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Are You Physically Qualified to Fly an Airplane?

7 June 2022   Monmouth Jet Center
Are You Physically Qualified to Fly an Airplane_

Being a pilot is a huge responsibility because peoples’ lives depend on you being able to do your job. Pilots undergo a great deal of training and must have mental acuity, but did you also know they must be physically qualified to fly? You may not think that being a pilot is a physically demanding job, however there are requirements that individuals must meet in order to be authorized to fly. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the physical requirements one must meet to become a pilot, what the physical exam consists of, and the overall importance of staying healthy. If you have any questions please contact our team at Monmouth Jet Center.

Health Requirements To Become a Pilot

Vision and eyesight requirements: Understandably, pilots must have close to perfect vision, with or without correction. The exact requirements vary depending on which Medical certificate you need. A first class medical needs 20/20 distant vision, and 20/40 for near vision. A third class medical can get by with 20/40 distant vision.  Color Blindness can disqualify you from being a pilot as it makes you unable to correctly identify essential controls, lights, and buttons.

Hearing requirements: Pilots must have good hearing to hear and communicate via radio with other pilots and towered airports. This is crucial for landing instructions, and hearing other pilots announcements that are in your immediate location. To pass the hearing portion of the medical exam you need to be able to hear an average conversational voice in a quiet room from six feet away. As far as audiology you need to score at least 70% in one ear at an intensity no greater than 65 dB.

Mental and Physical Health: You must be deemed mentally capable and healthy to become a pilot by a trained aviation medical examiner. Any diagnosis of psychosis, bipolar or personality disorders will fail the mental examination. An FAA examiner must deny anyone with Coronary heart disease, cardiac valve replacement, heart replacement, epilepsy, amongst many other medical conditions for safety reasons. 

Doctor Physical To Get Approved To Fly 

Aspiring pilots must have a physical conducted by an FAA-approved physician. You can’t simply go to your primary care provider for a pilot physical, you must choose one that is authorized by the FAA to administer a pilot’s medical exam. Here’s what you can expect during the exam:

  • Full body exam
  • Check your height and weight
  • Check your blood pressure and pulse
  • Check your vision and hearing
  • Review past or ongoing medical conditions 
  • A mental and neurological exam
  • Urine test 

The Importance of Being Healthy

Physical, mental, and emotional health are all extremely important for pilots and aspiring pilots. Being healthy is a required and necessary part of the job. Flying a plane comes with an immense responsibility, not just for yourself and everyone on board but also for other pilots in the sky, as well as civilians on the ground. 

If you’d like more information about the physical requirements for pilots, or if you have any flight questions, please contact our team at Monmouth Jet Center today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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