Aviation Medicals Brisbane

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Aviation Medical Brisbane

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requires all pilots and aircrew to obtain an aviation medical certificate that is specific to their role, this is in order to maintain aviation safety. Aviation medicine is a specialist field, as it involves the interaction between the aviation environment, human physiological and psychological systems. It is a specialised subset of the wider field of occupational medicine. Human performance has enormous implications in the flight environment, this vital element is the emphasis of the Aviation Medicine Unit. As such, it is fundamentally concerned with health consequences in pilots, aircrew and aircraft passengers.

At Racecourse Road Health Centre, Doctor Peter Herbert specialises in Aviation Medicine and is licensed to perform aviation medicals.

Having such an in-depth understanding of the health issues in the aviation field, Doctor Herbert takes great care in looking after any health issues of pilots, flight crew, flight passengers, air traffic controllers or staff that work on airports and airfields. Dr Peter Herbert is a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner with extensive experience. Doctor Herbert is also a member of The Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ASAM). DAME work requires a careful and individualised interest in the welfare of those involved in aviation, and this is our focus at Racecourse Road Health Centre. All recreational and commercial pilots are welcome to come and have a full medical with us. All results uploaded in real time to CASA. Your aviation medical is something you need to ensure is done well, as your profession can depend on it – we understand the process and can attend to all of your aviation medicine needs in a relaxed environment in the leafy suburb of Ascot.

We attend to the needs of pilots from all over Brisbane central and surrounding areas, and perform aviation medicine for our clients at our Racecourse Road Health Centre.  Full ECG-reporting software and other advanced technology can bring about real results in real time, all uploaded to CASA on your behalf, for full approval.  Both Class 1 and Class 2 Pilots recommend Racecourse Road Health Centre for Aviation Medicine.

Book an appointment with our Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) by calling (07) 3268 1395 if you have any issues related to flying or licensing whether you are a pilot, flight crew, air traffic controller or an airline passenger.  We do not currently take online bookings for Aviation Medicals and they must be booked over the phone in advance as they take longer than a standard GP appointment. Our friendly reception teams are also happy to answer any questions you may have in regards to the different types of tests that are involved in the examination, the expected time of your consultation and assessment and any related costs. They will also be able to determine how long your specific aviation medical certificate will be valid for.

There are three medical standards relating to the various types of licences held. These three standards relate to Class 1, 2 and 3 Medical Certificates.

Aviation Medical Certificates for Licence Types

Class 1:

  • All professional technical aircrew of powered aircraft, and is required for issue of Airline Transport Pilot Licence, Commercial Pilot Licence, Flight Engineer or Flight Navigator Licences.
  • Medical (Commercial Pilots) is valid for 1 year
  • Medicals – both CPL & ATPL – are every 12 months.
  • After age 60, The ATPL Class 1 medical is every 6 months.

*CASA requires tests for Class 1 & 3 medicals that are determined by age and may include hearing, ECG & Blood tests.

How do I book a Class 1 medical?

You will need to apply to CASA for a medical Certificate. This involves an online questionnaire. Pilots are usually surprised how detail this questionnaire is and it can take up to an hour to complete the first time.

How do I pay CASA the processing fee?

There have always been two separate fees involved in applying for a Class 1 medical. Prior to 2016, you would have paid CASA’s processing fee via an online payment (or paper based payment taken from The DAME). From 2016, the CASA processing fee for a class 1 medical is paid by you before the medical. This becomes self-evident when you complete the CASA application.

Class 2:

  • Student Pilot, Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot Balloons and Flight Radio Operator Licences.
  • This medical is for private pilots (non-commercial) – typically a PPL or RPL.
  • Basic Class 2 is more restricted than a standard class 2, allowing you to fly up to 5 passengers as follows:
  • Piston engines only
  • No aerobatics
  • Day visual flight rules
  • Altitudes up to 10,000 feet

Basic Class 2 Checklist:

  • Log onto CASA online medical registration system (MRS)
  • Confirm correct email and address
  • Apply for your medical certificate
  • Download and print medical questionnaire
  • Take CASA medical questionnaire to appointment
  • Complete required tests and medical examinations
  • Log back into MRS and finalise application
  • Pay CASA processing fee

*You must bring your medical questionnaire to your basic class 2 appointment.

Standard Class 2:  

  • Age under 40 years: Every 4 years
  • Age 40 or more: Every 2 years

Standard Class 2 Checklist:

  • Log onto CASA online medical registration system (MRS)
  • Apply for your medical certificate
  • Complete the online questionnaire in full
  • Submit the medical online and complete the CASA processing fee
  • See DAME who completes the application

Class 3:

  • Air Traffic Control staff
  • Controllers require medical every 2 years
  • Class 3 medical (ATC) is valid for 1 year

*CASA requires tests for Class 1 & 3 medicals that are determined by age and may include hearing, ECG & Blood tests.

*Please note: applicants may be sent for more external tests or for external medical opinion, depending on the applicant’s inherent medical conditions.

Aviation Medical Certificates for Licence Types

What is the CASA schedule for age-related tests for the medical exam?

The CASA age-related tests for Class 1 & 3 licenses are: Blood tests (serum lipids & blood sugar), Audio & ECG. CVD risk score is taken care of at the time of the medical (based on blood tests etc). Eye Exam by a designated examiner (usually a designated aviation optometrist) is required on the initial Class 1 & 3 and then regularly after the age of 60.

Class 2 Medicals do not routinely require any age-related tests.

Which tests do you do on site?

All the Standard tests (if needed) may be provided on site:

  • ECG
  • Audiology screening (hearing test)
  • Blood Tests (across the carpark)

How soon before medical certificate expiry should I get the medical?

Ah, you’ve clicked on an important question that crops up frequently!

Most medicals are straightforward but there may be age-related tests as designated by CASA (see separate FAQ). The age related tests often include blood tests – and it won’t be possible for the DAME to submit the medical until the results are reviewed.

Occasionally something unexpected crops up at a medical. Though most pilots & controllers will fear this possibility, the truth is that most issues can be resolved as long as there is time to do so. The DAME may need to contact CASA or get more information. A referral to a specialist will clearly take time. Look at something simple – the blood pressure being up a bit. That’s usually just a bit of white coat hypertension and a 24 hour BP is likely be needed. Doing all this at the last moment is likely to add to the stress.

There is the following small print. The DAME extends the medical certificate for 2 months so that CASA send out the new medical certificate. The date of extension will be up to:

When the medical examination date is between 1 & 28 days before expiry of the medical, the medical certificate is revalidated for 2 months following the date of expiry of the medical. The most common scenario.

If the medical has already expired (less than 3 months ago) the certificate may be revalidated for 2 months following the date of the medical examination or

If the examination is more than 28 days before expiry: 2 months following the date of the medical examination. This is the least common scenario but there’s nothing stopping you getting your medical done 3 months in advance although it will push forward your next medical by the same timeframe.

So the perfect answer is to get the medical done 2-4 weeks before expiry! 1 week OK and 1 day not ideal! 1-2 months before is also OK for the super-organised.

In the real world, 2-4 weeks beforehand is great, 1 week should be alright, and 1 day not ideal!

How long are the 3 classes of medical certificates valid for?

CLASS 1 Medical Certificate is valid for one year.
CLASS 2 Medical Certificate is valid for four years, for applicants less than 40 years of age on the day of issue, and in all other cases for two years.
CLASS 3 Medical Certificate is valid for two years.

I have a medical condition - any tips for the medical?

Are you under a specialist? If so, bring along the most recent letter(s), and the most recent blood tests or radiology results.  Have recent blood pressure readings been high, or is your blood pressure high only when it’s checked at medicals (White coat syndrome)?  All DAMEs are aware of the anxiety over a medical causing artificially high BP readings – as long as the BP is repeated a few times with the DAME guiding you as to correct arm posture and muscle relaxation then the BP normally settles down.  The DAME can otherwise arrange a 24 hr BP which is only a minor cost or inconvenience.

When do I need a DAME clearance for duty?

  • Class 1 license: if impaired for 7 days

Class 2 (private pilot) & Class 3 license: if impaired for 30 days

Who makes the decision regarding fitness to fly?

Thankfully, the majority of pilots will of course be determined fit to fly without any issues.  In Europe and New Zealand, the aviation medical doctor signs off the medical certificate at the time of the medical.

Australia has filed “differences” under ICAO in having a centralised system for issuing medical certificates. What this means is that the DAME does not issue the medical certificate but the medical section of CASA does. This surprises both both pilots new to Australia, & surprises Australians new to flying. What the DAME does do, however, is to extend the license for a couple of months so that CASA have the time to send out the new license. This is termed revalidation of the medical certificate.

Thankfully, the system is electronic and becoming streamlined from 2015. I have heard from a senior source that from some time in 2015 there is planned to be a new CASA system for issuing the medical certificates which will speed up the process further and potentially allow the pilot to print off the emailed certificate.

How do I pay CASA to process the Medical

For Class 1 and 3 medicals, you pay The CASA processing fee via the online portal that you use for the medical questionnaire.

For Class 2 medicals, you pay The CASA processing fee at the time of the medical.

Can I get a Recreational Aviation Medical?

There is a Recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate (RAMPC) which replaced the driving licence medical in 2014. The RAMPC medical may be issued by Doctor Peter Herbert

The RAMPC is significantly more restrictive than the Class 2 medical and restricts the pilot to:

  • Carrying no more than 1 passenger
  • Flying aircraft under 1500KG MTOW (Single Engine Piston only)
  • By Day and under VFR
  • No Aerobatics

The RAMPC is valid for 2 years until the age of 65 when validity becomes yearly.  The Class 2 medical is valid for 4 years until the age of 40 after which validity is 2 years.

So for pilots under the age of 40, the class 2 medical is valid for 4 years whilst The RAMPC is valid for 2 years.

The single passenger must be a qualifying passenger.  CASA state that “this is a defined term meaning a passenger who, before boarding an aircraft has been told by the eligible person that he or she holds a current Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate (RAMPC) that is of a lower medical standard than a class 1 or class 2 medical certificate normally required which imposes conditions, all of which are and will be complied with for the flight.”

Figures show that the majority of Private Pilots get a class 2 and not a recreational Medical because of these issues & restrictions.

What do I need to Bring to my medical?

Please bring photo ID and a copy of your most recent aviation medical certificate.  Bring along a copy of any investigations or blood tests you’ve had done in the last 3 months.

*If applicant wears contact lenses or glasses when they fly, they are required to bring their spare pair of glasses with them to their aviation medical examination – this can’t be emphasised enough because the CASA medical requires your eyes to be tested with both your normal and your spare pair!