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Do you need another medical exam?Do you need another medical exam?

Many pilots whose last third class medical exam will expire before July 15, 2017, are “on the bubble” for one more airman medical exam before the FAA issues new regulations. These pilots basically have two choices: either renew their medical certificate now or stay grounded as pilot in command until that time.
What will the checklist for the medical exam involve? The checklist will have two parts—questions to be answered by the pilot in advance of the exam and a list of items for the doctor to include in the examination. iStock photo.

For many of these pilots, one more trip to an aviation medical examiner will be required for them to continue to legally exercise their pilot privileges. (Learn more in AOPA's medical reform FAQs.)

Fortunately there are plenty of resources to prepare a pilot for a medical exam.

The first step is to gather all pertinent medical records for the last three years, per the directions on AOPA’s TurboMedical tool and the FAA’s MedXPress website. Keep this information up to date in an electronic calendar or app so that you can easily search for long-forgotten medical appointments.

Step two is to fill out AOPA’s interactive TurboMedical tool, which walks pilots through basic questions before drilling down to specific medical history. Pilots who’ve moved since their last medical exam should make sure their address is up to date. Recording total flight hours and recent flight time requested on the medical form could help save the day if your logbooks are lost.

The form requires the date of the most recent medical exam, so it’s helpful to have that information handy, along with the dates, names, and reasons for medical visits within the last three years. There’s a place on the form for pilots to indicate previously reported hospital admissions and surgeries. Check out AOPA’s searchable medication database if you are unsure about permissible medications.

Pilots can manually transfer these answers to the FAA’s MedXPress website. A careful review is in order before submitting the form to the FAA because a mistake on the FAA medical form could lead to unwanted delays in a doctor’s office. After submitting the paperwork online, pilots should take a copy to the airman’s medical examination, along with their unique MedXPress confirmation number.

The entire application process can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

For any questions, AOPA members “on the bubble” can call the association’s Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA) and speak to a medical representative.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Medical Reform, Pilot Health and Medical Certification

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