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Guest AndrewMcGregor

Health needed to become a pilot?

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Hi, I am new to the forum.I am a student at the moment but i love flying my simulator and i am looking to become a commercial or cargo pilot.The big problem getting in the way of me becoming or trianing to become a pilot is the health reqirements. So i would be really pleased if a real pilot or someone that knows a lot on this matter could explain to me how good my health has to be, because when i was younger i had a mild form of Asthma(until i was about 3-4) and i had a ear condition called glue ear, however both conditions have cleared up now.I would be really gratefull if someone could give me a clue to wether this would stop me flying or not.THANKSJason.I

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Jason, I'm not sure about the specific requirements except that a private pilot must submit to and pass a biannual medical exam by a certified flight physician. I have been many times and it seems they examine more in the area of vision, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. I've never had my hearing checked and they have listened to my lungs with a stethoscope. My vision was tested about five different ways and I did a treadmill at a slow pace for about 4 minutes. Each examiner is a little different. You might check the Fed. Aviation Regs. on pilot certification or maybe one of the CFI's will post an answer.Glenn

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I'm not sure if you're in the US or not, but I'll assume so.This site has a real good chart of the requirements for a medical certificate.http://www.leftseat.com/FAAforms.htmA lot of stuff comes down to how the examiner thinks. He may fail you while another would say you're fine. Even if you get turned down you can still get a waiver and get your medical, depending on the condition.Your best bet is to just schedule an appointment with a medical examiner and talk to him about it.

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To get your private pilots license (or to go solo as a student pilot) you'll need an FAA class 3 medical exam. It'll cost you about $100 and you need it every two years. For a commercial, you'll need a class 2, and to be an airline pilot, a class 1. Each class is more expensive, and more frequent, than the one below. Childood medical problems won't affect a class 3 - they're looking at current health status - eyesight, color vision, inner ear, heart. It's no more stringent than a life insurance physical. You can get a list of examiners from the faa site at www.faa.gov, and ask your class 3 examiner about the requirements for class 2 and class 1 while you're there.Richard

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Previous conditions are not USUALLY a problem (unless they have a history of reappearing like heart attacks and strokes).Typically as long as you are in decent health you will pass the physical in the US (EU reqs are a LOT stricter, over here previous conditions may indeed ground you as well as the requirements on current health being more stringent).The main problem is typically cost and/or time it takes to get the training and paperwork done and keeping it up to date.

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Here in New Zealand, they look mostly at current conditions, and how they are expected to evolve. Since childhood asthma and glue ear don't usually recur, they shouldn't be a problem. Overweight, epilepsy, migraine, and heart problems are the main things they worry about; basically, anything likely to be suddenly disabling in the air, or a risk factor for that.My own medical they mostly looked at my migraine history, but were reassured that I said I have never had one without considerable warning, even though they can be very serious.Obviously, your vision and hearing have to be OK, once corrected, but there are pilots flying with hearing aids. Contact lenses are not OK for flying single-pilot, but are with two (so just wear glasses). If you need glasses, buy some prescription sunglasses (you WILL need these, photochromics or clip-ons are not practical) and take them and your regular glasses to the medical.

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