Commercial Pilots (CPL, ATPL) Class 1

If you think you may want to become a Commercial Pilot, it is best and cheapest to get the class 1 medical first, rather than a class 2 then later a class 1. When you get a class 1, you get a class 2 automatically.

A class 1 certificate lasts up to one year. If you do not use your class 1 you can let it expire and fly on the class 2. The class 2 certificate lasts up to five years. If you are at a flying school, they will probably require you to maintain your class 1 certificate. A flying club however will probably be happy for you to let your class 1 expire and fly on your class 2 until your CPL flight test. Don't let you class expire by more than 5 years, otherwise you will have to do another initial medical.

Private Pilots (PPL) Class 2

This is a licence that allows you to fly for fun. A private pilot is allowed to fly a plane with passengers. You cannot be paid to fly with this licence.

A Private Pilots Licence (PPL) needs a class 2 medical certificate. This can be with IFR or without IFR. IFR is Instrument Flight Rules, and allows flying into cloud.

IFR flying is a lot of work to get and maintain. Most private pilots do not need IFR. A private pilot usually wants to go flying on a nice day where they can see where they are going.

You also get a class 2 medical when you get a class 1.

Air Traffic Controllers Class 3

An air traffic controller's medical is basically the same as a commercial pilot. The periods between medicals however are different.

You should get your class 3 medical certificate before you enrol in your training course. You can also get a class 1 and 2 medical certificate at the same time. The tests required are the same and are done at the same time.

Get a CAA ID Number

Please download and fill out the form from here, then send your request for an ID number to the CAA at www.caa.govt.nz. It takes a few working days to get a CAA ID. You must include a scanned copy of your photo ID (passport or NZ drivers licence) when you send it to the CAA.

You cannot start your medical without this.

If you have had a CAA medical in the past or have a CAA ID number already, for example you are a LAME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer), you will use that number for your medical. The CAA in Wellington can advise you what your number was/is. Phone +64-4-560-9466.

Pay the CAA Fee

Search for "CAA online medical fee".

This fee is paid each time a medical is applied for. Even if you are applying for multiple classes, you only pay one CAA fee. The money goes to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), a government body.

You must pay this and enter the receipt number into SkyCert before you can sign your application in SkyCert.

You must enter and sign your CAA application form several days before you go for your medical. Your medical examiner will want to look at your application form the day before you come.

Once you have the receipt, upload it into SkyCert so your medical examiner can acces it. Scan it as a PDF in black and white (not colour and not greyscale).

Have ID, Now Start Your Medical

To sign up to SkyCert click here.

You cannot start your medical with the medical examiner without having filled out and signed your application form in SkyCert.

Make sure to select the medical practice, otherwise the medical examiner will not be able to see or start your medical.

To assist you and your medical examiner, aim to have your SkyCert application filled out and signed in SkyCert several days before your medical.

To start a new medical click here.

Blood Test

You will need fasting lipids and either fasting glucose or HbA1c. Fasting means no food or drink, except for water, for 10 - 16 hours.

You can request a lab form from your GP or your medical examiner. You can use results that are up to 12 months old. If you have these, upload them into SkyCert.

If you are on blood pressure or other medication, you may need to do extra blood tests - check with your medical examiner. Check also your previous MAR and certificate issue letter to see if there is anything extra needed.

SkyCert can provide a lab form after you have signed your application inside SkyCert. The lab will charge you for this pilot blood test.

Once you have the report, upload it into SkyCert. Scan it as a black and white PDF (not colour and not greyscale).

Audiogram

This is a hearing test done on the CAA Audiometry form.

If you want to be a commercial pilot, you need this for your first medical. If you want to be a private pilot that can fly inside cloud (IFR), you need to have this done.

Check to see if your medical examiner does audiograms - some do. Otherwise search for "audiologists". You do not need a CAA approved one. They must use the CAA form.

Once you have the report, upload it into SkyCert. Scan it as a black and white PDF (not colour and not greyscale).

Special Eye Report

Most pilots or controllers only need this for their first medical.

Search for "CAA approved optometrists".  They must be approved by the CAA, and they must use the CAA Special Eye Report form.

Once you have the report, upload it into SkyCert. Scan it as a black and white PDF (not colour and not greyscale).

Things to Take With You

You must have filled out and signed your application in SkyCert several days before you go for your medical.

Take:

  • Your passport or New Zealand drivers licence.
  • Your CAA fee receipt.
  • If you wear glasses, take your spare pair as well.
  • If you wear contact lenses, take them but do not wear them.
  • You will need your SkyCert password, and preferably a device to access it, e.g. a smart phone.

You do not need to fast when you see the doctor for your medical.

It is not compulsory to have the blood, audiometry, and eye reports done before your medical, You can do them afterwards.

You will need to go to provide a urine sample when you go for your medical. So hold on :)