Pilot Exam Q & A
The Cosmetic Office of Dr. Platt
How can I prepare for the pilot exam?
Before your appointment, you need to register for an account on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) MedXPress system, because Dr. Platt submits your exam results to the FAA through the system. You also need to bring two forms of identification to your appointment.
You may also choose to research the medical requirements you must meet to pass the exam before your appointment.
If you have any medical conditions or limitations, you might also research your options to see if a special issuance medical certificate is required. Knowing what to expect might provide you with extra reassurance and make the exam less intimidating.
What can I expect during the aviation medical exam?
An aviation medical exam determines your competency to fly aircraft. Dr. Platt starts by going over your medical history to identify any conditions that might impair your ability to fly. For your exam, Dr. Platt conducts the following tests:
- Eyesight, including peripheral and color vision
- Hearing test
- Vital signs
- Physical exam
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) for anyone over 40
Vision and hearing standards are different among first, second, and third-class medical exams, but the rest of the exams are very similar.
What happens if I don’t pass the aviation medical exam?
Pilot exams are rarely denied unless there’s a blatant failure of the medical requirements. Even if Dr. Platt denies your application or defers it for review, it doesn’t mean you can’t fly. The FAA reviews your application, so you have a chance to make arrangements for a special issuance medical certificate.
Even if the FAA subsequently denies your application, you can still appeal the decision. They may reconsider you if symptoms don’t resurface or you’ve been sober or drug-free for a certain amount of time. The FAA wants to preserve your aviation career, so they provide several programs to help return you to flight.
What is the Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS)?
HIMS is an occupational substance abuse treatment program specifically for pilots. The program assists the FAA in identifying substance abuse, treating it, and returning airmen to flight.
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