FAA physicals are required by the Federal Aviation Administration as a prerequisite to obtaining the required FAA medical certificate. Anyone exercising the privileges of the following certificates are required to undergo an FAA physical: airline transport pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, private pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, flight engineer certificate, flight navigator certificate, a student pilot certificate, or any other aviation support personal whom is required to undergo an FAA physical exam. FAA physicals must be conducted by authorized Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs).
There are three classes of FAA physicals, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Currently we issue offer ONLY 2nd and 3rd class certificates. 1st class certificate is generally needed for commercial airline pilots.
To ensure that your physical goes smoothly, you’ll want to register an account on the FAA’s MedXPress system and complete the appropriate electronic form. You can expect to take a hearing test, a vision test, and an echocardiogram (for a first class physical). You will also be asked to provide a urine sample.
Depending on your age and the type of medical certificate that you have, you will need to repeat the FAA physical anywhere from every 6 months to every 60 months. You can read more about the expiration periods on the U.S. Government Publishing Office website.
Dr. Efi Kessous is an authorized AME.