Surprisingly, in a clinic specialising in Pilots’ Medicals, heavy goods vehicle medicals (HGV) are very relevant. While l am always happy to do them as a ‘standalone’ there are a group of pilots requiring an Aviation Medical who will need to meet HGV standards in order to obtain their Pilot Medical certificate. These are the pilots who are applying for a LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilot License). This is not totally different from the old NPPL Pilot Medical requirement but continues to be the standard for unrestricted private flying. As the benefits of a LAPL license are undoubtedly greater than the old NPPL (especially European flying) many pilots will, l imagine, go down this route.
Naturally an article such as this cannot discuss every part of the medical in detail but there are a couple of important points to mention. In addition the easiest way to obtain a comprehensive explanation is to take the attached link to the DVLA ‘at a glance’ requirements, which set out all categories of the medical in fairly clear and understandable terms (link). The two commonest questions relate to vision and the cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) system. The rules relating to vision have changed within the last two years. For an HGV medical the requirements are now a visual acuity of 6/7.5 with or without glasses in one eye (usually about the third line from the bottom) and 6/60 or below (the top letter on the chart) with the other. This may seem a little odd but provided the pilot has normal fields of view is in keeping with past thought. (for many medical requirements it is the ‘overall’ standard which is looked at).
In terms of heart disease it is usually the case that different investigations can be used to meet standards and these are less rigorous than with a Class 2 Pilot’s Medical. This gets round the anomaly of pilots who are told by their cardiologist that they are very fit and do not merit any further intervention but still fall short of the Aviation Medical Class 2 requirements. Even if you are unable to meet the HGV standards, all is not lost, as an ability to pass the Class 1 or motor vehicle (car!) medical will still enable you to fly albeit with a fellow pilot or no passengers. Finally, a few of you may have an HGV and a Class 2 (or other) license. I am always happy to sign the HGV at the time of the Pilot Medical for a nominal fee.
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:
If you are a new patient please remember your photo ID. All pilots should bring details of any medical issues since your last medical.