Medical Certification Requirement for a Glider License

You can gain your glider pilot's license with minimal medical certification.
You can gain your glider pilot's license with minimal medical certification. (Image: Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Learning to pilot a glider is one of the most exhilarating feelings you can experience. Many people who later on learn to pilot conventional powered planes begin with a glider license. You can start learning as a glider pilot in your teens, and you do not need a physical exam to get your license.

Medical Requirements

Before obtaining your license as a solo glider pilot permitted to take passengers, you will sign a medical statement and submit it to the Federal Aviation Administration. This certifies that you have no known physical defects or ailments that would prevent you from flying safely. This is a self assessment, and you are not required to take a physical.

Disqualifying Conditions

You don't have to be in peak fitness to consider becoming a glider pilot. You should have reasonable vision, but wearing glasses or contact lenses is not a problem. You should not suffer from epilepsy, diabetes or recent heart problems. If you are unsure whether an existing health condition would disqualify you, consult your doctor.

Age Requirements

You may take lessons at any age, but you are not permitted to fly solo until you are 14 years of age. It usually takes between seven and nine hours of flight time before you can fly solo. You must be 16 before you can gain your private pilot’s license, which allows you to fly with passengers. You must pass both written and flight tests in order to The FAA also requires that you have flown at least seven hours solo.

Powered Flight Medical

The medical requirements for a glider license are minimal, compared to the stricter regulations for a powered plane pilot’s license. If you want to go on from your glider license to a powered plane license, you must undergo a physical exam performed by an FAA authorized doctor. The physician can pass you with either a first, second or third class certificate, depending on your health and condition. You must carry this certificate with you at all times when you are flying solo.

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