As part of the process of receiving a Private Pilot Certificate, the applicant must hold and carry a valid, current medical certificate. To obtain a Medical Certificate, the applicant must be examined and pass a physical performed by an FAA-approved physician. These physicians have established medical criteria set forth by the FAA for issuing the three different medical certificates: First Class, Second Class, and Third Class.
FIRST CLASS: Required to exercise the privileges of an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. If the holder of the first-class medical is an airline transport pilot, the medical is valid for six (6) calendar months. If the airmen is age 40 or older on or before the date of examination, the medical is valid for six (6) calendar months. If the holder of the first-class medical is NOT an airline transport pilot and has not reached age 40 on or before the date of examination, the first-class medical is valid for 12 calendar months. Please note: our academic programs require students to hold a current, valid First-Class Medical Certificate.
SECOND CLASS: Required for commercial, non-airline duties (e.g., crop dusters, corporate pilots, etc.) and is valid for one (1) year plus the remainder of the days in the month of examination (12 calendar months). Those exercising the privileges of a Flight Engineer Certificate, a Flight Navigator Certificate, or acting as air traffic control tower operator must hold a Second-Class Medical Certificate.
THIRD CLASS: Required to exercise the privileges of a Private Pilot Certificate, Recreational Pilot Certificate, a Flight Instructor Certificate, or a Student Pilot Certificate. A third-class medical certificate is valid for the remainder of the month of issue; plus 24 calendar months for operations requiring a third class medical certificate, if the airman is age 40 or older on or before the date of the examination, or 60 calendar months for operations requiring a third-class medical certificate if the airman has not reached age 40 on or before the date of examination.
To obtain a Medical Certificate you must be examined by an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME):
1) Set up an online account with FAA MedXPress to complete the initial portion of your application online. Information entered into MedXPress is available to your FAA-designated AME for review at the time of your medical examination.
2) Schedule an appointment with the AME of your choice. Click here to locate an AME near you. At your scheduled appointment, the AME will complete your medical examination and the remainder of the FAA application form. If you meet the required medical standards, the AME will issue you a medical certificate.
Upon successful completion of your medical exam, the doctor will issue you a First-, Second- or Third-Class Medical Certificate. Upon completion of your FAA Private Pilot Checkride, the FAA Examiner will issue you a temporary Private Pilot's License. Your permanent Private Pilot's License will arrive in the mail within 90 days (if not contact your local FAA office). As a new private pilot, you will have to carry your Medical Certificate and your Private Pilot's License while acting as a pilot-in-command (PIC).