The Anonymous Guest Guest

I know this doesnt really have much to do about FS but i dont know any other forum that talks about flying in such depth.

My aim is airline flying. Im able to pass the eye examination with my glasses on. But what if that day comes when my vision even with my glasses doesnt meet requirments? Do they just say sorry cant fly ever again(well at the airline level)? anyone know?

11 Responses

Don Wood Guest

In the US, in order to fly for the airlines, you must take and pass a "first class" physical examination every six months. If you are going to fly commercially but not for a scheduled air carrier, you must take and pass a "second class" physical every 12 months.

FAA has a booklet that lists the various physical requirement minimums for the various classes of physical exams. You can get one by mail or you may be able to get it online at the FAA web site. I am sure there are similar requirements in other countries. If you are a member of AOPA, they also have one available.

To answer your last question, if you can no longer pass the physical, you are done. FAA also requires that, even if you have a current physical of the required class, if you discover any disqualifying medical condition, you must ground yourself until the condition is alleviated.

For that reason, many commercial pilots carry "loss of medical" insurance to replace some or all of their income if they are grounded for medical reasons.


Ok so your saying my eye vision gets below the minimum for passing the physical theres no way for me to ever pass again and ill never fly again (well fly for something that required medical 1 certificate)

Don Wood Guest

Your response overstated the situation in one regard. There are some disqualifying physical conditions that can be corrected. In many cases, eyesight is one of those. If you cannot pass the 1st class physical, you cannot fly for an airline and if you cannot pass the 2nd class physical, you cannot fly commercially. If you cannot pass the 3rd class physical, you cannot fly any airplane for which a student license, private license or higher is required. If the disqualifying condition is corrected and you pass the physical, your pilot privileges are reinstated. It would then be up to your employer whether they would reinstate you or not.

In the US, some conditions allow reinstatement just by passing the physical. Other conditions require more comprehensive tests to be sure you are again physically fit. The Airman's Medical Branch at FAA defines, sometimes on a pilot-by-pilot basis, what additional tests you must take to be reinstated.

I have a friend who is currently trying to get his 3rd class medical back after having some heart trouble. FAA required that to be reinstated, he had to be free of symptoms for 2 years, had to have a normal EKG, and had to pass a treadmill stress test for a minimum of 9 minutes without any heart symptoms, certified by a cardiologist.

I lost my medical a few years ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes. In order to get it back, I had to have normal monthy blood sugar readings for a minimum of six months, I must have a medical certification that my disease is not of the type that will cause me to become disoriented, and my diabetes must be controlled with either diet and exercise or with oral medications. If my disease ever gets to the point where I become insulin dependant, that will be permanently disqualifying.

The first example was a pilot specific set of tests. The second example is a standard that applies to every pilot with diabetes.

Pro Member First Officer
leadfoot First Officer

If all else fails there is what is called a functional flight exam, this involves a certified flight examiner who is also an FAA M.E. that will effectivly porform a checkride with a pilot who has medical issues. If the flt ex is satisfied that the pilot can perform his or her duties as a PIC, he can issue a waiver and a conditional medical cetificate.


Does anyone know a link to a page that shows everything you get tested for in a medical examination. level 1.?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Does anyone know a link to a page that shows everything you get tested for in a medical examination. level 1.?

Check these out.



I have a question, there was this mistake. you see about 4 months ago there was this drunken night, and i dont know how but i seemed to take a a hit of weed. Just one hit. I dont know how or who pressured me, well lets just say i was a bit drunk. So anyways 4 months down the road i start reading this forum, and i also need to get my medical 1 certficate very shortly, so i was wondering if they test you for drugs at all and if they do will that 1 hit of "bad stuff i hate" be found, so on?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Nope don't think so, it's 6 - 12 weeks for weed to get out of your system I think. If it was just once, them I'm sure they wouldn't even notice.


Ok, well it was only one hit so i hope im good. But do they fail you if they find any trace of drugs?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

This link has it all on. A section of the Substance Dependence & Substance Abuse is at the bottom of this post.

A diagnosis or medical history of "substance dependence" is disqualifying unless there is established clinical evidence, satisfactory to the Federal Air Surgeon, of recovery, including sustained total abstinence from the substance(s) for not less than the preceding 2 years. A history of "substance abuse" within the preceding 2 years is disqualifying. "Substance" includes alcohol and other drugs (i.e., PCP, sedatives and hynoptics, anxiolytics, marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, hallucinogens, and other psychoactive drugs or chemicals).

Basically, I think you actually have to be caught, i.e. by the police. Seeing as they wouldn't be able to find the drugs in your system by know anyway, I think your safe 😀


Alright 😀, wish me luck everyone gonna call for an appointment today.

Id be soo pissed if i failed because of something such as drugs, would be really dumb, speaking on my part anyways

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