Medical Exam - Difference between 1st/2nd/3rd class

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by mandm, Aug 20, 2022.

  1. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    Hi all, I have a third class medical, and I’ve been thinking about trying for a 1st class medical. Just wondering what is the difference in the evaluation process for a 1st/2nd/3rd class medical?

    For third class, it was:
    Urine test (for sugar levels)
    Eye test (near far shapes colors)

    Wondering what else to expect for 2nd and 1st.

    If you can qualify for a third class but not a higher class, then do you lose your medical overall or what happens?
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Read 14 CFR Part §67.
     
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  3. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If there are no conditions involved its' really vision standards which are 20/20 each eye separately for 2nd/1st, at 32" and 20 feet
    For First class additionally, the EKG has to be without pathology.
    If, however you have a special issuance condition, it might be more complicated.
     
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  4. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    The real question is why get a first class if it’s not needed?
     
  5. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    I’m working on my commercial ticket, this started as a hobby but who knows may consider something more so want to make sure I can get a higher class medical now. To exercise commercial privileges I need a second class medical? What’s the first class for? I did the near and far sight vision already for my third class and my vision is fine. I don’t want to screw with my hobby flying by going for a higher class medical so wanted to ask here first.
     
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  6. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Philosophically, I’m a believer in maintaining the minimum necessary medical certification for your current flying needs, because you’re always one medical event away from decertification. This is after having maintained a DoD medical certificate for a career there.

    Basic med allows me to do all the hobby flying I’ll ever do and much of the “professional” flying I think I want to do, which is instructing and can be done on A BasicMed certificate.

    If I decide to change careers (again) to corp/135/121 then I’ll revisit the more appropriate FAA medical for that type of flying.
     
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  7. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You need a 2nd class to exercise Commercial privileges and a 1st class to exercise ATP privileges. If you're seriously considering flying for a living it's wise to make sure you qualify for the appropriate medical. If you're not serious it's an unnecessary risk. You're risking getting denied on the 1st or 2nd class and then being ineligible for Sport Pilot or BasicMed until you resolve the condition that caused you to get denied. The most likely thing to cause that would be an anomaly on the EKG for 1st class if you're over 35.
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Correct. See 14 CFR §61.23(a)(2)

    14 CFR 61.23(a)(1)(i)

    (a) Operations requiring a medical certificate. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a person -

    (1)Must hold a first-class medical certificate:

    (i) When exercising the pilot-in-command privileges of an airline transport pilot certificate;
     
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  9. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I suggest you do a bit a of research as to what activities require a first class medical. Yes, a commercial ticket requires a second class, again, something you should know by now. The requirements for each are spelled out in the regs.
     
  10. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ….no second class is required to get/hold the rating. But to exercise it, yes you need a Second.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2022
  11. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff

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    it's actually kinda funny...I had an ekg for my basic med exam!

    Basically, seemed like my doctor was just making it up as he went since the thing is so poorly written and it really wasn't clear to him what was needed. ...so by extension he drew upon his experience giving DOT exams...I had the impression he was just blindly trying to be thorough.

    I guess my basic med is 1st class!
     
  12. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    If you go in for a 1st (or 2nd) class medical, and get denied, you don't just "fail down" to a 3rd class even if you do meet the requirements for that. No, you were denied and then it gets complicated. So you don't really want to go try for the higher medical unless you know for certain it's not going to be a problem.

    But how do you know for certain? Easy. Find a 1st class AME and go see them for a consult. Don't fill out ANY of the medxpress paperwork, just go see the AME and have them run you through the various tests. If they say you pass, great, then you know you would pass a real one, at least today. If you want to actually get the 1st class, then you come back tomorrow or next week or whatever. Yes, you're out TWO fees, but that's better than getting denied.

    If you DON'T pass the consult, then you still have your perfectly valid 3rd class and it's as if nothing happened, because officially, nothing did. You're just out ONE fee.
     
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  13. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    So medical testing wise what is the procedural difference between a second and third class? Second class would allow one to exercise commercial privileges and sit in the right seat so it seems that provides a lot of opportunities right there. I’ve had a health check with EKG in the past pre Covid, eye sight is fine. I enjoy food a little too much, other than that everything is good.
     
  14. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    How old are you? From what I know second and first are the same except for the EKG's for pilots 35 and older. One at 35 and then every year after 40. I could be wrong. If you do not need a First, I would get a Second.
     
  15. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    (while this has nothing to do with the topic, it was fun to write up, and which medical is which fits the script.)

    AggieMike88 is considering becoming a pilot. Dr. Bruce (@bbchien) wants to make sure he understands about what sort of medical is necessary

    Dr. Bruce: Strange at it may seem, the FAA gives Aviation Medical Examiners very peculiar names these days

    AggieMike88: Funny names?

    Dr. Bruce: Nicknames, nicknames. Now on the AMCD team, we have Who giving out the first class, What issues the second, I Don’t Know does the thirds—

    AggieMike88: That’s what I want to find out. Me being a good student pilot, I want you to tell me the names of the doctors that can issue these medical certificates

    Dr. Bruce: That’s what I’m telling you. Who gives out the first class, What issues the second, I Don’t Know does the thirds—

    AggieMike88: You know the doctors’ names?

    Dr. Bruce: Yes

    AggieMike88: Then Who gives out the first class?

    Dr. Bruce: Yes

    AggieMike88: I mean the doctor’s name that issues the first class

    Dr. Bruce: Who.

    AggieMike88: The doctor issuing the first class

    Dr. Bruce: Who.

    AggieMike88: The guy that gives out the first class

    Dr. Bruce: Who gives out the first class

    AggieMike88: Well, what are you asking me for?

    Dr. Bruce: I’m not asking you—I’m telling you. Who issues the first class medical

    AggieMike88: I’m asking YOU – Who gives out the first class medicals?

    Dr. Bruce: That’s the doctor’s name

    AggieMike88: That’s Who’s name?

    Dr. Bruce: Yes

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    AggieMike88: When you pay for your first class, who gets the money?


    Dr. Bruce: Every dollar of it. And why not? The name is entitled to it

    AggieMike88: Who is?

    Dr. Bruce: Yes.

    AggieMike88: So who gets it?

    DR. BRUCE: Why shouldn’t he? Sometimes his wife is working in the office and collects it.

    AggieMike88: Who’s wife?

    Dr. Bruce: Yes, after all, he works hard and really earns it.

    AggieMike88: Who does?

    Dr. Bruce: Absolutely

    AggieMike88: Well, all I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name who issues the first class medicals

    Dr. Bruce: Oh, no, no. What issues the second class

    AggieMike88 (getting frustrated): I’m not asking who issues the seconds

    Dr. Bruce: Who issues the firsts!

    AggieMike88: That’s what I’m trying to find out!

    Dr. Bruce: Well, don't change the doctor’s around.

    AggieMike88: I'm not changin' nobody.

    Dr. Bruce: Take it easy.

    AggieMike88: What's the guy's name giving out first class medicals?

    Dr. Bruce: What's the guy's name that does seconds.

    AggieMike88: I'm not asking you who's doing seconds.

    Dr. Bruce: Who's does firsts.

    AggieMike88: I don't know.

    Dr. Bruce: He's the one issuing thirds - we're not talkin' about him.

    AggieMike88: How did I get on third class?

    Dr. Bruce: You mentioned his name!

    AggieMike88: If I mentioned the third class doctor’s name, who did I say is issuing thirds?

    Dr. Bruce: No - Who is giving out firsts.

    AggieMike88: Stay off of first, will ya?

    Dr. Bruce: Well, waddya want me to do?

    AggieMike88: Now, what's the guy's name on issuing thirds?

    Dr. Bruce: No, What's doing seconds.

    AggieMike88: I'm not asking you who's doing seconds.

    Dr. Bruce: Who's issuing firsts.

    AggieMike88: I don't know.

    Dr. Bruce: He's doing thirds.

    AggieMike88: There I go - back on third class again.

    Dr. Bruce: Well, I can't change their names.

    AggieMike88: Would you please stay on third class medicals?

    Dr. Bruce: Now, what is it you want to know?

    AggieMike88: I just want to know, what is the doctor’s name issuing thirds?

    Dr. Bruce: What is the fella's name doing seconds.

    AggieMike88: I'm not askin' you who's doing seconds.

    Dr. Bruce: Who's issuing firsts.

    AggieMike88: I don't know.

    Dr. Bruce & AggieMike88 (together): Third class!