The aviation medical should be punctual, and as pleasant an experience as possible.

CASA made significant changes to the aviation medical process in 2016 with the advent of “MRS2” (Medical Records Online 2). The applicant will complete an online questionnaire prior to attending for their medical, and the DAME will “see” the replies and go through these with the applicant. CASA emails you the certificate after the medical.

What is the CASA schedule for age-related tests for the medical exam?

The CASA age-related tests  for Class 1 & 3 licenses are: Blood tests (serum lipids & blood sugar), Audio & ECG. CVD risk score is taken care of at the time of the medical (based on blood tests etc). Eye Exam by a designated examiner (usually a designated aviation optometrist) is required on the initial Class 1 & 3 and then regularly after the age of 60.

Before you click on this CASA medical tests link, here are the instructions: You’ll see towards the bottom a table under “classes 1 & 3 additional requirements.” Click on the chart. You’ll see “special reports and tests” on the right hand side of the chart. Note that the tests are based on your age on the day of the medical.

Class 2 Medicals do not routinely require any age-related tests.

Which Tests do you do on site?

All the Standard tests (if needed) may be provided on site:

  • ECG
  • Audiology screening (hearing test)
  • Blood Tests (across the carpark)

How soon before medical certificate expiry should I get the medical?

Ah, you’ve clicked on an important question that crops up frequently!

There seem to be the issues:

  • Most medicals are straightforward but there may be age-related tests as designated by CASA (see separate FAQ). The age related tests often include blood tests – and it won’t be possible for the DAME to submit the medical until the results are reviewed.
  • Occasionally something unexpected crops up at a medical. Though most pilots & controllers will fear this possibility, the truth is that most issues can be resolved as long as there is time to do so. The DAME may need to contact CASA or get more information. A referral to a specialist will clearly take time. Look at something simple – the blood pressure being up a bit. That’s usually just a bit of white coat hypertension and a 24 hour BP is likely be needed. Doing all this at the last moment is likely to add to the stress.

There is the following small print. The DAME extends the medical certificate for 2 months so that CASA send out the new medical certificate. The date of extension will be up to:

  • When the medical examination date is between 1 & 28 days before expiry of the medical, the medical certificate is revalidated for 2 months following the date of expiry of the medical. The most common scenario.
  • If the medical has already expired (less than 3 months ago) the certificate may be revalidated for 2 months following the date of the medical examination or
  • If the examination is more than 28 days before expiry: 2 months following the date of the medical examination. This is the least common scenario but there’s nothing stopping you getting your medical done 3 months in advance although it will push forward your next medical by the same timeframe.

So the perfect answer is to get the medical done 2-4 weeks before expiry! 1 week OK and 1 day not ideal! 1-2 months before is also OK for the super-organised.

In the real world, 2-4 weeks beforehand is great, 1 week should be alright, and 1 day not ideal!

How long are the 3 classes of medical certificates valid for?

How long are the Medical Certificates Valid for?

Class 1 Medical Certificate is valid for one year.
Class 2 Medical Certificate is valid for four years, for applicants less than 40 years of age on the day of issue, and in all other cases for two years.
Class 3 Medical Certificate is valid for two years.

I have a medical condition - any tips for the medical?

Are you under a specialist? If so, bring along the most recent letter(s), and the most recent blood tests or radiology results.

Have recent blood pressure readings been high, or is your blood pressure high only when it’s checked at medicals (White coat syndrome)?  All DAMEs are aware of the anxiety over a medical causing artificially high BP readings – as long as the BP is repeated a few times with the DAME guiding you as to correct arm posture and muscle relaxation then the BP normally settles down.  The DAME can otherwise arrange a 24 hr BP which is only a minor cost or inconvenience.

When do I need a DAME clearance for duty?

  • Class 1 license: if impaired for 7 days
  • Class 2 (private pilot) & Class 3 license: if impaired for 30 days

Who makes the decision regarding fitness to fly?

Thankfully, the majority of pilots will of course be determined fit to fly without any issues.

In Europe and New Zealand, the aviation medical doctor signs off the medical certificate at the time of the medical.

Australia has filed “differences” under ICAO in having a centralised system for issuing medical certificates. What this means is that the DAME does not issue the medical certificate but the medical section of CASA does. This surprises both both pilots new to Australia, & surprises Australians new to flying. What the DAME does do, however, is to extend the license for a couple of months so that CASA have the time to send out the new license. This is termed revalidation of the medical certificate.

Thankfully, the system is electronic and becoming streamlined from 2015. I have heard from a senior source that from some time in 2015 there is planned to be a new CASA system for issuing the medical certificates which will speed up the process further and potentially allow the pilot to print off the emailed certificate.

How do I pay CASA to process the Medical

For Class 1 and 3 medicals, you pay The CASA processing fee via the online portal that you use for the medical questionnaire.

For Class 2 medicals, you pay The CASA processing fee at the time of the medical.

Where are you located?

The Aviation Medical Centre is located in Cleveland at South East Medical, 6 / 145-147 Queen St, Cleveland QLD 4163

Can I get a Recreational Aviation Medical?

There is a Recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate (RAMPC) which replaced the driving licence medical in 2014. The RAMPC medical may be issued by the pilot’s normal GP.

The RAMPC is significantly more restrictive than the Class 2 medical and restricts the pilot to:

  • Carrying no more than 1 passenger
  • Flying aircraft under 1500KG MTOW (Single Engine Piston only)
  • By Day and under VFR
  • No Aerobatics

The RAMPC is valid for 2 years until the age of 65 when validity becomes yearly.  The Class 2 medical is valid for 4 years until the age of 40 after which validity is 2 years.

So for pilots under the age of 40, the class 2 medical is valid for 4 years whilst The RAMPC is valid for 2 years.

The single passenger must be a qualifying passenger.  CASA state that “this is a defined term meaning a passenger who, before boarding an aircraft has been told by the eligible person that he or she holds a current Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate (RAMPC) that is of a lower medical standard than a class 1 or class 2 medical certificate normally required which imposes conditions, all of which are and will be complied with for the flight.”

Figures show that the majority of Private Pilots get a class 2 and not a recreational Medical because of these issues & restrictions.

What do I need to Bring to my medical?

Please bring photo ID and a copy of your most recent aviation medical certificate.

Bring along a copy of any investigations or blood tests you’ve had done in the last 3 months.

If an applicant wears contact lenses or glasses when they fly, they are required to bring their spare pair of glasses with them to their aviation medical examination – this can’t be emphasised enough because the CASA medical requires your eyes to be tested with both your normal and your spare pair!

Can you advise me via email?

Please understand that it’s just not possible to answer emails from the website with regards to specific medical issues.

Whilst emails may seen informal, The DAME is regulated both by both CASA and by AHPRA. This restricts very much what the DAME is and is not able to say in an email – it’s just not going to be helpful to you.