Read on for more information on EASA Class 2 medical license, what it includes, why it has to be obtained, the criteria to obtain one, and much more.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an independent agency that governs aviation-related activities in the European Region. Before Britain’s exit from the EU, the CAA was also included in the jurisdiction of the EASA but after Brexit, the CAA and EASA became two separate entities with a lot of overlap in their regulations, especially when it comes to health and safety.
Pilot health, either physical or mental, is directly correlated to their performance while in the air. If the pilot has any underlying disease, they might be susceptible to a range of dangers and might even put their passengers at risk.
This is why regulatory bodies have placed strict regulations around pilot health and have made it mandatory for all pilots to carry with them a valid medical licence.
Read on for more information on EASA Class 2 medical license, what it includes, why it has to be obtained, the criteria to obtain one, and much more:
Types of Medical Licences in EASA
- Class 1 Medical Licence
- Class 2 Medical Licence
Class 1 Medical Licence
The class 1 medical licence is designed to validate the health of career-oriented pilots that will go on to fly commercial planes. Pilots who opt for a Commercial Pilot Licence will also have to go through strict and very thorough medical tests that will determine their overall health.
The EASA has very high standards when it comes to awarding CPL candidates with a valid class 1 medical certificate as these pilots are constantly screened and are also required to renew their licence after the expiration period mentioned on the card.
In the case of the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for awarding pilots with a class 1 medical certificate, but as we explained above, after Brexit, the EASA mandates that all pilots carry with them an EASA-issued medical certificate.
While the vast majority of the parameters are identical for both regulatory bodies, there are a few differences that make it mandatory for pilots to apply for a separate EASA medical licence, especially if they plan on flying around the EU.
Class 2 Medical Licence
If you are going for a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), you can apply for a class 2 medical certificate that is a bit less stringent than the class 1 medical certificate required for commercial pilots. The class 2 medical certificate is designed for pilots who want to experience the thrills of aviation without committing to a career.
The class 2 medical certificate is an incredibly important certification that allows pilots to fulfil their dreams of aviation without the very strict requirements of the EASA. To be clear, the class 2 certificate is still designed using a high-standard framework with strict rules, it’s just a bit easier to achieve than a class 1.
In some cases, the class 2 medical certificate may also allow people with slight physical or mental disadvantages to fly aircraft, provided that their licence is valid and up to date. For example, people with controlled diabetes may be able to fly private and lightweight aircraft under a valid PPL and class 2 medical certificate but they may not be allowed to fly commercial planes with a class 1 certificate.
In the same manner, people diagnosed with mild anxiety or depression may not be allowed to fly large passenger planes with a CPL and a class 1 medical certificate but they might be able to fulfil their aviation dreams with a PPL and a class 2 medical certificate.
Please keep in mind that every pilot’s case is different and the EASA holds the final responsibility for awarding eligible pilots a medical certificate. So, even if you think that you have a disadvantage or a disability, you can check out your eligibility by confirming with the testing requirements set by the EASA.
Testing Criteria for Class 2 Medical Certificate
A class 2 medical certificate is structured in the same way as a class 1 but it may lack in severity when it comes to testing and minimum requirements.
Here are the top testing criteria for a class 2 certificate:
While it is true that pilots can start to train from a very young age, they will require to be at least 16 years old to get a class 2 medical certification as per the EASA. Pilots under the age of 40 will have a validity of up to 5 years but this validity may also depend on the individual assessment of the pilot’s overall health.
For example, if the pilot has an active disease, they may be required to undergo repeat screenings to prove that their active disease is either in remission or is getting better with treatment. An Aeromedical Examiner (AME) will determine the pilot’s case individually and report to the EASA for final consideration.
Pilots over 40 years of age will have a medical licence validity of 2 years and may be required to undergo multiple screenings over the course of their validity to prove that they are in good health.
The term “physical health” encompasses several different types of bodily ailments that may hinder the pilot’s ability to operate an aircraft. Specific conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, autoimmune diseases, and others are all taken into consideration when applying for a class 2 medical certificate.
The Aeromedical Examiner will take a thorough health history from the pilot and may even require all relevant medical reports in a given time period. This medical history can help highlight recurrent health problems and can give the AME an idea about the overall health of the pilot.
For example, if the pilot has had severe heart-related issues in the past, they might be asked for a repeat and thorough check-up, even if they aren’t currently suffering from any symptoms. The important thing to keep in mind is that aviation can be very dangerous, especially when pilots aren’t in control of their actions.
Even a slight deviation from protocol during a flight may lead to catastrophic failure. This is why it is the duty of the medical examiner to take into account any factor that may incapacitate the pilot or severely hinder their ability to operate the aircraft.
The EASA has an entire guideline that is specifically made to highlight all the health conditions and eligibility requirements which all candidates must go through to see if they can apply for a class 2 medical certificate.
Mental health may be stigmatised in society but in the world of aviation, it is an extremely important factor that is carefully considered when awarding pilots with a class 1 or even a class 2 medical certificate.
Cognition and awareness are two important aspects of mental health and if a pilot lacks either, they might not be able to safely operate an aircraft. Mental health once used to be very difficult to diagnose but thanks to medical breakthroughs and standardised tests, it is much easier for doctors to not just diagnose but also treat people suffering from mental illness.
The good news is that even if you suffer from borderline or mild mental illness, you could apply for a class 2 medical certificate as per the EASA. An Aeromedical Examiner will be assigned to your case.
The officer will carefully go through your medical history and may even require current relevant medical reports so that they may get an idea about the prognosis of your disease. If you don’t have a severe mental illness, you will be eligible for a class 2 medical licence.
However, if you are diagnosed with mental illness and it has been termed as “mild” then you will have to follow a strict treatment program that will be shared by the medical officer. The AME may also ask for updated reports to see the progress of your treatment and disease.
From colour vision to depth perception, and other visual-related factors; a pilot must demonstrate that they not only have great eyesight but also the ability to discern colours and objects at a distance.
A simple example that may hinder the pilot’s ability to operate aircraft could be related to colour blindness. The cockpit of any aircraft is full of blinking lights and gauges that help indicate the overall health of the aircraft. Many emergency or warning signals blink red, and if a pilot can’t see colour, then they will not be able to register these signals which can prove to be quite risky.
The same can also be said about depth perception and general acuity. Pilots must always look out for other aircraft, birds, or general weather conditions; and they are required to do this using their ability to see through the windshield of the aircraft.
Bird strikes, in particular, can be very dangerous! Pilots with the ability to see farther can quickly move away from the collision course and save the aircraft from damage. Even when flying at night, pilots are required to keep an eye out using the instrument panel inside the cockpit.
It is generally more difficult to see when flying at night, which is why pilots rely on the information from multiple instruments to guide them from destination A to B, and this requires them to have great visual acuity.
Hearing and Other Health Conditions
A pilot’s ability to see, feel, and hear is extremely important when flying an aircraft. Hearing allows the pilot to receive instructions and listen to any warning signs that the aircraft might display.
Hearing allows for better communication and if a pilot has a reduced ability or disability in hearing properly, then they might be subject to additional scrutiny and testing as per the requirements of a class 2 medical certificate.
Similarly, any other related health condition that may affect the pilot’s ability to hear or see is also taken into account. For example, pilots with high blood pressure or diabetes may suffer from temporary blurriness in vision or a change in hearing capabilities, both of which can severely increase the risks of an accident while in the air.
The Role of Flight Schools in Achieving Medical Certificates
Flight schools aren’t just for training but they are also built for guidance. Keep in mind that most great flight schools like Sherburn Aero Club are also geared towards private pilot training which includes pilot medicals as well!
If you are looking to begin your aviation journey, then you must start with the basics. This is why before you enrol in a programme, you will be required to go through a basic medical evaluation to see if you are eligible for the pilot licence that you require.
Some flight schools may ask you to get a variety of tests done independently but some flight schools like Sherburn also have medical personnel at the premises. Sherburn Aero Club has an approved medical examiner, Dr. Mark Bellamy, who is rated to perform EASA class 2 and even LAPL medical examinations.
Dr. Bellamy can help you with the initial issue and even renewals of your medical certificate. The best part is that our medical examiner is also a fellow aviation enthusiast with a valid Private Pilot Licence, which makes him the perfect examiner who understands health issues and the dangers associated with them from a pilot’s perspective.
Sherburn offers appointments that are available every Monday and Tuesday afternoon and early evening. We even offer occasional Saturday morning consultations. All appointments are held at the Medical Surgery inside the main Sherburn Aero Club building.
WHY CHOOSE SHERBURN AERO CLUB?
Sherburn Aero Club, which has been operational since 1964, is the ideal place for most of your training and flying needs. It is one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country.
With a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse, we cater to brand-new flyers who have just started their journey to the skies, as well as seasoned flyers who have been operating aircraft for decades.
If you wish to begin your career in aviation or wish to take to the skies as a hobby, Sherburn’s flight training school offers private and commercial licences, along with pilot medicals to ensure a smooth journey going forward.
Sherburn also offers a dedicated day-long Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence (FRTOL) course for those wishing to get the certification, running the first Sunday of every month.
For those who wish to experience the thrill of a flight for fun or to help fuel their aviation dreams, Sherburn offers experience flights for the newbie, as well as the veteran.
The flight experience option is also available for people who wish to take to the skies for special occasions, even if they aren’t into aviation for the long run.
Sherburn also offers pilot medicals to ensure a smooth journey going forward. You are required to take medical exams to prove you are fit enough to take to the skies when applying for a licence, and the facility at Sherburn allows you to start your aviation journey on the right foot.
For full details of what to take with you to your medical, information about cost, frequently asked questions relating to the medical examination, or to make an appointment, please contact Dr. Mark Bellamy by email or telephone at 07747 057574.
In addition to that, if you are looking for a hangarage for your own aircraft, need servicing or repairs, want to buy a new aircraft or aviation equipment, or are just looking to enjoy and watch the aircraft, Sherburn Aero Club is the place to be.
Call us on 01977 682 674, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us via our online contact form for more information on EASA regulations, upgrading your UK-issued licence, as well as medical examination facilities available at Sherburn Aero Club.