To go a little more in-depth, I want to discuss the three different classes of medical certificates. Each higher category involves a slightly more thorough examination and includes or supercedes all requirements in lower classes. However, these higher classes are generally only necessary for exercising the privileges of more advanced pilot certificates than the basic Private Pilot that I am training for. Also to note, since I know a lot of people wonder about this, is that for any class of medical you may wear glasses or other corrective lenses for all vision testing.
- Third Class - necessary for Private and Recreational pilots, along with Student pilots flying solo, valid for 3 years (2 years if you're over 40 when it's issued)
- Second Class - requires better vision than a Third Class and is necessary for Commercial pilots, valid for 12 months
- First Class - the most restrictive class and the exam includes an EKG, necessary for Airline Transport Pilots (the airline folks), valid for 6 months