Class 1

Please note: the following advice is only correct for the UK Civil Aviation Autority. Flightory is not a medical service and cannot be held accountable for any advice given below. Always contact an Aviation Medical Examiner for advice on aviation medical needs.

The CAA Class 1 medical is a requirement for pilots wishing to fly for commercial gain. This includes the carriage of both passengers and freight, but it is not a requirement to become a Flight Instructor. It is also a requirement to train towards your CPL or ATPL licences.

The initial Class 1 medical can only be completed by a doctor at an Aeromedical Centre, but once this initial medical examination is complete, the renewals can be obtained from any Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).

A more intense examination than the Class 2 medical, the Class 1 covers mostly the same as the Class 2, but more in depth. Your initial examination will cover your medical health history and current general health, along with the following:

  • Medical History
  • Colour Vision
  • Eyesight
  • Physical Examination
  • Hearing Test
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Lung Function Test (Spirometry)
  • Haemoglobin Blood Test
  • Lipid/Cholesterol Test
  • Urine Test

The test can take up to 4 hours and is quite in depth. If you meet the required standard, then you walk away that day with medical in hand. If you do not, then not to worry, it’s not the end of the road, the CAA will just require further tests to certify your fitness.
Thankfully once your initial medical is completed, renewals are less intensive and take less than 1 hour to complete. Renewals are required to maintain your Class 1 medical and due to the stringent medical standards required for transport of passengers or freight, they must be renewed yearly for most of your career as a pilot. In detail:

  • Under 60 years of age – 12 months
  • Over 60 years of age – 6 months

Electrocaridogram

  • At initial then
  • Under 30 – 5 years
  • 30 to 39 – 2 years
  • 40 to 59 – 1 year
  • 60 plus – 6 monthly

Audiogram

  • At initial then
  • Under 40 – 5 years
  • Over 40 – 2 years

Lipid profile

  • At initial, then at age 40

Haemoglobin Test

  • At every examiniation

Respiratory Function Test

  • At initial, then if clinically indicated.

This guide is by no mean in depth, for that make your way to the UK CAA website to find out more specific detail. You can find the medical department pages here: https://www.caa.co.uk/medical/