I am really happy as today I once again have a valid Medical Certificate and can book some slots at the flying club to renew my SEP(L) rating.
Having learnt towards the end of last Century, I hold a lifetime valid UK-issued Private Pilots Licence and for a number of years I enjoyed flying around various parts of the UK, Channel Islands and France attending various fly-ins in the process and even managed a few flying holidays across the pond in GA-haven… United States.
Over the years I added IMC and Night Ratings to my PPL as well as gaining a full FAA CPL/IR in Single and Multi Engine aeroplanes.
Moved to Scotland in 2008 and bought a share in a lovely TB9 a year later. Flying around the Scottish Countryside is a sight to behold and can be simply stunning on a clear day. What an experience! However, for various reasons, mid-2011, I decided it was time to sell my share and unknown to me at the time it would be the last time I flew as Pilot in Command.
Fast forward to earlier this year and I decided it was time to get back into the saddle.
Since then I have been shedding excess weight as I simply had to if I wish not to have health problems in future years and as a treat to myself decided to book an appointment to renew my medical at the friendly local AME
Today was D-Day but I needn’t have worried as the medical itself was pretty straight forward. Fill in the medical form/questionnaire prior to turning up at the surgery but don’t sign it until with the Doctor. Urine sample whilst you are waiting for your appointment so make sure you drink lots of water before you go! You want a full bladder. First things first, checked my Passport to prove I was who I say I am.
We discussed a few things from the contents of the form and the first item on the agenda was blood pressure. Now I knew my blood pressure was normal a couple of weeks prior and was shocked to see it pretty high at the medical, white coat syndrome is something I’ve not experienced before but sure enough a few minutes later my blood pressure was normal.
My weight wasn’t even raised as an issue as my BMI was worked out to be 27.2 which wasn’t bad considering I started the year at 35.7 and when I said what I had been doing the AME was well pleased with my progress over the last few months especially as my parents have Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure so I do need to look after myself and watch my weight. I’m working on ensuring my BMI is down to the top end of “normal” by the end of the year, this is definitely do-able.
I cut my weight down by simply cutting out all bad foods, replacing with healthy alternatives and eating in moderation. Plus personal training sessions twice a week to get my fitness levels up although I have had PT sessions since last April but my weight has remained roughly the same (254 lbs) because I wasn’t eating healthily! If I can do it then I’m sure you can, just takes will power initially but just becomes the norm after a while.
Next was climb onto the bed and standard limb checks, he did put the gloves on and I started to become a little worried but I needn’t have been, just a check for a hernia. As I have diagnosed Asthma I had to obtain a written report from my GP and do a best of three peak-flow tests, all within limit guidance and fine.
A hearing check was repeating a sentence that the doctor spoke quietly behind me. If, down the line I decide to go for a full IR I will need to pass the Class 1 Audiometry test as an additional requirement.
Last but not least for the main part of the medical was the various eye tests, standard Snellen Eye Chart for Distance as well as a Short Distance version for reading. Standard colour test using the book. Convergence check using a pencil as a focus and that was it for the main part of the medical.
There was confusion over whether I required an ECG or not, I was sure I did need one as I am over 40 and the CAA Medical Department confirmed the same when the AME called. The AME was trying to save me money which was nice.
The ECG came back as normal which he was more than pleased with (probably because he didn’t need to pay the CAA any referral fees!) and nothing more to be said except, “you’ve passed with only the require correcting lenses and a spare pair available limitation and that will be £280 please”, said with a smile.
Was at the surgery for around an hour and out I walked with a newly printed EASA Class 2 medical. Happy days! I am now free to join the flying club and book some lessons to renew my SEP(L)!
On-wards and upwards!