A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard
this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer
statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of
"there are no old, bold pilots.")
Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner,
master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us
-- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators. Some of them, you
may have heard before... but for each of us, there will also be
something we might never have considered before, or something that
didn't "stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized
it for the practical test.
Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you
through the Aero-News Network.
A reader called me. He was completing his aircraft insurance
renewal application, and suddenly realized he may have been
Our reader recently turned 40 and realized it had been over two
years since his last Third Class medical examination. Isn't the 3rd
Class physical only good for two years for pilots over age 40 (as
opposed to three years for younger pilots), he asked? Did his
medical expire on his 40th birthday since it was more than two
years old at that point?
Not to worry
No problem, I replied. Although his future 3rd Class physicals
will only be good for two years each (barring some possible
extension programs in the works), the last exam he took before
turning 40 is still valid until three years after the examination
date. From FAR 61.23c(3):
A third-class medical certificate…expires at the end of
[t]he 36th month after the month of the date of the examination
shown on the certificate if the person has not reached his or her
40th birthday on or before the date of examination
The 3rd Class medical would be valid for three years even if the
examination were taken on the day before his 40th birthday. Go
forth and fly in medical legality!
Aero-tip of the day: Understand the
effectivity, and the limitations, of your medical certificate.