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I want to get my category 3 or 4 medical so I can either get my private pilots license or my recreational pilots license. I have been diagnosed with psychosis and am currently on Invega Sustenna (anti psychotic) to combat the condition.

My question is: will I ever be able to get my cat 3 or 4 ? I live in Canada.

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    $\begingroup$ Like many medical conditions, psychosis can cover a wide spectrum. Similarly, available treatments can have a wide range of effectiveness. Only a consultation with a qualified aero-medical examiner will give you an answer, and possibly only after a number of such consultations. $\endgroup$
    – user33770
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 9:09
  • $\begingroup$ Related: What mental health standards must a candidate meet in order to qualify for a pilot's medical certificates? $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 15:15

2 Answers 2

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Well, according to the CAA:

Class 1

(a) Psychotic disorder

A history of, or the occurrence of, a functional psychotic disorder is disqualifying unless a cause can be unequivocally identified as one which is transient, has ceased and will not recur.

Class 2

Psychotic disorder

A history of, or the occurrence of, a functional psychotic disorder is disqualifying unless in certain rare cases a cause can be unequivocally identified as one which is transient, has ceased and will not recur.

Discussion on another forum suggests that generally speaking they will want the pilot to be off all psychotropic medication for a period of time (1-2 years) without any recurrences but they will generally allow a pilot to be on medication for depression.

I would recommend you work with an appropriate mental health expert in resolving your condition, so that you can be sure future episodes will not recur, you can then hopefully ascertain to yourself and to your medical examiner that your episode was transient, so that you can continue your pursuit of your PPL.

Remember in the worst case scenario (your condition does not pass), even if you cannot get a medical, you can still fly a plane. You just can’t solo. You can fly with a flight instructor or a certificated pilot. And you can fly a single seat ultralight with no certification. So you will still get to fly, don't worry.

Good luck, I'm sure you can do it.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the wise words. I live in Canada so I’m not too sure what the laws are like here. I think I might just make an appointment with a Certified aircraft medical examiner and get some answers for sure. $\endgroup$
    – anon
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 10:14
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    $\begingroup$ @kiefergallant That would be the best way to get an answer. Be warned though, some AME's have the certification, but don't really have a full knowledge of the medical laws. I've had good experiences and bad ones, which is understandable, as they're doctors, not lawyers. $\endgroup$
    – M28
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 14:52
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Unfortunately all three classes of FAA medical certificates do list psychosis as a DQ for a issuance. For third class, 67.307, it states:

Mental standards for a third-class airman medical certificate are:

(a) No established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:

(2) A psychosis. As used in this section, “psychosis” refers to a mental disorder in which—

(i) The individual has manifested delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of this condition; or

(ii) The individual may reasonably be expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of this condition.

It might be possible to obtain a special issuance medical, per 67.401, but it will be up to the FAA’s Aeromedical Division in Oklahoma City to make that determination, not a DME. It is most likely going to be an uphill battle and may result in a denial as requiring the use of an anti-psychotic prescription medication while assuming PIC duties almost always is.

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