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Posted 30/08/2023 in Flight Training

What You Should Know About the Pilot Medical Examination

What You Should Know About the Pilot Medical Examination

One of the prerequisites to become a licensed pilot or to maintain your flying privileges is passing the pilot medical examination. Ensuring you are physically and mentally fit to operate an aircraft is not just a legal requirement but a safety imperative. This article dives into what you can expect from a pilot medical examination, its significance, and how to prepare for one.

The Importance of Medical Certification

The medical examination for pilots is designed to identify any health issues that could impair your ability to operate an aircraft safely. Failure to meet the prescribed medical standards can disqualify you from receiving or retaining your pilot’s licence.

Types of Medical Certificates

There are generally three classes of medical certificates:

Class 1    

  • Commercial pilots or airline transport pilots    
  • The most stringent health requirements

Class 2    

  • Private pilots    
  • Less stringent than Class 1 but still thorough

Class 3    

  • Student pilots   
  • Basic medical clearance for initial flight training

What Does the Examination Include?

Vision and Hearing Tests

Good vision and hearing are crucial for safe flying. Standard tests for visual acuity and colour vision are conducted.

Cardiovascular Examination

A thorough cardiovascular evaluation, often including an electrocardiogram (ECG), is carried out.

Psychological Assessment

Cognitive function and mental health are evaluated to ensure you can handle the pressures associated with flying.

Preparing for the Medical Examination

Schedule Early

Give yourself enough time before the examination to address any potential health issues.

Be Honest

Complete transparency with your medical examiner is crucial for an accurate assessment.

Stay Healthy

Eat well, exercise, and get sufficient sleep leading up to the examination to ensure you’re in the best possible condition.

After the Examination

You'll receive a medical certificate upon passing the examination, which you must keep with you, along with your pilot’s licence, while operating an aircraft.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of pilot medical certificates?

There are three types: Class 1 for commercial pilots, Class 2 for private pilots, and Class 3 for student pilots.

What medical tests are included in the examination?

The examination usually includes vision and hearing tests, a cardiovascular assessment, and a psychological evaluation.

How should I prepare for the medical examination?

Be transparent with your examiner, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and schedule the examination early to address any potential health issues.


The pilot medical examination is a vital aspect of aviation that serves to uphold the safety and integrity of the skies. Understanding what the exam entails and how to prepare for it will ease any anxiety and help you focus on achieving or maintaining your flying ambitions.