Class 1 Initial Medical for Aspiring Cadet Pilots.

As a professional pilot, you are responsible for the lives of your passengers and the safe operation of the aircraft. To perform at the highest level, you need to be healthy and medically fit to be in control. In India, pilots flying commercially are required to hold a Class 1 Medical certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). This article will discuss the Class 1 Medical in the context of Indian aviation, including the examination process and how to obtain one.

What Medical Certification Do I Need?

There are two levels of medical certification in aviation: Class 1 Medical for commercial pilots and Class 2 Medical for private pilots. As the requirements for a Class 1 Medical are more stringent, all professional pilots in India must obtain this certification from a DGCA-approved Aeronautical Medical Examiner (AME).

How Often Do I Need to Renew My Class 1 Medical?

The validity of a Class 1 Medical depends on your age. Between the ages of 18 and 60, the certification is valid for one year. After 60, the medical must be renewed every six months until the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Will I Pass My Class 1 Medical?

Most pilot aspirants have no trouble passing their medical evaluations. While you don't need to be an Olympic athlete to become a pilot, the testing is relatively straightforward. Some medical conditions may make a person ineligible for a Class 1 Medical, while others can be managed with medication or consultations with specialist doctors. If you have concerns about a specific medical issue, consult a DGCA-approved AME for guidance.

What Does the Class 1 Medical Examination Entail?

A DGCA-approved AME will perform a comprehensive health examination, including psychological and physical assessments. The exam will cover various aspects of your health, such as your general health, hearing, eyesight, and heart function. You will also need to provide blood and urine samples for further testing.

General Health You will be required to fill in a detailed medical history form, which will include information about past illnesses, hospital visits, family medical history, and any medications or allergies you have or have had. It is recommended that you obtain your medical records from your primary care physician to ensure accurate reporting.

Hearing Your hearing will be assessed through an audiogram and a balance test. The audiogram will measure your hearing range, while the balance test will examine your coordination and inner ear function.

Eyesight Pilots do not need perfect vision, but there are limitations on the degree of correction required for those who wear glasses or contact lenses. Your eyesight will be tested using various methods, including reading a chart from a set distance, the Ishihara test for color blindness, and checks for blind spots and eye health.

Urine and Blood Samples Urine samples will be tested for blood, sugar, and drugs, while blood samples will be used to check cholesterol levels, hemoglobin, and other indicators of general health and potential diseases.

Heart Function An electrocardiogram (ECG) will be performed to assess your heart's rhythm and electrical activity, checking for any irregularities or cardiovascular issues.

Obtaining Your Class 1 Medical from DGCA To obtain a Class 1 Medical certification, you must complete the examination process under the DGCA. Ensure that you consult a DGCA-approved AME for your medical examination, as this is the only way to obtain a valid certification.

In conclusion, the Class 1 Medical examination is a crucial aspect of a pilot's career in India. It ensures that pilots are physically and mentally fit to safely operate aircraft and protect the lives of passengers. If you have concerns about any medical issues, consult Aviator Cloud recommended Class 1 doctor.

Medical History:

The examining doctor will ask about your past illnesses. If you've had a major illness, bring relevant reports from your family doctor or specialist.


  • Distance Vision: Must be at least 6/9 in each eye and 6/6 with both eyes, with or without glasses or contact lenses. The correction limit is +5.00 dioptres for long sight and -6.00 dioptres for short sight.
  • Near Vision: Must be able to read N5 print between 30 and 50 cm and N14 print at 100 cm, with or without correction.
  • Contact Lenses: Allowed for professional pilots if monofocal, nontinted, and for distant vision.
  • Eye Surgery: Some types of eye surgeries may result in unfitness for flying.

Color Vision:

Must pass the Ishihara Test Plates or an approved lantern test to confirm normal color vision.

Eye Function:

Normal fields of vision, no double vision, and no acute or chronic eye diseases.

Physical Examination:

A general check of lungs, heart, blood pressure, stomach, limbs, and nervous system.


Hearing tests include conversational speech test at 2 meters and an audiogram (for professional pilots and private pilots with an instrument rating).

Electrocardiogram (ECG):

Measures electrical impulses in the heart and checks for heart rhythm disorders or blood supply issues.

Lung Function Test (spirometry):

Tests your ability to breathe deeply and expel air from your lungs.

Blood Tests:

  • Haemoglobin: Measures oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
  • Cholesterol: No disqualifying level, but high cholesterol will be discussed with the doctor.

Chest X-ray:

Not required for Class 1, but may be needed based on clinical or epidemiological factors.

Urine Test:

Checks for diabetes, protein, or blood.

Validity of Medical Certificate:

  1. Age at examination:
  • 17-39 years: 12 months
  • 40-59 years: 6-12 months (depends on the type of flying)
  • 60+ years: 6 months
  1. Type of flying (only for pilots aged 40-59):
  • Single pilot commercial air transport with passengers: 6 months
  • Other commercial operations (e.g. multi-pilot, flying instructor): 1 year
  1. Revalidation or Renewal:
  • Revalidation: Examination while the current medical certificate is still valid.
  • Renewal: Examination after the current medical certificate has expired.