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CFI Brief: Medical Certificates Questions

Prior to starting your flight training it is important to first determine if you meet the guidelines for issuance of an FAA Medical Certificate. Don’t let this process deter you, obtaining your FAA Medical is a fairly simple process and is much like going to your doctor for a physical. The main difference is that you must visit what is known as an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME), a doctor who is certified by the FAA to conduct and issue medical certificates. A list of AME’s can be found here: http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/

The following is an excerpt from the ASA 2015 Private Pilot Test Prep Book:

“Student pilot, recreational pilot, and private pilot operations, other than glider and balloon pilots, require a Third-Class Medical Certificate. A Third-Class Medical Certificate expires at the end of:

1. The 60th month after the month of the date of the examination shown on the certificate if the person has not reached his or her 40th birthday on or before the date of examination; or

2. The 24th month after the month of the date of examination shown on the certificate if the person has reached his or her 40th birthday on or before the date of the examination.

The holder of a Second-Class Medical Certificate may exercise commercial privileges during the first 12 calendar months, but the certificate is valid only for private pilot privileges during the following (12 or 48) calendar months, depending on the applicant’s age.

The holder of a First-Class Medical Certificate may exercise Airline Transport Pilot privileges during the first (6 or 12) calendar months, commercial privileges during the following (6 or 0) calendar months, and private pilot privileges during the following (12 or 48) calendar months, depending on the applicant’s age. To state another way, a medical certificate may last 6 months to a year with first-class privileges, 12 months (from the date of the examination) with second-class privileges, and 2 or 5 years with thirdclass privileges—depending on whether the applicant is above or below 40 years of age.

Each type of medical certificate is valid through the last day of the month (of the month it expires), regardless of the day the physical examination was given.”

Here are two questions about medical certificates you are likely to see on your FAA Knowledge Exam. Use the information above to see if you can correctly answer each one. Answers and explanations will be posted on Thursday.

1. A Third-Class Medical Certificate was issued to a 19-year-old pilot on August 10, this year. To exercise the privileges of a Recreational or Private Pilot Certificate, the medical certificate will expire at midnight on
A—August 10, 2 years later.
B—August 31, 5 years later.
C—August 31, 2 years later.

2. For private pilot operations, a Second-Class Medical Certificate issued to a 42-year-old pilot on July 15, this year, will expire at midnight on
A—July 15, 2 years later.
B—July 31, 1 year later.
C—July 31, 2 years later.

Check back on Thursday for a discussion on the answers!

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