Aviation medical examiners

Not just any doctor can certify you to FAA standards. The FAA employs regional flight surgeons across the country, who determine the need for aviation medical examiners (AMEs) in their area.

Medical certificate levels

There are three levels of medical certification, each connected with a particular pilot license level. The third-class medical certificate covers private pilots, and it’s good for five years if you’re under the age of 40. It requires renewal every two years after the age of 40.

The second-class medical certificate is renewed annually for commercial pilots of any age. With a second-class medical certificate, you still qualify medically for private pilot requirements, even if your third-class certificate has expired.

First-class medical certificates also qualify you for second and third-class license privileges as well as being necessary for the airline transport pilot certificate. If you’re under 40, you’ll require testing annually. This increases to every six months when you reach 40.

Before your exam

If you’re not already enrolled, you’ll need to sign up for the FAA’s MedXPress system. This is an online, electronic reporting program that keeps your medical information current and available to both your examining physician and the FAA. You can save time and trouble by reviewing medical requirements and assembling any documentation you may need for medical certification.

What to expect during an FAA aviation medical exam

If you’re in good health with no pre-existing medical conditions, your FAA exam will most likely resemble a general physical. Your exam will likely start with a short review of your medical history. If you’ve already been to Palm Bay Urgent Care, the team will have a file on you, and questions will center around changes since your last visit.

You’ll be asked about any medications or supplements you take regularly, and your vital signs are taken to get a quick overview of your health. You’ll give a urine sample as well as a blood sample if the Doctor deems it necessary. Blood pressure, vision, and hearing are checked.



 BasicMed – AOPA