FAA Medical Certificate

Flying is a fascinating and enjoyable experience, whether done for business or pleasure. Flying has the potential, however, for serious consequences if not done properly and carefully. Just as it would be foolish to fly in an aircraft that is not airworthy, it would be foolish to fly as, or with, a pilot who is medically compromised. To assure a pilot is fit to fly, the FAA requires a valid FAA medical certificate in addition to a pilot certificate to fly. Annual inspections are performed on all aircraft to assure that they meet minimum safety standards. Routine FAA medical exams accomplish the same goal for pilots. When an aircraft successfully completes an annual inspection, the inspector endorses in the logbooks that the aircraft is airworthy. Similarly, when a pilot successfully passes the flight physical, the physician endorses the FAA medical certificate which the pilot then carries with him/her each time he/she flies. This is then evidence that the pilot has met the medical standards for aircraft operation.

Who is required to hold a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Medical Certificate?

Any person acting as pilot-in-command or other required crew member of an aircraft (except for free balloons, gliders, and ultra lights) must hold a current and appropriate medical certificate. This includes student pilots in solo flight as well as private, commercial, and airline pilots.

How long are medical certificates are valid?

A first-class airman medical certificate is required to exercise the privileges of an airline transport pilot certificate.

A first class medical certificate is valid for the remainder of the month of issue; plus 6 calendar months for operations requiring a first class medical certificate if the airman is age 40 or over on or before the date of the examination, or 12-calendar months for operations requiring a first-class medical certificate if the airman has not reached age 40 on or before the date of examination, or 12 calendar months for operations requiring a second class medical certificate, or 24 calendar months for operations requiring a third class medical certificate if the airman is age 40 or over on or before the date of the examination, or 60 calendar months for operations requiring a third class medical certificate if the airman has not reached age 40 on or before the date of examination. *

A second-class airman medical certificate is required for commercial, non-airline duties (e.g. for crop dusters, corporate pilots)

A second-class airman medical certificate is valid for 1 year plus the remainder of the days in the month of examination. Those exercising the privileges of a flight engineer certificate, a flight navigator certificate, or acting as air traffic control tower operator must hold a second-class airman medical certificate. A second class medical certificate is valid for the remainder of the month of issue; plus 12 calendar months for operations requiring a second class medical certificate, or 24 calendar months for operations requiring a third class medical certificate, if the airman is age 40 or over on or before the date of the examination, or 60 calendar months for operations requiring a third class medical certificate if the airman has not reached age 40 on or before the date of examination. *

A third-class airman medical certificate is required to exercise the privileges of a private pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, a flight instructor certificate, or a student pilot certificate.

A third-class medical certificate is valid for the remainder of the month of issue; plus 24 calendar months for operations requiring a third class medical certificate, if the airman is age 40 or over on or before the date of the examination, or 60 calendar months for operations requiring a third class medical certificate if the airman has not reached age 40 on or before the date of examination. *

How do you get a medical certificate?

The FAA has designated over 4000 private physicians (called Aviation Medical Examiners or AMEs) around the United States (and the world) to take applications for, give exams for, and issue FAA medical certificates. Please visit http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/ OR  http://flightphysical.com for a searchable database.

Applicants simply contact the physician’s office for an appointment and after arrival, complete an application form and undergo the physical examination. If the applicant meets the appropriate medical standards, the AME will issue the medical certificate.

You will need to obtain a 3rd Class FAA Airmen’s Medical and you can do so by going to the https://medxpress.faa.gov/ FAA MedXPress site. Once you have registered at the FAA website you can then find a local Aviation Medical Examiner to carry out the physical.

We recommend Dr. Edward Shore whose office is located 2 miles from our flight school at 15243 Vanowen St, Van Nuys, CA 91405 Tel: (818) 783-4800. If the applicant meets the appropriate medical standards, the AME will issue the medical certificate.