|The third class medical certificate covers private pilot activities. A second
class medical is required for commercial pilots, and the first class is
reserved for air transport pilots and is the most stringent/involved.
Look out skies, this lady is now an officially certified student pilot!
Today I visited an AME–Aviation Medical Examiner–to get a flight medical which deems me physically safe to fly and also serves as my certification to start formal flight training.
The process was simple enough once I got through the online FAA paperwork regarding medical history. (Note to yourselves, the FAA form includes logging ALL medical appointments for the last three years. Fun times.)
The actual appointment took less than 20 minutes and included: height/weight, a urine sample, vision test and pretty standard physical evaluation (heart, lungs, blood pressure, reflexes). At the end, I received the third class medical certificate and wishes of good luck.
Now, the thing about the medical certificate is that it’s really the beginning and ending of a pilot’s flying career. To start, you have to meet some basic medical criteria and undergo routine screening every few years. In addition, you must not maintain any “disqualifying” conditions according to the FAA. These conditions include anything that could impact safely operating an aircraft such as heart disease, uncorrected vision impairment, mental illness that might impair judgment, uncontrolled diabetes, substance dependence or fainting spells.
Develop any one of the disqualifiers and renewing a medical certificate becomes difficult, if not impossible. For example, some ailments such as heart disease require more detailed medical screenings. And, after 40, private pilot flight medical certificates must be renewed every two years instead of every five.
By obtaining the medical certificate, I’m now legally allowed to fly with an instructor and train for my check ride. Let’s hope the rest of my training is as easy. (Yeah right!)
More Fly Girl in Training posts:
– First time flying left seat