FAA Medical Certificates

All pilots are required to meet certain medical criteria.  The most common way is to hold a medical certificate from an approved doctor called an Aviation Medical Examiner(AME).  The AME will perform the physical examination and give you the appropriate certificate if you pass.  If you do not pass they will let you know if there are any other options for you to secure the certificate.  This exam should be done early in your flight training planning to ensure flying is even an option for you.

FAA medical certificates come in 3 classes depending on the flying you want to do.  We recommend getting the First Class Medical. This way you have no restrictions as to the level of flying you plan to do.

3rd Class Medical Certificate

  • Mainly used for flight training and personal flying
  • Lower medical standard
  • Valid for 60 months if under 40 years old and 24 months if over 40 years old

2nd Class Medical Certificate

  • Used for small commercial operations
  • Moderate medical standard
  • Commercial use: 12 months
  • Personal use: 60 months if under 40 and 24 months is over 40 years old

1st Class Medical Certificate

  • Used for large commercial operations
  • High medical standard
  • Commercial use: 12 months if under 40 and 6 months if over 40
  • Personal use: 60 months if under 40 and 24 months is over 40 years old