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What Is a Third-Class Pilot Medical Certificate?

what is a 3rd class medical certificate

A Third-Class Medical Certificate relates to the level of certificate for which a pilot has been examined to use with hispilot's certificate. Medical certificates are required to operate aircraft as a pilot in most situations.

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Pilot Medical Certification Requirement

Part of certification as a pilot is verification of medical fitness. For most student, private, or commercial pilots a medical examination is required. Different levels of pilot operation require additional medical examination levels. Medical certificates must be carried with pilots requiring them when they act as the pilot in command of an aircraft.

Third-Class Medical Certificate Requirement

For operation of private or noncommercial activity aircraft, a third-class medical certificate is required. This certificate verifies that the holder has met minimum Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) health requirements to operate aircraft using pilots certificates that have this minimum medical standard. A third-class medical certificate is the most basic level of pilot

medical certification.


Third-class medical certificates must be renewed periodically. For individuals under the age of 40, the medical certificate is good for up to 60 calendar months. Individuals who are over the age of 40 have a valid duration of 24 calendar months for this certificate.

Other FAA Medical Certificate Levels

For operation of aircraft in commercial operations for the carriage of passengers or property for compensation, higher levels of medical certificates (and more in depth physical examination) are required. These include second- and first-class medical certificates. These levels require more frequent medical examination. In some limited circumstances, no medical certificate is required for pilots operating personal aircraft acting as sport pilots.

Obtaining a Medical Certificate

Obtaining a medical certificate requires an applicant to be examined by an FAA Airman's Medical Examiner. These can be found on the FAA's website directory. Only FAA-authorized examiners may issue FAA medical certificates.

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