As a student pilot pursuing your Recreational or Private pilot certificate, you will need a Student Pilot Certificate at some point during flight training program. You will also need an FAA Medical Certificate. The type of certificate you should obtain depends on your flight training goals, but the process is generally very simple for both.
Your Student Pilot Certificate
You will need a Student Pilot Certificate before your first solo; that wondrous time when your instructor has enough confidence in your ability to get out of the airplane and send you off by yourself. You can obtain the certificate at any time prior to the solo.
Your Student Pilot Certificate is a standalone document that must be obtained using the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system and through the assistance of the local FAA office (Flight Standards District Office or FSDO), a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), an Airman Certification Representative (ACR) associated with a part 141 pilot school, or your own Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) here at Sporty’s Academy.
Before you meet with any of these individuals, you can and should go to IACRA to register and start the application process.
- Go to https://iacra.faa.gov and click the “Register” link near the upper right corner of the page.
- Select “Applicant” on the next page then review the Terms of Service (TOS) and click the “Agree to TOS and Continue>>” button to move on.
- Fill out your IACRA – User Profile Information as accurately as possible. It will be helpful if your name information closely matches the name on your photo id. Leave the “Airman Certificate Number” and “Date of Issuance” fields blank. Many pilots select “Do Not Use” regarding their social security number but this is up to you.
- After registering, login with your new credentials.
- Click the “Start New Application” button.
- The Application Type will be “Pilot” and the Pilot Certifications will be “Student Pilot.” Click the Start Application button.
- Fill in the information the Personal Information section and click the Save & Continue button.
- Submit the application and make an appointment with your instructor or another authorized individual.
When the time comes to meet for verification purposes, be sure to bring your unexpired driver’s license, passport, or other acceptable photo id to your meeting. You must apply in person with the authorized individual.
Student Pilot Certificates acquired under this process do not expire.
Your FAA Medical Certificate and Alternatives
The pursuit of most pilot certificates will require you to obtain and hold an FAA Medical Certificate prior to flying solo.
FAA Medical Certificate’s are issued by an FAA Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). AME’s are physicians with a special interest in aviation safety and have training in aviation medicine.
If you have any condition that may be medically disqualifying or could slow your medical approval, do not visit your AME before meeting with and discussing your options with someone like our Flight School Manager, Charlie Masters. Alternatively, you can contact a resource like the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to discuss your situation. You can get a free 6 month membership as a Student Pilot. They have experts available to help find your best route for success in the medical certification process.
Some conditions that can be disqualifying or could slow your medical approval include but are not limited to:
- Heart Disease
- Nervous Disorders
- History of Kidney Stones
- Emotional or Mental Disorders
- Uncorrectable Vision
- Certain Levels of Hearing Loss
- History of Alcohol or Drug Dependence
- Any condition that could impair your ability to operate an aircraft safely
If you would like further information on potentially disqualifying conditions, the standards for medical certification are contained in:
If 14 CFR Part 67 indicates that a condition will not allow you to obtain a medical certificate, all hope is not lost. There may be an option to obtain a special issuance medical certificate or obtain a medical with certain operating limitations. Discuss this with one of the previously mentioned sources before pushing forward with your examination.
If you are in good health and ready to obtain your FAA Medical Certificate, find an AME, schedule an appointment, and fill out your application on MedXPress before going to see the doctor. Be truthful on this application, especially in the area of alcohol related driving offenses. The FAA can and will check your answers against the National Driver Register database. Falsification of facts can lead to fines and revocation of certificates.
You can find an AME using the FAA’s database found at https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/. The following AME’s are near the Clermont County Airport and have a good reputation for a fair medical assessment:
Dr. John Held
513.735.9100 ext. 0 (for appointment)
Dr. Steven D. Villegas
3005 Dixie Hwy, Ste 120
Edgewood, Kentucky 41017
At some point in the process, you will be asked about the “Class” of medical you would like to apply for. You should plan to obtain the class of medical certificate required, for the certificate level you ultimately want. This will tell you if you are medically qualified for that certificate. Finding this out now is better than waiting until you have already spent thousands of dollars on training for a certificate that you ultimately may not be able to use.
For operations as a Student, Recreational, or Private Pilot, all classes of medical certificates are valid for 60 calendar months if you obtained the certificate prior to your 40th birthday. If you obtained the medical on or after your 40th birthday, the certificate is valid for only 24 calendar months.
For Additional Information
Throughout this description, we have tried to cover the common questions and concerns we hear from students as they begin their aviation journey. If we didn’t cover a question that you would like to have answered, feel free contact our Flight School Manager, Charlie Masters, at 513.735.9100×264 or via Email at Fly@SportysAcademy.com.