Which Medical Should I Get?

There are 3 classes of Airman Medical Certifications; First, Second, and Third class medical certificates.  If you do not know much about them, then when you go to choose, it can be quite difficult. This is why I am here to give you a quick run-down.

First Class Medical –

  • Required for pilots who exercise Airline Transport Privileges (ATP)
  • Valid for 6 months if age 40 or older
  • Valid for 12 months if under age 40
  • Reverts to Third class medical if not renewed
  • Distant Vision Required – 20/20 in each eye with or without correction
  • Intermediate Vision 32 inches-panel – 50 years and older 20/40 with or without correction
  • Near Vision – 20/40 in each eye with or without correction
  • Color Vision – Colors necessary for safe performance of airman duties
  • Hearing – Conversational voice at 6 feet with both ears, or audiometry
  • EKG required at age 35 and yearly after age 40
  • No disease causing vertigo or disturbance of speech or equilibrium

 

Second Class Medical –

  • Required for Commercial pilots
  • Valid for 12 months
  • Reverts to Third class medical if not renewed
  • Distant Vision Required – 20/20 in each eye with or without correction
  • Intermediate Vision 32 inches-panel – 50 years and older 20/40 with or without correction
  • Near Vision – 20/40 in each eye with or without correction
  • Color Vision – Colors necessary for safe performance of airman duties
  • Conversational voice at 6 feet with both ears, or audiometry
  • No disease causing vertigo or disturbance of speech or equilibrium

 

Third Class Medical –

  • Required for Private, Student, and Recreational pilots
  • Valid for 2 years if age 40 or older
  • Valid for 5 years if under age 40
  • Distant Vision Required – 20/40 in each eye with or without correction
  • Near Vision – 20/40 in each eye with or without correction
  • Color Vision – Colors necessary for safe performance of airman duties
  • Conversational voice at 6 feet with both ears, or audiometry
  • No disease causing vertigo or disturbance of speech or equilibrium

 

It is also possible to receive a special issuance medical certification if you have something that might disqualify you. It helps to have a good medical examiner that cares and will be an advocate for you. It is also important that during the exam that you tell the FAA everything they want to know but nothing more and nothing less. It is your responsibility to get the FAA all of the information and not your healthcare provider’s. The online medical application is called MedXPress and I find it helpful with the first couple times that you ask someone who is experienced to give you guidance. The AOPA also has some good tips and a phone number that you can call and ask questions! Globalair.com also has some great pilot resources including some medical certification resources!

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