Real Answers from Real Pilots

1st class medical question

I have a question here for people, I recently conducted my visiting the ATP location in Minneapolis MN. And I had ALOT of fun! I have flown planes before, but always a Cessna 182 and 172. This was the first time in a Piper! It was really cool! My instructor did a AWESOME job with everything. She went above and beyond what I expected for the tour and knowledge she had with the school, aviation industry, handling the plane, answering the questions I had etc…she definitely made it an experience I will always remember!

Now for the question I have, while getting a first class medical. Does that include a heart stress test, EKG, etc? If not, would you recommend me seeing a heart doc to get a EKG, stress test on your heart and a Ecocardiogram before signing up with ATP? Some people I know, have highly suggested that, cause they FAA is strict with health of your heart.

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance for your input!


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Also l will say this, overall I am a healthy person? I live a healthy life style, I’m 6’4” and 190lbs. So I’m not overly worried about failing a physical. But just curious on other pilots opinion on this question. Some people I know (who are pilots) have recommended it to me prior to signing up for flight school.


The FAA requires an EKG for a First Class at age 35 age then yearly after 40. Honestly if you don’t have any health concerns i wouldn’t worry about it but if you want to be extra cautious you of course can.

Glad the Intro went well.



Glad to hear your tour and intro flight went well! Yes, we stress the importance of getting your medical first because if you couldn’t secure your first class, wouldn’t want to waste any money on training knowing that its going to prevent you from being an airline pilot.



I personally would get my heart looked at and I would have it done by a cardiologist. I once had a regular doctor misread an EKG, which ended up causing me all sorts of unnecessary grief with the FAA.

I am glad the tour went well, please keep us up to date.


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Thanks everyone for your input! I appreciate your thoughts!


Glad to hear that the tour went well! I’m glad to hear that the instructor went above and beyond.

I am extremely siding with Chris on this one. The FAA is very strict when it comes to the heart, get a cardiologist to do your EKG and not just any regular doctor.