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FAA Medicals

CLASSES OF MEDICAL CERTIFICATES:

With the exception of the Sport Pilot Certificate, an FAA Medical is required to exercise the privileges of your flight certificate.   The class of medical certificate for which an individual applies will be issued if the applicant possesses the required medical qualifications.  Regardless of whether an applicant holds an airman certificate that permits the exercise of a high level of airman duties, it is only necessary for the applicant to have a medical certificate of a class appropriate to the airman privileges exercised.  For example, an airman who holds an ATP certificate may pilot aircraft while holding only a third-class medical certificate as long as flying activities are limited to those authorized for Private Pilots.  Also, an applicant need not hold an ATP airman certificate to be eligible for a first- class medical certificate.  All FAA medicals must be issued by an FAA Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). Click here to view a series of medical presentations

Listed below are the three classes of airman medical certificates and, with each, the categories of airmen requiring such a medical certificate in order to exercise their privileges.

First-Class – Airline Transport Pilot
Second-Class – Commercial Pilot, Flight Engineer, Flight Navigator or Air Traffic Control Specialists
Third-Class – Private Pilot, Recreational Pilot or Student Pilot

Glider and Free Balloon Pilots are not required to hold a medical certificate of any class. To be issued Glider or Free Balloon Airman Certificate, the applicant must certify that he or she has no known physical defect that makes him or her unable to pilot a glider or free balloon.

Sport Pilots are not required to hold a medical certificate of any class (provided the individual’s most recent application for an FAA medical certificate was not denied, revoked, suspended or withdrawn).  They must carry a valid US driver’s license as photo ID.  A student pilot training for the Sport Pilot Certificate must obtain a Student Pilot Certificate prior to solo flight.  This certificate may be issued by the local Flight Standard District Office (FISO) or an FAA Designated Flight Examiner.

 

VALIDITY OF MEDICAL CERTIFICATES:

First-Class Medical Certificate:
A first-class medical certificate is valid for the remainder of the month of issue;
plus 6 calendar months for activities requiring a first-class medical certificate, or
plus 12 calendar months for activities requiring a second-class medical certificate, or
plus 24 calendar months for activities requiring a third-class medical certificate, or
plus 36 calendar months for activities requiring a third-class medical certificate if the airman has not 
reached his or her 40th birthday on or before the date of examination. *

Second-Class Medical Certificate:
A second-class medical certificate is valid for the remainder of the month of issue;
plus 12 calendar months for activities requiring a second-class medical certificate, or
plus 24 calendar months for activities requiring a third-class medical certificate, or
plus 36 calendar months for activities requiring a third-class medical certificate if the airman has not 
reached his or her 40th birthday on or before the date of examination. *

Third-Class Medical Certificate:
A third-class medical certificate is valid for the remainder of the month of issue;
plus 24 calendar months for activities requiring a third-class medical certificate, or
plus 36 calendar months for activities requiring a third-class medical certificate if the airman has not 
reached his or her 40th birthday on or before the date of examination. *

NOTE:  Flight Outside the Airspace of the USA – a pilot who is issued a medical certificate under the age of 40 may not exercise the privileges of a private pilot certificate outside the USA after the 24 months of validity of that medical certificate except as permitted by a foreign country (s) where the flight occurs.  The maximum validity of a private pilot medical is 24 months under the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).