You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 43

MEDICAL CERTIFICATION
BY MIKE COLLINS

FIT FOR FLIGHT
The basics of pilot medical qualification

O

nce you earn a pilot certificate, it generally is yours for life. A pilot certificate
never expires, like a driver's license does, but there are some things you must
do to keep flying.
First, the regulations stipulate that pilots complete a flight review every two
years. Think of this as a proficiency check with a flight instructor. There also are
currency requirements if you're going to carry passengers.
Second, you also must have a current medical certification (keep reading for
a couple of exceptions). You'll need one in order to solo an aircraft during your
flight training. Obtaining one requires a physical examination by an aviation medical examiner (this is simply an FAA-designated physician). The three levels of
medical certification correlate to the privileges granted by different pilot certificates, and the exams differ.
Airline and some other professional pilots exercising airline transport pilot
(ATP) privileges must have a first class medical, valid for ATP privileges for six
calendar months for pilots age 40 and over. If under 40, the first class is valid for
12 months.
Charter pilots, crop dusters, and others who require a commercial pilot certificate need a second class medical, valid for commercial privileges for 12 months.
Private pilots and recreational pilots who fly for pleasure or personal business, but
not for hire, require a third class medical. A student pilot will need a third class medical

to solo (students aspiring to fly professionally should initially obtain a first class
medical to ensure no unforeseen health
issue might prevent them from landing that
airline job). The third class medical is valid
for 24 months for holders age 40 and older,
and 60 months if 39 or younger.
You must be able to see 20/20 or better
in each eye, with or without correction, for
a first or second class medical; 20/40 or
better in each eye is required for third class.
There are 15 specific disqualifying
conditions that can preclude a medical
certificate, including severe personality
disorder, psychosis, substance dependence/abuse, epilepsy, and a variety of
heart conditions (myocardial infarction,
angina pectoris, coronary heart disease,
cardiac valve replacement, permanent
cardiac pacemaker implant, or heart
FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG 43


http://FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

You Can Fly - 2021 edition

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of You Can Fly - 2021 edition

Contents
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Intro
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Contents
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 4
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 5
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 6
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I4
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 7
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 8
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 9
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 10
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 11
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 12
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 13
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 14
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 15
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 16
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 17
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 18
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 19
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 20
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 21
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You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 45
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 46
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - H1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - H2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 47
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 48
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 49
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 50
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 51
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 52
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover4
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