Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Synopsis of Medical Standards

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Summary of Medical Standards

Medical Certificate Pilot Type First-Class Airline Transport Pilot Second-Class Commercial Pilot Third-Class Private Pilot
Distant Vision 20/20 or better in each eye separately, with or without correction. 20/40 or better in each eye separately, with or without correction.
Near Vision 20/40 or better in each eye separately (Snellen equivalent), with or without correction, as measured at 16 inches.
Intermediate Vision 20/40 or better in each eye separately (Snellen equivalent), with or without correction at age 50 and over, as measured at 32 inches. No requirement.
Color Vision Ability to perceive those colors necessary for safe performance of airman duties.
Hearing Demonstrate hearing of an average conversational voice in a quiet room, using both ears at 6 feet, with the back turned to the examiner or pass one of the audiometric tests below.
Audiology Audiometric speech discrimination test: Score at least 70% reception in one ear at an intensity of no greater than 65 dB. Pure tone audiometric test. Unaided, with thresholds no worse than:
Sound Levels:
Ear Condition 500 Hz 1,000 Hz 2,000 Hz 3,000 Hz
Better Ear 35 dB 30 dB 30 dB 40 dB
Worst Ear 35 dB 50 dB 50 dB 60 dB
Ent No ear disease or condition manifested by, or that may reasonably be expected to maintained by, vertigo or a disturbance of speech or equilibrium.
Pulse Not disqualifying per se. Used to determine cardiac system status and responsiveness.
Blood Pressure No specified values stated in the standards. The current guideline maximum value is 155/95.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) At age 35 and annually after age 40 (first-class only) Not routinely required. (second- and third-class only)
Mental No diagnosis of psychosis, or bipolar disorder, or severe personality disorders.
Substance Dependence and Substance Abuse 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 hypnotics, anxiolytics, marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, hallucinogens, and other psychoactive drugs or chemicals).
Disqualifying Conditions Unless otherwise directed by the FAA, the Examiner must deny or defer if the applicant has a history of: (1) Diabetes mellitus requiring hypoglycemic medication; (2) Angina pectoris; (3) Coronary heart disease that has been treated or, if untreated, that has been symptomatic or clinically significant; (4) Myocardial infarction; (5) Cardiac valve replacement; (6) Permanent cardiac pacemaker; (7) Heart replacement; (8) Psychosis; (9) Bipolar disorder; (10) Personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts; (11) Substance dependence; (12) Substance abuse; (13) Epilepsy; (14) Disturbance of consciousness and without satisfactory explanation of cause, and (15) Transient loss of control of nervous system function(s) without satisfactory explanation of cause.
Note: For further information, contact your Regional Flight Surgeon.
Last updated: Wednesday, March 8, 2023