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What is involved in a medical examination?

A medical examination and the required tests will take around half a day (up to 4 hours) to complete. There are certain items you will need to complete before hand. If you wear glasses or contact lenses for example, you must bring your most recent optician’s report along to the examination. Your AeMC will be able to help you with any additional individual preparations you need to make before your appointment.

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One of the items you must bring is your application form, a copy of which can be found here.

The examination assesses 10 aspects of your health and wellbeing:

Medical History - These are a series of questions about your medical history and any previous illnesses. You will go through your application form and discuss any medical history with the medical examiner. Further details of the medical requirements can be found here.

Colour Vision - You will need to pass an Ishihara test for the initial issue of a medical certificate. Colour vision guidance material (from the CAA) can be found here.

Eyesight - Eyesight requirements can be found here. Eyesight requirements will include factors such as Distance Vision, Near Vision, the need for Glasses or Contact Lenses, Eye Surgery and Eye Function etc. If you wear glasses or contact lenses it is important to take your last optician's report (must be within the year preceding the medical exam) along with the examination. An applicant may be assessed as fit with hypermetropia (long sighted) not exceeding +5.0 dioptres, myopia (short-sighted) not exceeding -6.0 dioptres and astigmatism (difference between the eyes) not exceeding 2.0 dioptres. Full Class 1 Visual Standards guidance is listed here.

Physical Examination - A physical examination is a general check that all is functioning correctly. It will cover lungs, heart, blood pressure, stomach, limbs and nervous system.

Hearing - A pure tone audiometry test will evaluate your hearing. Applicants may not have a hearing loss of more than 35dB at any of the frequencies 500Hz, 1000Hz or 2000Hz, or more than 50dB at 3000Hz, in either ear separately.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) - This measures the electrical impulses passing through your heart. Changes on an ECG require further investigation. A report from a cardiologist and further tests (for example an exercise ECG) may need to be done.

Lung function test (spirometry) - This tests your ability to expel air rapidly from your lungs. Abnormal lung function or respiratory problems, e.g. asthma will require reports by a specialist in respiratory disease.

Haemoglobin blood test - This is a finger prick blood test which measures the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. A low haemoglobin is called anaemia and will need further investigation.

Lipids / Cholesterol - A finger prick blood test which is used in part to determine your risk of future heart and blood vessel disease.

Urine test - You will be asked to provide a sample of urine, so remember to attend for examination with a full bladder. This tests for sugar (diabetes), protein or blood in the urine.

Once you have passed your medical examination, your medical certificate can be issued on the same day as the examination (if all the standards are met). However, if the required standards are not met or further investigations are necessary before a decision on medical certification is possible, then issuing a certificate will take longer.

FTA requires a copy of your current and valid EASA class one medical certificate before you start your course. You will not be permitted to fly an aircraft until a copy has been provided.