Pilots must obtain undergo a medical examination and obtain a 3rd Class Medical Certificate prior to operating the aircraft in solo flight. In the Upwind Summer Scholarship Program, a student cannot complete the training without this certificate. Here are some information that parents and student applicants should understand regarding the FAA Medical Certification progress.
- The FAA has some information regarding the medical certificate process at: https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/.
- 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.
- The Upwind Foundation will pay for the cost of the medical exam for the students who have been selected as scholarship winners. Upwind will either pay the AME directly, or reimburse the applicant for the cost. Depending on the AME, 3rd Class medical exams can cost between $150 and $300.
- 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.
- 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.
- Not being able to pass the aviation medical exam and receive a 3rd Class Medical Certificate would disqualify a student from participating in the program.
- Students must complete an online medical application with MedXpress, the FAA’s online medical system (https://medxpress.faa.gov/medxpress/), 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.