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Medical Question

eriknorth

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Hi everyone.
I'm going to get my medical done and I was wondering what class I should get. Originally, I was planning on getting a first class. Since I want to do this for a living, I might as well see if there is something that might flag me from getting it up front. However, I was thinking, If I WERE to fail a first class, I would just go for a third because even if I couldn't do it for a living, I would still want to fly. If I fail a first class, would I have to come back another day and try for a third class, or how does that work? Money is not entirely an issue, although if I could just get a third class now, I could get a little more flying time in. I'm a healthy 20 year old guy with no known health problems, good vision (no glasses) and good hearing. What should I do?
 

Dep676

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Go for it.

Go for the first class. I think the only thing that might keep you from getting a first class would be your eyes. I am not sure but I don't think they check much different between all three except your vision. The whole things a joke anyway as far a what they do for you. I mean I just got my first class and you pee in a cup they check your eyes and blood pressure and the Dr fondles you a little bit. Oh yeah and your hearing which is nothing. Not real sure what they are looking for but it's the most thorough exam I ever had. You shouldn't have any problems obtianing a first class.
 

ILLINI

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I would go for the first class if I were you. If you are generally in good health and don't have history of diabetes, psychological problems, or anything else of the sort then you should be fine. I have gotten 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class medicals and I didn't notice one difference in the exams - besides the cost. I have heard other pilots say that it is a good idea to get a first class every time starting with your first one. Their reasoning is that if you should ever develop a problem, the fact that you have always been able to hold a first class medical would help you plead your case.
 

Dep676

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I have never had blood drawn for a medical. Don't think they do any bloodwork. Don't worry about it unless you are trying to hide something.
 

aero99

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Get the first class. It will take all of 15 minutes. If you don't pass a first class you might have other things to think about besides getting the medical. Don't sweat it. If you're 20 and in shape you will be in and out before you know it with a first class.
 

aero99

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I never gave blood. I think they required a urinalisys(sp?) though.
 

tarp

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Erik,

Is this your first physical? As in you are a student pilot?

To cut down on your workload (unless you are near a FSDO or know the Pilot Examiner in your area) I would suggest that you get the Student Pilot Certificate & Third Class as your first attempt.

You have a choice in the matter, but the FAA has tried to make it simple. If you just check the Student Pilot Certificate box at the top of the form, you will receive the "buff" colored card that is your medical on one side and your Certificate waiting for the Instructor's endorsement on the other side.

If you check the box for just a Medical Certificate, you will get a white certificate with no other info on it. When you have this certificate, you must then go to a FSDO office or see the nearest DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner) who usually has copies of the student certificate. Your CFI does not have these forms since they must be typed by the FAA or the Medical Examiner and you must sign in the presence of one of these delegated officials.

Good luck.
 

bobbysamd

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Medicals

I vote with the majority. Get a First. Actually, I've understood that if you fail a physical for any medical, it renders you ineligible for any medical.

They do make you "contribute" in the bathroom and stick some kind of analysis strip in your "contribution," primarily to determine diabetes. You might have to take a vision restriction (not a SODA) if your uncorrected vision does not meet standards. I got a First last December after not having a medical for more than six years. I arrived loaded for bear with all of my records. The AME was not the least bit interested in them; in fact, he promised to ask the FAA to pull my need for a vision SODA from my records. He did issue my medical with a vision correction restriction, which was entirely reasonable.

The truth of the matter is your own M.D. or D.O. likely gives you a far tougher physical than the FAA. The FAA physical is indeed a joke. If you are the least bit concerned, see your own doctor first for a physical. Tell your doctor why you want it. You can do that because your doctor is on your side, as opposed to an AME, who is the FAA's industrial physician, and is not to be trusted with personal health concerns under any circumstances. If you do fine with own doctor, which you probably will, the FAA physical will be no sweat.

Try www.leftseat.com for a decent FAA medical website.

Good luck with your medical.

PS-As Tarp stated, you need to get a combination medical and student pilot certificate from the AME.
 
Last edited:

avbug

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If you fail a medical exam for the first class, you can't simply be issued a third class. Once you've failed the exam or are determine to require further testing, it's remanded to Oklahoma City for further action. At that point, it can get expensive and all bets are off.

If you have any conditions that you believe would make you inelligible for any class of medical certificate, look into this before visiting the medical examiner. A failed exam causes a report to be generated and sent to the FAA, no matter what. You can't simply go in and fail a test, and walk away. The FAA gets a report of a satisfactory physical exam, or an unsatisfactory exam; they get one or the other.

Bobbyamsand suggested going to Leftseat.com. This is a good idea if you have any doubts about the medical. They specialize in dealing with problems concerning the medical, and can probably help you. Good luck!
 

pilotyip

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Do not get 1st class medical

If you do not need a 1st class for your job, do not get a first class medical. The standards are higher and if you fail you fail for all classes until you get a waiver or proof of demonstrated ability. You may be able to pass 2nd, but not first because your heart is healthy, but makes a funny noise on the EKG.. If you don't need a 1st for your job or interview it is only good for bragging rights at the bar.
 

aero99

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Pilot yip quote:
"but makes a funny noise on the EKG"

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought EKG's were only required for those over 35?

I would get the 1St class if you plan on doing this for a living. No point in going through the cost and time to train to find out years later when you need a 1st class that you can't get one.
 

pilotyip

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Wrong?

I think there are some peole who read this who are over 35, who are CFI's , 135 charter pilots who don't need a 1st. They should not get one. If you are going for a career where you will exercise the priviledges of an ATP, then you should get a first.
 

avbug

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There is no reason to apply for a first class medical certificate. One can do just as well with a second or third class. If one needs to desperately know if one could pass the first class medical exam, then ask the examiner at the time if there would be any problem getting a first. You're there, he's there, case solved.

First class medical certificates are more expensive generally, and are held to a higher standard. The differences in the levels of certification are relatively minor, but there is no reason to obtain the higher level if it won't be used within the 6 month 1st class time period. It's just as easy to ask the AME how one would fare in the application for a first class, and the issue is resolved. If the AME states he would be willing to sign off on a first class, then that's all you really need to now.

If the AME states that further testing or information is necessary, this is a starting point without having to blow a medical and deal with that for the remainder of one's career.
 

eriknorth

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There is nothing that I know of that could possibly keep me from getting a First Class. Thank God, I have no health problems. I don't know of a better time in my life to get screened medically, as I don't think things could get any better than this. I think I will go with the First Class. All of your advice is greatly appreciated. I think I was just overly parnoid about getting this. I also heard that you don't need an EKG until 35. Thanks!
 

ILLINI

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erik-
I think it is a good idea to go ahead and get the first class now and every time thereafter. Like some of the others have said, these medicals are a formality in most cases as long as you are generally in good health. Ask other pilots in your area or at your flight school for which AME they would recommend. Chances are that you will hear one or two names come up quite often. The reason these AMEs are so popular among the local pilots is because they are more than likely a sure bet to get you through the exam in short time and without poking and prodding you or grabbing hold of your good guys. If you are at all concerned about something that might prevent you from getting a medical of any class, see your family physician FIRST as bobbysamd already pointed out.

It sounds like you are in good health. I have a feeling you will be pretty surprised at how simple this "exam" is once you are through it. Remember, ask around to find out who the favorite AMEs are in your area.
 

pilot773

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When I started out as a student a few years back I went for my 1st class medical just to see if I could pass it. I have 20/200 vision in one eye and 20/100 in the other, and I have a heart murmur. Neither one was an issue and I've had my 1st class medical taken again since then and passed it again.
I didnt get any blood work done at all, just had to pee in teh cup and the doc checked it for drugs. Besides that he checked my eyes, hearing, relflexes, peripheral vision, etc etc. No big deal at all.
 

bobbysamd

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Unfair AMEs

Further to Illini's post, also ask around about unfair and unreasonable AMEs. Even if you're Charles Atlas incarnate, you want to stay away from them.

Usually, there's plenty of local pilot lore about the bad doctors. Ask before you make an appointment. Take it from me. I got jobbed one time. Ask here on the board if anyone has heard pro or con about specific AMEs.
 
Last edited:

avbug

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The AME isn't checking the urine sample for drugs. The tests run by requirement are for proteinurea and glucose. Sugar and protein.

I did have an AME once who centrifuged the sample and then put it under a microscope, and then refused to issue my medical because of a bladder infection. I was required to undergo treatment , and after two weeks he signed the paperwork and sent it in. He's the only doctor who has ever seen fit to go the extra mile during the exam, too...and I never went back.

"Yes, there's a proceedure to correct my vision, but they have to go in through the rectum. Ain't no man takin' that route with me."

--Walleye, from Hotshots.
 

eriknorth

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Well guys, thanks a lot. I got my First Class yesterday. It all went fine except for when I was carrying my dixie cup full of urine through the halls tring to find my nurse:eek:
 
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