Information - FAQs
I want to earn my sport pilot certificate; what are the medical requirements?
To operate as a sport pilot, you must have either a valid state drivers license or a valid FAA third-class medical certificate. If your most recent medical has been denied, suspended, or revoked, see What if Your Medical Has Been Denied?
In addition, Federal Aviation Regulation 61.53 requires every pilot, from sport pilot to airline transport pilot, to be able to truthfully state before each flight that he or she is medically fit to operate the aircraft in a safe manner. As pilots, it is our responsibility to ensure that our current medical health in no way jeopardizes the safety of a flight.
I applied for a third class medical and the FAA wanted additional tests. I did not complete them due to the cost. Is this considered a denial?
Unfortunately, yes. Once the application for an FAA medical is started, the AME is legally required to forward the application to FAA. If an applicant fails to provide all the requested information, the FAA denies the application for “failure to provide”. If you started an application and for whatever reason did not receive a medical, then you have been denied.
What if Your Medical Has Been Denied?
The sport pilot rule states that if an individual’s most recent application for an FAA medical certificate has been denied, suspended, or revoked, that person may not use a driver’s license as a medical certificate until the denial is cleared from the record.
Individuals who have a denial or suspension on record can become eligible to use the driver’s license medical by pursuing a one-time third-class medical certificate. Many conditions causing denial in the past are no longer cause for denial. An estimated 80% of all denials are simply caused by the applicant not correctly providing all the paperwork or medical tests that FAA requested. These can be corrected simply by providing the missing information. Once the record is cleared by the issuance of a medical certificate, the applicant never need go through this again, but can use the valid drivers license in lieu of a medical certificate.
How can I check the status of my most recent medical application with the FAA?
Those who wish to verify what the FAA has on record regarding their medicals can contact their Regional Medical Office of the Aerospace Medical Certification Division. Pilot name, Social Security number, and date of birth are required to run the check. For a listing of the FAA regional offices, click here.
EAA members who were denied a medical or have questions about obtaining a medical certificate can obtain assistance through the EAA Aeromedical website. Members can also gain access to EAA volunteer members and doctors who can help you with your questions. To learn more, visit http://members.eaa.org/home/medical/.
What is meant by “valid” state driver’s license?
Your state driver’s license is valid as long as you comply with the laws of your state. Most states require you to stop driving and notify the state department of motor vehicles if you have a significant change in your health. The more common medical issues that require suspension of driving privileges are:
- Vision changes
- Loss of consciousness
- Impairment of judgment
- Loss of motor function
- Seizures or blackouts
If you have experienced any one of the above, even temporarily, you need to verify with your state department of motor vehicles that your driver’s license is still valid. In addition, you should consult with your family doctor about the advisability of piloting an aircraft.
If your license is suspended or revoked due to traffic violations or alcohol/drug related convictions you cannot use your state drivers license to establish medical fitness and would have to possess a third-class medical certificate.
I just started on a new medication and the label says, “May cause drowsiness” and “Use care when operating a car or dangerous machinery.” Am I able to fly when taking this medicine?
You must determine your medical fitness before flying, so consult with the doctor who prescribed the medication to ensure that it will not interfere with your piloting of an aircraft. Once you are established on a medicine, you and your doctor may determine that it has no adverse effects on you and therefore flying can be resumed.
Is there a sport pilot license that does not require a medical?
Yes, glider (including motorgliders) and balloon sport pilot licenses do not require medical or drivers license. Two motorgliders you might consider are:
Sinus and Virus: http://www.mcp.com.au/pipistrel-usa/