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What Physical Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Pilot?

Is it your dream to fly an airplane, jet, or helicopter? It’s an exciting career choice that can take you anywhere you want to go and give you the opportunity to say your office is in the sky! But before you start your training, you will need to pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s Medical Exam.

This will ensure that you have the right health qualifications to become a pilot. You need to know before you spend time and money on your training program whether your physical and mental health check all the boxes.

Here are the physical qualifications the FAA requires that you need to meet in order to get your FAA Medical Exam certificate.


Great Distant Vision

The skies are endless and airfields are vast, so you will need to demonstrate that you have 20/20 vision in each eye. This can be with or without vision correction like contacts or glasses.


Good Close-Up Vision

While you need to keep your eyes on the sky, there are plenty of important instruments that you will need to be able to clearly see up-close too, such as controls and computer screens. With or without vision correction, you should have 20/40 nearsighted vision in each eye.


Ability to Differentiate Colors

To safely fly under any circumstance, you need to correctly perceive colors.


Good Hearing

Unless you fly solo, you will have to communicate with others in the cockpit or passengers. To pass the FAA Medical Exam, you should be able to carry on a conversation with someone six feet away, speaking at normal, conversational volume. If you use a hearing aid, you may be able to get medical approval with the requirement that you use the hearing amplification mechanism in your headphones.


Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) and Equilibrium

You will only be allowed to receive your medical certificate if you do not have a disease that causes vertigo or disrupts your speech or equilibrium.


Managed Blood Pressure

The maximum blood pressure the FAA allows is 155/95, but there is no one standard for the exam. If you require medication for yours, you will need to get a cardiovascular workup.


If you are ready to get your career in aviation started, contact Charter College Aviation today to learn about our partnerships with flight training schools across the country.