Class One Aviation Medicals

The main reason for doing Class One aviation medicals is obviously the revalidation or renewal of an existing certificate. Initial Class One medicals can only be performed at the CAA or a few designated centres. Applicants reading this might, however, be interested to know that a number of pilots intending to fly commercially choose to come for a Class Two (PPL) medical, specifically asking about the likelihood of them passing a Class One medical. Naturally l cannot give a 100% guarantee of success although most problems that might disqualify from obtaining a Class One can be discussed and identified. Anyone wearing glasses or contacts should always bring an optician’s report to the medical. It is best to come NOT wearing contacts unless you are happy to take them out during the medical. New pilots will need to bring photo I/D. Chaperones are available where required.

The Class One medical comprises several possible elements.

General Medical Examination

It is my practice to try and perform a very thorough physical examination after an initial general discussion, evaluation of any problems, old or new and a review and signing of the application form. Generally intimate examination is NOT required unless strongly indicated. I aim to bring up health education issues where required.

Electrocardiogram. (ECG)

The frequency of this varies and can be seen on the link below. An ECG measures the electrical activity of the heart and the two main issues which are examined are the rhythm and ‘health’ of the heart. (size, signs of strain or damage, early signs of conduction problems et.c.). AME’s are required to use one of a range of ‘approved’ machines which must print out their interpretations of the results. It is well known (a CAA study of 5000 ECG’s confirmed this) that machines are set (for safety) to miss nothing, and as such they tend to over report problems. A significant number of all ECG’s report a possible issue but, thankfully, few reveal a significant problem. All Class One ECG’s are sent to the CAA. The ‘normal’ traces are sent at the end of the month for scanning and the other ‘requiring over reading’ traces sent by first class post the same day for review the next day by a cardiologist. If any problems are identified, you would then be notified directly i.e. if you do not hear within three to four days then all is normally well. It is possible for us to check that the review has been done and that all is indeed fine (from the CAA website), a service we would be happy to provide.

Audiogram

Audiograms are required regularly but with less frequency than ECG’s (also see requirements below). They are conducted in a quiet separate room using headphones. Should you fail the test, a ‘cockpit speech discrimination test’ is required using a CAA form. Generally you can arrange to do this during a sim. session and a trainer can perform the test in a very short time     (Link ). If all else fails, hearing aids are permitted.

Blood tests

A finger prick ‘Haemoglobin’ test is done during al Class One medicals to confirm that you are not anaemic. Levels should be between 10 and 18.

In August 2015, l purchased a new machine which can measure Cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol. This test can be done at the same time as the Haemoglobin and should not involve a second prick! The reasoning behind doing both tests is that, as you may know, if the Total Cholesterol level incorporates a high percentage of HDL Cholesterol, the level is less significant. If there is a concern l can print out the results for you to take to your GP for further testing and discussion. At present l am pricing this test at £17.50.

Other blood tests can be done as required and l have a laboratory, which can arrange a courier for quick results.

Spirometry/ Peak Flow

These tests are needed if you suffer with asthma or lung conditions. I have a peak flow meter for simple testing and a hand held spirometer which also gives predicted values.

Optician’s reports.

The experts at the CAA have often told me that the on line system is not always fit for purpose. I would suggest that if you are having your eyes tested, you take a CAA form. We can then both load it on to your page at the CAA and calculate how long (usually five years) until another such ‘check with form’ is required.

Finally, l welcome questions about any aspect of the medical, some pilots even ask for a running commentary!

For more information or to book an appointment please contact Philip Ranger on his mobile (07740 868749) or alternatively phone Redhill (open Tuesdays & Thursdays but can leave message) on 01737 823 550. You can also book online below:

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If you are a new patient please remember your photo ID. All pilots should bring details of any medical issues since your last medical.

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Cholesterol test now available, cost £17.50 - please request with your medical - Submit your plane to feature on our pilots section