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UK Private Pilot Medicals

EASA Medical Certificates - PPL – Class 2

If you’re working towards an EASA PPL, then you’ll need to obtain an EASA Class 2 Medical as part of the licensing requirements. But don’t panic, most people will have no problem whatsoever in obtaining a Class 2 Medical certificate. The Class 2 Medical can be carried out by any Aeromedical Examiner (AME) or at an Aeromedical Centre – you can find the nearest one at www.caa.co.uk or asking at your local airfield will usually reveal where most local people go. The medical examination takes about an hour and the AME is responsible for setting the fee.

For the Class 2 Medical, your AME will require you to fill out a form, which goes into some detail. The AME will then carry out the physical examination, including a vision and colour vision test, a simple hearing test and an examination of various organs and body parts.

It doesn’t include any internal or intimate examination but will feature an examination of your groin to make sure there are no hernias.

For the very first Class 2 examination you have to undergo a more comprehensive eye examination which can be done by an optometrist of consultant ophthalmologist. Most High Street opticians can provide this services – the price varies so it is worth asking a few. Since January 2019 it is also a requirement again to have an ECG (heart trace) at your initial medical.

The Class 2 Medical meets the international ICAO standard and is valid for flights all over the globe. 

Light Aeroplanes Pilot’s - Licence – LAPL Medical

The LAPL Medical Certificate for EASA’s Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence was introduced by EASA in 2012, as an alternative to a Class 2. The LAPL medical certificate is valid in the whole of EASA land – so you can fly abroad. The LAPL Medical Certificate has slightly lower requirements and the privileges it confers are, therefore, also more limited than those of a Class 2 Medical Certificate.

In the UK, a registered GP may be able to issue a LAPL Medical Certificate for those who have no potentially serious medical conditions, either at present or in the past.

You can check which conditions would preclude your GP being able to issue a LAPL Medical Certificate on the CAA website. The current list includes visual field defects, heart disease, hearing aids, neurological and psychiatric conditions (including antidepressant and sedative medication), diabetes requiring medication, chronic lung disease, organ transplant, alcohol and substance misuse, cancer, pneumothorax, epilepsy, personality disorder, and learning difficulties.

It’d be up to your GP to decide if and when they’re able to carry out the assessment – it isn’t an NHS Service. The cost for an LAPL

Medical Certificate via your GP is a matter between you and your GP. There are no admin costs for the GP to register, nor is any fee required to be paid to the CAA for the Certificate. If your GP isn’t able or willing to do the LAPL Medical Assessment, you need to go to an AME. Your GP may also have to refer you to an AME if an issue is identified during the assessment which precludes the issue of a LAPL Certificate. A LAPL Medical certificate is usually a bit cheaper than a Class 2 Medical as fewer tests are required (no compulsory ECG) and is valid for five years if you’re younger than 40, while over that age it’s valid for two years.

Pilot Medical Declaration (PMD)

In August 2016 the CAA introduced a new pilot self-declaration, to replace the old-style NPPL Medical Declaration, which needed to be endorsed by your GP.

The scheme is simplified and to make the self-declaration you have to visit the CAA website (www.caa.co.uk) and tick the boxes relevant to your flying. It cannot be used a declaration for solo flights by pilots who hold no licence.

The PMD aka as self-declaration can be used to validate a number of licences, eg UK NPPL and UK CAA PPL. However, it’s important to check that your combination of licence and medical certificate is fit for your intended flying. On the CAA’s website CAP 1441 will tell you what works. The UK CAA Self Declaration is only valid in the UK’s airspace and not abroad.

For most pilots, the box declaring that you’ll be flying aeroplanes with a maximum take-off weight (mtow) of 2,000kg is the important one.

If your intention is to fly those aeroplanes you just need to be fit enough to drive a car and declare that you aren’t taking any medication for a psychiatric illness then you’re good to make the declaration and away you go.

If you want to fly something bigger, between 2,000kg and 5,700kg, you can only make the self-declaration if you don’t suffer from or have suffered from the following list of conditions. 

  • Being prescribed medication forany psychiatric illness
  • Bipolar disorder, psychosis or a diagnosis of personality disorder
  • Drug abuse or alcohol misuse or addiction (or conviction for drink/drug driving)
  • Being prescribed medication or treatment for angina or heart failure
  • Cardiac surgical procedures including cardiac device implantation
  • Recurrent fainting or collapse(syncope)
  • Unexplained loss of consciousness
  • Insulin treatment
  • Chronic lung disease with shortness of
    breath on exertion
  • Any neurological condition requiring
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Significant functional physical disability likely to impair safe operation of normal flight controls

If you have any of the above you must present yourself to an AME for a medical assessment, to obtain a LAPL or higher class of medical certificate. 


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