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Class 1 Medical Certificate - Everything you need to know

World Aviation      |      2022.04.25

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As a commercial pilot, it is mandatory and an indispensable requirement for obtaining your licence to have a valid Class 1 medical certificate. This is the certificate with the most demanding and restrictive medical standards and the holder is considered mentally and physically fit to exercise the privileges of his/her licence.

Therefore, all future pilots should take this test before starting their studies as a Commercial Pilot, being a very important recommendation to take it before considering any option. From WA Flight Academy we can give you the best advice and we can help you from the first moment to find the most suitable AMC for your case.

The aim of this examination is to assess the applicant’s ability to meet a series of requirements considered mandatory for any professional pilot to be able to carry out his work safely, and to prevent acute incapacitation during flight or early chronic incapacitation.

Therefore, during this examination, the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive and urinary system will be explored, performing haematological analyses, taking into account that the muscular and skeletal, psychiatric, neurological, ophthalmological, audiological, dermatological and, of course, visual requirements that allow the applicant to carry out the tasks of a professional pilot will be fulfilled.

AMC Medical Examination – The initial medical examinations for obtaining a Class 1 medical certificate shall be carried out at an AMC (Aeronautical Medical Centre). Conversely, revalidation and renewal examinations may be delegated to an AMC or an AME (Authorised Medical Examiner).

Acceptance of the medical certificate – A Class 1 medical certificate issued by any EASA Member State is automatically accepted by another EASA Member State and is recognised throughout its operational framework.

Certificado Médico Clase 1 Aviación

What medical requirements do you need to be a pilot?

First class medical certificate requirements – We will review step by step the medical requirements for obtaining a Class 1 Medical Certificate for a pilot licence in accordance with the PART-FCL regulations in PART-MED, fulfilling all the regulations required by the EASA European regulatory framework.

  • Medical history: a series of questions will be asked about past illnesses that have been reported on the application form previously filled in by the candidate. If there is a medical history, it is always advisable to provide medical reports from your doctor.

  • Physical examination: general check that everything is working properly, where the lungs, heart, blood pressure, stomach, limbs and nervous system will be checked.

What medical requirements do you need to be a pilot?

VISION

The requirements in this respect are set out in the PART-FCL Class 1 Visual Standards. The ophthalmological system reflects the applicant’s vision at different distances, their vision with glasses or contact lenses if they wear them, and of course their colour perception, i.e. whether they are colour blind or not. People who suffer from colour blindness are not qualified to be professional pilots, and it is in this test that doubts about this pathology can be resolved, which is why it is always highly recommended to take the test as soon as possible.

The use of glasses should not be a problem that makes it impossible to qualify for a pass in the Class 1 examination.

In the particular case of refractive errors, each case should be studied and it is always wise to consult a qualified ophthalmologist.

  • Distance vision: visual acuity is assessed, measured by the ability to see lines, shapes or letters on a table at a distance of 6 metres. The number of dioptres allowed varies according to the refractive error. For an initial examination if correction is required, the refractive error should be between +5.00 and -6.00 dioptres. The astigmatism should not exceed 2.00 dioptres. The difference in correction between each eye – anisometropia should not be more than 2.00 dioptres.
  • Near vision: the N5 print should be readable between 30 and 50 cm and the N14 print at 100 cm, with or without correction.
  • Eye surgery: Applicants who have undergone eye surgery may be assessed as eligible for a satisfactory ophthalmological assessment.
  • Colour vision: You will be tested for normal colour vision using Ishihara test plates (a series of numbers or shapes outlined by dots of different colours, which can be easily seen by someone with normal colour vision). If you do not pass, you must pass an approved torch test (a series of coloured lights that you must correctly identify) to obtain a PART-FCL Class 1 certificate.
  • Eye function: You must have normal fields of vision. You must not suffer from double vision. Any degree of heterophoria (eye muscle imbalance) in excess of: 8Δ exo, 10Δ eso or 2Δ hyperphoria – measured at 6 mo 12Δ exo, 8Δ eso or 1Δ hyperphoria – measured at 33 cm will require further assessment by an eye specialist. There shall be no acute or chronic disease of the eyes or surrounding structures.

EARS

In this section the hearing test to be performed in PART-MED is the ability to hear conversational speech when tested with each ear at a distance of 2 metres and with the back towards the medical examiner (PART-MED.B.080 Otolaryngology Subpart (b) and (c)).

This test is performed at every medical examination for professional and private pilots. For professional pilots, an additional test called an audiogram is required.

The audiogram is a test where sounds are heard at different frequencies. Perfect hearing is measured as zero hearing loss (0 decibels – 0 dB) at that particular frequency. Decreased hearing is shown as a decibel loss (10, 20, 30, 40 decibels) at a particular frequency. The required hearing levels and maximum allowable losses are listed below:

Frequency – permissible loss
500 Hz – 35 dB
1000 Hz – 35 dB
2000 Hz – 35 dB
3000 Hz – 50 dB

If you can hear a normal voice in each ear separately at 2 metres, you should have no problem. There may be some hearing loss as a rider’s career progresses (often due to noise induced hearing loss). If the audiogram figures reach a level 5 dB less than the previous renewal figures, an annual audiogram is required.

ELECTROCARDIOGRAM

This test measures the electrical impulses that pass through your heart. It can show heart rhythm or impulse conduction disorders. Sometimes it can show a lack of blood supplying the heart muscle. In the unlikely event that these changes show up on your ECG, further tests should be sought with a report from a cardiologist.

Pulmonary function test (spirometry):

This tests your ability to take a deep breath and expel air from your lungs.

Blood tests

Various parameters such as the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood will be assessed. Low haemoglobin is called anaemia and will need further investigation if this is the case. In this test the blood cholesterol level will also be evaluated, there is no disqualification level at this point but the doctor should inform you about the possible risks of high cholesterol.

Chest X-ray

This investigation is not required for PART-FCL Class 1, but may be necessary when indicated for detected or previous clinical or epidemiological reasons.

Urine test

Mainly for sugar (diabetes), protein or blood. For a detailed description of the medical requirements for the flight crew licence, see PART-MED.

OTHERS

Psychiatric and psychological tests will also be carried out to assess the existence of any personality disorders, psychotic outbursts or suicidal ideation. The mental health of the applicant will be analysed at all times.

final evaluation

The initial medical examination will be completed with a final assessment to determine whether the applicant is FIT or NOT FIT to obtain the Class 1 Medical Certificate by providing all the information on the above tests by the aeronautical doctor who has carried out the examination and different tests required in accordance with the regulations.

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