Joined 01/06/2017 - 64 Posts
Answered By AOPA
You are 43 years old and about to go up and complete a refresher flight with your local CFI. It’s been a couple of years since you’ve been flying regularly, i.e. more than once every couple of months, and you want to change that. As the CFI is reviewing your logbook and paperwork, he says, “Do you know your medical has expired?” You reply that you had no idea, and that you thought that your third class medical was good for five years. Your last FAA medical exam was two months before your 40th birthday. The CFI is under the impression that since you’re over 40, your third class medical is only good for 24 calendar months, not the 60 that you believe. Who is right?
Joined 01/30/2020 - 34 Posts
AOPA Staff Answer
Fortunately, you are correct in this situation and the CFI is mistaken. The answer hinges on when you took your medical exam. Since you were under the age of 40 when you accomplished your most recent third class medical exam, your medical is good for 60 calendar months. Your next third class medical will only be good for 24 calendar months, since you’ll be over 40 at the time of that examination. The regulation that explains the duration of medical certificates is 61.23.