Can Pilots Have ADHD?

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ADHD is a neurological condition that impairs one’s capacity for concentration and focus.

It is one of the most common mental disorders in children, teens, and adults. 

Pilots also experience difficulties with focus, concentration, and attention. This can lead to accidents or other unsafe situations when flying an aircraft

A pilot may not be able to see hazards on the ground as well as they should be due to trouble concentrating on the task.

For Example, focusing too hard on taking off instead of watching for other aircraft around them).

Famous pilots with ADHD

But one thing that can be hard to find is information about what it takes to be a successful pilot with ADHD.

Therefore, we decided to look at one of the most famous pilots in history and see what they had in common.

John Travolta. He is well-known for his performance as airline pilot Andrew “Drew” Romano in the movie “Air Force One.” 

Travolta has been flying since he was just a toddler.

And his parents say that he was diagnosed with ADHD when he was seven years old (though it wasn’t officially named then).

Can you be a military pilot with ADHD?

While there is no clear-cut response to the query of whether someone with ADHD may serve as a military pilot.

First and foremost, people with ADHD tend to have difficulties in areas of attention.

This is a critical factor for focusing on one task at a time and keeping your mind on that task for more extended periods. 

Another sign that it might be possible for someone with ADHD to become a military pilot is their ability to multitask.

It’s not easy for anyone! But people with ADHD tend to find it easier than others because they tend to move between tasks than most people.

Can you be a pilot with ADHD – Reddit

Yes, you can be a pilot with ADHD.

If you have ADHD, you may have struggled to focus on schoolwork or tasks that need to be done immediately. 

But this is not a sign of your intelligence—it’s just a symptom of your attention-deficit disorder (ADD).

As a pilot, you’ll need to be able to focus for long periods and keep your mind on task. You’ll also need to pay close attention to the details of each flight and know where everything is at all times. 

Can pilots take Adderall?

No, you can’t.

Adderall is a drug that helps people stay focused, alert, and awake. If you take it before flying a plane, your body will try to compensate for the fact that it’s not getting enough of the drug. 

The result is that your body’s natural reaction to this lack of “focus” (Adderall does) will cause you to feel dizzy or nauseous while flying. 

This will make it very difficult for you to perform any of your duties as a pilot.

The FAA mandates that pilots be able to perform their duties without feeling tired or sick.

And if they have taken Adderall before the flight begins, they won’t be able to do so safely. 

If a pilot takes Adderall during or after their shift at work, they should not fly until the drug’s effects subside.

Can the FAA see my prescriptions?

The FAA can access your prescriptions through the National Drug Information Center (NDIC). The NDIC is an online database that stores all prescriptions you’ve filled or at least applied for. 

If you’re worried about privacy, it’s important to note that NDIC only stores your prescriptions, not any information about you. 

For example, if you have a prescription for Xanax, the NDIC will only know that you filled it, but not where you live or your name.

What happens if you lie on FAA medical?

It could take you off your job if you lie on FAA medical. In addition, if it is discovered that you lied about your health, the FAA will take away your flying license. 

The FAA has a strict policy of not allowing anyone who is not healthy enough to fly a plane. 

If you are caught lying about your health, they will revoke your license and fine you for each infraction.

If you feel like something may happen to you, it’s because it has happened before. 

In 2016, an FAA official was caught lying about his medical condition and lost his license for two months. He was also fined $25,000 for each violation he committed.

Class 1 medical ADHD

One of the crucial components in treating ADHD is understanding that there are many different types of it.

Some people with ADHD only have trouble focusing in some situations and not others, while others have trouble with everything—including concentrating on schoolwork.

You can treat the first type of ADHD with medication and therapy. However, the second type usually needs more than just medications and therapy to be treated effectively.

If your doctor doesn’t know how to diagnose ADHD.

If you feel like something is off with how they treat you, find another doctor who will listen to your concerns.


The FAA ADHD is a government agency that aims to ensure the safety and security of aircraft and airports. 

Their responsibility is to ensure that every aircraft is safe to fly, as well as all airports. 

They do this by inspecting all planes and ensuring they are up to code for their purpose. 

If they find an issue with an aircraft or airport, they will send it back for repairs or replacement.

The FAA ADHD inspects over 42,000 aircraft each year to ensure their safety. This includes commercial airliners, military jets, private jets, helicopters, and even small planes like Cessna. 

FAA-approved ADHD medications

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with ADHD, you know that it can be a complicated condition to treat. 

There isn’t just one “solution” or quick repair that works for everyone.

And the side effects of prescription medication are often worse than the symptoms they’re supposed to treat.

Our goal is to provide a better way for people struggling with ADHD to receive the care they require without enduring the side effects of prescription drugs. 

We believe we can do this by developing medications that are FDA-approved, safe, and effective at treating ADHD symptoms like impulsivity and inattention.

Is Strattera FAA approved?

As you may know, several different medications are used to treat ADHD. 

And while they may be quite successful in treating symptoms of the disorder, they are all disqualifying under the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations. 

The FAA requires an extensive evaluation for ADHD before allowing an individual to begin treatment with an ADHD medication.

The medications considered for this evaluation include stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall and non-stimulant medications like Strattera. 

Most stimulants and non-stimulant Strattera require 90 days of taking no medication before evaluation.

FAQ relating to whether one can pilots have ADHD

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Yes, pilots can have ADHD. According to estimates, as many as 30% of pilots may have this condition. 

Additionally, many other professionals work with pilots—from air traffic controllers to airline flight attendants.

And they may also be at risk for developing ADHD. However, no definitive research links the two conditions in one individual.

If you suspect that you or a beloved one might have ADHD.

Please seek out a medical professional who can help you determine whether or not it is an issue for your condition.

Can someone who uses Adderall operate a plane?

The short answer is yes—pilots can fly while on Adderall. However, there are several things you should be aware of safety measures before taking the medication:

  • The FAA recommends that pilots not be on Adderall for more than 24 hours without intervening breaks between doses. 
  • If you have any history of heart problems or stroke, they may advise against using this medication. 
  • Pilots who fly over water must avoid taking medication that could interact with “electrolyte” medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Does the Air Force allow people with ADHD?

Yes, the Air Force allows people with ADHD to serve.

Their innovation was helping those who have impairments, particularly those related to mental health. It has been doing this in reality since the late 1970s.

The Air Force is committed to serving all service members and their families, including those with special needs.

This includes those with ADHD and other conditions that may impact military performance or functioning.

Can you get an FAA medical with ADHD?

You can get an FAA medical with ADHD.

The FAA requires all applicants over 18 to have a current physical, eye, hearing, and psychological exam. 

These exams are performed by a board-certified aeromedical examiner (FAA), a physician with an FAA medical certificate.

The FAA will look for any signs of physical or mental disability that would make you unable to perform essential piloting functions safely.

If you have ADHD, I recommend seeing an FAA specializing in aviation medicine. 

They may find that your ADHD medication isn’t sufficient to treat it and require more potent drugs to get the desired results.

What disqualifies you from becoming a pilot?

  • You have no flying experience.
  • You don’t have either citizenship or residency.
  • You are not at least 18 years old and have not been diagnosed with a health issue that would make it impossible for you to be an airline pilot.

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