Upgrading Flight Medical Certificate
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Answered By AOPA
This past August 24th, I successfully renewed (not sure what the proper term is) my existing 3rd Class Medical Certificate, which I have had held without a break in issuance for over 24 years.

Now, in order for me to proceed with enrolling at ATP Flight Training School, I need to obtain a 1st Class Certificate.
I am being told that I have to wait 90 days before I can "get" another certificate.

Can anyone please advise on this. I am eager to enroll and would prefer not to have to wait any longer than necessary.
Thank you,
6 Replies
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AOPA Staff Answer
Sounds like this is a school policy, definitely not supported by the regulations. ATP must be requiring a 1st class because most of their students are trying to get to the airlines and they want them to find any problems (medically) before they spend all the time/money getting the ratings and find they can't exercise the privileges.

Embry-Riddle had the same recommendation for their students, but it was not a requirement. My advice would be to ask ATP to waive what appears to be an internal policy, to allow you to start your training now, acknowledging that not being able to obtain a 1st class medical in the future may hurt your ability to exercise your certificate privileges for an air carrier in the future. If they can't or won't waive the requirement it may be time to reevaluate your training options, if only for the next couple of months.
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You certainly can re-examine short 90 days, but NO AME CAN REISSUE you before the 90th day.  If you do go for an early re-flight physical for upgrade, make sure the AME (who is going to defer the exam) Calls on a M-W-Th-F to speak to a Medical officer.  Though the AME has to defer, he an get the agency to issue you a new one short about 10 days..   

The REASON your file is electonically locked out from AME reissuance (which is why nobody here, except Gary, has heard of this VERY REAL proscription) is to prevent the applicant from going to mutliple AMEs, leaving stuff off and getting a certificate.  That is one big headache for the bureaucracy. 

But the AME can call it in, get it through the mill and get faxed a copy of your certificate which will bear Dr. O'Brien's signature, and then the AME can email it to you.....Can you say BTDT?
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Thank you everyone for your input.
My concern was not with ATP, but with getting an answer about the FAA side of not being able to get my 1st Class within the past 90 days since I got my 3rd Class.
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Michael Walpole:
Interesting, I was talking to Gary Crump about this and he said it was an FAA limitation.  Something about the system can't handle 2 medical certificate applications within 90 days.


I have no doubt that this is a limitation of FAA Aeromedical's system. I was simply stating that the requirement to have a 1st class medical sounds like it is a flight school requirement, as I cannot think of any regulation that supports that requirement.
 

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Interesting, I was talking to Gary Crump about this and he said it was an FAA limitation.  Something about the system can't handle 2 medical certificate applications within 90 days.
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1037 Posts
Told by whom?  Ask them to show you that in FAA writing.  I certainly know of no such regulation.