Friday, 14 June 2013

Medical certifications for Pilots

In the United States, there are three classes of medical certifications for pilots; such certificates are required to legally exercise the privileges of a pilot license or certificate. Each certificate must be issued by a doctor 

approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to a person of stable physical and mental health.
The three kinds are:
Third Class Medical Certificate: necessary to exercise the privileges of a private pilot license or certificate. You can also exercise the privileges of a recreational pilot certificate, student pilot certificate, or flight instructor 

certificate with this medical certification. In the United States, it expires after 60 calendar months for someone under the age of forty years, or 24 calendar months for someone over forty.
Second Class Medical Certificate: necessary to exercise the privileges of a commercial pilot license or certificate. In the United States, it expires after 12 calendar months.
First Class Medical Certificate: necessary to exercise the privileges of an airline transport pilot license or certificate. In the United States, it expires after (12 calendar months Under 40) (6 months over 40) for those 

operations requiring a First-Class Medical Certificate; 12 calendar months for those operations requiring only a Second-Class Medical Certificate; or 24 or 36 calendar months, as set forth in 61.23, for those operations 

requiring only a Third-Class Medical Certificate.
When a certificate is expired, it may still be used to exercise the privileges of the highest level that would not yet have expired. For example, a nine month old American first class certificate could be used as a second class 


Flight physicals
Military and civilian pilots must pass routine periodic medical examinations known informally as "flight physicals" in order to retain the medical clearance or certification that qualifies them to fly. Military pilots go to a flight 

surgeon, an armed forces physician qualified to perform such medical evaluations. With the exception of glider pilots, balloon pilots and sport pilots, civilian pilots in the United States and most other nations must obtain a 

flight physical from a civilian physician known as an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). AMEs are physicians designated and trained by the FAA to screen individuals for fitness to perform aviation duties. Pilot medical 

assessment by way of the flight physical is an important public health function.
Flying has the potential for serious consequences if not done properly and carefully. Just as it would be unwise to fly in an aircraft that is not airworthy, it is unsafe to fly as, or with, a pilot who is medically compromised. 

Annual inspections are performed on all aircraft to assure that they meet minimum safety standards. Routine medical exams accomplish the same goal for pilots. When an aircraft successfully completes an annual inspection, 

the inspector endorses in the logbooks to signify the aircraft is airworthy. Similarly, when a pilot successfully passes the flight physical, the physician endorses the Airmen Medical Certificate which the pilot then carries when 

performing flight duties. This is then evidence that the pilot has met the medical standards for aircraft operation.

Types of flight physicals
Federal Aviation Regulations in the U.S. require pilots and air traffic controllers to have periodic flight physicals in order to perform their aviation related duties. Authority for these laws comes from the CFR (Code of 

Federal Regulations) parts 61 and 67. Federal regulations describe three classes of medical certificates: Class 3 medical certificates are for private pilot duties only. They have the least restrictive medical requirements and 

the certificates are good for 5 years for applicants under age 40 and 2 years for those 40 and over. Class 2 medical certificates are for commercial, non-airline duties as well as private pilot duties. This certificate would be 

required of crop dusters, charter pilots, corporate pilots, and anyone else who flies commercially. The certificate is good for 1 year for commercial activities and 2 or 5 years for private pilot use based on age. Class 1 

medical certificates are required for airline transport pilots who fly scheduled airliners. These are the most complex examinations and include electrocardiograms (EKGs). EKGs are required at the first Class 1 medical after 

the applicant turns 35 and then the first medical after age 40 and yearly thereafter. Class 1 certificates are good for airliner duties for 1 year for applicants under age 40 and 6 months for those 40 and over. Like the Class 2 

certificate, however, these remain good for a full year for other commercial activities and 2 or 5 years for private pilot duties. Detailed medical requirements for each class of pilot exam are described in Code of Federal 

Regulations Part 67.
A newer pilot classification in the United States does not require a formal flight physical. A pilot can fly a light sport aircraft if they hold a sport pilot certificate or a recreational pilot certificate and have a U.S. driver' license 

from any state. Pilots with neither a driver's license nor an Airmen Medical Certificate can still fly, but aviation duties are restricted to non-commercial activities in a glider or a balloon. The pilot must self-endorse and certify 

that he/she has no known medical deficiencies which would render them incapable of piloting an aircraft. Sport pilot medical requirements are described in detail in CFR 61.303

Denial of medical certification
Depending upon which Class certificate a pilot wants or needs, it is possible that either the Aviation Medical Examiner or the FAA may deny a pilot's medical certificate. This may be due to recent surgery, medication taken, 

non-aviation-related offenses (such as drunk driving citations), or any other medical condition. Pilots may appeal denials up to and including formal appeals to the National Transportation Safety Board. The process of 

making an appeal includes meticulous documentation of a pilot's medical condition, therapies involved in treatment, and may be accompanied by psychological evaluations and/or other data. While any pilot may successfully 

make and receive approval via appeals, there are professional organizations that exist to aid pilots in appealing the denial of a medical certificate.

The  assessment process for initial applicants can be found on our Guidance for Applicants for Initial Medical Certificates in the UK flow chart.

Initial applicant enquiries 
Initial applicant enquiries on fitness for Class 1 medical certification should be made to an Aeromedical Centre.

Initial Class 1 (Professional Pilot) Medical Examination 
The Class 1  initial medical examination must be carried out at either the UK CAA Aeromedical Centre (AeMC) or NATS, Swanwick, Hampshire.

UK CAA Aeromedical Centre (AeMC)

NATS, Swanwick, Hampshire

Who can apply 
An applicant for a Commercial or Multi-Crew Pilots Licence must be at least 18 years old, and applicants for an ATPL licence must be at least 21 years old.  A Class 1 Medical Certificate will be required while completing 

the training for these categories of licence.

UK CAA Medical Certificate Validity Table

What to expect 
The medical examination may take up to 4 hours and includes: 

Medical History - Application for Medical Certificate (MED 160) 
These are a series of questions about medical history and any previous illness.  You will be asked about them by your AME, and if there is any major illness in your past, it is important to bring reports about it from your 

family doctor or treating specialist.  Appendicitis or a broken arm are not regarded as major illnesses.  Further details of the regulatory requirements can be found on our Medical Examination Standards page.  You may find 

it helpful to print off the requirements and discuss them with your GP or Specialist.  Guidance on the information your AME will require in medical reports, together with flow charts on the assessment process for a number of 

medical conditions can be found on our Documents for Download page. 

Eyesight - Eye examination form (MED 162) 
Eyesight requirements are listed in the  Class 1 Visual Standards guidance material.  If you wear glasses or contact lenses it is important to take your last optician’s report along to the examination. An applicant may be 

assessed as fit with hypermetropia not exceeding +5.0 dioptres, myopia not exceeding -6.0 dioptres, astigmatism not exceeding 2.0 dioptres, and anisometropia not exceeding 2.0 dioptres, provided that optimal correction 

has been considered and no significant pathology is demonstrated.  Monocular visual acuities should be 6/6 or better. 

Physical Examination - Guidance on Performing Medical Examinations for AMEs 
A general check that all is functioning correctly.  It will cover lungs, heart, blood pressure, stomach, limbs and nervous system. 

Hearing – ENT form (MED 163) 
A pure tone audiometry test will evaluate your hearing.  Applicants may not have a hearing loss of more than 35dB at any of the frequencies 500Hz, 1000Hz or 2000Hz, or more than 50dB at 3000Hz, in either ear 


Electrocardiogram (ECG) - this measures the electrical impulses passing through your heart.  It can show disorders of the heart rhythm or of the conduction of the impulses, and sometimes it can show a lack of blood 

supplying the heart muscle.  Changes on an ECG require further investigation.  A report from a cardiologist and further tests (for example an exercise ECG) may need to be done.  

Lung function test (spirometry) - this tests your ability to expel air rapidly from your lungs.  Abnormal lung function or respiratory problems, e.g. asthma will require reports by a specialist in respiratory disease (UK CAA 

Asthma guidance and Guidance for Respiratory Reports). 

Haemoglobin blood test - this is a finger prick blood test which measures the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.  A low haemoglobin is called anaemia and will need further investigation. 

Urine test – you will be asked to provide a sample of urine, so remember to attend for examination with a full bladder.  This tests for sugar (diabetes), protein or blood in the urine. 

Typical processing time 
A medical certificate is issued on the same day if all required standards are met.  If the required standards are not met or further investigations are necessary before a decision on medical certification is possible this process 

will take longer. 

Step 1: Medical Exam
Student Pilots

Prior to investing time and money in the pursuit of a pilot's licence, it is important that you be examined by a civil aviation medical examiner to ensure that you are fit to act as pilot in command of an aircraft. This is always the 

first step that should be taken. In order to fly in Canada, you must apply for an Aviation Medical. Upon successfully passing the exam, Transport Canada will issue you with a medical certificate in addition to your student 

pilot permit. This process can take from 2-3 weeks. Canadian schools cannot issue you a letter of acceptance (step 2) until you have obtained your medical.

Every ICAO country has medical examiners approved by the Canadian government to conduct pilot medical examinations. A medical examination may also be conducted by an Aviation Medical Examiner designated by the 

CAA or a Contracting State of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The appropriate medical form may be supplied upon request from Health Canada. The list of examiners can be found at:

Licensed Pilots

As a result of the increasing numbers of licensed pilots coming to Canada each year to train for and receive additional licence privileges, Transport Canada will now issue a Limited Term Pilot Licence and Medical Certificate 

(LTPL/MC) or Limited Term Pilot Licence (LTPL). The LTPL/MC is based on a valid foreign pilot licence and the medical document validating that licence. The LTPL is based on a valid foreign pilot licence.

As a result this will permit foreign pilot licence holders to fly Canadian registered aircraft internationally for private recreational purposes (such as hour building). The holder of this LTPL/MC or LTPL may act as 

pilot-in-command or co-pilot of any aircraft for the sole purpose of his or her own flight training or flight test. This document may also be endorsed with additional ratings.

The following conditions are applicable for the issue of a LTPL/MC:

The foreign licence must have been issued by a Contracting State of ICAO and be valid under the law of the issuing state for the privileges appropriate to the specific purpose.
The foreign Medical Certificate must be valid in accordance with Canadian medical standards. (For example: In the case of a pilot who is under 40 years of age, a LTPL/MC shall not be issued if more than 24 months has 

lapsed since the date of the last medical exam. In the case of a pilot who is 40 years of age or older, no more than 12 months shall have lapsed since the last medical examination.)
The LTPL/MC validity period shall not exceed 90 days.
A LTPL/MC may only be issued to an applicant once in any 12 month period.
There will be a licensing fee.
There is no requirement for a written examination.
The LTPL/MC may be endorsed for additional privileges if the required conditions are met.
The following conditions are applicable for the issue of a LTPL:

The foreign licence must have been issued by a Contracting State of ICAO and be valid under the law of the issuing state for the privileges appropriate to the specific purpose.
A Canadian medical conducted by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME) and assessed fit in the appropriate category by a Transport Canada Medical Advisor may validate an LTPL.
The LTPL validity period shall not exceed 90 days.
A LTPL may only be issued to an applicant once in any 12 month period.
There will be a licensing fee.
There is no requirement for a written examination.
The LTPL may be endorsed for additional privileges if the required conditions are met.

Become a pilot in the Philippines?

How to become a commercial pilot in the Philippines? Do you have that dream to become a licensed commercial pilot and work in a well known airline company? It’s simple. If you really have that dream to become a 

commercial pilot, just do the commercial pilot training. Start your airline career by complying with the requirements below. Don’t let your dream just be dream in the air. Fly for real and experience the best commercial pilot 

training in the Philippines.

Commercial Pilot License Requirements:

To become a commercial pilot, you must have the CPL (commercial pilot license) and pass the commercial pilot ratings. You must complete 110 hours of flight rating and pass the ATO commercial pilot licensure 

examinations and 1 hour check ride. To list the criteria of commercial pilot license requirements, you must:

Be at least 18 years of age
Hold a Private Pilot Certificate or meet requirements
Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
Must hold a valid 1st Class Medical Certificate
Pass the Aviation Training Office (ATO) Knowledge (General) Test
Pass the Aviation Training Office (ATO) Practical Flight Test and Oral Examination (check ride)
Commercial pilot training requirements:

Aviation schools and flight schools in the Philippines require commercial pilot wannabes to:

Be at least 16 yrs old to get a Student Pilot's License.
Read, speak, and understand English.
NBI Clearance. Check out for more info.
X-Ray & ECG (submit at Air Transportation Office)
Medical Exam (ATO honors FAA medical)
Notarized Application Form
Payment of flight training fees (varies from each flight school)
Majority of the aviation schools and flight schools accept foreign students who want to go for the commercial pilot training and other pilot trainings and courses. Same qualifications and requirements are requested prior to 

admission. Additional immigration requirements for student visa are however required.

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