Aeromedical Factors

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What is a graveyard spiral, and how do you avoid it? – Understand this dangerous illusion caused by our inner ears “feeling like” we’re in level flight when we are actually in a coordinated turn.

Find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) – This FAA database will help you find an AME. This is necessary to obtain a medical certificate. You will need to be issued a Third Class medical certificate to be able to exercise the privileges of pilot in command as a private pilot. Only a drivers license is necessary to be a sport pilot.

If you have a complicated medical history, get a consultation from an AME BEFORE you start the medical certification process!!! If you are denied a medical certificate, you will not be able to act as pilot in command, even as a sport pilot! When in doubt, get a consult!

Airman Education Programs at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute – High altitude chamber classes are available at the CAMI office in Oklahoma City, OK. Note: you must possess a valid medical certificate to take part in the altitude chamber.

Aeromedical Safety Brochures – These are published by the FAA on topics ranging from alcohol consumption to hypoxia to laser light exposure.

Carbon Monoxide: A Deadly Menace (PDF) – This informational brochure published by the FAA contains a lot of information about CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a byproduct of combustion and can be present if cabin heat is used in an airplane with a cracked exhaust unit.

Guide for AMEs: Pharmaceutical List (DNI/DNF) – This list contains some of the medications that may make you unable to fly. Keep in mind that there are thousands of medications out there, and this list is not exhaustive. To that end, consult with your Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) if you are taking any medications that you have questions about, or if you want to know if you are able to fly while taking them.

Related & Recommended Books

  • Pilot Medical Handbook: Human Factors for Successful Flying by Federal Aviation Administration and  Civil Aviation Medical Institute