Guidance Regarding
FAA Medical Certificates

Pilots must undergo a medical examination and obtain a 3rd Class Medical Certificate prior to operating the aircraft in solo flight. A pre-requisite for the Upwind Scholarship is a 3rd class (or higher) medical certificate. Here is some information that parents and student applicants should understand regarding the FAA Medical Certification progress.

  1. The FAA has information regarding the medical certificate process at:
  2. The aviation medical exam confirms that there are no health-related issues that could impair pilot performance. Physical limitations could include vision, hearing, cardiovascular health, or reliance on medications that prevent full cognitive function. Not being able to pass the aviation medical exam and receive a 3rd Class Medical Certificate would disqualify a student from receiving the scholarship.
  3. The examination must be done by a physician certificated as an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). Most doctors have not obtained this certification, so your regular doctor will likely not be able to perform this exam. The FAA has lists of AMEs who can perform medical examinations on their website. Here are some of the local AMEs:
    Sergio BelloSan Francisco415-392-1386
    Gerald DubowitzSan Francisco415-375-0221
    Nani KanenBurlingame650-697-0361
    Peter BrownLos Altos650-941-4545
    William StrawLos Altos650-254-5200
    Jean F LuongSan Jose408-279-8171
    Buff R GreiderSunnyvale408-329-9604
    Rajiv AhujaFremont510-713-1000
  4. Students with special medical challenges are encouraged to seek out additional information regarding their condition and discuss the matter with an AME prior to taking the formal examination. AMEs typically are available for consultation appointments. Consultations should be completed and all concerns addressed before the scheduling and taking the 3rd Class Medical Exam.
  5. Students must complete an online medical application with MedXpress, the FAA’s online medical system (, before the exam. The application requires full disclosure of all medical issues related to the applicant, and should include a full listing of prescribed medications. If you have questions or concerns about medication use, you are advised to consult with an AME before filling out the application and beginning the formal exam.
  6. Review this document for tips on completing the MedXpress application.
  7. Depending on the AME, 3rd Class medical exams can cost between $150 and $200, paid to the AME at the time of the exam. This fee is paid by the applicant or their family. The Upwind Foundation has set aside some funds to reimburse scholarship applicants for whom the exam fee presents a significant financial challenge. Please contact or call 650-394-5364 to inquire about this program.