying psychiatric or psychological problems and the side effects of medications, the FAA does not currently allow medical certification for a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD requiring the use of medication.

    For medical certification consideration, you will need to have discontinued all psychoactive medications for at least the preceding 90 days.  After being off the medications for 90 days, a neuropsychological evaluation should be conducted. The neuropsychological evaluation must also include the following three tests:

    1. Trail Making Test
    2. Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
    3. Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT)

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  3. John D. Collins on May 13, 2011

    Dr Bruce Chien is a Senior AME located in Peoria, IL, and only handles difficult medical certifications and is on a first name basis with the doctors at the FAA medical certification.  He is generally willing to give advice and guidance to you and your AME.  I would call or email him and request his advice.  He knows what he is talking about.  He also is a moderator on the AOPA Red board.  He can be reached at bbchien@comcast.net or by phone at 309 689-5242. 

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  4. John D. Collins on May 13, 2011



    You need to back on your medications!

    +7 Votes Thumb up 8 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes

  5. James MacGregor on May 13, 2011

    Lol, when I was younger I had a few friends who’s parents were on the whole ADD parenting bandwagon, even when I was a little kid it was obvious that these folks were using medication as a crutch for poor parenting skills.

    Back in the day ADD “disorder” didn’t exist, just like obesity was called being fat and lazy and test anxiety disorder was called being unprepared.

    -16 Votes Thumb up 6 Votes Thumb down 22 Votes

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