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Thread: Pilot Health Reg Questions

  1. #1

    Pilot Health Reg Questions

    I am new to flying. I am looking at trying to build my own ultralight aircraft and I have a few questions. I know that medically if I wanted to make flying a career, that I would have to get a medical 3 at least. If I just stick to building the ultralight and flying it, would it hurt to check with my doc to see if flying as a private pilot is even an option before I start looking at spending the money to start in on the adventure?

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    To fly commercially you need at least a class 2 medical. A Private pilot needs at least one class 3 medical before switching to Basicmed. A Sport Pilot needs no medical at all, and for a true ultralight you don't even need a pilot certificate.

  3. #3
    lnuss's Avatar
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    To add to what Dana said, no it probably wouldn't hurt to check with your doctor, and you might find out what you want to know if your doctor knows what the FAA wants for a second class physical, but it takes an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) to give you a definitive word. I might note that a commercial pilot is not an airline pilot, but is the next step beyond the Private and one who may fly for pay.

    Larry N.

  4. #4
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    I would start by reading the instructions and filling out the medical application. It's officially on line now, but you can find PDFs of the old form the online application is based on as well.
    There are three practical sections:

    1. Question 18 (a-w) which ask "Have you ever ..." If you answer YES to any of these, you need to consider things further.
    2. Visits to a physician, etc.. for the past three years. Again, anything other than a regular checkup needs to be investigated.
    3. Any drugs you are taking. You can get an idea of what drugs are going to be an issue by looking at the member section of the AOPA website.

    In addition, you'll get normal vision, "hearing", and bp checks. Those need to be acceptible (20/20 w/correction in each eye, colorblindness test, normal conversational words, and below about 145). In addition, the doctor is obliged under the current rules to inquire about sleep apnea risks, especially if you're obese.

    If you've got YES answers (or drugs or dr. visits), one way to preserve your options is to print the application (either the online one or just fill out the paper one) and take it to the AME for a "consultation." Do not give him the control number from the online application which he needs to start an official examination. Once he starts an official examination, if he finds a problem he's obliged to defer/deny you and that's going to lock you out of things like flying Sport Pilot.

    There's very little difference between the second and third (the third only requires 20/40) vision, unless you have one of the special conditions.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    I would start by reading the instructions and filling out the medical application. It's officially on line now, but you can find PDFs of the old form the online application is based on as well.
    There are three practical sections:

    1. Question 18 (a-w) which ask "Have you ever ..." If you answer YES to any of these, you need to consider things further.
    2. Visits to a physician, etc.. for the past three years. Again, anything other than a regular checkup needs to be investigated.
    3. Any drugs you are taking. You can get an idea of what drugs are going to be an issue by looking at the member section of the AOPA website.

    In addition, you'll get normal vision, "hearing", and bp checks. Those need to be acceptible (20/20 w/correction in each eye, colorblindness test, normal conversational words, and below about 145). In addition, the doctor is obliged under the current rules to inquire about sleep apnea risks, especially if you're obese.

    If you've got YES answers (or drugs or dr. visits), one way to preserve your options is to print the application (either the online one or just fill out the paper one) and take it to the AME for a "consultation." Do not give him the control number from the online application which he needs to start an official examination. Once he starts an official examination, if he finds a problem he's obliged to defer/deny you and that's going to lock you out of things like flying Sport Pilot.

    There's very little difference between the second and third (the third only requires 20/40) vision, unless you have one of the special conditions.
    Some of the possible issues. Examples are hearing, poor vision in one eye, color deficiency or even some amputations can be resolved with a "special issuance" which may involve more expense and paperwork.

    Getting at at least a third class medical will preserve the ability to move up from ultralight for several years. How many years depends on several variables.
    Last edited by jedi; 07-11-2018 at 07:19 AM.

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