Learn about how the aviation medical certification process works and how to get certified

With only a few exceptions (balloon and sports pilots), every aviation pilot is expected to get an aviation medical certificate. This is even more important for commercial pilots that are required to have both first-class and second-class certificates. This means undergoing an aviation medical exam and passing it. The pilot medical requirements as stipulated by the Federal Aviation Administration may vary depending on the age of the pilot and the type of pilot certificate being applied for.

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What Kind of Medical Certificate Do You Need?

Aviation medical certificates can be first class, second class, or third class. Private pilots and those that only fly for recreational purposes need only a third-class medical certificate. However, those who intend to make a career out of flying would have to get a second class or first-class certificate. This certificate proves that their health is up to the FAA standards for a commercial airline pilot.

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What To Expect During an Aviation Medical Exam?

What happens during an aviation medical exam depends on the type of certificate being applied for. The third-class medical exam is the simplest and least invasive. Similar to a regular physical exam or medical checkup, you will be asked questions about your general health history but with a special focus on your neurological and mental health. Vision and hearing tests may also be carried out. The second-class medical exam is slightly more detailed and the standards for the vision tests are higher. Since the first-class medical exam has the highest standards, the test requirements are stricter and a broader spectrum of tests is carried out.

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How Often Would You Need an Aviation Medical Test?

Third-class medical certificates are valid for up to 5 years for pilots that are over 40. Although second-class certificates last for 2 years and first-class medicals are valid for a year, licensed commercial pilots are required to get a class one medical test every year. Also, commanders with an ATPL license and pilots over 40 years of age should take the test at least twice a year.

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How Do I Get an Aviation Medical Certificate?

The FAA website lists certified aviation medical examiners in your area that you can make an appointment with. You can also ask your flight instructors or other pilots for recommendations. Keep in mind that not every medical examiner is certified to carry out class 1 exams so you have to make sure you confirm this during your research.

Request A Consultation at Full Circle Health, Mesa AZ

If you’re in Mesa, AZ, and surrounding cities, you can get an aviation medical examination at Full Circle Health. The team at Full Circle Health is led by Dr. Shredder who is a certified AME and pilot with more than 10 years of experience in the aerospace industry. In addition to advanced aesthetics, cosmetic dermatology, and medical spa, Full Circle Health also has a family medicine side, which means we can provide general healthcare and treatment for pilots and their families. Call now to schedule a consultation.

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