March 26, 2024

Which CASA Aviation Medical Certificate Do You Need?

Pilots require a current medical certificate that aligns with their license type, involving varying classes for different activities. While there’s no medical requirement when flying with their instructor, student pilots must secure a medical certificate before their first solo flight.

Choosing the right aviation medical certificate is vital for aspiring and current pilots, each with distinct requirements based on their flying goals. Here’s an overview of the types of medical certificates and who needs them:

Class 1 Medical Certificate

Class 1 Medical Certificate is necessary for professional pilots, including those with an Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) etc. It typically remains valid for a period of one year, unless specified otherwise.

Class 2 Medical Certificate

Class 2 Medical Certificate is available for Recreational, Private pilots and some of the Commercial pilots. It covers a broader range of flying activities and is slightly less stringent than the Class 1 certificate. Sometimes, commercial pilots can operate under this certificate, subject to specific conditions.

The validity of a Class 2 certificate depends on age: it’s valid for four years for pilots under 40, and two years for those over 40. Additionally, commercial pilots with this certificate can operate commercial flights (without passengers) involving aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of less than 8618 kg.

Learn more about the Class 2 medical certificate here.

Basic Class 2 Medical Certificate

The Basic Class 2 Medical Certificate offers an alternative to the standard Class 2 Medical Certificate for recreational and private pilot licenses. It’s more affordable and has a simpler application process. However, it comes with less medical flexibility than a full Class 2 certificate. Pilots with this certificate are restricted to private day operations under visual flight rules (VFR) and below 10,000 feet, with a maximum of 5 passengers, and can only operate piston engine aircraft with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of less than 8618 kg. Basic Class 2 doesn’t permit the use of operational or flight activity ratings. The examination can be done by any medical practitioner qualified for commercial motor vehicle driver medicals, and the standards for vision and hearing aids match those of the commercial driver standard. If you don’t meet the standard or have pre-existing conditions, a full Class 2 assessment by a DAME may be required.

Learn more about the Basic Class 2 medical certificate here.

Class 5 Medical Self-Declaration

The Class 5 medical self-declaration in Australia allows recreational and private pilots to self-assess their fitness without needing a formal medical assessment.

This option, particularly suitable for those pursuing a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), offers an alternative to the Basic Class 2 medical certificate. To be eligible, pilots must fulfill fitness requirements, pass online training, and adhere to certain operational limitations like flying only in daytime under visual flight rules, not exceeding 10,000 feet, carrying a maximum of two persons, and operating solely within Australian territory. The validity of this declaration varies with the pilot’s age and ranges from one to five years. This self-declaration streamlines the process for entry-level pilots while ensuring safety standards are maintained.

Learn more about the Class 5 medical self-declaration here.

Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate (RAMPC)

The Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate (RAMPC) offers an alternative medical certification for recreational pilots. It’s generally more affordable and simpler to obtain than Class 1 and Class 2 certificates, but has stricter medical standards and limitations. With a RAMPC, pilots can operate single-engine piston aircraft under certain conditions, like daytime VFR operations below 10,000 feet and with only one passenger. However, specific restrictions apply, and pilots with certain medical conditions may need to opt for a Class 2 certificate instead, which requires assessment by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) for a more personalized health evaluation in relation to aviation. This certificate provides a pathway for recreational pilots, balancing ease of access with necessary safety standards.

Licence and Medical Certificate Guide

Source from https://www.casa.gov.au/licences-and-certificates/aviation-medicals-and-certificates/classes-medical-certificate#Licenceandmedicalcertificateguide

1Holders of a RAMPC can exercise the privileges of the PPL under the operational limitations of the RAMPC unless the holder has a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate

2CASA EX69/21 – Can exercise the privileges of the PPL under the operational limitations of the Basic Class 2 medical certificate unless the holder has a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate

3CASA EX01/24 – Can exercise the privileges of the PPL under the operational limitations of the Class 5 unless the holder has a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate

4CASA EX66/21 – Part 7 – Foreign cadet pilots (medical certificate for CPL flight test)

Which Medical Certificate Should You Choose?

For student pilots pursuing the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), the Class 5 Self Declaration is a practical option. It saves both money and time, as obtaining a CASA medical check in some foreign countries can be costly and challenging. This self-declaration simplifies the process, allowing students to start their training without the need for immediate medical checks. If a student decides to obtain a standard Class 2 Medical certificate later, they will have ample time to do so, ensuring they are ready for their first solo flight without added pressure.

For student pilots aiming for a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), the Class 5 Self Declaration is a convenient initial choice, allowing training to begin promptly. This option provides the flexibility to undergo the Class 2 medical certificate process at a later stage, ensuring there’s enough time to arrange for the required CASA Class 2 medical check. This pathway helps in managing time effectively and alleviates the pressure to complete medical requirements before starting flight training.

However, for students aiming for Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training, it’s advisable to complete the Class 1 medical examination beforehand. This ensures they meet the necessary health standards for a CPL before investing significant time and resources into training.

CASA Medical Certificates For Student Pilots

Choosing The Right Medical Certificate

Choosing the right medical certificate is a key step in a pilot’s career path, ensuring they meet the necessary health standards for the type of flying they wish to undertake. It’s advisable for pilots to discuss their medical conditions with a medical expert and a flight instructor, especially if they’re aiming for a professional pilot career. Understanding these nuances will help pilots navigate their path in the aviation world with confidence and safety.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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