Personality DIsorders in Pilots

Item 47: FAA Policy for Airmen with Mental Health Conditions

Apr 2014

Guidance is compiled and interpreted by professional pilots and physicians at from the 2014 AME Guide page 149, FAA and FDA web data ( &, instructions specified in the Aeronautical Information Manual, Federal Air Surgeon Bulletins from 1999-2015, and 14 CFR Part 61 and Part 67 (the FARs).

FAA Considerations - Aerospace Medical Dispositions
Item 47. Psychiatric Conditions - Personality Disorder

The category of personality disorders severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts refers to diagnosed personality disorders that involve what is called "acting out" behavior. These personality problems relate to poor social judgment, impulsivity, and disregard or antagonism toward authority, especially rules and regulations.

A history of long-standing behavioral problems, whether major (criminal) or relatively minor (truancy, military misbehavior, petty criminal and civil indiscretions, and social instability), usually occurs with these disorders. Driving infractions and previous failures to follow aviation regulations are critical examples of these acts.

Certain personality disorders and other mental disorders that include conditions of limited duration and/or widely varying severity may be disqualifying. Under this category, the FAA is especially concerned with significant depressive episodes requiring treatment, even outpatient therapy. If these episodes have been severe enough to cause some disruption of vocational or educational activity, or if they have required medication or involved suicidal ideation, the application should be deferred or denied issuance.

Some personality disorders and situational dysphorias may be considered disqualifying for a limited time. These include such conditions as gross immaturity and some personality disorders not involving or manifested by overt acts.

This page discussed the Personality Disorder portion of the Psychiatric section of the Fight Physical Examination required of pilots.

Reminder: use to familiarize yourself with aviation medical regulations and guidelines, but always discuss your specific situation with one or more AMEs before dedicating resources toward expensive clinical workups. Find an AME now