First Class Medical Renewal

This is a question for the more seasoned (40+) pilots/students. I received my First Class Med Cert after a few procedures/lifestyle changes. It took over a year to get. I went after the Med first to be sure I could qualify before pursuing further. At my age it is a six month renewal. Question - what are the pro/cons to maintaining it versus letting it lapse to a second class during training? Any and all advice appreciated.


Please discuss this with your medical examiner as we are not able to dispense any medical advice on this forum.


I think he may be referring to what he needs for training. ATP requires you to get the first class medical at the outset to make sure that you could actually be an airline candidate in that regard since that is the whole point of the ACPP. In terms of what you actually need for training, third class is sufficient and a lot of the instructors choose not to renew to first class until they come up to their date for going to a regional. It saves them a good amount of money. If you’re worried about whether or not you can keep up your first class then that is definitely something to talk about with you AME though.

Hey Chris , Caleb,

Caleb is correct, not looking for med advice, more procedural as I have never done this. Once you have your First, is it anymore difficult/more paper work/documentation to renew a First that has lapsed to a Second vs renewing the First. As far as timing, I will have to renew during flight school to keep it a First. TY


You really only need your First Class to operate as PIC at an airline or corporate carrier. Unless you have any concerns medically and you want to make sure you still qualify, I wouldn’t hesitate to let it lapse. As a gee whizz fun fact many airlines only require their FOs to renew once a year and allow it to lapse to a Second Class for half the year. Completely legal and cost effective.


TY Adam. Intro/Eval this Saturday at LGB, then deposit, writtens and start Feb at LGB. It has been a long road to this point. Anticipation is killing me - lol.