Every year, once every year as a commercial pilot you will have to go and get our Medical renewed. I feel that I try to live my life as healthy as I possibly can, considering that we sit down all the time at work, and I mean ALL the time! We don´t even get up to get our own coffee! It´s also not the healthiest lifestyle working shifts with a mix of getting up unreasonable early in the morning and work late, past normal bedtime, add eating at non standard times and airport junk food it can be difficult to stay sound so it is always with a bit of nervous when I go and have my medical done, you never know what they might find, right?
I talked about it briefly in my last vlog (link) and we did an Instagram Story Q&A that is up on my IGTV (link) where I answered some questions you had regarding getting our medical done but as always I like to write a blog post about it so here it goes.
I normally have my check done in Sweden but as I recently moved to England, I decided to have it done here. I live about 20 minutes by car from the clinic, one and a half hour walk. In my last desperate attempt to show up the healthiest I possibly can I decided to walked there, I love walking, free exercise. One and a half hour according to Google Maps. What Google Maps didn’t take to count is that it is not allowed to walk on the motorway, why, when I selected the ´walk option ´does it do that? Google? It took me right onto the motorway so I had to detour and even if I had given myself 20 minutes extra, plus that I walk considerable faster than Google Maps average walking pace I still got there five minutes late, how embarrassing and unprofessional, a pilot is NEVER late.
I started with filling out a form, it´s a standard form that has the same kind of questions wherever you go, age, name, sex, if you have or have had any diagnosis before, depression, std, problems with your eyes, diabetes, etc This form generally goes pretty fast for me to fill out, No one everything, except only one change this time, hay fever! How and why do I get hay fever at age 30+ when I have never had it before! I showed the doctor the tablets that I take and he said I was good to fly even when taking them, Phu. After that you pee in a cup, they check for blood in your urine and signs of diabetes. Then they check your eyes you have to read off a chart, you know the standard one where you have letters and you have to read the lowest possible selection or letters that you can, then you read from a book with arm’s length. Every five years you do an audiogram. I felt that I didn´t do that one very well this time, I always fly with noise canceling headset to make sure my hearing is not negatively affected by the loud noises that we have in the flight deck. But sitting in the small little cube a like room and pressing a busser mechanism when hearing a beep in different pitch was difficult this time, my breathing, still feeling a little bit out of breath after power walking for one and a half hour, was louder than any beep, it was the kind of breathing, almost snoring alike that you definitely don´t want next to you when trying to sleep! So, I tried with holding my breath, I mean there was not a chance in the world that I would hear a beep at the same time as taking a breath! It was a long time to hold my breath if I would do it during the full audiogram, so I came up with a system, after every beep I would take a deep inhale and exhale just as I heard a beep, just to make sure I wouldn’t miss one and I figured that they would probably not have two beeps right after each other. I passed, conclusion, in the next five years I will not go on a power walk before an audiogram! After that they check your lungs, we do an ECG every two years, I did one last year so this year I didn´t have to. They take blood and check your hemoglobin levels and that is pretty much it, it takes approximately 30 minutes, 229 pounds poorer, but always good to have a health checkup, right? Now for your questions, as always, THANK YOU so much for sending these I love answering your questions! I learn so much myself by doing this, you have questions I have never thought of and every time there’s a question I don’t know the answer to I try to find out, Google search or make some phone calls so not only do I get to help you, I genuinely learn something every time myself, for that Thank You!
A lot of you asked ´What is a Pilots Medical´ so I thought I explain that first. To fly as a commercial pilot you have to hold a so-called Medical Class 1 certificate, every year we. have to renew it making sure that we still have good enough hearing that is required in order to hear call outs, radio, warning bells, etc. They also check our eyes, you are allowed to wear glasses (see below) check our blood urine, etc to make sure that we are healthy enough to operate.
@connectingdots0910 asked: How much does it cost?
My answer: The initial Medical that you do, the first one to get your Medical Class 1 costa around 800 Euros something around there, then every year to renew it is between 200-300 Euros.
@matts_kitchen asked: Is there a drug test?
My answer: Officially they don´t drug test during out medical (I wouldn’t mind if they did, think that would be great) however, we do get random drug tests at work where they, just as they do random alcohol tests would show up to the airplane or our crew room before departure.
@tamizinpetersenx asked: Do you need perfect hearing?
My answer: No you do not need to have a perfect hearing. You can have a hearing loss of 35dB at 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz and 50dB at 3000Hz (read more here: www.caa.co.uk/aeromedical
@24indy asked: Eyesight requirements? A lot of you actually asked this so I hope that this can help.
My answer: You shall WITH or without, meaning with or without glasses/contact lenses have a vision of 6/6 on both eyes and 6/9 or better on each eye separately. Read more here: www.caa.co.uk
@carlosemm1993 asked: Do you know any colorblind person working in aviation?
You have to pass a so-called Ishihara color test, you have to be able to tell the difference between certain colors, this is important for using the instruments and especially the screens showing weather and terrain in the flight deck. Read more here: www.caa.co.uk do an online Ishihara test here: link
@_.siimona._ asked: Are you allowed to have tattoos?
My answer: Yes, however, some companies might have restrictions on tattoos. I have one that I did many years ago if it was up to me today I wouldn’t get one.
I have answered tons of more questions on my Instagram, here’s a link to my IGTV where I answered most: link
I love engaging with you where I answer questions on topics that you send in to me, for next time I’ve had suggestions on ´What kind of food I take with me to work´ ´Skind care routine´ we sit in an extream dry environment which takes a toll on our skin, ´Whats in a Pilots flightbag´ and so many more fun subjects I can´t wait to dive into, please let me know what you would like me to talk, write about. Comment her or on my Instagram @pilotmaria
Apologies any typos, grammar and misspellings, English is not my first language but since not many of you speak Swedish 😉 I have decided to keep this Blog to English.
Until next time!
Lots of Love