All certified pilots, with the exception of sport pilot certificates, are required to maintain a medical certificate with the priveleges they intend to excercise as pilot-in-command of an aircraft.
To obtain a medical certification, pilots are required to undergo a medical examination from an Aviation Medical Examiner, (AME). The medical examiner performs an examination based upon the class of certification desired, first class, second class, or third class. A third class medical is the minimum class required for a private pilot certificate, as where many commercial airlines require a first class medical, which has many more medical criteria for qualification.
Where do I get an FAA Medical Certificate?
Our local medical examiner is located on the field!
Northwest Aviation Medicine
Dr. Keith Lemmon, Sr. AME
COL (RET), US Army
1404 26th Ave NW
Phone: (253) 313-0935
Third Class Medical Requirements
Third class certifications require the least involved examinations of all medical certifications. They are required for those intending to be pilot-in-command of an aircraft under the Private or Recreational pilot certificates or while exercising solo privileges as a student pilot.
The requirements to obtain a third class medical are:
• Distant vision: 20/40 or better in each eye separately, with or without correction
• Near vision: 20/40 or better in each eye separately, with or without correction, as measured at a distance
of 16 inches (410 mm)
• Color vision: Demonstrate ability to perceive colors necessary for safe performance of airman duties
• Hearing: Demonstrate ability to hear an average conversational voice in a quiet room, using both ears,
at a distance of six feet, with their back turned to the examiner, or pass an approved audiometric test
• Ear, Nose, and Throat: Exhibit no ear disease or condition manifested by, or that may reasonably be
expected to be manifested by, vertigo or a disturbance of speech or equilibrium
• Blood Pressure: Under 155/95
• Mental Status: No diagnosis of psychosis, bipolar disorder, or severe personality disorders
• Substance Dependence: No dependence on alcohol or any pharmacological substance in the previous
For pilots under 40 years of age, third class medical certificates expire on the last day of the month they were issued, five years from the date of issue. The FAA changed this rule from three to five years on July 24, 2008. For all others, they expire on the last day of the month they were issued, two years from the date of issue.
NOTE: The figures above may not be current. Please refer to Federal Regulations for most current information.