FAA Medical Exams

Medical Certification - Get an FAA Medical Certificate

 

To obtain a medical certificate you must be examined by an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). As the airman you should follow these steps to apply for and obtain your medical certificate:

Use MedXPress, to complete the initial portion of the application.

Schedule an appointment with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) in your area.

At your scheduled appointment, the AME will complete your medical examination and the remainder of the FAA application form. If you meet the required medical standards, the AME will issue you a medical certificate.

Edward J Lind, MD, is a Senior AME; in that capacity, he can perform the required medical exams for Class 1, 2, or 3 medical certifications.

The FAA issues three classes of medical certificates: 

 

A first class is required for pilots who exercise Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) privileges; that is, those flying scheduled airliners and other pilots whose employers require this level of certification. A first class medical is valid for ATP privileges for six months. 

Second class is required for pilots who fly commercially—in operations such as crop dusting, delivering canceled checks, or carrying passengers or cargo for hire. The second class medical is valid for commercial privileges for 12 months. 

Third class is appropriate for student pilots and private pilots who fly for pleasure or personal business (but not for hire). Student pilots need only a third class/student pilot certificate which is a combination certificate and serves both as a pilot and medical certificate. A third class medical is valid for 24 months (36 months for applicants who have not reached age 40). A third class medical is valid for student, recreational, and private pilot privileges. In fact, according to FAR 61.23(a)(iv), a person can exercise flight instructor privileges with a minimum of a Third Class medical certificate, and be compensated for that instruction. 

Pilot Medical Certification Questions and Answers

 

What is a medical certificate?

Under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 1, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a medical certificate as "acceptable evidence of physical fitness on a form prescribed by the Administrator." The primary goal of the airman medical certification program is to protect not only those who would exercise the privileges of a pilot certificate but also air travelers and the general public. 

A person who meets FAA airmen medical standards, based on a medical examination and an evaluation of medical history, is entitled to a medical certificate without restriction or limitation other than the prescribed limitation as to its duration. Individuals required to hold a medical certificate must have it in their personal possession at all times when exercising the privileges for which they are licensed. 

How do I obtain a medical certificate? 

An FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) must examine you. 
You must contact an AME of your choosing, schedule an appointment, complete an official FAA application form via MedXPress, and undergo a physical examination by an AME. If you meet the appropriate medical standards, the AME will issue you a medical certificate.

Who must hold a medical certificate?

Any person exercising the privileges of any of the following certificates: airline transport pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, private pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate (when acting as pilot in command if serving as a required pilot flight crewmember), flight engineer certificate, flight navigator certificate, or student pilot certificate. People exercising private pilot privileges under BasicMed (or exercising any pilot privilege in a balloon or glider) are not required to hold a medical certificate.
Except for a person employed by the FAA, a branch of the military services or the Coast Guard, a person acting as an air traffic control tower operator also must hold a medical certificate

What class of medical certificate must I hold and how long is it valid?

Duration of a medical certificate. Use the following table to determine duration for each class of medical certificate:

If you hold And on the date of examination for your most recent medical certificate you were And you are conducting an operation requiring Then your medical certificate expires, for that operation, at the end of the last day of the
(1) A first-class medical certificate (i) Under age 40 an airline transport pilot certificate for pilot-in-command privileges, or for second-in-command privileges in a flag or supplemental operation in part 121 requiring three or more pilots 12th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
  (ii) Age 40 or older an airline transport pilot certificate for pilot-in-command privileges, for second-in-command privileges in a flag or supplemental operation in part 121 requiring three or more pilots, or for a pilot flightcrew member in part 121 operations who has reached his or her 60th birthday. 6th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
  (iii) Any age a commercial pilot certificate or an air traffic control tower operator certificate 12th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
  (iv) Under age 40 a recreational pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, a flight instructor certificate (when acting as pilot in command or a required pilot flight crewmember in operations other than glider or balloon), a student pilot certificate, or a sport pilot certificate (when not using a U.S. driver's license as medical qualification) 60th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
  (v) Age 40 or older a recreational pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, a flight instructor certificate (when acting as pilot in command or a required pilot flight crewmember in operations other than glider or balloon), a student pilot certificate, or a sport pilot certificate (when not using a U.S. driver's license as medical qualification) 24th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
(2) A second-class medical certificate (i) Any age an airline transport pilot certificate for second-in-command privileges (other than the operations specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section), a commercial pilot certificate, or an air traffic control tower operator certificate 12th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
  (ii) Under age 40 a recreational pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, a flight instructor certificate (when acting as pilot in command or a required pilot flight crewmember in operations other than glider or balloon), a student pilot certificate, or a sport pilot certificate (when not using a U.S. driver's license as medical qualification) 60th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
  (iii) Age 40 or older a recreational pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, a flight instructor certificate (when acting as pilot in command or a required pilot flight crewmember in operations other than glider or balloon), a student pilot certificate, or a sport pilot certificate (when not using a U.S. driver's license as medical qualification) 24th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
(3) A third-class medical certificate (i) Under age 40 a recreational pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, a flight instructor certificate (when acting as pilot in command or a required pilot flight crewmember in operations other than glider or balloon), a student pilot certificate, or a sport pilot certificate (when not using a U.S. driver's license as medical qualification) 60th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.
  (ii) Age 40 or older a recreational pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, a flight instructor certificate (when acting as pilot in command or a required pilot flight crewmember in operations other than glider or balloon), a student pilot certificate, or a sport pilot certificate (when not using a U.S. driver's license as medical qualification) 24th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the medical certificate.

 

 

BasicMed

On July 15, 2016, Congress passed legislation to extend the FAA's funding. This legislation, FAA Extension, Safety, Security Act of 2016 (FESSA) includes relief from holding an FAA medical certificate for certain pilots. This relief is called BasicMed.

When can I fly under BasicMed?

If you meet the BasicMed requirements, you can operate under BasicMed (without an FAA medical certificate) right now!

What do I need to do to fly under BasicMed?

  1. Comply with the general BasicMed requirements (possess a U.S. driver's license, have held a medical after July 14, 2006).
  2. Get a physical exam with a state-licensed physician, using the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist
  3. Complete a BasicMed medical education course;
  4. Go fly!

Aircraft Requirements

  • Any aircraft authorized under federal law to carry not more than 6 occupants
  • Has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds

Operating Requirements

  • Carries not more than five passengers
  • Operates under VFR or IFR, within the United States, at less than 18,000 feet MSL, not exceeding 250 knots.
  • Flight not operated for compensation or hire

Medical Conditions Requiring One Special Issuance Before Operating under BasicMed

  1. A mental health disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of—
  2. A personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;
  3. A psychosis, defined as a case in which an individual —
  4. Has manifested delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis; or
  5. May reasonably be expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis;
  6. A bipolar disorder; or
  7. A substance dependence within the previous 2 years, as defined in §67.307(a)(4) of 14 Code of Federal Regulations
  8. A neurological disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:
  9. Epilepsy;
  10. Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause; or
  11. A transient loss of control of nervous system functions without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.
  12. A cardiovascular condition, limited to a one-time special issuance for each diagnosis of the following:
  13. Myocardial infarction;
  14. Coronary heart disease that has required treatment;
  15. Cardiac valve replacement; or
  16. Heart replacement.

BasicMed Online Medical Courses

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